‘This is a bad move’: Protesters respond to US airstrike that killed Iranian commander

Protesters hold signs responding to US airstrike

SPOKANE, Wash. — Protesters gathered on all four corners of Division and Wellesley on Saturday to protest President Trump’s decision to kill an Iranian commander that many fear will propel the US into war.

The Pentagon has blamed Qasem Soleimani for recent attacks on coalition bases in Iraq, as well as the December 31 US embassy attack in Baghdad. 

Trump has said Soleimani was plotting ‘imminent and sinister’ attacks on Americans and that killing him was done to avoid a war, not start one. 

It’s a statement not all American citizens agree with. 

“Without true provocation, our commander in chief, the CEO of this corporation we call America, assassinated a world leader,” said Jack Talcott, a member of Veterans for Peace. 

“The recent events are a little… a little frightening,” said Talcott. “It’s something that we’ve come too familiar with in this nation and it’s got to stop. That’s why I’m here.” 

Talcott was one of many Veterans for Peace members at the protest. Multiple churches were also in attendance. 

Though the Trump administration has yet to provide evidence of the upcoming attacks Trump alleged of, officials say they hope to release more information soon. 

On Friday, Trump defended his actions in killing the Iranian general.

“We took actions last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war,” Trump said.

“Actions speak louder than words and if you don’t want war, this is a bad move,” said Liz Moore, director of Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane.

READ: Washington, Idaho leaders react to US airstrike that killed top Iranian general

Many protesters on Saturday are worried about the thousands of troops that are being deployed there.

“We don’t take care of our veterans that we have at home. We can’t afford to be sending anymore of them,” Talcott said.

Activist Cheryl Conn is particularly invested in this. Her own son came back from war a changed man.

“My son is an Iraq war vet. The boy who deployed in 2008 and came back from Iraq, being an army combat engineer, is now a very sad man,” Conn said.

American officials are urging U.S. citizens to leave the Middle East. Activists back home are worried about what will come next.

“The power of the presidency and their own kids are safe and rich,” Conn said. “The poor kids get sent off to die.”

Since the attack, through Twitter, Trump said that Iran has talked about targeting American assets in return. He warns that if Iran does strike, they will hit back “very fast and very hard.”