ForcesWatch challenges the ethics of military recruitment and questions the climate of uncritical national pride in the armed forces
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our new book on militarism
At a comfortable distance from warfare, our culture easily passes over its horrific reality in favour of an appealing, even romantic, spectacle of war. Yet, over the last decade, most Britons have opposed Western military ventures abroad. This book takes a fresh look at a culture of militarism in Britain, public resistance to it, and the government's increasingly prodigious efforts to regain control of the story we tell ourselves about war.
The book was launched at Housmans Bookshop with ForcesWatch and Veterans for Peace UK on 3 November 2014.
Security for the future: In search of a new vision
Here they outline their concerns about the existing model, and offer a different vision for the future, welcoming input from anyone who wishes to engage in this debate. Read more
Watch our new film - Engage: the military and young people
Why does the military have a 'youth engagement' policy and why is the government promoting 'military ethos' within education? What is the impact of military activities taking place in schools? ForcesWatch have been working with the charity Headliners and a group of young people in London to produce this short film which explores these questions and gives teenagers the opportunity to voice their reaction to the military’s interest in their lives.
Sign the petition to raise the age of recruitment in 2014
A funny short film by a young boy on The Militarization of Boys
Raise the age to join the army to 18
By William and Noah
A 4 part investigation of 'the soldier myth' - talking to soldiers about recruitment, training, fighting and coming home
More than 80 schools, colleges and universities have pledged public support for the armed forces Reserves, by implementing a special HR policy for members of staff who are in the Reserves. You can view the list here.
If you have any concerns about how this push for employers to be Reserves-friendly is targetting schools, such as the impact staff members' deployment could have on students, and any of the schools, colleges or universities are in your area, why not get in touch with them?
The first ever international week of action for military-free education and research was held between 25-31 October 2014. This follows on from a day of action last year. Antimilitarists across the world took action to raise awareness, and challenge, the role the military has in education and research in educational institutions. This role gives them access to young people - to lay the groundwork for recruitment later in life, and to promote military values...
The Department for Education is giving a further £8.7 million to the Troops to Teachers scheme between February 2015 and September 2018, despite the fact that only 41 veterans started in the first cohort in January 2014, and only 54 in the second cohort in September. The move has been criticised by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.
Can war ever be celebrated, or is it essentially futile? Do remembrance rituals, symbols and ceremonies do more to romanticise warfare than bring home its horror? Does the event of remembrance exclude the sacrifice of those who died on the opposing side? Disagreement abounds on these issues and we are unlikely to see a public consensus any time soon. We should also think carefully about the part our schools play in these public events.
In the last month or so ForcesWatch have facilitated several critical thinking workshops on the military's youth engagement for schools, colleges, youth groups, and the general public recently, including in Bath, Edinburgh, Neath, and Oxford. See our Facebook page for photos.
If you can recommend our workshops to a teacher, or would like to do a workshop on our behalf, email Owen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 020 7837 2822.
A new interactive theatre production, Over The Top, created by and featuring the experienced writers and performers of issue-based theatre Lynn and David Morris, looks at the opposing views of a pro-military head teacher and a peace activist parent regarding the military's influence in the school. To find out more, or to book a performance for your school/college/youth group email email@example.com
Campaigners lodge claim for judicial review of “Catch-22” rules, which force youngest recruits to serve for longest. New poll: public support for raising armed forces’ enlistment age to 18 continues to grow.
The Peace Education Network invite teachers, parents, governors, and any others involved in school to critically reflect on your experiences as we explore the benefits, risks, problems, and concerns of military involvement in education.