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Hundreds attend Michigan rally against U.S. intervention in Syria

By staff |
July 1, 2013
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Dearborn protest against U.S. war on Syria
Dearborn protest against U.S. war on Syria. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Syrian Americans demonstrate in Dearborn.
Syrian Americans demonstrate in Dearborn.

Dearborn, MI - Over 200 Syrian-Americans and their supporters rallied here, June 30. The spirited rally on the steps of Dearborn City Hall was at times serious, other times jubilant, but always defiant.

The woman chairing the rally called for a moment of silence for all the Syrian and Lebanese martyrs who died to preserve the sovereignty of Syria. She then welcomed the crowd and the many nationalities joined together - Syrian, Lebanese, Iraqi, Palestinian, Africans and Americans - to support the independence of Syria. She united the crowd with a call and response, “No to irresponsible intervention in Syria! No to supplying weapons to terrorists! No to support of terrorism! No to sectarianism and extremism! Yes to a united Syria! Yes to the sovereignty and integrity of Syria! Yes to the co-existence of Syria! And yes to Syria and the Syrian people!” The crowd roared its support.

Monzer Ahmad, of the Syrian American Forum, proclaimed, “We are here today to send a message that we do not want U.S. intervention in Syria. We oppose the U.S. funding and arming of criminal and terrorist forces inside of Syria. The Syrian people ask President Obama to stop funding and arming groups that kill our people and terrorize our country. We are so disappointed, President Obama is supposed to be the anti-war president.”

Tom Burke of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression spoke saying, “We are here today to say ‘U.S. hands off Syria!’ I am one of the leaders of the large anti-war protest outside the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 2008. I am one of the organizers of the 15,000-person protest in Chicago last year against the warmakers of NATO. I am also one of 23 anti-war and international solidarity activists raided by the FBI and subpoenaed to a grand jury in Chicago. The FBI said we were being ‘investigated for material support for terrorism’ because we support freedom for all of Palestine and because we oppose U.S. wars in the Middle East. Well we are here today to stand with you against U.S. intervention and war in Syria. We congratulate you on defeating the U.S. and Israeli backed groups in your country. ”

Abayomi Azikiwe of Detroit with Michigan Emergency Coalition Against War and Injustice explained the dangers of U.S. war, “The U.S. held ‘war games’ inside of the neighboring country of Jordan this past month and 800 U.S. troops stayed behind. This is a bad sign and points towards a growing threat of U.S. war against Syria. The Syrian government defeated the terror groups backed by the U.S. in Al Qusayr, so now the Obama administration is attempting to destabilize Syria from neighboring Jordan.”

The rally in Michigan comes after similar protests in Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis and Milwaukee organized by Syrian-American, Palestine solidarity and anti-war groups. The Syrian American Forum and the Michigan Emergency Coalition Against War and Injustice organized the June 30 protest in Dearborn. Protests against U.S. intervention and Israeli aggression in Syria are spreading across the U.S.