Twin Cities peace groups speak out against new U.S. escalation in Iraq

By staff |
June 18, 2015
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Twin Cities protest against sending additional U.S. troops to Iraq
Twin Cities protest against sending additional U.S. troops to Iraq (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis, MN - A highly visible anti-war protest was held in the Twin Cities June 17 to speak out against the decision by the Obama administration, announced last week, to send additional U.S. troops to Iraq.

The Obama administration announced June 10 that at least 450 additional U.S. troops will be sent to Iraq. There are over 3000 U.S. troops in Iraq and the U.S. carries out daily air strikes against targets in Iraq and Syria.

Organizers of a weekly peace vigil on the Lake Street/Marshall Avenue bridge over the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and Saint Paul issued a special call for people to join the June 17 vigil under the call of opposing the sending of additional U.S. troops to Iraq and to call for an end to U.S. military intervention.

Over 30 people attend the event, even with the threat of rain and thundershowers.

One participant said, "The U.S. is raining down bombs on Iraq, we can be out in a little rain to say no to this new war in Iraq."

A statement issued by organizers says in part, “On June 10, the Obama administration announced it would send 450 additional U.S. troops to Iraq. The latest U.S. intervention in Iraq is slowly escalating. Over 20 years of U.S. war, sanctions and occupation have created the crisis in Iraq; more U.S. troops, bombs, and weapons will not make things better.”

The statement goes on to say, “U.S. intervention caused the current crisis in Iraq. A new round of U.S. war will not solve any issues for the people of Iraq. The U.S. war machine cannot solve any problems; it can only bring more death and destruction.”

The weekly vigil is sponsored by sponsored by the End War Committee of Women Against Military Madness and the Twin Cities Peace Campaign.

Other groups that endorsed the call for the June 17 vigil to respond to the Iraq escalation included the Anti-War Committee, Military Families Speak Out (MN chapter), Minnesota Peace Action Coalition, and Veteran for Peace.

There was wide agreement at the event that additional actions will be needed in the weeks ahead.