More than 100 people turned out for a “global day of protest” in Albany’s Townsend Park on Saturday.
They held signs and chanted slogans as part of worldwide rallies amid rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Community members in Albany had much to say about war and peace.
Klarisse Torriente is calling for "a change in American society as we know it." "I believe in the power of community more than I believe in anything else. This is a time when we can really turn back to the past. And keep with us the valuable lessons we learned from SNCC and the Black Liberation Movement, the anti war protest during the Vietnam War, and engage with the tools that we have now to bring this next movement that responds in global solidarity. That says no to any further senseless violence promoted by the U.S. government, and again, I want to stress this violence is not limited to the war with other countries, but also manifests in the U.S. as systemic racism, sexism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, anti semitism, ableism and classism."
Attorney Mark Mishler spoke as a member of Jewish Voice for Peace. "Two governments, the United States and Israel, have painted the people of Iran as the enemy. These two partners have spent decades destabilizing, threatening and launching our backend wars against the people of Iran. These partners, the United States and Israel, are not looking out for our interests in their aggression against the people of Iran. We gain nothing from the threats and illegal acts. In fact, we have everything to lose. The wars the U.S. and Israel hope to unleash are wars without end. They are wars in which the continued existence of humanity itself is at stake.”
Pepe Rossy with Albany Cuban Solidarity was impressed with the gathering's diversity. "As I look around. I see young, and I see old, I see gay and straight. I see black, white, Asian and Latinos, environmental activists. I see a beautiful mosaic of determined activists, and together here and all over the world we say, No no, no way. No bomb no killer drones not on the Middle East. Not anywhere. Peace now."
- Reporter's Note: The Albany edition of the Global Rally forcused mainly on peace, while similar rallies in several other cities, including New York, were held in opposition to 5G technology. Activists in those cities circulated petitions to send to the United Nations in order to stop 5G from being deployed across the country.