Global Days of Action on Military Spending
We urge you to join the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS). Why?
– Prevent U.S. wars against Iran, North Korea, China and other nations
– Preserve and fund essential social services
– Support immigrant rights
– Oppose to the increasing militarization of our borders and militarization of the police
– Stop the military’s massive contributions to climate change and environmental degradation.
Tax day and other events will be held across the country between April 15 and 28.
Trump and Congressional Republicans are preparing to eliminate any restraints in the Pentagon’s budget, while also reducing spending for essential social services, from housing and medical care to environmental protection to education. Projected cuts in social services could be as hight as $10.5 trillion over the coming decade.
Even without the proposed increases in military spending, the Pentagon’s budget equals the combined total of the world’s next eight largest military spenders. Add to this the “Overseas Contingency Operation” funding for the military interventions from Syria and Iraq to Libya and Yemen, Department of Energy spending for nuclear weapons, and the black budget for “intelligence” and U.S. military spending is in the range of $1 trillion a year. That’s enough to pay for:
– 5,574,136 typical U.S. homes
– A year’s salary for 18 million teachers
– 14 million clean energy jobs for a year
– 15 million 4 year college scholarships
– 400 million children receiving low-income healthcare for a year
This campaign will focus on the $1 trillion upgrading of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and delivery systems, the $1.5 trillion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter , $8 billion submarines, Trump’s great wall and 10,000 new border agents.
Last year, as part of the international Global Days of Action, activists in 50 cities and towns from Berkeley to Boston organized events to raise consciousness about the need to responsibly reduce the Pentagon budget AND the need to fully fund human needs. This year we are more ambitious with plans to link these and other local actions to impact what will be a fierce debate this April over the U.S. budget, to longer term national budget campaigns like the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s People’s Budgets and the Pentagon Budget Campaign, and to roll back the militarization of our borders and police, as well as the military’s devastating on the environment and women.
We are in the process of developing resources, action ideas, and a tool kit for organizations and local activists.
Actions can include visiting Congressional offices and post card/phone call campaigns, sharing information on social media, and solidary actions with immigrants, Muslims and others who are most vulnerable to Trump regime repression. Events can include organizing public forums like the one planned in Cambridge with Noam Chomsky or public readings of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech on this 50th anniversary of his condemnation of the triple evils of racism, militarism and extreme materialism. You can organize or join vigils and protest actions at federal buildings and demonstrations outside (or inside!) hideously profitable war-related industries and corporations, not to mention penny polls outside subway entrances or in your town square.
We are also eager for your ideas and suggestions.
GDAMS is a project of the International Peace Bureau, which takes place annually to coincide with tax day in the United States and the release of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s report on global military spending ($1.75 trillion in 2015.)
As we read in the international call for GDAMS events “There are plenty new reasons to renovate our call for a cut on military spending. We are increasingly immersed in a world that is based on divisive rhetoric, hate speeches and xenophobic thinking that lead the world in a separation between good and evil and support the on-going military campaigns – and the increased budgets to support them. We are also facing a situation where the newly elected US president is signing amendments that increase the military budget and deny human rights; Europe is planning to fund research for military goods which the current proposal for a fully-fledged European Defense Research Program…. Moreover, the deterioration in China-US ties, with a particular emphasis on maritime security, makes the world even more dangerous. Nevertheless, there are large sections of the population who have serious doubts about the wisdom of the policies of this time.”
Endorsing organizations include: American Friends Service Committee, Budget Priorities Campaign, Peace Action, United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries, United for Peace and Justice, Women’s Action for New Directions, Western States Legal Foundation, and Win Without War.
We urge you and/or your organization to join us. For more information see:
Contact Joseph Gerson at JGerson@afsc.org or 617-661-6130 to send notices of your actions to be posted on the U.S. GDAMS web page, sign on as a co-sponsor, or for more information about GDAMS.