Twin Cities peace groups protest escalation of U.S. wars
St. Paul, MN -The organizers of a weekly peace vigil held every Wednesday in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul issued a special call for people to join the vigil on the afternoon of Nov. 26, the afternoon before the Thanksgiving holiday.
The vigil, held on the Lake Street/Marshall Avenue bridge over the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and Saint Paul is a very visible anti-war statement, seen by thousands of people every week.
The organizers of the vigil often will use the weekly event to respond to new developments in U.S. wars and interventions around the world.
The call for participation in the vigil included the slogans: “Keep the Troops Home – No Boots on the Ground!” “No War for the Holidays – Stop Bombing Iraq & Syria” “End the War in Afghanistan – Don't Extend It.”
More than 30 people joined the vigil, despite the cold weather with the temperature hovering in the low 20s after a several-inch snow fall earlier in the day.
Several people who had never attended the event in the past came to hold anti-war signs.
A statement issued by organizers says in part, “On the evening before the Thanksgiving holiday, we will say to say no to the U.S. bombing of Iraq and Syria. A new chapter of U.S. war in the Middle East has been opened. Obama has announced that the U.S. will double the number of troops in Iraq, bringing the total to over 3,000.”
The statement goes on to say, “There are warnings that this new war could last for years to come.”
The event also addressed the news that the Obama administration has extended U.S. combat operations for another year in Afghanistan.
On Nov. 21, the New York Times reported that President Obama signed an order allowing U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan to continue into 2015 – a decision the administration planned to keep secret. The decision is “a move that ensures American troops will have a direct role in fighting in the war-ravaged country for at least another year,” the New York Times reported.
“We gather to speak out against the new chapters of war in Iraq and Syria, the extending of the war in Afghanistan, the spending of billions of dollars for war and intervention when people need housing and jobs,” says the statement by organizers.
The vigil was sponsored by the End War Committee of Women Against Military Madness and the Twin Cities Peace Campaign
The call for the Nov. 26 vigil was endorsed by Anti-War Committee, Coalition for Palestinian Rights, Mayday Books, Military Families Speak Out (Minnesota chapter), Minnesota Peace Action Coalition, People of Faith Peacemakers, St. Frances Cabrini Justice and Peace Coalition, St. Joan of Arc Church, Sacred Heart Church, St. Paul–Peace and Justice Committee, St. Paul Eastside Neighbors for Peace, Students for a Democratic Society (UMN), Veterans for Peace, Welfare Rights Committee and others.