Dedicated to Abolishing War, Establishing Justice, and Fighting Climate Disaster

Dedicated to Abolishing War, Establishing Justice, and Fighting Climate Disaster

What if Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg took aim at the role of the military-industrial complex in provoking climate change? Preparation for war and war itself pollute the earth, and the U.S. military is the #1 organizational polluter on the planet. Just imagine if Greta, the outstanding environmental voice of youth, took on the war machine, which, as historian and military critic Joan Roelofs, author of The Trillion Dollar Silencer, charges, “shuts up dissent and protests in order to maintain their dirty business of weapon making.” Greta could reach her millions of social media followers worldwide with a message of  opposition to the #1 polluter of the environment, the U.S. military, on Earth Day, 2023.

A good example of linking antimilitarism and environmental activism can be found in actions being organized in Syracuse, NY, on Earth Day weekend of April, 21-22 to expose the war industry to the public as Merchants of Death. The actions of our team on Earth Day weekend 2023 are being promoted by multiple organizations as days to educate the public that the #1 polluter of the earth is the U.S. military. These actions will pave the way for the International Tribunal of the Merchants of Death November 10-13.

The tribunal will focus on just four arms merchants: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, and General Atomics. Interviews with witnesses testifying about the crimes of these corporations are being documented on video for use during the trial of the war industry criminals.

A consortium of peace and justice groups led by Upstate Drone Action (a long-time gadfly of the killer drone base of the 174th Attack Wing of the New York State National Guard) is asking that their planned Merchants of Death actions on Earth Day weekend in Syracuse be duplicated around the United States and beyond. Friday is a better media day than Saturday, a day with reduced media staff. Educating the public is our goal. The focus will be the war-making corporations and their enablers—investment firms/banks, U.S. legislators, local military installations, and church leaders who sit cowardly silent.

Upstate Drone Action in action at Hancock AF Base in Syracuse.

Each peace and justice organization can decide what to do to highlight the crimes of the war merchants and their enablers. Here is what upstate New York organizers have decided to do on April 21, Friday of Earth Day Weekend:

  1. Noon press conference outside Sen. Charles Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s offices. Guerrilla theater to satirize enablers of the Merchants of Death. Schumer takes more war industry money than any other U.S. politician. Subpoenas will be issued to both senators to testify at the Merchants of Death Tribunal on Nov. 10-13.
  2. At 12:30 we process with music and guerrilla theater two blocks to a Chase Manhattan Bank now under the control of JP Morgan Chase, the largest financial institution in the United States. Subpoenas will be delivered to Chase banking officials.
  3. Around 1 pm, we will walk several blocks to the Diocese of Syracuse Headquarters to issue a subpoena to the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Syracuse to testify at the Merchants of Death Tribunal. The current bishop and his predecessors have been silent on militarism.
  4. Around 1:30 pm, we will drive to one of Lockheed Martin’s facilities just a few miles from downtown Syracuse and serve Lockheed Martin with a subpoena to testify at the November tribunal.
  5. By 3:30 pm we will be at the gates of Hancock’s 174th Attack Wing in Syracuse to serve the base commander a subpoena to testify about U.S. war crimes in the Middle East, specifically Afghanistan.

Every state and every congressional district has merchants of death, investment firms, and U.S. Senate and/or congressional offices, as well as silent churches or synagogues, and of course, war-making industries or suppliers. We strongly recommend using those venues for media attention to bring the truth of the merchants of death and enablers to the public.

How does one find the industries and suppliers? Simply go online, search and you will find.

Are there Lockheed Martin facilities outside of the United States? Their website notes they employ 116,000 employees worldwide with “Operations: 370+ facilities and 13,300 active suppliers, including suppliers in every U.S. state and more than 890 suppliers in over 52 countries outside the U.S.” Take a look at this breakdown of facilities by the job headhunter Indeed, you can find your own local merchant of death and do an event at their location and/or issue them a subpoena.

Boeing is, of course, a commercial and a military money maker with most facilities in the state of Washington and in St Louis, Missouri, but they have military suppliers worldwide:

Raytheon is ranked #2 in the military-industrial world after Lockheed Martin, and they have facilities in the United States and abroad. Raytheon is big in the UK, where they make Pathway bombs for General Atomics killer drones and for contracts with the Royal Air Force for the upcoming F-35.

General Atomics is the only privately owned company among the four merchants of death to be called upon to testify in November’s tribunal. General Atomics was selected because we are now witnessing the first-ever killer drone warfare. General Atomics of San Diego, California is the big money winner for their manufacture of killer drones. Small Kamikaze drones have been sold to Ukraine by General Atomics and the company is offering two of its Reaper drones, field tested by killing Afghans and Iraqis, to Ukraine for $1 each. The U.S. Air Force has stationed Reaper drones in Romania along the Russian border. General Atomics operates in 68 countries with the United States having the most suppliers. These suppliers are in need of a wake-up call with subpoenas delivered to their offices. Look at General Atomics Supplier Day to view worldwide customers.

General Atomics has missiles and bombs made by Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin, like most arms makers, cleverly distributes their dirty work. They make Hellfire killer drone missiles in Orlando, Florida, and 500 lb. Paveway bombs in the little blue-collar former mining town of Archbald, Pennsylvania. Communities like Orlando or Archbald do not entertain moral questions when good-paying jobs are available. There are few incidents of religious leaders in any impacted war-making region speaking against the arms industry. Pope Francis did this in 2015 when he addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress and said “the arms industry is drenched in blood.” Subpoenas need to be issued to religious leaders in all congressional districts with blood on their hands as their tongues stay silent.

An enlightened public can change the system. Mindsets, accepted habits, and beliefs have changed in just the past 50 years. People no longer smoke in restaurants or airports or on buses or trains, interracial marriage is common, LBGTQ acceptance is becoming widespread, marijuana has become legal in many states, and gasoline use in coming years will likely be illegal or a social disgrace.

Our youngest generation, Generation Z will be the vanguard of change from a culture of militarism to a culture of compassion. Hate does not seem to be embraced by Gen Z as It was in the past. Even teenage Greta Thunberg knew it was a waste of time trying to change the wealthy and powerful. In a recent New York Times interview, she stated;” Of course, I didn’t go to the United Nations conferences and other places to persuade the rulers of the world, the rich people of the world, to somehow change their mind. I knew they wouldn’t listen to a Swedish schoolgirl. I was speaking to them to reach the public because the changes we need now are going to come from the people demanding the change.”

Let’s do our own Earth Day actions but before then, do your best to contact Greta and ask her to join us on Earth Day to expose the sacred system of militarism where there is no accountability for all the mess they do to Mother Earth.

For updates from antiwar veterans and others in the movements for peace, social justice and our planet, subscribe to our newsletter.

You have Successfully Subscribed!