Welcome to the Divest Digest for November, thanks for all the ways you have been engaged locally! Following are some highlights of what you peacemakers have been up to around the country.
First, some important news: Maya Rommwatt, who was so successful at building this coalition and campaign, has been recruited to lead a campaign at Stand.Earth with the rock star Tzeporah Berman.
I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Carley Towne and I will be the new Divest from the War Machine Director at CODEPINK. For the past six months, I’ve worked with Maya to expand out coalition work to universities and new municipalities around the country and help expand our War is Not Green campaign. I’m here to support your engagements in the divestment campaign in your city, at your university, or by asking your congressperson to take our pledge! Sign up here so I can help you start your own divest campaign!
On Friday, November 8, CODEPINK and over 200 of our allies marched with Jane Fonda for Fire Drill Fridays to make the connection between the climate crisis and unfettered militarism. Jane’s reminder that “the movement for climate justice is a movement for peace,” is an important reminder that, in order to seriously address the climate emergency, we must divest from the war machine. You can listen to Jane call for a movement to divest from the war machine in conversation with CODEPINK co-founder Jodie Evans and go to our War is Not Green campaign page to learn more about the connection between militarism and climate change. We also have those awesome War is Not Green t-shirts at our store.
Students are organizing for change on their campuses. Our newest CODEPINK chapter at UT Austin has been busy! Since we last talked, they hosted their first coalition meeting and attended the UT Regents meeting where they confronted UT Austin President Greg Fenves about their university’s investments in weapons manufacturers.
This inspiring coalition of students is just getting started! Make sure you follow their progress by liking their facebook page and following them on twitter. You can sign onto their pledge to divest UT Austin from the war machine here. If you’re a UT Austin alumnae or know someone who is, your voice is needed — sign up here to learn how you can support these courageous students.
Candidates across the country are waking up to the devastating effects of war and joining our movement! Congressional candidates Albert Lee, Doyle Canning, and Paige Kreisman of Oregon, Tom Gallagher and Sam Campbell of California, Eva Putzova of Arizona, Nabilah Islam of Geogia, Marie Newman of Illinois, Andom Ghebreghiorgis of New York and Mel Gagarin of New York all pledged not to take campaign money from weapons manufacturers and expressed their support for the Divest campaign. In addition, Portland, OR mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone did the same. Check out some of the congressional candidates who took the pledge to divest from the war machine:
Mel Gagarin is running for House Representative in the 6th district of New York. Mel’s grassroots campaign focuses on people over profit because he is running to fight for the working-class people of color, immigrants, the elderly, and our future. Beyond taking our Divest pledge, Mel is not accepting any money from corporations, the fossil fuel industry, or real estate developers.
Andom Ghebreghioris is running for House Representative in New York’s 16th district. A special education teacher, Andom is running to ensure that our resources are invested in communities, not forever wars or unnecessary jails. He believes that US foreign policy should commit to peace and multilateral cooperation that prioritizes solidarity with oppressed people around the globe.
Tom Gallagher is running for House Representative in the 12th district of California. Tom is a long-time activist who has worked in the peace movement and the labor movement. In his anti-war advocacy, he highlights that the US military’s current policies are incompatible with maintaining a livable planet, and that divesting from war in political campaigns and our national budget is needed to combat climate change.
Nabilah Islam is running for House Representative in Georgia’s 7th district. Nabilah has spent the majority of her life fighting for progressive candidates and causes. In her own campaign, she is opposing bigotry and cruel violence of the Trump administration, instead fighting for common sense gun control and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Albert Lee is running for House Representative in the 3rd District of Oregon. His platform focuses on climate justice and reducing wealth inequality. When signing his endorsement of the Divest from the War Machine campaign, he made a point to say that he would go further than just the top 5 and refuse contributions from all weapons manufacturers.
Doyle Canning is running for House Representative in the 3rd District of Oregon. Doyle has spent years as a community organizer for racial justice, immigrant rights, workers’ rights, housing justice, climate justice and more. She marched against the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and is refusing to accept campaign funds from war profiteers or lobbyists as she runs to build a peace economy.
Paige Kreisman is running for Oregon State House Representative in District 42. A transgender woman who forced out of the military due to the Trump administration’s trans ban, Paige comes from a tradition of working-class and tenant organizing. In addition to supporting the Divest from the War Machine campaign, she is refusing to accept any corporate funds for her campaign.
And in stunning victories for the anti-nuclear and anti-war movement, Portland and Philadelphia became the latest cities to pass resolutions demanding the federal government end its use of and creation of new nuclear weapons! Portland City Council endorsed the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons after a long campaign waged by Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility while Philadelphia endorsed the Back From the Brink campaign with support from our coalition partners at World Beyond War. Read more below to learn about how we’re using momentum from these exciting victories to #DivestFromWar in Portland and Philly!
The movement to divest from the war machine is still ongoing in cities and states across the country! In Oregon, more candidates based in Portland have expressed interest in signing the Divest from the War Machine pledge while activists in Corvallis and Eugene are working on municipal resolutions for City Councils to pledge divestment of public funds in weapons manufacturing. You can help them build support for this important campaign by writing a Letter to the Editor to your local media outlet. You can always contact me, or Cody, to get more involved in the Oregon campaign to divest from the war machine!
Philadelphia activists have taken the movement to divest to the pension board and, while they wait for the board’s decision to divest, they continue to grow the movement by building closer ties with student groups at the University of Pennsylvania. You can join their next meeting Saturday, December 21st 2:30pm at Wooden Shoe Books and be sure to sign the petition to divest the pension board from nukes! Contact Greta to get plugged into the work going down in Philly. In Massachusetts, Members of the Raytheon Anti-War Campaign gave testimony in support of a state bill that would require divestment of the Massachusetts pension plan from all stocks and other obligations of companies selling weapons to Saudi Arabia. If you’re interested in getting involved to stand up for the people of Yemen and against the greed of Raytheon, contact Paul Shannon.
CODEPINK NYC joined the New Sanctuary Coalition in a protest at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York on October 18. They were demanding that MOMA and Board Member Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, divest from private prisons, ICE detention facilities, weapons manufacturers, and the climate crisis. MOMA had been under renovation for the past few months. On October 18th, MOMA opened its doors for an exclusive sneak peek party for artists, members, donors, and other high-profile people. The New Sanctuary Coalition was there with a simple message: #MOMADivest! They had over100 people outside of this exclusive private MOMA party protesting and, in true CODEPINK fashion, CODEPINK NYC organizer Rose Asaf went into the party with some other folks for an internal disruption. We got our message across loud and clear: #MOMADivest and #DivestFromWar! There are big plans for shutting them down in DF soon. If you’re interested in getting more involved in the creative and fun movement to divest from the war machine in NYC, email Enas, our newest member of the CODEPINK NYC team!
Towards a Weapons-Free Future,
Carley, Clara, Cody, Enas, Nancy, and the entire Divest team