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Make love, not war
A handful of anti-war demonstrators took over the corner of Monte Vista Avenue and Countryside Drive Friday afternoon, offering the message that war funds would be better spent on pressing national concerns.
Allen Mendoza, 20, of Turlock, organized the event in response to escalating education costs that have forced the Merced College student to take a semester-long sabbatical from his education.
“It’s sad,” Mendoza said. “I can’t even afford books.”
Mendoza argued that the government could have better directed war dollars toward education and health care, in particular.
According to the National Priorities Project, a non-profit research organization that analyzes and clarifies federal data, $1.05 trillion has been spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars since 2001. Modesto-area taxpayers have contributed $628.6 million in that time period, the NPP says, enough to provide 258,721 people with health care for one year or to fund 94,469 one-year university scholarships.
Mendoza had hoped for a better turnout at his rally, but lamented that “no one wants to stand up for peace.” He will continue his protest efforts, however, with a May 2 four-mile march from Central Park in downtown Turlock to Monte Vista Crossings and back.