Protest of Army Experience Center charges army with child abuse. Seven protesters arrested.
The Army experience center is an experiment, the first of its kind. The average military recruiting facility is about 800-1200 square feet and it's pretty much an open office with some desks. The Army Experience Center is a 14,000 square foot mini-version of Disney world, with simulation rooms and a massive collection of all sizes of video screens connected to war video games.
There are two military helicopters, a Humvee and another troop carrier all equipped, in separate simulation rooms, with guns and surrounded by giant screens, where images of enemy combatants and innocent citizens are displayed.
The facility is conveniently situated directly opposite a huge Woodward skateboard park, which is a huge lure for the teenage boys they seek to hook.
I took a tour of the facility and it was represented as designed to show all the "job opportunities" the army offers. That may be true, but for the average teenager, it's a trip into a very cool, high tech, exciting video game and entertainment venue-- a seductive trip designed to get the teen to sign up, come back and stay involved.
On Saturday, a group of about 150 protesters delivered a complaint, issuing charges, issuing charges, as OEN writer Elaine Brower reported in her article on the same event, "The complaint states in part “the Army Experience Center is involved in “Endangering the Welfare of a Child” and “Criminal Solicitation of a Minor” and “Corruption of Minors” – soliciting underage persons to act in a violent manner, and thereby supporting criminal and corrupt behavior…” "
The company that designed much of the the AEC's adolescent addicting technology, Ignited, was also involved in developing video games designed to lure children into fascination with the army experience.
This protest was a remarkably well organized event, put together by a number of groups, including Coalition for Peace, World Can't Wait, Veterans for Peace, Grannies Against War, Code Pink, Iraq War Veterans...
The planning included cooperation with the mall and the Philly police department.
First, protesters gathered at a nearby church.
Whistleblower, veteran and former diplomat Ann Wright spoke.
They marched a bit more than a mile to the Army Experience Center at the Franklin Mills mall, where they presented the complaint.
Afterwards, some protesters sat down in the middle of the mall, in front of the AEC. Captain William Fisher, the Philly policeman in charge of the police operation supervising the event, gave advance warning that people who stayed in the area would be arrested.
Seven protesters made a decision to get arrested.
This was a very effective visibility event which brought substantial media attention and coverage.
Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.
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