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NM Youth Call for Military Withdrawal from Iraq - and State Schools

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 By Eric Mack/David Law, Contact
March 16, 2007

Tomorrow marks the 4th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and a group of young New Mexicans are calling for a full military withdrawal, not only from Iraq, but from schools here at home. Rodrigo Rodriguez with the Southwest Organizing Project believes that's one place military recruiters don't belong.

"They need to stop targeting our young people in our schools. You know, we're not going to do it anymore, we're not going to fight for their causes. We want to fix our problems that we have here at home first."

Rodriguez claims recruiters have a history of targeting minority and low-income students.

"You know we have a long history here of militarization with people of color going into the military here in New Mexico and you know with our long history of nuclear proliferation."

Military spokespeople have denied charges of racial targeting and say they only recruit with the permission of school principals and officials. Rodriguez says some local principals have become less interested in having recruiters in their schools.

A rally to protest the war is planned for tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. in Albuquerque at Civic Plaza, followed by a march to the offices of Senators Bingaman and Domenici. In the afternoon, slam poets and other speakers will share their views on war and military recruitment at a "Peace-a-polooza" event at Robinson Park.

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