Oct 132011

(Peace Action,  http://www.peace-action.org/about-us. )

From: Kevin Martin, Peace Action <peaceact __AT__mail.democracyinaction.org>

It was a non-binding resolution that would have put the County Council of Montgomery County, MD on record in support of a “different military strategy and an end to the wars abroad [that] would free up hundreds of billions of dollars.”

Montgomery County is home to the national headquarters of the largest peace group in the U.S. – that’s us – and the largest military contractor in the world – Lockheed Martin (over $29 billion a year in military contracts).

Like our local chapter, Peace Action Montgomery, Peace Action chapters across the country have been pushing their city and town councils to pass similar resolutions as part of our national “Move the Money” campaign. We are building support from local elected officials for a change in national spending priorities to “move the money” from decades-long Pentagon spending to our local communities where it’s needed.

We had strong support on the Council, but then Council Members began receiving the calls.  Calls to Council Members came from Lockheed Martin and their friends in the State Legislature urging the council to pull the resolution. Hello, campaign contributions!

Fearing the resolution would drive Lockheed Martin to relocate its national headquarters to Virginia, taking thousands of jobs and tax revenues with it, County Executive Ike Leggett likened the resolution to “a dagger pointed directly at the heart of Montgomery County.”

Really?!?  A non-binding resolution expressing what poll after poll proves is a majority view in America is, in fact, a dagger…but who exactly is pointing it at the County’s heart?

Lockheed Martin and other supporters of runaway military spending have launched a massive lobbying campaign, dubbed “Second to None,” urging people to oppose cuts to the military budget.  Funded with our tax dollars, they’ll spend millions to protect their billions.

We certainly can’t match that, but I think the Occupy Wall Street movement is demonstrating we don’t need to.  And, the reaction of Lockheed Martin to our resolution shows we’re hitting the right notes.

Help us keep the band together!

We need your generous contribution to our Move the Money campaign to continue expanding our coalition of labor and economic and racial justice groups, to get our message to millions more and to turn up the heat on our elected representatives who need to start listening to their constituents and
stop chasing campaign contributions.

Humbly for Peace,
Kevin Martin
Executive Director
Peace Action

Lockheed Martin couldn’t take it.

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