NEW YORK, Jan 05 (APP):Demonstrators took to the streets across the United States on Saturday to protest the Trump administration’s killing of a top Iranian General and decision to send about 3,000 more soldiers to the Middle East, according to media reports.
“No justice, no peace. U.S. out of the Middle East,” hundreds of protesters chanted near the Trump Tower in Chicago. Protesters held signs that read “Stop bombing Iraq” and “U.S. troops out of Iraq.”
More than 70 planned protests were organized by CODEPINK and Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, a U.S.-based anti-war coalition, along with other groups. From Tampa to Philadelphia and San Francisco to New York, protesters carried signs and chanted anti-war slogans. They called for withdrawal of U.S.troops from Iraq and end to what it says is a war on Iran, according to spokesperson Walter Smolarek.
In Philadelphia, he said about 500 protesters took part, the reports said. Demonstrations also took place outside the White House and in New York City’s Times Square.
Cincinnati protesters chanted, “Trump says more war. We say no war,” and “No more U.S. attacks. Iraq, we got your back.”
“Both Democrats and Republicans have coordinated efforts and combined to wreak havoc on this entire region,” Mike Jasko of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, who was at the Cincinnati protest, was quoted as saying. “What we’re seeing with the airstrikes of the assassination of an Iranian general is that we’re seeing tensions escalate, and they want another war.”
Protestors who gathered in Phoenix, expressed concern about the possibility of another long-term conflict.
“Every time we go into the Middle East it’s like going into a tar pit,” said Sue Baird, holding a sign, saying, “No War With Iran.” Another protester went further, saying she is “100% scared for another world war.”
The Pentagon launched an airstrike Thursday night that killed a powerful Iranian military leader, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, at Baghdad’s international airport. The Defence Department said it conducted the attack as a “defencive action” against Soleimani, who it said was planning further attacks on American diplomats and service members.
President Donald Trump has denied accusations that the killing was designed to start a war with Iran. “We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war,” he said Friday.
“I’m outraged at the fact that Trump is trying to force a foreign policy on the rest of us that makes absolutely no sense,” Janice Misurell-Mitchell, a composer and professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, who attended Saturday’s protest, was quoted as saying in the reports. “Getting out of the Iran nuclear deal was ridiculous and stupid.”
Another academic, Benjamin Balthaser, an associate professor of English at Indiana University, said years of war in the Middle East had only destabilized the region.
“This kind of reckless, outrageous behavior by this president is only going to kill more people, spend more money, and make the world far more unsafe. We have serious problems that we need to come together to solve. This is only going to make us more divided,” Balthaser said.