Anti-War Protest to Shut Down Army Experience Center at Philadelphia Mall

 

By Debra Sweet
 
When: 1:00 pm Saturday, September 12, 2009
Where: Franklin Mills Mall, Knights Road & Woodhaven Road, Philadelphia PA     
 
Franklin Mills Mall, Philadelphia, PA - Protesters will gather at the site of a pilot project where the U.S. Army uses violent video games and simulated war exercises to attract youth into military service. The Pentagon is committed to establishing Experience Centers in malls across the country. The $13 million, 14,500 square foot facility at Franklin Mills Mall boasts dozens of PCs and X-Boxes with various interactive, military-style shooting games as well as Apache helicopter and Humvee simulators that allow teens to simulate the killing of "Hajis" and "Ragheads," as local youth refer to "the enemy."  
At 1:00 pm, Pulitzer prize-winning war correspondent Chris Hedges, author of Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectaclewill address the crowd outside the mall on Knights and Woodhaven Roads. The renowned war correspondent released this statement, "War is not a game.  Weapons are not toys.  The essence of war is death.  The purpose of war is to extinguish all opposing living systems from the economic to the political, social, cultural and finally, familial.  Those who entice children to play with mock weapons of war will never allow these children to see what these weapons do to human bodies.  They hide from them the fundamental truth about violence and in this way socialize them to kill."  
Organizers of this Saturday's confrontation are calling on protesters to begin congregating at 11:00 am at the parking lot of St. Luke's United Church of Christ, 11080 Knights Rd in Philadelphia, less than a mile from the mall.  After the 1:00 gathering, a large rally is planned for 2:00 pm at the Army Experience Center (AEC), inside the mall. More than 30 groups have joined forces for this demonstration. Protesters are expected to arrive from states ranging from Virginia to Connecticut.
Throughout the day, protesters will be holding a vigil at the intersection of Knights Road and Woodhaven Road, located between the church and the military arcade. 
Elaine Brower, whose son was deployed three times to Afghanistan and Iraq, said, "The AEC is giving guns to 13 year olds, drawing them in with violent video games. As more and more Afghani civilians and US military are being killed in the US occupation of Afghanistan, we're saying no to these wars. We've got to stop the flow of youth into the military where they're being used to commit war crimes in our name."
For more information: http://shutdowntheaec.net/
And also check out the "official" site of the Army Experience Center
 

 

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World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.