[pjw] REPORT BACK: Friday rally #38 under stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Dec 12 18:54:57 EST 2020

Hi again Iraq Affinity Group supporters

At last night's Friday Rally for Peace and Justice (the 38th since PJW 
took over sponsorship and 998th since it began), we got very few responses 
from the public. It seemed more like a ghost town than usual, which is all 
the more surprising as this is when people normally would be swarming 
stores to by holiday gifts. At least one person in a car flipped us off. 
Later a pedestrian expressed support. We began in fairly heavy rain but by 
the time the rally started it had very much subsided. Three of us were 
there, masked up and socially distanced.

Here are some of the things we talked about:

--The Supreme Court rejected President Trump and 18 states' attempt to 
overturn the election. Jokes are circulating on the internet about Trump 
telling Amy Coney Barrett she's fired.


--Despite the announcement of troop withdrawal from Somalia, the US has 
dropped more bombs on that country.


...just like the US continues to bomb in Afghanistan as troops leave 


(Note that this particular article is about the US using drone strikes to 
support the Taliban fighting against ISIS.)

--The US continues ratcheting up tensions with Iran including sending 
B-52s there (the airplanes, not the rock band)


--Congress passed its $740 billion bloated military budget, but 
local Representative Earl Blumenauer voted against it, while Schrader and, 
surprisingly, DeFazio voted for it. (Bonamici also voted against, which I 
didn't know last night.)


Today I found out that Wyden and Merkley also voted against it:


--The US has struck another "weapons and other corruption for Israeli 
recognition" deal, this time with Morocco. In return, the US
affirmed Moroccan sovereignty in Western Sahara (which is, you guessed it, 
rich in offshore oil):


...and agreed to sell them $1 billion in arms:


Locally, the police and Sheriff's deputies have been raiding the "Red 
House" in North Portland, owned for 60 years by a Black and Indigenous 
family who were subjected to a predatory mortgage. The community has
raised enough money through crowdfunding to buy the house from the 
developer who now legally owns it, who has offered to let that happen.


At our stop where we talk about Israel/Palestine, I noted that last month, 
the UN voted in favor of Palestinian statehood by a huge margin-- it was 
163-5, I think I said it wrong last night. The no votes were the US, 
Israel and several US-dependent island nations. The yes votes, notably, 
included Canada, which usually takes the "we stand by Israel no matter 
what" route like the US.


There were also 10 abstentions.

At the "money for human needs" stop I noted how Trump had rejected an 
offer to buy more COVID vaccines, but then signed an executive order to 
force companies to prioritize giving the vaccines to Americans.


...while, as noted above, the military steals so much taxpayer money that 
could go to health care for all.

For announcements, I reminded everyone via the "bullhorn" (orange traffic 
cone on a stick) that we're hosting a special Friday rally on January 8 to 
mark 19 years since Guantanamo opened


and a livestream event with Sarah Mirk talking about her book "Guantanamo 


Also, that December 25 (Christmas day) will be the 1000th Friday rally. 
The Ann Huntwork memorial sign also continues to promote that landmark 
event... join us if you can!

As for the sign, it conked out on the east side of Pioneer Place mall 
again. I reset the power and it made it all the way up the block between 
3rd and 4th on Yamhill just fine, but then went out again when we were 
under the E/W, N/S MAX track power lines. Hmm.

OK, thanks to all for your support!

--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

More information about the pjw-list mailing list