The 2017 Leicester Charter on the reduction of the militarisation of children and young people
We are people of all faiths and none.
We are concerned that young people are growing up in a society that glorifies violence and in which violence is shown as the only way to resolve conflict. This is evident on television, in film, through video games and by the Government’s use of military force.
We appreciate that in families we have long outlawed violent control and recognise that for young people to grow into confident, thoughtful and caring adults they need to be nurtured and provided with positive role models.
We are concerned at the increasing presence of the army in schools and in Humberstone Gate where the army shows off its big trucks and helicopters and invites children as young as three to stand behind huge guns and look through the sites at what they might shoot.
We object to this normalisation of violence in our city centres and in our schools. People are not going to these places to seek out a show of military strength. Instead, they are caught unawares ... 'ambushed', if you like ... by these large displays, given no prior notice of their arrival and therefore unable to avoid them.
We ask that the local council advertise such displays well in advance so that people can avoid them if they choose to.
We ask that no child under the age of 18 be allowed to handle guns at these military displays.
May 15th is Conscientious Objectors Day when we remember the thousands of people, past and present, who have refused to fight and kill.
Every year on this day we will review the charter and look for the next step.
Young people matter. They are the future.
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