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Madison protest joins thousands across the country against potential war with Iran

MADISON (WKOW) -- "We don't want war, we want peace," Julia Hackler, one of the protesters, said, echoing the thoughts of everyone in attendance.

An anti war protest at the state Capitol in Madison was originally organized by nearly a dozen left leaning groups, including the Party for Socialism and Liberation, to support Iraqi protests at the US embassy there.

That all changed when President Trump ordered a targeted airstrike that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

"That is pretty illegal, right? To kill a foreign official that we're not at war with," Annika Lee, one of the organizers, asked rhetorically.

The people who rallied Saturday afternoon are afraid those actions will lead the US into another war in the Middle East, especially after the Pentagon announced it would already be deploying 3,500 troops to the area.

However on Friday, President Trump claimed his intentions were everything but.

"We took action last night to stop a war, we did not take action to start a war," he said.

The protesters here are unconvinced, saying there are more important things to worry about.

"That includes tackling climate change, tackling homelessness, healthcare, just the things that we need here that we don't need to harm other people to have," Lee said.

She conceded that lawmakers and those in power may not listen to them, but as long as someone's listening then they've succeeded.

"Maybe they won't change the government's mind but it will help organize the working class here in America and make them realize that they should be treated better and when we work together we can make a difference," Lee said.

To their critics, they say they're just happily enjoying their First Amendment rights.

"Patriotism is when you're willing to criticize your government when it's not doing something that's okay," Hackler said.

Sarah McGrew

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