[pjw] REPORT BACK: Friday rally #20 under stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Aug 8 16:55:53 EDT 2020

Hello again Iraq Affinity Group supporters

Last night at the Friday rally, we had a slightly smaller group than usual 
(5 total, 4 on the march) but were spirited and well appreciated by many 
members of the public anyway.

Our usual mix of signs about US wars still included some of the messages 
about Hiroshima/Nagasaki, as the rally fell squarely between the 
anniversary of the bombings of the two cities on August 6 and August 9, 
1945. I also modified one of our "No War on Iran" signs by pasting the 
word "China" over "Iran."

To highlight the concerns about the US provocations during the rally we 
talked about the upswing in US aircraft, warships and submarines in the 
South China Sea, as well as the US closing the Chinese embassy in Texas 
and then arresting a Chinese national near the embassy in San Francisco. 
The kerfluffle over the Chinese-made app TikTok is being flagged as 
another "national security" issue though it seems more that the users of 
the App have gotten under the skin of President Trump, plus he wants to 
try brokering a deal for American corporations.


We led off though by talking about the horrendous bombings in 1945, citing 
Thursday night's event with Oregon PSR which covered the topics of 
the use of Depleted Uranium in modern wars and the connection between the 
racism of the bombing of Japan and the practices of US law enforcement, 
which have taken the lives of thousands over the years, disproportionally 
people of color.

We also connected this weekend's other morbid anniversaries, that of the 
US' third war on Iraq in 2014 (when they started bombing again to target 
ISIS on August 8) and the "war coming home to roost" the next day when 
police in Ferguson, MO killed Michael Brown. That police killing led to an 
uprising and heightened awareness of police brutality, but nothing as 
large as the 70+ days of protests we've seen since the murder of George 
Floyd in May this year.

I also noted that Mayor Ted Wheeler has been making some strange claims 
about the ongoing protests, including that somehow protests for Black 
Lives are working to re-elect Donald Trump. That deflection of the main 
issue-- that Wheeler can't control his own cops-- is worthy of Trump 


Before we headed out on the march, I also mentioned that the US has 
approved the sale of oil from northern Syria to benefit only the Kurdish 
fighters in that region.


I'm not clear how this even pretends to be a lawful act.

Along the route, we talked about how the National Defense Authorization 
Act (NDAA) included $3.8 billion for Israel


but failed to include an amendment that would have redirected 10% of 
military funds to human needs. The silver lining (?) is that the package 
includes a requirement to rename military bases named for Confederate 
"heroes"; Trump promised to veto the bill but it passed with over 2/3 
majority in each chamber.


The bad news of course is that $740 billion which could easily house, 
feed, provide health care to, educate and employ everyone who doesn't have 
access to those necessities will instead go to perpetuating war.

An out of town woman visiting her grandchild took literature from us, 
while a man who didn't want to have to carry anything hung around and 
asked a lot of questions, seeming glad that we were there. Between them 
and the many honking horns from passing vehicles we felt our rally was 
once again a success.

And finally, we did a bit more experimenting with the digital sign and it 
does seem to conk out in the middle of the blocks between 4th/5th, 5th/6th 
and Yamhill. We're still waiting to hear back from the electrical 
engineering department at Trimet to see what's going on.

That's all for this week's report!

--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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