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National group organizes ‘anti-militarist’ training and advocates for war divestment

Part of ongoing #DivestFromDeath campaign

A national organization called We are Dissenters continues to advocate for universities to divest from “militarism” and “death.”

The organization recently hosted a “Anti-Militarism 101 Organizing Training” on December 12.

“We need to #DefundThePolice and #DefundTheMilitary, but what does that look like and what will it take to get there?” the Dissenters group said.

The event promised to teach students and other activists about ‘militarism, war, policing and abolition” and the ways to organize “direct action campaigns against militarized institutions on your campus & community.”

The activists opened the event to anyone worldwide, but “BIPOC, Queer and/or Trans folks” were “strongly encouraged to sign up!”

The antiwar organization asked attendees to pick their areas of interest, including “[c]ounter-recruitment and anti-ROTC campaigns,” “[d]ivesting from war profiteers + weapons manufacturers” and police abolition.

The College Fix reached out to the national Dissenters group on Twitter, Instagram and via email on December 18 and asked for confirmation the training occurred and how many attended.

Fellow WashU students want to see divestment from Boeing

Some of the attendees at the Dissenters training could have come from the Students for Black and Palestinian Liberation at WashU. The Fix asked the national Dissenters group for clarification on the relationship, but did not receive an answer.

The BPL began in October to demand university divestment from companies such as Boeing, as part of the national Dissenters’ “Divest from Death” campaign.

BPL did not respond to several Instagram messages from The College Fix in the past month about the protests and its relationship to the Dissenters organization.

WashU media officials Judy Finch and Diane Williams have not responded to requests for a comment on the activist group’s demands sent in the past month via email. The Fix also asked how much the university has invested in Boeing.

In the same emails, The Fix asked for the amount and type of investments the university holds in Boeing. The Fix did not receive any replies to the inquiries.

“All across the country, students are showing up for their campuses to protest all connections to war profiteers like Boeing, like Lockheed Martin, like Raytheon,” one student told Student Life, the campus newspaper.

“We have got to take a stand against the military-industrial complex,” Christina Lee, another student, said at the rally. “We must refuse to let the endowment of our university finance the industries that are killing the people and the planet.”

The aerospace and defense contractor declined to tell The College Fix if it would be open to meeting with the activists at the company’s St. Louis office.

“Thank you for your query. We have nothing to add to this story,” Boeing spokesperson Deborah VanNierop told The College Fix.

Northwestern University students have also called for military divestment. They demanded divestment from Boeing and Lockheed Martin, too.

Dennis Muilenberg, a former Boeing CEO, is on Northwestern’s board along with General Dynamics’ CEO Phebe Novakovic.

“War-profiteering companies and the war industry have stolen and robbed so much from us including our safety, our security, the Earth,” a member of the NU Dissenters said. Like the WashU group, their efforts are closely tied to Palestinian nationalist politics.

MORE: Trans, feminist and Chicano groups jump on Israeli divestment bandwagon

IMAGE: PX Media/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Caleb Rider is a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville majoring in philosophy and theology with a minor in business management. He is a part of the university's Honors program and Center for Leadership.