Tax Day has also been globally observed for the last 10 years as the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS). We remember many impassioned in person demonstrations of years past and look forward to continuing this long fight until our money is no longer used for war and destruction!
From Organizer Adrian Murillo:
A shared message in the movement for justice is “No Justice, No Peace”, a message that increased in usage during the turbulent convergence of love and outrage sparked by the murder of George Floyd last year. It is important for white America to understand that peace which grows from the social and economic health and stability of the nation cannot be achieved without racial justice. It is equally important for all of us to understand that racial justice cannot be achieved until we confront the grossly indecent obstacle to progress: militarism and the tax dollars that feed its voracious appetite. Our tax dollars.
Currently, President Biden is requesting that in the 2022 federal budget $753 billion of our tax dollars go to military spending, a part of which will go to ongoing nuclear modernization programs.
This brings to mind the words of Martin Luther King in a speech titled Beyond Vietnam:
“…And I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.”
We cannot create the new programs and institutions designed to facilitate the transformation of this militaristic culture into a just, nonviolent culture of equality and democracy without defunding the military. Even a 10% cut back will take us farther than we’ve ever gone before to reduce the negative impact of excessive military spending. Social, human, and economic insecurities and racial conflicts are the conditions that result when the needs of the military industrial complex are placed ahead of the people. The current pandemic has revealed it is communities of color that are made vulnerable by poverty and inadequate resources (hospitals, equipment, staff). The cost of a single nuclear missile could build multiple hospitals in scores of mid-sized cities across the nation.
The Biden administration characterizes Biden’s request as a “modest increase” from last year revealing just how vast is their social and economic distancing from poor and working-class families who pay the most in taxes while the wealthiest 1% and corporations pay the least. The billions of dollars represented in that “modest” increase would be better spent restoring schools, structurally and economically, in communities of color and the development of green economies in those communities. Instead, our tax dollars go into the pockets of defense contractors. National security cannot be achieved by weapons and high-tech invasions of our privacy.
The story of scarcity is a smokescreen lie.
We are at a tipping point in American history. Now is the time to marshal all our resources and energies into restoration of the planet’s vital signs which includes human communities. Now is the time to stop the militarization of police departments, stop manufacturing guns and missiles, stop supporting and collaborating with the high-tech surveillance industry, stop feeding the military-prison industrial complex. These are the institutions of a militaristic culture that don’t make us safe. They produce rage, violence, death, irrational suspicions between people.
Now is the time to demand our leaders reduce military spending and invest in racial justice and the eradication of poverty.