U.S. Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) was among a group of panelists speaking October 19 to a crowd of people in Minneapolis about the danger of attacking Iran and the “catastrophic effects” an invasion could have on the world.
Ellison spoke to more than one hundred people, who gathered at St. Joan of Arc Church in south Minneapolis about the atmosphere in Congress and the pressure he and his Congressional counterparts are under to support war on Iran.
Ellison expressed a strong disagreement with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address last month to the United Nations General Assembly.
“To argue that they (Iranians) are within reach of having enough uranium is not true,” Ellison said, criticizing Netanyahu’s remarks. “Where is our red line? Are we going to allow a foreign leader to set it for us?”
Ellison has voted against the so-called Iran Threat Reduction Act, which is a sanction and anti-diplomacy provision that thwarts U.S. government personnel from negotiating with anyone from the Iranian government.
“I’m not going to vote for sanctions that will make it harder for the U.S. to talk,” said Ellison.
Ellison didn’t promise voting against future sanctions on Iran; however, he encouraged citizens to contact their representatives in Washington D.C. to voice their support.
“It’s easier to vote no if you know you have the backing of your community,” he said.
“We need to be a voice for peace and justice,” said Women Against Military Madness member Margaret Sarfehjooy, who was one of the panel speakers. “When we are silent, we send a message that the status quo is acceptable and we know that there is a real possibility of war and we can’t be quiet about this. We need to raise the demand of no war with Iran on the national and state level.”
The other panelists at the event, which was co-sponsored by the Minnesota Peace Project, Twin Cities Peace Campaign and Women Against Military Madness, were Meredith Aby (Anti-War Committee), William Davnie (Retired Foreign Service officer), and Kate Gould (Friends Committee on National Legislation, Middle East Specialist.)