Right to Resist Tour

As the taxman raps voraciously at the door, this year the
average Californian will cough up $4,406 in federal income taxes,
and, according to data extrapolated by the National Priorities
Project, the U.S. military will swallow about 38 cents from every
hard-earned clam. Thankfully, to offset the staggering four-cent
stipend for education, No Child Left Behind and the Solomon
Amendment ensure that military recruiters will be hard at work in
the public school system.

Recruiters’ carte-blanche access to high school and university
campuses has become a contentious issue, and this week The Right to
Resist Tour for Counter-Recruitment — a bombardment of music,
performance art, and workshops directed at mobilizing young
activists “to keep military recruiters off school campuses” — will
march upon California.

The tour, part of the worldwide I Will Not Kill Campaign and
organized by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, makes its descent
into Santa Barbara this Tuesday, April 25, with a screening of
Security Orange at UCSB, followed by Wednesday’s student-organizing
workshop at Dos Pueblos, and an extravaganza at UCSB’s
MultiCultural Center. Performances by slam artist April King and
others will demonstrate, as organizer Nico Amador explains, “how
art and music can be used as tools to bring about change.”

Of course, Santa Barbara is not the poster city for the
communities most affected by military recruitment tactics. Young
people “most vulnerable to recruiters’ promises of funding for
education, job-training, and financial stability,” according to
Amador and shown in most statistics, are low-income people of
color, most them concentrated in the Midwest and South.

But Amador, a UCSB alum, laments numerous difficulties in
booking high school performances for the tour. Most schools’
policies prohibit overtly political organizations from holding
on-campus events, and Dos Pueblos is one of the few high school
stops for the tour. So while an ideal forum for anti-recruitment
might be a high school in Missouri, thankfully Santa Barbara’s
schools are open to the notion that war recruiting might not go
hand-in-hand with algebra.

— Aaron Belchere


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