Detroit students against Syria war drive

This 16 April 2018 video from London, England is about Britons protesting against British air strikes on Syria.

From the USA:

Detroit students speak out against Syria war drive

By a WSWS reporting team

5 September 2013

On Wednesday, the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) campaigned at Detroit’s Wayne State University to promote a demonstration against war that is being planned for Monday, September 9 (information below).

Many students expressed incredulity at the Obama administration’s claims of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime, and were overwhelmingly opposed to a renewed drive to war.

Wayne State University is a multi-ethnic, largely working-class university, with a sizable portion of students coming from the Middle East. The IYSSE members spoke with students from Libya, Egypt and many other countries.

Students are returning to Wayne State University, located in the Midtown area of Detroit, as the city is under the thumb of Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and the bankruptcy court. The university has increased tuition by 9.8 percent this semester, part of an overall attack on workers throughout the city.

IYSSE members explained that the war drive is itself rooted in the geopolitical interests of the American ruling class, which is responding to the economic crisis and its declining world position through the use of military force. The Obama administration is currently working to get a resolution passed in Congress to provide political cover for another war of aggression with incalculable consequences.

Nicole Manlove, a graduate student in library and information sciences, said she was opposed to a new war. “It seems like every year there’s another war, some new government to topple. I call it new-age colonialism.”

“Why not spend money on healthcare and schools instead?” she asked. “Aren’t they saying there’s no money to pay pensions in Detroit? Why can’t they rebuild the city? Instead they’re using the money to kill innocent people.”

“People make money on wars. There are real interests at stake. Everyone knows how Iraq worked out. It’s capitalism at the expense of human life.”

“Our government claims that Assad has weapons of mass destruction,” said WSU student Austin. “They said the same thing about Iraq, which just goes to show that we haven’t learned anything from our past.”



Austin went on to say, “A war with Syria would mean we waste billions or even trillions of dollars, and it would result in the deaths of thousands more people. The claim is that our government has to come in and save the Syrian people. But the American people didn’t have someone to come in to save them during the American Revolution or the Civil War. They had to fight for their own rights.”

“Where’s the demand for proof?” asked Derak James, a graduate student in the chemistry department. “Bush didn’t have enough evidence, and neither does Obama. If it was a Republican in office, would any of this be considered OK? The truth is we don’t know who set off the chemical attack. What we do know is that the rebels have been caught with chemical weapons, and that we don’t know what happened to the stash of weapons that we lost last summer.”

Anne Duggan

Anne Duggan

James said the drive to war was related to the economic crisis. “This whole economic recovery is a lie,” he said. “The reason that the interest rates are so low is because the government is buying up bonds. I mean, it’s obvious. Just a little while ago they said that they would have to slow down and eventually stop the process of quantitative easing, and what happened? The stock market lost, basically overnight, like two years of gains. If that doesn’t tell you that the whole recovery is a lie then I don’t know what will. And there’s no way to get out of it either. The government has backed itself into a corner, and it’s just a matter of how long it will be before the whole thing comes crashing down.”

Anne Duggan, a professor of French and director of the gender studies program at the university expressed anger at the drive to war: “This will only lead to further loss of life. If the goal is to prevent terrorism, it will only piss people off and cause more terrorism. If it’s a peacekeeping mission, why is there no UN resolution? We should have learned our lesson from Iraq and Afghanistan. Fool me once…”

Sai Namaduri

Sai Namaduri

“This is a proxy war,” said Sai Namaduri, a sophomore studying biomedical physics. “It’s all about profits and business interests.” He added that Obama’s actions had led him to turn away from the Democratic Party. “After the drone strikes, the NSA revelations and the increased militarization of the police… after all that I can’t call myself a Democrat, and I’ve rejected the two-party system.”

The IYSSE and SEP are organizing a demonstration against war at WSU at 3:00 pm on Monday, September 9, by the Flagpoles of Gullen Mall. We encourage all workers and youth in the Detroit area to attend. A meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 11. For details, click here.

The director of the Detroit Institute of Arts has warned that any sale of the city’s art will likely result in the closure of the museum: here.

9 thoughts on “Detroit students against Syria war drive

  1. ——- Forwarded message follows ——-
    Send reply to:
    From: “Max van Lingen”
    Dear all,

    First of all, I’m sorry for the short notice.

    We are organizing a demonstration against military intervention in
    Syria this Saturday in Amsterdam. You can find more information on
    the Facebook event:

    The message of the demonstration is the same as the one we did last
    Saturday: no intervention in Syria. There will be a meeting in
    preparation for the demonstration this evening at 20.00 at the
    office of Didf (Ite Boeremastraat 1, Amsterdam).

    Max van Lingen
    International Socialists

    ——- End of forwarded message ——-


  2. From the USA:

    As Congress considers U.S. bombing of Syria, their constituents’ calls and emails are overwhelmingly opposed – as much as 100 to 1. And it’s having an effect, especially in the House: only 46 are likely Yes votes, while 169 are likely No’s.

    That makes our emails and calls even more important. So please join our partners at CREDO Action to Tell Congress: Don’t Bomb Syria

    Thanks for all you do!

    Bob Fertik

    Tell Congress: Don’t bomb Syria
    The petition reads:
    “To our Senators and members of Congress: Do not authorize the use of American military force in Syria. With civilians being butchered and refugees suffering immensely, it is horrifying to watch the brutal civil war in Syria unfold. But U.S. military intervention is far more likely to make matters worse, not better. The U.S. should not bomb Syria. The best thing we can do is commit to holding war criminals accountable, expand humanitarian aid for refugees, and maintain constant diplomatic pressure for a negotiated end to the conflict.”

    Add your name:

    Dear Activist,

    President Obama has sent a draft resolution authorizing the use of American military force in Syria to Congress. We need to speak out today and tell our senators and members of Congress to say no to military intervention by the U.S.

    The brutal and bloody Syrian civil war has already left 100,000 people dead and created millions of refugees. And now chemical weapons have been used, killing hundreds of civilians.

    The use of chemical weapons is morally reprehensible, and it should be punished. The International Criminal Court should immediately start war crime tribunals and proceedings against those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. And the U.S. can take evidence that Assad’s regime used chemical weapons to the UN Security Council and seek a resolution against Syria. Both acts would make it far more difficult for Russia to continue defending the regime and open the door for international action to broker a ceasefire — the only way we will stop the massacre of civilians.

    Tell your Senators and Representative: Don’t bomb Syria. Click here to sign the petition.

    The justifiable outrage evoked by the use of chemical weapons does not make attacking Syria — where parts of the rebel resistance are allied with Al Qaeda and the authoritarian response by President Assad is aided by Hezbollah — either just or strategic.

    As heart wrenching as the ongoing civil war has become, the United States should not start dropping bombs. A knee jerk, unilateral attack by the U.S. won’t help civilians — it will make matters worse. At this point, there are no good options when it comes to military intervention by the United States, and it should be considered only as an effort of last resort, not a first response.

    Tell your Senators and Representative: Don’t bomb Syria. Click here to sign the petition.

    As humanitarians confronting the horror of the Syrian civil war, we must consider how we can best protect civilians, end the violence, and uphold the international prohibition on using chemical weapons. But we shouldn’t make matters worse on the ground just to answer war crimes with a limited and largely symbolic show of force.

    The draft resolution makes it clear that the kind of limited military strike promoted by Obama administration is highly unlikely to affect the ultimate outcome of this messy and brutal civil war.

    And what’s more, initiating “limited” hostilities with Syria could serve to pull us deeper into yet another war in the Middle East, with all the ramifications — moral, humanitarian, economic and geopolitical — that would entail.

    Tell your Senators and Representative: Don’t bomb Syria. Click here to sign the petition.

    There are times when military force is necessary and justifiable. But this isn’t one of them.

    The time is now to speak out.

    Becky Bond, Political Director
    CREDO Action from Working Assets

    Add your name:

    Learn more about this campaign


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