Friday May 25th
Over the last month, under the cover of COVID, a new series of Arms Sales were proposed by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the section of the Pentagon responsible for handling major arms sales. According to US law, there is a 30 day period to mount a legislative challenge to these sales before they are put into the pipeline for the arms industry to move forward.
WRL, along with International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) and the Malaya Movement, met with Ilhan Omar's office, who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the oversight body for this type of sale, who has agreed to mount a challenge.
Rep. Omar has written a letter to the Department of Defense requesting a pause on arms sales during the COVID-19pandemic until Congress can provide appropriate oversight.
We're pushing for a delay in these sales until a legislative hearing can be held on them, moving the timeline until the COVID crisis is over and giving us the space to build a solid challenge to this.
(1) Use this link to put pressure on your elected officials to sign on to our letter interrupting this sale! This will send letters to your elected officials and you can share the link with others to do the same. If you are receiving this email, you’ve probably already done this! But if you haven’t please fill it out and share with your friends, it only takes a few minutes.
(2) Make a follow up call with your representatives’ offices. This is called a Phone Zap, and can be a powerful tool collectively. If you already sent them letters, all you need to do is remind them to check their inboxes and take the action! If you use the Common Cause portal, you can look up the contact number for your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators offices. Call them tomorrow to remind them to stand up to this arms deal. If you feel a little nervous just chatting with a stranger, feel free to use the script provided below:
SCRIPT: "Hello, my name is (YOUR NAME) and I’m calling to follow up on an email I sent to (SENATOR/REPRESENTATIVE NAME). The letter is concerning proposed arms sales to countries that are committing human rights abuses. Representative Ilhan Omar has drafted a letter that she will be sending to the State Department and Department of Defense; she is requesting a pause on these impending arms sales until Congress can be adequately briefed on what the contents and impacts of the arms sales are. Would (Senator/Representative NAME) please sign on to Representative Omar’s letter requesting these arms sales not move forward on these arms sales until Congress can hold a hearing on these sales? The deadline to sign on to the letter is tomorrow, Friday, May 29."
If they ask you for any more information, feel free to reference the email, or talk about the impacts highlighted in this article by Amee Chew about the sales to the Philippines.
Again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for trying to stop these arms sales. We know that it takes all of us, and there is so much work to be done to end the arms industry. We're here to do that with you.