Stand Up Against Endless Wars—Rage Against the War Machine October 11th and 12th
By Cindy Sheehan, Cindy’s SoapboxOctober 3, 2019
March on the Pentagon invites all those outraged by the War Machine, U.S. imperialism, and endless wars to join us in Washington D.C. on October 11 and 12.
From the mind-boggling cost which strips money from basic human needs like healthcare, education, clean water and more, the stomach-churning death toll, the irreversible environmental impact, the fueling of militarized police, the uptick in right-wing domestic terrorism, the too often ignored contribution to climate change as well as the resulting and potentially deadly PTSD, substance abuse, domestic abuse and rape suffered by those who have served in the armed forces to the toll war takes on women across the globe—from rape and loss of children to raising one’s family as a refugee in a foreign land—there is something for everyone to be outraged about. If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.
The War Machine and U.S. imperialism are the umbrella over virtually every other issue plaguing the world today including climate change, underfunded education, increasingly militarized police, a lack of adequate healthcare, refugee crises across the globe, and much much more.
We have had more than enough and will not stand for these atrocities being done in our name and with our tax dollars while the pockets of the elite are lined and average people suffer the world over. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed thanks to the war on terror, innocent children are born with life threatening abnormalities (if they even survive that long), toxic “forever chemicals” in our water are poisoning military families and refugees alike, the U.S. military is the world’s biggest polluter, the radioactive residue of abandoned uranium mines are wreaking havoc on the lives of the Navajo people, suicides among active-duty soldiers are up 20%, the Pentagon has emitted over a billion metric tons of greenhouse gases, U.S. sanctions killed over 40,000 people in Venezuela since 2017, 14 million people are at risk of starvation and death due to disease in Yemen while the death toll could reach over 230,000 by 2020, all the while Julian Assange sits in solitary confinement in Belmarsh prison for simply revealing the War Machine’s crimes—you get the idea.
The anti-war movement died a disappointing and uneventful death during Barack Obama’s two terms as president when, thanks to his promise of “hope and change,” many Americans went to sleep, falsely thinking such a charismatic leader wouldn’t dare lead us into more war. Similarly, a fair number of those who voted for Donald Trump expected him to be an anti-war candidate. He is not. The truth is, war is one of few things that Democrats and Republicans unite over—year after year. Whether it is to approve massive military budgets and involvement in the murder of innocent lives abroad or to cover up incomprehensible war crimes, the two halves of the War Party are determined to keep our War Economy growing.
In addition to the human cost of what was mentioned above, the War Machine and the War Economy siphon money from every aspect of life in the United States. A quick glance at our 2019 discretionary budget says it all.
Taking on the War Machine is no easy task. The military is massive. A whopping 3.5 million people are directly employed by the Department of Defense and this does not include the many military contractors—upwards of 560,000—working for the DoD. And the majority of the world’s largest weapons manufacturers are based in the United States—including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, United Technologies, and L-3 Technologies—employing who knows how many Americans while raking in profits that most Americans cannot even begin to comprehend. We have a war based economy.
The approach to taking on the War Machine must be multipronged. Annually, March on the Pentagon plans and hosts an anti-war and anti-imperialism march, rally, and educational gathering. Last October around 2,000 people marched on the Pentagon in Arlington, VA.
This year, we invite you to join us in Washington DC on October 11 at 11 am to visibly express your outrage at the War Machine, but this is only a piece of the puzzle. The following day we will host an Anti-Imperialism Revolutionary Summit to learn more about what we can take home to our own cities and towns and how we can be anti-imperialist every day. This is one piece of the puzzle.
This year, we will meet at the White House on Friday, October 11 at 11 am where we will rage against President Donald Trump and his administration. From there we will visit the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Booz Allen Hamilton, Farragut Square where we will rage against the Democrats, the Atlantic Council, and we will end at the Washington Post where will we rage against mainstream media, Jeff Bezos, and Amazon where we will hold a brief rally and engage in an act of civil disobedience.
While holding this event on a Friday may make it more challenging for some to travel to Washington DC to join us in our efforts, it will ensure that war profiteers, government employees, and tourists will see and hear us. Visibility and disruption are pieces of the puzzle of dismantling the war machine.
Learn more about the march here and RSVP on Facebook here.
The following day we will gather from 11:30 am to around 9 pm at St. Stephen Church in Washington DC for the Anti-Imperialist Revolutionary Summit. The goal of the summit to bring activists and interested people together to learn why we should be anti-imperialist and what can we do to continue the struggle against militarism and US wars of aggression after we return to our homes across the country. The summit will consist of several panels of experts talking about various aspects of US imperialism and militarism, live music, organizational tabling and information, networking, and childcare in our Peace Place for Children.
Cindy Sheehan is slated to be our keynote speaker and will speak on the USA’s endless war against Afghanistan near the 18th anniversary of the 2001 invasion.
– Local Organizing with Women Against Military Madness
– Struggles Against Imperialism in North America
– Killer Sanctions
– Enough is Enough: End the Endless Wars
Panelists include women on the Women Against Military Madness board of directors, Eugene Puryear, Lisa Davis, Dakotah Lilly, Ann Wright, Mnar Muhawesh, Terri Mattson, Lee Camp, Medea Benjamin, Janice Kortkamp and more. Musical guests include Sharon Abreu and Luci Murphy.
Summit tickets are $10 each. Scholarships are available for those who need them—we will not turn away anyone who cannot pay. We are also accepting pay it forward donations to cover ticket and travel costs for those in need of assistance.
Learn more about the summit here, RSVP on Facebook here, and purchase your tickets here. Interested organizations may set up a table during the summit for a fee.
If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention. The time to act is now. It’s time to get uncomfortable. It’s time to take risks and force real, actual change. The health of our planet, the lives of our neighbors, and the futures of our children depend on it.