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U-M Student Group Protests U.S. Involvement In Syria

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University of Michigan PhD student Hayden Hedman discusses his views on a potential U.S. attack on Syria. (credit: Pat Sweeting/WWJ)

University of Michigan PhD student Hayden Hedman discusses his views on a potential U.S. attack on Syria. (credit: Pat Sweeting/WWJ)

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ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – While talks are underway to avert a U.S. attack on Syria, students gathered on the Diag at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to call on President Barack Obama to find a peaceful solution to the situation in Syria.

Protesters, some of them members of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality Organization, charged that the administration’s call for a military strike on Syria is being led by intelligence agencies, a massive military/industrial complex, and the banking industry.

Participants listened to speakers including Andre Damon, national secretary for the International Youth and Students for Social Equality group.

Damon shared his thoughts on Syria’s agreement to Russia’s recommendation that there be international control of Syria’s chemical weapons.

“We think that no one should be under an illusion,” Damon said.  “Just because the Obama administration and the US government received, what I think to be, a major political rebuff from the population over this question, that their drive to war will in any way be lessened.”

The turnout for the protest was on the light side with fewer than a dozen people holding “No War on Syria” signs, sharing their views on the hotly debated topic.

“I’m not really sure what the issue really is in Syria,” one student said. “I believe that there’s no country that deserves war; there are no humans that deserve to be treated that way.”

U.S. involvement in Syria would come in the wake of the Assad administration detonating chemical weapons just outside of the Syrian capital of Damascus on Aug. 21.

The U.S. has issued a joint statement on the attacks which included support from 35 countries including Middle-Eastern countries Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the horrific chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21st that claimed the lives of so many men, women, and children,” the document reads, in part. “The evidence clearly points to the Syrian government being responsible for the attack, which is part of a pattern of chemical weapons use by the regime.”

“Recognizing that Syria’s conflict has no military solution, we reaffirm our commitment to seek a peaceful political settlement through full implementation of the 2012 Geneva Communique.  We are committed to a political solution which will result in a united, inclusive and democratic Syria.”

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