De­mon­stra­tors in L.A. want U.S. to leave Mid­dle East

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - News -

LOS AN­GE­LES (CNS) — Anti-war ac­tivists and their sup­port­ers staged a demon­stra­tion Satur­day in down­town Los An­ge­les to voice their op­po­si­tion to war against Iran, fol­low­ing Thurs­day’s U.S. killing of a top Ira­nian mil­i­tary of­fi­cial in Bagh­dad, Iraq.

The AN­SWER Coali­tion, Code Pink and Vet­er­ans for Peace or­ga­nized the 1 p.m. rally at Per­sh­ing Square, call­ing for no war on Iran, an end to eco­nomic sanc­tions on Iraq and an im­me­di­ate with­drawal of U.S. troops from the re­gion.

At least 200 peo­ple gath­ered to hear speak­ers, then marched to the Roy­bal Fed­eral Build­ing to con­tinue the rally, or­ga­nizer John Prys­ner said.

They car­ried signs, in­clud­ing one that read “No War on Iran” and a ban­ner that said “Trump: the Peo­ple Say No War on Iran.”

Los An­ge­les Po­lice Depart­ment of­fi­cers mon­i­tored the sit­u­a­tion and there were no ar­rests re­ported as of 3:15 p.m., Of­fi­cer Mike Lopez said.

Mean­while, in­sist­ing there is no known cred­i­ble threat to the South­land, Los An­ge­les po­lice and the county sher­iff’s depart­ment are both closely mon­i­tor­ing de­vel­op­ments in the Mid­dle East fol­low­ing Thurs­day’s air strike in Bagh­dad that killed a top Ira­nian mil­i­tary com­man­der.

“Nearly ev­ery na­tion­al­ity in the world can be found in the county of Los An­ge­les,” Sher­iff Alex Vil­lanueva said in a state­ment Fri­day. “Keep­ing all res­i­dents and vis­i­tors safe is al­ways a top pri­or­ity. We at Los An­ge­les County Sher­iff ’s Depart­ment are aware of the un­fold­ing events in the Mid­dle East.

“At this time, there are no spe­cific cred­i­ble threats to the Los An­ge­les area,” he said. “Our sher­iff’s In­tel­li­gence Unit is work­ing with our lo­cal, state and fed­eral part­ners to mon­i­tor and in­ves­ti­gate any po­ten­tial threats should they arise.”

Vil­lanueva’s com­ments echo a state­ment is­sued Thurs­day night by the Los An­ge­les Po­lice Depart­ment, which said, “While there is no cred­i­ble threat to Los An­ge­les, the LAPD is mon­i­tor­ing the events de­vel­op­ing in Iran.”

“We will con­tinue to com­mu­ni­cate with state, lo­cal, fed­eral and in­ter­na­tional law en­force­ment part­ners re­gard­ing any sig­nif­i­cant in­tel that may de­velop,” ac­cord­ing to the LAPD. “This depart­ment is com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing the safety of our vi­brant and di­verse com­mu­nity, and we ask ev­ery An­ge­leno to say some­thing if you see some­thing.”

The Long Beach Po­lice Depart­ment, in a Twit­ter post Fri­day af­ter­noon, said that while “there is no cur­rent con­nec­tion to Long Beach, we will con­tinue to pro­vide in­creased pa­trols and vis­i­bil­ity through­out the city for the du­ra­tion of the week­end, and will con­tinue to mon­i­tor the de­vel­op­ing sit­u­a­tion.”

On Thurs­day, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Ira­nian Is­lamic Revo­lu­tion­ary Guards Corps, was killed in a U.S. Pen­tagon-launched air raid OK’d by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump. The deputy head of Iraqi Pop­u­lar Mo­bi­liza­tion Forces (PMF), an Iran-backed para­mil­i­tary force, was also killed.

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