VA People’s Assembly

VIRGINIA PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY
 
Plowshare activists Kent Walton and Susan Tyree joined with a state-wide
coalition of some 100 protesters in Richmond on January 9 to rally and
march against proposed state budget cuts.
 
Plowshare activists Kent Walton and Susan Tyree joined with a state-wide
coalition of some 100 protesters in Richmond on January 9 to rally and
march against proposed state budget cuts.
 

Organized by the Virginia People’s Assembly, the protest featured a broad-based coalition of labor groups, immigrant and prisoner rights advocates and anti-war groups. 

Prior to marching through Richmond’s financial district, Walton was one of several speakers invited to address the rally.  His speech follows:

 

 
“Plowshare Peace Center in Roanoke,  Virginia’s oldest peace
 
and justice organization, dedicated to opposing war, torture and
 
violence at home and abroad,  stands united with you here
 
today in opposing a different kind of war…a different kind of
 
violence…a different kind of torture.   We join with you … and we
 
will march with you …  in opposing a war … of economic
 
injustice … a war which tortures not only the hungry, and the
 
homeless, and the jobless, but a war which targets and
 
oppresses all of us who believe that our own best efforts and
 
our own hard work should not leave us with the constant and
 
debilitating worry, anxiety and insecurity of not knowing whether
 
we can afford our most basic needs.
 
 
 “This economic war … this economic oppression … affects all of
 
us.  When the largest and wealthiest corporations escape their
 
responsibility to pay a fair share of the tax burden, what
 
happens?   The governor announces cutbacks in jobs and
 
services.
 
 
“Our schools lose teachers and classroom space.  College
 
tuitions soar out-of reach.  Basic infrastructure–roads and
 
bridges–are not properly maintained.   Traffic congestion and
 
accidents multiply.   Health services disappear.   And on and on
 
and on.  These are life and death issues which affect all of us …
 
which oppress  all of us.
 
 
“We all suffer, directly,  because of economic warfare waged
 
by this commonwealth’s largest banks and wealthiest
 
corporations,  who team up with their corrupt political buddies, 
 
so they can avoid paying a fair share of taxes.
 
        
“It is time to wake up the citizens of this commonwealth to the
 
outrageous injustice  that Virginia has the second lowest
 
corporate income tax rate in the United States.   It is time to
 
march today …  united in our cause … to awake public
 
awareness to the  injustice and suffering and torture of this
 
economic  warfare.  It is time for this Virginia People’s
 
Assembly to march and to wake up the Virginia General
 
Assembly. Plowshare Peace Center of  Roanoke  stands with
 
you … and we will march with you”. 

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