[pjw] REPORT BACK: Guantanamo action has stunning visuals + today in 25 years later in Iraq

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Tue Jan 12 13:28:14 EST 2016

Hi again
Last night's visibility action about Guantanamo was pretty successful, in 
the sense that we had over 20 people out on a rainy, cold and gloomy 
evening. Thousands of people streaming over the Hawthorne Bridge at rush 
hour saw the Tower of Peace with the banner reading "CLOSE GITMO NOW! Stop 
Inpiring Terror." Thanks to cosponsors with Amnesty International and the 
Portland Close Guantanamo Coalition, four members of the demo were decked 
out in orange jumpsuits with black hoods over their heads. Quite sobering. 
We handed out about 200 fact sheets and received dozens of thumbs-ups and 
suportive horn honks. (We also got a few people arguing to keep the prison 
open and/or flipping us off, but they were the minority for sure.)

Unfortunately, as far as I know nobody from the group, alternative or 
mainstream media documented the visibility action with pictures, so I hope 
these words paint you a picture. Again, the fact sheet we handed out is 
available here:

Now on to today's history lesson on the US' 25 year involvement in Iraq. 
On March 15, 2003, just four days before the war began, Portland held a 
massive peace rally and march in Waterfront Park. There had been a global 
day of action on Feb. 15 where millions marched worldwide, but we had 
decided to build up to an event in March-- and it paid off in the sense 
that we counted over 30,000 people attending. We ended up getting into an 
argument with the Oregonian, which set the number at 14,000. Here's a 
photo someone took of just one part of the crowd to disprove the O's 

The event had over 150 cosponsoring groups
and featured Congressman John Lewis, the civil rights icon, as a keynote 
speaker. You can see the flyer for the event here:

This was the fourth of what would turn out to be many mass mobilizations 
organized by a network of groups in Portland, which most recently 
organized the 14 Years in Afghanistan rally last fall. You can see a list 
of all the events here:

And since we'll be fast fowarding past it tomorrow, I also wanted to post 
the Oregonian photo from the March 20, 2004 march and rally, which 
shows the massive march clogging up Broadway downtown:

So, looking forward to another great action on Friday, hope you can be 
dan h
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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