PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — More than 250 people gathered at Portland’s Terry Schrunk Plaza on Friday in a spirited anti-war demonstration in the wake of the US airstrike in Baghdad that killed an Iranian general.
The crowd was loud and had a unified message: hands off Iran. Chanting, “No justice, no peace, no murder in the Middle East,” the demonstrators showed their displeasure with President Trump’s policies in the region, including the decision to kill Gen. Qassem Soleimani on Thursday.
The rally was organized by the Portland Democratic Socialists but included a variety of groups, including Veterans for Peace and Greenpeace.
Protester Daniel Shea is a member of Veterans for Peace. He said nationwide, the organization has a call out to stand up to say no to war on Iran.
“As a veteran of the Vietnam war, a Marine Corp veteran, machine gunner, who saw death and destruction, I don’t want to see more death and destruction because in these wars, nobody wins,” said Shea.
Brandon Jonely, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, said past wars have influenced his perspective in a different way.
“I was 7 when 9/11 happened, and 9 when Iraq happened and we’ve been in the same wars for the whole time,” said Jonely. “It is our responsibility as American citizens to stand up and say we don’t want to support this and we don’t support the politicians that make this happen.”
Paige Kreisman, Portland’s DSA-endorsed candidate for Oregon House District 42, was at the rally calling for people to stand in solidarity with those who would bear the brunt of a war.
“I’m a veteran myself. I was an infantry woman in the US Army and I deployed to the Middle East,” said Kreisman. “And I saw first-hand the human suffering and the material consequences of the forever-war we are waging in that region.”
In a statement, demonstration organizers said: “Trump’s assassination of an Iranian military general in Iraq on Thursday was an illegal act of war on Iran. Everyone in the US and Portland needs to get in the streets to stand against another illegal US war which would lead to a massive death toll. The US needs to exit the Middle East immediately.”
They were united in their views against the Trump Administration’s policies, want the US to leave the Middle Eastern oil in the ground and urge everyone to find some common ground—that we all care for each other.
Earlier Friday, President Trump said the US did not kill the Iranian general to start a war with Iran, nor does the US want regime change.
Did Trump have the authority?
(AP) — Did President Donald Trump have the legal authority to order the killing of a top Iranian general in Iraq?
But it depends on facts that aren’t publicly known yet. And legal experts are quick to point out that even if it was legal that doesn’t make it the right decision, or one that will be politically smart in the long run. Iran and its allies are vowing revenge.
In its limited explanation so far, the Pentagon said Gen. Qassem Soleimani was “actively developing” plans to kill American diplomats and service members when he was killed in a U.S. drone strike Friday near the Baghdad airport shortly after arriving in the country.
That would appear to place the action within the legal authority of the president, as commander in chief, to use force in defense of the nation under Article II of the Constitution, said Bobby Chesney, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law who specializes in national security issues.