Protests planned across US to condemn Trump administration actions in Iraq, Iran

CHICAGO – More than 40 demonstrations were planned across the U.S. Saturday to protest the Trump administration’s killing of a top Iranian general and decision to send about 3,000 more soldiers to the Middle East.

The protests are being spearheaded by Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), a U.S.-based anti-war coalition, in conjunction with more than a dozen organizations. Demonstrations were expected to protest outside the White House, in New York City’s Times Square and more.

Another international protest is expected at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate.

“The targeted assassination and murder of a central leader of Iran is designed to initiate a new war. Unless the people of the United States rise up and stop it, this war will engulf the whole region and could quickly turn into a global conflict of unpredictable scope and potentially the gravest consequences,” the organization said on its website.

Organizers could not say how many people were expected to attend the protests, but Facebook events suggest that hundreds of people planned to participate. Nearly 300 people indicated interest in a Facebook event for a protest in Madison, Wisconsin, along with nearly 200 people for protests in both Chicago and Burlington, Vermont.

“We’re having the protest to say no to war and to bring the troops home from Iraq,” said Anamaria Meneses, an organizer with the Justice Center en El Barrio, ANSWER’s New York City branch. “Our tax dollars shouldn’t be spent on killing people abroad. We should stand against senseless wars.”

ANSWER’s national headquarters did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The ANSWER coalition formed in the wake of 9/11, organizing demonstrations against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that drew hundreds of thousands of protesters. While it has since led some of the biggest and most successful protests in the U.S., the coalition is not without its critics. Some groups have accused the coalition of supporting anti-Semitism; others have scrutinized its approach to supporting the rights of undocumented immigrants.

The protests come after several days of escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran that started with the killing of an American contractor.

Democrats warn against ‘march’ to war: Trump orders killing of Qasem Soleimani

It’s also the latest in a broader beef between the two nations, including President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear pact in 2018 and subsequent sanctions he imposed on Iran in order to make them come to a new deal.

Thousands of Iranians protested against the U.S. airstrike in the nation’s capital, Friday, while some Iraqis sang and danced in Baghdad.

*story by USA Today