Today, lawmakers in the House introduced the "Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act of 2021" to limit the 1033 program, a Pentagon program that sends military-grade equipment to local police departments around the country.
CODEPINK is among many organizations that signed on in support of this bill to demonstrate our continued work to demilitarize our society and put an end to the 1033 program once and for all.
Ending the 1033 program and demilitarizing police around the country is more urgent now than ever. The 1033 program was created in the 1990’s during the “war on drugs” and has since transferred over $7.4 billion in "excess" military equipment to more than 8,000 law enforcement agencies around the country. Studies have shown a significant relationship between 1033 transfers and fatalities from officer-involved shootings, meaning ending the 1033 program would help save the lives of people of color and working class people around the country.
This program is just one example of the many ways that our bloated Pentagon budget does nothing to create real safety and security in our society. It is absurd that during a public health crisis that has caused suffering for so many that the Pentagon has so much funding they can send their "excess" weaponry to police departments around the country.
To achieve true safety and address systemic racism, supporting the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act of 2021 is just the first step. We must also continue our work to abolish the 1033 program entirely and cut the Pentagon budget to invest in the needs of our local communities. You can contact your representative today and ask them to commit to significantly reducing the Pentagon budget using the CODEPINK guide to Pentagon budget cuts.