On 9-15 November this year, activists from across the world are taking action against the militarisation of young people in their countries, cities and towns.
Join us this November in the International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth with your own nonviolent actions and events!
The International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth is a concerted effort of antimilitarist actions across the world to raise awareness of, and challenge, the ways young people are militarised, and to give voice to alternatives. The week is coordinated by War Resisters' International.
In previous years, the week has been held with various activities, including direct actions, talks, workshops and many other events, with the participation of groups from many countries including Germany, Finland, Israel, Russia, South Korea, the USA, Nepal, Colombia, Italy, Turkey, the UK and others. The events from last year followed the week of action held in 2018, 2017, 2016 , 2015 and 2014, as well as a day of action held in 2013.
Countering the recruitment of minds and bodies
Militaries, armed groups and others profiting from war have always found ways to access young people. Their aim is not only to recruit bodies, but also to recruit minds into their military cause. In some countries, the militarisation of youth is more apparent and obvious – young people (mainly, though not exclusively, young men) are forced to join the military through conscription. This might also include forced recruitment or recruitment of children.
In many other places – including those places where conscription has been suspended or abolished - governments, arms dealers and other war profiteers have a vested interest in indoctrinating young people to be positive about military actions.
As long as these efforts to recruit youth into violence continue, our actions to counter this militarisation need to grow. In the week of action, we counter those many ways of recruitment that promote violence to youth and engage them in war and military causes.
What Can You Do?
The International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth is based on your local and autonomous actions. There are plenty of ways you can join the week:
Webinars, online actions: Due to Covid-19, we are aware organising physical events can be a challenge in many countries. We encourage you to organise webinars or other online activities on topics relevant in your context. If you don't have the tools for organising webinars or seek for ideas/speakers, please feel free to contact us via email@example.com. We also encourage you to use social media actively, post updates from your countries with the hashtags #youthagainstwar and #weekofaction2020, and spread your word and resistance.
Nonviolent direct actions (where physical events are possible): examples from previous years include protests in front of military recruitment centres and job fairs attended by the military, and protests against arms fairs.
Seminars, talks, workshops, public forums (where physical events are possible): Inform the public about your activism, key issues to focus, and encourage more people to take action against youth militarisation.
Information stalls: Set up an information stall at your school, university or any other public space where you can reach the public, and circulate leaflets and other resources informing public about youth militarisation and resistance to it. Get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org if you need resources.
Movie screenings: You can screen movies that tell stories of youth militarisation and resistance to it. For any movie suggestions, you can contact us.
Celebrate your previous work: If you've already been running a campaign, or already organised an action or event against youth militarisation during the year, we want to celebrate it with you! Tell us about your work, and we can post it on our website antimili-youth.net, and on social media. Spread your word and resistance further during our week of action!
Publish articles and interviews about youth militarisation and/or resistance to it in your country, inform others and help us expand our international solidarity. See an example from previous years here .
Not sure what to do? Get in touch with us and we can discuss action ideas with you, or put you in touch with others in your country who are already planning something.
Contact us at email@example.com with your actions and events, or with any questions you have.