by Abigail Bovard and Hannah Ballerstedt (Staff Reporters)
Pinned as the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, the war in Yemen has been raging on for over three years now. As a political intervention by Saudi Arabia, millions of Yemenis have been put at risk of poverty and even starvation.
America has been supporting Saudi Arabia throughout the war, but the Senate has recently voted in a 63 to 37 vote to pull U.S. support. On Nov. 28, 14 Republicans joined the Democrats on voting to end U.S. involvement in Yemen in spite of talks from the Trump administration to hold off on pulling out.
With war tearing apart Yemen, millions of civilians are living in constant fear. According to the United Nations, 60 percent of the population, or 18 million people, in Yemen are food insecure, and 8.4 million do not know where their next meal is coming from. Many do not even have access to safe water and basic hygiene.
On the day of the Senate vote, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, pleaded with his fellow senators to vote in order to pull U.S. involvement out of Yemen.
“When Yemenis see ‘Made in USA’ on the bombs that are killing them, it tells them that it is the United States of America that is actively involved in this war,” Sanders said.
The citizens of Yemen have been tormented by Saudi-led attacks that America has been funding. Sanders added that the U.S has been supplying bombs, fueling the planes that drop these bombs and aiding with intelligence.
With the vote to stop U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen, it is up to the Trump Administration to stop the horrific atrocities that the U.S. has been committing through supporting Saudi Arabia.
Chicago Area Peace Action held a rally to end U.S. involvement in in the Saudi war in Yemen at Federal Plaza Nov. 30 at 11 a.m.
The event comes almost two months after the assassination of Saudi Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. For over two weeks Saudi Arabia denied knowing anything about Khashoggi’s fate. But, on Oct. 20, state television reported that he died. Saudi officials have been giving conflicting reports on the cause of his death since that time.
However, the focus of this event was on the horrendous treatment of Yemeni people.
With U.S. military support, a Saudi-led coalition barricaded Yemeni ports, stopping the country’s intake of food, medicine, fuel and clean water. American-made bombs have also been used by the coalition against civilians in Yemen. The war is currently the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.
The event included speeches from Chicago Area Peace Action leaders. Director of Policy and Organizing, Hassan El-Tayyab, invited ralliers to call Senator Tammy Duckworth over the megaphone.
Quinn Sullivan, the president of Chicago Area Peace Action Loyola, said that the war has “definitely started to get more media attention lately,” but was disappointed that it was not widely recognized earlier.
“It’s frankly kind of sad that it took the murder of just a journalist to get so much attention when there have been millions of people for suffering for so long,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan also spoke about how U.S. involvement in the war violates the War Powers Resolution.
“Congress has never signed off on it, so it’s unconstitutional,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan and other Chicago Area Peace Action members handed out flyers with information about the war and how to support its end. Flyers suggested lobbying their local representatives.
The event also included a display of 44 backpacks which sat on the ground in the middle of demonstrators.
Event organizer Jack Bertran explained that the backpacks represented, “the children that were killed in a bus attack in August.
“It was done by Saudi Arabians with United States help,” Bertran said, who further explained the bomb was made by U.S. company Lockheed Martin.
Attendee Luis Tartan said that while he did not know much about the war in Yemen, he was, “listening and trying to understand what they are protesting.” He also said that he found the imagery of the backpacks interesting.
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