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Minneapolis protest demands “Hands off Syria”

By staff |
April 9, 2017
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Minneapolis protest against missile attack on Syria.
Minneapolis protest against missile attack on Syria. (Photo Credit: Kim DeFranco

Minneapolis, MN - In response to the recent U.S. air strikes against Syrian military targets by the Trump administration, over 200 people joined a Minneapolis anti-war protest on Saturday, April 8.

The protest, organized in just a day and a half, was initiated by the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition. (MPAC) The protest was held along the sidewalks along the very busy Lake Street and Hiawatha Ave shopping area. Thousands of people driving and walking by saw the protest. Many people waved and expressed support for the anti-war message. The protest was organized under the call of “Say no to U.S. war on Syria.” Many groups and individuals helped to get out the word about the protest through Facebook, phone calls and e-mail announcements.

Meredith Aby-Keirstead, a member of the MN Anti-War Committee, led chants and was the first speaker to address the crowd. She said, “We are here today to denounce U.S. missile attacks on Syria. The U.S. should not increase its intervention in Syria. More bombing will not bring back the victims of this recent chemical weapons use. More bombing will not bring back the over 400,000 deaths in this six-year conflict.”

Aby-Keirstead continued, “This responsibility of speaking out is on us. The 1% are united in supporting this war. Hilary Clinton openly dared Trump to attack on Thursday and the only Democratic ‘opposition’ to the aggression is that they should have been given the opportunity to give him a green light to attack first – not a real opposition at all! Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting noted today that five top papers ran 18 opinion pieces praising Syria strikes and that none ran a piece critical of this action. Many members of progressive and liberal groups are confused on the issue of Syria so we need to be vocal in challenging the mythology of the ‘U.S. humanitarian war.’”

Aby-Keirstead also told the crowd to be ready to give solidarity to anti-war protesters who were attacked by police and arrested in Jacksonville, Florida on Friday.

Alan Dale, a member of MPAC concluded the protest, "It is urgent to speak out against the escalating U.S. war moves. U.S. military intervention is not about helping people, or fighting terrorism, it is about control of the resources of the Middle East.”

Organizers also pointed to the growing danger of new escalations of U.S. military intervention in Yemen and Somalia.

The MPAC coalition announced their next action at the protest. MPAC will hold a protest on Tuesday, April 11 at 4:30 p.m. at the offices of Minnesota U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar to speak out against the escalation of U.S. intervention.

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