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US - Iran Conflict In Middle East Sparks Protest In Monterey

Doug McKnight
Anti-war protesters gathered at Window on the Bay in Monterey for a protest Thursday evening. The gathering was part of a nationwide #NoWarWithIran mobilization.

The House of Representatives voted to curtail President Trump’s power to use military force against Iran on Thursday. Hours later, anti-war protestors lined Del Monte Avenue in Monterey.

They waved signs reading “No War” and chanted while homeward bound traffic honked horns in response. 

The crowd size quickly grew to more than 50. It was one of a series of protests around the country organized by the groups Code Pink, Move On, Indivisible and others.

Credit Doug McKnight
Around 50 people participated in the protest.

The protestors voiced concern the U.S. drone attack that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani last Friday would lead to another war in the Middle East.  

Justin Loza is president of the local chapter of Veterans for Peace, the group that organized the event. 

“I don't want to see another futile, costly, harmful war,” he said. It was a feeling expressed by many in the group.

Loza pointed out that Iran struck back for the killing by firing ballistic missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq. It is something that brought back memories from his time in the U.S. Air Force in Afghanistan.

“It's very personal for me,” Loza said.

Loza added that he knows what it is like to hear the sound of incoming missiles.

“You just don't know if it's going to hit you or hit someone else on base, so you just put your head between your legs and just hope everything turns out okay. It's very frightening.”

Loza says he wants California’s representatives in Washington to rethink conflicts in the Middle East.

“We shouldn't be in so many wars continuously and continuously. We should have, I think, in my opinion, a strong military. But we can't use it to interfere into the affairs of other nations,” he said.

Credit Doug McKnight
The protesters held up signs that read "No War" as traffic passed by.

President Trump and his top deputies have said the killing of Soleimani was necessary to prevent future attacks on U.S. soldiers and facilities. The president says Iran has backed down, for now. On Friday, the President announced additional economic sanctions against Iran.