Year End Divest Digest 2021

Dear friends,

This year, we welcomed Shea Leibow, a national organizer with the Divest from the War Machine campaign. Shea is passionate about anti-war, anti-imperialist, and climate justice movement-building. Can you pitch in to support the great work Shea is doing?

 

2021 is coming to a close and WOW do we have so much to reflect on AND celebrate!

Our movement delivered an incredible victory in July of this year when the 🎉Burlington City Council voted to Divest from the War Machine!🎉 By partnering with peace, environmental, and workers rights organizations we were able to pass an important resolution divesting the Burlington City Pension fund from companies that make a killing on killing

That’s not all! From disrupting war profiteers to working on state-level legislation, we have so much more to share with you…

CHICAGO

In November, after two years of incredible organizing, the Chicago City Council introduced a resolution to #DivestFromWar! It’s more important than ever for us to demonstrate that Chicagoans support divesting our public money from the war machine. We are getting closer and closer to moving our public funds away from war and militarism, and towards our local communities. If you’re in Chicago, contact your Alderperson NOW and tell them to #DivestfromWar!

CLIMATE JUSTICE

In December, CODEPINK and World Beyond War joined the Global Center for Climate Justice to host an exciting webinar: “War is Not Green but Cities Can Be!” exploring the connection between climate change, militarism, and weapons divestment. This was an exciting opportunity for the peace movement to join with the movement for climate justice to discuss how we can continue to work together to create a liveable future for us all! Watch the webinar here.

RITU KHANNA DIVESTS!

An online magazine, Sludge, reported that Ritu Khana, Congressman Ro Khanna's wife, owned stocks in Boeing, Honeywell, Huntington Ingalls, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and United Technologies.

Thanks to the energy, engagement, and enthusiasm of over 2,000 CODEPINK members, Ritu Khanna, businesswoman and wife of Congressman Ro Khanna, now has no investments in weapons manufacturers! This victory goes to show that when we remind our allies and elected representatives that they shouldn’t be profiting from or taking campaign contributions from companies that make a killing on killing, they listen! Take action now to tell your representative to #DivestFromWar!

PROTESTING BLACKROCK

On May 25, CODEPINKers in NYC held a powerful protest in front of the BlackRock building the day before BlackRock’s annual shareholder meeting! Blackrock is the top investor in weapons manufacturers and climate disaster. Drawing from a diverse coalition of intersectional struggles, speakers at the protest included ActionCorpsNYC, World Beyond War, the Poor People’s Campaign, Justice for All, an NYU Student, and CODEPINK. Making our voices heard, our annual BlackRock protest marked an important convening for our CODEPINK NYC group.

PITZER COLLEGE VICTORY!

At Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, students and faculty had a massive victory! After four months of student protest, Sir Robert Fairbairn, also the Vice Chairman of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, exited the board of trustees. For four semesters, the student activists who protested Fairbairn’s presence on the Pitzer board consistently told one important truth: BlackRock’s investments cannot be reconciled with Pitzer’s proclaimed “core values” of social responsibility and sustainability. You can read about this inspiring victory here.

DISRUPTING GENERAL DYNAMICS

Top weapons companies like General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman derive a large portion of their profits from the federal government, meaning our tax dollars fund these “merchants of death” every year. This is why CODEPINK Co-founder Medea Benjamin disrupted the General Dynamics Shareholders meeting to confront the CEO and the board with questions about the company’s weapon sales to Saudi Arabia and other repressive regimes, such as the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.

“I asked CEO Phebe Novakovic how she feels about personally making $21 million a year through a business model that thrives on conflict, death and destruction,” said Medea. You can hear Medea’s full speech inside the shareholder’s meeting here.

RHODE ISLAND

This year, a coalition of peace activists in Rhode Island led a campaign to pass historic legislation in the Rhode Island State Legislature which would require the state of Rhode Island to Divest its state pension funds from military weapon manufacturers and contractors. As they gear up for 2022, learn more about their work here.

PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY VICTORY!

In a MASSIVE VICTORY for student activists at Portland State University, The Associated Students of PSU held a hearing on a resolution brought by students to end the university’s relationship with Boeing, most notably its annual internship program with the School of Business. After two meetings in which testimonies were given both for and against, the resolution overwhelmingly passed! After celebrating this long-fought-for achievement, students will begin planning to bring their demand to the PSU President with the ASPSU’s support.

Towards peace,

Carley, Nancy, Shea, and the CODEPINK team!

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