Global protests oppose Middle East attack
Peace activists filled the streets around the world on Sunday to condemn the US rush to war on Syria.
While US President Barack Obama was desperately trying to rally support for war, hundreds gathered in Washington to call for peace — reflecting the public majority opposing an attack.
Protesters picketed the White House and marched to Capitol Hill.
“We have suddenly found ourselves united as Americans, overwhelmingly saying we will not let you drag us into another war,” warned Medea Benjamin, the founder of anti-war group Code Pink.
Peace protests were held across the US, including in New York’s Times Square and a prayer vigil in Boston.
People demonstrated in Indianapolis, Grand Rapids, Lincoln, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Tampa, Atlanta, New Orleans and more towns and cities than there is space to report.
On Saturday, more than 100,000 people filled St Peter’s Square in the Vatican, answering Pope Francis’s call for action.
“Violence and war are never the way to peace,” Pope Francis told the crowd.
“May the noise of weapons cease! War always marks the failure of peace, it is always a defeat for humanity.”
In Damascus, Syrian Christians attended a peace service in the al-Zaytoun church.
Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III presided, saying most countries supported a political solution and few wanted military action. “No to war. Yes for peace,” he said.
Bishops around the world joined the Pope in a day-long fast and organised similar vigils.
Argentinian human rights and religious groups held a vigil in Buenos Aires’s Plaza de Mayo and similar events took place throughout Italy, Cuba and elsewhere.
In Toronto, Canadian Peace Alliance co-ordinator Sid Lacombe told demonstrators that people would not support the US in “another incredibly brutal, immoral and illegal war based on lies.”
In Antakya, near Turkey’s border with Syria, people demonstrated against US missile strikes.
Meanwhile hundreds marched in Lebanon and in Palestine people united to call for peace.