With cars whizzing by honking in support, more than 200 war protesters lined a busy Minneapolis street Saturday to condemn U.S. military action against Syria just days before President Obama addresses the nation.
The protest, one of several in the Twin Cities in the past 10 days, was similar to others nationally that urged Congress to reject a war resolution.
“This is absurd,” said Frieda Gardner, 71, of Minneapolis. “There is a real fatigue in the country with war.”
Coleen Rowley, the former FBI special agent who testified about the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures, read aloud to the crowd from a letter she’s circulating to community and political leaders, hoping to show that opposition to military action in Syria “transcends partisanship.”
“There is public momentum,” she said, holding a huge protest sign. “This could lead to a wider war.”
The dozens of protesters along the intersection of Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue ranged from young adults to longtime activists such as Gardner.
“It starts like this,” Gardner said of the modest crowd. “The crowds will grow as people’s sons and daughters are at risk.”
Saturday’s hourlong protest was the first of many expected this week. On Sunday, Women Against Military Madness will demonstrate at 12:30 p.m. at Martin Luther King Park in Minneapolis while Veterans for Peace will protest at 4 p.m. at Cedar-Riverside. On Wednesday, a weekly war protest is expected to draw larger crowds from 5 to 6 p.m. on the Lake Street Bridge.
Kelly Smith • 612-673-4141