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Minneapolis protest sends anti-war message for holidays

By staff |
December 18, 2011
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Anti war protest on People's Plaza, Dec. 17.
Anti war protest on People's Plaza, Dec. 17. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis, MN - Over 60 people joined a Minneapolis anti-war protest on Dec. 17 to speak out against the continuing U.S. war in Afghanistan and U.S. military interventions around the world.

The event, organized under the call “Send an Anti-War Message for the Holidays,” included the demands: Bring all the troops home now; Get out of Afghanistan, U.S. hands off Syria and Iran; Funds for housing and human needs, not war.

The protest gathered at People’s Plaza in front of the Hennepin County Government Center, the site of the OccupyMN-Minneapolis. After listening to several speeches, participants marched through downtown shopping areas, chanting slogans and stopping to sing holiday carols with new, anti-war words.

The event was held as the last U.S. troops were being withdrawn from Iraq.

A statement issued by organizers says, in part, “While many politicians and sections of the press talk about the end of the war in Iraq, we know that the U.S. wants to continue the project of trying to dominate of Iraq. While U.S. combat troops are being withdrawn from Iraq, thousands of contractors, diplomats, CIA agents and who knows who else are being left behind to continue U.S. meddling in the affairs of the Iraqi people.” Organizers also pointed out that negotiations are underway to send U.S. military trainers back into Iraq.

The statement continues, “The U.S. war in Afghanistan continues, with tens of thousands of U.S. troops remaining in that country. Even with the number of troops the Obama administration says will be withdrawn from Afghanistan this year, by the end of 2012 there will be 70,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. That is twice as many as were there on the day the Obama administration took office three years ago. The war in Afghanistan is extending into Pakistan as well. There is a growing threat of new U.S. wars and interventions around the world, including in Syria and Iran,” the statement concludes.

Speakers from several of the sponsoring groups, including activists in Occupy Minnesota addressed the demonstration.

Alan Dale of the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition said, "People need jobs and housing not war. We call for an end to the war in Afghanistan and no new war on Syria or Iran."

After the march, many attended a bannering for Bradley Manning in front of the Federal Building. Dec. 17 was Manning’s 24th birthday.

The Minneapolis protest was co-sponsored by Anti-War Committee, Military Families Speak Out, Minnesota Peace Action Coalition, Twin Cities Peace Campaign, and Veterans for Peace (Chapter 27) and Women Against Military Madness.