A peace rally drew several hundred people to downtown Nashville on Friday in opposition to President Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops from Syria. They hoisted Kurdish and American flags outside the federal courthouse on Broadway, chanting, “Long live Kurdistan! Long live USA!”
The Kurdish Peace Rally in downtown Nashville is in full swing. More people — and more flags — keep coming. The sidewalks are filled on both sides of Broadway outside of the courthouse. pic.twitter.com/puLIy1E8aL— Rachel Iacovone (@racheliacovone) October 11, 2019
Nazar Sharanshi says, the U.S. withdrawal feels like a “betrayal” of a group that has aided the U.S. so much over the years.
“A lot of Kurdish people, you know, in the beginning, were in support of Trump and voted for Trump,” Sharanshi said. “Now, a lot of them, they got angry because of what Trump did and what he said.”
Sharanshi is active in the Kurdish Republican Party of Nashville and says he still supports the president — just not on this.
But others at the rally disagreed.
Nearby, Nuven and Dilvin Tayib stood on the front lines of the crowd. Nuven held a sign of a toupee-wearing Cheeto, calling for Trump’s impeachment. Dilvin held a large Kurdish flag – red, white and green horizontal stripes with a bright yellow sun in the center.
“I knew that there were some individuals that were pro-Trump,” Dilvin Tayib said, “but I’d say, for the most part, the younger generation of Kurds are pretty adamantly against him.”
What they all agree on, though, is the call for a no-fly zone in the Kurdish-occupied part of Syria.
Many in the crowd shared stories of what it was like the first time their home was destroyed by conflict — and some told how it felt the second and third times, too. What brought them to the streets now, they say, is that they don’t want any more Kurds to live through that.