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Anti-war protesters visit Juan Vargas’s Chula Vista office

Invited in for a sit-down

On this auspicious day, September 11, on the corner of Third and F Street in Chula Vista, six protesters chanted “No justice, no peace, U.S. out of the Middle East!” and “Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation!”

Although, Chula Vista is not known as a hotbed of radicalism, the people protesting the possibility of U.S. strikes in Syria were greeted by many honks from sympathizers.

When asked why they were on the corner of this underpopulated main drag of western Chula Vista, they answered that they were marching down to Juan Vargas’s office. Vargas holds the U.S. House of Representatives' 51st District seat, which encompasses all of Imperial County and California’s entire U.S./Mexico border.

Abel Macias, who is part of Answer Coalition, said that the group was going to Vargas’s office because in a statement on September 7 Vargas had declared support for the military strike.

Macias said not only did he disagree with military intervention in Syria, but he believes that as a result of President Obama’s threat of a surgical strike, the government has pushed to the back burner crucial domestic issues such as education and immigration.

Bertha Gutierrez, a protester and a member of a group called Abajo y a la Izquierda, said the first action needed to be peace talks rather than the threat of military intervention. Gutierrez said she favored a policy “that helps with medicine and food” and that violence does not end violence.

When the protesters arrived at Vargas’s office, they chanted outside for about 15 minutes and then asked to sit down with Vargas’s senior field representative, Eddie Meyer. Meyer welcomed them into the air-conditioned conference room for a sit-down.

Meyer also provided the Reader with a copy of Vargas’s press release from September 4.

It states, “It is of utmost importance that all decisions made regarding Syria are based on truthful and vetted evidence. During today’s hearing, Secretary of State Kerry and Secretary of Defense Hagel assured me and the American people that the evidence of chemical use was factual, transparent and presented in its entirety.… Today’s hearing also confirmed that only targeted and limited strikes would be used. With a clear plan in mind, I support the White House moving forward.”

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On this auspicious day, September 11, on the corner of Third and F Street in Chula Vista, six protesters chanted “No justice, no peace, U.S. out of the Middle East!” and “Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation!”

Although, Chula Vista is not known as a hotbed of radicalism, the people protesting the possibility of U.S. strikes in Syria were greeted by many honks from sympathizers.

When asked why they were on the corner of this underpopulated main drag of western Chula Vista, they answered that they were marching down to Juan Vargas’s office. Vargas holds the U.S. House of Representatives' 51st District seat, which encompasses all of Imperial County and California’s entire U.S./Mexico border.

Abel Macias, who is part of Answer Coalition, said that the group was going to Vargas’s office because in a statement on September 7 Vargas had declared support for the military strike.

Macias said not only did he disagree with military intervention in Syria, but he believes that as a result of President Obama’s threat of a surgical strike, the government has pushed to the back burner crucial domestic issues such as education and immigration.

Bertha Gutierrez, a protester and a member of a group called Abajo y a la Izquierda, said the first action needed to be peace talks rather than the threat of military intervention. Gutierrez said she favored a policy “that helps with medicine and food” and that violence does not end violence.

When the protesters arrived at Vargas’s office, they chanted outside for about 15 minutes and then asked to sit down with Vargas’s senior field representative, Eddie Meyer. Meyer welcomed them into the air-conditioned conference room for a sit-down.

Meyer also provided the Reader with a copy of Vargas’s press release from September 4.

It states, “It is of utmost importance that all decisions made regarding Syria are based on truthful and vetted evidence. During today’s hearing, Secretary of State Kerry and Secretary of Defense Hagel assured me and the American people that the evidence of chemical use was factual, transparent and presented in its entirety.… Today’s hearing also confirmed that only targeted and limited strikes would be used. With a clear plan in mind, I support the White House moving forward.”

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Comments
9

I guess these people aren't bright enough to know there is already a war in Syria and that 200,000 people have been killed with 5 million refugees and nerve gas attacks that killed hundreds of kids.

Sept. 11, 2013

Putting parties aside - I could have sworn that we, twelve years ago today, on 9/11, the U. S. of A. asked other countries to help us in our plight to help capture those who killed so many of our innocent civilians.

I too am sick of war, sick of watching our young men and women leave whole and come back broken. Yet, how can one watch those videos and simply turn a blind eye by saying - 'not interested in your plight'.

As a country, we are better than that.

Sept. 11, 2013

It seems as though these people have their own ideas about our role in the Middle East and how best to help the people of Syria. Perhaps they discussed those ideas with Rep. Vargas's assistant, as they should.

Sept. 11, 2013

Double edged sword here people. There is no doubt that sirin gas has been deployed and scores have died. Including the innocent children. We've all seen the smartly edited and obscene images. Heres the cold reality. Whats the goal here? Get Assad out, or simply make sure gas isn't employed anymore? The latest developments are headed that way. But how do we the international community monitor that? Okay, so we drop bombs. What good is that gonna do when all the big heads of power will be deep in underground bunkers? Then WE will be responsible for the deaths of innocents. And don't think that wont be on videos released within minutes. Will our networks broadcast that? Not likely. Wether the press wants to report it or is being compelled not to, Al Qaeda is the rebellion in Syria! So there goes the US playing both sides as usual? No good will come of this, and eventually, boots will be in Syria. Sorry if its not what you want to hear.

Sept. 12, 2013

We are war weary yet we are Americans and as such must stand for what is right - the babies, the children - how do we sit back and pretend it is not happening?

Sept. 12, 2013

Annie: Perhaps figure out something to do, with others, that does not involve more killing of women and children and men.

Sept. 12, 2013

Oh come on! What's our real interest in Syria? You want to take that stance, then how about the atrocities in Darfur? Why aren't we posturing and blowing hot air there? Because they have nothing the US wants! Take a look at all the war torn countries where worse things are happening. If they have a natural resource we want, then by God, we're there fighting for truth justice and the american way. Otherwise, families are thrown off the land because they refuse to grow the poppy. Women are raped, their breasts cut off and left for dead but somehow survive. Men's arms are whacked off so they won't vote a particular way. Entire families are slaughtered because what? For What? AND WHERE ARE WE AMERICANS THEN? I love my country. Do not misunderstand me. Just take the blinders of convenience off and take a real look at what we're preparing to do. We heard all this before Iraq. Remember? I'M JUST SAYIN'.

Sept. 12, 2013

I don't have the answers, but I have a lot of questions. What do Syrian's want? What will happen if there is a vacuum of power in Syria? And what do we do about the other countries who have used chemical warfare? What do we do about the US's and Israel's use of white phosphorus???? Read up on Fallujah and you'll see other horrific and sad pictures of babies.

Thank you Susan for giving us a space to discuss this important topic.

Sept. 12, 2013

Thank you Julian for the questions. Like you I don't have the answers. But I would really like to see more planning, a larger plan. One positive outcome of this tragic situation in Syria is that there has been more public dialogue than I have seen in a long time.

Sept. 12, 2013

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