- Information Meetings at High Schools

by Peter Mikael Hansen

In January, February, and March, the information meetings about further education took place at high schools and HF courses all over Denmark. This is an opportunity for the soon to be students who are able to obtain information not only about higher education but also about a military carrier, which is the reason why the MNF has attended these meetings for the past three years telling the students about conscientious objection.

Last year I went to the high school of Gammel Hellerup. The procedure is as follows : After a short general intorductionabout the various types of education the students of the third grade go to see the representatives of the education or carrier in question. The Army were already expecting quite a few attendants while the Job Centre had none. The MNF was expecting 10 in advance - only two people showed up.

Are COs Imprisoned ?

Due to their small number, the two students who showd up received a very personal and detailed counselling. One of the studenets had already been in front of the Medical Board of Examination and therefor knew a bit about the basic rules, but he needed to know more about the different places to be stationed. The other student, however, knew absolutely nothing about conscientious objection, but we managed to change that - as well as the myth about imprisoning COs.

Not all high schools accept the offer of an information seminar by the MNF. Last year, Øjvind Vilsholm, who has been the representative of the MNF at the STORM meetings at the Frederiksberg Gymnasie & HF for two years, was turned down. "It is most important that the students are at least given the possibility of attending our introduction," Øjvind Vilsholm, who is also a member of the board of the MNF says. "Afterwards, the students are free to chose what offers they want to listen to. It is no business of the student counsellors to opt out what they themselves do not like." The reason that the MNF's offer was rejected was that "the students could go see the MNF by themselves." "This sounds most awkward indeed since the students are of course also able to do so in connection with the other offers of introduction. But this is very alarming when we know that people do indeed have a strong need for information about conscientious objection," Øjvind Vilsholm concludes.

Success in Rungsted

Hoping to counterbalance the massive propaganda campaign of the military, Martin Monberg had last year gone to the high schools of Rungsted and Aurehøj. Once again Martin Monberg felt the strong demand for information about conscientious objection. "Despite the fact that no one actually came to see me in the 'office' I was given, there was no doubt that the MNF received the largest applause during the introduction, and later on several people came to see me in the hall," Martin tells. "A lot of young people, girls as well as guys, wanted more information. Most of them knew nothing about the conditions of COs which is yet another reason why it is so important to be present at these meetings. It is vital that people are informed about the possibility of conscientious objection," says Martin Monberg, who is a member of the MNF.

At Rungsted high school, Martin Monberg also received a strong applause, and ten students came to seee him for more information. Once again the aim was to disprove some of the rumours and inform about the possibility of becoming a CO as part of people's further education and life experience.


If you are not able to display the average grade required by a given education upon graduating from high school or HF, you can 'collect points' to augment your grade average - e.g. by becoming a CO. This information is of great importance to the high school students, which is also why it is necessary for the representatives of the MNF to be present at STORM meetings. It also seems unfair that the army is allowed to participate in these meetings year in and year out without any kind of opposition. Last year, the MNF experienced some reluctance from a number of high schools, but this year the pattern seems to have changed for the better. Unfortunately, the MNF only has a small number of activists. For a couple of years four activists have tried to visit as many places as possible, but the number is far from enough. Next year, the MNF hopes to see a lot of new volunteers who are interested in attending the STORM meetings to tell about conscientious objection.