August 25: March for Peace
A coalition of activists from the Thomas Merton Center and several different social and political advocacy groups will meet in Oakland for a rally in Schenley Plaza, followed by a . The .
Although we understand that the U.S. is not technically “at war” with another country right now, a march like this is more necessary than ever. The US military budget now stands at $700 billion, which amounts to 54% of all discretionary spending. It is at its highest since 1945 in constant dollars, exceeding military spending during the Cold War and the Korean and Vietnam wars.
The US spends more money on its military than the combined total of the next 10 biggest-spending nations, including China, Russia, India, Saudi Arabia, Britain and France, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Russia's military budget is about a tenth of America's, yet Russia is supposed to represent a top national security threat to the US. Cutbacks in healthcare, housing, education, roads, and bridges are necessary to feed the military machine. Other consequences are wage reduction and increasing poverty and inequality.
The US is involved in wars and violent conflicts in the Koreas, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yeman, Somalia, Mali, and other nations. Increased funding is being allocated for the modernization of nuclear weapons. The US is also violating international law on its border with Mexico in its inhumane treatment of refugees and has militarized law enforcement domestically. Our cities and schools have experienced record killings from gun violence. We believe that these causes, and the fight for a world beyond war, are NOT separate issues.
10:30 a.m. at Schenley Plaza (rally followed by march). For more information, call the Thomas Merton Center at 412-361-3022.