Citizens rally to protest military action in Syria

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 09, 2013 5:00 AM

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More than 90 Iowa City citizens rallied on Sunday night to protest violent actions in Syria.

Members from PEACE Iowa and Veterans for Peace were joined by supporters from the community to raise awareness against the United States engaging in the conflict in Syria. 

Ed Flaherty, a member of both organizations, helped plan Sunday’s protest. He said the goal of the rally was to reach the ears of Congress and to persuade the members that engaging in conversations and negotiations with Syria is a better use of time and money.

He also said that the United States does not need to go to war and protests such as these will help Congress realize what the people want.

“If we are a country of the people, by the people, and for the people, and if the people do not want to go to war, then we better not,” Flaherty said.

Nawman Abuissa, born and raised in Damascus, Syria, was also in attendance.

Abuissa said the conflict in Syria has caused a lot of problems in surrounding areas as well, and military action is not a good solution.

“We want to let [Congress] know that the people in Iowa City are against military intervention,” Abuissa said. “We want to let them know that … we want them to discuss what is going on in Syria.”
Among many other protesters, Joseph Wyse, a member of the Iowa City Mennonite Church, also held a candle for Syria.

“I’m opposed to war on moral grounds, [and] I don’t think it’s been effective, either,” he said. “I would like to see us apply the amount of funds that we are utilizing militarily in humanitarian funds and see what kind of change that effects.”

Flaherty said there is a second protest planned for 6 a.m. today.

— by Lily Abromeit

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