WASHINGTON – Hundreds of people took to the streets Saturday to protest outside the White House,demanding an immediate end to the intervention of the U.S. and its European allies in Libya and other countries in the Middle East.
As the violence in Libya escalates,members of the ANSWER Coalition,an umbrella group of anti-war and civil rights organizations,raised their voices against the recent bombings in Libya.
“The Libyan people deserve to be treated better than chess pieces and pawns,” Brian Becker,national coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition said to the crowd gathered on Pennsylvania Avenue. “The last thing the United States,Britain and France should be doing is intervene in Libya.”
The coalition said it was one of the many demonstrations taking place in major cities across the United States.
The protesters chanted “Libya is under attack. What we do? Stand back,Fight back” and “We have seen this all before. Same story. Different war.”
Hundreds of men,women and children from Yemen and Syria also held rallies to protest against the regimes in their home countries,demanding an end to the dictatorships and urging new democracy.
The Yemeni protest group,which had the biggest turnout,called for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.
“We are here to demonstrate against the current regime and to call on Saleh to leave. We are tired of his regime. It is time for him to go,” Ali Baleed,a member of the coalition committee who organized the rally,said in an interview.
Protesters carried banners saying,“Enough is Enough. Just Leave Saleh” and “Ali Saleh stop killing your own people.”
The crowd of Syrians at the protest also made similar demands. They chanted in Arabic and carried banners demanding that their president,Bashar al-Asad, “dictator Bashar” leave.
The protesters said Syria wants freedom and democracy.
A group of Bahraini students in the United States also staged a rally outside the White House but for a different reason. They were rallying in support of the monarchy and King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa.
The students said that the protests back home are not peaceful and they were protesting to demand an end to the violence.
The peaceful protests,which continued into the late afternoon,included an advocacy group,the 9/11 Truth group,which says it spreads the truth about the Sept. 11,2001,terrorist attacks.
Tom Ball,a member of 9/11 Truth group,said the United States waded into Middle Eastern countries in the name of democracy to trick U.S. citizens into fighting. The group’s website casts doubt on the validity of investigations in to the 9/11 attacks.
“Whenever there is a huge protest like this one,we try to wake people to the truths of 9/11,” Ball said.