Nilofar Ganjaie wasn’t sure what to expect when she headed Saturday to a “No More War” demonstration at Victor Steinbrueck Park above the downtown Seattle waterfront.
“Part of me was scared to come because I was worried there weren’t going to be very many people, or any people,” said Ganjaie, who hasn’t been able to contact her father in Iran since the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani in Iraq this week – an attack that brought threats of retaliation from Iran and worries about a new war in the Middle East.
The Seattle resident and board member of the National Iranian American Council’s lobbying organization said she was heartened when she saw several hundred peace demonstrators gathered in pouring rain chanting “No war” and waving signs.
“Thank you so much for being here,” she told the crowd, taking the microphone after remarks from representatives of socialist political parties, various activist organizations and the group Veterans for Peace. “It’s really meaningful to see a lot of people … who care about my community and the actions this (Trump) administration just took.”
Many speakers at the rally railed against President Donald Trump and American aggression abroad, with some invoking protests decades ago against the Vietnam War and more recently against the Iraq War.
Demonstrators shared concerns about ordinary people in Iran, Iraq and the U.S. who would be caught up in a war between the U.S. and Iran, and some speakers critical of U.S. actions also encouraged solidarity with Iranians protesting their own country’s regime.
“The sins of Soleimani aside, it was absolutely a reckless decision … that’s put a lot of people in danger,” Ganjaie said about the Trump-ordered strike on a man deemed one of the most dangerous military operators in the Middle East by the U.S. and its allies.
When the rally ended, some protestors marched through Pike Place Market.