A Call to Invest in Peace Rally at the BLACKROCK shareholders’ meeting

03.06.2019 - Pressenza New York

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A Call to Invest in Peace Rally at the BLACKROCK shareholders’ meeting
(Image by Yolanda Andersson)

By Jhon Sánchez and Tim Kennedy

May 23, at 7:30 am, a hundred protesters gathered in the rain to call out BLACKROCK investors and encourage divestment in the war machine. According to Code Pink, BLACKROCK is the top investor in weapons manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics. At the entrance of the New York Palace Hotel, we talked to Zena Sawaged from CODEPINK about the event.

1. Why is it important to organize events like this?

​ ​It is imperative to organize such events because if we understand how destructive war is and how many deaths of innocent civilians– including women and children–it causes, then we can’t remain silent. It’s incumbent on those who recognize the brutality of war to speak up and educate others as often as possible. There must be an end to war.We organize because ordinary citizens like us still have power. We need to understand that using our voice through non-violent actions does change the trajectory of our world, but only if we actually use our voices, together..

2. How can we show people that profits can be made from peace instead of war?

​ ​It is clearly more profitable to invest in the local peace economy.We live in a war economy. We’ve been fighting war for a long time, and we’ve realized this: war, poverty, police brutality, ecological degradation, and nearly every other issue we face are all connected by the same root cause. To end violence and create the beautiful world that we so long to live in, we must radically reimagine and transform our relationships so they are defined by love instead: by care and compassion and sacredness, by the qualities that nourish our souls and enrich our humanity. This is how we transform our war economy into a peace economy. We can invest in a peace economy at investments found at weaponsfreefund.org.

3. What other corporations that invest in the Military/Industrial complex could be targeted in future actions?

Not only are we targeting BlackRock, but we have our sights set on the big five weapon manufacturers: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, and Boeing defense.

4. What organizations participated in the rally and how can people join in future demonstrations? ​

There were over 18 organizations that cosponsored our demonstration; Action Corps NYC, The Coalition to End the U.S.-Saudi Alliance, Community of Living Traditions at Stony Point Center, Granny Peace Brigade, Gulf Coast Raging Grannies, Muslim Peace Fellowship, Peace Action New York State, Show Up America, United for Peace and Justice, Veterans for Peace NYC Chapter 34, War Resisters League NYC, World Beyond War, and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, ActUp, BlackRocks Big Problem, New Sanctuary Coalition, and others​! You can definitely message me at zena@codepink.org to be more involved and join in on our future demonstrations. Check out the divest for the war machine to learn how to get involved: https://www.divestfromwarmachine.org/

Categories: Interviews, News in pictures, North America, Peace and Disarmament
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