Megaphone-amplified cheers reverberated against the brick walls near Turlington Plaza Monday afternoon at an anti-war rally by the UF chapter of Students for a Democratic Society.
The event marked the 11th anniversary of the U.S. invasion into Afghanistan, said 20-year-old history junior Skye Schmelzer. As one of the event’s lead organizers, Schmelzer rallied with other student members of the organization to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan and prevent other U.S. imperialism in Syria.
“The U.S. has been in the Middle East for too long,” Schmelzer said.
She said she believes that countries in the Middle East have the right to self-determination, and the U.S. should not interfere.
Chrisley Carpio, another lead organizer, reiterated the national demand for self-determination. The 20-year-old history junior also emphasized the need to end drone strikes. Carpio said drone attacks are responsible for many deaths in the Middle East.
“People view what goes on in the Middle East as an isolated pattern,” she said.
At the end of the rally, students proudly raised their anti-war signs and shouted.
“I know my voice matters,” Schmelzer said.”The voice of the people matter, and we can make anything happen.”