Protest NAACP Inclusion of Military Recruiters @ 2009 Convention

                                                                                                                                    6 July 2009.

Why is the NAACP Hosting Army Recruiters at its National Convention?

Howard Zinn and hundreds of others sign letter to the NAACP asking them to dissociate from the Army Strong Tour.

The 2009 National Convention of the NAACP in New York City, July 11-16, will feature the Army Strong "Strength in Action" recruiting tour, and US Navy recruiters.

The convention's theme is "100 Years of Bold Dreams & Big Victories." What does the US military's mission have to do with bold dreams for humanity, and victories for the people?

Join in the protest:

Saturday July 11: 11am - 1pm as the convention opens @ New York Hilton/Marriott Marquis Hotel 6th Avenue between 53/54 Streets

Monday, July 13 10am - 12 noon Rally & Press conference

AND When Barack Obama speaks at the convention Thursday July 16, we'll be delivering an anti-war message outside to the media and the public. 9:30 - 12 noon.

Read a letter to the NAACP leadership from an NYC high school student.

June 17, 2009

Benjamin Jealous, President and CEO, NAACP

Dear Mr. Jealous:

My name is Iliana C. I am an intern at “The World Can't Wait,” a national anti-war organization. I recently found out that you hosting the “Army Strong” military recruiters at your 2009 NAACP celebration in New York City the weekend of July 11th.

It is unacceptable that the NAACP, which has historically played such an important role in the struggle for racial equality and human rights, would encourage Black youth to join the military which will turn them into war criminals and cannon fodder for these racist, unjust wars.

Just because we have a president who is African-American, we cannot be sucked into the sugar-coated hypocrisy that the United States is spreading democracy and freedom to the Middle East by murdering, bombing, torturing and terrorizing the countries and the people who live there. For instance, since Obama became president US air strikes have killed hundreds of Afghani and Pakistani civilians, including women and children.

Despite what Obama says, the escalating war in Afghanistan is not the "good" war. It is the same war that started under President Bush, and it is for the same reasons. I demand to know why you are allowing recruiters to come to your celebration. This war goes against NAACP's whole vision of "ensur(ing) a society in which all individuals have equal rights and there is no racial hatred or racial discrimination" (NAACP vision).

If you want that kind of world you have to fight for it on a global scale, not from only a national perspective. American lives are NOT worth more than Iraqi or Afghani lives! If we truly want to end racism, and ensure a future where all men and women are equal, we must stop thinking like Americans and start thinking about humanity.

I strongly suggest you cancel the military recruiters at your celebration. Please contact me or “The World Can’t Wait” at 866-973-4463.

Sincerely, Iliana C

New York City High School Student

SIGN the peititon to Benjamin Jealous, CEO of the NAACP, below.


To Benjamin Jealous

President & CEO

NAACP National Office


We call on you to dissociate the 2009 NAACP National Convention from hosting or supporting the Army Strong national recruiting tour.  The Army Strong tour schedule lists county fairs, malls, and sporting events as part of the military’s $5 billion recruiting effort to increase the size of the US military.


It’s bad enough that military recruiters, through the “No Child Left Behind” law have virtually unlimited access to students in public high schools, roaming the halls and lunchrooms, and the corners after schools.  But it’s completely unacceptable, and shocking, that your organization, identified for many decades with fighting for the civil rights of oppressed people, is participating in the expansion of a military machine involved in two illegitimate occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and associated with torture and abuse of detainees in Bagram, and mass civilian deaths.


The NAACP took historic action, and real risks, to create a movement to stop lynching in the United States.  It fought in the courts for basic rights of the people.  It’s fighting for justice for Troy Davis and to stop his execution. Why is it willingly providing the military access to youth and students at this important annual event?


Bring your convention policies in line with social justice, and don’t offer up more fodder for these unjust wars.  Dis-invite the Army Strong tour and the US Navy recruiters.