Global Days of Action on Military Spending
April 14 – May 3
We urge you to join the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) to:
- Oppose any increases in U.S. military spending
- Halt and reverse the $1.7 trillion nuclear weapons upgrade, including “more usable” nuclear weapons
- Preserve and fund essential social services
- Prevent U.S. wars against Iran, North Korea, China and other nations
- Challenge the military’s massive contributions to climate change and environmental degradation, with greater investments to address global warming and for cleanup
- Support immigrant rights and human rights for all
- Oppose to the increasing militarization of our borders and militarization of the police
Tax day and other events will be held across the country between April 14 and May 3. For the second year in a row, Trump and Congress are preparing to massively increase military spending, and the growing national deficit will be used as a wedge to reduce spending for essential social services. Medical care, food stamps, the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department are top priorities for Trump’s cruel funding cuts.
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 Afghanistan to Syria to Yemen and the Philippines, Department of Energy spending for nuclear weapons, and the black budget for “intelligence” boosts U.S. military spending to roughly $1 trillion a year. That’s enough to pay for:
- 14 million clean energy jobs for a year
- 5,574,136 typical U.S. homes
- A year’s salary for 18 million teachers
- 15 million 4 year college scholarships
- 400 million children receiving low-income healthcare for a year
In addition to focusing how much of the $800 billion Pentagon budget could be better spent to serve people’s needs, we will focus on the $1.7 trillion upgrade of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and delivery systems, the $150 billion spent annually for U.S. foreign military bases and troop deployments, the $60 billion spent for wars in the Global South, and on the militarization of immigration policies and of the police.
Last year, as part of the international Global Days of Action, activists across the country organized more than 30 actions, with 116 held worldwide. This year we are more ambitious with plans to link these and other local actions to to help build longer term national budget campaigns like the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s People’s Budgets and the Pentagon Budget Campaign, as well to shape future budget debates by engaging members of Congress and challengers during the critically important mid-term Congressional elections.
We are in the process of developing resources, action ideas, and a tool kit for organizations and local activists, with our web page (http://archive.demilitarize.org/gdams-usa/)coming on line February 15.
Actions can include visiting Congressional offices and buttonholing people running for office, post card/phone call campaigns, sharing information via social media, solidary actions with immigrants, Muslims and others who are most vulnerable to Trump regime repression, and developing joint actions with climate justice groups. They can include protest actions like the April 16 “Shout Heard Around the World” nuclear disarmament protest at Hanscom Air Force Base and readings of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech as in the run up to the Poor People’s Campaign, on the 50th anniversary of MLK’s last campaign. We look forward to 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.)
Initial endorsing organizations include: American Friends Service Committee, Budget Priorities Campaign, Code Pink, National Priorities Project, Peace Action, United for Peace and Justice, U.S. Labora Agianst the War, Western States Legal Foundation, Win Without War and World Beyond War
For more information see http://archive.demilitarize.org/gdams-usa/ or write: JGerson@afsc.org