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Militraism

"Confrontational – yet frightened and defensive – officers are nowadays trained to see the public as a threat to their very existence. Preventive patrolling has been abandoned – notwithstanding the soothing and wholly false spin of the Met, which continually we still have "bobbies on the beat". Few such officers have been deployed for at least 10 years, and their barely visible replacement – comprised largely of police community support officers, are but a pale imitation of what people expect and deserve."
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MILITARY URBANISM

 

MILITARISM INDEX

IN THE NEWS
Links here are for information and do not necessarely reflect PPU policy
- Soldiers in the battlefield
- Signs and symbols
- Free-school run by ex-soldiers
- Troops to teacher UK style

Militarism lies at the heart of our society and increasingly in the modern world it fuses with the operation and activities of civilian society blurring the distinction between military and civil activities. Nowhere is this more apparent that in the technology for control, surveillance, communication and targeting. This is hardly surprising, given that these technologies originally intended for military use have become fundamental to virtually all acts of urban life and consumption in advanced industrial cities, and that commercial modification of such technologies are, in turn, being widely appropriated by the military.

The military doctrines of state versus state conflict is in retreat. The 'new' existential threat, we are led to believe, lies in the urban environment where the majority of the world's population now lives and where the technical, political cultural and financial networks that sustain contemporary life are located. Today as the exodus from rural areas grows cities have become the new 'battlezones'.

Watchfull Eyes "In 1998, at the same time that urban geographers were writing that cities are places where identities form, social capital is built, and new forms of collective action emerge, the US Marine Corps explained the phenomena a bit differently:'cities historically are places where radical ideas ferment, dissenters find allies and discontented groups find media attention' thereby making cities 'a likely source of conflict in the future."
Gan Golan. Closing The Gateways of Democracy: Cities and the Militarisation of Protest Policing.



Meant to reassure but The Mayor of London’s office has either not heard of Orwell's 1984 or hoped that Londoners
have not.

When in 2007 Jacqui Smith the then home secretary announced one of the most ambitious attempts by any state for the systematic tracking and surveillance of all persons entering or leaving British territory this was another step in the militarisation of our daily lives. This highly controversial e-Borders programme which aims to detect undesirables is led by Raytheon defence corporation. Raytheon you should know is also the leading manufacturer of cruise missiles as well as unmanned drones used regularly by the CIA to launch assassination raids since 2002. Raytheon is also at the heart of US military projects to design software for robotic weapons to autonomously select, target and kill.

Why you might ask were two pacifist chosen for prosecution from the 750,000 others who did not fill in their census form? Chance probably. In the days around the 2011 census day Israeli F16 were bombing Gaza City, indiscriminately killing young and old, women and men and destroying electrical infrastructure. The F16s you should know were manufactured by the same people who processed the census data. Lockheed Martin, one of the world’s largest military hardware and software manufactures also supplies Britain's Trident missiles and is at the forefront of military simulation techniques (kind of Sim Cities) used for urban war planning in Baghdad. The Los Angeles riots  of 1992 appear as often on the list of US military planners ‘lesson to learn’ as much as Mogadishu, Jenin or Grozny. The US military (and no doubt UK military) watch closely and learn from the Israeli experience of managing population groups.

Military simulations now form a large part of the US economy especially in high tech metropolitan areas which are sustained by the production of this symbolic violence. Here thousands of software engineers  and game designers project their electronic imaginaries onto the world through the increasingly seamless complex of military, entertainment, media and academic industries.

Many of these 'fantastic' technologies are of course fallible; a dystopian '1984' world is, at worst, many years away but we should be concerned now at how in small almost invisible ways and apparently for the best of all reasons, the military technology and mindset is encroaching on the public realm. The control is not just at the borders; the privatisation of public space is creating new borders within cities with their own surveillance and controls, surveillance from cctv, helicopters, drones (expect the sky over London during the Olympic to be alive with aerial watchers) and computerised ticketing and the monitoring of the internet communication are just the tip of this insidious iceberg.

If you want to get to grips with some of these issue see Cities Under Siege. The new military urbanism. Stephen Graham. Verso 2011

 

RELATED ARTICLES
  Ex army personnel run school
  Militarism and remembrance
  Military urbanism
  Militarising education
  Militarism is spreading in Britain
  What covenent? what nation?
  Militarisation of Britain
  Military lessons
  Puplis against militarism
  Take action
  Last one out turn off the lights
  
making room for peace living history

External reference
  MoD youth policy pdf
  Recognition of Armed Forces pdf
  MoD Cadet related documents
 

MILITARISM UK
We are collecting examples of material - adverts, packaging etc that use violence or representation of violence - in its promotion. Original sample ideal but digital copies also welcome.  If you would like to help with the development of a teaching resource on how the acceptance of violence is generated, transmitted and maintained contact us here

     
     

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