Black Star Article

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Joined: 17-02-06
Mar 4 2006 18:23
Black Star Article

Below is my article on army-recruitment for BS (bull-shit? - oh, dear). Comments, suggestions, criticisms welcome on the back of a post-card.

It’s been a month of comings and goings for the armed farces; at the same time as 3500 extra British troops were committed to Afghanistan, the 103rd soldier returned home (-in a coffin). With more than 16,000 armed services personnel currently deployed around the globe, and a public growing ever more hostile to the idea of further military commitment, the British military has been pushed to conceive ever more conniving ways of duping young women and men into signing over their lives.

Facing a shortfall of over 300% in the number of new recruits needed to meet targets, the marketing budget of the armed forces has been increased from ₤14 million to ₤25.3million, and the evidence is everywhere; from the billboards looking down at us on the High St., to the slick T.V ads and glossy pamphlets replete with DVDs being dished out at recruitment stalls across the country.

Is all this aggressive attention having the desired effect? Erm, “No”, if you listen to the armed forces themselves. “The adverts on TV will feature a woman, leading a platoon of men, doing an interesting logistics task” says Colonel Tim Collins of the Royal Irish Regiment. “What that doesn’t do is attract the knuckle-draggers you need to defend the country”. Charming!

Perhaps that’s why the military is ploughing so much energy into its Student Presentation Teams – groups of soldiers charged with entering our schools to give high-energy, video presentations to 12 and 13 year olds. Though sadly for the military too young to be packed off, rifle-in-hand, the idea of getting potential recruits in the military habit so they can sign-up at 15 ½ extends further to the army’s child-oriented web-site section My Camouflage;“Check out the latest tanks...”.

Indeed, just to confirm the military knows no moral bounds in its efforts to fill the body-shaped gaps left by dead and wounded soldiers, its Presentation Teams have even taken to recruiting from Special Schools. By way of example, last year (2005), one such unit were deployed to Selly Oak School in Birmingham– a secondary school described in a recent OFSTED report as being for students with: “severe learning difficulties, speech and communication difficulties, hearing and visual impairments, autism, and a growing number of those with social, emotional and behavioral difficulties”. Perhaps, grotesquely, it is in these most vulnerable sections of our community that the state is hoping to find the sort of “knuckle-dragging” cannon-fodder it requires to fuel the raging war- machine. We know Hitler had no qualms drafting soldiers from the psychiatric wards – perhaps the current government is looking to take a leaf out of his book!

As anarchists, we are opposed to all forms of statism, militarization and arms production, and actively organise to counter the recruitment activities of the armed forces. We would encourage all persons to do the same; If you know the army is coming to your school/ college/ university/ work-place, grab your mates and form a protest group. Make banners, distribute anti-recruitment literature, shout slogans - anything to make it known the military is not welcome. We can help out with advice, ideas, pamphlets, support etc – just drop us a line.

Fight for a free and just society, and leave the parasitic politicians to fight their own bloody wars. Do not become their hired guns. Do not die for their sakes. Do not do their dirty work. Then let’s see how far they get!


Report on WMA’s anti military -recruitment drive.

On Saturday, 4th March, members of West Midlands’ Anarchists distributed hundreds of anti-militarization leaflets to young persons in the Birmingham city centre. Having canvassed the pathetically empty armed-farces recruitment centre near the Pallisades, we worked our way around New St., Broad St., and the Central Library area speaking with groups of young women and men about their plans to join the army.

In all but a literal handful of cases, people were found to be strongly opposed to the idea of joining the military, and were often keen to take additional literature for friends and family members. We even managed to get three persons who had been to the army’s career centre earlier in the day to go home with our pamphlet!

Leaflets were also left in strategic locations, including; cafes, sympathetic shops, information stalls – even the Respect/SWP table outside HMV wasn’t left wanting.

With this success, further actions are planned. Watch this space...............