THE NEW HAVEN SUNDAY VIGIL IS BACK!
The New Haven Sunday Vigil, ongoing since 1999, began again on July 5th after a four-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 shutdown. We’ll keep going every Sunday for as long as possible under the current circumstances and invite you to join us. The war continues on every front. So must the resistance!
WHY WE’RE STILL STANDING OUT HERE IN 2020- IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC
“Somehow, Congress couldn’t find the time last week to renew extended unemployment benefits or the federal moratorium on evictions. Congress had something more pressing to think about than 30 million unemployed Americans: the Pentagon budget. On July 21 and 23, the House of Representatives and the Senate approved their versions of the Pentagon’s annual spending bill, the National Defense Authorization Act…Earlier in the week, the House and Senate rejected amendments to the NDAA which would have reduced next year’s Pentagon budget by 10%. A 10% cut would have made $74 billion available for responding to the coronavirus pandemic and other needs of people who aren’t generals. (Weighing in at $740.5 billion)…the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2021 gives the Pentagon $2½ billion more than last year’s NDAA.”(1)
The NDAA has been approved by both parties. Several amendments to trim it were defeated or never made it out of committee, including a proposal by Rep. Ro Khanna (D., California) to remove $1 billion from the fund for the next generation of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) and direct it instead toward pandemic preparedness, as well as an amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I, VT) introduced at the end of June to cut off funding to the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia which, with U.S. help, has killed an estimated 12,000 civilians in Yemen. (2)
The amount the NDAA would allocate to the military is more than half the total federal spending budget for FY 2021. $22.3 billion alone is provided for nine new navy ships- the Columbia class submarines to be built at Electric Boat in Groton to replace the current Tridents.(3) At a time when the state of Connecticut faces a $2.3 billion budget deficit and contemplates drastic cuts to social services in 2021, the entire Connecticut congressional delegation voted for this funding.
Overall, a huge proportion of the military budget goes to the “modernization” of the U.S. nuclear arsenal- that is, the replacement of its every component with something “brand new.” This 30-year “upgrade” is projected to cost $1.7 trillion in total. (4)
A terrible legacy: weapons of mass destruction
75 years ago, on August 6 and August 9, 1945, the United States ushered in the nuclear age with its use of the atomic bomb against civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, destroying those cities and killing approximately 120,000 (by a conservative estimate) of their inhabitants, with repercussions from the results of radiation sickness that persist even to this day. The nuclear arms race that followed and threatened all life in the second half of the 20th century has caused ongoing destruction and deprivation and did not end with the end of the Cold War.
The U.S. and Russia today possess an estimated 12,600 nuclear weapons combined, other nuclear nations a much smaller arsenal. U.S. policy embraces first use of nuclear weapons if the government deems it necessary in order to advance its strategic global interests. Pentagon planners have long pursued the ability to fight a “limited nuclear war,” a contradiction in terms. Our government has never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It appears likely that the Trump administration, if reelected, will not even renew S.T.A.R.T. II (the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) signed by the United States and Russia.
Trump has openly threatened the use of nuclear weapons against other countries. In January of this year, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set its Doomsday Clock at 100 seconds to midnight- closer than it has been since the height of the Cold War.
In addition to the existential threat posed by their very nature, the continued mining, testing, production and deployment of nuclear weapons over the last 75 years has caused environmental destruction, the desecration of native lands, and the theft of our tax dollars from health care, disease prevention, housing, education, and infrastructure, all the things we need to live in a just, functional society. We cannot accept or tolerate this any longer.
JOIN US TO RESIST THIS ENDLESS WAR!
Every Sunday, 12-1pm, Broadway, Park & Elm, New Haven, CT
Since 1999, the New Haven Sunday Vigil has been held here every week from 12-1 pm at Broadway, Park and Elm Streets in New Haven, CT, to emphatically say NO to the state of permanent, ongoing war against the world being waged by our government and its allies, a war which is terrorizing the planet and destroying lives in order to consolidate enormous power and wealth in the hands of a very few people.
(1) and (2) Charles Pierson, “How Bad is the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act?”, Counterpunch, (https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/07/30/how-bad-is-the-2021-national-defense-authorization-act/:
Below is an article about the New Haven Sunday vigil from several years ago.