Protesters against war with Iran gather in South Florida

MIAMI (WSVN) - South Florida protesters opposed to war with Iran gathered in large numbers to appeal to lawmakers.

Anti-war activists hit the streets at the Touch of Friendship in Downtown Miami to send a message to lawmakers, Thursday.

The protest was organized by volunteers with moveon.org to point out that only Congress has the authority to declare war or release money to pay for it.

“We, the people of Miami, do not want another war in the Middle east, in Iran or anywhere else,” said protest organizer Erik Ofengand.

Many protesters pointed the finger at President Donald Trump, blaming him for the rise in tensions in the Middle East.

“People [are] out here willing to stand up for democracy and for peace,” said Ofengand. “We’re hoping to get a message to our legislators who are right now voting on authorization of military force — whether or not to reveal the existing one and curb this president’s power to make war. That is only something that Congress has the constitutional authority to do.”

“Well, I think he’s trying to distract people from the impeachment trial. You know, it’s just making the entire world a much more dangerous place,” said protester Cynthia Stone. “We have no quarrel with the Iranian people. The American people, we have many Iranian citizens and Iranian heritage here. There’s no reason at all. I don’t see any benefit to anyone other than military contractors in terms of starting a war with Iran.”

The protest was organized days after Iran fired more than a dozen rockets at an Iraqi air base housing U.S. troops.

The attack was a response to the president’s decision to kill Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

There was also a similar gathering in Fort Lauderdale.

Dozens lined Broward Boulevard hoping to make their voices heard here South Florida and all the way in Washington.

“The American people need to stand up and fight back,” said protester Mitchel Stollberg. “I mean, enough is enough. This is crazy. I mean, we’re going to war over nothing.”

Organizers said they will conclude Miami’s protest with a candlelight vigil.

The local protests were all part of a national day of action. According to the organizing website, more than 350 similar rallies were planned across the country.

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