[pjw] UPDATE re: USS Portland: Media Ignores Protest Against $2 Billion Warship inPortland (April 21, 2018)
Peace and Justice Works
pjw at pjw.info
Tue Apr 24 13:42:03 EDT 2018
Hey there Iraq Affinity Group supporters!
The Oregonian finally ran the original version of this report-back, which
they said they would run last Sunday, the 15th, then Wednesday the 18th,
on their website yesterday at 1 PM.
Note that it was a full day after the ship left Portland. Maybe they
didn't want to irriatate the crew of the ship and risk one of the weapons
being turned on their HQ.
True to the analysis we sent out, they excised any mention of a
protest. We sent them the links to all the photos and yet... not part of
the piece (as far as I can tell-- my computer won't expand the 5-image
gallery they have).
For what it's worth it generated over 750 comments.
Meanwhile, I updated the webpage of the report back
( http://pjw.info/ussportland042118.html )
to include a side-by-side comparison of our picture of the banner from the
ship's POV and what the mainstream media showed.
One reporter who was there told us that they were, in fact, corralled onto
a special platform to take images. However, there are also plenty of
pictures that were taken from other angles so they should have been able
to walk around and see the banner.
There's also a nice still of the whole banner up close.
I also added, and am sorry I forgot to mention this yesterday, that the
banner project was the first project funded by the Ann Huntwork Fund for
Creative Action here at PJW.
Here are some other things for a recap that didn't make it to the webpage:
--A big thanks to everyone who helped with this project especially our
movement's artist Mikel.
--We did, unsurprisingly, draw the attention of numerous law enforcement
officials (Sheriff/Portland Police) and Daimler security, but they left us
--After the incredibly loud 21-gun salute, a cop walked by and I said "I'd
like to report some gunfire." He laughed.
--There was a third protest action which took place on Thursday night for
about 10 minutes where a group projected the slogan "$1.6bn could house
millions" on the side of the ship. I've been poking about to see if it's
posted on line anywhere but haven't seen it yet, so I posted it here to
our site (direct link only):
OK, that's it for now. Thanks to Regina for the tip about the op-ed!
peace and justice works iraq affinity group
On Sun, 22 Apr 2018, Peace and Justice Works wrote:
> (Note: This page can be seen with graphics at
> http://pjw.info/ussportland042118.html .
> We sent this to the media a few moments ago.
> MEDIA IGNORES PROTEST AGAINST $2 BILLION WARSHIP IN PORTLAND
> by Dan Handelman, Peace and Justice Works
> On Saturday, April 21, the USS Portland was officially commissioned at
> the Port of Portland on the west side of the Willamette River. Directly
> across from the estimated 6000 people at the commissioning ceremony,
> activists erected a 20 foot wide, 7 foot tall banner reading "No War."
> All four TV stations and at least three local newspapers covered the
> commissioning ceremony. Only one paper-- Willamette Week -- noted there
> was a demonstration on the west side by anti-war activists.
> KPTV-12 also spoke to the west side demonstrators.*
> The papers and TV stations seemed to be deliberately cropping their
> photos to ignore the giant banner which was clearly visible from the
> ship's vantage point.
> http://www.oregonlive.com/expo/erry-2018/04/3133477cf33534/index.html )
> Portland Tribune:
> A photographer working with Peace and Justice Works, which organized
> the banner protest, was able to get on board the ship and take photos,
> including this one of a weapon aimed close to the protest.
> The photographer reports that the navy crew was joking about how in
> another time and place they would have blown away the demonstrators.
> In March, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler proclaimed April 21 to be "USS
> Portland Day" to honor the giant warship's commissioning. This
> "amphibious landing dock" has two anti-air missile systems, two 30MM
> anti-surface guns, nine 50 caliber anti-surface machine guns, and
> according to Naval Today, an experimental laser weapon. Peace and
> Justice Works (PJW) asked the Mayor to withhold the proclamation seeing
> as in 2012, Portland City Council adopted a policy for redirecting
> funds from wars to human needs.
> Several of our Mayors have supported
> similar resolutions at the National Conference of Mayors. One
> resolution passed in 2017 asks cities to direct department heads to
> consider what they could accomplish if money now being spent on the
> military were redirected for local use. It called attention to the fact
> that even "fractions of the ... military budget could provide free,
> top-quality education from pre-school through college, end hunger and
> starvation on earth, convert the U.S. to clean energy, provide clean
> drinking water everywhere it's needed on the planet, build fast trains
> between all major U.S. cities."
> The proclamation states that the USS Portland will "protect our nations
> [sic] interests but also provide aid during emergencies such as
> earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes or other disasters." When Iraq was
> under United States and United Nations sanctions, our country refused
> to let in hundreds of items the Iraqi people desperately needed,
> including tires for their ambulances. The federal government claimed
> those items were "dual use" for both civilian and military. Just as it
> was a morally imprecise stretch to prevent tires from reaching the
> Iraqi public because they might be used for military purposes, it is a
> stretch in the other direction to praise a warship because it may
> someday be used for humanitarian relief efforts. Mayor Wheeler echoed
> his contention that the ship was for humanitarian purposes in his
> comments at the ceremony.
> A little research turned up the cost of this floating behemoth-- two
> billion dollars. The commissioning ceremony itself is costing hundreds
> of thousands of dollars and is predictably (but dishonorably) being
> supported by dozens of companies who profit from war including Northrop
> Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing and Insitu (which have plants in Oregon) and
> Wilsonville's FLIR Systems (which makes infrared devices to help target
> "the enemy").
> When warships visit our waterfront during the Rose Festival, we are now
> met with signs that say "No Trespassing-- US Navy Restricted Area-- USE
> OF FORCE AUTHORIZED."
> It is unfortunate that the Navy has decided to name such a warship
> after our City. Given the current international tensions, Portland
> should refrain from praising military spending when our housing, roads,
> parks, schools and other critical infrastructure are under-funded and
> crumbling, and given the US military's role as the world's largest
> institutional driver of climate change. As Martin Luther King, Jr.
> said: "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on
> military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching
> spiritual death."
> * RT (formerly known as Russia Today) also covered the west side
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