Students, faculty, rally against US escalation with Iran

50 protestors gathered at campus event

Protesters gathered at University Ave. and Union St. Thursday afternoon.
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A group of 50 protesters gathered at the intersection of University Ave. and Union St. on Thursday to denounce the escalating conflict between the United States and Iran.

The protesters chanted “De-escalate, spread peace, not hate.” 

Hosted by a group of labour activists and international students, the protesters demanded Canada not impose additional sanctions on Iran after the US ratcheted up economic pressure on the country. 

The protest follows the US assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike outside an airport in Baghdad, Iraq on Jan. 3. The Iranians retaliated with a ballistic missile attack on US forces in Iraq on Jan. 8, stoking fears of a wider conflict between the two countries.

“It’s good that they’re raising awareness,” Alisha Sharma, a Queen’s student, said. “I wish there was a bigger turnout. I think it affects us more than people recognize.” 

Soleimani’s death provoked Iran to call for revenge against the US, raising tensions across the Middle East. US President Donald Trump pledged retaliation over Twitter, threatening to hit 52 Iranian targets, including cultural sites.
 
The US government said Soleimani had been plotting an imminent attack on US personnel, but did not reveal the underlying intelligence. 

“The sanctions just caused the death of over a hundred young people, bright people,” said Parisa Abedi, a Queen’s PhD student studying neuroscience. “I definitely don’t want any more sanctions or war to my people in Iraq.”

“I would hope that at least the people would be affected the least,” Abedi said. “It doesn’t matter [if you’re] Iranian people, Iraqi people. The sad part is a lot of civilians are affected by all of this game-playing in that region.”
 

Corrections

This article was updated to reflect the correct number of protesters and the backgrounds of those who hosted the protest. 

The Journal regrets the error.

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