[pjw] REPORT BACK: Friday rally #19 under stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Aug 1 16:13:20 EDT 2020

PJW supporters

Yesterday's Friday rally marked four months of our having taken over 
sponsorship for Portland Peaceful Response Coalition under the pandemic, 
and the first specially themed rally since that time. We focused on the 
75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with special 
signs and a focused presentation at the rally. Even with the extra 
publicity we did for this week, we only had seven people present at the 
event's height (all in masks; one person had to leave early) and no media 

Nonetheless, we received a lot of honking horns, thumbs ups and even a few 
"thank yous" from people walking/driving by.

For the event, I added a third message to the Ann Huntwork memorial digital 
sign saying that "75 years ago, over 100,000 Japanese civilians died when 
the US dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima / Nagasaki."

We carried picket signs reflecting the "Zones project" data about what 
would happen to you if a nuclear bomb the size of Fat Man/Little Boy 
dropped in Portland.

You can still check out in what zone you live and download/print such 
posters here:


A few other signs simply carried the event's theme: "75 Years: Are We 
Destined to Repeat Hiroshima/Nagasaki?" overlayed on a mushroom cloud.

During the rally talk I connected the racism of the US bombing to the 
racist violence of police, and recalled that the use of radioactive 
materials in Iraq, Afghanistan, former Yugoslavia and elsewhere continue 
wreaking unknown amounts of disease and death both on the people of those 
countries and American soldiers in the form of Depleted Uranium (DU).

We also used the rally to promote the Oregon Physicians for Social 
Responsibility annual Hiroshima / Nagasaki commemoration, coming up this 
Thursday, August 6 at 6 PM on line.


The Iraq Affinity Group is a cosponsor of that event; which reminds me to 
thank our cosponsor for yesterday, the War Resisters League Portland 

I also talked a little bit about the ballot measure to strengthen police 
oversight which will part of the November election, which passed City 
Council unanimously on Wednesday. If it passes, it has the potential to 
put a civilian board in charge of an investigative office with a lot more 
authority than the current Independent Police Review. Also, there's an 
election coming up in 10 days (!!!) to fill Commissioner Nick Fish's seat; 
Portland Copwatch and other groups posted this questionnaire to the two 
candidates that you can use to choose who you support if your decision is 
in part based on their ideas on police issues.


Because of the special theme we didn't talk much about any current news. 
Partly due to time constraints before the rally, I did not add "US out 
(of) Portland" to the sign; I noted this was also partly because, for now, 
the federal law enforcement seems to be backing off from their nightly 
indiscriminate chemical warfare downtown. I did, however, add Patrick 
Kimmons' name to the list of people killed by police in the "Justice for" 
message on the sign; Kimmons was killed by two Portland officers in 
September 2018 and his mother has been a very visible and vocal presence 
during the ongoing protests.

We also briefly mentioned that Prime Minister Netanyahu is likely unable 
to move forward with annexing the West Bank due to his ongoing corruption 
trial and the associated protests calling for him to resign.


And adding to our usual "money for human needs" discussion, we talked 
about how not only the entire military budget but even just the US tax 
dollars spent on nuclear weapons could easily have been used to help 
house, feed, educate and get health care to everyone, not to mention 
address the coronavirus in a meaningful way.

One person approached the little green wagon of peace and took a Copwatch 
newsletter, a flyer promoting the Oregon PSR event, and a flyer about the 
Zaher Wahab livestreamed event (have you seen it yet?
https://youtube.com/peaceandjusticeworks ). However he dropped the latter 
two on the ground at the Square before walking off. Well, you can't please 

Anyway thanks to everyone who helped make the extra signs for yesterday 
and for our attendee for whom this was their first Friday rally.


--dan handelman
Peace and Justice Works
    Iraq Affinity Group
    PO Box 42456
    Portland, OR   97242
    (503) 236-3065
    iraq at pjw.info
    Donate on line: http://www.pjw.info/pjwdonate.html

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