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Protestors in Market Square condemning conflicts with Iran

Posted at 10:50 PM, Jan 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-04 23:30:45-05

CLEVELAND — Protesters condemning the airstrike in Iraq that killed Iran’s top military commander spilled into the streets of Cleveland Saturday.

Multiple anti-war groups rallied in Market Square to voice their opposition on conflicts with Iran.

We have to mobilize to make sure that people know that we can’t go to war,” Don Bryant said. “It would be devastating. This could be World War III.”

Elias Khawam was born in 2000 and said the United States has been at war the majority of his life.

“We’ve kind of had enough with this act of war, aggressive acts of war,” Khawam said. “And this is just to show that we do not want to send our troops overseas.”

Northeast Ohio anti-war groups are keeping a watchful eye on the escalating conflict between the U.S. and Iran since Thursday’s airstrike.

“The U.S. has been acting provocatively for the past year, since this last year, 2019,” Bryant said. “And Iran is blamed by the U.S. for all these things that have been happening like the bombing of ships in the Strait of Hormuz last year.”

Khawam said diplomacy is the only answer.

“Americans are sick and tired of this constant need of being aggressive and wanting to start wars and unnecessary regime change,” Khawam said.

Some protesters called attention to what they said are ulterior motives of the Trump administration.

“Pompeo is using this fabrication to get people behind the war effort,” Bryant said.

Following Thursday’s airstrike, President Trump said action should’ve been taken years ago.

“We took action last night to stop a war,” President Trump said. “We did not take action to start a war.”