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Shut down the “Army Arcade” – a way to glamorize the army to young people

Simon Malls, a company that owns many shopping malls throughout the country, including several in Long Island, has allowed the U.S. Army to set up an “Army Experience Center” at one of their malls in Philadelphia. The AEC is an arcade, which is free to children as young as 13-years-old. This is a two-year experiment for the army, and if successful more of these will be opening in malls near you!

There will be a demonstration on Saturday, May 2nd at the Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia, PA. It is hoped that peace activists and concerned parents from the surrounding region may attend to help stop this injustice. Can you make a trip to Philadelphia, to the home of the Army Experience Center? Can you get a van or bus together from your area? In Long Island, a group of people are planning transportation to the demonstration. Please see the information below, with contact info for Karen.

If you cannot attend, please consider signing a petition here to close the Army Experience Center. Or, write a letter to the property owner, Simon Property Group: here.

More about the Army Experience Center: It is a 15,000 sq.ft. arcade featuring free shoot’em kill’em games, a real Apache helicopter and army tank for the kids to play on, giant TV screens to watch The arcade is free and open to anyone 13 years and older who must sign in at the front desk before entering. (Ie: Army recruiters will now have their contact information.) There is an excellent article about the demonstration and the AEC at Indy Media: here.

There is a very dedicated group trying to close the center down. You can read all about it here: www.shutdowntheaec.net

The Franklin Mills Mall is owned by Simon Group which also owns 4 major malls in Long Island, including Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, where many of our local protests have taken place.

If you are leaving from Long Island to go to the Sat. May 2nd demo in Philadelphia, you could chip in for a van of peace activists who will be attending. The cost will be determined by how many people are involved, but should be no more than $25. Please contact Karen, as soon as possible, since reservations need to be made. Karen: 631-875-8647

The Petition language

We, the undersigned concerned citizens, demand that Simon Property Group, Inc., owners of the Franklin Mills Mall, Philadelphia, close the “Army Experience Center.”

This Center, run by the United States Army, and paid for with our tax dollars, allows access to real life military equipment, bloody video games, and gives our youth free reign to stay in its location for hours using machine guns aimed at life-like targets.

We are deeply outraged and upset by the militarization of our youth. Any and all citizens of this Country should be outraged by the militarization of our youth. If we do not stand against this, we are no better than those in third world countries with child armies that our government constantly criticizes.

Shut the AEC down. War is not a game. Shame on those who think it is!

Contact the owners of the mall and say no to the AEC…

To sign the petition, go: here.

2 Responses

  1. I would be interested to know if these “peace activists and concerned parents” have demonstrated in front of video game software companies whose games glamorize war, violence, criminal activities, violence against women and law enforcement? Probably not, because the armed forces are the easy target and most parent seemed to think video games in their own house are equivalent to babysitters.

    These same “concerned” parents probably buy their 13 years olds games like Doom, Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, Counter Strike and think nothing of it. If you have a problem with the AEC, then be responsible parents and GO TO THE MALL WITH YOUR UNDERAGED KIDS and DON’T LET THEM GO INSIDE the AEC!

    You’re seriously asking people outside of the Philadelphia area to converge on this mall??!!! Your group will put many more people: small children, the elderly, the handicapped in real harms way by causing a major disturbance at a mall where they will unknowingly stumble onto your protect. It’s obvious that your want police and the news stations there and if some innocent person are harmed all the better for your cause—so much for pacifism.

    The AEC should be open for adults, if you think they’re targeting minors then work on getting the age of admittance raised to 18 years. Physical protests and public disturbances are NOT the answer. Look in your own family room and kid’s rooms and see how many violent and/or war video games you have. TALK TO YOUR KIDS about the your stance on violence in the video games. Keep an eye on your kids and don’t allow them to go into stores that you don’t approve of. Don’t think mall security or store owners should be babysitting your kids.

    • Odd comments.

      But, some of these people have demonstrated against violent toys in general, including violent video games.

      I believe that people would be thrilled if they took the partial step of raising the age of admittance to 18 years old. Though, really, it is a weird, dangerous, pressure game for children or adults to have them play games of death at their local mall, in hopes of recruiting them for the military.

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