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Gainesville protest against U.S. intervention in Syria

By Robbey Hayes

SDS Organizer, Skye Schmelzer, leading chants.

Gainesville, FL – About 40 protesters gathered on the corner of University and SW 13th Street outside of the University of Florida, Aug. 28, to demand no U.S. military intervention in Syria.

The call to action came amidst steadily growing rhetoric from the U.S. government for possible military attack on Syria. Despite ongoing United Nations investigations into Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons with no evidence found thus far, the U.S. is planning a unilateral military intervention into the country.

University of Florida Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) organized the protest and many other groups were well represented. Groups that participated included University of Florida College Libertarians, Gainesville Vets for Peace, Occupy Gainesville, Students for Justice in Palestine and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Michela Martinazzi, an organizer with University of Florida Students for a Democratic Society, said about the protest, “Military intervention in Syria is completely deplorable and we wanted to demonstrate that the people of Gainesville are united against the government’s prolonged aggression in the Middle East.”

Eric Brown of Students for Justice in Palestine gave a speech and said, “Syria should have the right to self-determination without any intervention from Western powers. We saw the same thing happen in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan; why would this time be any different?”

The action was part of a nationwide effort to stand against U.S. aggression in Syria and the Middle East. Chants included, “No justice, no peace, no more war in the Middle East!” University of Florida Students for a Democratic Society will keep fighting until those words are a reality.

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