Protesters gather in Northampton against military action in Syri - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Protesters gather in Northampton against military action in Syria

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NORTHAMPTON, MA (WSHM) -

As the Obama administration continues to seek military action in Syria, hundreds of people in Western Mass spent the night protesting.

Anti-war groups gathered in Northampton Monday night as part of a national day of action that's happening across the country.

Armed with candles, peace signs and even songs, more than 100 anti-war protestors packed the sidewalks of Northampton.

"I don't want to see this country get involved in another war," said Bill Ames of Northampton.

As the Obama administration pushes for military retaliation against the Syrian government for reportedly using chemical weapons against their people, protestors here are seeking patience and an alternative to warfare.

"Instead of talking about firing missiles, let's give some aid to those refugee camps, there's over a million refugees who are living in squalid conditions," Ames said.

"We have to negotiate, we have to get along," said Arkie Markham.

Markham is a 98-year-old anti-war activist. A potential war on Syria is just the latest she's speaking out against.

"It's absolutely immoral. It's unbelievable that anyone would even attempt it," she said.

The rally in Northampton was just one of the nearly 200 being held simultaneously across the country.

Anti-war activists in Western Mass say the number of vigils being held should be a clear sign of how the country is feeling.

"This is a reflection of the 6 percent or the 10 percent of the U.S. population that actually supports it. These are the 90 to 94 percent who don't," said organizer Jeff Napolitano.

Some say they will await official reports from the United Nations.

"I don't think there's real concrete proof," said Michael Leahan, of Florence.

Others say those being targeted in Syria need to be the top priority.

"Pay attention to really supporting the people who are involved in the people's movement inside Syria," said Denise Beaudet, of Northampton.

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