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News :: Peace & War

RVA4Peace Urges Democratic Senators to Shift funding from war crimes and support food banks

While Democratic Senators gathered at the posh Jefferson Hotel in Richmond for a fundraising event and weekend retreat, a group of vocal protesters were there to urge them to stop funding war crimes in Iraq and concentrate more resources on those in need here in this country.
While Democratic Senators gathered at the posh Jefferson Hotel in Richmond for a fundraising event and weekend retreat, a group of vocal protesters were there to urge them to stop funding war crimes in Iraq and concentrate more resources on those in need here in this country.

Friday evening, RVA4Peace gathered 30 or more citizens collecting 225 pounds of food for the Central Virginia Food Bank as they called on Senators to recognize the negative effect that spending hundreds of billions of dollars on the war has had on the economy. Prior to the event, the offices of attending Senators were contacted, asking them to make donations to the Food Bank. Though their staffs said that they would consider it, no donations were made.

The Democrats in attendance, which included Senators Webb, Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid, Charles E. Schumer, Patrick Leahy, and several others, have been outspoken critics of the War in Iraq, yet they have failed to follow through by using the power of the purse strings that they control to put an end to the occupation. As one member of Fridays protest put it, they need to stop talking and take action. “Democrats are in the majority now and they have the ability to stop the funding, which in turn, would stop the war.?

At a time when domestic economic news is discouraging to a wide swath of Americans, event organizer Chris Dorsey wants people to connect the dots between the massive amounts spent on war and the flagging economic situations that are effecting more people every day. “Obviously money spent to occupy Iraq is money that cannot be spent here,? said Dorsey, “and we are seeing more people in need as we slide into a recession in this country.?

Though event organizers believe the turnout on Friday was a success, they lament the fact that more people do not understand the need to show their support in person. Dorsey acknowledged that some times he feels discouraged when only 30 people show up to events such as this out of the hundreds of supporters contacted. “You would not believe some of the excuses we get when we call to encourage them to participate,? said Dorsey. Noting that RVA4Peace will keep at it, he added, “it’s too important not to.? By one count, if even half of the people driving by that honked in support had shown up for the demonstration, there would have been at least 100 more voices to greet the Senators, and many more pounds of food for those in need.