About 150 people crowded a street corner in Westwood Saturday afternoon to protest potential U.S. military intervention in Syria.
Late last month, President Barack Obama asked Congress to authorize a punitive military strike in Syria after the administration announced it had evidence that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad used chemical weapons on civilians.
Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have said they are confident the Syrian government, which has been engaged in a years-long civil war, was behind a chemical weapons attack that killed more than 1,400 people, including children.
Many of the protesters in Westwood on Saturday, however, said they were fearful of intervention in Syria leading to a protracted conflict, like the Iraq War, which demonstrators said they think failed to achieve anything.
Others said they think the U.S. government is pursuing an imperialist agenda by trying to intervene in another country’s affairs.
“Whenever U.S. militarism interferes, it only makes things worse,” said Sam Sneeran, one of the protesters in front of the federal building on Wilshire Boulevard. “Intervening in civil wars doesn’t really do anything.”
A Pew Research study found that 48 percent of Americans would oppose U.S. airstrikes in Syria, while 29 percent would support such a move.
Sneeran and other demonstrators said they doubted that the Syrian government was responsible for the chemical attacks. Sneeran said the facts of the situation are not thoroughly established.
“No one likes war in the first place,” said Mary Saddi, a Syrian native and one of the protesters on Saturday. “The Syrian people deserve much better from America. We want to live in peace and dignity.”
The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a military strike this upcoming week. On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-7 to authorize a military strike.
Compiled by Kristen Taketa, Bruin senior staff.