Anti-war protests have been held across the United States in response to President Barack Obama’s plans to use military force against Syria over the alleged use of chemical weapons.
Dozens of people took to the streets in Houston to voice their opposition to possible US strikes against Damascus. The protesters carried placards reading “We Don’t Want Obama’s War” and “Hands off Syria”.
In Washington, anti-war demonstrators rallied outside the White House as Obama made his statement on Syria.
In Los Angeles, about 200 protesters waived “No More War” signs at street intersections, blocking traffic in some areas. Two arrests were reported.
In Boston, some 200 people came to the Boston Commons to protest against possible intervention, chanting “Don’t Bomb Syria”.
An anti-war rally in the Arkansas Capitol drew more than two dozen protesters, some of whom wore T-shirts with the legend, “No US Intervention in Syria”.
In Chicago, about 40 people defied rain to express their disagreement with Obama by circling a sculpture in Daley Plaza, bearing signs reading “No War in Syria”.
Across the Atlantic, more than 1,000 protesters marched to Downing Street and Trafalgar Square in London, carrying Syrian flags and anti-war posters, hailing as a victory Parliament’s rejection of the use of military force against Syria.
In Frankfurt, about 700 people joined an anti-war rally in support of a sovereign and independent Syria free of foreign interference.
In Amman, Jordan, protesters set fire to American and Israeli flags during an anti-intervention rally outside the US embassy.
The protesters carrying banners and Syrian flags marched along Whitehall, past Downing Street and Parliament chanting “Hands off Syria” and “USA shame on you”. Organisers claimed any attack on President Assad’s forces, which are being considered in response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons against its own people, would only fuel the conflict in Syria.
The Stop the War Coalition said opposition to any military involvement in Syria had been boosted by a vote by MPs that rejected the Prime Minister’s attempts to secure parliamentary backing for military strikes.
They insisted there was a groundswell of public anger that was similar to those which preceded the 2003 invasion of Iraq, although the numbers that turned out to take part in the protest were far lower.
Tony Benn, the former Labour MP addressed the crowd during the march. He said: “Today is a victory of British public opinion over those who want war and the vote in Parliament last week was a result of all the demonstrations, like the one we had today, against war and in favour of peace.
“Chemical weapons are terrible weapons, but when you think of all the thousands of people that have been killed by British and American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq you realise that it isn’t true that another war would solve the problem.”
Speakers addressed the crowd from below Nelson’s Column as tourists visiting central London looked on. Lindsey German, convener of the Stop The War coalition, described the vote in parliament as a “victory”.
She said: “Never let them say demonstrations don’t work - our demonstration has worked”.
Voice of Russia, The Telegraph, Fox News, RT