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150 in Des Moines say no to U.S. military action in Syria

Syria vigil in Des Moines 9-4-13
Sherry Hutchison is one of 115 people who signed a petition against U.S. military action in Syria. At 94 years young, Sherry is an active member of Des Moines Valley Friends Meeting. More photos from the vigil here. Photo: Jon Krieg / AFSC

For the third time in one week, Iowans came together in Des Moines on September 5 to send a clear message to President Obama and the Iowa Congressional delegation: No U.S. Military Action in Syria.

Organized by AFSC, Des Moines Area Ecumenical Committee for Peace, Catholic Peace Ministry, WILPF, Veterans for Peace, and Iowa Citizens Action Network, over 150 people participated in this vigil for peace. More than an anti-war rally, this was an insistent call that the U.S. show real leadership in making a path to peace.

Participants joined in reading a statement from the ecumenical committee affirming support for an international peace process.

Kathleen McQuillen, AFSC Iowa Program Coordinator, said, “It’s time for the president to show real leadership and use U.S. influence creatively to collaborate with international communities and institutions to develop a peace process and save lives rather than engage in military actions that destroy more lives.”

As Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel once said, “Not all are guilty, but all are responsible.” More than 115 people responded to these words by signing both a petition for peace and a volunteer sheet for next steps.

The community spirit was perhaps best represented by Lucy Krause, a long-time peace activist, who said, “I can hardly see anymore, and I need a walker to walk, but I can still use my voice to call for peace. I can still protest.”

For photos of the vigil, click here.

Below is broadcast media from the event: