Protesters gather outside Trump Tower, under the bronze statue of American journalist Irv Kupcinet, whose column remained a fixture in the Sun-Times for more than six decades.

Chicago was one of more than 80 cities and towns across the United States where protesters gathered on Jan. 4 to condemn the U.S. airstrike that killed Iran’s top security and intelligence commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Hundreds of demonstrators stood from 12 – 2 p.m. at Wacker Drive and Wabash Avenue outside of Trump Tower, chanting, “No justice, no peace. U.S. out of the Middle East” and “Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation.”

Protesters braved the increasing cold, holding signs that read “U.S. Troops Out of Iraq,” “NO WAR ON IRAN,” and “STOP Bombing Iraq!”

Evanston resident Bill Harrison stood with his sister, Pam Harrison. “My wife was freezing and went to find warmth somewhere for a few minutes,” said Mr. Harrison, whose group had been at the site for nearly two hours.

Many of the demonstrators also condemned the Trump administration’s decision to send approximately 3,500 more American soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division to the Middle East, voicing concerns that the administrations actions would lead to war in the region.

Traffic was not disrupted by the protesters, who gathered on pedestrian walkways in Chicago’s busy River North Gallery District. Bicycle patrol officers formed a line between the demonstrators and the flow of mid-day traffic in the area.

The protest was part of a national coordinated day of action. Co-sponsors of the Chicago demonstration included:  Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER Chicago), Party for Socialism and Liberation-Chicago, People United Against Oppression, Refuse Fascism Chicago, CODEPINK (a women-led antiwar organization), Veterans for Peace, United AntiWar Coalition (UNAC), United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), Feminist Foreign Policy, World Beyond War, Popular Resistance and Voice for Creative Nonviolence.

Heidi Randhava

Heidi Randhava is an award winning reporter who has a deep commitment to community engagement and service. She has written for the Evanston RoundTable since 2016.