Activists take to West Chester corners
By JIM CALLAHAN, Daily Local News, 03/02/13

WEST CHESTER — While Sheepdogs and the Chester County Peace Movement took their customary stand-off positions at High and Market streets Saturday, the American Friends Service Committee was up the block outside the old courthouse protesting the federal budget.

The Friends were not there over the issue of the day: the political train wreck between President Obama and Congress resulting from mandatory federal budget cuts that took effect Friday.

The group of Friends were protesting budget allocations in general that favor national defense over other programs. A yards-long banner was held up by members standing on the lawn to passing High Street traffic showing, in red, 60 percent of regular expenditures allocated for the Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs and nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, the banner portrayed increasingly smaller expenditures in lighter colors for a variety of other programs including health, human services, education, aid to states, energy, NASA and so on – the domestic programs of government.

“People need to get involved in establishing priorities for expenditures,” said Ted Brinton of Kennett. He pointed out that the mandatory cuts made were across the board in the budget. They do not affect the priorities of the Congress.

In the view of the seven or eight demonstrators Saturday people should be urging Congress to reorder all spending priorities, away from the defense budget and toward the people of the country.

Real security, Brinton said, comes from program funding to help people: education, food, making life better. “That is real security,” he said, “not on whether we have thousands of troops all over the world.”

The Sheepdogs down on the corner disagree with all that. …

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