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No More Militarisation!

Owen Evertt reports on Forces Watch's recent conference

On 19 October, around 70 academics, activists, campaigners, and others concerned about recent militarisation in everyday life in the UK came together in London for an information-sharing and networking conference, organised by ForcesWatch. The aim was to allow academics and activists to share their work and ideas, through a series of presentations and discussions and discussions, and to develop ideas for to raising public debate and encouraging critical thinking on the issue.

Topics explored included: the military and young people, militainment, militarism and the body, the military and local communities, security, privatisation, and the experience of veterans.

A strong point that came across was that these everyday practices have a global resonance: the normalisation of military approaches leads to military violence being seen as a commonsense response to conflict.

The last session explored how activists, academics and others can work together to raise awareness and take action, and there were some excellent ideas on non-military alternatives (eg the Woodcraft Folk rather than the cadets), and ways in which to collaborate more – from talking more to veterans, to publishing work and stories on more accessible media such as blogs and videos.

Owen Everett is the Peaceworker at ForcesWatch. For information, background reading and documentation of the event:

Topics: Anti-militarism