Protesters March in Los Angeles Against U.S. Wars

26 Apr
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Antiwar Protest at Pershing Square, Los Angeles, April 2017; Photo by Barry Saks

About 25 people, many were from California for Progress and the local Green Party, marched from Pershing Square in Los Angeles, on Sunday, April 23, to the downtown Federal Building on Temple Ave. to protest the U.S. interventions in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan and Somalia.

 

 

Whether standing outside of Pershing Square on the corner of 5th and Olive Streets or marching to the Federal Building, the protesters chanted.

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Stephanie Delgado, standing on the edge of Pershing Square on April 23, 2017, with her sign, protesting; Photo by Barry Saks 

One chant was “Funds for jobs and education, not for wars and occupation.”  Another was “No war in the Middle East.” A third chant was “When the Middle East is under attack, what do we do?  Stand up, fight back.”  A fourth chant was “All we are saying is give peace a chance.”  A fifth chant was “What do we want?  Peace.  When do we want it?  Now.” A sixth chant was “Love and peace, no more war in the Middle East.”  A seventh chant was “This racist war has got to go.”

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Antiwar Protesters Marching Toward the Downtown Federal Building, April 23, 2017; Photo by Barry Saks

While most of the chants, addressed peace, war and its costs, the issue of immigration was, particularly raised with the chants, “No ban, no wall, sanctuary for all. No hate no fear, refugees are welcome here” and “You build a wall, we tear it down.  From Palestine to Mexico, all the walls have got to go.”

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Antiwar Protesters Listening to Speakers, April 23, 2017, Outside an Entrance to the Downtown Federal Building; Photo by Barry Saks 

On arrival to one side of the Federal Building, a pro-immigrant rights rally was taking place.  The antiwar protesters, who had early chanted a couple of pro-immigrant chants, greeted the other rally by continuing their pro-immigrant chants.  After about 10 minutes, the antiwar protesters moved to another entrance to the Federal Building, where they ended their protest with more speakers and announcements.

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Tania Singh Speaking, April 23, 2017, at Downtown Federal Building; Photo by Barry Saks

The idea of the protest came initially from Tania Singh, 28, who has a bachelor’s degree in political science.  Singh said she started thinking about the need to protest two or three months ago and was aware of the U. S. bombings.  She tried to get people in the Democratic Party involved, but found no interest.  At first she was going to stand on a corner by herself in her neighborhood with a sign.  She posted her desire to protest on Facebook; she heard from California for Progress and others, which wanted to do more and this is how this protest came about.  Singh said, “There has never been a time when they (the United States) go in and that place is left better than it was before….(T)here are better ways to achieve peace.”

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Allie White at Pershing Square, Los Angeles, April 23, 2017; Photo by Barry Saks

One of those who encouraged Singh to build something larger was Allie White, 29, who is with California for Progress.  White characterized California for Progress as leaderless.  She pointed out her organization supports indigenous and immigrant rights.

One of those who marched was James Carter, 24.  Carter said he was a member of the Socialist Party of Los Angeles and belongs to West Angeles Church of God in Christ.  He said he was there to oppose U.S. imperialism in the Middle East and added, “Usually we (the U.S.) say we are freeing people or liberating them from some kind of dictator, but that is rarely ever the case…. But then we occupied them for two decades or so.”

Another marcher was Jimmy Rivera.  Rivera said he was “part of the Green Party.”  Rivera, like Carter, said he was opposed to the U.S. imperialist wars.

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Yolanda Gonzalez, outside Pershing Square, Los Angeles, April 23, leading chants; Photo by Barry Saks

Another marcher was Yolanda Gonzalez, 56.  Gonzales said she’s a member of the Green Party and a teacher of 25 years, who teaches in a project-based-learning classroom.  Gonzalez, said, “I want to teach my students about the militarization that has been occurring in this country since its inception and that peace has to come from each one of us.”

The Facebook page for the event said, “On April 23, 2017 the people of Los Angeles unite to denounce military interventions, wars, and war crimes the United States is culpable for…. (W)e unite to call for demilitarization, de-escalation, & diplomacy….We call on our human family around the world to join us in demanding a demilitarized world.”

 

 

 

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