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Activists Protest Plans for US Strike on Syria

  • Brian Padden

Across the United States, small but vocal groups of anti-war protesters are urging the Congress not to support President Barack Obama’s plan for limited military strikes against Syria. Some protesters question the rationale for action: that Syria's government has used chemical weapons on its own people. Others say limited missile strikes will only kill innocent Syrians and drag the U.S. into another war.

Some anti-war demonstrators outside the White House belong to the group Answer Coalition. One of them, Eugene Puryear, said any U.S. military action in Syria will only lead to more violence.

“The U.S. military intervention will not assist in bringing peace to the region. It will only further inflame war,” he said.

That sentiment is being echoed across the United States.

Cindy Sheehan, who became active in anti-war politics after she lost her son in the Iraq War, led a group of 60 protesters in Sacramento, the state capital of California, where she is running for governor.

In New York City’s Times Square, about 200 protesters chanted "no war in Syria."

In Houston, there was a small demonstration in support of military action against the Assad government in Syria, which the U.S. blames for a chemical attack that killed over 1,400 people.

In Massachusetts, anti-war protesters marched outside the Boston home of Secretary of State John Kerry. And on the floor of Congress, protesters held up painted hands to signify blood as Kerry was making the case for military strikes against Syria. He said the U.S. must act to deter future chemical attacks.

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin protesters like Mitch Sandquist say the U.S. should should focus on problems at home and not get involved in Syria's civil war.

“It's a country that has not threatened the United States and, at a time when we're facing budget crises at the federal and state levels, this is no time to be getting involved in another unnecessary war,” said Sandquist.

While the number of anti-war protesters is relatively small, their views seem to represent those of the majority. In a recent survey, 60 percent of Americans said the U.S. should not intervene in Syria.

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