San Francisco Turns Out in Solidarity With Worldwide Protest for Afghan Lives
After getting briefed on a U.S. drone mission in eastern Afghanistan that the Pentagon said killed two members of the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate early Saturday, Biden pledged more attacks on ISIS-K, the group responsible for the Kabul bombing.
In the Bay Area, however, more than 200 marchers convened at U.N. Plaza focused on peace.
The event began with organizers playing the song”Sarzamine Man,” aka “My Homeland,” followed by a bevy of speakers, including Mary Steiner, president of the United Nations Association San Francisco Chapter, Nahid Aria, Dari translator and Afghan outreach coordinator at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, and Shahid Buttar, a lawyer and candidate for California’s 12th Congressional district.
Aziza Popal, who attended the rally, said she fled Afghanistan many years before for religious reasons, because she was not able to practice Islam under the then-rule of the Soviet Union. On Saturday, she came to protest on behalf of voiceless people in her former home. “I’m here to raise my voice on behalf of all men and women. We are very upset with what is going on in Afghanistan right now,” she said.
Marena Habibi, a rally organizer said the thousands of refugees coming to the Bay Area now may not receive food stamps, cash aid or housing, and pushed for protesters to demand more support from their representatives in government.
“President Biden you have not ended the war, you’ve caused global chaos and we are now seeing the consequences,” she said. “These Afghans have been betrayed by the world, and now they need help.”
Protest organizers said war waged by the United States has disintegrated Afghan society. “Afghan citizens are left with no choice but to flee their homes or stay and risk death at the hands of these forces,” organizers wrote in a statement.