HOUSTON, Texas – Wearing a brown beret and a patched corduroy jacket Johnny carried his “no war with Iran” picket sign across the Discovery green park.
On Sunday, The Houston’s Democratic Socialists of America organization held a “No protest at the Discovery Green park to refute the killing of Iran’s General Soleimani.
General Soleimani was killed in Iraq by a drone strike that was approved by President Trump. Since the death of the general, tensions between the U.S. and Iran have heightened and many of those protesting, fear an incoming war.
Johnny, a member of the Brown Berets, attended Houston’s DSA protest of “no war with Iran”.
The brown berets are a pro-chicano activist organization that emerged in the late 1960s after the Latina actress Vanessa Marquez was shot and killed by police.
“This affects us all, including Hispanics and Latinos”, Johnny said, “I am here because I don’t want a war with Iran.”
Johnny wants to bring more awareness to the issues in the middle east and like many others who attended, he also complained about the turnout.
Ben Abell, a member of the DSA and an army veteran of the Afghan war, stood by desk with a banner that read “People Before Profits”.
He spoke briefly to the protesters.
“We need more people here,” said Ben, “I’m happy with the turnout but we had so many more active people online that just didn’t make it”
Ben began with his work as an activist shortly after his tour was over in 2010, he works with DSA and the People Before Profit socialist party.
“When I was in Afghanistan, I remember doing things that I didn’t approve of, I was really disappointed”, said Ben.
Ben was at home cooking for his family when he first heard the news.
“I remember feeling really disturbed when I first heard about the death of the general because I knew what that meant,” said Ben.
Ben is planning to involve more people in future protests and raise more awareness.
“American citizens shouldn’t have to suffer for a war they don’t want”, said Johnny, “we need to start putting ourselves in the shoes of those in the middle east.”
Johnny plans to get more involved and start other organizations to help middle eastern communities.
The Houston DSA posted an update on the event page inviting all protesters to their general meeting this Thursday.