[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 
18-1/2 years.

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.

--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

*- 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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