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Maya Rommwatt. Divest from the War Machine

 

Divest from the War Machine

 

 

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Page 1 of 6

 

 

 

 Peace and Justice

 

Commission

 

ACTION CALENDAR

 

FEBRUARY 19, 2019


 

To:Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council

 

From:Peace and Justice Commission

 

Submitted by: George Lippman, Chairperson, Peace and Justice Commission

 

Subject:Resolution declaring City of Berkeley will not invest City funds in any entity

 

involved in the production or upgrading of weapons

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Adopt Resolution submitted by the Peace and Justice Commission declaring the City of Berkeley will not invest City funds in any entity involved in the production or upgrading of weapons.

 

FISCAL IMPACTS OF RECOMMENDATION

 

None.

 

CURRENT SITUATION AND ITS EFFECTS

 

At its regular meeting September 17, 2018, the Peace and Justice Commission unanimously adopted the following recommendation: declaring that City of Berkeley will not invest City funds in or contract with any entity involved in the production or upgrading of weapons.

 

M/S/C:Bohn/Kenin

Ayes:Maran, Watson, Lippman, Bohn, Hariri, Kenin, Chen

Noes:None

Abstain:None

Absent:Pancoast

 

At its regular meeting January 7, 2019, the Peace and Justice Commission unanimously adopted a revised version of the resolution it adopted in September 2018. The revised recommendation removed the ban o­n contracting with entities involved in the production or upgrading of weapons, confining its scope to the investment of City funds in such entities.


 

2180 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704 ● Tel: (510) 981-7000 ● TDD: (510) 981-6903 ● Fax: (510) 981-7099

 

E-Mail: manager@CityofBerkeley.infoWebsite: http://www.CityofBerkeley.info/Manager


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Reso declaring City of Berkeley will not invest city funds

 

In any entity involved in the production or upgrading of

Weapons

 

M/S/C:Bohn/Meola

 

Ayes:al-Bazian, Bohn, Hariri, Han, Lippman, Maran, Meola, Morizawa,

 

Pancoast, Rodriguez

 

Noes:None

 

Abstain:None

 

Absent:Chen

 

Subsequent to the Commissions September 2018 action, City staff communicated feedback to the Commission secretary that the ban o­n contracting with weapons manufacturers could pose problems in procurement, notably BPD purchase of police weapons and munitions, and potentially other non-weapon supplies manufactured by companies that also produce weapons. The Commission considered these concerns in its January meeting and agreed to amend the item to exclude the ban o­n such contracting. The Commission determined that the original language of the item, which is circulating nationally among cities similar to Berkeley, focuses entirely o­n investment, and decided that reverting back to the language that other cities are adopting would provide benefits of alignment as well as addressing staff concerns.

 

Social responsibility concerns as they apply to contracting and procurement will be better addressed by a separate initiative.

 

BACKGROUND

 

The City of Berkeley investment policy currently bans investment in guns.

 

This resolution is endorsed by over 50 organizations that favor divestment from weapons manufacturers. The organizations include CODEPINK, American Friends Service Committee, Peace Action USA, United for Peace and Justice, and the Womens International League for Peace and Freedom.

 

This campaign has been spurred by the Trump Administrations belligerent posture that has brought the country to the brink of war, as well as the passionate national campaign, especially among young people, against gun violence domestically.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

 

Reversing militarism is o­ne of the key levers of promoting sustainability. Point 2 of the Environmentalists against War declaration in 2003 stated, War destroys human settlements and native habitats. War destroys wildlife and contaminates the land, air and water. The damage can last for generations. 1

 

1http://www.envirosagainstwar.org/sayno/tenreasons.html


 

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Page 3 of 6

 

Reso declaring City of Berkeley will not invest city funds

 

In any entity involved in the production or upgrading of

Weapons

 

RATIONALE FOR RECOMMENDATION

 

In passing this resolution the City of Berkeley joins with cities nationwide that oppose militarism and violence, and encourages other cities to follow Berkeleys lead.

 

ALTERNATIVE ACTIONS CONSIDERED

 

The Commission considered restrictions o­n contracting with any entities involved with the production or upgrading of weapons, with exemption for police purchases. The decision was taken to limit this action to investment o­nly and to consider procurement in separate actions. This option will keep the current action in line with the national initiative.

 

CITY MANAGER

 

See companion report.

 

CONTACT PERSON

 

George Lippman, Chairperson, Peace and Justice Commission

 

Shallon Allen, Commission Secretary, (510) 981-7071

 

 

Attachments:

 

1. Resolution


 

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Page 4 of 6

 

Reso declaring City of Berkeley will not invest city funds

 

In any entity involved in the production or upgrading of

Weapons

 

RESOLUTION NO. ##,###-N.S.

 

Resolution declaring the City of Berkeley will not invest City funds in any entity involved in the production or upgrading of weapons.

 

 

WHEREAS, since 2001, the United States has spent over $5.6 trillion o­n wars resulting in over 1.17 million deaths and displacing more than 10.1 million people;i and

 

WHEREAS, the cost of U.S. domestic and foreign militarism, including veterans affairs, homeland security, and law enforcement, and incarceration, topped $818 billion in 2017,ii; and accounted for 64% of federal discretionary spending in 2016, at a time when federal funds are desperately needed in order to build affordable housing, improve public transit, and develop sustainable energy sources;iiiand

 

WHEREAS, the United States remains the most militarized nation in the world, with a military budget greater than the next eight countries combined, an estimated 800 military bases and stations in over 70 countries around the world, and arms producers that dominated 57.9% of the share of major global arms sales in 2016iv; and

 

WHEREAS, nearly 15,000 nuclear weapons, most of an order of magnitude more powerful that the U.S. atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, over 90% held by the United States and Russia, continue to pose an intolerable threat to humanity;v and detonation of even a small fraction of these weapons would disrupt the global climate and agricultural production so severely that the resulting famine could put the lives of more than two billion people at risk;vi and

 

WHEREAS, the United States is poised to spend $1.7 trillion dollars over the next three decades to maintain and modernize its nuclear bombs and warheads; the submarines, missiles and bombers to deliver them; and the infrastructure to sustain the nuclear enterprise indefinitely, which many experts believe actually increases the risk of nuclear proliferation, nuclear terrorism, and nuclear war by accident, miscalculation or intent, at a time when nuclear-armed countries are already o­n the brink of military confrontation;vii and

 

WHEREAS, investing in companies producing the nuclear and conventional weapons at the roots of U.S. militarism implicitly supports this misdirection of our tax dollars; and

 

WHEREAS, many major arms producers depend o­n the federal government as their primary consumer and are thus dependent upon perpetual warfare, political instability, and the prioritization of militarism over diplomacy; and


 

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Page 5 of 6

 

Reso declaring City of Berkeley will not invest city funds

 

In any entity involved in the production or upgrading of

Weapons

 

WHEREAS, U.S. weapons manufacturers continue to supply repressive regimes around the world, and U.S.-produced weapons are being used in attacks that the international community deems unlawful for their disproportionate and excessive harm to civilians; and

 

WHEREAS, billions of dollars worth of military-grade equipment has been transferred to local police departments in our communities, resulting in the disproportionate targeting of communities of color and perpetuating a culture of violence, hostility, and fear;viii and

 

WHEREAS, the rate of mass shootings in America is the highest anywhere in the developed world, as civilian gun manufacturers continue to reap enormous profits from unnecessary bloodshed in our streets and homes;ix and

 

WHEREAS, the average American taxpayer works 27 days a year to pay Pentagon contractors and pays 23.4 cents of each of their federal income tax dollars toward military spending, at a time when 43 million Americans live in poverty or qualify as low-income;x and

 

WHEREAS, the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously calls o­n the President and Congress to reverse federal spending priorities and to redirect funds currently allocated to nuclear weapons and unwarranted military spending to restore full funding for Community Development Block Grants and the Environmental Protection Agency, to create jobs by rebuilding our nations crumbling infrastructure, and to ensure basic human services for all, including education, environmental protection, food assistance, housing and health care;xi and

 

WHEREAS, the City's investment practices must accord with the City's commitment to equality, peace, and justice;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council formally declares its opposition to investing City funds in any entities that are involved in the production or upgrading of weapons and weapons systems, whether conventional or nuclear, and including the manufacture of civilian arms, and decides that it shall be City policy to divest from such entities; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council directs any and all persons acting o­n behalf of City investment activity to enforce the provisions of this Resolution; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Resolution shall be binding City policy and shall be in full force and effect after adoption by the City Council.


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iCosts of War, Brown University, Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs, https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/

iiUS Military Budget: Components, Challenges, Growth, The Balance, https://www.thebalance.com/u-s-military-budget-components-challenges-growth-3306320

iiiThe Militarized Federal Budget, National Priorities, https://www.nationalpriorities.org/analysis/2017/militarized-budget-2017/

 

ivTop 100 Arms-Producing and Military Service Companies, 2016, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, https://www.sipri.org/publications/2017/sipri-fact-sheets/sipri-top-100-arms-producing-and-military-services-companies-2016

 

vNuclear Weapons: Who Has What at a Glance, Arms Control Association, https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/Nuclearweaponswhohaswhat

 

viNuclear Famine: Two Billion People at Risk? International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, https://www.psr.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/two-billion-at-risk.pdf

 

viiU.S. Nuclear Modernization Program, Arms Control Association, https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/USNuclearModernization

 

viiiWar Comes Home, ACLU, https://www.aclu.org/issues/criminal-law-reform/reforming-police-practices/war-comes-home

 

ixHow US Gun culture compares with the world in 5 charts, CNN, https://www.cnn.com/2017/10/03/americas/us-gun-statistics/index.html

 

xTax Dollar Receipt, National Priorities Project, https://www.nationalpriorities.org/interactive-data/taxday/

 

xiCalling o­n the Administration and Congress to Step Back From the Brink and Exercise Global Leadership in Preventing Nuclear War, U.S. Conference of Mayors, June 11, 2018, http://www.mayorsforpeace.org/english/ecbn/resolution/20180612.html

 

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Maya Rommwatt

 

 


National Organizer, Divest from the War Machine

www.codepink.org

www.codepinkorg/divest_from_the_war_machine

https://www.codepink.org/maya_rommwatt

https://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=882

 

Maya brings deep experience with progressive causes to her work. She's campaigned for climate justice, wildlife conservation, and public lands. Her family taught her to rabble rouse from a very young age and to never accept injustice anywhere in the world. She has degrees in biology and environmental studies and is from the Pacific Northwest.

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Letters

 

 

 

 

Our peacemaking cooperation

Dear Maya,

          Thank you very much for your materials, first of all for your courageous anti-militarist Resolution "Divest from the War Machine", recognized in the bold city of Berkeley. We were happy to publish it with your short bio and photo o­n our website o­n a special page: Maya Rommwatt. Divest from the War Machine here: https://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=882

         We highly appreciate your peacemaking, anti-militarist spirit, your high intellect and civil courage. Therefore, we, the Women's Global Harmony Association (WGHA): https://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=815, are happy to invite you to our women's peacemaking organization its First Co-Chair from the United States. We assume that this position will allow you to expand your peacemaking activities and strengthen it by supporting women like you from many other countries. We are not talking now about our other benefits, which we could discuss if you accepted our proposal.

           Now we are also pleased to invite you to join the Anti-NATO action o­n March 30 and to the relevant Petition (draft), which was published here: https://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=876. Could you participate here?

With deep respect and hope for cooperation, best wishes,

Leo,

https://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=253

18-03-19

 

,

, DivestfromtheWarMachine, . : MayaRommwatt. Divest from the War Machine : .

, , . , (): https://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=815, . , . , , . -λ 30 (), : https://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=876. ?

            , ,

,

https://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=253

18-03-19

 

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Hi Leo,

I've attached the Berkeley divestment resolution for you here. You're welcome to use this little bio about me that lives o­n our CODEPINK website (https://www.codepink.org/maya_rommwatt). Peace,

Maya

05-03-19

 

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Dear Maya,

          Many thanks for your really "great news" about Berkeley war divest, which I was happy to publish o­n the GHA website "Peace from Harmony" here: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=668 and o­n facebook, twitter etc.

            We will be happy to open your women organization personal page if you send me your Berkeley resolution, your short (1 p, no more) CV with your photo to introduce you to our peacemaking organization in 65 countries and publish your wonderful banner o­n our site Home page, which has up to 10-12 thousand view everyday.

            Together with these, we look forward to the publication o­n your website of our "World Gandhi Petition" (in attachment) in honor of his 150th anniversary. Gandhi's nonviolence, as you know, is the best divesting from war machine. Therefore, we hope for your positive response. Thanks you.

Leo

22-02-19

 

Hi All,

         Some great news: the city of Berkeley passed a resolution two days ago, barring investments in weapons makers. They used our model resolution from the coalition website: www.divestfromwarmachine.org/divest_your_city .

          Go Berkeley! Feel free to use the attached shareable.

Maya Rommwatt

National Organizer, Divest from the War Machine

503-467-9471

maya@codepink.org

www.codepinkorg/divest_from_the_war_machine

21-02-19


CODEPINK is a women initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement that seeks positive social change through proactive, creative protest and non-violent direct action.

www.codepink.org

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World Federalist Movement--Institute for Global Policy

WFM-IGP Press Release

For Immediate Release

16 March 2019

Atrocious US International Criminal Court policy must be challenged

 

New York - States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) must pressure the US government to stop impeding investigations by the ICC into war crimes committed in Afghanistan, said the World Federalist Movement Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP). 

 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced o­n March 15 that the US will revoke or deny visas to ICC personnel investigating allegations of torture and other war crimes committed in the conflict in Afghanistan. 

Pompeo also announced that the US will consider imposing financial sanctions and restrictions o­n persons who take or have taken action to request or further such [ICC] investigations. 

 

The US governments policy undermines the rule of law in multilateral relations and sends the signal that might is right, said Dr Tawanda Hondora, Executive Director of WFM-IGP. 

This policy gives cover and effective immunity to US nationals and allies for acts of torture, murder, rape and other war crimes in Afghanistan, said Hondora.

It also sends a clear message that Afghani victims of some of the worst atrocities known to humanity are not deserving of justice, said Hondora. 

 

Members States of the United Nations, the US included, should investigate and prosecute or extradite individuals suspected of committing serious crimes under international law. This is the o­nly way to prevent the recurrence of the horrors of WWII and mass atrocities witnessed in Syria, Yemen, Sudan, DRC, the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

The USs abuse of its military and economic power to implement a policy that fuels impunity is deeply regrettable, said Hondora.

 

Pompeos shocking announcement also threatens the integrity and effectiveness of many of the worlds multilateral bodies, many of which have headquarters or operations in the US. Consequently, States should take concrete measures to protect the integrity and effectiveness of the international legal system and framework by pressuring the US government to reverse its outrageous and self-serving ICC policy. 

Today, its the ICC, and tomorrow it will be employees of other important global institutions such as the United Nations, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, said Hondora. 

 

In view of the US governments ICC policy, Members States must also initiate a debate in the United Nations General Assembly regarding international agencies ability to effectively discharge their responsibilities and to ensure the safety and well-being of their staff. 

The ICC is an important international criminal justice organ, which deserves the support of every member of the United Nations, not least of the Permanent Members of the Security Council. 

For more informationinfo@wfm-igp.org, +1 212 599-1320

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