[pjw] REPORT BACK: Friday rally #37 under stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Dec 5 16:30:25 EST 2020

Greetings PJW supporters

Last night at the 37th Friday Rally for peace since the initial COVID-19 
lockdown order, five of us were there for the rally-- though only three 
went on the march. We were masked up and socially distanced, which is 
important for safety and for setting a good example while the virus rages 
in our state. Fortunately there's been no evidence that any outbreak of 
COVID in Oregon is connected to the many much much larger marches for 
social justice this year.


We had the usual smattering of pedestrians and motorists sending 
supportive signals. One man took (I think) all of the flyers for the 
upcoming January Guantanamo events from the distribution rack on the 
little green wagon of peace. Get your own flyers here

   Jan. 8 http://www.pjw.info/guantanamo19yl.html

and here

   Jan. 12 http://www.pjw.info/guantanamo_smirk011221.html

The Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign had an extra message this week 
announcing that December 25 (Christmas) will be the 1000th Friday rally in 
a row since early November 2001.

At the rally we talked about global and local peace issues, starting with
the potential for escalation in the region if Iran decides to retaliate 
against Israel for the assassination of a nuclear scientist, and/or Israel 
or the US decide to conduct more provocative actions in the last weeks of 
Trump's presidency (assuming he ever leaves).


Then I brought up Congress' efforts to stop troop withdrawal from 
Afghanistan by prohibiting it in their proposed budget.


They also seek to stop troops being pulled out of Germany, which I suppose 
could be seen as a 75-year-old occupation but certainly not in the same 
sense as the 19+ years the US has been waging war in Afghanistan. To be 
"fair," if military analysts OK the withdrawal, funds will be released.

Noting that I was reluctant to support President Trump's efforts two 
stories in a row, I then relayed that most of the 700 US troops in Somalia 
(that's right, more than are allegedly in Syria*) have been ordered out.


Perhaps related, the US has brokered what appears to be a detente between 
Qatar and Saudi Arabia; this is likely part of their broader effort to 
build a coalition against Iran.


In local news, City Council is considering a resolution this coming 
Wednesday which would address police use of militarized weapons against 
protestors-- not by prohibiting their use, but by forcing the Bureau to 
take an inventory of how many weapons they have???


I noted that since I've never seen anybody use a less-lethal launcher 
shoot pepper balls at a paint can to open the lid, they should not refer 
to these weapons as "tools" in the Resolution.

BTW if you want to testify about that agenda item the link is at the top 
of the Council agenda on this page (deadline to sign up for the 10 AM Wed 
item is Tuesday at 4 PM):


When we reached the part of the march where we do updates on 
Israel/Palestine I noted that the World Health Organization was able to 
get anti-coronavirus supplies into Gaza, since Israel actually allows 
medical supplies in despite the blockade. It's not clear, though, whether 
there are lists of "dual use" items like the US prohibited from going into 
Iraq under the sanctions there.


As we headed back toward the Square I talked a little more about the 
congressional budget, which assigns $740 billion to the military, but 
that's not what's being talked about or (of course) objected to by the 
President. This time, it's not even the renaming of bases which honor 
Confederate "heroes." Instead, he wants to veto the bill unless it allows 
him to punish social media platforms for labeling his rants--- er, posts 
as untrustworthy.


The digital sign once again made the journey _to_ the Square just fine, but 
conked out on the east side of Pioneer Place mall, about a full block 
earlier than last week (and than usual). After I spent about an hour with 
a confusing computer problem in the office yesterday afternoon, I guess it 
was par for the course to have gremlins in our technology.

Stay safe, join us if you're willing, and keep pushing for peace!

--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

*- this article says there are not 200-400 troops but closer to
   900 in Syria:


More information about the pjw-list mailing list