Organized in Washington by Code Pink: Women for Peace and the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), the protest was one of dozens that took place Saturday in cities and towns across the country including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Memphis, Salt Lake City and Tucson.
The crowd, a diverse mix of young activists and grizzled protest veterans, stood under gray skies, cheering and chanting as speakers railed against the administration and the prospect of a war with Iran. Actress and activist Jane Fonda was among those who addressed the protesters, saying that the “climate movement and the peace movement must be one movement.” Tourists passing by took selfies with demonstrators, and a combination of Secret Service, Metropolitan Police and U.S. Park Police officers watched the peaceful proceedings from a short distance.
“The targeted assassination and murder of a central leader of Iran is designed to initiate a new war,” the ANSWER Coalition wrote in a statement on its website, declaring Saturday a national day of action. “Unless the people of the United States rise up and stop it, this war will engulf the whole region and could quickly turn into a global conflict of unpredictable scope and potentially the gravest consequences.”
Many of the protesters said they wanted to be there to send a message to the Trump administration that there is no appetite for further military involvement in the region. Dio Cramer, 21, and Ellie Struewing, 22, college students from Takoma Park, Md., who were home on winter break, said they are worried about what will happen next.
“It’s a scary time to be a young person, feeling like your government is going against everything you believe in,” Cramer said.
“It’s kind of thrilling to be here,” Struewing added.
Tyler Fitch, 28, of Washington, said he attended the rally because “I wanted to raise my voice and show that I object to this intervention.”
Following the rally at the White House, most of the protesters marched the short distance down Pennsylvania Avenue NW to the Trump International Hotel, chanting “No justice, no peace. U.S. out of the Middle East!” and “Trump says more war, we say no more!”