June 19, 2020
Congresswoman Barbara Lee
1301 Clay St. Suite 1000
Oakland, Ca 94612
Dear Representative Lee,
School of the Americas Watch – East Bay (SOAW-EB) congratulates and thanks you for introducing an historic resolution to cut the Pentagon’s budget by a whopping $350 billion, the exact amount called for by the Poor People Campaign.
$350 billion can go a long way toward making our country whole if invested in life affirming programs: Medicare for all, a Green New Deal, all levels of education, jobs programs, money for front line workers in this pandemic, and more. It might make the Pentagon hesitate to hand over “left-over military equipment” to police departments for use against poor, black and brown communities.
For over 30 years SOAW activists have rallied, marched, and committed civil disobedience to close the School of the Americas (now WHINSEC) and protest United States support of oppressive Latin American governments. As you point out, our militarized foreign policy repeatedly resorts to “military solutions for non-military problems.” With a drastic cut in the Pentagon’s budget we may be able to see a move toward a foreign policy of peace and diplomacy, mutual respect, and support of life sustaining development. Our Latin American sisters and brothers yearn for that, and the resolution which you have introduced is sure to be celebrated throughout the hemisphere. We will make every effort to see that our friends and fellow SOAW members urge their representatives to support it.