MEDEA BENJAMIN, Political Activist / Author Speaking on her latest book: Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran. “As I travel around the country speaking about my new book I explain how the consequences of the 1953 CIA coup that overthrew Iran’s democratically elected government persist to this day. There would probably never have been an Islamic revolution in 1979 or a decades-long conflict between Iranian leaders and the west. Now we are poised at another critical moment in history. President Trump’s reckless move of withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal exacerbates conflicts in the Middle East, alienates us from our European allies and increases the possibilities of a catastrophic, senseless war with Iran.
Weapons manufacturers steal from all of us. They take billions of our tax dollars to make products of death and destruction, reaping huge profits while our communities at home suffer. We are faced with rampant funding shortages for housing, education, food assistance, and clean water. Meanwhile the CEOs of the top five weapons makers pulled in a combined salary of $96 million. We need to lead and pledge to divest from war ourselves and the next step is to join forces locally to call out those Making a Killing on Killing; our cities, state pension funds, Universities, churches, and the BlackRock offices near you. There are many ways to engage and we are here to help.
CODEPINK SF Bay Area invites everyone to join CODEPINK’s campaign to tell their elected representative to divest from a war economy and to invest in a peace economy. Above is a photo of our CodePink / SJPJC delegation that met with Zoe Lofgren on Monday 6/18. We asked her to commit to NOT accepting donations from weapons companies and the NRA. We expressed the hope that she would support the moves to peace on the Korean peninsula and continue working to end U.S. support for the Saudi coalition that is bombing Yemen. Thanks to the work of our local CODEPINK communities we getting a growing number of elected officials to refuse contributions from the NRA and the top five weapons manufacturers: Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing and General Dynamics. Since these officials are constantly voting on issues related to military spending, these decisions must not be tainted by the corrupting influence of weapons lobbyists. Who are spending millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign funding to ensure that members of Congress pay more attention to them than to the general public. With the upcoming midterm elections, we are seeing the full force of this tsunami of cash washing over our electoral system.
By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies
Former President Jimmy Carter has called U.S. politics a system of “legalized bribery” in which powerful interests spend billions of dollars on lobbying and campaign funding to ensure that members of Congress pay more attention to them than to the general public. With the upcoming midterm elections, we will see the full force of this tsunami of cash washing over our electoral system.
CODEPINK’s Day of Action against BlackRock May 23 is part of a larger campaign to get America to divest from the War Machine Economy and to invest in a Green Peace Economy, by asking/pushing companies to divest from war and weapons. BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, controlling more than $5 trillion. They’re also known as the world’s largest shadow bank. They own stock in almost every publicly-traded company around the world, so it’s no surprise that they have large shares in the world’s largest weapons companies. Included on that list are military contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics, the top 5 military contractors in the U.S. BlackRocks investments in violence also include civilian arms manufacturers such as Sturm Ruger. At the end of 2017, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink issued a statement that he was going to start holding corporations accountable for being good global citizens.