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‘Move The Money’: Detroit Votes For Slashing Bloated Pentagon Budget

Above photo: US Peace Council.

Detroit, Michigan – Following in the footsteps of neighboring Hamtramck, Detroit has become the biggest U.S. city so far to pass a “Move the Money” resolution. The measure, approved unanimously by City Council on Tuesday, calls on the U.S. Congress and the president to shift public money away from the military to fund social services.

The Michigan Peace Council, a major backer of the campaign to win the resolution, praised the council vote, which came on the same day that nearly 101,000 Michiganders voted “Uncommitted” in the Democratic primary to oppose President Joe Biden’s support for Israel’s brutal war against Gaza.

“These two victories in Michigan (Detroit and Hamtramck) are just the beginning of building coalitions that will personify the people’s concerns about excessive military spending,” Michigan Peace Council Chair Bill Meyer told People’s World.

“The Gaza genocide woke the world up,” Meyer said. “People are UNCOMMITED to warmongering!”

The text of the resolution, which was submitted by Councillor Mary Waters, slams the Pentagon’s nearly $1 trillion budget. It points out that this total surpasses the arms spending of China, Russia, India, Saudi Arabia, the U.K., Germany, France, South Korea, Japan, and Ukraine—combined.

Cutting even just $100 billion from the bloated military budget could pay for the clean energy and childcare components of the Build Back Better initiative, power every household in the U.S. with solar energy, hire a million elementary teachers, pay for free college tuition for most students, and provide $700 inflation-busting offset checks to every household.

The People Over Pentagon Act of 2023, co-sponsored by Michigan’s U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Shri Thanedar, calls for just such a $100 billion reallocation.

Recalling the words of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the resolution says: “A nation that continues, year after year, to spend more money on military defense than programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

Detroit has already blazed a trail when it comes to pro-peace measures; in November 2023, the City Council approved a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. With passage of the Move the Money resolution, it is joining Hamtramck in making even more advanced demands.

In addition to putting pressure on Congress and the White House, the latest resolution also commits the city to holding “in-depth public hearings” to let residents themselves make clear what basic human needs are not being met “because of government appropriations for the Pentagon.”

A Michigan Peace Council statement issued Tuesday observed: “Some feel that the recent wars supported and funded by the U.S. government, especially the genocidal war in Gaza, has created a groundswell of opposition to military spending.

“That money should be better spent helping people in our own country rather than killing people around the world,” the group said.

The nationwide campaign to pass Move the Money resolutions was initiated several years ago by the U.S. Peace Council; the Michigan Peace Council is the state chapter of USPC. Both are linked to the international anti-war movement as part of the World Peace Council.

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