Potential strike on Syria triggers protest in North Fresno

August 31, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Saturday dozens of people hit the streets in North Fresno to protest the president's plan for an attack on Syria. Theprotesters point to U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, everything from skepticism of U.S. intel to the financial and emotional toll of war. Protesters are worried the U.S. may once again head down that path.

Nearly 60 people spent their Saturday night occupying two street corners on a busy intersection in North Fresno.

Blue lights carved letters into the darkness Saturday night, making words and messages such as, "no war on Syria," and "Peace over war."

"It's nice to see that other people are also concerned about what we might be doing in our name, what our government may be doing in our name,"protester Loretta Kensinger said.

Theprotesters stayed at their post for more than an hour. Many drivers honked their horns, showing their support, and giving theprotesters satisfaction.

"We don't want another Iraq, it just costs people too much money and lives and it's not worth it," Peace Fresno President, Bev Fitzpatrick said.

"I have a lot of friends in the army and we just got home from Iraq and I don't want them to be sent out there. There's a lot at stake here,"protester Mandy Salinas said.

In shortprotesters are tired of war and the sacrifices it demands. Congressman David Valadao from Hanford says he understands those concerns.

"I would probably say that I'm one of the people that is very fatigued with war. This has gone on long enough and I think the us has lead the fight in the world in terrorism for a long time and I'm proud that our soldiers have done so much around the world but it has been hard," Valadao said.

Valadao wants to hear about the presidents proposed strike and the intel that convinced him of Syria's chemical weapon use. Only then will he decide to support the president or not.

"If we decide to bomb those warehouses where they're storing these chemical weapon what will that affect be and what will happen after that situation," Valadao said.

Across California,protesters too took the streets against a Syrian strike they, like Fresnoprotesters, hope can influence policy.

"We need to work for peaceful solutions," Fitzpatrick said.

Valadao is flying to Washington, D.C Saturday night. He and other lawmakers will be briefed on the situation sometime Sunday afternoon. Congress is scheduled back in session Sept. 9.


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