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Salt Lake City protesters say no to Trump’s north Korea war threats

By staff

Protesters rally against Trump's war threats in Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City, UT — Demonstrators gathered in downtown Salt Lake City to protest Trump’s threats of war on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, August 19. They chanted, “Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation!” as cars honked horns in support.

“We want people to know that the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] isn’t the aggressor here,” said Nick Godfrey, an activist with the Utah Anti-War Committee (UAWC). “We were never taught the real history of this conflict. The U.S. has been unjustly threatening this nation for decades.”

The U.S. currently has 28,500 troops in south Korea near the demilitarized zone with north Korea. There are U.S. Navy ships off the coast, including two aircraft carriers, and the U.S. rushed to impose the THAAD missile system on south Korea, despite opposition from the incoming president. This week the U.S. will launch military exercises with at least 17,500 U.S. troops, and the possible threat of B1 bombers or aircraft carriers to simulate an invasion and all-out war on the DPRK.

The Saturday protest, organized by UAWC and held in front of the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building, drew about two dozen people with signs that read “Hands off the DPRK!” and “I won’t fight the rich man’s war!” The protest was in response to Trump’s recent provocations, wherein he threatened to bring “fire and fury” down on north Korea, later adding that U.S. military options were “locked and loaded.” U.S. provocations are likely to produce a defensive response from north Korea.

“The U.S. needs to keep manufacturing the supposed north Korean threat so it can control the region, said UAWC organizer Dave Newlin. “If north Korea didn’t exist, the U.S. would have to invent it in order to maintain dominance.”

Activist and former congressional candidate Ben Frank pointed to the immense economic forces at play around north Korea that go unacknowledged in the mainstream media.

“Basically, there are many incentives for the U.S to be aggressive towards north Korea outside of the pretenses given on corporate news,” Frank said. “Such as the fact that scientists estimate that north Korea is sitting on about $6 trillion worth of mineral resources.”

Cristobal Villegas, secretary for the Utah Democratic Party, spoke on how deeply the war mentality has penetrated U.S. society, and how getting involved with local politics can help break down the military-industrial system.

“War is not only an action by a nation, but rather it is a mindset. War has penetrated many sociological barriers. An example is how Salt Lake City and Utah treat people experiencing homelessness,” he said.

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