Syrian Americans say ‘No!’ to U.S. war on their country

syria1_0926A significant turnout of nearly 1,000 anti-war demonstrators, most from the Syrian-American community, marched in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 9, the day that the U.S. Congress reconvened and the day before President Barack Obama withdrew the war resolution against Syria. The first topic on Congress’ agenda was to discuss the resolution giving the executive authority to bomb Syria. This was the last thing wanted by many of the Syrian-origin people living in the U.S., and so they came to protest.

While the Syrian American Forum had called the demonstration and organized nine buses from different parts of the country, many of the participants were not members of that group but came as individuals or in other organizations. Their motivation was to stop the illegal and destructive U.S. attack on their country.

Chanting was dominated by the slogans “USA/NATO, hands off Syria,” “No war on Syria” and other anti-war slogans. Many people carried Syrian flags. The presence of so many Syrians showed that not only does the U.S. population in general want to stop U.S. involvement, but so do Syrian Americans and, by extension, so do most of the people in Syria.

The Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition/Atlanta took its message of “No War on Syria” to the pedestrian-friendly downtown square of Decatur, a suburb of Atlanta, on Sept. 14. The large signs and sound of whistles blowing attracted the attention and support of drivers in passing cars and those walking by, who were overwhelmingly against an attack on Syria. Many expressed doubt that government officials were telling the truth about Syria.

The United National Antiwar Coalition and Dianne Mathiowetz contributed to this article, which John Catalinotto edited.