[pjw] REPORT BACK/FACTS: Mother of All Protests
Peace and Justice Works
pjw at pjw.info
Sun May 14 19:52:32 EDT 2017
Greetings Iraq Affinity Group supporters.
Below is the text of the fact sheet we handed out at today's "Mother of
All Protests." It can also be found online at:
A few major thanks, first and a quick report back:
Many thanks to Mother Nature, which cleared the skies for exactly the 2
hours we were setting up, rallying and marching. Rain started again just
as we returned to PSU.
Thanks to the Portland Police, who didn't even show up at the rally or the
march as we walked down the sidewalks and received many thumbs-ups from
those we passed.
The rally started off with music from the Badass Women's Protest Choir.
--Mary Schutten of the Women's March on Portland and National Organization
of Women, who encouraged everyone to take action to make a change
--Becky Luening of Veterans for Peace and Viet Nam Friendship Village
Project who drew connections between the quagmire of Viet Nam and today's
--Allyson Sosa of Iraq Veterans Against the War who further uplifted the
power of women and tied together issues of violence in the US (by police
and in our homes) with war
--Mary Rose and Barbara Drageaux of Women's International League for Peace
and Freedom, who read quotes from some of the women whose names are
highlighted on the Walk of Heroines.
About 50 of us who were there then took to the sidewalks, alternating
between chants and songs as we wound our way to the Federal Building,
where we were serenaded by the Raging Grannies. At about 3:30, we were
About 20 took the "extra points lap" back uphill to PSU, chanting and
singing for another 15 mintues.
Three TV stations were there-- KOIN, KATU and one other (either KGW or
KPTV, I didn't look).
We had two wagons for peace with us-- we managed to repair the one that
got damaged in the snow at the Guantanamo event in Janaury, and had its
replacement as well, allowing us to haul the sound equipment and the signs
for the entire 34 blocks.
Thanks again to all who helped make it possible, especially the women of
PJW and Hannah who created the facebook page, all the speakers and
musicians, including Allyson who helped lead the chanting.
All in all not bad for two weeks' work to return Mother's day to a peace
holiday and to reject the ongoing military misadventures of the US.
peace and justice works iraq affinity group
THE MOTHER OF ALL PROTESTS
reclaiming Mother's Day for Peace
May 14, 2017
Peace and Justice Works rejects the terminology and use of the "Mother of
All Bombs" in Afghanistan on April 13, dropping bombs on Syria on April 6
(and at other times), killing civilians in Iraq, rattling the sabre in
North Korea, and other warmongering by the US government. The militarism
is connected to other domestic and foreign policy issues that are quickly
taking us further into the World War the US started after 9/11.
Today's Mother's Day march is to foreground women and women's roles in
creating Mother's Day over 100 years ago as a day for world peace. Julia
Ward Howe wrote in 1870 about an international women's congress which
would "promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable
settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of
Part of the reclamation is to stop using the term "the Mother of" to mean
"the largest of" or "the event to end all other events." It means the
origin of, or one who gives birth to-- as the origin of Mother's Day gave
birth to this demonstration.
With regard to the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (the true definition of
the MOAB acronym), the most powerful non-nuclear explosive in the US
arsenal, multiple sources gave reasons to question its use. Marvin
Weinbaum, who used to work in the State Department on Afghan issues, said
"the lasting effect of the [MOAB] is not so much strategic or tactical,
but political. With this and [the strikes in] Syria, the Trump
administration is demonstratting that it is prepared to use the military
much more freely. I think that is the message now" (McClatchy, April 28).
Journalist Jeremy Scahill wrote that "Dropping a 21,000 pound bomb is not
exactly a battle, it's a mass killing machine" (Business Insider, April
13). Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the U.S. "committed an
immense atrocity against the Afghan people" (The Hill, April 18). On May
6, Pope Francis condemned the US' naming of its bomb, saying: "I was
ashamed when I heard the name. A mother gives life and this one gives
death, and we call this device a mother. What is happening?" (Reuters, May
The blast was said to have killed 94 ISIS fighters, though the US doesn't
want to report body counts because Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wants to
avoid echoes of Viet Nam (Politico, April 20). Civilians living in the
area where the bomb was dropped described the blast as "the sound of
hell," saying it shattered the windows in their homes (UAE National, April
With the bombing of a Syrian airfield, the US raised the stakes of a
possible conflict with Russia, which claimed their troops were put at risk
by the cruise missiles (Reuters, April 26). Other results of the recent US
military actions included a bump in President Trump's poll ratings (from
42% to 48%-- Rasmussen, April 14) and a heightened fear that Trump will
lead us fully into WWIII (39% of Americans-- USA Today, May 3).
Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Senator Jeff Merkeley both praised Trump's
bombing of Syria, only wishing he had asked for premission from Congress
first-- even though experts say that action was against international law
(Deutsche Welle, April 11). Join our call for an end to war, respect for
the planet, and money for human needs!
Today's event was coordinated by Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity
Group. Cosponsors include Women's International League for Peace and
Freedom-Portland, Veterans for Peace Chap. 72, Recruiter Watch PDX,
Portland Fellowship of Reconciliation, War Resisters League-Portland and
the Portland State University Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Department. Endorsers include Women's March on Portland and Little Light
of Mine Friends Worship Group.
More information about the pjw-list