It was 30 degrees on Saturday in Dallas, Texas as we marched from Bank of America to Wells Fargo to Chase. Even in the freezing temperatures, we held our “Divest from War” signs up high for passing cars to see. We were marching with a mission. To talk to each bank manager about their investments in weapons manufacturers. We marched from Bank of America to Wells Fargo to Chase.
At Chase we were received with smiles and nods that told us they were at least listening to our message. At Wells Fargo the bank manager would not accept our letter addressed to her and we were scolded for standing on the public sidewalk. At Bank of America the managers locked their doors before we were allowed to enter. This didn’t deter us from rallying people who walked past us to get excited about divestment and getting cars that drove by to “honk for peace.”
Our group of nine was small but mighty. I am grateful for the wonderful activists who joined us to call on the banks to pull their investments from weapons manufacturers and reinvest in life affirming programs.
As we marched on those banks, I was thinking thinking about how just three weeks ago thousands of people marched in Dallas wearing pink hats and I wonder if they know that war disproportionately affects women. In November, there was another divest campaign at these banks, this time calling for divestment from the fossil fuel industries. We need our fellow activists in the environmental movement to help us stop the War Machine, because is the world’s largest polluter and produces more hazardous waste than the five largest U.S. chemical companies combined. If you care about the environment you need to be divesting from war and speaking out against the war machine.
Five billion dollars worth of military grade equipment and weapons have been transferred to local police forces since the 1990 and half of the Pentagon’s 600 million dollar budget goes straight to weapons manufacturing corporations. The War Machine is infiltrating our streets and taking our tax dollars. If we want to destroy the War Machine we have to destroy the myth that the War Machine is keeping us safe and protecting our country. The War Machine is nothing but violent and greedy and we will stay standing against it.
By divesting we take back the power from our elected officials who are not taking actions and we are in control of the conversation. Divestment is a persuasive tool that empowers individuals and communities to take action to reduce violent global conflicts and take a stand against the proliferation of war. Right now we might look small, but our voices are very loud and we are growing everyday. Our voices are being heard. This is just the beginning.
By Natasha Rappazzo