Counter Recruitment NYC

Read The New York Times story about Barbara Harris, of CODEPINK NYC, "a retired teacher and longtime peace advocate … on a personal crusade to block recruiters for the United States military from contacting New York City high school students."

If you are interested in participating in counter-recruitment, please contact Barbara Harris @ bharris21[at]

Fliers available for download:

Reports on Past Actions

Parent Teacher Conference Night Action – March 17, 2011

On Thursday, March 17th, 38 volunteers, with a very small budget but lots of commitment, showed up at 14 high schools in NYC to distribute informational non-military flyers to parents, students and teachers.

The Pentagon budget for military recruiting is more than $4 million/ year. You see the military outreach everywhere – movies, toys, ads, video gaming, clothing, recruiting centers and recruiters at high schools and in the neighborhood.

Volunteers are motivated to teach peace. The handouts address truth in military recruiting and non-military alternatives for life choices after high school. Parents on their way to a meeting with their child's teacher stop for a minute or so to find out about financial aid, scholarships, jobs, and college websites. They thank us for the support, for providing information they need, and thumbs up on learning more about further educational opportunities and job search websites.

The Points to Consider Before You Enlist flyer rings true with most parents and students.  “Not going into the Army, no way. I need this information for her.”

A group of 4 girls are talking.  One of the girls with a guitar tells me she plans to enlist. I ask “what are you looking for?”  "Got information on music?”  We look at the Options flyer and see a website for creative arts.  “Check it out.” Now she's interested and takes the flyer. The other 3 girls ask for the yellow sheet too.

One teacher rushes by – not interested in stopping, but another teacher stops, “Wow – good stuff. I'll talk to my class about this.”

The rewards of the action - a moment of shared support, offering useful and positive information for  students,  appreciative parents, and the many thank yous you receive.

Volunteering for peace –ending war one student at a time.

Many thanks to all the volunteers who make this action so meaningful.
Barbara Harris

Monday, March 14th, 2011

This coming Thursday, March 17, during Parent-Teacher Night, volunteers will go to high schools throughout NYC for a Counter-Recruiting action to talk to parents and students about misleading military recruitment inducements, steps to ensure that the military does not get a student's private contact information, and on-line resources for alternative non-military options for a better future. Our mission is to educate the public about future educational and non-military options that students can pursue for a more peaceful tomorrow. For a video reporting on a previous action and for more information about our Counter-Recruiting action, you can visit the Granny Peace Brigade's website here.

Onward for Peace,


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thirty four Counter-Recruitment volunteers were at 12 NYC high schools meeting with parents and students before they entered the school for teacher conferences. Volunteers handed out flyers and the Opt-Out form. These materials provide information about misleading military recruitment inducements, steps to ensure that the military does not get a student's private contact information, and on-line resources for alternative non-military options for a better future. In a time of aggressive military recruiting of youth, this action is a direct way to educate families and students about future educational and non-military options to reach their goals.

Volunteers were able to engage in brief conversations with parents about these issues. Parents appreciated the information provided and especially wanted to know more about financial aid, scholarships, and CUNY programs available to their children. Two men on their way to a teen leaders' youth club program asked for flyers to bring to their meeting. "Those kids really need this info."

To learn more about counter recruitment and this project, go to Read about the issues and download our flyers. Anyone, anywhere can participate in this educational outreach action anytime and, perhaps, make a change for a family or student through such a connection. A teacher requested copies of the flyers to give to her colleagues at Bronx high schools.

The cost of war and the cutbacks in educational programs are shortchanging our youth. Let's turn this picture around and bring positive peaceful solutions and educational resources to all our children.

There is good news: Many schools are now in compliance with the Department of Education Ruling to distribute, explain, and collect the Opt-Out forms from students at the beginning of the school year. Many parents shared their thoughts and were strongly against their children joining the military. The non-military Options and Alternatives handout can help make this hope a reality.

Barbara Harris, Counter Recruitment Committee

Granny Peace Brigade / Code Pink NYC -