1033 GMT May 21, 2018
Protests erupted around the same time last year when President Donald Trump ordered Tomahawk missiles to strike a Syrian airfield in response to an alleged sarin gas attack on civilians by the Syrian government.
This recent strike was again in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on April 7. The strike was a joint effort between the United States, France and Britain.
In 2014, the Syrian government surrendered its chemical weapons stockpile during a process monitored by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
“I’m opposed to it. It’s another example of US imperial expansion in the Middle East,” said Gordon Barnes, an adjunct lecturer at Queens College, City University of New York.
Barnes, who joined the protest on Saturday, said he did not believe that military attacks will solve the problem in Syria and viewed the US military action as a disingenuous one, reports Xinhua news agency.
An “emergency protest” was also set up in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday in response to the US-led bombings on Syria the night before.
The rally started at 5 p.m. and was organized by the International Action Center. Other protests are being planned for the rest of the weekend and around the country.
Demonstrators are calling on the US and its allies not to launch any more missile attacks. They are in favor of the US being out of the Middle East and bringing all troops home as well as closing overseas bases.
The organization believes the Trump administration is trying to start a new war in the Middle East.
US intervention in Mideast
A much smaller and more subdued protest also took place in a San Francisco plaza, where the local NBC news affiliate said such protests had become a tradition among a coalition of anti-war groups following every major military action by the US.
The anti-war group, Code Pink Women for Peace, protested on Saturday outside the homes of Senator Dianne Feinstein and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi over the United States’ bombing of Syria. Both senators represent the San Francisco Bay Area, the Mercury News reported.
Demanding that the US end its bombing of Syria and echoing a broader end to militarism — including police brutality and mass deportations of undocumented immigrants — home and abroad, Code Pink protested outside the Pacific Heights homes of Feinstein and Pelosi in San Francisco.
“We want both Feinstein and Pelosi to speak out against the bombing and the continued war,” said Code Pink organizer Eleanor Levine. “We disrupted neighborhoods and people in Syria. It’s our goal to bring this struggle to their neighborhoods.”
Another small but vocal group of demonstrators representing the Answer Coalition gathered Saturday on Market Street in San Francisco to protest the US airstrikes on Syria.
“We are opposed to US intervention anywhere in the Middle East, especially in Syria,” said Richard Becker from AnswerCoalition.org, as reported by abc7news.com.
“If you want to attack a country, get permission from the UN,” said one protester.
On Saturday, the UN Security Council rejected Russia’s draft resolution condemning the airstrikes by the US-led military coalition on Syria.
The one-page draft resolution, read by Russia’s Permanent Envoy to the UN Vasily Nebenzya, condemned the military action against Syria and called on the three Western countries to “halt the aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic immediately and without any delay” and refrain from further use-of-force actions in violation of the UN Charter.