Protesters Gather Against Military Action in Syria


By Katie Stinson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - President Obama continues to push congress to support a military strike against Syria for its chemical weapons use. Many lawmakers are speaking out against that idea, but they aren't the only ones saying "no" to military intervention.

Protesters with Workers for Peace and Veterans for Peace gathered in downtown Cedar Rapids Monday night. About 15 people set up near the First Ave. bridge, holding signs and hoping to inform people that congress is debating and voting on the issue. One man we caught up with grew up in Syria. Hatem Abumaizer said it would be a big mistake for the U.S. to intervene and would only create more chaos. He says we need to bring the two sides together and force them to forge an agreement that is good for the Syrian people.

"This {protest} is to tell them don't drag us into another war in the Middle East especially when we don't know the consequences and nobody in the world is with us on this," Abumaizer said.

Protestor Gail Coleman, a member of Veterans for Peace, agreed. Coleman says Syrians have been dealing with violence and bloodshed for years now, and more violence and war won't help them, it will only lead to more deaths.

"How has war helped them? How is engaging in more war going to help the Syrian people? It's not going to help them. Congress needs to vote no," Coleman said.

Protestors encouraged those against an attack to contact their representative and tell them to vote no. The President is not saying what he will do if Congress doesn't give him the go ahead to strike Syria.

He sat down with national media to talk about the issue today. His interviews came as a possible diplomatic solution surfaced. Russia is proposing that Syria surrender its chemical weapons to international control which would then destroy them. Syria reportedly welcomes the proposal, but the President remains skeptical.

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