Dozens of Winnipeggers gathered at Portage and Main on Saturday for an anti-war rally after a week of rising tensions between the United States and Iran.
Chants of ‘hands off Iran’ could be heard before a handful of speakers addressed the crowd at the rally, which lasted about one hour.
One Iranian, who requested to not use her name, said it’s important to raise awareness because it’s easy for people who aren’t from the Middle East to become desensitized to some of the issues.
“They think that violence and different situations in the Middle East are just commonplace but that’s not the case,” she said.
Similar rallies have been scheduled across North America after a U.S. drone strike killed Qasem Soleimani, a top Iranian general.
In retaliation, Iran fired missiles on Iraqi bases housing U.S. military personnel.
Iran then admitted it “unintentionally” shot down a Ukraine passenger plane, which crashed and killed all 176 people on board.
Qudus Abusaleh, a Winnipegger from Saudi Arabia, said he attended the rally to support countries in the Middle East.
“I’m always worried,” he said. “My dad works in the Middle East.”
Another protester, Lynn Campbell, said she hopes peace can be found soon.
“Why can’t we just live in peace?” she asked.
“Everyone just wants to have a nice happy family and a home that’s safe. We don’t need more wars.”