The Associated Press

Protesters Rally Against Syria Strike

BOSTON — More than 200 protesters gathered at the nation’s oldest public park Saturday as part of nationwide demonstrations opposing military strikes against the Syrian government as President Barack Obama announced he would seek congressional approval for such a move.

The group stood at the corner of the Boston Common and held up signs that said “Stay Out of Syria” and “Hands Off Syria.” At least one speaker said congressional authorization would not make an attack against Syria acceptable.

Protesters also chanted “Don’t Bomb Syria! Don’t bomb Syria! Don’t bomb Syria!” during breaks between speeches opposing the use of force.

Later, they marched to Secretary of State John Kerry’s home on Beacon Hill, knocked on the door and left a handwritten sign that said “Stay Out of Syria.” They then marched on to Faneuil Hall.

Garret Kirkland, a spokesman for rally organizers, said the protesters fear that any military action would harm civilians.

“It’s just a big mess, and we shouldn’t be involved. Period,” he said. “There is a heavy emphasis on the humanitarian side … because there’s going to be collateral damage, there’s gonna be civilian victims, you can’t bomb a country and not hit civilians. Absolutely.”

The U.S. says Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government launched an attack that killed more than 1,400 people there this month. Obama addressed the nation Saturday, saying he will seek congressional authorization for the use of force against Assad’s regime to discourage him and others from using chemical weapons. The Syrian government blames rebels in the Aug. 21 attack and has threatened retaliation if it is attacked.

The protesters are adamant that the U.S. should stay out of the fray.

“I don’t want on my conscience – on my hands – this blood that can be paid for with my taxes,” Kirkland said. “This is not right. This will all be done in my name, in our name.”

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  • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

    The most powerful act any individual can perform is to bear accurate witness.

    On Friday, John Kerry stood up to bear accurate witness as to what transpired in Syria, based on US Intelligence.

    So far so good.

    Now what?

    Now the US — having clearly observed Assad engaging in crimes against humanity — is obliged to act by taking the evidence to the International Court, there to indict and try Mr. Assad and his participating lieutenants on war crimes, under the aegis of International Law.

    This is how the US, being a leader among civilized nations and a leader in the practice of the Rule of Law, demonstrates how a civilized nation operates in accordance with the Rule of Law, as it applies to international law governing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    This is how a Nobel Peace Prize Winner demonstrates how state-sponsored violence is answered with non-violence, under the Rule of International Law.

    In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “Let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

    • X-Ray

      Kerry is a poor witness. He wasn’t there and he keeps about talkng about “high condifence” not cretainty. He should be Secretary of War.. His job is diplomacy and he isn’t doing a good job of it. It is also ironic that a Nobel Peace Prize winner advocates an aggressive military adventure against a country which hasn’t attacked us.

      • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

        If the US subscribes to the protocols of the scientific method (admittedly a doubtful assumption), then Mr. Kerry is obliged to examine and reveal all evidence that supports his hypothesis as well as all evidence that potentially falsifies it.

        Moreover, if Mr. Kerry’s methods rigorously adhere to the protocols of the scientific method, then he is obliged to consider all the alternative hypotheses on the table and conscientiously try like the dickens to falsify each and every one, until there emerges a sole surviving hypothesis fully concordant with all the forensic evidence.

        Moreover, this review process must be subjected to peer review, to ensure that it’s as flawless as humanly possible.

        How, for example, does Mr. Kerry conclusively falsify the competing hypothesis set forth in the account bylined by Dale Gavlak in the Mint Press News?

        Have UN weapons inspectors examined those underground rebel storage tunnels and the locations of their surface vents for the presence or absence of evidence corresponding to the account that rebels mishandled their own weapons and accidentally released chemical agents?

  • X-Ray

    Explain please, how sending a gaggle of cruise missiles into Syria will hold Assad or anyone else “accountable”? How will the U.S. killing and wounding some more people and destroying some property and infrastructure help the cause. I don’t understand.

    • fun bobby

      it will help approve the accounts receivable for some defense contractors

  • samuelpepys

    A question about numbers of the victims: I’ve been reading in other news reports of the last few days references to a number like 300+ or 400. This number 1400 is slightly elevated from what some rebels (or maybe one?) claimed right after the events. Has there been a recent re-estimate? I was abroad when the events happened and never saw a number like 1400, though I did see it quoted by an unnamed Syrian rebel. But I wasn’t reading American papers.

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