Victory For The Peace Movement: Military Parade Canceled, #AntiwarAutumn Goes Forward
August 16 – As resistance to the November military parade, ordered by President Trump, gained momentum, the Pentagon announced tonight that the parade is being “postponed” into 2019, which means it is essentially canceled. The parade was widely opposed by people in the United States. Army Times conducted a poll of its readers; 51,000 responded and 89 percent said, “No, It’s a waste of money and troops are too busy.” A Quinnipiac University poll found 61 percent of voters disapprove of the military parade, while only 26 percent support the idea.
The American Legion stated that parades are for celebrating when wars are won and urged Trump to bring the troops home before celebrating:
American Legion’s msg to Trump: “Until such time as we can celebrate victory in the War on Terrorism & bring our military home, we think the parade money would be better spent fully funding the Dept of Veteran Affairs & giving our troops & their families the best care possible.”
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) August 17, 2018
Early this week, an open letter signed by 187 organizations opposed to the parade was published. The number of groups signing on continues to grow, surpassing 200 today. The letter begins with:
“President Trump has ordered a military parade to be held in Washington, DC to showcase ‘the price of freedom’ on November 10, 2018. This glorification of war, which will cost millions of dollars, comes at a time when the United States is provoking more war and the military industrial complex is consuming a growing proportion, now almost two thirds, of our discretionary spending. Militarism has invaded our communities where police treat residents as “the enemy,” demonstrators are met with tanks and recruiters are allowed into schools. Militarism has also infected our national psyche by normalizing violence as armed men shoot and kill in our schools, stores and offices.
We reject this gross display of power and violence.”
It calls for divesting from war and investing in peace.
Today, officials from the Pentagon leaked the estimated cost of the military parade: $92 million, which is almost seven times higher than the original estimate. This set off a backlash as people suggested all sorts of ways that money could be better spent such as on programs for veterans, cleaning up the water infrastructure in Flint, Michigan, education and more.
Activists see cancellation of the parade as a victory and a sign that the anti-war movement in the US is getting stronger. One organizer, Jan Weinberg of Show Up America!, said, “I am of the opinion that the efforts and messaging of our broad-based anti-war and peace activist organizations, working in concert, were instrumental in persuading the Pentagon to cancel Trump’s Military Parade. Truly an example of People Power succeeding in opposition of the military parade organizers.”
They vow to continue to organize and mobilize for an Anti-war Autumn.
On October 20 and 21, there will be a Women’s March on the Pentagon. Activities are still being planned for the weekend of November 9 to 11. The 100th anniversary of the end of World War I is November 11. Veterans and military families will hold a solemn march to remember the horrors of war and promote peace as they call for a return to celebrating Armistice Day. They point to the hundreds of thousands of civilians who are killed in wars and the twenty veterans who commit suicide each day.
Visit NoTrumpMilitaryParade.us and take the pledge to participate. It is time to stop the endless wars and transition from an Empire Economy to one that supports people’s basic needs and protects the planet.