4 minute read

Not even 48 hours after a U.S. drone strike killed one of Iran’s top military leaders, 80 – 100 protesters gathered outside Senator James Lankford’s Oklahoma City offices Saturday.

Protesters chanted anti-war slogans and held up signs against war in general and the possibility of war with Iran in specific.

Some of the signs asked passersby on N. Broadway close to 10th Street to honk in support, which some did.

anti-war protest
Protesters crowd the curb lane of southbound traffic on N. Broadway near N.W. 10th Street Saturday. (Brett Dickerson/Okla City Free Press)

Lankford and Oklahoma’s other Senator, Jim Inhof, both expressed support for what President Donald Trump claimed as a U.S. action just hours after it happened Friday.

And while drone strikes have killed those who were considered by the U.S. government to be extremists, the strike on one of Iran’s top and beloved generals in a third country represented a drastic escalation in the practice.

Qasem Soleimani — the leader of Iran’s special operations forces abroad — and others including Iraqi leaders were killed in a U.S. drone attack on a two-car convoy leaving the Baghdad airport.

War with Iran?

At Saturday’s protest in Oklahoma City, concerns about the real possibility of war with Iran dominated the thinking of those in attendance.

Pastor Sheri Dickerson* talked to Free Press about why she was there.

“With the actions that were taken in the strike in Iraq and the killing of one of their high ranking military officials, we don’t want it to escalate into a war,” said Dickerson.

“We want to maintain peace and increase it worldwide. And so that’s why we’re here today. Hopefully inspiring Senator Lankford and our other elected officials to vote no.”

anti-war protest
Mary Norrell (foreground) and her daughter Carissa DeClerk joined the protest because of their concern that recent actions of the U.S. would trigger a war with Iran. (Brett Dickerson/Okla City Free Press)

But, another protester, Colin Miller, had a different take on the escalation.

“I don’t think Trump intended to start a war,” said Miller. “I think the people talking to him — his cabinet — probably intended to start a war.”

Miller said he believes both Republicans and Democrats are too willing to go along with any idea of war.

“I think they all want the war,” Miller said.

Class, war, economics

Others at the protest had concerns about economic incentives for war and what economic class would have to pay the biggest price for war.

One sign read “Fight the rich, not their wars!”

Cynthia Garcia said that political leaders don’t believe there is enough money “when it comes to providing for American families, alongside communities.”

“But when it comes to funding war, it’s an immediate response — deployment of our families and our loved ones,” said Garcia. “And we seem to always have a full Pocket full of money for that, but not for our community.”

anti-war protest
Cynthia Garcia joins anti-war chants in front of Sen. James Lankford’s offices in Oklahoma City Jan. 4, 2020.

“I don’t agree with the idea of war. And I think we should do something to stop it before it gets worse,” said Xochitl Plascencia who said she was concerned that the U.S. would start another draft.

“I have a lot of people that I love who serve in the military, and so I don’t I don’t see the point of them risking their lives for this,” Plascencia said.


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*Sheri Dickerson is not related to this reporter.