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Twin Cites protest against expanding U.S. war on Syria

By staff |
November 1, 2015
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Minneapolis emergency protest against the sending of U.S. Special Forces troops
Minneapolis emergency protest against the sending of U.S. Special Forces troops to Syria (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis, MN - A coalition of Twin Cities area peace groups gathered Oct. 31 for an emergency protest against the sending of U.S. Special Forces troops to Syria. The announcement of the sending of these troops was made Oct. 30. The troop deployment represents an escalation of aggression by the U.S. in Syria and Iraq.

30 people joined the protest, holding signs and banners against this new escalation of U.S. military intervention. The response from people driving and walking by was overwhelmingly positive, with many people waving and honking horns in support of the anti-war message.

The protest was at Mayday Plaza in the West Bank neighborhood of Minneapolis. The Minnesota Peace Action Coalition (MPAC) called for the protest. MPAC brings together people from several peace and anti-war groups.

Participants help signs reading, "Say no to U.S. war in Iraq and Syria," "No boots on the ground - out of Syria," and "Stop U.S. bombing of Iraq and Syria."

MPAC issued a statement that says in part, "The Obama administration announced today that U.S. Special Forces are being sent to Syria. This announcement is a new and frightening escalation of U.S. military intervention."

The Obama administration has said previously that it will not send U.S. troops to Syria.

The statement goes to say, "With the ‘no boots on the ground’ promise broken, there is no assurance that many more boots on the ground will follow, to both Syria and Iraq."

"The U.S. has spent billions of dollars over the past year in the bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria which has seen over 6000 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in those two countries."

"More U.S. intervention, more bombs, more advisors, more boots on the ground will not lead to peace or justice for the people of Iraq or Syria. U.S. intervention will only lead to more war, more refugees and more death."

"The people of the region must be free to determine their own future. U.S. intervention has nothing to do with that process, and everything to do with keeping U.S. economic interests safe and defense contractor profits booming," the statement concludes.

Meredith Aby-Keirstead, speaking at the protest for the Anti-War Committee said, "The U.S. intervention in Syria is not just these 50 Special Forces troops, U.S. intervention includes daily bombings, weapons, training, intelligence from satellites and drones. The U.S. is very much involved in war in Syria."

"U.S. intervention is throwing gasoline on a fire, U.S. intervention does not put out the fire, it escalates the fire," Aby-Keirstead said.

Alan Dale of MPAC said, "U.S. intervention is not to help the people of Syria or Iraq, U.S. intervention is about protecting U.S. economic interests in the region."