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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Photo of the Day: What next?

POTD-10.-8-0332

Yesterday was the eighth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. A group of Atlanta activists, who are part of a state wide “counter recruitment” effort, gathered on Ponce de Leon Avenue after a day of protesting recruitment tactics at various military recruitment centers around the city, as well as at Grady High School. At the recruitment stations they delivered an ACLU drafted resolution that called on recruiters to comply with International Protocol on the Rights of the Child which forbids any contact between military recruiters and children younger than 17.

According to American Friends Service Committee organizer Tim Franzen, this is a common practice by recruiters in high schools around the country. At Grady, Franzen said, they passed out counter recruitment literature with a couple of current Grady students which he says exposes some of the negative truths about recruitment practices and veterans lives after serving their country — including that 40 percent of homeless men in the United States are veterans. Another of their goals, according to Franzen, is to promote non-military options for low-income youth. They are sponsored by the Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition and the American Friends Service Committee.

Their campaign comes against the backdrop of last weekend’s ambush of American marines that caused eight American military deaths — the biggest loss of American military lives in Afghanistan in over a year. Last week in another military combat death, Staff Sgt. Alex French IV from Milledgeville, Ga., was killed in Afghanistan. It is expected that President Obama will soon announce his decision on his strategy for the Afghanistan war.

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