In response to a tweet from President Trump threatening to launch a missile strike against Syria, the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism Coalition, or the ANSWER Coalition, held a protest Thursday against the potential renewal of military action in Syria — the United States launched an airstrike the next day.
On Wednesday, President Trump said on Twitter he was considering the launch of an airstrike on Syria. The President proclaimed outrage over the Assad regime’s suspected use of chemical weapons on its own people.
“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’ You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!” Trump said Wednesday on Twitter.
Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018
The Pentagon held a press briefing later that day, according to Reuters. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said, “I believe there was a chemical attack, and we are looking for the actual evidence.” Mattis also told reporters that he wanted weapons inspectors sent to Syria.
As of Friday, the U.S., the U.K. and France have all launched airstrikes on Syria in response to the alleged chemical attack.
The ANSWER Coalition stood at the corner of Gibson Blvd. and San Mateo Blvd., chanting and speaking at people walking by.
Several individuals spoke at the protest, such as University of New Mexico student Kate Barr.
“It’s important for the White House to understand that public opinion matters here,” she said. “We don’t believe that the world’s largest (military) should be sent off to war on account of a tweet.”
Barr said Americans have been lied to about the motivation behind war in the Middle East time and time again, adding that the public should challenge the government and “sitting by doesn’t help anyone.”
James Daniel, an organizer with ANSWER, said he remembers the U.S. being at war his whole life.
“I remember us invading Iraq and finding out there was no reason to for us to be there. We have the same political coalitions today calling for a similar war in a country that borders Iraq,” Daniel said.
ANSWER was also critical of how Trump introduced the military action to the public.
Joel Gallegos, an activist with ANSWER said, “Tweeting that he’s going to attack another country proves that Trump is completely inept. He was in the race for publicity's sake. He’s still not ready to be president, and government competence is at an all-time low.”
Donald Amble is a freelance news reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Deambler.