International & Antiwar News


Originally published in the Summer 2020 edition of the Virginia Defender, issue 62, printed August 14. Reproduced here for accessibility and archival purposes. To find other stories in the Summer 2020 issue or download the full PDF, see this post. For the full web catalog, see our Full Issues page.

After President Trump ordered the January drone strike near Baghdad International Airport that killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, massive protests broke out across the Middle East, where the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ elite Quds Force was revered as someone who had helped various resistance movements stand up to U.S. aggression.

There were also more than 200 protests in the United States, where the attack stirred fears of yet another war.

Here in Virginia, the protests spurred the formation of two new antiwar coalitions, in Richmond and the Norfolk area.

The Richmond Coalition for Peace, Justice, and Jobs has produced a webinar titled “No More War.” The virtual forum, moderated by Food Not Bomb’s Jim Geary, features presentations by Adeeb Abed of Richmonders for Peace in Israel and Palestine; Vanessa Bolin of the Richmond Indigenous Society; Iranian-American activist Sanaz Ghodsi; and Phil Wilayto of the Virginia Defenders.

The presentations were followed by a panel discussion moderated by Geary and Austin Gonzales of the Richmond chapter of Democratic Socialists of America. Cathryn Virginia of the Richmond chapter of the Industrial Workers of the World helped with video production.

The forum can be viewed on the coalition’s Facebook page.

Another new formation to come out of the protests is the Hampton Roads Coalition for Peace & Planet.

The two new coalitions, along with existing antiwar groups, can be contacted through their Facebook pages:

Charlottesville Center for Peace & Justice

Coalition for Justice (Blacksburg)

Hampton Roads Coalition for Peace & Planet

Norfolk Catholic Worker

Plowshare Peace Center (Roanoke)

Richmond Coalition for Peace, Justice, and Jobs

Shenandoah Valley Antiwar Coalition

Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality

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