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MLK Forum Highlights Cost of War

The moral, economic, political, and spiritual consequences of war will be discussed during the forum “The Cost of the Wars on the African American Community."

The event is hosted by the Pittsburgh chapter of Black Voices for Peace, which holds events yearly to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1967 Riverside Speech, in which he announced his opposition to the Vietnam War.

Gail Austin, with Black Voices for Peace, said they hope people will come away with an understanding of how much money the U.S. is spending on wars. She said she also hopes they will make a connection between that money being spent and cuts to social services in their communities.

“There are a number of school closings in Pittsburgh; public transportation is suffering because of the number of budget cuts.”

Pittsburgh Public Schools is closing seven buildings at the end of June, but that is to save money because of declining student enrollment.

Austin said war doesn’t help black communities, only companies. She said there are many defense contractors and private security contractors who have benefited from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Austin said the event helps to keep the anti-war movement strong.

“The mainstream media is not reporting on the kinds of activates the anti-war and peace advocates are promoting,” said Austin. “And without the mainstream media we have to rely on public forums and other efforts to show that there’s definitely an anti-war sentiment out there.”

The forum will be held Saturday, January 19th beginning at 3 p.m. at the East Liberty branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. It is free and open to the public. 

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