Protests across US condemn action in Iran and Iraq

By KIRO 7 Staff and The Associated Press

Demonstrators in dozens of cities around the U.S., including Seattle, gathered Saturday to protest the Trump administration’s killing of an Iranian general and decision to send thousands of additional soldiers to the Middle East.

More than 70 planned protests were organized by Code Pink and Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, a U.S.-based anti-war coalition, along with other groups.

Protesters carried signs and chanted anti-war slogans like: “No justice, no peace! U.S. out of the Middle East.”

President Donald Trump ordered Friday’s airstrike near Baghdad’s international airport that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, who has been blamed for attacks on U.S. troops and American allies going back decades. Iran has vowed retribution, raising fears of an all-out war, but it’s unclear how or when a response might come.

Protest organizers said the Trump administration has essentially started a war with Iran by assassinating Soleimani.

In Seattle, hundreds marched down Fourth Avenue in downtown, where they met a wall of officers near WestLake Park before turning back to Victor Steinbrueck Park, where the anti-war protest began.

“As an Iranian American, my heart breaks for both my communities,” Nilofar Ganjaie, one of many protesters, said.

She told KIRO 7 that war with Iran, where she still has family, has been a fear of hers for years.

Besides Seattle, there were protests in cities like Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, all with the same anti-war message.

In Miami, drivers heard protesters shouting, “No more drone murders,” “We want peace now” and “What do we want? Peace in Iran.”

In Minneapolis, protesters gathered near the University of Minnesota, holding signs and chanting. Among them was Meredith Aby, a longtime leader of the local Anti-War Committee.

"We need to be pulling out of Iraq, not sending thousands more troops. We need to be trying to cool things down with Iran, not pouring gasoline on a fire,” Aby, 47, said.

Campaign officials for Trump are defending him, claiming his actions have made the world safer.

The president also tweeted a warning Saturday of more U.S. action if Iran retaliates.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.