By Tyronda James
About 100 people gathered in downtown Syracuse, Saturday to protest a potential war with Iran.
The event was part of a nationwide effort as tens of thousands of people gathered in more than 70 cities across 38 U.S. states. Cities including Washington DC, Los Angeles, CA, New York City, NY, and Atlanta, GA, answering a call to action. Calling on Congress to take action to end to endless war in the Middle East.
Syracuse residents came together to demonstrate opposition to what they are calling “President Trumps drive to war with Iran” and to call on a change in U.S. policy in the Middle East, demanding for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq.
The Syracuse rally was held at Clinton Square and was organized by the Syracuse Peace Council’s Human Rights Campaigner Ursula Rozum. Rozum said it was organized very quickly after hearing news the assassination by Trump and the Pentagon of the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani at the Baghdad Airport.
Rozum felt the need to help the community speak out against a war with Iran and answered the call to action from the national organizations like Peace Action and Code Pink.
“So, we felt that we had to respond to the call of action. We wanted to show community opposition!”
The speakers included local Iranian Americans and Democratic primary candidate Roger Misso.
The rally was supported by several community groups, including the Syracuse Peace Council, Veterans for Peace CNY Chapter, CNY Solidarity, Beyond War and Militarism Committee and more.
“The U.S. has been at war in Iraq and Afghanistan and we know that there’s no plans to get us out of those wars. It’s been thousands of U.S. soldiers dead and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghani people. So we know that this will be equally if not worse bad in terms of casualties,” Rozum said.
Rozum also shared that the demonstrations were important to bring light to Congressman John Katko. “He has been really following the Trump administration position related to Iran. He’s said that it (the assassination) was justified for example. Really not taking in to account what would be the consequences of another, if we do get into a full blown war,” said Rozum.
Rozum shared the Peace Council’s plans moving forward, they are asking the community to contact congress, “because they really have the power,” said Rozum.
The Peace Council is encouraging people in the Community to call on Congress members and support legislation that has been introduced by Representative Ilhan Omar and Congresswoman Barbara Lee that would require congressional approval for any military action against Iran.
“The National organization has encouraged groups like the Peace Council and other community groups to also keep doing their demonstrations,” Rozum said.
Rozum shared that the Peace Council has organized a gathering on Monday, January 13, at 7p.m. Rozum said that it will be an open community meeting for people that want to get involved and continuing to advocate for peace with Iran.” The open community meeting will take place at ArtRage, The Norton Putter Gallery, and 505 Hawley Avenue, Syracuse, New York 13203.
For additional information Syracuse Peace Council can be contacted at 2013 E. Genesee Street, 2nd Floor, Syracuse, NY 13210. Phone Number: (315) 472-5478 or http://peacecouncil.net/.