València, 26/12/2023

Protest against the army at Expojove at the entrance to Feria Valencia

This morning a group of twenty people from the Conscientious Objection Movement and the Valencia Popular Assembly Against Wars gathered at the main gate of Feria Valencia. Expojove. was opening today. The reason for the protest was to denounce the presence of the army in a space intended for youth and children.

With the slogans "Demilitarise education!", "War is not a game" and "Weapons do not educate", they visually and acoustically demonstrated their opposition to the display of weapons, vehicles and military uniforms in a public space, as if it were just another option for children to have fun or for young people to work. Hundreds of leaflets have also been handed out to people queuing to enter the fairgrounds.

The use of Expojove as a showcase and promotion of the army, the civil guard and the police has always been met with protests from anti-military groups in the city of Valencia. This year the municipal government of PP and VOX has expanded the space for the displays of these armed forces, in an attempt to further promote military values to young people and justify state violence.

The army's recruitment campaigns, since the end of conscription in 2001 (thanks to the success of insumision and conscientious objection), seek to find military manpower among the younger population, especially among the most vulnerable: those with low education and few possibilities of finding work, in a precarious and increasingly competitive labour market. The Spanish army spends between 15 and 20 million euros a year on recruitment advertising. But it does not make ends meet.

However, young people should not forget that the chances of finding a job in the civilian world after their military service are rather slim, and that their time in the army does not provide them with a job training comparable to that of formal studies.

Moreover, military "work" is not like any other civil job. Preparatory training to handle weapons, learn to kill and wage war is subject to the acquisition of military status and compliance with the Military Penal Code. Disobedience to comply with orders from superiors or not folow military ordinances is not only a possible loss of "job", but is a crime punishable by years of imprisonment



Because weapons do not educate and the army is no fun: No army in Expojove!