Saturday, April 29, 2017

NJ Continues to Mobilize to Oppose War Escalations / Threats - Report from Newark

April 26 Report

Report on Apr 26 Newark Protest Against Threats of US Attack on Korea #NoUSWarOnKorea
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On April 26, the same day that the White House called an all Senate meeting to promote possible military action against North Korea, about 25 area anti-war protesters, led by Peoples Organization for Progress, the NJ Green Party and NJ Against US War on Syria and the Middle East held a protest rally to state unconditional opposition to the idea of any US military attack against the Koreas.

The protesters held hand made and pre-printed signs stating "Peace with" and "No US Attack On Korea".  They used a sound system to communicate to car drivers and passengers as well as pedestrians about the dangers of any such attack on Korea.

Through the sound system, each time vehicles queued up at a red light, Bob Witanek warned the vehicle passengers of the potential for "Hundreds of thousands of casualties North and South of the DMZ" in Korea and the potential of the conflict pushing toward full blown nuclear war with China and possibly Russia.  He also highlighted the billions being spent on US war operations as New Jersey still has never fully complied with the court order to fully fund Newark schools - as well as highlighting a litany of other unmet human needs.
What about a War on BROKE!

The passers by were invited to take pictures of the protest to post on social media and according to the organizers of the rally, several dozen did so, both from vehicles and among the pedestrians.

One father with his toddler daughter in a stroller stopped by to join the rally and after having his picture taken with a sign saying "Give Peace a Chance" his toddler daughter indicated with her outstretched arms and her finger motions that she wanted to hold the sign.  The father concurred so a the sign was given to her and when they left she clutched to the sign as they traversed down the block - taking the protest down the road.

I believe when we have events like this one where there is pedestrian traffic – we should put effort into this tactic – encouraging passers-by to agree to participate – even if just for a minute – holding a sign and allowing us to take a photo of them holding a sign. We should have a handout to give them with a  #HT Hash tag that links to more information about the event.  We can offer an idea of a phrase to put with the posting and contact / URL information.  This will serve as a social network bullhorn to spread our message even further.

Before the rally closed, dispensing from his usual speech, Peoples Organization for Progress Chair Lawrence Hamm played "Give Peace a Chance" and "For What It's Worth" through the sound system, ending the rally that was often times offering expressions of anger about the current situation on a peaceful note.
According to Bob Witanek, a rally organizer, one of the goals of the various organizations that have been rallying against the war moves of the current US administration is to develop throughout New Jersey the ability to respond to war escalations and threats with larger numbers on short notice.  This is the third such rally during the month of April, earlier rallies in Newark and Highland Park responded to a missile attack on Syria and the use of an MOAB, the largest non-nuclear bomb in the US war arsenal in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, also on April 26, the Leonia Vigil for Peace and Justice continued its persistent ongoing protest against US war making at a vigil protest action in Teaneck.

Here are link to a Bergen Record and Peace News blog article on a rally by Leonia Vigil for Peace and Justice from earlier this month:

In the lead up to the event, we first proposed the idea of an emergency response to the White House bipartisan war meeting in a blog article and then – once Wednesday evening in Newark was decided for the event, a second article / press release provided the details.  The two articles were widely shared to about 50 area activist groups on Facebook and the combined readership of both articles was over 1600.  Though at least 4 of us sent the press release to multiple Essex County outlets we were unable to garner interest in actually covering this critical and timely protest event.

Organizations that have been driving the efforts to respond to the growing threats of war in NJ include:
People’s Organizationfor Progress
NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East
Green Party of New Jersey
Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War
NJ Peace Action

While we are not coordinating with them yet – this is another group with activities in motion on the ground around protesting the war moves and threats of the US administration.

Leonia Vigil for Peace and Justice

Other organizations we hope to incorporate into the efforts to unify NJ against war include:
NJ Philippine Solidarity Committee and
Jersey City Peace Movement

(and all others interested in participating and activating against US war actions and threats)

NJ Against US War on Syria and the Middle East, with approved support of Green Party of NJ is 
setting its sites on Bedminster where it has been reported President Trump could be spending some time this summer at his Trump National luxury golf resort.

The group has proposed formation of a vigil committee to coordinate protests there.

We are also considering a regularly scheduled - perhaps monthly - anti-war presence on the streets of Newark - stay tuned for decisions and details.
Those who want to get more involved can call or text 908-881-5275 and on Facebook join:

As is usually the case, we some of us went out and broke bread (tacos) after . . . and discussed future anti-war organizing - if you on the line with us - and you got some time after - join us!

Otber recent actions:
April 7 response to US missile attack on Syria, Newark

Aptil 15 response to US attack on Syria, MOAB use in Afghanistan and threats against Korea, Highland Park

Of course these actions must grow in strength and frequency - as being reported - Democrats in Senate are starting to get in lock step with Trump's march toward (nucelear) war with Korea:
Dems lining up for war on Korea:

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Peace Vigil – Oppose US War Moves – Somerset County Proposal

A perfect centrally located place for a Somerset County Peace Vigil is Bedminster, NJ.  While it also happens to be the location of Trump National luxury golf resort . . . that is just a coincidence.

It has been reported that Trump could be spending some time there on weekends this summer though it could just be news rumors.  In any event – if he should come to town and it happens to be on the day that we are going to be vigiling there any way – or we have the capacity to switch our next scheduled vigil to coincide with his visit – all the better.  That would give us an opportunity to leverage our regularly scheduled event to try to communicate a message demanding an end to various military actions and threats of military action by the US administration.

The ideal would be for us to be able to set up a committee of at least 5 Somerset County residents (that would not be an absolute requirement for the vigil host committee but it would be preferred that the committee have a strong Somerset County base).  The responsibility of this committee will be to assess that for any scheduled vigil – at least 3 from the committee will attend.  The committee will be responsible to make sure signs or sign making materials are delivered to the site at least 15 minutes before the scheduled event, that each event is well publicized and promoted, that press work is done, that community outreach is done, and that the precise nature of the activities planned are made clear to participants – that would usually mean to announce that the event is planned as a legal and safe event. 

If there was potential for a march or something like that – that would be made clear.  The committee would also investigate the local ordinances and determine the most appropriate courses of action.

I for one am willing to be a member of such a vigil committee – and I *am* a Somerset County resident.  So we already have ONE member of the Somerset County Peace Vigil Host Committee - should we be able to form such a thing.

Whether or not you are a Somerset County resident – if you would be willing to participate in such an event in Bedminster one or more times, please complete the entry form:

Once we have enough of a hosting committee we will start making a plan!

Monday, April 24, 2017

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Emergency Protest - NO US ATTACK ON KOREA! Wednesday, April 26, 4:30 pm, MLK Statue MLK Blvd / 13th Av, Newark NJ - (Near Old Records Hall)

Possible next step:

Peace Vigil – Oppose US War Moves – Somerset County Proposal

Emergency Protest - NO US ATTACK ON KOREA!  Wednesday, April 26, 4:30 pm, MLK Statue MLK Blvd / 13th Av, Newark NJ - (Near Old Records Hall)

Share this link:
Protest imminent attack on Korea   #NoUSWarOnKorea

Contact Bob Witanek 908-881-5275 Call or Text

For the third time in the month of April, NJ peace and justice organizations are banding together for emergency protests against the war moves of the US administration.  In this case, NJ Against US War on and in the Middle East and the Green Party of NJ along with members of other state and local organizations are protesting to demand that there be "No US Attack on the Koreas," as they put it.

The priotest is planned for Wednesday, 4:30 pm at the MLK statue on MLK Boulevard and 13th Street, near the Old Records Hall in Newark.  The planned demonstration will occur on the same day that US President Trump is calling the US Senate to the White House for a meeting to discuss the topic of Korea.  The peace organizers believe that this indicates a stronger likelihood that the US could launch an attack on Korea.  They point to comments by the US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley suggesting possible US strikes on Korea should North Korea attempt another missile test.  The US just completed naval exercises with Japan and the US air craft carrier and related war fleet, including a nuclear powered submarine, are reportedly headed toward Korea.  The Trump Administration had recently claimed that the same war fleet was headed for Korea when it was actually moving toward the opposite direction for the exercises with Japan.

Tne following are some background articles:

According to Bob Witanek, a co-founder of the NJ Against US War on Syria and the Middle East, " A US attack on Korea will result in counter retaliation and vice versa - that can within days result in the deaths of 100s of 1000s of Koreans (and others) north and south of the Korean DMZ.  There is extreme danger also of escalations regarding other world nuclear super powers including China and Russia.  Indeed we could be on the brink of devastating use of nuclear weapons by the US, Korea, China and Russia"
The group has set up a Facebook event: -

For more information about the event, readers are encouraged to call or text: 908-881-5275 or write to: .

The NJ Against US War on Syria and the Middle East earlier this month, together with the People's Organization for Progress, Green Party of NJ and the Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War held emergency protests earlier this month, against the US cruise missile attack on Syria and the use of the MOAB, the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the US war arsenal in Afghanistan and to demonstrate opposition for further war escalations incuding against Korea.

Emergency Protest - NO US ATTACK ON KOREA! Wednesday, April 26, 4:30 pm, MLK Statue MLK Blvd / 13th Av, Newark NJ - (Near Old Records Hall)

Possible next step:

Peace Vigil – Oppose US War Moves – Somerset County Proposal

Emergency Protest - NO US ATTACK ON KOREA!  Wednesday, April 26, 4:30 pm, MLK Statue MLK Blvd / 13th Av, Newark NJ - (Near Old Records Hall)

Share this link:
Protest imminent attack on Korea   #NoUSWarOnKorea

Please Retweet:

The pro-war corporate media links provided below are full of propaganda but they are provided to give background on the precarious position the world is in regarding US threats to attack Korea.

By now you probably heard that the POTUS Trump has called an all-US-Senate meeting for THIS WEDNESDAY, April 26 - to discuss the topic of Korea.

The US has a war fleet that has completed maneuvers with Japan in the South Pacific and Trump has openly touted the idea of a preemptive strike on Korea.

Trump's UN Ambassador Haley is calling for US strikes on Korea should Korea attempt a missile test in the near future.

A US attack on Korea will result in counter retaliation and vice versa - that can within days result in the deaths of 100s of 1000s of Koreans (and others) north and south of the Korean DMZ.  There is extreme danger also of escalations regarding other world nuclear super powers including China and Russia.  Indeed we could be on the brink of devastating use of nuclear weapons by the US, Korea, China and Russia.
Our organization NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East together with the Green Party of NJ - after polling around NJ - is calling for an

Wednesday, 4:30 PM, MLK Statue, MLK Blvd and 13th Av (Near Old Records Hall)
Newark NJ.

Facebook event - please click - RSVP and then invite your friends that might be interested:

For more information:
You can reply by text: 908-881-5275

Join the group: 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Proposal: Regional Anti-War Protest Event July 16, 2017 9:30 am – 2:30 pm Outside the Trump National Luxury Golf Resort in Bedminster NJ

Please help out - everyone can at least share the link and can RT the link (tweet is embedded in link) - please fill out the form - answer the questions ASAP - let's nail our action down.
Share this link:
Protest imminent attack on Korea #NoUSWarOnKorea

Proposal: Regional Anti-War Protest Event July 16, 2017 9:30 am – 2:30 pm Outside the Trump National Luxury Golf Resort in Bedminster NJ

Call or text for information: 908-881-5275

Join the discussion of the proposal:  NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East

Please share this link widely:

Proposed Regional Anti-War Protest, Trump National Golf Resort, Bedminster NJ July 16

Recent reports hold it that Trump could be spending significant time in NJ in posh Bedminster at his luxury golf resort Trump National.  The signature event at this site for 2017 occurs this summer, the US Women’s Open 2017 – scheduled for July 10 – 16.

Our organization NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East has been discussing a proposal for a regional anti-war event outside the resort and our discussions have led to a proposal for an event on Saturday, July 15, from 9:30 am – 2:30 pm.  The rationale of picking Saturday is that it will enable the largest number of people to attend and it will also be a day when there is probably media focus on the tournament since it is getting toward the final showdown.  We might also attend any other events that occur during that week to promote the Saturday protest but for now we are choosing one event as the focus of our anti-war sentiments.

While there is no guarantee that Trump himself will be there that day – it is extremely likely that he will be showing his face at some point at these events – and Saturday is on the eve of the finale so he just might be there!  We believe that he will certainly be aware of our protests even if he is not there personally on that day.

We are not proposing protesting against golf, the tournament, the selection of the venue, we are not demanding a change in venue or anything like that.  The women in the tournament worked much of their lives to get there and we wish them all every success at the event.  Our only goal of organizing our protest there is as a means to communicate directly to the president our anti-war demands.

The US has waged protracted endless war since 2001 in Afghanistan and Iraq and has conducted numerous acts of war in at least 4 other countries in that area of the world including Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia.  Recently, US has launched a volley of 59 cruise missiles into Syria, detonated the largest bomb in its non-nuclear arsenal, the so-called MOAB, in Afghanistan and has made dangerous threats against Korea.  There has also been threatening language directed at Iran by generals close to the current US administration.

The proposal is for a strong regional show of street resistance to dangerous war escalations that provide an existential threat to the earth’s inhabitants – that could lead to the unthinkable – an earth consuming thermonuclear war.  A great turn out and a strong message can possibly kick off a new era of street opposition to continuous war and the current round of escalation of U.S. acts of war and reckless threats of total war.  We believe this will be an effective way for our anti-war message to be heard by the US administration – even if not heeded.

While still in the proposal stage, prominent members of several important NJ organizations have already expressed interest and support of the proposal.  

This proposal is for a narrowly focused anti-war event – not a general anti-Trump rally.  Endless US war is systemically rooted like many of the other problems we are facing, and US war is interconnected to many other issues that will be touched upon in the context of our opposition to war – but our central demands will be to oppose the continuation of US endless wars and the escalations and threats currently being carried out by the current US administration.

Please join the discussion toward shaping the proposed events that is occurring in our Facebook group:
NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East .

For those not using Facebook, please call or text 908-881-5275 to express your interest and find out more about how to get involved.

Saturday, April 15, 2017


Stay informed of emergent calls to respond to US war escalations and threats by joining (for Facebook  users):

For the second week in a row, NJ was able to mobilize emergency protests against escalation of US aggressive war moves and threats – on April 7 in Newark against the US missile attack on Syria and this latest one on April 15 against the US use of the largest non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal on Afghanistan as well as sending a war fleet to threaten Korea.

Like last week’s, today’s protest was organized with under 24 hour lead time.  It was initially called by the Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War.  Our organization NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East multiplied the effectiveness of the call by endorsing, creating a parallel Facebook announcement and expeditiously publishing a press release on this blog site.

In promotion of the event I shared the press release to dozens of Facebook NJ group sites – including some of the “resistance” and anti-Trump kinds of groups.  It was also tweeted – mostly to news reporters and outlets – receiving a smattering of ReTweets.  There was much support and further sharing and so far the press release has been read 1300 times.  This is an example of the importance of the outreach of an event and how it is not only about how many people end up showing up but the support that is galvanized by the pre-event promotions – and post event reporting (this write up).

Participating in the event were folks from as far away as Morris County, Bloomfield, Newark, Toms River and Jersey City.  In all there were about 30 who participated – a decent turn out with under 24 hours lead time.  Groups represented include of course the two groups that organized the event Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War and NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East, the Green Party of NJ, and a mainstay of anti-war demonstration and support in NJ, the Peoples Organization for Progress.

As occurred at the prior week’s event, Lawrence Hamm, Chair of Peoples Organization for Progress provided sound (my Megavox system is sadly in a state of disrepair).

Green Party’s Laura Genna was able to livestream the event on the Green Party Facebook page achieving 1000 views.  That video has been transferred, with Laura’s permission, to Youtube and is embedded in this article.

As far as signs go – between the bent up poster boards I had in my car – some already scrawled with anti-war slogans and some blank slates (or with blank sides) and the plethora of anti-war signs and blank boards that Central Jersey Coalition had – we had the whole rally covered.  (Though we are going to need some banners!)

The event attracted several non-traditional protesters in addition to the “usual suspects” – those of us that have been protesting war for years.  This is a very significant matter because it demonstrates that a more organized approach to mass organizing can result in a massive anti-war uprising which is the only way forward toward the world’s survival.  There was a student from a Jersey City college that has only been in the US for 3 months.  A college roommate of mine joined us – after I invited his participation just this morning.  Several other first time participants were on board and there was a decent number of  youth in the ranks.  Plus my younger son was out to his first ever protest!

As usual, there was a range of diverse and on point presentations from participants, we had an open mic format for that.  We were also pleasantly entertained by one of New Brunswick’s finest veteran activists Albert Valeri who accompanied his mostly a capella performance of a song in support of the NO DAPL movement with occasional pulls on his harmonica.

Included among the speakers was Sam Friedman of the Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War.  He stressed the intentions of the coalition to re-establish the anti-war vigil at the same site of this rally (Adelaide and Raritan in Highland Park) that it has maintained for much of the last almost two decades.

Other speakers included Manijeh Saba, Geoff Herzog on behalf of the Seth Kaper-Dale Green Party guvernatorial campaign, Adam Grele who gave a youth perspective on the prospects of inheriting a world slipping away to war, Bob Miller also of the Central Jersey Coalition, John Hickson one of my college roommates, Karlos Basak, a third party candidate for NJ governonr, Lawrence Hamm, Chair of Peoples Organization for Progress, who as we all know – always hits the high notes in his presentations and myself – I focused on the need to create a more organized response network so that we can mobilize the kinds of numbers needed to stave off the many pending disasters from US war escalations and continuations. 
I am not going to attempt to summarize their presentations – instead I encourage all to watch the rally portion of the event on the you tube video embedded here.

Afterwards about a dozen of us went up the block and broke bread (well bagels) at a local fine coffee and bagel establishment - reaffirming our solidarity.

So in two weeks we were able to mobilize twice in response to the current worldwide emergency due to the reckless,  murderous and disastrous US war-making policies.  However we need to strive for greater numbers and a more efficient means of circulating the call and a more committed constituency to move beyond social network support to actual physical participation.  We need to have 100s of people – minimally – at these events so we can start taking some streets and marching through our cities.
A separate article will be written shortly with a proposed plan for developing this response network to a higher level of efficiency and effectiveness – our survival depends upon it.

And if the United States does continue on this destructive path and does initiate or provoke a nuclear confrontation – all bets are off – school and work becomes irrelevant – the only reasonable approach at that point Is for all of us to get into the streets and not to go home and to shut this nation down.   Hopefully it does not come to that!

ALERT: As I finish this write up – North Korea has just attempted a missile launch – non-nuclear – that failed.  Be ready to respond to any potential US military response – which would be unreasonable . . . AND DISASTROUS!

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More pictures from the April 15 Highland Park Anti-War Protest:

Friday, April 14, 2017

Eve of Korean / Possibly Nuclear War? Emergency Protest 4/15 11:30A Highland Pk NJ




United States war escalations in the Syria and the Middle East, Afghanistan and Korea will meet street opposition on Saturday, April 15, 11:30 am at the corner of Raritan Avenue and Adelaide (in Highland Park, NJ (on Highland Park side of Raritan Avenue bridge between Highland Park and New Brunswick).

In a demonstration called by Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War and now endorsed by the recently formed statewide organization,  NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East, community members will be uniting in attempt to stave off what they see as a possible disastrous escalation by the United States, a possible military attack on North Korea in response to a possible nuclear weapons test by that nation.

Another topic to be addressed at the emergency demonstration includes the dropping of an “MOAB” bomb on Afghanistan.  This is the most powerful US weapon that is not a nuclear weapon.  It has the power to create a one mile wide crater.  Several dozen were said to have been killed but the precise extent of the damages and carnage is not yet known.

The protesters will also express their opposition to the recent missiles launched against Syria and oppose any further escalation of US war with Syria.

According to one of the promoters of the protest, Bob Witanek, a founding member of NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East, “The recklessness of US aggressive military actions is creating an extremely dangerous situation that literally creates an existential threat for the future of the entire planet.  The US is currently abandoning the use of caution when dealing with other heavily nuclear armed nations including Russia and China, with its recent attack on Syria and now its threats to launch an attack on Korea.  A war on the Korean peninsula can result in literally 100s of 1000s of casualties within days both north and south of the Korean DMZ.  The use of the MOAB in Afghanistan further escalates worldwide tensions and sends an extremely dangerous message to other world super powers.”

Ellen Whitt is a founder of The Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War which has maintained consistent protests against all US war-making since 2001 when the US attacked Afghanistan - where the US just dropped the MOAB.  According to Ms. Whitt, "
In spite of the holiday weekend, we felt compelled to respond to the recent dangerous escalation in Afghanistan, Syria, and the Pacific which only perpetuates what has become a seemingly endless war."

According to the Facebook event created by Ellen Whitt, which is at this link people should participate to: 

Protest the dropping of the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in history in Afghanistan, the bombing of Syria and Iraq, and warships moving towards North Korea.

A second event created by Bob Witanek in the group NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East, at this link, , adds the following thoughts:


The importance of an emergency action at this time can not be under stated!”

While at this point the group is planning a stationery protest at the Highland Park protest site, co-organizer Bob Witanek is hopeful that a more sizable outpouring in opposition to the threat of dangerous war escalations will enable the group to consider a possible march – perhaps into New Brunswick.

Mr. Witanek states, “It is always hard to tell what the response will be when there is a short notice call to action.  The circumstance calls for massive outpouring of opposition and if we begin to build – we will certainly consider taking our protest into New Brusnwick with a march over the bridge and possibly up George Street.”

For more information, interested persons can call or text 908-881-5275.


Please RT and tweet to other media outlets - confirm that you have done this.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East

NJ was able to pull together an emergency protest in response to the US launching of cruise missile attacks against the nation of Syria less than 24 hours after the US attack.  On April 6, the US launched 59 cruise missiles at an air force base which is also where Russian soldiers are stationed.

Twenty or so attended but there were at least a half dozen others that showed up as we finished or were on their way at that point and missed the event.

While ideally 100s would respond to such a serious war escalation – this is a positive development that NJ was able to respond at all on such short notice.  We are setting the tone for escalating street resistance in response to escalating US war making and the very real threat of nuclear confrontation between the US and Russia and / or China.

Given the emergent nature of the protest it was not feasible for existing organizations around the state to be able to formal enact resolutions to support the protest.

We organized the event through a Facebook group that we had set up around one of the previous situations where all out war with Syria seemed possible.  Up until Thursday night the group existed in Facebook world only but since we were able to successfully organize and put NJ on the map in opposition to war escalations against Syria we are proceeding forward as a formal organization – with the current title – still being vetted in our membership: NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East.

We invite all that agree with the objectives suggested by this organization name to join us – first – if you are on Facebook by requesting to be added to our Facebook group:

The measure of the success is not just who attended but the activity around promotion of the event.  The night before the event I wrote a press release and set up a blog for the purpose of moving the effort forward. 

The press release, which was viewed close to 1000 times was immediately reblogged by David Rutherford on his Plainfield View site:

The Facebook event was shared over 100 times.  And our Facebook group added about 50 new members.


We were on the front page of the Record, a north NJ paper.  They also had a nice on line write up with a set of 6 pictures.  The reporter quoted Madeline Hoffman, Director of NJ Peace Action and me and the reporting was fair and balanced.

Here is the part about us:
In Newark, activists converged on Martin Luther King Boulevard on Friday afternoon to denounce the U.S. strike that launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base, which Syrian officials say killed nine people.

Bob Witanek, a rally organizer, said the U.S. shouldn't get involved in more wars in the Middle East. He said it was hypocritical given the civilian causalities the U.S. has caused in recent strikes in Syrian and Iraq.

"We are not in a place to say we are the arbiter of what is horrendous, when every other day there is an article about civilians being killed by an air strike or a drone strike," he said. "A poison attack sounds particularly horrendous but a bombing attack kills you just as bad."

Witanek  was also concerned that the situation could lead to an even worse confrontation with other nations, including Russia, which has been a critical military and political ally to Assad.
Madelyn Hoffman, executive director of New Jersey Peace Action, questioned the legality of the airstrikes.

“The airstrikes are an act of war, and a war has never been officially declared by U.S. Congress,’’ said Hoffman, who planned to attend the rally in Newark on Friday.

She said that increasing violence and military action will not improve the situation in Syria. “It’s up to the people of Syria to decide who their leader should be,’’ she said.

She also expressed concern that the airstrikes threaten direct confrontation with Russia.

“We don’t want to escalate tensions with Russia,’’ she said, noting that the missiles were launched on the 100th anniversary of when the United States entered World War I. “Is this going to trigger World War III and how do you pull the dogs of war back once you have unleashed them?"

The rally was also covered by Newark Patch:

As most of what happens in Newark as far as protests for justice, peace, economic equality, the Peoples Organization for Progress played a key role.  I had somehow arrived with my Megavox system’s battery kicked.  Lawrence Hamm came with his two Megavox speakers and speaker poles and reliable microphones to save the day – allowing us to broadcast the event up and down the blocks, across the street and the the passers by. 

Another stroke of luck was when a passer by Jamaal live streamed the presentation by Lawrence Hamm on Facebook – receiving 100s of hits.  Jamaal later shared the video to our group and granted permission to upload it to Youtube.

The rally was also addressed by Bob Witanek, Carol Gay of NJ Labor Against War, Madelyn Hoffman, Director of NJ Peace Action and Jay Arena, Newark resident and representative of Movement for Socialism and Manijeh Saba,

Afterward a half dozen of us held a dinner meeting where we decided to proceed with the formation of this organization and the continuation of organizing resistance to US escalation of its war on Syria  - which is important because today the Trump administration wrote to congress indicating its intentions to continue with more military aggression against Syria and probably other attack targets.

For more information about NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East you can join our group or call / text 908-881-5275.

For more pictures from the event:

- we need to develop bigger, better, quicker war response mechanisms - we need 1000s in the streets for each escalation - else we can lose our lives and the planet possibly within weeks!