Thousands of people in dozens of cities across the United States on Saturday took to the streets to condemn the Trump administration's "reckless acts of war" against Iran and demand that the U.S. withdraw its troops from the Middle East.
From New York City to Chicago to Arkansas and more than 70 other locations around the U.S., demonstrators rallied against the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, a move that sparked widespread fears of another catastrophic Middle East war.
"The American people have had enough with U.S. wars and are rising up to demand peace with Iran!" tweeted CodePink, an anti-war group that helped organize the nationwide demonstrations.
— Chicago DSA (@ChicagoCityDSA) January 4, 2020
Right now at the White House:
A massive crowd rallying against war with Iran.
The American people do not want war.
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) January 4, 2020
— agitator in chief (@soit_goes) January 4, 2020
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Mojgan Haji, an Iranian-American who attended a protest in downtown Boston Saturday, said "it's not just about my family, it's about people. It's about people here. It's about people in Iran."
"And nobody wins in this war except defense contractors," said Haji.
The U.S. assassination of Soleimani, which was ordered by President Donald Trump, was met with a chorus of outrage from progressive anti-war organizations and members of Congress, who warned the likely unlawful killing could set off a wave of violence in the region and possibly lead to an all-out regional conflict.
Hours after the Soleimani's assassination by a U.S. drone strike, the Pentagon deployed an additional 3,500 additional troops to Iraq and Kuwait, a decision critics condemned as "latest step on Trump's march to war."
"The assassination of Qassem Soleimani represents a dangerous, unconstitutional, and unprecedented military escalation with Iran," said Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a statement Friday. "By circumventing Congress and green-lighting an unconstitutional strike, President Trump is doubling down on the reckless military brinksmanship that has already led us to the edge of war."
In addition to protests across the U.S., hundreds of Londoners rallied against war with Iran Saturday:
Hundreds of people turned up on less than a day’s notice to say #NoWarWithIran. The anti-war movement is ready to stand up to Trump and Johnson and stop another devastating war in the Middle East. Join @stwuk today. pic.twitter.com/xrJOa6J5WT
— Shabbir Lakha (@ShabbirLakha) January 4, 2020
Young Labour, the youth section of the U.K. Labour Party, said in a statement that war with Iran would "contribute to the further destabilization of the Middle East and may lead to the largest conflict seen since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq."
"At this crucial point," the group said, "we call for solidarity with the Iranian people against any aggressive action declared against them by the American government."