[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:
http://www.pjw.info/motherofallfacts0517.pdf .

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.
Speaking were:
--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.

dan h
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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.

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