Sunday, August 28, 2011

Information Into Action

Do you like to inform yourself but also feel the need to put information into action?

You could read this informative article from Robert Naiman of Just Foreign Policy, Why the Jobs Argument Against Military Cuts Is Bogus. In a nutshell: because military spending is lousy at generating jobs, and the path to full employment lies elsewhere.

Then, you could spring into action and register to participate in the Federal Budget Activity I will be leading at a "Military Industrial Complex at 50" conference in Charlottesville, VA Sep 17.

Then you might go on to write a letter to the editor, op-ed, blog post, share on facebook or otherwise communicate with the increasingly bewildered U.S. public. To make this even more fun, you could get PINK and show up with your message at a large public event -- such as we did yesterday in Maine at the Blue Angels Air Show protest organized by Tom Sturtevant of Veterans for Peace.

It was great to be in action with a Libyan-American family from Portland, and to hear about the connection between militarism and environmental harm from Beth Adams, who was headed to the Tar Sands action at the White House next. Here are some of the disturbing facts Beth shared about the Pentagon's recruiter-polluter footprint:
The Navy requires local sponsors to provide 48,600 gallons of fuel per weekend show. In FY10 the Blue Angels used 97,610 barrels, or 4.1 million gallons of fuel, emitting 88 million pounds of carbon dioxide. The Pentagon uses more petroleum than any other agency on the planet---$13-18 billion anually, more than 80 percent of the U.S. government's total.
Besides wasting clean air, flying jets around to show off wastes a lot of tax $$ too. A point made here by our friends from Food not Bombs, who came to feed us.

Of course if you're really feeling ambitious, you could contact all the public officials who claim to represent you and share some information with them. Maybe get a local war $$ home resolution passed, or at least discussed. You could model it on the US Conference of Mayors resolution, which resulted from a whole lot of activism on the part of a large coalition of people nationwide. Report on the backstory in In These Times: Turning Strategy Into Victory by Dana Balicki. Go team!

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