Minnesota veterans stood in solidarity with veterans from Saratoga Springs and Albany New York as they protested the war at the Saratoga Springs race track’s 142nd opening day. Veterans for Peace members stood in pouring rain with banners and placards that asked the question “How’s the War Economy Working for You?” The Saratoga Race Course reopened Friday after nearly going bankrupt in 2008. As racing fans paused to buy tip sheets at the race course gates, veterans chanted “War is a bad bet! and were handed brochures that asked folks “How is the War Economy Working for You?” Some race goers stated they had thought the war economy would bring prosperity, but were disappointed with the war’s multi-billion dollar drain on the economy.
According to demonstration organizer John Amidon, of Tom Paine Veterans for Peace Chapter 10 in Albany New York, upstate New York is hard-hit by the war economy. “One doesn’t need to go to Detroit to see collapsed cities. Regionally Schenectady, Amsterdam, and Gloversville, NY are cities in steep decline if not already collapsed. The war economy is simply not working for the people of New York State.”
Among the protesters were Minnesotans Coleen Rowley, one of Time Magazine 2002 Persons of the Year and a former FBI staff attorney, Jack Rossbach of International campaign to Ban Land Mines and Cluster Munitions, and Kim Doss-Smith of Women Against Military Madness, plus a few members of Twin Cities Chapter 27 of Veterans for Peace. They are members of a delegation of 19 Minnesota peace activists that are in Albany New York attending a national conference and strategy planning session of the national peace movement.