14 April 2012, Bristol- RI

East Bay Citizens for Peace/Quequechan Alliance/Occupy Providence

On Saturday, April 14th, East Bay Citizens for Peace with support from Quequechan Alliance* and Occupy Providence, held a Tax Day Vigil for Peace and Justice outside the Bristol, R.I. Post Office. This was part of a nation wide action spear headed by New Priorities Network and the 25% Campaign in order to draw attention to inequities in our system and the bloated military budget. In addition to distributing informational hand outs explaining how our tax dollars are spent and holding vigil signs we invited passers by to participate in a Penny Poll.

The Penny Poll that recapitulates similar polls held in many other cities and towns across the country asks participants to prioritize government spending using 10 pennies that represented the total discretionary budget. They were then asked to “spend” these pennies on ten federal budget categories. During the hour long action, 17 passersby chose to take part. Health and Education were the big winners!

The following are the results: 3c Government & International Affairs; 9c Housing & community; 9c Military; 10c; Transportation; 12c Science; 13c Food & Agriculture; 17c Veterans Benefits; 20c; Energy & Environment; 35c Health; 38c Education

Participants seemed to enjoy this action and many were surprised to learn that in the current budget, military spending gobbles up 6 of the 10 pennies leaving 4 for all other categories. They engaged in discussion about their priorities and took hand outs and wrote on pre addressed post cards to their Representatives.

*East Bay Citizens for Peace and Quequechan Alliance are part of a SENE 25% Solution Coalition and are members of the New Priorities Network – a nation wide movement to reduce military spending and fund communities instead.