Anti-war protesters gathered in Manhattan on Friday night to rally against Thursday’s airstrike on Syria and to demand an end to US intervention in the Middle East. Sister marches took place in cities across the country, including Washington, D.C, Baltimore and Philadelphia.
In New York, demonstrators rallied at Union Square before marching to the James A. Farley Post Office Building on Eighth Avenue. The emergency rally was organized by the International Action Center, a New York-based activist group founded by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark.
“[We] reject this latest attack on a poor country coming on the heels of hundreds of civilian deaths at the hands of US airstrikes in Mosul, Yemen and Syria itself. The hypocrisy of Washington — whose military possesses the world’s largest stockpile of chemical, nuclear, biological and conventional weapons – launching more airstrikes to stop the use of chemical weapons is staggering, and shows the true intent: regime change,” organizers said before the event.
New Yorkers at the protest expressed anger that President Trump had moved to bomb Syria while simultaneously banning Syrian refugees from entering the country.
“I just think that it’s absurd that we would bomb Syria when we’re not accepting refugees from there. It makes me wonder what we’re really doing this war for, if not for the refugees and victims in Syria. I think personally it’s a publicity stunt for Trump to help him get better poll numbers and also distract from all the other things going on within the country,” said Brandon Quikee, a protester from Brooklyn.
Zoha, an Iranian Australian antiwar demonstrator who declined to give her surname, said US interference in the Middle East made no sense.
“I don’t see any logical reason for America to be interfering with other parts of the world. Donald Trump should take care of his own county,” she said.
Seven people were arrested during the protest and later released.