[Marxism] NY Times: Antiwar Protestors Across U.S. Condemn Killing of Suleimani

Alan Ginsberg ginsberg.alan1 at gmail.com
Sat Jan 4 18:42:03 MST 2020

Demonstrations in more than 80 communities were organized to call attention
to rising tensions in the Middle East.

By Mariel Padilla
Jan 4, 2020

Thousands of antiwar protesters gathered in communities across the country
on Saturday to condemn the American drone strike in Baghdad that killed
Iran’s top security and intelligence commander.

In cities and towns across the United States, more than 80 demonstrations
were planned to oppose the killing of the commander, Qassim Suleimani, and
the Trump administration’s decision to send thousands more troops to the
Middle East.

The protests were spearheaded by Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, an
antiwar coalition, and Code Pink, a women-led antiwar organization.

“Unless the people of the United States rise up and stop it, this war will
engulf the whole region and could quickly turn into a global conflict of
unpredictable scope and potentially the gravest consequences,” the
coalition said in a statement.

More than 1,000 demonstrators in Washington gathered outside the White
House, carrying “No War” signs, Brian Becker, national director of the
coalition, said. Others marched in New York City in Times Square,
repeatedly chanting “U.S. out of the Middle East.” Crowds also assembled in
Albuquerque, Indianapolis, Memphis, Miami and St. Louis.

In Philadelphia, demonstrators outside City Hall carried signs demanding
that the United States stay out of Iraq and avoid war with Iran. In San
Francisco, an antiwar rally included chanting, singing and speakers. In
downtown Chicago, hundreds of demonstrators stood outside Trump Tower, some
with signs that read “Stop bombing Iraq.”

In Seattle, a rally was held at a park next to Pike Place Market. Hundreds
of people gathered, including 19-year-old Ethan Cantrell, who held a sign
that read “please no more war.”

Mr. Cantrell said that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that spanned almost
his entire life had been “20 years of pointlessness.”

Aliza Cosgrove, an 18-year-old protester in Seattle, said she would like to
see more young people who grew up in the digital age — particularly those
who come from privileged backgrounds — demonstrating in public.

“When you go on the internet, you see so many people talking about the
world and talking about what’s going on, and they just make jokes or repost
something and that’s all they do,” she said. “There’s good in spreading the
message on social media, but there’s also direct action in going out and
raising your voice.”

Act Now to Stop War and End Racism and Code Pink began calling for
nationwide protests on Tuesday, ahead of the drone strike that killed
General Suleimani but as tensions were escalating between the United States
and Iraq, Mr. Becker said.

Protests were initially planned in 10 to 15 cities and the number grew to
30 by Thursday. When the general was killed near the Baghdad airport early
on Friday, the number of participating cities more than doubled, Mr. Becker

As of Saturday afternoon, more than 80 protests were organized, Medea
Benjamin, a director of Code Pink, said.

She said she had not seen numbers like this since 2003.

“One thing that’s very different this time is that more young people and
people of color came out to protest,” Ms. Benjamin added.

Ms. Benjamin said the surge of protesters reflected a momentum and energy
that she hoped would be seen and heard by lawmakers.

“It felt like this in September 2002 when we were putting out calls to
organize,” Mr. Becker said. “There was the same sense of alarm. This is
extremely reminiscent of the months before the Iraq invasion.”

The drone attack drastically ratcheted up tensions between Washington and
Tehran, causing online interest in military conscription and “World War
III” to surge on Friday.

On Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security updated its National
Terrorism Advisory System to warn that Iran “is capable, at a minimum, of
carrying out attacks with temporary disruptive effects against critical
infrastructure in the United States.”

The system’s bulletins, which are shared among law enforcement across the
country, also reiterated that there was no current, specific, credible
threat against the United States.


[The coalition statement mentioned in the fourth paragraph can be found at

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