Werner Wintersteiner argues that the Corona crisis reveals that globalization has so far brought interdependence without mutual solidarity. The virus is spreading globally, and combating it will require a global effort, but the states are reacting with national tunnel vision. In contrast, a perspective of global citizenship would be appropriate to the global crisis.
“In many ways the world we live in is unjust and inhumane, especially towards young people. Our social model is established on unlimited economic growth, the extensive use of natural resources, the predominance of capital, domination structures, patriarchy, competition, violence, confrontation, conflict and war. Capitalism and militarism reinforce themselves, destroying the livelihoods of all beings.” That’s how the draft of the Declaration for Demilitarization and Youth begins, which was developed in the preparation meetings for the Youth Gathering of the Disarmament Congress that starts in Berlin end of September 2016.
The Global Campaign for Peace Education is collaborating with the International Institute on Peace Education (IIPE) and partnering with the International Peace Bureau (IPB) to develop a special peace education strand on military and social spending at the IPB World Congress 2016. The theme for the Congress is ““Disarm! For a Climate of Peace – Creating an Action Agenda.” The aim of the IPB World Congress 2016 is to bring the issue of military spending, often seen as technical question, into the broad public debate and to strengthen our global community of activism regarding disarmament and demilitarization. Solutions to the enormous global challenges of hunger, jobs, and climate change can be significantly enhanced by real disarmament steps – steps that need to be clearly formulated and put into political reality.
IIPE & GCPE’s participation is intended to integrate educational perspectives, including formal and non-formal, public and community-based learning strategies, into the policy & citizen action recommendations generated at the Congress. IIPE & GCPE are also encouraging educators to participate in the Congress to learn from the experience and perspectives of activist and policy-maker counterparts.
Rory Fanning, a military veteran, speaks to high schoolers about the truth of war. If a teenager is going to sign up to kill and die for a cause or even the promise of a better life, then the least he or she should know is the good, the bad and the ugly about the job. Fanning also notes that in a world without a draft, JROTC’s school-to-military pipeline is a lifeline for Washington’s permanent war across the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa. Its unending conflicts are only possible because kids like those he’s talked to in the few classrooms he’s visited continue to volunteer. The politicians and the school boards, time and again, claim their school systems are broke. No money for books, teacher’s salaries and pensions, healthy lunches. And yet, in 2015, the U.S. government spent $598 billion on the military, more than half of its total discretionary budget, and nearly 10 times what it spent on education.
Seth Kershner is a writer and researcher whose work has appeared in such outlets as In These Times, Sojourners, and Rethinking Schools. He is the co-author (with Scott Harding) of “Counter-Recruitment and the Campaign to Demilitarize Public Schools”. This is the first book to analyze the grassroots counter-recruitment movement which has been around for more than four decades. He has recently been using the Freedom of Information Act to gain a better understanding of the extent of militarism in U.S. schools, obtaining hundreds of pages of documents in the process. Last fall he and Scott Harding shared some of these findings in an op-ed for Education Week.
In their secret jungle camps, Colombia’s Marxist rebels used to learn how to fight. Now their leaders are trying to teach them how not to. They still carry the rifles and machetes they have used for half a century in their war against the Colombian government. But now troops of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are sitting down for classes on how life will be once they lay down their weapons.
Thousands of miles away at talks hosted by Cuba, their commanders are negotiating a peace accord they hope to sign with Bogota in March. Meanwhile, here in the jungle, FARC soldier Tomas, 37, is acting as an instructor, explaining to his fellow recruits what is at stake.
U.S. military recruiters are teaching in public school classrooms, making presentations at school career days, coordinating with JROTC units in high schools and middle schools and generally pursuing what they call “total market penetration” and “school ownership.” But counter-recruiters all over the United States are making their own presentations in schools, distributing their own information, picketing recruiting stations, and working through courts and legislatures to reduce military access to students and to prevent military testing or the sharing of test results with the military without students’ permission. This struggle for hearts and minds has had major successes and could spread if more follow the counter-recruiters’ example.
This article by Sarah Grey, published on Truthout, argues that military recruitment efforts, whether societal or sponsored directly by the US military, reach children as young as preschool, priming them to think of war and soldiering as cool and exciting, without any discussion of the trauma and death they bring.
This report, by Betty Reardon, is written in support of base reduction and withdrawal and in solidarity with the courageous people of Okinawa in their nonviolent resistance to the militarization that reduces their security and detracts from the quality of their daily lives. The Okinawa experience provides an educationally fruitful case for learning some of the vivid particularities of local civil society actions as a realm in which to exercise global citizenship. Similar actions are undertaken in other locations of long-term US military presence. Study of the international anti-base movement could illuminate the destructive consequences of the current militarized global security system to the well-being of host communities, undermining the human security of local populations. Further, and more important to the normative and ethical dimensions of peace education, these civil society actions are vivid examples of the refusal of base communities to accept the powerlessness that security policy makers assume when they make the decisions that ignore the will and welfare of the citizens most affected.
(Matt Meyer, Natalie Jeffers & David Ragland) 2015 was not only a year of fear, brutality and injustice, it was a year of sustained resistance that honoured not only a strong national Black radical politics of organising, but also helped cultivate a new and thriving, nonviolent international movement for Black Liberation. As we enter 2016, the Movement for Black Lives must navigate itself in uncharted territory and hazardous spaces, but is accompanied by a vigourous knowledge of self, a thriving and committed community of activists and organizers who are cognizant of the need for guiding principles and the creation of a Black Radical national policy platform. Liberation educator Paulo Freire noted that “violence is the tool of the master,” and feminist poet Audre Lorde reminded us that “You cannot dismantle the Master’s House with the Master’s Tools” So, let us reimagine new ways to build a society where Black people can live freely and dream, and let’s find, as Barbara Deming implored, “equilibrium” in our revolutionary process.
This paper by Loreta Navarro-Castro, presented at the conference on “Gender and Militarism” co-organized by the Women Peacemakers Program (The Netherlands) and Center for Peace Education of Miriam College, 7-8 December 2015, conceptualizes peace education as education that transforms mindsets, attitudes and values as well as behaviors that bring about and/or exacerbate violent conflicts. Hence, it is education that promotes nonviolence and the nonviolent resolution of conflicts from the personal to national to global levels as well as promotes human and ecological well-being, which includes just structures and relationships at various levels. This view of peace education springs from an understanding of peace as both the absence of violence and the presence of justice. Because of this holistic focus on transforming mindsets, values and behaviors, peace education is understood as education toward a culture of peace.
As the UK armed forces continue with their policy of targeting visits disproportionately to schools in deprived areas and children from low-income families, the Department of Education ignores the UN’s recommendations that some form of peace education should be part of the curriculum in UK state schools, and supports initiatives encouraging a military ethos.