Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) wears a face mask to protect herself from the coronavirus, during a press conference in the Corona neighbourhood of Queens on April 14, 2020 in New York City. (Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images)

Progressives Applaud AOC Proposal to Ban 'Insidious Practice' of Military Recruiting in Schools

"It's important that our youth understand that joining the military isn't the only way to pay for college or find stability in life."

Eoin Higgins

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday proposed blocking the military from recruiting in schools, describing the practice as a predatory attack on disadvantaged children who already suffer from underfunded resources in their learning environments. 

The proposal follows an amendment to the defense spending bill from Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, last week that would ban military recruiters from using video game streaming platforms to reach impressionable young people. 

"Whether through recruitment stations in their lunchrooms, or now through e-sports teams, children in low-income communities are persistently targeted for enlistment," Ocasio-Cortez told the New York Times.

According to the Times, the fate of both last week's and this week's amendments remain unclear:

It is not clear whether Ms. Ocasio-Cortez's proposals will receive a vote. The House Rules Committee will consider them on Tuesday, ahead of action on the defense spending measure later this week.

As Common Dreams reported, the progressive Democrat's video game recruiting amendment came after the military's streamers on the platform Twitch found themselves in the midst of controversy after banning activist Jordan Uhl and others from the Army ESports channel for asking them about war crimes. 

Uhl, who welcomed Ocasio-Cortez's first amendment as "one of many necessary steps required to dismantle the military industrial complex," told Common Dreams that the new proposal was another good sign to end what he described as an abusive practice by military recruiters. 

"Military recruiting is an insidious practice that preys on the vulnerable," said Uhl. "It's important that our youth understand that joining the military isn't the only way to pay for college or find stability in life."

In her comments to the Times, Ocasio-Cortez also emphasized the need to provide students with more resources to understand they have more options than just joining the military. 

"In many public high schools where military recruiters have a daily presence, there is not even a counselor," said Ocasio-Cortez. "As a result, the military stops feeling like a 'choice' and starts feeling like the only option for many young, low-income Americans."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Scientists Revive ‘Zombie’ Virus After 50,000 Years Trapped in Siberian Permafrost

Researchers documented 13 never-before-seen viruses that have been lying dormant, frozen in thick ice, over tens of thousands of years.

Common Dreams staff ·


'Cleaner Air Is Coming' as London Expands Vehicle Pollution Fee to Entire Metro Area

"Around 4,000 Londoners die prematurely each year because of long-term exposure to air pollution, with the greatest number of deaths in outer London boroughs," noted Mayor Sadiq Khan in announcing the expansion.

Brett Wilkins ·


'Amazing News': Historic Shark Protections Approved at Global Wildlife Convention

Up to 90% of sharks targeted by the lucrative fin trade will now be protected, said one advocate.

Julia Conley ·


'The Nightmare Materializes': Far-Right Extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir to Be Israel's National Security Minister

The Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Palestinian Authority said Ben-Gvir's elevation to national security minister could have a "catastrophic impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Jake Johnson ·


Raging Wars, Soaring Hunger Put Women and Girls in Crosshairs, Warns UN

"A toxic mix of crises—conflicts, climate, skyrocketing costs, and the ripple effects of the Ukraine war—are inflicting a devastating toll on the forcibly displaced. This is being felt across the world, but women and girls are particularly suffering."

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo