Local group protests military action against Syria

CSRA Peace Alliance members gathered Tuesday at the intersection of 15th Street and Walton Way to protest President Obama’s request for military action against the Syrian government.

Armed with handmade signs reading “Don’t bomb Syria” and “War is not the answer,” the protesters greeted pedestrians and waved at vehicles as they passed by.

Wearing a hat with “Veterans for Peace” stitched on the front, retired Army Lt. Col. Lorraine Barlett paced 15th Street shaking a sign and handing out articles. She said her experience in the military gives her a unique prospective on situations such as the conflict in Syria.

“I’ve been a military attorney,” she said. “I used to teach classes in the law of war. I know the Geneva Conventions like the back of my hand. I see what happens when you pervert the system. We need to pull back and take care of our own.”

Group co-founder Ayman Fadel said the alliance still has hope, though.

“Because President Obama said he wouldn’t do anything without the authorization of Congress, we’re trying to gather support so that we can talk to Reps. John Barrow and Joe Wilson,” he said. “We want to say, ‘If a vote should come up, we ask you to vote no on that.’ ”

The group will speak to a member of Barrow’s staff Thursday in a public meeting at the Georgia congressman’s district office in Enterprise Mill. Fadel said the alliance will present Barrow’s district director, Lynthia Ross, with a signed petition.

“We should ask our leaders to stop funding war, and we should ask all individuals to stop participating in war,” Fadel said.

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