Each year in October, I'm startled awake by the deafening and chest-clenching sound of military jets flying over my home in San Francisco. My normally quiet and calm neighborhood suddenly sounds like a warzone.
The cause? This year marks SF's 37th annual Fleet Week, a week-long event in which military jets are flown over San Francisco in an aggressive and unnecessary display of military power.I've suffered from anxiety my entire life, and I can't imagine how triggering these jet engines are for refugees who've fled warzones, or veterans with PTSD.
And there are plenty of other reasons to end Fleet Week besides residents' mental health. It's also dangerous for wildlife:
the annual procession of Fleet Week ships seriously disrupts large numbers of humpback and blue whales
that congregate off the coast and in the San Francisco bay. Some ships even hit them.There's also the environmental impacts of the fuel usage
. These jets spew carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, oxides of sulfur, unburned fuel, particulate matter and more into our environment.And taxpayers are funding all of this, to the tune of $1.26 million.
With the city's homelessness and housing problems, I'm sure SF can think of many other uses for that money that do NOT involve glorifying warfare.
The U.S. military industrial complex is responsible for innocent lives lost every single year. This is not something to celebrate. Fleet Week is an unnecessary, disruptive display that only emboldens Americans' skewed valuation of aggressive military power.
San Francisco can find ways to honor our service members without triggering anxiety and disrupting wildlife.Sign my petition if you support putting an end to Fleet Week.