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U.S. out of Syria: Salt Lake activists rally for Syrian refugees

By Gabriella Anderson |
December 8, 2015
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Salt Lake City, UT - 25 people rallied at the federal building here, Nov. 5, to demand “U.S. out of Syria and the Middle East.” Anti-war, student and labor activists gathered to stand with Syrian refugees fleeing U.S. wars and military intervention.

Protesters loudly chanted, “We demand justice, we demand peace, U.S. out of the Middle East!” Hearing the chants, many people passing by stopped to listen, while some newcomers joined those listening to speeches.

Greg Murray of the Utah Anti-War Committee spoke, “We cannot let Syria be another victim to U.S. aggression. Looking at these U.S. wars and interventions, it becomes clear that the primary objective of the U.S. is to overthrow or destroy any government that chooses to pursue its own path for prosperity outside of the U.S. control.”

Jessica Arter spoke on the refugee crisis in Syria, explaining, “Half of refugees are children. Doctors are leaving the country. Many refugees around the world are impacted directly by the U.S. war policies.”

Arter continued, “These people didn’t have a choice about leaving their homes, being at the receiving end of these attacks. To do nothing, to allow these people to suffer, to turn them away is to condone the violence that our government is perpetuating. We need to say no more.”

Arter read the poem Home by Warsan Shire, part of the poem reads:

“no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough”

Greg Murray ended the rally, reaffirming to the crowd, “We cannot let Syria be the next victim of U.S. imperialism. We cannot let our government use bullets and bombs to keep the world in a state of fear. We have to tell the U.S. government to get its hands off Syria!”