The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jonathan Williams, Coordinator, Student Peace Action Network (SPAN), (443) 474-8919 cell,
Pat Elder, Peace Action Montgomery County, 202-210-3467,
Paul Kawika Martin, Political Director, 301.565.4050 x 316, 951.217.7285 cell,
The Rev. Robert Moore, Executive Director, Coalition for Peace Action (609) 924-5022 Work; (609) 937-6931 Cell;

Several Hundred To Protest Military Recruiting Practices at Philadelphia Mall

After large rally, marchers will descend on the "Army Experience Center" at Philadelphia shopping mall to decry Army pilot program that entices teens with violent video games


On Saturday, May 2nd, demonstrators from a coalition of 30 national and regional peace groups, including the Student Peace Action Network and the American Friends Service Committee's Youth & Militarism Program, will march along Knights Road to the Franklin Mills Mall in northeast Philadelphia to serve a criminal complaint on the Army Experience Center, and the mall's parent company, The Simon Property Group, Inc.
WHAT: Rally, then march to deliver criminal complaint to the Army Experience Center at Franklin Mills Mall in northeast Philadelphia. Vigil to follow.
WHEN: Saturday, May 2nd, 2009
11:30 AM Carpooling for Princeton area participants from Princeton Shopping Center, Rite Aide end
1:00 PM Eastern: Rally at St. Luke's United Church of Christ
1:40 PM (approximate): March one mile along Knights Road
2:00 PM (approximate): Marchers arrive at Franklin Mills Mall to serve criminal complaint to the Army Experience Center and then attend vigil.
1:00 PM: St. Luke's United Church of Christ, 11080 Knights Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19154, 215-637-8866. One mile from Franklin Mills Mall.
2:00 PM: The Army Experience Center, Franklin Mills Mall, 1921 Franklin Mills Circle, Philadelphia, PA 19154, 215-612-7360
WHO: Iraq/Afghanistan vets; Celeste Zappala, Gold Star Families for Peace; Sue Neiderer, Gold Star mom; Col. Anne Wright, former State Department official of 16 years; Rev. Christine S. Paules, Pastor, St. Luke's United Church of Christ; Rev. Bob Moore, director, Coalition for Peace Action; a coalition of over 30 groups including Veterans for Peace and Peace Action with its Student Peace Action Network (SPAN) and two of its affiliates (PeaceAction Montgomery and Coalition for Peace Action).
Photo Opportunities - Visuals -- Audio:Rally with distinguished speakers. Several hundred marchers with bullhorn chants, strollers, signs and banners including a 12' by 3' banner, "War is No Game, Close-down Army Experience Center." A death procession; an enlarged, easily photographable version, of the criminal complaint; and 200 packs of candy cigarettes.
WHY:The Pentagon is committed to establishing "Experience Centers" in malls across the country. The $13 Million, 14,500 square foot facility at Franklin Mills Mall boasts dozens of video game computers and X-Boxes video game consoles with various interactive, military-style shooting games as well as Apache helicopter and Humvee simulators that allow teens to simulate the killing of Arabs and Afghans. Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Rob Watson compares the Army Experience Center to "a heavy dose of candy cigarettes." (1)

Peace Action is the United States' largest peace and disarmament organization with over 100,000 members and nearly 100 chapters in 34 states, works to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs and encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights.