Monday, August 08, 2005

Student Privacy Rights and Counter Recruiting

I just got back from a wonderful road trip to Atlanta that Steve Showen, Co-Chair, Green Party of Florida also joined me on. We took 20 Greens, Election Reform, Civil Liberties, and Peace Activists to Atlanta from South Florida. We marched and attended a rally on commemorating the anniversary of the signing of the voting rights act of 1965 and remembering the horror that took place the same date in Hiroshima in 1945. We had workshops on Single Payer Health Care, Green Party, and IRV.

We met with Georgia, DC, and Alabama Greens. Keep your ears open for a variety of opportunities to outreach with the southern Greens. Alabama will host a Sept 24th weekend event with Elaine Brown who is running for Mayor of Brunswick Georgia. And the southern Greens are also discussing on their list serve ways we can get together for fun and for party building.

After the rally, we met a stranded woman looking for a ride to Lake Worth and Miami. I had just been given a box lunch that was left over from the rally. I presented it to our newest rider and we grew in size and a hungry stomach was filled. She joined the rest of us in attending Asa Gordon's lecture last night at the Auburn Library. Asa was happy to see a bunch of folks come all the way from Florida to see him speak
and he shone brilliantly. Those who hadnt been exposed to Green Politics before, got a great lesson from Asa.

We even got the bus passenger to bypass voting, and move from a near 50/50 split on a decision on our agenda to complete consensus, in a quick few minute process that left everyone happy. Quite a few folks on the bus declared they were going Green, and by the end of the trip the drivers were wearing Green Party buttons and asking when we were going to do it again.

Other Greens around the state and national were also hard at work. Creating a resource bank of information to be shared with states and locals. Planning how we are going to begin to be an effective and visible leader in the peace movement. Meeting to create more merchandise. Planning how to effectively create more recognition for our candidates and elected.

And work we must, we do not have luxury of having extra time and resources to spend on these pursuits of intellectual theorizing. Every day more are dying! We must end these wars. We must fill the streets! We must build a independent and strong Green Party!

Start organizing for Sept 24th. Get your local Greens out in the streets. Let's get every Green local in the state and Nation in their local Media. Lets get every Green localin the Nation participating whether locally or by sending folks to Alabama or DC. There will be a large Green Contingency in DC and events there for the entire weekend. I plan to speak at a local rally then go to DC for the Green events that will follow for the rest of the weekend and on Monday. Let's us now unite as Green and do what must be done, let's put 9/24 on the map and let the Greens be visible in doing so.

I also want to share that I still consider myself a supporter of GDI and it's mission. My personal agreement in their principles does not in anyway mean I do not see all members of our party as my faction. I will continue to encourage all to come to the same table with a spirit of consensus seeking and peace making. My political leanings don't determine who I am, Who I am determines my political leanings. My identifying with a group's ideals does not define me, my actions and words do.

I also intend to volunteer to go to Maine in October to help work in the Campaigns in Portland. I attended a candidate workshop presented by John Eder and Stephen Spring in Tulsa. I am inspired to grow this party by running candidates, and they have many candidates running in the same city, where I can get an abundance of hands on. I realize they may be controversial to some as may my friendship and affiliation with the GDI crowd is with others. I am sorry if this distresses some, but I think there is much I can learn there, and I personally enjoyed getting to know them and hear the stories of the Maine Successes in Tulsa.

In fact, I happen to enjoy the company of many Greens in the many factions.

If others would be interested in volunteering in campaigns to gain experience in working on green campaigns,I would suggest you get in touch with the Coordinated Campaign Committee. Going on vacation? Volunteer a day in another area's campaign, meet new Greens, and grow the party.

I see there has been discussion at home and at National about Ashley's article in the ISO. And am I upset that the ISO is writing about us? No. It is a Green writing about us, that happens to also write for the ISO. Am I upset that the ISO are interested in us? No. There are Greens who lean Dem, Greens who lean Socialist, Anarchist, Libertarian. I did not think the article was grossly misaligned to the truth as I saw it. I too can not wait for the day that the articles that appear there are glowing reviews of the work we are doing. The fact is in Tulsa we were dealing with those proposals and that was what was reported on. The best way to avoid being portrayed as divided, is to unite. Furthermore, I hope that there will come a day when the Dems and Socialist talk about us as much as we talk about them. Then will we know we are doing something right. I have friends who would fall under all those labels and will continue to do so. In fact I have been called many of those label and even consider myself to lean in many of the direction.

Who is Greenest folks? The Socialist leaning Green who believes in our ten keys? The Democrat leaning Green who believes in our ten keys? The Anarchist Green who believes in our ten keys?

Let us not be political elitist.

Let's lift each other up and celebrate that we can stand here in one arena with so many different views. Celebrate, that we stand together to create a better world. Let us not be weary in the struggle. Let us be energized by our successes and the vision of the future we can create.

Will you commit to building this party and ending this war? Will you commit to celebrating the diversity in who we are? Will I see you in the streets on 9/24?

Speaking of being in the Streets. I will be out at the high schools as kids return to school in support of the local counter recruitment programs this week. See info below on an amazing project that some of our local Greens are working on with other groups. My local school is Lake Worth High. It is said to be the largest ROTC program in the Country. I aim to help offer another choice.

Public Awareness Rallies for

Student Privacy Rights & Counter recruiting

The Department of Defense (DoD) plans to gather private student information to use to recruit public high school students. As part of an ongoing counter recruiting effort, a grassroots organization, The Truth Project, Inc. (a Florida not for profit corporation) in association with groups in other counties including Broward Anti War Coalition, Miami for Peace, Veterans for Peace, Palm Beach and Dade County Green Parties, Democracy for America, American Friends Service Committee, and Naples for Peace will hold Public Awareness Rallies in Palm Beach, Broward, Collier and Miami-Dade counties at the beginning of the 2005-06 school year.

Members of these organizations and other volunteers will be standing up for truth in military recruiting and preservation of privacy rights by distributing fliers and forms that students and parents can use to opt out of having the district share their private information. In addition, the groups will distribute forms that can be used to suppress students’ private information from the private marketing database purchased by the DoD to get around federal laws protecting student privacy.

The groups will be distributing fliers and forms at the following times and locations:





August 10 & 11

Palm Beach County:

Lake Worth High School

1701 Lake Worth Road

Lake Worth, FL

7:00-7:45 AM

2:30-3:30 PM

The Truth Project, Inc


August 10 & 11

Miami-Dade County

- Coral Gables Senior High School

450 Bird Road

Miami, FL

- Southridge Senior High School

19355 SW 114th Ave

Miami, FL

- Coral Reef Senior High School

10101 SW 152nd Street

Miami, FL

6:45-7:45 AM

2:00-3:00 PM

Veterans for Peace

Patrick McCann


Miami for Peace

Steven Wetstein


Democracy for America Miami Dade

Sam Feldman


August 10

Broward County

Stranahan Senior High School

1800 SW 5th Place

Fort Lauderdale, FL

7:00-8:00 AM

2:00-3:00 PM

Broward Anti War Coalition

Jim Sanders 

August 15

Collier County

Naples Senior High School

1100 Golden Eagle Circle
Naples, FL

Contact Naples for Peace

Naples for Peace

Noelia Rodriguez


The coalition of groups intends to bring public awareness to the following facts:

- By law (No Child Left Behind Act, P.L. #107-110 Section 9528), student contact information including name, address, and phone number of all juniors and seniors must be released to the military upon request.

- By law (No Child Left Behind Act), parents and students have the right to OPT OUT by notifying their principals that they want their child’s private information to be given to colleges and higher educational institutions, BUT NOT to the military.

- By law, no student is required to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test administered in the districts’ high schools. The test is nothing more than a recruiting tool and has little application to civilian jobs or trades.

- By law, the military is allowed access to students during school hours for recruitment purposes.

- By law (the First Amendment to the Constitution) and by the decisions several federal courts ,students, parents and community members have a legal right of access equal to that of military recruiters during school hours to offer an opposing point of view.

- Government intrusion into the private lives of US citizens is increasing at unprecedented rates endangering rights and fundamental freedoms and rather than protecting people threatens their individual liberties.

- The DoD is working with a private marketing firm, BeNow Inc. of Wakefield, MA (using computers to analyze large amounts of data to target potential customers based on their personal profiles and habits). The DoD is using BeNow to create a database of all U.S. college students and high school students between 16 and 18 years old, collecting their personal information including birth dates, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, grade point averages, ethnicity and subjects of study.. Military recruiters will use the database to target potential recruits and tailor their appeals and inducements to individual students. Many privacy advocates, including The Truth Project, Inc., believe this is an effort to circumvent legal restrictions on government’s power to invade citizen privacy by using private corporations to do that work.

- Parents and students can keep the DoD from prying through private firms and prevent recruiters from targeting or harassing them by opting out of the private database until privacy advocates can secure legal relief from government invasion of privacy.

The Truth Project, Inc., is a local, grassroots organization which formed in response to the increased funding for military recruiting in our local schools. The governor recommends spending $1.75 billion for school year 2004-05 on educating our children to think for themselves. The Department of Defense spends an estimated $3 to $4 billion of our tax dollars to recruit them into the front lines. The DoD knows more about our students than either the state of federal education departments. We think there is something drastically wrong with the way tax dollars are spent and which government agencies attend to students and students’ private information.

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At 8/28/2006, Blogger SpringCares said...

Hey Echo,

How are you?

Come on up to Maine if you can. I've got space in my house for you to crash for a couple weeks in October.

Good luck with counter-recruiting as tghe school year starts down there. As we begin our first academic year with our full anti-recrutiment policy in place, we're expecting to see 90% of our students opt out and drastically reduced visits by the military to our public high schools. If you need a copy of Portland's policy hit me up and I'll send it your way. Even with 4 out of 9 greens on the school board, it took us a year to get a Dem to vote YEA on this policy -- there is a reason to vote Green; we do the work.

Stephen Spring
Portland School Board


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