[pjw] REPORT BACK: Friday rally #11 under stay-at-home orders
Peace and Justice Works
pjw at pjw.info
Sat Jun 6 15:46:41 EDT 2020
Supporters of Peace and Justice
Yesterday's Friday Rally was held in a wildly different atmosphere from
the week before. Our limited-attendance event (with five people at it) was
overlooking a Square with a few hundred human rights protestors listening
to a Native American drum circle and speakers. It was strange to me that,
despite our having a Police Accountability sign among our peace signs,
people kept walking right past us to head to the other event without
acknowleding us, but they may have just thought we were an extension of
the other gathering rather than a rally which has now been going on over
There was a lot more plywood covering the windows that either had been
damaged or were being pre-emptively protective. The most amazing were
outside the Apple Store (which is entirely glass on three sides). Here's a
photo of the murals, which if you can't tell has chalk portraits of
victims of police violence including George Floyd:
Right across the street at the Pioneer Place Mall there were more murals
including one for Breonna Taylor, whose birthday it would have been
(Apologies for any offensive language you may see, this is what's going on
out on our streets.)
We once again received many thumbs ups and honking horns showing support
for our messages.
For the first time under the pandemic, we chanted along the march-- we
didn't use a bullhorn, just our voices.
--"From us streets to Palestine, occupation is a crime"
--"Donald Trump / riot police / won't bring safety, won't bring peace"
We talked about the movement against racism and for police accountability.
We also noted the President's threats to use the military against
protestors, his calling in an actual military unit to Washington DC
(though they apparently weren't deployed), and his stunt photo at a church
for which he had law enforcement violently displace protestors. Then,
citing PJW's ongoing campaign against using the National Guard for
military affairs overseas, we noted that Governor Brown had deployed 50
(supposedly unarmed) Guard members to Portland for the protests here.
I put Portland Copwatch newsletters in the fact sheet distribution bucket
on the little green wagon of peace.
On Monday, among other things, we'll be talking at the IAG meeting about
whether to expand past our 6 person limit if Multnomah County "opens up"
on June 12 as is being speculated.
Most of us were once again wearing masks, and most of us do not want to
take our chances in these larger crowds who are gathering. It is righteous
and important, but people have to make decisions for themselves what they
feel comfortable with. That said, to see thousands of people stage
a die-in for nine minutes, taking a knee all at once, and being
joined by (for one) Blazers star Damian Lillard linking arms at the front
a marches this week was heartwarming and gratifying.
We have been connecting the issues of peace and police accountability for
28 years now, it's so great to feel there are thousands of people making
those same connections-- and some immediate changes being made. For those
who did not hear, Mayor Wheeler and School Superintendent Guerrero
announced they are taking armed officers out of the schools.* Mayor
Wheeler is also banning the use of a military grade sound truck as used
for a weapon (they still use it to announce their intent to clear the
streets), and may ban chemical airborne agents too.**
Justice. Peace. They are possible.
Peace and Justice Works
Iraq Affinity Group
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
iraq at pjw.info
Donate on line: http://www.pjw.info/pjwdonate.html
*- I'm a bit cynical about this announcement since schools are closed both
for the summer and because of the virus, but let's take our wins where we
**- the PPB (like Trump's aides) are prickly when you call the chemical
weapons "tear gas," as if they don't know we mean to cut out using
whatever the heck it is that's affecting people's ability to breathe while
a virus that attacks the respiratory system is killing thousands.
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