On May 29th Women Against Military Madness joined Veterans for Peace Chapter 27 as part of a Rally for a Peace Economy that Values all of Humanity in an event hosted by the Hosted by Minnesota Poor Peoples Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.
Notes from the event description, planned around Memorial Day: Military spending in 2017 was $668 billion while out of federal discretionary spending only $190 billion was for anti-poverty programs. Currently 53 cents of every federal discretionary dollar goes to the military and only 15 cents to anti-poverty programs. Under the current administration’s proposed budget, by 2023, 66 cents of every dollar of federal discretionary spending would go to the military and only 12 cents to anti-poverty programs.
WAMM director Kristin Dooley spoke from the steps of the St. Paul capitol.
By Kristin Dooley, Director, Women Against Military Madness May 29, 2018
Thank you to the Minnesota Poor People’s Campaign for inviting Women Against Military Madness to co-host today’s events. The Poor People’s campaign reached out to local organizations, knowing that we can share our work. We can and will join together in our goals of a world filled with peace and justice.
Some of us have been going at this for a while: The Anti-War Committee began a mere 20 years ago. Veterans for Peace began in 1985, that’s 33 years ago. And then you come to the old women like me. Women Against Military Madness is 36 years old this year.
I know some of you are thinking, 36 years? 36 years? And you haven’t succeeded yet? I’ve heard of delayed gratification, but you women are puritanical!
But the truth is, we have won, and we will win every day there is someone like you who isn’t swayed by the propaganda and the “common sense” and the “let’s be practical” conclusion that war is inevitable.
We win every time you make the choice to leave the comfort of your home and walk out in to the very hot or very cold Minnesota weather and stand up for justice and peace.
We win every time you take a honest look at the world and realize that 90% of the people killed in wars since the end of World War II are civilians. And the vast majority of those wars are conducted in our name, by the U.S. government with arms paid for by our taxes.
Our victims have done nothing to us, from Palestine to Afghanistan, to Iraq, Somalia and Yemen, to wherever our next target may be, their murders are not collateral damage they are the very nature of modern warfare. Our government is sending the poor of this country to kill the poor people of those countries.
This is genocide, and to most of the world we are the terrorists. In these times, remaining silent on our responsibility to the world and its future is criminal, and in light of our complicity in the supreme crimes against humanity in the Middle East and ongoing violations of the UN Charter and international law, how dare any American criticize the actions of legitimate resistance to illegal occupation?
Our so-called enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, our other colonies around the world, and in our inner cities here at home are struggling against the oppressive hand of empire and they are demanding respect for their humanity. They are labelled insurgents or terrorists or extremists for resisting rape and pillage by the one percent, and they are our brothers and sisters in the struggle for justice.
The civilians at the other end of our weapons don’t have a choice. But American soldiers have choices.
They don’t fight for America that we represent. They’re not establishing democracy, they’re establishing the basis for an economic occupation to continue when or IF the military occupation ends.
You and I must dare to speak out in support of the people of the Middle East and the people here at home, who resist and endure the horrific existence we brought upon them through our bloodthirsty imperial crusade.
We must dare to speak out in support of those American war resisters, the real military heros, who uphold their oath to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, including those terrorist cells in their suits and ties in Washington DC more commonly known as the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
Everyone of us, everyone of us, must keep demanding, keep fighting, keep speaking, keep struggling, until justice is served. No justice no peace.
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