By staff and agency

Protests planned across U.S. to condemn assassination of Lieutenant General Soleimani

January 4, 2020 - 20:0

More than 70 demonstrations were planned across the U.S. on Saturday to protest the Trump administration’s assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and decision to send about 3,000 more soldiers to the Middle East.

The protests were being spearheaded by Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, a U.S.-based anti-war coalition, in conjunction with more than a dozen organizations. The coalition is demanding that the U.S. withdraw all troops from Iraq and end what it says is a war on Iran, according to spokesperson Walter Smolarek, USA Today reported on Saturday.

“The targeted assassination and murder of a central leader of Iran is designed to initiate a new war. Unless the people of the United States rise up and stop it, this war will engulf the whole region and could quickly turn into a global conflict of unpredictable scope and potentially the gravest consequences,” ANSWER said on its website.

Some demonstrations began Friday night. Dozens of protesters gathered outside Sen. Chuck Schumer’s apartment in Brooklyn, New York. 

Kole Oakes, candidate member with the Party for Socialism and Liberation, said, “We’re hoping to convey that the Iraqi people, the Irani people are not our enemies, that they are our brothers and sisters in the struggle and it is the imperialist capitalist system that is our enemy.”

Organizers could not say how many people were expected to attend the protests Saturday, but Facebook events suggest that hundreds of people planned to participate. More than 1,500 people indicated interest in Facebook events for protests in Chicago and San Francisco, along with nearly 700 people for protests in Madison, Wisconsin, and in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“We’re having the protest to say no to war and to bring the troops home from Iraq,” said Anamaria Meneses, an organizer with the Justice Center en El Barrio, ANSWER’s New York City branch. “Our tax dollars shouldn’t be spent on killing people abroad. We should stand against senseless wars.”

The ANSWER coalition formed in the wake of 9/11, organizing demonstrations against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that drew hundreds of thousands of protesters.

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