DES MOINES, Iowa -- Making a direct impact from Iowa to Iran may be over 6,000 miles, but over 100 hoped change could come from a first step.
A large group marched at the Iowa State Capitol to denounce the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, sparking threats of retaliation from the region's Islamic Republic.
"We are not going to watch our country get involved in a war for oil that's completely of choice," said Caroline Schoonover, co-chair for the Central Iowa Democratic Socialists of America and organizers of the march.
With U.S. and Iran tensions at a fiery level, 3,000 U.S. troops have deployed to nearby Kuwait. With more boots hitting the ground overseas, shoes were pounding pavement against a potential war with Iran. Schoonover said, "Hopefully to hold our elected leaders accountable. Not just Republicans and our incredibly unstable, incompetent president but also Democratic leaders."
Supporters of the deadly strike see it differently and believe Soleimani was an extreme threat to not just America but the world. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "For too long, this evil man operated without constraint and countless innocents have suffered for it. Now his terrorist leadership has been ended."
The anti-war marchers see Soleimani's death as a costly casualty that now harms growing issues Iowans struggle with everyday.
"There are people here that have to ration insulin in this city. They have to struggle with affordable housing. And to send us on another trillion dollar war while that's happening here in Des Moines, Iowa, that's not right.
Marchers made a mile-and-a-half trek Sunday that took them across Interstate 235 and back by Des Moines East High School. Similar cries were heard this weekend in 80 communities and towns across the country.
"Democracy is about taking matters into your own hands and fighting for peace, so that's what we are doing. That's the importance of this," Schoonover said.