By Kalinowski, Tim on January 25, 2020.
A small, but passionate, group of anti-war protesters gathered in the bus loop area at the University of Lethbridge on Friday to express their concerns that recent U.S. actions in Iraq and Iran with the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani could lead to a more widespread Middle Eastern war which, in turn, could draw Canada in.
“We have two main points,” said rally co-organizer Sorcha Deheer of the Meliorist Publishing Society. “We do want to call out the federal government for not making a very clear stand against what the Trump administration has done in Iran. We also just want to call out the U.S. and North American imperialism. We have no right going into other countries and trying to change their political systems.”
Deheer said she fears that rising tensions could lead to greater racism and xenophobia directed toward Iranians in North America. She also fears the conflict could widen and Canada could get “dragged in.”
“We just want to make sure Canada doesn’t get involved in something that we maybe shouldn’t be involved in,” she said. “A war in Iran will affect all the surrounding countries – whether that be through proxy wars, civil wars or an influx of refugees.”
Deheer said Friday’s rally was an attempt to provide an opportunity for U of L students to have their voices heard, but it also served as the preview for the main event – what she hoped would be a much larger communal demonstration against any possible Iranian war scheduled to be held in front of city hall today at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in solidarity with the “International Day of Action Against War with Iran.”
The Lethbridge Raging Grannies were on hand for Friday’s protest and planned to be present again during today’s public protest, said Grannies spokesperson Barb Phillips.
“We have lived wars,” she said. “Actually my father was in the First World War, believe it or not. So we have lived wars, an we have had family living wars, and friends, and we all went through the Iraq war the United States did, and we don’t want to see it again. Wars escalate very quickly.”
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