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Twin Cities protest says no to new war in Iraq

By staff

Minneapolis June 21 protest says no to new war in Iraq

Minneapolis, MN – Speaking out against a new U.S. war in Iraq was the task of over 50 people who joined an anti-war protest here, June 21, along the sidewalks at Hiawatha Avenue and Lake Street, one of the most visible locations in the city on a Saturday afternoon.

The protest comes after the June 19 announcement by President Obama that 300 U.S. special forces troops will be sent to Iraq as ‘advisers.’ Obama also stated that targets are being sought for bombing or drone strikes.

Participants held signs and banners against a new war.

The Minnesota Peace Action Coalition (MPAC) initiated the call for the Saturday, June 21 event.

During the weekend, protests were held in cities around the U.S. – Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and elsewhere – to speak out against new military intervention in Iraq.

MPAC issued a statement that says in part, “As of now the Obama administration and the Pentagon have launched a new round of military intervention in Iraq. This will not end well for the people of Iraq or the people of the U.S.”

“It was the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq that destroyed the country and brought about the current crisis. There is nothing the Pentagon can do with more air strikes and destruction to undo that or to bring about peace. The people of Iraq must determine their own future,” the MPAC statement continues.

“No one knows how this will end, but when people hear ‘military advisers’ are being sent, one should remember how the Vietnam war started, with small numbers of advisers,” the MPAC statement concludes.

Speaking at the protest, Jess Sundin of the Anti-War Committee said, “When the president talks about bombing or sending advisors or any other kind of military aid, we know that will only bring more destruction to Iraq. The people of Iraq don't benefit from air strikes any more than we do here, and that's why we come out to the streets again and again, any time there are threats of war against our sisters and brothers in Iraq.”

The June 21 protest was the second event in the Twin Cities to speak out on the new war crisis. On June 18 over 80 people joined a weekly peace vigil sponsored by Women Against Military Madness and Twin Cities Peace Campaign. The groups urged to people to join the weekly peace vigil on an emergency basis due to the new war crisis.

The June 21 protest was endorsed by AFSCME Local 3800, Anti-War Committee, Coalition for Palestinian Rights, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Mayday Books, Minnesota Cuba Committee, St. Joan of Arc WAMM/Peacemakers, Socialist Action, Southside Pride newspaper, Students for a Democratic Society UMN, Twin Cities Peace Campaign, Veterans for Peace, Women Against Military Madness, Workers International League and others.

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