March 11, 2009

Two Northern California Cities Ban Military Recruiting of Minors

Two cities in California passed ordinances back in November prohibiting the military recruiting of any person under the age of 18. (Oregon and California practice democracy by getting to vote on all kinds of issues with results that vary from pretty to ugly)
Of course "Defense" whined to "Justice" and a suit was filed in December. Defense was worried about losing all those bodies, especially if the concept spread across California.

In February, the cities countersued the United States and Sec of Defense Gates to uphold their right to protect their minors.

On November 4, 2008, voters in Arcata and Eureka, California approved ballot initiative ordinances that prohibit the military recruiting of any person under the age of 18.
Specifically, the “Youth Protection Act” makes it an infraction for any military recruiter to initiate contact with minors, within the city limits, for the purpose of recruiting them into any branch of the military.

The ordinance in no way prevents anyone from choosing to talk with a recruiter if he or she wants to do so. 

Please read the full
text of the ordinance and think about starting a similar campaign in your town. All of the more traditional efforts to counter the ongoing military recruitment of minors should continue, but communities may also want to assert their rights, in their own hometowns, to demand that the military “Stop Recruiting Kids!
-thanks to Stop Recruiting Kids

... the cities are now striking back
On February 12, the cities of Arcata and Eureka filed counter-claims against the United States and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, to uphold their right to protect minors from being targeted by military recruiters.

The lawsuits ask for a ruling by the federal court in San Francisco that the Youth Protection Act is legal and valid, and that the cities may begin to enforce its provisions.

Arcata and Eureka are also asking the court to issue an injunction prohibiting U.S. military recruiters from violating the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts.

This Protocol, adopted by the U.S. Senate in December 2002, prohibits the U.S. from recruiting children under the age of 17 into the military. The Protocol is an international treaty which was ratified by the U.S. Senate and, as such, is the Supreme Law of the Land as provided for in the U.S. Constitution.

The legal team defending the measures is asking anyone who has experienced or witnessed inappropriate military recruiting practices directed at minors to send a written account of your experience to: Such first person accounts may be very helpful in demonstrating the need for the ordinance. 
-thanks to People's Weekly World
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1 comment:

Davy said...

Some anti war activists, vets for peace and some of us IVAW members here in San Francisco met with a guy who organized the the ban in Arcada the other day, we want to do something similar in SF, believe it or not there are still recruiters here, they are probably demoralized but still here.

Carl Davison - Bay Area Iraq Veterans Against the War