HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - A dozen or more anti-war activists gathered on Warburton Avenue and Spring Street in Hastings on Monday evening to voice their opposition to President Barack Obama's plan to intervene in Syria's civil war.
The protesters, members and friends of the Concerned Families of Westchester group that regularly hold anti-war demonstrations in Dobbs Ferry and Hastings, called for the president and Congress not to use military force in the Syrian conflict a day before Obama is scheduled to address the nation on the issue. Obama's speech is set for Tuesday at 9 p.m.
Obama has failed to convince most Americans that the United States should launch a limited military strike against Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government, according the several national polls.
"We're hoping that Congress listens to the people and uses diplomacy instead of bombing Syria," Susan Rutman said. "There has to be a better way of dealing with these problems. We need more humanitarian aid and peaceful intervention."
The protest, which coincided with others in nearby Bronxville and other communities across the country, included a candlelight vigil for peace. Some passersby joined the demonstrators, who said they will be back at the same spot Saturday at noon.
"A majority of Americans -- Republican and Democrats -- are against another intervention," Linda Snider said. "Hopefully, we're seeing some movement to deal with this in a more intelligent way. More violence is the last thing the Syrians need. And we'll see more children hurt."
Julie Pycior said the voices inside Syria must be heard.
"Why don't we find out what the Syrian people want first," Pycior said. "The people, the children who are there should be given a voice."
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