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Minneapolis protest marks 1-year of new U.S . war in Iraq and Syria

By staff |
August 9, 2015
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Minneapolis protest against  U.S . wars on Iraq and Syria.

Minneapolis, MN - To mark one year since the start of the latest U.S. military intervention in Iraq, over 60 people joined a Minneapolis anti-war protest on August 8.

The protest, organized by the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition (MPAC) was organized around the demands of “Out of Iraq–No U.S. War; Stop Bombing Iraq & Syria; No Boots on the Ground; Troops Home Now.”

The protest, held at the busy intersection of Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue, received wide support from people passing by in cars, buses, on foot and bicycle. One participant said, "This is the best corner in Minneapolis to have a visible protest, thousands of people pass by and many people waved and honk in support."

Several large commercial truck drivers passing by laid on their horns and waved in solidarity.

Among the speakers at the event was Meredith Aby-Keirstead, a member of the Anti-War Committee, who said, "We are here today to mark the one-year anniversary of the Obama administration’s bombing campaign in Iraq. It is important to view this campaign as an escalation of the war on Iraq – a war the U.S. has been waging in some form or another since 1991. The U.S. is using the new phase of the war on terror to send more troops to Iraq, to construct bases, to conduct daily aerial bombings and to extend into Syria’s civil war next door."

"The Obama administration is fanning sectarian conflicts throughout the Middle East to weaken the progressive and anti-imperialist forces so that the U.S. will have less resistance to its foreign policy for the 1%. No amount of U.S. intervention will make things better. U.S. intervention is like pouring gasoline on a fire!"

Aby-Keirstead concluded, "We, the global 99%, need to continue to stand up and oppose these U.S. wars every day!"

A statement issued by organizers said: "August 8 will mark one year since the Obama administration launched a bombing campaign and started sending troops back into Iraq in the name of fighting the Islamic State."

The statement continues, "Twenty plus years of U.S. war, sanctions, occupation and bombing have created the current crisis in Iraq. More bombs, troops, weapons and ‘advisors’ has not made things better.”

An independent monitoring group, Airwars, issued a report last week that documented that at least 459 civilians have been killed in Iraq and Syria as a result of the U.S. military’s air strikes. The U.S. has spent over $3 billion on the air war over the past year.

Groups endorsing the August 8 protest included: AFSCME Local 3800, Anti-War Committee, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Mayday Books, Marxist Student Association, Military Families Speak Out (MN chapter), MN Coalition for Palestinian Rights, Peace with Justice Committee of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church Peace and Justice Committee (St. Paul), St. Joan of Arc Church, St. Paul Eastside Neighbors for Peace, Socialist Action, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS-UMN), Twin Cities Peace Campaign, Veterans for Peace, Welfare Rights Committee, Women Against Military Madness, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Workers International League.