Peace activists won a major victory on Monday, June 20, when the US Conference of Mayors voted to adopt two resolutions that call for a drawdown of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and the abolition of nuclear weapons. Both resolutions also demand the reprioritization of defense spending, including the $126 billion spent each year in Iraq and Afghanistan, toward the needs of municipalities.
The group, which represents mayors of municipalities with 30,000 or more residents, has not passed such a resolution in 40 years.
Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) fellow Karen Dolan directs IPS’s Cities For Peace project, which organizes elected officials and activists to take action against war on a local level. In a statement to Truthout, Dolan said that the mayors, “are responsive to the needs of the people in a way in which Congress and the president have not been. Unless money is better spent at the state and local level, we will not see an economic recovery.” According to IPS, hundreds of municipalities around the United States have called for the end to the wars in the Middle East.