Global Day of Action Rally Makes Headlines

Former State Senator Ernie Chambers addressed the Nebraskans for Peace rally at the Lincoln Federal Building Tuesday, April 12th commemorating the "Global Day of Action on Military Spending". Below are the articles about Senator Chambers' talk that appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star and the Omaha World-Herald.

Ernie Chambers calls for military spending cuts

Don Walton
Lincoln Journal Star
Wednesday, April 13  

Former State Senator Ernie Chambers talks outside the Robert V. Denney Federal Building during a rally calling on Congress to slash America's bloated military budget on Tuesday afternoon, April 12, 2011. (FRANCIS GARDLER / Lincoln Journal Star) 

Ernie Chambers told the fewer than 100 people at a Nebraskans for Peace rally Tuesday not to be discouraged by small numbers when their cause is just.

"You have to continue to hold on," the former Omaha state senator said at a gathering in front of the Federal Building calling for spending cuts in the military budget rather than in essential domestic programs.

"Do not expect to have large numbers," he said. "Your impact will be multiplied over time."

Although he said he does not adhere to "an electron or proton or neutron of religion," Chambers pointed to the words of Jesus, who spoke of the power of "where two or three are gathered together in my name."

If Nebraskans for Peace will retain its devotion and dedication, its cause will continue to "flow like a river," Chambers said.

"You are not sunshine soldiers. When the chill and cold and bleak and desolate winter comes, you are still there."

Chambers said domestic programs were being reduced now while military spending goes virtually untouched.

"Little Orphan Annie has to count pennies," he said. "The military only determines what it wants while other people have to beg."

The result is spending cuts directed at prenatal care, Planned Parenthood services, Pell grants, food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid, Chambers said.

He said he was disappointed that President Barack Obama was agreeing to some of the cuts.

In a moment of levity, Chambers called out: "Run, Donald Trump, run!" and said he would be delighted to see the billionaire seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

A large sign at the rally proclaimed: "Reduce the Deficit. Cut the Military Budget in Half." 

The Lincoln rally was timed to coincide with the release of the Stockholm Institute's annual report on global military spending.

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Chambers calls for military cuts

John Schreier
Omaha World-Herald
Wednesday April 13, 2011

LINCOLN — About 85 people attended a rally in downtown Lincoln Tuesday afternoon calling for the federal government to cut the military budget instead of domestic programs.

Former State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha headlined the Global Day of Action on Military Spending rally sponsored by Nebraskans for Peace. The organization said the Lincoln event was one of 100 such rallies in 35 countries Tuesday.

As he stood beneath signs reading “Goin’ Broke Paying for Pentagon Pork” and “Reduce the Deficit: Cut Defense Spending in Half,” Chambers criticized the “wicked” nature of what he called the U.S. military-industrial complex.

“People who create wars, profit from wars are like those who sell their souls to the evil one,” he said to applause and cheers from the crowd gathered outside the Robert Denney Federal Building.

Chambers also condemned politicians in Washington who flirted with a government shutdown last week as they wrangled over the budget.

Chambers singled out President Barack Obama for criticism, saying he was disappointed that Obama didn’t stand up in support of public programs.

“The military can be fanciful, be outrageous — and they get what they want,” Chambers said. “They don’t have to beg.”

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