Fire Drill Friday Speech: Jodie Evans, 11/8/19, Washington DC

War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

That’s right. Absolutely nothing. We’ve learned a lot about what war can do with the speakers today. I want to start by saying Jane you’re amazing. You're out here with the anti-war peace movement that has been in the streets for decades. You are shining your bright light, you are brilliant, you are loved and you are passionate on an issue that is so important. Thank you.

I started in the streets with Jane in 1970, 49 years ago. And I have never ever seen her lose her passion or energy. Nobody works like Jane. She does put her body on the line and she is not afraid to be uncomfortable. We have got to follow that. We can not be afraid to be uncomfortable. We want change. That takes a little discomfort.

So as we have heard the struggle for peace and the struggle for a livable planet are connected. But at the core of this struggle is greed. We are all connected. We must learn to live together, to share, and to care. That needs to supersede greed. There is an economy, it is the extractive, the destructive, the oppressive economy. I call it the war economy. It has to end for climate change and war to reverse. War serves the war economy. The wars are about oil and resources. And the wars destroy the planet as we have heard. This is all driven by greed. What are the true assets? The true assets are communities, our love and our care for each other. True assets are the planet. And the water and the food it gives us for life. Okay, let’s think about this: 60% of your tax dollars goes to military spending. But let me break it down for you. Half of that goes to a weapon company. What happens there? Well, they just sell us a bill of goods, they sell us a new weapon, and they spend a lot of money on it, then it doesn't work and it gets muckballed, and everybody gets their money. Or the weapons work and it creates more terrorism in the world. But can you believe this: wars are for profit! Wars are for greed! And those weapons companies are invested by our cities and our counties, and our states. They are making a killing on killing! Your tax dollars flow to weapons companies. It’s kicking back 40% in the last five years. So basically your tax dollars are going to kill innocent people. They are going to grow terrorism. And they are going to make the rich richer. How does that feel? Ready to get uncomfortable? So what can you do? Well, first of all, you need to teach congress not to buy war. Guess what! It needs to start from you. We are all invested in war. Our cities, our counties, our states, our universities, our religions, our pension funds. You got to figure out where you are invested in war before you ask a member of Congress to divest in war. You have got to get your local communities divested. When you do that you are going to be a fierce voice when you enter congress because you are going to be religious! Work locally to expose the links between war, racism, poverty, and how much destruction to the planet they cause. Money for war is obscene! We must keep the planet green! Why? Because we need to live! And because we care about what we love.

Another thing is, you can tell those presidential candidates that they better be a president for peace. You can tell your member of Congress that they need to commit to not be invested in weapons. They are all taking weapons money. If you want them not to be funding the pentagon, they have got to make that commitment first. The anti-war movement did the impossible this year, and many of you are here. We got congress and the senate to vote for the first time to order the president to get out of war- the one in Yemen. The one that has killed hundreds of thousands with US support to Saudi Arabia. More deaths with our weapons. We tried to stop those weapons sales but members of congress, democratic members of congress, have taken lots of money from weapons companies, so we have to get our members to divest from weapons companies if we are going to end these wars. Military force is one of the most important powers that allows rich countries to maintain vast inequality of the international economic border. And now this imperialism of high-income countries is a major threat to the survival of the planet. Now more than ever we need international cooperation. If we are going to reduce climate we need to cooperate and we can't have big countries using their military to stop that. How do we get nations to cooperate when the US and Saudi Arabia have all the weapons? So here is a moment, a moment to get in the way of a global merger of frightening proportions. Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company- Aramco, the largest single climate polluting company on the planet- just announced they are going to sell shares in the market. The marriage of polluting and profiteering by the violent warmongers, who have the largest weapons cache per capita in the world. And they have been cold-blooded in their killing of Yemeni, of Khashoggi, and they have been coldblooded and cruel in their treatment of women and dissonance, shame. Listen to this- JP Morgan, Morgan Stanely, Goldman Sachs, Merryl Lynch, City corp, HSBC, and Credits twist, are all drooling at the trough and they are going to underwrite these investments. This literally embeds US finance further in planet destruction. When you are in your local communities, go give them some shame.

I want to celebrate the peace movement, which has always been a movement about a healthy planet. And you all here! I want to celebrate of course CODEPINK, Veterans for Peace, Peace Action, World Beyond War, and FCNL, and NOW, and Band the Bomb, the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, and Raging Grannies, and Institute for Policy Studies, and National Priorities Project, The Poor People’s Campaign, and Women across the DMZ. They are here. If you are not part of them, then find someone that you can learn how to get your locality divested from war. We know where the money is that is needed because an uninhabitable world and the cost of that are unimaginable. We need to take that money and nourish our communities, nourish the planet.

We have the tools!

We even created a website called Weapons Free Funds so you can find out who is invested in the bad stuff.

We always end a song, I want to bring up Hussain. He is one of the leaders in helping us get the bills passed for Yemen. He is also an awesome musician and we have a poor people's campaign song:

Somebody’s hurting our planet
And it's gone on far too long
I tell you it’s gone on far too long
I tell you it’s gone on far too long
Somebody’s hurting our planet
And it's gone on far too long
And we won’t be silent anymore
Somebody’s polluting our water
And it's gone on far too long
I tell you its gone on far too long
I tell you its gone on far too long
Somebody’s polluting our water
And it’s gone on far too long
And we won’t be silent anymore
Somebody want to build that wall
And it's gone on far too long
I tell you its gone on far too long
I tell you its gone on far too long
Somebody wants to build that wall
And it’s gone on far too long
And we won’t be silent anymore
And we won’t be silent anymore

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