We’re campaigning to divest Chicago from weapons. Chicago is currently investing taxpayer dollars in the War Machine through its pension funds, which are invested in weapons manufacturers and war profiteers. These investments prop up violence and militarism both at home and abroad, a direct contradiction to what should be the City’s primary role of protecting the health and well-being of its residents. Thankfully, Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa has introduced a resolution into the Chicago City Council to #Divest from War! In addition, 8 Alderman have co-sponsored the resolution, including: Alderman Vasquez Jr., Alderman La Spata, Alderwoman Hadden, Alderwoman Taylor, Alderwoman Rodriguez-Sanchez, Alderman Rodriguez, Alderman Sigcho-Lopez, and Alderman Martin. Chicagoans, we invite you to join this coalition to cut Chicago’s ties to the war machine.
The War Machine refers to the massive, global U.S. military apparatus that operates thanks to an alliance between the arms industry and policy makers. The War Machine prioritizes corporate interests over human rights, military spending over diplomacy and aid, preparing for combat over preventing wars, and profit over human life and the health of the planet. In 2019, the U.S. spent $730+ billion on foreign and domestic militarism, which is 53% of the federal discretionary budget. Over $370 billion of those dollars went directly into the pockets of private military contractors who literally make a killing on killing. American taxpayers have spent so much subsidizing private military contractors, the Pentagon sent “surplus” military-grade weaponry to local police forces around the country. These are startling statistics considering 43 million people in the U.S. live in poverty or qualify as low-income, whose needs could and should be met by the money spent on building weapons of war.
Divestment is a tool for grassroots-driven change. Divestment campaigns have been a powerful tactic starting with the movement to divest from South Africa during the apartheid.
Divestment is how all of us – anyone, anywhere – can take local action against the death and destruction of war.
Albany Park, North Park, Mayfair Neighbors for Peace and Justice
Chicago Anti-War Coalition (CAWC)
Chicago Area Peace Action
Chicago Area Peace Action DePaul
Chicago Committee Against War & Racism
Chicago Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
Freedom Road Socialist Organization – Chicago
Illinois Poor People’s Campaign
Neighbors for Peace Evanston/Chicago
World BEYOND War
Divest Your City Toolkit: Template for passing a city council resolution.
Divest Your School: University guide for student activists.