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Utah anti-war rally against U.S. war and drone strikes

By staff |
April 15, 2013
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Utah April 11 anti-war rally.
Utah April 11 anti-war rally. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Salt Lake City, UT - Anti-war activists and students in Utah took their message directly to the U.S. government's doorstep on April 11 with a rally in front of the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building.

Roughly 30 people attended, calling for an end to U.S. occupation and military intervention, as well as an end to drone strikes like the one that killed 11 Afghan children on April 8.

“President Obama is the Drone Ranger,” said Utah Valley University professor Michael Minch. “The self-described 'Vulcans' who ran George W. Bush's White House must be green with envy, for Obama has killed far more people, personally authorizing their use, than Bush might have even imagined killing with this killing system.”

The crowd was adamant that the U.S. get out of Afghanistan and stay out of Syria and Iran. Many also voiced their opposition to ongoing threats and war rhetoric against Democratic Korea.

“People on both the right and the left have criticized north Korea for their military first policy,” said Dave Newlin, member of the October 7th Anti-War Committee, who organized the event. “I ask you, what about U.S. military first policy? What about U.S. endless hunger for weapons of mass destruction, for drones and for world dominance?”

Newlin pointed out that the U.S. spent almost $1.5 trillion on wars, military and defense support. That is more than any other U.S. expense and more than any other country. Those in attendance called for that money to be spent on things like education, jobs and health care, rather than war.

Organizer Tess Vandiver, who recently spent time in occupied Palestine, read a moving poem given to her by a Palestinian boy that read, “I feel like I am in a cemetery when I am in my own town.”

Vandiver condemned U.S. support for the Israeli occupation and called for an end to U.S. aid to Israel: “This issue isn’t about a group of people being better than another; this isn’t about whose land is whose, the Old Testament, or the Qur'an. It is about basic human rights and the suffocation of a society.”

The Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building houses both the offices of Utah Senator Mike Lee and the local FBI offices. Protesters took the opportunity to condemn the repression of anti-war activists throughout the U.S. by the FBI and called on Senator Lee to end his support for drone strikes and foreign intervention.