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For Immediate Release

Contact

Danaka Katovich, Danaka@codepink.org

Press Release

Peace Activists Respond to Even Higher Proposed FY2022 Military Budget by Taking to the Streets

WASHINGTON -

On Wednesday, June, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved a proposal to add an additional $45 billion to the Biden administration’s request for $813 in military spending for fiscal year 2023, already the largest-ever U.S. military budget. The proposal to add an additional $45 billion, none of which is marked for pay raises for military service members despite inflation, comes on the eve of the Poor People’s Campaign National Assembly and March on Washington which will include an anti-militarism contingent co-organized by the peace group CODEPINK. 

Beginning today, a coalition of anti-war organizations will hit the streets with bright lively visuals, including a life-size “peace tank,” to express furry and outrage over the prioritization of death and destruction, including the destruction of the planet, rather than human needs like healthcare, housing, and education. 

This evening, CODEPINK will lead a march to the MLK memorial with illuminated messages calling for “Money for the Poor Not War”, diplomacy and peace and tomorrow, Saturday, June 18, during the Poor People’s Campaign, the anti-militarism contingent will call for the Pentagon to be cut, rather than expanded, all the wars to be ended, and for human needs like healthcare, and green energy to be funded. 

“As we witness our country being marred in systemic violence, racism, poverty, and ecological devastation, it is urgent that we raise our voices against the war on the poor by ensuring that the pentagon’s bloated budget is cut and redirected to human needs like healthcare, education, and a green energy workforce,” said CODEPINK co-founder Jodie Evans. “To end wars and militarism, we need to pull all of our movements together, to cut the pentagon for people, planet, peace, and a future. $857.64 billion for the military, $817.33 of which will go to the Pentagon alone is outrageous. Everyone should be taking to the streets and demanding better from our elected officials.”

The Poor People’s Campaign Assembly will take place at 3rd and Pennsylvania where attendees will listen to the voices of poor and low waged activists who have come from across the US to share the stories of their lives and their calls to end poverty, racism, militarism, ecological devastation, and religious nationalism. 

The anti-militarism contingent will then gather for a photograph and then host a dinner and concert in Malcolm X/Meridian Hill Park where there will be a discussion of new ideas for stopping the Military-Industrial Complex and wars as well as arts and musical performances focusing on peace. 

“The U.S. war machine and militarism, one of MLK’s evils fuels the others: poverty, racism, ecological devastation, and religious nationalism in this country and around the world. We’ve spent over 21 trillion dollars on the Pentagon since 2001 and yet when we talk about healthcare, education, reparations, housing for all, and climate justice, it’s always ‘how do we pay for it?’ We must join together across issues, borders, identities, and generations calling to demilitarize the system and our minds and to instead reimagine and create a world where people, peace and the planet thrive,” said CODEPINK’s Cut the Pentagon Organizer, Olivia DiNucci. 

On Sunday (6/19), anti-militarism coalition members will gather for workgroup sessions and then join the D.C. area’s Juneteenth celebrations. 

The anti-militarism contingent of the Poor People’s Campaign coalition includes CODEPINK, the Poor People’s Campaign, Friends Committee on National Legislation, the Institute for Policy Studies, Veterans For Peace, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Backbone Campaign, Mass Peace Action, and many more,  Forty-plus people from Chicago, including a number of young people from CODEPINK’s Youth Peace Collective have chartered a bus to participate. They will highlight the need for their generation to prioritize cutting the Pentagon and ending wars. To see the full schedule and details of the anti-militarism contingent of the CODEPINK Poor People’s Campaign contingent, see here. Use the following Telegram channel to access images and video in real time. 

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CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs.

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