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Saskatoon Citizens Oppose Attack on Syria

by Rob Brown


 

About 200 Saskatoon people rallied Monday afternoon, demonstrating their opposition to any US plan of bombing Syria. They gatherd at City Hall with signs and listened to speakers condemn the proposed US plan. 

In a pre-rally interview, WW2 veteran Betsy Bury described the US proposal as “horrid” and “a moral outrage.” The long-time peace worker said that especially at times like this, "everyone needs to work together for world peace.”

Several speakers drew that crowd’s attention to the fact that the US has been a user of chemical weapons in war. They specifically mentioned the use of atomic weapons in WW2 and both napalm and agent orange in Viet Nam.

Community speaker Nayyar Javed noted that  ordinary citizens in Canada and elsewhere “aren’t buying the [government] propaganda any more” about the need for action against Syria. She also called for no increase to military intervention in the Syrian conflict. Hamid said now is the time “to have a strong UN body” for dealing with international conflict. She added that if UN inspectors find that the Assad regime had used gas against people, “He should be brought before the International Criminal Court.”

Peace worker Don Kossick noted a fundamental problem with the Harper government in Canada. He discussed the atomic energy spill at Fukushima, Japan, which now threatens large parts of the North Pacific ocean. Said Kossick, “It is sad that the Prime Minister can organize for war [against Syria], but cannot organize to support life on the planet.” 

John Perry of the United Nations Association of Canada said it was sad that people are having to organize against war at this time. He noted that chemicals may have been used Syria, but named a long list of possible users, from a rogue group within the Syrian arms to jihaddist insurgents. Perry added that any military action from outside would be a direct blow to both the men, women, and children who die in the event and the United Nations Organization. 

Graduate student Kota Maburingo from the University of Saskatchewan was excited to see the significant number of young people in the crowd. He noted they are the ones who will have to live the longest with the results of any military action against Syria. “Let the Syrian people decide what is best,” he added. 

In addition to these speakers, many people arrived with signs, large and small, saying things like “Send Aid not Arms to Syria,” “Food, Not Bombs,” and “Play Tennis, Not War.”

The gathering attracted the attention of most of Saskatoon’s media and may people who were passing by on the street. It also attracted the attention of four Saskatoon police officers, who arrived before the event began, and left long after it was over, all the while remaining quietly in the background. 

 

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Topics: Peace/War

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celtic-rob (Rob Brown)
Saskatoon, SK
Member since January 2011

About:

Rob is a retired career journalist, who has worked in both electronic and print news. He is also so a Minister of the United Church of Canada, and has post-graduate University training in ethics.

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