Divest from War Coalition Digest, August 2020

Dear Friends,

Did you hear? The City of San Luis Obispo voted unanimously to divest from weapons! Our movement is growing and we can help your city, school, and elected representatives divest from the war machine too!

What do Jane Fonda and Ben Cohen have in common? They both support the Divest from the War Machine campaign! Jane Fonda invited CODEPINK to participate in Fire Drill Fridays to highlight the cost of war to the planet, exclaiming that the “climate and the peace movement are one”. If you want to help spread this message, you can pre-order her book,  What Can I Do: My Path from Climate Despair to Action which features CODEPINK’s work to divest from the war machine. This past week, co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s and lifelong peace activist Ben Cohen sat down with CODEPINK Co-Founder Jodie Evans to discuss why divesting from weapons is essential to the peace movement. You can watch their discussion here and take Ben’s advice to check if you’re invested in weapons manufacturers using our simple online divestment tool here.  

The enormous success of historic protests against institutionalized racism and police brutality inspire us as we take on the U.S. War Machine in our local communities. While our organizing might look different during the time of physical distancing, we’ve maintained social solidarity by continuing to bring people together around the country. This spring, CODEPINK and World Beyond War co-hosted a 5-part webinar series to explore ways we can continue to organize to divest from war in our local communities. You can view the series, which includes how to create a remote divest research team, here. If you’d like to start doing research into your city, university, or Congressional representative, we’re here to help.  Sign up here and a CODEPINK organizer will be in touch.

Here are a few of the communities taking on the war machine and winning, while growing the community of anti-war activists we need to cut the Pentagon budget! 

San Luis Obispo, CA- Thank you for leading the nation, San Luis Obispo! After six months of organizing, thanks to the support of passionate community members, San Luis Obispo City Council voted 5-0 to divest from the war machine. The City of SLO will be adopting a new socially responsible investment screening policy—one that will exclude industries like weapons manufacturers, fossil fuels, and private prisons! 

The pressure SLO activists put on their City Council not only achieved tangible policy shifts, it also generated support for a lasting peace movement in the city. 

We can keep the momentum going in SLO—Cal Poly, the local university, is still heavily invested in the war machine. Cal Poly should follow the City of SLO’s leadership and divest from war too! Contact kelsey@codepink.org if you're interested in organizing for divestment at Cal Poly. You can watch our webinar here to learn about the exciting research we’ve already started at Cal Poly for more information. 

Portland, OR- Why does Portland State University partner with Boeing? After 3 months of action to connect issues of militarism, the climate crisis and the bloated military budget, CODEPINK and coalition partners launched a campaign to end Portland State University’s internship with Boeing.  As more and more students join this campaign to end PSU’s ties with the war machine, support them by signing this letter to the Dean of the School of Business!  Learn more about this campaign and the wider struggle against the militarization of Portland from our CODEPINK radio show episode where we talk with organizers on the ground.

Chicago, IL- Divest Chicago from the War Machine! After great work by local organizers, the Chicago Divest campaign has identified that the Municipal Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund has ties to Lockheed Martin. Activists are planning to attend a public meeting to learn more about the fund’s investments on September 3rd. Join CODEPINK at the meeting by registering here and sign the petition to divest Chicago from the war machine!

Corvallis, OR-We can divest from war! Activists are working to gather more support to divest Corvallis from within their City Council. Despite physical distancing guidelines, they continue to build grassroots support for their initiative! If you’re in Corvallis and interested in getting involved, contact Cody.

NYC-From Palestine to Mexico, Stop Profiting from Death! CODEPINK NYC organizer Yousef Zakaria continues to organize to divest from war, support the Move the Money Campaign, and join protests against the militarization of our streets. Join Yousef, Jodie Evans, and CODEPINK locals from across the country on Sunday, August 30th for a surprise announcement and to learn what is up for the coming months at CODEPINK.  

Divesting our Universities-Invest in students, not war! As student and community-funded institutions, universities should start aligning their investment practices with student values—that’s why we’re calling for all universities to divest from weapons companies, policing and surveillance systems, and the militarization of our streets. Sign our petition here if you want to see all universities cut ties with the military-industrial complex. If you’re a college student, staff, professor, or alumni reach out to kelsey@codepink.org. We’re here to help guide you through the divestment process and provide support along the way!

Los Angeles, CA- UC Profit, We See Death! Student activists at UCLA and other UC campuses are organizing to divest their universities from the war machine! The UC Divest Coalition is an emerging student organization demanding that the statewide University of California system divest from weapons manufacturers, which includes no longer using BlackRock as their investment manager. You can learn more and show your support by signing onto their petition opposing the UC’s investments in war! You can email SJP UCLA or Kelsey to get involved with the campaign!

Divesting BlackRock-BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager-- which means they have billions of dollars invested in weapons manufacturers. We know that BlackRock’s executives are shortlisted for top positions within a potential Biden Administration. But, does the 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate know that BlackRock is the largest investor in climate chaos, weapons, and private prisons? In early-August, we hit the streets across the country to expose BlackRock and CEO Larry Fink for what they truly are: Greedy Wall Street Tycoons. Read more about this day of action and get inspired for more socially distant direct actions to come!  

Towards a weapons-free future,

Carley, Cody, Jodie, Kelsey, Nancy, Yousef, and the entire Divest team 

P.S. Join CODEPINK on September 21st for the worldwide premiere of We Are Many, which tells the story of the largest demonstration in human history. Get Tickets Here!

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