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Charlottesville Must Divest from Weapons and Fossil Fuels

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The City of Charlottesville will be considering the question of divestment from weapons and fossil fuels at its meeting on May 6th.

For details on the divestment campaign, how to attend the meeting, and what else you can do to help in Charlottesville or in any other town, see

U.S. weapons companies arm three-quarters of the world's dictatorships and both sides of numerous wars. Without the U.S. government's support for fighters in Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere, there would be no Al Qaeda or ISIS or various other groups. Previous weapons customers turned enemies have included Hussein, Assad, Gadaffi, and dozens of others. The United States creates its enemies.

But now, over less than my lifetime, the United States has led the world in creating the worst enemy ever seen, namely an environment that will attack life on earth with massive fires and droughts and floods for many centuries to come even if we cease all planetary destruction this minute.

A principal cause of the weaponized environment is the wars, fought principally for oil with which to further destroy our environment. Dick Cheney met with ExxonMobil to plan the war on Iraq, and our city invests our hard-earned money in ExxonMobil in order to render our city less habitable for our descendants. You can grow your eco-gardens and power your Teslas with your solar panels, but your tax dollars are in ExxonMobil because the future of life on earth is just not the top priority.

One of the craziest things is how the environmental collapse is being used as an excuse for yet more wars. But do you know what anyone who survives what in best case scenarios is going to be several climate-caused holocausts will find hardest to understand about us, the people who built their hell? It's our casualness, our calm complacency, our desire to carefully consider whether or not to do our bit to mitigate the destruction.

Even the U.S. Congress is ready to halt the genocide it has been committing against the people of Yemen, but Charlottesville is pleased to go on funding Boeing. The world's nations are banning nuclear weapons, in hopes that they don't speed up our collective demise, but Charlottesville is delighted to dump our money into Honeywell.

Did the City of Charlottesville ask you? They didn't ask me. How would they have phrased it if they had asked? Dear tax-paying citizen, would you like to shoulder the massive costs of mitigating the damage of the droughts and storms and destruction ahead, and would you like us to use your money to increase those costs in the name of making a quick immoral buck off criminal enterprises that don't even make us more than would other less-unethical investments? Who would have said yes to that if asked?

That worst circle of hell that is rumored to be reserved for those who in times of crisis are silent is going to house us all by majority vote, as the majority has chosen silence. It is past time to break the silence. Charlottesville must stop using our own money against us.

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at and and works for the online (more...)
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