All items from ForcesWatch

22/09/2017 ForcesWatch comment

This article was first published on Huffington Post

With former Army Foundation College Harrogate instructors facing court martial for mistreating recruits, we look at the evidence that military environment facilitate threats to child welfare.

08/09/2017 ForcesWatch comment

As the largest arms fair in the world takes place in London, we explore how arms companies have become part of the education system in the UK, despite the concerns for human rights and corruption that surround the defence and security industry.

30/08/2017 ForcesWatch comment

Poppy Kohner examines the Army@theFringe season at the Edinburgh Festival and asks what becomes censored when elite institutions take on the programming and hosting of the arts.

24/08/2017

With Remembrance Day coming up this coming Autumn term, we've been thinking about ways to introduce more schools to the white poppy's message of a commitment to peace.

ForcesWatch last year wrote a resource for teachers called 'Rethinking Remembrance Day in Schools', which explores how remembrance can be used to encourage critical thinking and foster a culture of peace, rather than sanitising, simplifying or even glorifying war. We received very positive feedback from teachers on this resource, and we would like to reach more with it this year.

With this new project, the Peace Pledge Union and ForcesWatch will work with local groups around the UK to provide schools with a White Poppies for Schools Pack. The pack includes 100 White Poppies in a display box, alongside an information pack with 10 White Poppy information leaflets and ten Rethinking Remembrance Day resources.

The Information Pack would be ideal for a teacher to leave in the staff room and announce in a staff meeting, and perhaps place a few of the White Poppy information leaflets on noticeboards or near the white poppies.

As small organisations we are unable to give these packs to schools for free - and many schools will not be able to purchase them themselves. So we're reaching out to local organisations or groups committed to peace, and campaigning against militarism and war, to purchase the packs and gift them to a nearby school.

09/08/2017 ForcesWatch comment

Join us at the Medact/International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Health Through Peace conference in York from 4-6 September, where ForcesWatch are part of a roundtable discussion on British Military Recruitment and Marketing strategies and part of a workshop on challenging military influence in universities and schools. Click here to find out more and register for the event.

10/07/2017 ForcesWatch comment

New evidence confirms that the British Army recruitment marketing deliberately targets working-class young people.

04/07/2017

Taking action at Liverpool Armed Forces Day, June 2017

Want to make a response to militarism in your schools or community? Come to an action-orientated day for upskilling, planning, learning and meeting some inspiring people from around the UK.

Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW) and ForcesWatch have joined together to produce a pack on taking action on militarism in the UK. It includes tips and ideas for action, background information and case studies. We're going to launch it at this October national gathering.

You'll hear from some of the amazing local groups who are working to challenge militarism around the UK, from the coalition of national organisations countering militarism, and from leading academics.

There will then be an afternoon of two concurrent workshops, run twice so you can attend both. One will be training on media and social media, and the other will be an opportunity to develop your local campaigns.

Morning and afternoon refreshments will be provided (but please book your free place so we know numbers), and there is a cafe In Friends House where you can buy lunch.

Tickets are free - but if you would like to donate to ForcesWatch's work, follow this link and thank you for your support!

We look foward to seeing you there.

Get your ticket on Eventbrite

See the Facebook event

04/07/2017 ForcesWatch comment

New findings highlight need to protect young people from harsh military training environments and inadequate safeguards in cadet forces.

24/06/2017 ForcesWatch comment

A tale of two cities: a personal reflection on the display of the UK's potential for armed violence on the streets of Liverpool alongside its more radical history.

This article was originally published by Souciant Magazine



24/06/2017 ForcesWatch comment

This article was first published in The Morning Star

Local authorities have become the military’s promotional agents and recruiting sergeants. 

21/06/2017 ForcesWatch comment

"Peace is possible, and it isn't just inevitable to have violence... so advertise yourself that you're for peace if you believe in it."

Imagine John Lennon alive today, with a ticket to ride back to his hometown, Liverpool, on 24 June 2017, the day that the city hosts Armed Forces Day.

12/06/2017

Armed Forces Day is on Saturday 24 June, or 17 June in some places. Over 350 events which package war as entertainment with military vehicles, weapons and recruiting stalls will be taking place across the UK. The national event is taking place in Liverpool. Here we list alternative events that are challenging the militarism of Armed Forces Day with vigils and events promoting peace.

07/06/2017

Are you unsettled by the increase in militarist influence in every day society?

Are you concerned by military engagement in schools and recruitment of under-18s in the armed forces?

Do you have first hand experience of education, working with young people or campaigning and are able to offer insight and inspiration?

ForcesWatch is looking to recruit new Steering Committee members to help guide it through its work.

ForcesWatch develops projects and works with organisations, individuals and initiatives concerned about military recruitment practices and the influence of the military in education and wider society.

At present we are working on three areas:

25/05/2017

In early 2017, the Ministry of Defence, and Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, praised the social mobility prospects offered by the military. They presented the military as a champion of social mobility for those who enlist in the lower ranks, and for recruits from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds with low educational attainment.

Michael Fallon was referring to figures that show that slightly under a third of officers across the forces progressed from lower ranks; he commended the Potential Officer Development Programme for demonstrating the military’s ‘commitment to social mobility.’

General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the General Staff, suggested that social mobility was central to the aims of the Army, stating that, ‘The Army is a modern, inclusive employer and I want every recruit to be given the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Second Lieutenant Cousland is a tremendous example of how schemes like this can give those who don’t have the best possible start in life a leg up, while helping us maximise the talent of everyone in the Army.’

The Ministry of Defence and Fallon then listed ‘a host of other successful education initiatives aimed at being a vehicle for social mobility’.

This briefing explores if these claims about social mobility stand up to scrutiny or whether enlisting in the armed forces can have a negative impact upon social mobility, particularly for very young recruits.

It concludes that:

Those who are truly concerned with social mobility must challenge the promotion of the military within education in particular and call for a rise in the minimum recruitment age to 18. Young people from all backgrounds much be given a greater range of opportunities and the myth that the armed forces will guarantee a rewarding and long-term career must not be allowed to prevail.

14/03/2017 ForcesWatch comment

The military and arms industries are putting large sums of money into our education system and into STEM educational material for schools. Science4Society Week is a chance to focus on learning from less destructive employers.