The Watch and MoveOn.org spokesperson Stacy Williams, second from right.

Fresno Peace in Iran Vigil Coordinates with Nationwide Protests

By Peter Maiden
Photos by Peter Maiden

More than 100 people attended a vigil for peace with Iran in Fresno at 5 p.m. on Jan. 9, in one of around 300 demonstrations around the United States. The protest was coordinated with others by being held at the same time on the same day with the same message: No war with Iran.

Mary Bensing of Clovis looks out from under the main banner of the protest.

The sponsors of Fresno’s vigil were MoveOn.org, Peace Fresno and The Watch. The latter group has a history of protests at the office of Rep. Devin Nunes (R–Tulare) in Clovis.

The vigil was held on one corner of Blackstone and Nees, across the street from River Park Shopping Center, where it was visible to many passing cars. Cars honked in support of the protest.

Iranian-American Parvin Malek holds a sign as the protest starts.

Spokesperson Stacy Williams was positive about the demonstrations and the apparent launch of a movement. She said, “I think the country in general is really getting fed up with endless wars that we have, and peace is starting to be a thing again.

“We haven’t had this peace movement since maybe the ’70s [and] I think it’s come back around to where people are starting to say ‘why not peace, why can’t we say peace is an option? Why can’t we say that we want to do everything we can do possibly to bring peace about—why is war our first option?’

Organizer Camille Russell talks with two protesters.

“I think the younger people are starting to get in the movement [and are] collaborating with the older generation, so we’re getting some good numbers to finally support peace.”

It has been unusual for television news to come to vigils at Blackstone and Nees. This time, two television crews were out and interviewing demonstrators.

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Peter Maiden is the photo editor of the Community Alliance newspaper. Contact him at maidenfoto1@gmail.com.

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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