As Trump spent the day tweeting about his approval ratings Saturday, Americans in dozens of cities marched in the street to protest his latest foreign policy escalation.
The protests followed the White House-ordered killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, which many saw as a provocation of war with Iran. In response, the anti-war coalition Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, or ANSWER, scheduled protests in 70 different locations around the U.S., including outside the White House and Trump Tower.
In a statement on their website, ANSWER said they planned to “protest against a new war in the Middle East and [call] for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops and bases in the region.”
“For all who believe in peace, for all who are opposed to yet another catastrophic war, now is the time to take action,” they wrote.
While Trump has said the airstrike was intended to “stop a war” and not start one, the move has already inflamed tensions. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed to take “revenge” on the U.S. for the killing of Soleimani, who led the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, while Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the country would bear “responsibility for all the consequences”of the strike. The U.S. sent about 3,000 additional troops to the region on Friday, but said the deployment was in response not to the strike but to the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
On Saturday, protesters marched through the streets of major U.S. cities, carrying signs reading “No More War,” and “Hands Off Iran.” Protesters in New York’s Times Square sang chants and clanged cowbells, while more than 100 people lined the snow-lined streets of Minneapolis with signs and banners. Outside of the White House, protesters chanted “U.S. out of the Middle East; No justice, no peace.”
It’s unclear how many people participated in the protests, but hundreds were listed on Facebook as having attended in cities like Boston and Detroit. More than 500 people were marked as “interested” in a protest in Berlin, Germany.