Over 220 Organizations Across the World Sign Letter Demanding an End to the United States F35 Fighter Jet Program
Ben Cohen, Roger Waters join organizations from Europe to South America in calling for President Biden and the U.S. Congress to cancel the manufacturing and training of the F-35 fighter jet.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE–In a time of economic uncertainty, climate crisis, and the necessity for peace and stability for people and planet, over 220 organizations join in an international campaign to end the United States’s F-35 program. Citing “harm caused abroad, cost of the program to the taxpayer, inefficiencies and failures, the environmental impact of F-35s, and the effects of training has on local communities” the large coalition of organizations are joined by Ben Cohen, Roger Waters, Noam Chomsky and others in signing a joint letter addressed to President Joe Biden and members of the United States congress.
"I joined over 200 organizations from around the world in calling on the U.S. government to end the disastrous F-35 fighter jet program because as a global community we need to drastically change our priorities." Roger Waters, co-founder of Pink Floyd continued, "To the people in the countries the F-35 is sold to and produced in, it's time we demand a reinvestment into life, not war."
The organizations signed on to the demand represent human interest groups from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Paraguay, Germany, Spain, Kenya, and Switzerland. With the intention of the US to sell the F-35s to countries around the world, citizens from those countries push back on the program and those sales.
“This is of deep concern to many of us in the country," explains Ruth Rohde, board member at the Arms Information Centre in Germany.
"Germany is looking to buy the F-35 to carry American nuclear weapons stationed here. Not only is this going to be a large, unnecessary financial burden, but also sustains the disastrous, indefensible threat of nuclear war on and from German soil."
The coalition points out in the letter that not only is the F-35 program an extension of dangerous militarism, but the jets themselves have proven to be a money-draining and faulty piece of machinery. Even The Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith called the F-35 a “rathole.”
"The global community is fed-up with overpriced, underperforming weapon systems like the F-35. It's a complete waste of tax-payer dollars that causes harm abroad and here at home in Vermont." Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Vermont local continued, "The only people this project benefits are the executives at Lockheed Martin. Real security is knowing you can see a doctor when you're sick, not a boondoggle fighter jet that can't fly in or around thunderstorms."
Cohen, along with many Vermont-based organizations, represents the working-class families who unwillingly are subjected to the physically and mentally detrimental F-35 training program that terrorizes their neighborhoods. The noise caused by the F-35 hits 115 decibels, which especially hurts and injures infants and children, older adults, and the disabled. The F-35 has 300 to 600 takeoffs and landings a month. Madison, Wisconsin residents are the next on the list to be subjected to this violation of personal privacy.
The campaign to end the F-35 program is being spearheaded by CODEPINK: Women for Peace as part of their overall goal to end the war economy and create a stable and sustainable planet for all, not just a few.
"The F-35 program is a microcosm of the military industrial complex. Each year, the U.S. government funnels massive amounts of money into the program while letting places in the U.S. go without clean water for months or years. Sustaining this program for any longer will have detrimental effects on human life and the earth." Danaka Katovich, national co-director of CODEPINK.
The letter is being emailed to the White House and Congressional staffers this week and being hand delivered directly to select members of Congress. The letter itself is just the beginning of the campaign. An international day of action is being planned for 2023, with thousands of people from four continents taking to the streets to stop President Biden from including the F-35 program in his defense budget proposal to be submitted to Congress for FY2024. Between now and the 2023 action, the 200+ organizations will petition their elected officials and educate the public on the real life dangers and consequences of continuing the F-35 program.
For more information regarding the campaign, please contact Danaka Katovich at [email protected].