All items from ForcesWatch

15/07/2018 ForcesWatch comment

The following letter was sent to the Sunday Times and a version is published here.

The packaging of Farnborough International Airshow as both 'the ultimate platform for the aerospace industry to do business' and an event to 'keep the whole family entertained' is troubling.

Much of the business being done will be in weapons. All top ten global arms companies will be present.

The Futures Day is aimed at school and university students and allows weapons manufacturers to promote themselves to young people through STEM activities.

30/06/2018 ForcesWatch comment

As support for the military is paraded in streets across the UK at Armed Forces Day events, politicians charged with fighting the military's corner are waging their own war on public and political opinion.

28/06/2018 ForcesWatch comment

Leicester for Peace report on their 'War hurts everybody' vigil at Leicester Armed Forces Day on was 23 June.

Young children were being encouraged to handle the weapons, despite the Mayor's previous assurances that this would stop. While many passers-by thanked them for being there, the Army asked the police to stop them photographing the recruitment display.

29/06/2018 ForcesWatch comment

The apparent threat by the Defence Secretary to bring down the Prime Minister should she fail to stump up more billions for the armed forces formed the background to the launch of a major new report on 25 June.

Warrior Nation: War, militarisation and British democracy examines the relationship between recent conflicts and the wider power of the military in society and politics.

25/06/2018 press release

A new report by a leading defence academic reveals how a 'militarisation offensive' – which began in 2006 to create support for the Afghan war - has increased the military's influence on British politics and society. (2)

25/06/2018

This report explores how the 'Militarisation Offensive' which started in 2006 to improve public recognition and support for the armed forces.failed to produce majority support for the war in Afghanistan but deepened the militarisation of British politics and society. Since 2006 the military have broken constitutional convention and made public attacks on politicians, leading to the most severe tensions in political-military relations since the Second World War.

12/06/2018 ForcesWatch comment

Concerns we have raised with the Scottish Parliament about armed forces activities in special schools have been picked up by The Daily Record newspaper.

"The question is why such a massive remit would be given to an organisation whose primary purpose is defence rather than educational, if no ­recruitment outcome was expected?"

15/05/2018 recent article

Drive to fast-track late joiners at AFC Harrogate led to issues including skewing staff/student ratios in dangerous activities.

04/06/2018 press release

Quakers in Scotland and ForcesWatch welcome the recommendations made in a report from the Scottish Parliament about armed forces activities in schools.

In the run up to Armed Forces Day on 30 June we provide background information on how this and other public events are part of a concerted effort to increase general support for the military amongst the public, stifle criticism and recruit young people. We list events that challenge the militarism of Armed Forces Day with messages of peace and resistance.

22/05/2018 ForcesWatch comment

We interviewed poet and campaigner Ambrose Musiyiwa for Peace News on militarisation in Leicester and how local people are acting to resist militarism.

A soldier gives a machine gun demonstration to a child in Leicester city centre.

12/05/2018 recent article

 

A public meeting to launch a report by Paul Dixon, 'Warrior Nation: War, militarisation and British democracy'.

With

Professor Paul Dixon (Birkbeck College, University of London)

Professor Joanna Bourke (Birkbeck College, University of London) and author of Wounding the World: How Military Violence and War-Play Invade Our Lives.

Chaired by Marigold Bentley, Director of Quaker Peace and Social Witness. 

Monday 25 June, 7-9pm (doors open 6.30) at Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ

All welcome. Organised by ForcesWatch

 

Cartoon © Martin Rowson

  

25/04/2018 ForcesWatch comment

Former education minister Robert Goodwill has been tasked with drawing up a report for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on the benefits of ‘military ethos’ in schools. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has suggested this could include ‘military academies’ in disadvantaged areas.

We consider the ethics of imposing an ethos from outside of education, especially when it serves interests at odds with the best interests of young people.

Watch The Unseen March for a critique of 'military ethos'

This submission made by ForcesWatch and Quakers in Scotland to the Scottish Parliament's human rights inquiry details our concerns around the need for regulation and transparent accountability of military activities in schools, the lack of education about peace and human rights, and the continued recruitment of children into the UK armed forces.

We refer to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, recommendations made by the Committee on the Rights of the Child for change in the UK's policy and practice, and support for our concerns by child rights organisations. We make a number of recommendations regarding how the Scottich Parliament can more vigorously support childrens rights in Scotland.