Shut Down the Army Experience Center in Philadelphia

Press release from shut down the army experience center

TIME:   2:00 pm
DATE:  Saturday, September 12th
Franklin Mills Mall, Philadelphia, PA - This is the shopping center where the U.S. Army is teaching 13 year-olds to kill using simulated M-16 automatic rifles and M-240B light machine guns.  It's enough to cause several hundred activists in the Philadelphia area to take matters into their own hands. 
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.  Throughout the day, demonstrators in small groups will course in and out of the mall.  They're being encouraged to vent their anger in creative, nonviolent ways.  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 from Virginia to Connecticut.  
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 PC's 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 "Haji's" and "Ragheads" as local youth refer to "the enemy."  
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. 
At 1:00 pm, Chris Hedges, Senior Fellow at The Nation Institute, will address the crowd.  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."  
Bill Deckhart, Coordinator of BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action, said he would be attending because he feels The AEC is "a monument to dishonesty." He continued, "The AEC teaches children killing without consequence. Real warfare does not have reset buttons or multiple lives. To give this impression to our youth is immoral and must be stopped."
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