Local groups protest action in Syria - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Local groups protest action in Syria

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Several local events Monday night focused on the crisis in Syria.

At Burnside park in downtown Providence, the message was clear: protestors don't want the U.S. to take military action in Syria.

The demonstration was organized by activist group MoveOn.org, splitting with the president, who they've supported in the past.

Local MoveOn.org organizer Chris Currie told NBC10, "I voted for Obama.  But I'm very disappointed in what he's doing now.  I think he has sold out apparently to the military industrial complex."

The president is trying to get Congress to support the use of force, as his administration claims the ruling regime in Syria used chemical weapons to kill more than 1400 people.

"Yes they're doing horrible things there, but we're going to go there and kill children because they kill children.  It just doesn't make sense to me," said protestor Mariah Burns.

And some at the demonstration said it sounds like the build-up to war in Iraq all over again, despite the Obama administration claiming it has proof of chemical weapons use in Syria.

Lee Clasper-Torch of Providence, said, "We know that's horrific.  We know that's horrendous.  Everyone feels in their heart of hearts that's something that shouldn't happen in the world.  But does that mean we should be going in bombing when we don't have the right intelligence, the right information."

Protestors suggested more diplomacy or a neutral United Nations peacekeeping force could go in to Syria.

Meanwhile, up the street, at Brown University, a prayer vigil for peace was held on the campus green.

Among those in attendance, Amjad Kinjawi, who was born and raised in Syria and still has family there.  "They happen for now to be in an area that's not been shelled much.  But they leave the house, they don't know if they're going to go back home.  Whenever they leave, actually I have my sister when I talk to, she says goodbye to all her family before she leaves," Kinjawi told NBC10.

Kinjawi thinks the U.S. should play a humanitarian role.  "I see my children actually in every child that I see the picture of being killed, slaughtered, or lately with the chemical weapons, all those children gasping for air.  They don't deserve that."

Also at Brown University, students filled two lecture halls for a "teach-in" about the situation in Syria.  Faculty members with expertise on the Middle East aimed to educate students on the history and issues surrounding the crisis.

A roundtable discussion with similar goals was held at Roger Williams University.

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