Activist groups gathered in cities around the world on Saturday [Jan. 25] to show their opposition to the conflict between the U.S. and Iran, in which they see the United States as the aggressor, particularly after the U.S. assassination of a top Iranian general. The Shenandoah Valley Antiwar Coalition held one of those rallies in Harrisonburg. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.
About 25 people huddled out of the rain on the porch of the Harrisonburg courthouse, with a few more trickling in as the skies cleared. They took turns singing protest songs and speaking on the history of tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Many of the activists called for a comprehensive change in our foreign and domestic policies, to direct spending away from the military and towards social programs such as healthcare and education.
MICHAEL SNELL-FEIKEMA: We need to find a different way to relate to the world than just through military violence, and the violence of economic and financial sanctions. That that’s a dead end. That’s a suicide trip.
Michael Snell-Feikema helped organize the rally.
SNELL-FEIKEMA: And we have to make some big changes in this country, where we begin to focus on the wellbeing of our own people, and establish more pacific and cooperative relationships with the rest of the world.
Theresa Kubasak is a co-founder of the Iraqi and Syrian Student Project, which helps students displaced by war in those countries enroll in universities in the U.S. and Canada. She started traveling to the region in 1999.
THERESA KUBASAK: After four trips witnessing what was going on in Iraq, we moved to Syria for seven years … so our heart is very much in the Middle East, and we’re very much aware of the role of the United States as, what Martin Luther King calls, the greatest purveyor of war.