Despite a gusty breeze, almost 150 community members gathered with signs and banners at the Minnesota Power Plaza on April 15, 2010. Their message? Bring our war dollars home! The tax day rally, organized by the Northland Anti-War Coalition (NAWC), intended to draw attention to the fact that over half of our federal tax dollars are spent on the military.
Several constituency groups attended and endorsed the rally, including the Duluth C entral Labor Body, the St. Scholastica Center for Just Living, UMD Students for Peace, the Duluth Friends (Quakers), Grandmothers for Peace, and Socialist Action.
Also in attendance were city councilors Sharla Gardner, Kerry Gauthier and Patrick Boyle.
The rally kicked off with a short speech from organizer Joel Kilgour from NAWC. Student activists Margie Nelson from CSS and Steve Wick from UMD chaired the rally.
Former Wisconsin legislator Frank Boyle gave a speech deploring our prolonged involvement in the Middle East.
Brandon Clokey, a community leader and candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 7A, also addressed the rally.
The keynote speaker was Coleen Rowley, an FBI whistleblower who was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 2002. Rowley’s 10-minute address was met with cheers from the crowd.
Duluth singer/songwriter Rachael Kilgour performed several songs throughout the rally as well.
Following the speeches, St. Scholastica student Josie Johnson helped the crowd practice some chants as those gathered prepared to march from the plaza down to Bayfront.
The march was headlined by a 60-foot banner which showcased the discretionary budget for 2011. The banner showed that over 50 percent of our federal tax dollars are spent on the military, while the minority of tax dollars are spent domestically.
Click here to learn more about how federal tax dollars are spent.