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Grand Rapids activists join global protest against U.S. endless wars

By Cherie Stoll |
October 24, 2022
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Liv Lashley speaking out against U.S. wars at Grand Rapids, MI protest.
Liv Lashley speaking out against U.S. wars at Grand Rapids, MI protest. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Grand Rapids, MI - On Thursday, October 20, activists held signs under at Monument Park in Grand Rapids to oppose U.S. wars and aggression. The event aligned with the call to action by the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) for a week of anti-war protests. Over 60 cities in the U.S. held an event to inform the public about the “endless wars,” no matter which party is in the White House.

The call to action encouraged organizers to get "back to the streets" to oppose U.S. and NATO-imposed wars and sanctions. Near the busiest intersection in downtown Grand Rapids, the group held signs with statements, "Stop endless wars" and "Money for human needs." 

On the bullhorn, Olivia Lashley led a call and response chant: “Money for education: not for war! Money for healthcare: not for war! Money for buses: not for war! Money for housing: not for war!”

Protesters also chanted, “Hands off Haiti!” “No war on Russia! No war on China!” “Free, free Palestine!” and “Free Alex Saab!” Saab is a Venezuelan diplomat the U.S. government illegally seized in 2020 and is now jailed in Miami, Florida. 

The public’s response to the group’s signs was positive, with many passersby expressing their support and drivers honking with a fist raised.

According to several recent polls, including ones by POLITICO-Harvard, Pew Research Center and Monmouth University, foreign policy is not a top concern for U.S. voters leading into the November midterm election. Yet, U.S. intervention is escalating in countries like Haiti, Iran, Syria, Yemen and others.

Reading from the UNAC call to action, an attendee said, "While the U.S. pours more weapons into the proxy war in Ukraine - holding open the possibility of direct confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia - the war fanatics in Washington seem determined to start even more fires around the world."

Organizers in Grand Rapids hope that a united protest opposing U.S. war and sanctions will build a stronger anti-war movement locally. 

“The U.S. is spending billions of dollars on a proxy war in Ukraine when funding for schools, healthcare and housing is needed at home,” said Sam Tunningley with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. “We must speak out more aggressively against U.S. wars, sanctions and provocations.”