Local group plans rally to voice concern over US budget battle - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Local group plans rally to voice concern over US budget battle

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A group of local activists believe the federal budget needs a makeover and the entire budget showdown in Washington, DC, is a manufactured crisis.

The group met at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) on Monday evening as they plan for a rally later this week. The rally will be based around the "Budget for All" referendum, which addresses ways to change what is funded by the budget.

"There's plenty of wealth in this country," said Susan Theberge, an AFSC member. "If we tax corporations, if we cut the military budget, and there are so many ways we can cut that budget, then we could truly address our national security issues."

For an organizer like Dr. Marty Nathan, who is a physician for many lower income families, watching politicians shut down the government has been frustrating.

"Destroying things like Head Start, WIC, housing vouchers and things that poor people need to survive, this is a disaster," Nathan stated.

That frustration will come to a head later this week when the group will hold a rally in Northampton, coinciding with a visit from the National Priorities Project, which is a group that says they make the budget understandable for all.

"They were the pioneers in terms of saying, 'Hey, this is our budget and this is a moral document,'" said Nathan. "It's both a democratic piece and a moral piece, and we have to say something about it."

Organizers told CBS 3 that it is important for citizens to be vocal and question what is going on in our nation's capital.

"This is not OK with the people in this country, the way things are being run," said Theberge. "We really need to redefine what our priorities are as a country."

The "Budget for All" rally is planned for this Friday at 6 p.m.

It will be held outside the Academy of Music.

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