Local protesters ask for peace with Iran

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Thursday, January 9, 2020
News 12 at 11 o'clock

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- A group of people rallied outside Rep. Rick Allen's office Thursday in the midst of recent tensions with Iran.

"Anytime anybody starts conflict, it is the innocent life that is lost," said Jawad Rasul, organizer of the rally.

Rasul grew up in Queens, and watched 9/11 from his apartment.

"I was 13 years old when I saw the twin towers burning from my own eyes," he said. "From my own building in New York City where I was growing up."

When the buildings fell, he knew it was time to stand, for peace. That's why he organized the rally Thursday.

"Many organizations are doing a day of action today against the war," he said. "I decided if no one else is doing it [in Augusta] let me be the first to do it."

The turnout wasn't huge, but the support of people driving by was. Cars honked as they passed on Perimeter Parkway.

Rasul said America has suffered enough casualties during war. He held a sign listing the number of American casualties in different wars: Vietnam-211,454; Afghanistan-22,266; Iraq-36,710.

He said he knows today might not make a huge difference, but he's hoping it helps build momentum and get more people talking.

"War does not end up in one side winning and one side losing," he said. "In every single war, it has always been the innocent people that have been killed and lost their lives."

Congressman Allen is in Washington, and unavailable for comment, but his spokesperson sent an email with this message:

"Congressman Allen is a strong supporter of the First Amendment and welcomes meaningful discussion regarding the ongoing situation with Iran. Congressman Allen supports President Trump's recent actions to protect American lives and believes the President is doing all he can to avoid war and provide a path forward for peace with Iran if they’re willing to abandon their nuclear ambitions."

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