May 2nd: Help take a stand against “Army Arcade” for young people

April 14, 2009 at 9:22 pm Leave a comment

Simon Malls, a company that owns many shopping malls throughout the country, including several in Long Island, has allowed the U.S. Army to set up an “Army Experience Center” at one of their malls in Philadelphia. The AEC is an arcade, which is free to children as young as 13-years-old. This is a two-year experiment for the army, and if successful more of these will be opening in malls near you!

There will be a demonstration on Saturday, May 2nd at the Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia, PA. It is hoped that peace activists and concerned parents from the surrounding region may attend to help stop this injustice. Can you make a trip to Philadelphia, to the home of the Army Experience Center? Can you get a van or bus together from your area? In Long Island, folks are working with the Suffolk Peace Network to coordinate transportation to the demonstration. Please see the information below, with contact info for Karen.

If you cannot attend, please consider signing a petition here ( http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/shutdowntheaec/ ) to close the Army Experience Center. Or, write a letter to the property owner, Simon Property Group: here.

More about the Army Experience Center: It is a 15,000 sq.ft. arcade featuring free shoot’em kill’em games, a real Apache helicopter and army tank for the kids to play on, giant TV screens to watch The arcade is free and open to anyone 13 years and older who must sign in at the front desk before entering. (Ie: Army recruiters will now have their contact information.) There is an excellent article about the demonstration and the AEC at Indy Media: here.

There is a very dedicated group trying to close the center down. You can read all about it here: www.shutdowntheaec.net

The Franklin Mills Mall is owned by Simon Group which also owns 4 major malls in Long Island, including Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, where many of our local protests have taken place.

If you are leaving from Long Island to go to the Sat. May 2nd demo in Philadelphia, you could chip in for a van of peace activists who will be attending. The cost will be determined by how many people are involved, but should be no more than $25. Please contact Karen, as soon as possible, since reservations need to be made. Karen: 631-875-8647

The Petition language

We, the undersigned concerned citizens, demand that Simon Property Group, Inc., owners of the Franklin Mills Mall, Philadelphia, close the “Army Experience Center.”

This Center, run by the United States Army, and paid for with our tax dollars, allows access to real life military equipment, bloody video games, and gives our youth free reign to stay in its location for hours using machine guns aimed at life-like targets.

We are deeply outraged and upset by the militarization of our youth. Any and all citizens of this Country should be outraged by the militarization of our youth. If we do not stand against this, we are no better than those in third world countries with child armies that our government constantly criticizes.

Shut the AEC down. War is not a game. Shame on those who think it is!

Contact the owners of the mall and say no to the AEC…

To sign the petition, go: here.

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Entry filed under: Action Alert, Long Island, non-violence, Peace. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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