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Youth Action Team forms to Combat Military Recruiting
The Alternatives to War through Education "Youth Action Team" got off to a great start this week with a training/retreat in the Sierra foothills. The students, from high schools in Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, Hayward and Daly City, will spend the year educating and organizing their peers to speak out against aggressive military recruiting and war. The program is sponsored by the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors.
The Bay Area counter recruitment movement got a big boost this weekend when twelve students from high schools in Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, Hayward and Daly City came together to form the Counter Recruitment Youth Action Team. The project is sponsored by Alternatives to War through Education (AWE), a program of the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors. The Youth Action team is made up of an amazingly articulate, spirited and politically conscious group of youth who will spend the next year educating and organizing their peers to speak out against aggressive military recruiting and war. On Thursday August 24th, parents and supporters gathered for a picnic in downtown Oakland before sending the youth off for a weekend of team building, training and strategizing. Friday was spent with Friends of the River, rafting on the American River. Saturday and Sunday were spent at the Sierra Friends Center in Nevada City, where the group continued to build team spirit and to develop theater pieces, hip hop songs, games and campaign strategies to get their message out. These awesome youth presenters are available to lead workshops, perform, speak and write about military recruiting, war and non-military options for youth. For more information about the AWE Youth Action Team, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We need your support to keep this program going! Can you help us out? https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/CentralCommitteeforConscien/register.htm Let us know how we can help you to resist aggressive military recruiting and war: email@example.com.
Lizzy (front right): "I joined the program just ‘cause it allows youth to speak out and get out there, you know, and make a difference... (I hope to) gain more knowledge about counter recruitment and do something about it... make new friends, make new connections and have a good time doing it. To make a difference and actually have the system change."
Escenthio (right): "This year I hope to make a lot of connections... to make change in the Bay Area, the nation and the world."
Eric: "Even though I go to school in Berkeley and I’m not affected by recruiters every day, there’s folks out there who are, so we’ve got to get the message out there."
Aurora: "I’ve been doing a lot of organizing work and I felt that joining this group was going to really help the work that I was doing and was really going to be a good complement. Because I’m doing, right now, work on college access and I feel that instead of having students going to the military it’s better for them to go to college and be successful and actually choose what they want to do... I’m really glad to be in this group and I really feel like I’m going to be able to make a difference."
Tasha: (right front) "I was raised in an Air Force family, and I’ve seen how recruiters ruthlessly go through high schools and try to make friends with students and tell them lies. I’ve actually spoken to recruiters who haven’t even seen service. They’ve never even been to the war, but they’re sending children over there all the time... So that’s why I thought it was important to get involved and that’s what I hope we can combat this year."
Elihu: (left) "I really don’t know that much about politics or anything, so I hope to learn more and inform my friends so they don’t join the military."
Ruby: (left) "I started working with CCCO in 2005... This was something new that was introduced to me ‘cause I was one of the people who didn’t know a lot about what was going on. I hope our team goes really well ‘cause this is the first time we’ve actually had a direct team."
Chris: (right) "By me being in this program I’m making a better world for myself and for others as well. I’m hoping to get a new way of thinking, to get wiser, smarter..."
Agnes: "(My hope is to make) sure that a lot of people are aware of their options."
Carrie: "I hope to reach as many people as possible and tell youth about it. They’ll tell their friends and people like me will want to join us ‘cause it’s fun!"
The Youth Action Team is off to a great start thanks to the love, skills and support of Richard Talavera, courageous driver of Lola, the Mexican Bus; Evan Hastings, hip hop theatrical educator extraordinaire; our photographer and late night nachos chef Lori Hurlebaus of Courage to Resist; expert navigator and all-around helpful guy Jim Haber of the War Resisters League West; shuttle chauffer Jim Best, as well as our fearless leader Tasha Triplett and steadfast coordinator, Susan Quinlan of AWE/CCCO.