Thursday, August 11, 2005

A little Justice in the Morning

I am not a morning person.

But today I was. Because today was the second day of our local Truth Out campaign. So today at 7 a.m. I was sharing information at my local high school on the opt out program. Opt out is an opportunity for students to have their names removed from the recruiters marketing list.

So we stood outside the gates of the School that holds the leading ROTC program in the country. A school that is in my home town, Lake Worth. Lake Worth is the most racial diverse city in my area. It is no coincidence that this school is also where the ROTC has found its greatest success.

I aim to change that. Luckily for me a lot of others do to.

These kids are pulled out of their classes and shown recruitment videos. They are confronted in their classes as well. This is a farming ground for the front lines. They come for book and are given the options of bombs or body bags. Lets make our schools a safe place to go again.

The Truth Project is a small band of local activists made of members of many groups. But a good number of those involved are Greens.

It never fails to amaze that even though the Corporate Parties outnumber the registered Greens in my state, if you go to a organizers meeting for the peace movement or antiglobalization movement, you will find a larger than proportion number of Greens.

It is because we are people of action. It is because we are a party of principle.

But another thing that strikes me, is because we are people who are so involved, we often don other caps. Recently there was a tricounty meeting to work on counter recruitment. I was unable to attend so some of my local Greens who went offered to go as representatives from the Greens.

They reported that when they started introductions, they said they were Greens. The next thing they knew most of the folks in the room began introducing themselves as Greens. Some of these people had worked together for quite sometime. They had no idea they were all Greens. Because they were all wearing so many hats.

I understand, because I too wear many hats. But we can't forget no matter the hat, there is always room for a green party button. Check out the merch page link on the right and get your button on.

As for tonight's activities our local ACLU has a mixer at the Gulfstream Hotel.

I'll let you all know what good things come from that.

Have a righteous day.


Heres todays article from the Palm Beach Post about the Actions. Featuring local Green Susan Mosley. GO SUSAN!

Activists push to shield student data at local school

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Thursday, August 11, 2005

LAKE WORTH — Susan Mosely, a local peace activist, squared off with 15-year-old Blake Dowling on whether the U.S. military has the right to recruit students using information supplied by high schools.

Dowling was unaware that the federal No Child Left Behind law requires public high schools to release the names, addresses and telephone numbers of juniors and seniors. Faced with activists at Lake Worth High School Wednesday challenging the use of information provided by schools, Dowling defended the the military's recruitment methods.

Mosely, meanwhile, opposed the law because it violates students' privacy and allows recruiters to call students at home unbeknownst to their parents.

"They're misinformed and their lives are in jeopardy," said Mosely, referring to students like Dowling who don't know they can ask the schools not to give out personal information.

The two debated outside the high school's entrance as hundreds of students headed home from the first day of school. Lake Worth High School has one of the state's largest Junior ROTC programs.

"I don't see it as a problem," Dowling, who may become an Air Force chaplain, said of the recruitment efforts. "It's my choice."

But peace activists do see problems with the way schools are implementing the law, said Rich Hersh, spokesman for The Truth Project, a nonprofit, counter-recruitment agency based in Delray Beach. The Wednesday rally comes after Hersh and other activists met with school district officials over the past six months about better informing parents about the law.

Specifically, Hersh said many parents don't know they can "opt out" of releasing their child's information. Under the federal law, parents can "opt out" by written consent to the school district.

"We're here to make sure they're educated about opting out," said Hersh, whose group will also protest at Lake High School today.

Nat Harrington, the school district spokesman, said officials have taken steps to better inform parents about the law. Guidance counselors will have copies of a form that can be used to opt out, and information also is included in the Student Handbook, he said.

Parents will have 10 days from the start of school to return the forms to their child's assigned school.

Hersh and his volunteers also passed out forms at the entrance of Lake Worth High School as part of their anti-war activities.

On Wednesday, the ACLU of Florida issued a letter to the state's school district superintendents urging them to improve methods of informing parents and students of the right to opt out.

"Parents and students have the right to control who gets the information and for what purpose," Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, said in a written statement.


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