NWTRCC chose the theme “Divest from the Pentagon, Invest in People” for our 2016 Days of War Tax Action.
Divestment (also called disinvestment) has been used to galvanize big changes, like abolishing apartheid in South Africa. Today, it’s used in the movements against fossil fuels and Israeli occupation of Palestine, where supporters pressure institutions and corporations to stop investing in certain governments, industries, or businesses.
Divestment campaigns don’t always encourage individuals to see their own complicity in the target industry or behavior. While I don’t think we should only focus on changing ourselves, or trying to make ourselves “perfectly” ethical, we should understand if we are upholding the systems we oppose. And when we invest our taxes in war, that’s exactly what we’re doing.
Our new palm card encourages people to consider divesting themselves from war. On the front, it says “Divest from the Pentagon, Invest in People. Redirect your taxes from war to peace!” with contact information for NWTRCC. On the back, the text says,
War is a Poor Investment
If you invest money in something, you hope it will bring you future benefits and security.
What do we get when our tax dollars are invested in war?
- Trillions of dollars for weapons destroyed in an instant.
- People trained to kill return home wounded or unable to adjust to civilian life. If they come home.
- Lack of funds to solve hunger, homelessness, crumbling infrastructure, and environmental destruction.
- Death, destruction, enemies, and an endless cycle of violence.
Thousands are involved in powerful divestment campaigns calling on corporations, colleges, churches, and towns to withdraw funds from fossil fuels, guns, or military contractors.
Divest from the Pentagon means considering war as an investment — a bad investment, which can be fixed by withdrawing your consent. Refusing to pay some or all of federal taxes that help fund war is a powerful act of civil disobedience.
Invest in People by redirecting that money to humanitarian projects.
War is a poor investment.
Corporations may profit from war, but everyone else loses.
Do you like this card? You can order a stack of them to distribute by contacting NWTRCC.
And stay tuned for a new infographic explaining war tax divestment in more detail.