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Divest from Militarism and Invest in Life! Join the Dec 11-15 Week of Action 🍉

Dec 12, 2023 | News & Updates

With nearly 20,000 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, and more than 1.7 million Palestinians displaced, we are witnessing a genocide unfold in Gaza. This would not be possible without the billions of dollars the US invests in military funding, instead of the well-being of our communities. Take action this week to tell the US government: Divest from militarism and invest in life!

In the coming days, Congress is preparing to vote on another $14 billion in military funding and weapons to Israel – a part of the $100 billion package to fund Israel’s genocide, build the U.S. border wall, and assert U.S. control over Europe and Asia.

This aid package makes it abundantly clear: when our communities ask for resources that actually contribute to our safety and stability, we’re told the money isn’t there. Yet when it comes to genocide, war, surveillance, incarceration, and deportation, the resources are limitless.

We will not support our taxpayer dollars to fund Israel’s genocide or the war on our communities at home or abroad.

We are joining The Rising Majority for a week of action Dec 11-15 to demand the US government Divest from Militarism and Invest in Life. We are fighting for:

  • An immediate and permanent ceasefire now!
  • Congressional rejection of Biden’s proposal to send another $14 billion in military funding and weapons to Israel.
  • Funding for people’s needs, not genocide, weapons, and war.

There are 5 ways movement partners are asking you to take action this week:

  1. Organize a speakout at your elected official’s office or another strategic political target. 
  2. Organize a creative direct action at a weapons manufacturer and other corporate targets.
  3. Call your Reps: Tell them to stop arming this genocide and Vote NO on sending more weapons to Israel. Join Dream Defenders every Tuesday and Wednesday to make calls.
  4. Host a teach-in or create a zine with your community — What ties does your community have to Israel’s genocide of Palestine? Who is profiting? And what investments in life-affirming institutions would your community like to see instead of trillions of dollars to weapons, war, and genocide?  Now is a critical time to make connections between Palestine and the role of U.S. militarism. 
  5. Something else! Plan a creative action!

Solidarity Economies for a Free Palestine

Members of the Land of Despair Sprouts with Hope, a youth-led agricultural cooperative in the occupied West Bank.

 

As members of the solidarity economy movement, we know that investments in militarism, both domestically and abroad, aren’t keeping us safe. Cooperatives are a powerful site for collective action, and the values of the cooperative movement call on us to take material action. In addition to the calls to action above, we encourage you to join a Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign, either as an individual or with your co-op.

As we leverage the power of divestment in this moment — working to end U.S. aid to Israel, stop war profiteering, and defund the military industrial complex  — we also need to talk about what we *do* invest in to build economies of care and cooperation, and how we make strategic investments in the lives and livelihoods of Palestinian people.

We know that colonized and oppressed peoples have always built solidarity economies from a place of vision, creativity, and survival, and Palestinians continue to show that this is true.

In this moment, we are deeply inspired by The Land of Despair Sprouts with Hope, or Ard al-Ya’s in Arabic — a youth-led agricultural cooperative in Saffa in the occupied West Bank. These youth are working to protect their land and its ecology, while establishing a “resistance economy” that offers dignified work and centers “self-reliance as the basis of a viable Palestinian liberation struggle.” We encourage you to learn about and support this cooperative, whose name “reflects the group’s somber yet determined view of life under occupation and their responsibilities within it.”


 

Check out our resource list to read about how NEC members are showing solidarity with Palestine. Art from left to right by: Victoria Garcia, unknown, NEC member Sol Underground.

 

As always, we are also inspired by our member organizations and the ways they show up in love and in struggle. Here’s a sampling of how NEC members are showing their solidarity with Palestine:

“As workers organizing to transform society through the creation of alternative models of laboring and living–such as worker cooperatives, worker co-op support organizations, and other democratic workplaces–we recognize that we cannot successfully build the economies of solidarity that will sustainably develop, empower, and create agency for our communities without standing in solidarity and uplifting the voices and demands of oppressed people everywhere.”
 The NYC Network of Worker Cooperatives

“There is no ecological justice in a world in which Palestinians are bombed, starved, displaced from their lands, and have no freedom of movement or agency over their lives… Not only does relentless bombardment immediately pollute the air, water, and soil; long-term, imperialism inherently leaves a legacy of ecological destruction on the land, human bodies, and spirits that is felt for generations to come. For all of these reasons and more, the path to ecological justice must run through a free Palestine.”
— 
Movement Generation

“The cooperative movement must vehemently oppose the settler colonial project that is Zionism. Settlements use the cooperative model where they live in “democratic” communities using the cooperative legal structure, when in reality they are illegal settlements in the West Bank, Palestine. We must oppose Settlements as cooperatives. There is no “democracy” under apartheid.”
— 
LA Co-op Lab

“The Law Center has represented Reem’s since September of 2020 for a worker co-op conversion. Reem’s is a restaurant making Arab street food with California love. Reem’s has centered the idea of Sumoud (صمود, in Arabic, means “steadfast resilience”) in its journey towards worker ownership. Sumoud is a Palestinian idea. It is about both individual and collective resilience and steadfastness. Specifically, it’s a term to describe surviving occupation — unending adversity, limited infrastructure, scarce resources.”
— The Sustainable Economies Law Center

We wish you fortitude not only for this week of action, but also for the weeks and year ahead.

In love & solidarity,

NEC staff

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