Despite the freezing temperatures, just over 20 individuals gathered in front of Springfield’s Historic City Hall to participate in the ‘No War on Iran’ demonstration Sunday afternoon. Bundled up in winter coats, stocking caps and mittens, community members held signs that read, “No War or Sanctions in Iran!” and “U.S. Troops Out of Iraq!” high along the sidewalk of Chestnut Expressway.

The demonstration was hosted by the Party of Socialism and Liberation, ANSWER Coalition and Democratic Socialists of the Ozarks to protest the discussion of the United States entering into a war with Iran.

A Facebook event created for the demonstration stated, “For all who believe in peace, for all who are opposed to yet another catastrophic war, now is the time to take action. Join The ANSWER Coalition and The Party for Socialism and Liberation … to demand NO WAR on Iran! US troops out of the Middle East!”

Earlier this month Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani was assassinated by an American drone strike. According to President Donald Trump, the strike was taken against Soleimani due to the “planned” attacks on four U.S. embassies, including the American Embassy in Baghdad.

According to Business Insider, five days after the death of Soleimani, Iran fired “ballistic missiles” at two bases holding U.S. and Iraqi military personnel.

With the ongoing violence occurring between the United States and the Middle East, and President Trump’s deployment of 3,000 troops after the assassination of Soleimani, there has been talk about the potential declaration of war between the U.S. and Iran by people all across the globe.

U.S. organizations from both political parties are using this time to speak out and take action to educate the public about what is occurring domestically and overseas.

Party for Socialism and Liberation member Ryan Minor led the group of individuals in various chants throughout the demonstration, as PSL member and OTC student Adrian Sprague was available to answer questions about the organization or sign-up interested prospects. 

The Party for Socialism and Liberation is, “deeply involved in a wide range of struggles, from local battles over affordable housing and racist police brutality, to fight for a higher minimum wage and union rights, to the global issues of imperialist war and environmental destruction,” Minor said. “Our jobs as members is to train ourselves to be leaders in these struggles and many more that affect poor and working people by engaging in these struggles together.”

Along with the protest held Sunday afternoon, Minor said Springfield’s PSL plans to hold more events in the future for community members, explaining the importance of staying informed and researching information they may see online before soaking it up on the spot without question.

“A lot of people are wary of conflicts such as the one we may soon face with Iran but are not aware of any organizations in their area who are organizing along an antiwar basis,” Minor said. “It’s pivotal to reach as many people as we can and to reach out to other progressive and anti-war organizations to bring more people out.”

Springfield’s PSL will be hosting a second ‘No War on Iran’ demonstration Saturday, Jan. 25 in coordination with the international day of protest for all who oppose the threat of war on the Middle East.

“(Demonstrating) shows solidarity with the people of Iran and Iraq,” Sprague said. “It shows that we are ready to have our voices heard and that we are not going to idly sit by while our government does whatever they want to do.”

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