Protest turns to lesson on Iran, Middle East conflict

A protestor holds up a sign on Risman Plaza on Jan. 25, 2020. The protest was peaceful and put together by Students for a Democratic Society.

Sara Crawford Assigning Editor

For the Global Day of Protest, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) participated in the No War on Iran protest, starting on Risman Plaza. 

“Some groups have organized a global day protest and it’s supposed to be representative of the Americans need to leave the Middle East,” said Colt Hutchinson, chairman of SDS. 

Gathering in front of the Student Center at noon, more than 20 people held their signs next to their sides, waiting to start to protest. 

As the temperature got colder, the leaders of the protest decided to have everyone walk over in the Garden Room at the library. The protest became a teach-in for the participants, as everyone had the opportunity to talk and ask questions about what was going on. 

“Our position is that we need to build a movement of people of all different spectrums,” Hutchinson said. “The multinational, that’s why it’s a global day of protest. It needs to be multi-racial, multi-gender, multi-generational and the reason why is because we can all unite on one front, that’s our class background. We are all working-class people.” 

Iran and the sanctions became the biggest point of discussion during the protest, as that is something that many people do not know about. 

“We need people to make people aware of what the sanctions are doing and we need to end the sanctions now,” Hutchinson said. 

Sanctions can prevent trade, put high tariffs on the countries and overall, just “tightening down their economy.” 

“Sanctions are a form of warfare,” Hutchinson said. 

While sanctions are nonviolent, they are still an issue that affects the countries and the people who live there. 

“In Iran, these sanctions are going to kill millions of innocent people,” Hutchinson said. 

Sanctions can end up raising the prices on medicine, as well as creating the inability to have things come into and out of the countries and making it harder for people to get access.  

All the speakers, talked about the importance of the United States leaving the Middle East and backing down from the possibility of war with Iran.

“We must extend our hands and friendship and solidarity to the people of the Middle East and our friends here who sit and worry every day about their families,” said Shelby Pratt, co-chair of Young Democratic Socialists for America. “Their families in Iran, their families in Palestine, their families in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Oman, people on this campus who live with this every single day.” 

Contact Sara Crawford at [email protected].