Opposition to military research in universities

Military research is being done in most of Canada's large universities. In science and engineering departments it is for developing weapons and other military technologies, while with social science professors it is for publicizing opinions that can influence the public in favor of the military’s positions. It is a problem of ethics and democracy that poses a threat to the integrity and independence of the post-secondary education system.

The campaign aims to inform students about the issue of military research, to implement transparency policies so that the information is publicly available, and to put an end to the militarization of campuses.

Operation Objection was launched 5 years ago against military recruitment in schools. At the moment, all major students' and teachers' unions in Quebec have adopted mandates against recruitment. After a series of disruptions, recruiters have canceled their planned tour of cegeps since early 2008. Operation Objection now works to oppose both recruitment and military research on campuses.

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The military is currently in the middle of an expansion frenzy. In adjusted dollars, the military budget is at its highest point since World War 2, and it continues to grow. Our society is rapidly becoming militarized as investments in the weapons industry, public relations and recruitment campaigns multiply at a dramatic rate.

The military presence on campuses has also becomes more and more important. Efforts to recruit students have intensified, and along with the visible recruitment of our bodies, the military has also been quietly recruiting the minds of students and professors through military research projects in our universities. Whether they are oriented toward weapons development or toward the production of political analysis, these academic activities all have effects on our society. Are these activities serving the cause of peace ?

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At the same time that the Canadian state has adopted a more aggressively militaristic foreign policy in cooperation with American imperialism and the “war on terror”, it has also become more aggressive and militaristic at home. This has been demonstrated through an attack on the freedom and dignity of those who automatically become potential terrorists because of their racialization, religious beliefs, or citizenship status. It has also been demonstrated through increased funding for the military while social services are eroded and privatization encroaches on everything

We believe that it important for us to recognize that this militarization is not distant from us and out of our control. In fact, it has deep roots in our universities and communities, and it can only continue to be effective with our direct and indirect support. Our bodies are recruited to fight in wars, while our minds are recruited to design weapons and convince everyone else that using them is a good idea. And if we object to this recruitment of our minds and bodies? Yes, the military is very powerful, but without our support it is hollowed out and feeble. Our goal is to cut off this support; to tear the roots of militarization out of the ground we stand on and make clear our refusal to participate in repression, occupation, and war.

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Military research in universities - Operation Objection.pdf3.43 MB