It was a freezing, bitter morning and despite wearing a thermal tee, a jean jacket, a wool-lined bomber jacket, and the thickest pair of socks I owned, the wind still felt as if it was blowing right through me. The wind chill was unbearable.
Despite the near-freezing temperatures, there were thousands of people gathered in Times Square, New York City with signs and flags, and anti-war chants were loud and frequent. Signs with the sayings, “No More War for Oil” and “No War with Iran”. Chants resounded with “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, These endless wars have got to go.” It was evident immediately upon my arrival in the square that people were fearful of an impending war- especially the younger members of the crowd who would be eligible for the rumored draft.
“People are beginning to realize that the U.S. no longer has any good reason to be in the Middle East, and they want our troops to return home”, said Sarah Kelley of Rhode Island. Kelley said the U.S. had been at war since she was a senior in college and she is in disbelief that the war is still ongoing.
The anti-war protests that took place in nearly 70 U.S. cities on Jan. 4, 2020 were in response to the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. The decision to assassinate Soleimani was approved by President Trump and carried out via drone strike on Jan. 3, 2020. The immediate response of the anti-war protests across the U.S. shows that war is still highly controversial. U.S. involvement in the Middle East is nearing 20 years, making it the longest war in U.S. history, and this killing only further complicated our involvement in the region. According to CNN, an additional 3,000 troops were sent overseas which is part of the reason the killing was condemned by so many across the country.
Luckily, now a month later, the situation has not escalated beyond Iran attacking a U.S. base with missiles, which was reported to not cause any casualties. These protests should show those in our government who wish to wage more senseless war that they have little support for the continuation.