Created in the summer of 2004, No Draft No Way (NDNW) opposes all U.S. military efforts, supports the end all military recruitment in the United States, and organizes “against the possibility of the return of the draft.” It is affiliated with Ramsey Clark‘s International Action Center (IAC), which is closely tied to the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party. NDNW shares the IAC’s New York City office and phone number.
NDNW believes that “youth have the right to resist conscription to serve in an illegal war of conquest and occupation” and to defy “any form of the draft.” What NDNW rarely acknowledges is that the United States abolished the military draft in 1973 and, with the notable exception of anti-war Democratic politicians such as Congressman Charles Rangel, no legislators have advocated replacing the nation’s all-volunteer force with conscription. NDNW’s website is awash with alarmist predictions. (“Reinstatement of the draft is likely soon, despite what politicians claim.” ) NDNW literature discerns “many indications” that the Selective Service System (SSS), an independent federal agency, “is preparing to re-institute the draft.” In the winter of 2005, NDNW promised that “we can look for the Draft to be in operation as early as June 15, 2005.
Now NDNW asserts that while there has been no military draft, “there is already an economic draft, that forces youth from disadvantaged communities into the military because of the lack of job training and education.” On this basis, NDNW concludes that “[a]ddressing the issue of military recruiting must also include challenging racism, economic inequality, and all forms of oppression and exploitation.” In fact, recent studies have shown that the proportion of military recruits from the middle class is greater than from low-income “disadvantaged communities.” In addition, whites are by far the largest racial group in the military, accounting for 75.8 percent of all recruits.
NDNW maintains that students have the “right” not only to “resist” military service but also to “drive off” military recruiters from their schools and neighborhoods. NDNC also believes that members of the military have the “right” to disobey orders and states that it encourages such acts of “resistance.”
NDNW circulates petitions with titles like “I Refuse!” wherein supporters can pledge “to actively resist any return of conscription.” As well, it discourages young men from registering, as the law requires, with the Selective Service System (SSS), although such a decision could lead to a fine of up to $250,000 and a jail term of up to five years, and renders one ineligible for federal financial aid and jobs with the federal government.
NDNW is a member of the Troops Out Now Coalition, a consortium of antiwar groups and activists whose members include, among others, Ramsey Clark’s IAC and several of its affiliated groups, including People Judge Bush.