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Protest Showdown: Tea Party Express & Peace Groups on ‘Common’ Ground

April 14, 2010

BOSTON - The "Tea Party Express" national bus tour makes a stop at the Boston Common today with guest speaker Sarah Palin, and there to greet the anti-government-spending group will be Boston-based peace organizations. They say they plan to question why Palin and the Tea Party have been vocal opponents of government spending for programs like health care, but not the costs of military spending.

Cole Harrison is convener for the Afghanistan Task force, United for Justice with Peace, the coalition which planned the counter-protest.

"We need to say, 'End the war in Afghanistan, bring the troops home from Iraq, and cut down on nuclear weapons,' and we can save a lot of money and a lot of lives that way."

Some Tea Party leaders have said they agree that military spending needs to be reduced, but the majority seem to express support for maintaining or increasing funds for the military, usually in the name of national security and fighting terrorism.

Mike Prokosch, a volunteer with the group, The 25% Solution, says that like The Tea Party, his group wants to cut government spending, but for the military rather than for programs like health care. He says the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq cost the U.S. about $160 billion per year.

"Huge increases in military spending is what's squeezing people. If we want to build up America, what we need to do is to take that money and move it back into our communities and use it to create jobs in our communities."

The protests on the Boston Common are scheduled for 10 a.m. today.


Monique Coppola, Public News Service - MA