[pjw] REPORT BACK on first Friday "rally" in the stay-at-home era

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Mar 28 18:00:18 EDT 2020

Hello supporters of nonviolence

In the lead-up to the March 20th Friday rally, there were a lot of 
discussions about what it means to the broader community good when we 
congregate in public to protest war during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 
then, the Governor has issued a "stay at home" order. Our allies at PPRC 
are, wisely, choosing to stay at home for the foreseeable future. Peace 
and Justice Works has decided to take the most minimal action in order to 
continue the Friday Rallies for Peace and Justice each week.

Yesterday, per our plan for the time being, two PJW members met up at the 
regular corner of Pioneer Courthouse Square, held signs, did not use a 
bullhorn, offered information in a literature rack attached to our "little 
green wagon of peace," and stayed six feet apart from one another and from 

The result was a very low-key "Friday rally" which got visibility to the 
very sparse traffic, public transit and pedestrians, with several 
supportive responses (and, I think, one young man who flipped us off). A 
police car pulled up on the next block up Broadway while we were standing 
at the Square, but likely realized our action fits within the exceptions 
to stay-at-home. We met in a public park, stayed socially distanced, and 
then headed out to get some exercise by walking around downtown with our 
signs. The cop drove away after about 5 minutes without contacting us.

We talked to one another about US troops pulling back from some bases in 
Iraq, the promise by the Saudis in Yemen and the militant groups in the 
Philippines to enact (or work on) ceasefires, the way the air is clear 
from law amounts of plane travel, and other silver linings to the crisis, 
despite its seriousness. I raised concerns about how the virus might be 
spreading in Palestine, which has been called the world's largest open-air 

We thanked PPRC for starting the rallies back in November 2001 and holding 
down the corner for so long, and PJW members for being supportive of the 
modified, hanging out with our wagon six feet apart in the park version 
that we will try to maintain for as long as possible.** If for some reason 
we need a substitute person to fill in for one of our two positions some 
week let us know if you are willing to be an "on call activist."

Even though we did not have any notable dialogue with folks and nobody 
took our fact sheets, it felt really spiritually important to continue 
calling for an end to the endless wars in the midst of an upside-down 

We all need to get out and get some fresh air, and it's nice to be able to 
meet up in one of the City's lovely parks for 10-25 minutes before going 
on a healthy walk for peace.

--dan handelman
peace and justice works

*-AUPHR is advertising a video conference on the coronavirus in Palestine 
coming up on Sunday from 3-4 PM

**-note that if we are able to continue all year, the December 25th 
(Christmas day) rally will be the 1000th in a row.

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