Ernie Chambers told the fewer than 100 people at a Nebraskans for Peace rally Tuesday not to be discouraged by small numbers when their cause is just.

"You have to continue to hold on," the former Omaha state senator said at a gathering in front of the Federal Building calling for spending cuts in the military budget rather than in essential domestic programs.

"Do not expect to have large numbers," he said. "Your impact will be multiplied over time."

Although he said he does not adhere to "an electron or proton or neutron of religion," Chambers pointed to the words of Jesus, who spoke of the power of "where two or three are gathered together in my name."

If Nebraskans for Peace will retain its devotion and dedication, its cause will continue to "flow like a river," Chambers said.

"You are not sunshine soldiers. When the chill and cold and bleak and desolate winter comes, you are still there."

Chambers said domestic programs were being reduced now while military spending goes virtually untouched.

"Little Orphan Annie has to count pennies," he said. "The military only determines what it wants while other people have to beg."

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The result is spending cuts directed at prenatal care, Planned Parenthood services, Pell grants, food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid, Chambers said.

He said he was disappointed that President Barack Obama was agreeing to some of the cuts.

In a moment of levity, Chambers called out: "Run, Donald Trump, run!" and said he would be delighted to see the billionaire seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

A large sign at the rally proclaimed: "Reduce the Deficit. Cut the Military Budget in Half." 

The Lincoln rally was timed to coincide with the release of the Stockholm Institute's annual report on global military spending.

Reach Don Walton at 402-473-7248 or at dwalton@journalstar.com.

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