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Mobilize Against Trump's Veteran's Day War Parade

When: Saturday, November 10, 2018, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: To Be Announced • Washington DC
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he replacement of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State by an extreme war hawk like Mike Pompeo, who has made a career out of targeting Iran and is dedicated to sabotaging the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the Iran nuclear deal) signifies a further consolidation of right-wing militarists who dominate the Trump administration. Likewise, the nomination of Gina Haspel to head the CIA is another clear example of the sharp shift to the right in the already ultra right-wing Trump administration. As constituted, this is now the most right-wing administration in U.S. history.

Thus, the danger of new wars and an exponential increase in militarism must be recognized as a grave and real threat. Trump's military parade in the center of Washington, D.C., on Veteran's Day weekend should be understood in this context. The war clouds are gathering and it is of critical importance that a truly massive mobilization of the people take place to say no to the glorification of war and militarism and to reaffirm opposition to any new confrontation with Iran, North Korea, Venezuela or any other targeted country.

People and organizations from all over the country will descend on Washington, D.C., to say NO to Donald Trump’s War Parade on Veterans’ Day weekend. 

This is an outrage! It is an obscene glorification of war and a criminal waste of urgently needed money. At this very moment so many working people are unable to pay their medical bills and rent, millions in Puerto Rico still have no electricity, youth unemployment is still staggering, the drug epidemic is worsening, and the country’s infrastructure is crumbling. The United States spends more on the military than the next 10 countries combined. This is an advertisement for spending hundreds of billions more on the Pentagon and to line the pockets of weapons contractors.

The War Parade is aimed at stimulating a new war drive that will bring death and destruction to one (or more) of the countries on the Pentagon hit list, potentially Iran, North Korea, or Venezuela. The over-the-top celebrations of the war machine — in the false guise of “patriotism” — also serve to stifle dissent at home, as Trump has repeatedly shown with his racist attacks on #BlackLivesMatter protesters.

The people of this country, and the world, will not stand for it. We will not be led into the slaughterhouse of war — either as perpetrators or victims — so as to repair a wounded ego or a wounded Empire. Hundreds of thousands will pour into the streets to stop Trump’s agenda of militarism and racism

At a time when the United States’ military budget is growing, now constituting 57% of our federal discretionary spending, programs for domestic needs such as food, education, housing and health care are being cut and US militarization is infecting most of the countries of the world, our schools and our communities, President Trump plans to spend more than $30 million dollars to parade tanks and weapons through the streets of Washington, DC on Veteran’s Day weekend this November. While it is President Trump who is calling for the parade, both major political parties are responsible for escalating US militarization and aggression throughout the world. Members of Congress voted nearly unanimously to give the Pentagon $70 billion more than requested in the current budget and are complicit in antagonizing Russia, North Korea, Iran and Venezuela.

Many groups are organizing to stop this parade, reclaim Veteran’s Day as Armistice Day and call for demilitarization and investment in programs that protect and support our communities in positive ways and heal the climate crisis and environmental degradation. We are joining together to collaborate on making the response to President Trump’s military parade bigger than the parade itself. We will show up in Washington, DC or wherever the parade might be held or take action in our local communities. If the parade is cancelled, we will still take action to make our demands heard.

If you believe that the glorification of war is obscene, if you believe it’s time to stop celebrating war and start working for peace, if you believe that our public dollars should be invested in positive ways that lift up communities and protect the planet, if you believe that militarized and racist police have no place in our schools and communities, if you believe the United States must become a cooperative member of the global community instead of the world’s greatest purveyor of violence, sign up to join us.

HERE ARE OUR DEMANDS:

Stop the glorification of war.

Return Veteran’s Day to Armistice Day, a day to celebrate peace.

Divest from the war machine and use public dollars for human needs and protection of the planet.

End the wars at home and abroad.

 

MASS PROTEST TO PRESIDENT TRUMP’S MILITARY PARADE IF IT OCCURS

 

Washington, DC – Leaders of major peace and anti-war organizations met on February 28, 2018 to collaborate on actions to bring hundreds of thousands of people to Washington, DC in November to protest President Trump’s military parade and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.

Participants at the meeting are united in opposition to the military parade because it glorifies war and militarism and wastes taxpayer dollars that could be used to fund people’s necessities and protection of the planet. All agreed to mobilize people to come to DC in November or to any location on any day if plans for the military parade change. There is a lot of enthusiasm to oppose Trump’s military parade. Peace advocates intend to outnumber parade supporters. In fact, a recent informal poll by Military Times of their readers, with 51,000 responses, found 89% opposition to the parade.

 

“Veterans, active duty GI’s and their families are paying a high price for these endless U.S. wars,” explained Gerry Condon, president of Veterans For Peace. “We are inviting our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters in the U.S. military to march with us in Washington, DC on November 11, Armistice Day.”

David Swanson, director of World Beyond War, declared, “We will turn out en masse to oppose and overwhelm this glorification of war, whenever and wherever it happens, and to replace it with a demonstration worthy of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, a celebration of what the world could be if we put an end to war for good. A hundred years of using war to end all war has failed miserably; it’s time we tried using peace to end all war.”

Brian Becker, national director of the ANSWER Coalition adds, “The War Parade is aimed at stimulating a new war drive that will bring death and destruction to one (or more) of the countries on the Pentagon hit list, potentially Iran, North Korea, or Venezuela. The over-the-top celebrations of the war machine — in the false guise of ‘patriotism’ — also serve to stifle dissent at home, as Trump has repeatedly shown with his racist attacks on #BlackLivesMatter protesters.”

“Trump’s new idea for a $22 million military march is a big, flashy way to normalize militarization. However, let’s not be fooled. We see more militarized police and soldiers in airports, train stations and bus stations. We see videos like this one of people on an Amtrak train being asked to produce ‘papers.’ That’s why it’s all the more important we oppose the normalization of militarism in our culture,” said Ajamu Baraka, national coordinator of Black Alliance for Peace.

“Since the 1990s, over $5 billion dollars-worth of military grade weapons and equipment have been transferred to local police forces,” said Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK. “In 2017, the United States spent $794 billion dollars on foreign and domestic militarism while over 40 million people in this country lived in poverty. We need a transformation of American priorities away from hyper-militarism, and toward serving and healing our people at home and spreading peace and justice in the world.”

Armistice Day was initially a day to remember the brutalities of WWI and celebrate peace, but in 1954 the US Congress changed it to Veterans Day and it has become a day to glorify war and the veterans who fought in them. Veteran’s groups are working together to reclaim Armistice Day. Trump’s military parade is out of touch with the millions of veterans and others who want an end to war and greater investment in human needs at home and abroad as well as protection of the planet at this time of climate change and extreme environmental degradation.

The organizers also intend to urge activists around the world to protest US militarism if the parade is held. US embassies and other locations should become a focal point of opposition to US hegemony. While this parade is intended to show off brutal US weapons to intimidate other countries, it is also an opportunity for the world to take action against US militarism and threats of war.

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