If the $34.8 million that Hartford taxpayers contribute toward the war in Afghanistan during fiscal year 2011 were “brought home,” 4,406 children in our city would have slots in the Head Start program, Councilperson Luis Cotto told the activists crowded inside of the City Hall atrium on Sunday afternoon. Another possibility, he said, was that the money could be used to employ 418 elementary school teachers or provide 3,518 college scholarships for one year.
Cotto was one of many speakers during the rally at City Hall. Others included Cornell Lewis, Dave Ionno, Monsoor Alam, Vijay Prashad, and Councilperson Larry Deutsch; there was also a performance by HartBeat Ensemble.
“Jesus said you should know the truth and the truth will set you free,” Cornell Lewis told the crowd. “And the truth is the war spending overseas,” costs Americans jobs at home.
Tokuji Okamoto, from CT United for Peace, described the United States as being in a state of “never-ending war,” saying that most warfare “goes unnoticed by the general public.”
Activists marched from City Hall to the State Capitol, where a second rally was held. The crowd listened to Bill Collins from Veterans for Peace announce that “the real enemy is” not any given country, but “war itself.” Another speaker said that “today, there is no justice in this country.”
From there, people marched to the Occupy Hartford site where a potluck dinner was held.