By PAUL DORDAL
“Wow, I had no idea!” “Really, nuclear weapons?” “I don’t want to be a part of a bank that invests in nukes.”
These are just some of the responses we get when we tell the public at our pickets about PNC Bank’s investments in six different nuclear weapons manufacturers. PNC’s loans and investments amount to over $600 million of our money, which then is used to fund what Dwight Eisenhower correctly called, the Military Industrial Complex. Several of the companies that PNC has invested in are involved in manufacturing nuclear weapons and some of them sell weapons to other countries fueling global war and destruction. General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Orbital ATK, and Textron are just a few so-called “defense contractors” that PNC invests in who sell these insidious weapons of war and create an unsafe world for all of us.
PNC has shown no willingness to even discuss this untenable situation with us. They don’t answer communications from concerned citizens who inquire about PNC’s immoral investments. Thus, we have begun to increase the number of public information pickets and rallies in Pittsburgh and around the region. On October 13, 2018, the Stop Banking the Bomb campaign coordinated pickets in Pittsburgh, PA, Dayton, OH and Lancaster, PA. We are planning at least twenty-four new actions in the year to come.
Several new groups have endorsed the PNC: Stop Banking the Bomb campaign, and a new sense of urgency has inspired others to join the campaign against PNC. We thank our newest endorsers for stepping up and getting involved with the campaign: Peace Action Network of Lancaster, Green Party of Lancaster County, and 1040 for Peace. Beaver County Peace Links, one of our original sponsors, will start their own Stop Banking the Bomb campaign against PNC in Beaver County.
Additionally, we are getting reports now of people who have begun to remove their money from PNC Bank. Two such concerned folks are Dixie and John Tymitz. Dixie reports that leaving PNC “was a long process and sad for us because we have enjoyed excellent service and nice people with whom we worked, but this is important.” She said she wrote the bank about her concerns and wasn’t even given a reply. Something that others have said has happened to them as well.
Dixie said, “Once we learned that PNC has over $600,000,000 invested in corporations involved in the making of nuclear weapons, we said: NO! We do not want a single penny of our money to go for such a thing.” When we asked her what would she would like to say to PNC’s CEO Mike Demchak, Dixie replied, “We would like to say to the CEO and the board: Stop investing in nuclear weapons. Just stop.” (See article below.)
Another now ex-PNC Bank customer, Bette McDevitt, recently closed her accounts as well. Bette said, “These investments are immoral; the money is sucked out of the community, brings no benefits, and only allows the war machine to keep on grinding out weapons of destruction.” Others have told us they closed their accounts as well, but did not want to be mentioned by name.
Though we would rather PNC divest of their loans and bond issuances to nuclear weapons manufacturers, we are now encouraging all people of conscience to consider pulling their money out of PNC until they Stop Banking the Bomb.
Our campaign will continue unabated until our two demands are met. We demand that PNC “divest” of their financial commitments to those six corporations involved in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. Second, that PNC adopts a corporate policy never to loan money to or in any way financially support corporations involved in the manufacture of or sale of nuclear weapons. We will win!
Rev. Paul Dordal is a member of the Thomas Merton Center and an organizer of the Stop Banking the Bomb campaign.
(TMC newspaper VOL. 48 No. 9 November 2018. All rights reserved)