‘Invest in peace, not war’
As the UK joins airstrikes in Syria, our government continues an attempt to normalise war in the public imagination, implementing a plan to increase support for armed solutions in the wake of unpopular conflicts. The strategy, intensified by George Osbourne in July of this year, includes:
- Investing £50m to aggressively expand cadet forces across state schools (550 by 2020.)
- Arms companies and the military sponsoring new academies and influencing what they teach.
- Military personnel being fed into classrooms as speakers, recruiters and teachers.
All of this is taking place with virtually no public debate or wider scrutiny.
I became aware of the above thanks to The Unseen March – a short film produced by Quakers in Britain, featuring concerned teachers alongside activists like Mark Thomas and Veterans for Peace campaigner, Ben Griffin. Designed to start a public debate on this issue, for me it’s essential viewing, now more than ever.
Over the next fortnight Jean, Shruti and I will be releasing final ‘3THW-Part 2’ films – covering very different themes. To kick us off, here’s mine – with thanks to filmmaker, Andrew Lee – aswell as our credited partners for supporting our tour. To quote Paul Parker, of the above campaign and organisation, ‘invest in peace, not war.’
If you’re concerned about the militarisation of education, #unseenmarch suggest a number of ways you can get involved, from writing to your MP to approaching your local school; see here for more information: http://old.quaker.org.uk/Take-action#ask
Great stuff Lydia! Very glad you’ve picked up on this important issue. I’m the Education Worker at ForcesWatch; we work closely with Quakers and Veterans for Peace UK on this area. For all our short films, briefing, blog articles and news pieces questioning the military’s influence in the UK education system – and armed forces recruitment practice more broadly – go to http://forceswatch.net/projects/details?quicktabs_3=2#quicktabs-3. Best wishes, Owen.
December 9, 2015 at 12:07 pm