Yesterday outside the United Nations in New York, school pupils, grandmothers, volunteers and members of the public took approximately $4 billion from nuclear weapons and re-directed this money to protecting the climate.
The money was taken from a model nuclear weapons missile in 4000 mock notes each of of $1million face-value. The notes were counted and then placed in a basket representing the Climate Action, goal 13 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The Count the Nuclear Weapons Money action was done in cooperation with the School Strike 4 Climate and Fridays for Future which occurs every Friday outside the UN.
‘I was taking money from nuclear weapons to give to climate action because nuclear weapons kill,’ said Aaron, a school pupil from Brooklyn. ‘We should not be funding nuclear weapons. And we need money for the climate because if we don’t then climate change will kill us too.’ Click here for a video message from Aaron.
The striking school pupils were joined by representatives of the Grannies Peace Brigade, Veterans for Peace and the Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign, making this a truly intergenerational event.
‘It is so important for us to be here and working with these young people who are passionate about what is important’ said Nydia Leaf from the Grannies Peace Brigade. ‘We need to put funds into human projects… and take it away from these instruments of death and destruction.’ (Click here for video statement from Nydia Leaf).
‘Each one of these bills we are counting represents $1 million that we are taking from the military and giving it to peace,‘ said Linda Novenski from Veterans for Peace. ‘It will take several days counting these million dollar bills to move a portion of the military spending to peace.’ Click here for video statement from Linda Novenski.
Indeed, it will take volunteers a week counting nearly non-stop to count out 1 milllion bills each of $1 million value representing the global nuclear weapons for the next ten years.
The main counting is in the Hub, 504 West 22nd Street (at 10th Ave) in New York City. However, there are also special countings at the Mahatma Gandhi statue on Saturday Oct 26, Jacobs Engineering (a nuclear weapons manufacturer) on Monday Oct 28, New York City Hall on Tuesday Oct 29 and New York University/Washington Square Park on Wednesday Oct 30.
There will also be evening events at the Hub on Oct 28 (Peace Poetry), Oct 29 (investing in peace) and Oct 30 (closing party). Click here for details.