ACTION ALERT: How You Can Divest from War

July 27th, 2018 - by admin

World BEYOND War – 2018-07-27 01:05:29

Divest from the War Machine

ACTION ALERT: How You Can Divest from War
World BEYOND War

(July 26, 2018) — When we pay taxes, donate money to a local church, pay for college tuition, contribute to our 401(k), or renew union dues, we may be unwittingly contributing to the war economy. Many types of institutions — from corporations to universities to faith groups and municipalities — invest their holdings in asset management firms, like Vanguard, BlackRock, and Fidelity, which in turn reinvest that money in weapons manufacturers and military contractors. Check if you’re unknowingly financing war with our new searchable Weapon Free Funds database.

Weapon Free Funds, developed by our partners at CODEPINK and As You Sow, collects investment information about thousands of mutual funds from the top financial institutions. With a quick search, you can see if your money is invested in weapons makers — and find alternative, socially-responsible investment options.

The tool allows you to filter by different investment categories, such as major military contractors, cluster munitions, nuclear weapons, firearm manufacturers, and gun retailers, and to sort investment managers by low, medium, and high risk, depending on their total war investments. You can view a full list of companies that the fund is invested in, such as large military contractors like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, and gun companies like American Outdoor Brands, which makes the assault rifle that was used in the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

Whether you’re looking to divest your personal portfolio, or research where your municipality, pension fund, or institution is invested, the Weapon Free Funds database is an invaluable resource for the war divestment movement.

War-making is a multi-billion dollar business. If we want to pull the plug on war, we need to reduce its economic profitability. And that means mounting grassroots-driven divestment campaigns across the world, to stop institutions and governments from making a killing on killing, with our tax dollars, retirement savings, and mutual funds. #MoveYourMoney and #DivestFromWar with our new Weapon Free Funds tool!

World BEYOND War never takes corporate or government money. We are a people-powered movement for peace. Chip in $9 to keep us afloat.

Onward together,

Greta Zarro
Organizing Director
World BEYOND War

World BEYOND War is a global network of volunteers, activists, and allied organizations advocating for the abolition of the very institution of war. Our success is driven by a people-powered movement —
support our work for a culture of peace.

ACTION ALERT: Public Pensions
Must Divest from Weapons Dealers

ACTION: Please sign this global petition against public investment in weapons dealing.

While governments buy weapons, market weapons to other governments, donate weapons to other governments, and bestow tax breaks on weapons dealers, there is another less-visible way in which public money sustains weapons dealing.

Public pension and retirement funds are invested, directly and indirectly, in weapons companies. Teachers and other public servants whose interests ought to lie with promoting human needs have their retirement security tied up with maintaining or enlarging the war industry.

It is immoral to invest people’s future security, and the tax dollars of all, in profiting from future wars. If you live in one of these places, please sign this specific petition as well:
United Kingdom.

If you live in one of these US states or cities, please click to sign a petition to your state legislators and governors or city councils and mayors:
New York.
North Dakota.
Chicago, Illinois.

If you live in any other part of the US, please click here to email your state legislators.

If you live in one of the above locations, including specifically Chicago or New York City, and would like to take the lead on organizing local education and protest and lobbying actions, contact us.

Public retirement investment in an industry that threatens to cut short all of our retirements is ironic but widespread. We don’t know how widespread. If you have information, especially on parts of the world not yet included here, please share it with us.

We’re starting by looking only at investment in the top 20 weapons dealers in the world. These are their names and where they are based (though they sell their weapons all over the world):
Lockheed Martin, United States
Boeing, United States
BAE Systems, United Kingdom — and subsidiary: BAE Systems Inc., United States
Raytheon, United States
Northrop Grumman, United States
General Dynamics, United State
Airbus Group, Trans-European
United Technologies Corp., United States — and subsidiary: Pratt & Whitney, United States
Finmeccanica, Italy
L-3 Communications, United States
Almaz-Antey, Russia
Thales, France
Huntington Ingalls Industries, United States
United Aircraft Corp., Russia
United Shipbuilding Corp. , Russia
Rolls-Royce, United Kingdom
SAFRAN, France
Honeywell International, United States
Textron, United States
DCNS, France

You may notice that none of these companies is located in the parts of the world afflicted by warfare, while half of them are in the United States, seven in Europe and three in Russia.

The Canada Pension Plan has these investments in 12 of the top 20 weapons dealers:[1]
Lockheed Martin: 133 shares, market value $38M
Boeing: 305 shares, market value $50M
BAE Systems: 934 shares, market value $9M (note: this is an investment in the UK BAE, none in the US subsidiary)
Raytheon: 131 shares, market value $21M
Northrop Grumman: 142 shares, market value $36M.
General Dynamics: 114 shares, market value $19M
General Electric: 3557 shares, market value $146M
United Technologies: 186 shares, market value $24M
L-3 Communications: 124 shares, market value $19M
Thales: 133 shares, market value $15M
Huntington Ingalls: 135 shares, market value $24M
SAFRAN: 177 shares, market value $16M

The single largest pension fund on earth is the Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan.[2]
Its investments include:

According to this report, pension funds in the UK are forbidden to “pursue boycotts, divestment and sanctions against foreign nations and UK defence industries.”[4]

The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) is the second largest pension fund in the US and the seventh largest in the world, with total holdings at $307 billion. Using the latest data available (as of June 2018), the following chart documents the billions of dollars that CalPERS invests in weapons manufacturers around the world. (Sources: SIPRI rankings, CalPERS holdings.)[5][6]

In addition, the California State Teachers Retirement System (CALSTRS) as of June 30, 2016 is invested in the following. The first number is that of shares, the second the market value in thousands of dollars:
Domestic Equities:
Lockheed Martin Corp 738,165 183,190
Boeing Co/The 1,635,727 212,432
Raytheon Company 1,632,503 221,939
Northrop Grumman Corp 865,662 192,419
General Dynamics Corp 827,634 115,240
United Technologies Corp 2,061,864 211,444
L 3 Communications Holdings 183,143 26,865
Huntington Ingalls Industrie 146,966 24,695
Honeywell International Inc . 2,201,040 256,025
Textron Inc . 644,048 23,546
International Equities:
BAE Systems Plc 4,286,549 30,027
Airbus Group Se 1,149,559 66,064
Thales Sa 287,942 23,995
Rolls Royce Holdings Plc 3,158,670 30,043
Safran Sa 575,968 38,981[7]

The Delaware Public Employees Retirement System is invested in United Technologies Corporation in the amount of $29,927,361 — which is 0.32% of its holdings, and 269,786 shares of the company. This is one of the top 10 investments of this fund which may be invested in other weapons companies as well that are not in its top 10 investments.

The Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago is invested in these weapons dealers:
Lockheed Martin $8,127,707 — 0.7% — 37,429 shares — Unrealised Gain/Loss $5,358,314
Honeywell International $7,153,787 — 0.7% — 69,072 shares — Unrealised Gain/Loss $3,407,048
These are two of the top 10 investments of this fund which may be invested in other weapons companies as well that are not in its top 10 investments.

The Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan is invested in these weapons dealers:
United Technologies Corporation $18,001,693 — 0.2%
Honeywell International, Inc. $15,566,882 — 0.18%
These are two of the top 10 investments of this fund which may be invested in other weapons companies as well that are not in its top 10 investments.

The New York State Teachers Retirement System (the 22nd biggest pension fund on earth[8]) is invested (see these two PDFs for details: One. Two.) in Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, United Technologies, Honeywell, Huntington Ingalls Industries, and Textron. What lesson is this teaching New York’s students?

In addition, the New York City Employees Retirement System is invested in United Technologies to the tune of $71,899,692 — 0.4% — 703,383 shares. This is one of the top 10 investments of this fund which may be invested in other weapons companies as well that are not in its top 10 investments.

Further, the New York State Common Retirement Fund, which comprises the New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) and the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) and which is managed by the Division of Pension Investment and Cash Management in the Office of the State Comptroller, is invested in the following war profiteers:
Boeing 901,785 shares 139,921 value 9/30/16
General Dynamics 1,632,825 shares
Raytheon 906,000 shares
General Dynamics 901,785 shares
Lockheed Martin 765,900 shares
United Technologies 2,331,020 shares
Honeywell 2,908,100 shares[9]

More information on the investments of the New York State Common Retirement Fund is available. As of March 31, 2016, they are as follows. The first number is that of shares, the second the cost of shares, the third the value as of March 31, 2016:
Lockheed Martin Corp. 742,600 56,362,293 164,485,900
Boeing Company/The 1,806,182 83,791,299 229,276,743
BAE Systems plc 3,157,759 19,892,919 23,101,713
Raytheon Company 867,400 48,594,251 106,369,262
Northrop Grumman Corp. 591,303 42,705,500 117,018,864
General Dynamics Corp. 887,380 55,909,841 116,575,111
Airbus Group Nv 449,650 27,737,120 29,898,461
United Technologies Corp. 2,508,971 115,531,837 251,147,997
L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. 198,900 24,205,180 23,569,650
Thales S.A. 178,352 9,241,933 15,649,558
Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. 158,416 8,795,662 21,693,487
Rolls-Royce Holdings plc 228,359 2,951,416 2,238,463
Safran S.A. 215,919 15,120,612 15,127,184
Honeywell International, Inc. 2,117,900 77,284,056 237,310,695
Textron, Inc. 687,696 30,201,721 25,073,396[10]

This is the state with a public bank that is invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline. The North Dakota Retirement and Investment Office is invested in these weapons dealers:
Boeing Company $18,613,588 — 134,181 shares
Safran SA $13,578,820 — 200,478 shares

These are two of the top 10 investments of this fund which may be invested in other weapons companies as well that are not in its top 10 investments. In addition, the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System is invested in:
Boeing Company $9,430,550
Safran SA $6,840,016
These are two of the top 10 investments of this fund which may be invested in other weapons companies as well that are not in its top 10 investments.

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (#18 on World’s Largest Pensions as of 2015 according to: ) has these investments in 14 of the top 20 weapons dealers (in number of shares):
Lockheed Martin Corp 219,869.000
Boeing Co 408,212.000
BAE Systems 1,275,550.000
Raytheon Company 322,676.000
Northrop Grumman Corp 292,680.000
General Dynamic Corp 66,502.000
Airbus Group 727,144.000
United Technologies Corp 250,528.000
L3 Communications Holdings 311,140.000
Thales 354,221.000
Huntington Ingalls 393,237.000
Rolls Royce Group 3,788,702.000
Rolls Royce Hldgs 51,728,610.000
Rolls Royce Holdings 1,124,535.000
Safran 918,509.000
Honeywell 791,020.000
Textron 22,430.000[11]

The Wisconsin Investment Board (#24 on World’s Largest Pensions in 2015, according to: is invested in the following. The first number listed is that of shares and the second number represents the value as of December 31, 2014.
Core Retirement Investment Trust:
Lockheed Martin 225,673 43,457,850
Boeing 604,526 78,576,289
BAE Systems 3,018,388 22,214,309
Raytheon 513,783 55,575,907
Northrop Grumman 276,822 40,800,795
General Dynamics 181,544 24,984,085
Airbus Group 266,525 13,335,730
United Technologies 1,264,998 145,474,770
Finmeccanica 183,391 1,716,491
L-3 Communications Holdings 132,101 16,672,467
Thales 42,182 2,296,650
Huntington Ingalls 29,165 3,279,896
Rolls Royce Hldgs C 173,538,630 270,590
Rolls-Royce Holdings 1,749,286 23,729,896
Safran 740,482 45,921,038
Honeywell International 1,091,644 109,077,068
Textron 165,721 6,978,511

Variable Retirement Income Trust:
Lockheed Martin 58,926 11,347,380
Boeing 155,056 20,154,179
BAE Systems 332,151 2,444,518
Raytheon 96,929 10,484,810
Northrop Grumman 57,067 8,411,105
General Dynamics 57,033 7,848,881
Airbus Group 22,946 1,148,116
United Technologies 255,384 29,369,160
Finmeccanica 15,801 147,893
L-3 Communications Holdings 26,571 3,353,526
Thales 3,629 197,585
Huntington Ingalls 9,164 1,030,583
Rolls Royce Hldgs C 13,078,890 20,393
Rolls-Royce Holdings 136,015 1,845,108
Safran 68,955 4,276,249
Honeywell International 215,674 21,550,146
Textron 52,042 2,191,489 [12]

The above is probably just scratching the surface. It’s just what we know so far, not all there is to know. There are many ways in which funds may be indirectly invested in weapons (such as through investment in these funds). For example, there are fund management groups that are invested in weapons dealers:
Ameriprise invests in United Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Huntington, Boeing, General Dynamics, and Raytheon. Blackrock Group invests in LTD Honeywell, Raytheon, L-3 Communications, Lockheed Martin. [13]

We don’t have to know the full extent of the investment in order to begin making any such investments unacceptable, shameful, and illegal. War profiteering was, in fact, once deemed reprehensible. It has been in great measure normalized. The goal of this project is to render it unacceptable and impossible to engage in.

1. Researched by Sarita Vogels.
2. According to, researched by Corey Raths.
4. Researched by Gayle Morrow.
5. Researched by Jim Bearden.
6. See also, researched by Corey Raths.
7. Researched by Corey Raths.
8. According to, researched by Corey Raths.
9. Researched by Gayle Morrow in the Mergent Online database.
10. Researched by Corey Raths.
11. Researched by Corey Raths.
12. Researched by Corey Raths.
13. Researched by Gayle Morrow in the Mergent Online database.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, for noncommercial, educational purposes.