NWSUBPEP Blog

Tabling at Prospect HS February 5, 2019

It was a quiet day punctuated by a visit from V, who informed me that she and a few others in the school have been selected to attend a mock UN conference in Boston in a couple of weeks. Ironically, she has to represent herself as an Idaho Congressman known for his reactionary views and so has to familiarize herself with arguments she finds anathema---which is actually helpful under the heading 'know-your-enemy,' as well as a way to develop her forensic capacity (i.e., putting your opponent's position in language that is even more persuasive than he can put it in---before demolishing it completely---is an effective tactic that works well on audiences). 

What's neat about the students I've met at Prospect---and shows how they are already starting to develop effective organizing strategies on their own---is that each month they make a real effort to bring a friend or acquaintance with them to introduce me to. And each time I've taken it as an opportunity to get that person's email and send them a thank-you for showing interest in anti-war organizing. The new student's name is L.; she is also attending this Boston debate gathering with Violet. It's a bit sad they're all seniors and won't be starting a kind of tradition, but such is the way of organizing...

I promised both L and V that I would send them information about two events that I know are upcoming----first, the event that Chicago Committee Against War & Racism (CCAWR) is organizing at a Congressman's office near the anniversary of the 2003 Iraq War and, second, the anti-war conference at Loyola in April organized by Loyola students with assistance from the same group. If any of you have information about any anti-war stuff going on in the northwest suburbs, please let me know. I can be like a clearing house for these students informing them of upcoming events.

Roger

tabling at Wheeling HS January 8, 2019

We wondered why the kids were so squirrely until we found out that today was their first day back after winter break. No wonder!

We had some information on Yemen which generated a small amount of interest. The pictures of the starving children are hard to handle and I debated for a long time that they might be too much. But most of the pictures were published in the New York Times so I figured fair game.

Libby & Roger IMG 4655

tabling at Wheeling HS December 11, 2018

We continued with our informal survey – asking students and staff what they think about changing the Selective Service System into some form of mandatory service which would include a military option.

It was a bit challenging to get the student’s attention to take our informal survey but we talked to about 8 or 9 people including a teacher, JROTC instructor and staff. Almost all were in favor of mandatory service even when we emphasized that it was mandatory.   index

Also talked to a student who wants to join the military after school. He was motivated by his father who was in the Polish Army until a congenital heart condition forced him out. This young man has the same condition but he said he’s been checked out by a cardiologist and he’s fine. We cautioned him about his choice; pointing out the difference between service in the Polish Army and the United States which has soldiers stationed all over the world. He thanked us for our advice.

One of the JROTC instructors stopped by. He was in the Navy for 23 years; retired and now is a JROTC instructor. He was surprised that so many students seemed favorable to the idea of mandatory service. We got the impression that he wasn’t that impressed by the students he’s encountered.

Libby

tabling at Buffalo Grove HS December 10,2018

It's a quiet day at Buffalo Grove High School. Two female students stopped by and asked what this was about. Both plan to attend college after High School. One hopes to be a teacher. The other plans a career in medicine.  I didn't think to warn her that recruiters will promise to pay for med school if she'll enlist, and enlisting's not a good idea for women.

Through 3 lunch periods at BGHS, only two girls came by the table briefly.  I think the main attraction for them was candy.  Both are college bound, one to become a teacher, and the other a physician.  In the last few minutes of the final lunch period, and into the passing period, 6--count 'em--6 boys came over to the table separately, and expressed appreciation for what we're doing.  They're tired of seeing the military at their school. 5 of the 6 plan to go to college.  The 6th is thinking about becoming a mechanic. :-) We need peace-loving mechanics.  I love these young people!  That's why I invested most of my mid-day sitting alone at their school. ❤️

Lynne

tabling at Prospect HS 12/4/2018

Great day at PHS! Long conversation with three students; all interested in forming a peace club; all very engaged in what's happening in the world.

Again we polled the students as to whether they would be in favor of some sort of mandatory service after high school; similar to the system they have in countries like Israel, Norway, etc. The commission formed to evaluate the Selective Service System seems to have a clear bias in that regard.

One of the teachers with whom we've formed a good relationship stopped by and was very interested in the information about the Selective Service system; specifically the idea of instituting some sort of mandatory service.

This time we had five people vote in favor of mandatory service; six against. In almost every case they liked the idea of service but had doubts about whether they liked the idea of "mandatory" service.

 

Roger and Libby

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