Filipinos join protests calling for Trump to keep ‘hands off’ Syria
by Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News
LOS ANGELES — Backlash in Southern California, after President Donald Trump unleashed an air strike against Syria in response to an attack.
The weekend after Trump launched a missile attack against Syria in response to what is believed to be a deadly chemical attack by the Syrian government on its own people.
Nationwide protests have begun, calling for the US to not intervene in the conflict.
“We’re here today to say us hands off Syria,” said Doug Kaufman of the Answer Coalition. “We are demanding that the racism and xenophobia under the Trump administration come to an end, and that we welcome any refugees… especially countries we’ve been destroying for the past ten years, and we demand any money that’s being wasted. We wasted $100 million last night on bombing a sovereign country, when we have 50,000 homeless people on Skid Row, when we need health care, we need education.”
Filipino activists joined hundreds in downtown Los Angeles on Friday. Another separate protest in Hollywood took place on Sunday.
In both events, protesters stressed that the conflict in Syria is a waste of tax dollars, and last Thursday’s missile launch — which left as many as 15 dead, and an air base damaged — made no real impact.
They believe it will only put US forces in harm’s way.
“It is almost for show. It’s just like the United States informed Russia before attacking,” said Arturo Garcia, from KmB ProPeople Youth. “For sure Russia informed Syria about it, so for sure the casualties or damage in air field is very minimal. We call it pyrotechnics. It’s all propaganda purposes.”
They believe that if Trump truly wanted to help Syria, he would allow refugees to enter the US.
“That’s the best reason to create more refugees, bomb Syria; then he will say he cannot admit refugees because they are terrorists,” said Garcia. “But the question is who is the United States helping in Syria. It is ISIS. The United States is helping ISIS, which Syria is trying to prevent, and attacking the bases of the ISIS.”
While anti-war groups are hoping the air strike does not escalate into a full fledged war, small groups of Trump supporters did show up to counter the rallies — believing that the President did the right thing, despite not getting congressional approval.
All eyes will be on this week’s Presidential approval ratings, while President Trump was at an all time low. History has shown that military actions have boosted the ratings of past presidents.