[pjw] REPORT BACK: Friday rally #12 under stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sun Jun 14 13:01:30 EDT 2020

Hello again PJW supporters

Sorry I didn't get to this Saturday-- as you can imagine there's a lot 
going on, especially at Portland Copwatch.

Friday's rally was once again (especially with Multnomah County still 
"closed") a limited participation event, with three PJW folks and three 
PPRC folks, almost all in face coverings. There were surprisingly fewer 
pedestrians than recent weeks, but likely that was in part due to rainy 
weather and in part due to the police violence that has been happening 
every night for the last 2.5 weeks. I think we saw one police car, all was 
relatively calm.

There was a relativly larger amount of auto traffic and we got a lot of 
honks of support, partly for our signs mixing anti-war and pro-justice 
messages, and perhaps partly because of our new creative addition to the 
wagon of peace, which we'll reveal in full a bit later this week in 
advance of its full on premiere coming up this Friday.

We spoke about how it's been more than 18-1/2 years since the Friday 
rallies were started by Portland Peaceful Response Coalition, and how the 
war in Afghanistan continues after all that time. We made connections 
between the US wars abroad and President Trump's threats to unleash the 
military inside the United States. Notably, the chair of the Joint Chiefs 
of Staff apologized this past week for participating in Trump's photo op 
at a church (with a bible), calling it a political event. Other active and 
past military folks have spoken against Trump's desire to use the military 
against his own people (hmm where have I heard that phrase used before-- 
oh yeah that's one reason why GHW Bush said we had to go to war in Iraq in 

And of course we connected it all to the police violence and racism which 
has prompted an uprising and some of the most amazing cultural shifts I 
have seen in 28 years as part of this organization. We spoke about the 
City Council's currently stalled effort to cut millions of dollars from 
the police budget. It was stalled because Commissioner Chloe Eudaly wanted 
to heed community demands and cut even more. That said, the racially 
biased Gun Violence Reduction Team is on the chopping block along 
with the formerly-mentioned School Resource Officers. Transit police are 
also being defunded by Portland-- which I noted out loud as the cop care 
which passed us was a Transit Division car. The Council votes next 
Wednesday, June 17.

For the second week we shouted bull-horn-less chants along the march 
route, the same ones from last week (which I punctuated badly last time):

--"From U.S. streets to Palestine, occupation is a crime"
--"Donald Trump / riot police /  won't bring safety, won't bring peace"

Then we also repurposed another regular chant:

--"Money for jobs and education, not for cops and corporations"

(We usually say not for war).

At the Iraq Affinity Group meeting Monday we agreed to talk to PPRC _if 
and when_ the Governor puts Multnomah County into "phase 1" opening, which 
would OK groups of up to 25 people; if that happens we will likely invite 
more people down, but will have to set up logistics to be sure we can stay 
socially distanced both on the corner of Pioneer Square and along the 
march route.

We will keep you posted. If you are ready to come to a march/rally but not 
one with 1000s of people let us know and we'll reach out once the 
"opening" happens.

Thanks as always

--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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