A pro peace demonstration in front of Flagstaff City Hall this afternoon added Flagstaff to the growing list of demonstrations opposing a potential US conflict with Iran.
A little after noon people began gathering in downtown Flagstaff at Heritage Square. At 1 brandishing hand made signs they marched through the downtown area singing and chanting until they reached Route 66 in front of city hall. There, they spoke about concerns that ranged from opposition to the drone killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani to deeper worries surrounding what they view as US saber rattling aimed at Iran.
Cars and trucks honked support as demonstrators stood waving signs that read, “Make War Extinct”, “No Blood for Oil’, “We have no money to pay for education or to feed the poor but we have money for a WAR?” and “Stop killing brown kids.”
Dr. Robert Neustadt says when asked why he came out on a Sunday afternoon, “I feel compelled to attend this kind of demonstration, not because they will necessarily accomplish anything, but the stakes are so high that I feel we must at least try to do anything and everything we can to stop another escalation of the seemingly interminable wars that cause so much damage.”
Luis Fernandez said he came out because, “We don’t need to start yet another war. As Senator Peters (Gary Peters, Michigan-D) has pointed out, this seems like a disproportionate response. The strategy in this case seems questionable, and the Administrative Office has yet to address Congress (as required by law) to speak about the attacks and answer questions on the evidence. Given how questionable some of the Administration’s actions have been in the past, it is good to be skeptical until real evidence is presented.”
The point is to get Congress to pay attention
Speaking about public demonstration, “These events are the duty of people who live in democracies. It is a human right to assemble and express points of view. I would argue that it is also our moral duty to do so.” Fernandez said.
Folks who stood up at Heritage Square and at City Hall said they hope US Rep O’Hallerhan take note of President Trump’s behavior towards Iran and place a check on the War Powers Act in legislation being introduced this week.
In an e-mail sent out by Ev Putzova’s campaign (AZ, US Congressional District 1 – currently occupied by Rep Tom O’Hallerhan (D)) on the morning after the assignation of General Soleimani email the day after the assassination,
“Last night, Trump put the world at incredible risk of war by ordering the assassination of one of Iran’s highest ranking officials.
The potentially devastating significance of his actions cannot be overstated. Journalists, politicians, and pundits alike have described the assassination as a major escalation, and it will be seen as an act of war, a decision void of any leadership or humanity.
But what makes it worse are the Democrats who have enabled this lawless president.
Last summer, seven Democrats voted to give Trump the authority to go to war with Iran without authorization. Tom O’Halleran was one of them. Help me replace him.
He also voted in favor of the NDAA — the $738 million military spending bill that Trump is now using to take us into World War 3.
But when you realize who is funding him, O’Halleran’s votes aren’t surprising.
O’Halleran takes campaign contributions from lobbying firms representing Saudi Arabia and the UAE — countries that have been in conflict with Iran for years and seek its defeat without any regard for the people in the region.
He also accepts thousands of dollars from four of the largest arms manufacturers — Boeing, Raytheon, General Electric, and General Dynamics — that all profit from death and destruction. Raytheon’s CEO even bragged to investors last year that war with Iran would boost revenue.
O’Halleran doesn’t represent the best interests of Americans. He must go.
When in Congress, I will focus on peace and diplomacy, not perpetuating endless wars for profit.”
Neustadt said that the demonstration shows support for that and, “Ideally, O’hallerhan and our senators will realize that we, the people they supposedly represent, do not want war.”
Putzova agrees, “It’s always important when people organize and gather to support or oppose something.
If I were in Flagstaff, I would have attended the gathering. As a member of Congress I would use the opportunity to support people and amplify the message of peace through media to reach even more people. Whether we like it or not, media pays attention to our elected officials and that’s power.
I wouldn’t waste a perfect opportunity to use that power to send a clear message to our Executive branch that war is not acceptable, that perpetuating violence is not acceptable and that we need a complete change in our foreign policy direction.”
Rep O’Hallerhan’s office had not responded to emailed questions by press time.
This story was updated Monday, January 6 @ 10:58 am