Anti-war groups plan to hold rallies in Denver and Boulder tomorrow, January 4, following a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad that killed a top Iranian military commander, sparking fears of retaliation and an escalating conflict between the U.S. and Iran.
The two Colorado rallies are among dozens that will be held in cities across the country by the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition, along with Code Pink and other anti-war and veterans' groups.
"The Trump administration and Pentagon have moved to start a war with Iran," the Colorado chapter of the ANSWER Coalition wrote on its Facebook page. "Unless the people of the United States rise up and stop it, this war will engulf the whole region and could quickly turn into a global conflict of unpredictable scope and potentially the gravest consequences."
President Donald Trump's administration confirmed late on Thursday, January 2, that U.S. forces had conducted an airstrike on Baghdad International Airport, killing General Qassem Soleimani, who commanded Iran's Quds military force and was considered one of the country's most powerful figures. Iranian leaders have vowed to take "severe revenge," and Democrats, including Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, slammed Trump's airstrike as a dangerous escalation.
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"I think this was a terribly reckless and provocative act," Bennet, who is running for his party's 2020 presidential nomination, told WGBH in Boston on Friday. "It's the latest in a long string of non-strategic choices that Donald Trump has made in the Middle East that has weakened our position."
At Saturday's rallies, activists will call for an end to hostilities and U.S. sanctions on Iran, as well as the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq. The Pentagon said Friday that at least 3,500 additional troops will be deployed to the Middle East in the wake of the attack.
Activists led by Denver nonprofit the Zwiski Foundation also plan to demonstrate at tonight’s First Friday Art Walk in the Santa Fe Art District.