NUCNC partners with NU Dissenters to discuss militarism at NU


Daily file photo by Binah Schatsky

Armed NIPAS officers at an NU Community Not Cops protest. Human Services Committee members discussed the city’s relationship with NIPAS in a Monday meeting.

Emily Sakai, Assistant Campus Editor

NU Community Not Cops partnered with the NU chapter of Dissenters, an anti-militarism youth movement, for a Sunday teach-in on the intersections between policing and militarism on NU’s campus.

At the teach-in, presenters discussed the harmful effects of militarism and called for the University to divest from companies that contribute to militarism.

“The reality of militarism is that we don’t actually need it,” a presenter said. “We already have things that keep us safe.”

The presentation broke down the U.S. military budget, which is by far the largest of any nation in the world. This money, the presenters said, would be better spent in other areas, such as COVID-19 testing and stimulus checks.

The presenters also discussed connections between militarism and policing. The U.S. military, the presenters said, “functions as a global police force.” Additionally, programs such as the 1033 Program, which allocates surplus military equipment to police departments, have led to increased police militarization, they said.

“The military is quite literally supplying the police with the bullets they use to shoot Black people,” a presenter said.

Over the years, students from multiple organizations, including Unshackle NU and Associated Student Government, have called for the University to break ties with corporations such as weapons manufacturers and others that are contracted by the military.

Despite student calls for divestment, the University continues to contribute to militarism in multiple ways, the presenters said, through investments, faculty members and trustees. Dennis Muilenburg, the former CEO of Boeing, sits on the Board of Trustees, as does Phebe Novakovic, chairman and CEO of General Dynamics. Both companies have large military contracts.

“We will hold Northwestern accountable for their role in militarism, policing and the oppression of Black people, Palestinian people and people of color worldwide,” the presenters said.

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Twitter: @em_sakai

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