We are in the midst of a global pandemic the likes of which we have never seen before. While up to 30% of the American population might soon be out of work and everyday people are struggling to afford basic necessities like food and rent, Boeing has the audacity to demand a $60 billion taxpayer bailout for their shareholders and CEO. An economic package is being negotiated right now in Congress and will go for a vote in the Senate as early as today, but it is up to us to look at where that money is going. Tell your Senators that not a penny should go to bail out Boeing or other weapons manufacturers. Federal rescue packages must be for people’s needs, not corporate greed.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 is exposing the deep cracks in the foundation of American society which, over the past 50 years, has steadily siphoned more and more of our tax dollars into corporations like Boeing that manufacture warplanes as well as defective civilian planes that plummet from the sky in mid-flight. This week during a Senate GOP lunch, there were many Republicans drooling over the idea of giving taxpayer dollars to General Electric and Boeing. But even some in that party weren’t having it. Senator Cruz tweeted that he was opposed to “a special carve-out” for the two companies, stating that,“Millions are losing jobs; we don’t need bailouts or corporate welfare—those companies should participate in the same liquidity programs as everyone else.”
What is happening right now is horrific and causing great suffering, but it is also providing us with a unique opportunity to reevaluate our values and the ways that we live. Out of necessity, people are being released from jails prisons. Satellite readings from the European Space Agency show that the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) hanging over cities and industrial clusters in Asia and Europe have been markedly lower over the past six weeks. Since March 9, when Italy went under lockdown, the NO2 levels over Milan and other parts of northern Italy have fallen by a whopping forty percent.
Many of us are gripped by fear and isolation right now, but the last thing we want to get back to business as usual — the business of war, inequality, environmental destruction and corporate rule. Tell your Senators not to pass an economic rescue package that bails out the merchant of death: Boeing.
And while many of us have more time on our hands, let’s use it to learn more about the world. Check out the great webinars we have coming up, and the suggestions from our Pink Team (below) about our favorite foreign films to watch.
In the coming days/weeks, we will be hosting the following webinars:
- WTF is Going on in Latin America: Wednesday, March 25, 12:00 PM ET. a conversation live from Caracas on the humanitarian response to COVID-19. Special guest Larry Devoe, Vice President Venezuela Ministry of Human Rights. Watch on CODEPINK’s Facebook Live.
- COVID-19 IN YEMEN: Wednesday, March 25, 4:00 PM EST. March 26 marks 5 years of the war in Yemen and not the devastated country is preparing for the coronavirus pandemic. We will talk with Aisha Jumaan of the Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundationabout five years of war in Yemen, the coronavirus threat, and US policy. RSVP HERE.
- COVID-19 IN IRAN: Thursday, March 26, 2:00 PM ET. A talk with brilliant author/analyst Trita Parsi on how U.S. sanctions on Iran are preventing the country from obtaining medical supplies to address the coronavirus crisis, and what we can do. RSVP HERE.
- DISCLOSE, DIVEST, REINVEST AT PITZER COLLEGE: Thursday, March 31, 2:00 PM ET. Pitzer College students talk about their latest divestment campaign. The students are calling on the university to Divest from BlackRock, and Invest in their Core Values! RSVP HERE.
- BLACKROCK’S ROLE IN AMAZON DESTRUCTION WITH AMAZON WATCH: Tuesday, April 7, 1:00 PM ET. Join Pendle Marshall-Hallmark — climate campaigner at Amazon Watch — for a discussion about BlackRock’s role in Amazon destruction. RSVP HERE.
- CUBA:Day and Time TBD. Despite the crippling blockade being imposed on them by the U.S., Cuba has been sending doctors around the world to help combat COVID-19. The webinar is being scheduled. RSVP to Teri@codepink.org and she will send you the details as soon as it is scheduled.
- On Monday, March 23, Ariel Gold and Ann Wright talked with Palestinians on the ground in Gaza, where the first two cases of coronavirus have occurred and the people already under siege are preparing for catastrophe. Watch the recorded webinar here.
Here are some great foreign films recommended by our staff:
The Salesman: Now is a good time to learn more about Iran, which has so many great films! CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin suggests this drama from 2016 about a young Iranian couple living in Tehran. You can see it on Amazon Prime.
The Reports on Sarah and Saleem: If you are looking for a taut, compelling drama that intertwines the personal with the political,CODEPINK co-director Ariel Gold suggests that you check out this one. It will take you on a journey through Jerusalem’s fraught atmosphere of racism, occupation, and surveillance state. Available on Amazon Prime.
Ballad of a Soldier and The Innocents: “In 1960 when I was in high school I went to a local arts theater to see a Russian film, ‘Ballad of a Soldier.’ It was the first anti-war film that led me onto my path. A more recent film I would recommend is ‘The Innocents,’” says DC CODEPINK House coordinator, Paki Wieland. The Innocents is on Netflix
CODEPINK cofounder Jodie Evans recommends a number of films: “A Separation,” (available on Amazon Prime) a beautiful film that reveals a lot about Persian life, the graphic novel brought to life that takes place in Iran, “Persepolis” (on Amazon Prime and iTunes), “Offsides”(on Amazon Prime) about women obtaining the right to go to a soccer stadium in Iran, “A Time of Drunken Horses,” a documentary about kids on the Iraq/Iran border, and “Shadow World” (on iTunes and Google Play) to learn more about the dangers of militarism.
“One of my favorites and a particularly relevant film at this moment is “No” about the Chilean people protesting for a new post-dictatorship Constitution, says CODEPINK Latin America campaigner Teri Matson. It chronicles. how in 1988, international pressure came to bear on Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, forcing him to call for a referendum on his presidency. The country will vote either yes or no on extending Pinochet’s rule for another eight years. Available on Amazon Prime, VuDu and YouTube.
The rescue package could go to a vote at any moment. Make sure your Senators know that you do not want it to include a bailout for Boeing!
Towards people, not profit,
Medea, Jodie, Ariel, Ann, Asia, Ayanni, Camille, Carley, Caty, Cody, Emily, Jodie, Kelsey, Leonardo, Makena, Medea, Michelle, Nancy, Paki, Teri, and Yousef
P.S. Don’t forget to check out CODEPINK’s COVID-19 mutual aid resource page to help practice social solidarity in the time of physical distancing