[pjw] REPORT BACK/NEWS: 19th Anniversary Friday rally #33 under stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Nov 7 13:21:38 EST 2020

Hello supporters of peace and justice

I'll start with news that came in between last night's rally and this 
report back. Those who know me have heard me say I'm not a morning person 
at all. But today I happened to have the TV on at 8:08 AM and it was more 
of the same about the Presidential election from the past several days. I 
looked again at 8:28 and suddenly all the news channels except for Fox 
were saying that Joe Biden had won in Pennsylvania and thus the 
Presidency. Fox was reporting that President Trump was vowing to fight for 
a true vote count and the Biden camp was yelling at them to get on board 
with the declaration. But at 8:42 AM Fox changed their tune, in fact 
giving Arizona (which they called days ago), Nevada and Pennsylvania to 
Biden. From the experiences of 2000 and 2016 I'm still not convinced this 
is the final outcome but for now at least there's some indication there 
will be a new President in January.

So, to the report back from last night's Friday Rally, I kicked it off by 
acknowledging that it being the first Friday of November, this was the 
19th anniversary of the weekly event. Started by Portland Peaceful 
Response Coalition in 2001, just weeks after the US invasion of 
Afghanistan, someone has been down at that corner of Pioneer Courthouse 
Square every week since then. This means the rally is now entering its 
20th year.

I forgot to mention this article I ran across from the anniversary of the 
Afghan war which confirmed the message we sent out on 9/11 last year: 
children of war veterans are now being sent to the same war that started 
before they were born.


As I noted yesterday, Governor Brown has limited gatherings to six people, 
and perhaps coincidentally only three of us made it down, with our face 
coverings, to the rally and march last night. The rain that had poured 
down all day had let up, but it was notably darker than last week 
following the "fall back" time from last weekend. Like last week, the 
traffic both pedestrian and automotive were light, but we still got plenty 
of supportive sounds and gestures. I don't remember any hecklers this 

The rest of the rally talk moved from the international to the local:

--The US has stopped reporting on whether there have been Taliban-led 
attacks on (occupational) US bases in Afghanistan in order to avoid 
putting wrinkles in the so-called peace plan.


--As noted in yesterday's email, late last month 50 countries adopted the 
anti-nuclear weapons resolution at the UN, with Honduras being the 50th 
state to do so.


--Regardless of who wins the election (I noted before this morning's news) 
we still have to push to bring all the troops home and to redirect funds 
from the military to human needs such as housing, health care and the 

--Statewide, Oregon voted to decriminalize personal amounts of drugs, 
which will be a huge change in how the criminal justice system 
functions... if the state legislature acts on the ballot measure.


--Governor Kate Brown deployed the National Guard to Portland this week, 
and they actively engaged in crowd control wearing camouflage and carrying 
batons. Not a good look, I noted, for a Governor who this summer 
restricted the Guard's support to administrative duties, especially on a 
year that marks the 50th anniversary of Kent State (where National Guard 
members shot and killed Viet Nam war protestors).


--Locally, Mayor Ted Wheeler was re-elected and Commissioner Chloe Eudaly 
lost her seat to newcomer Mingus Mapps. I pondered how in early August, it 
was a possibility that we could have had an all-female City Council 
(Eudaly, Jo Ann Hardesty, Carmen Rubio, Loretta Smith, Sarah Iannarone) 
but now we have a male-dominated Council (Wheeler, Mapps, Dan Ryan) which 
seems to be leaning away from true police reforms (see below).

--The ballot measure amending the City Charter to require that a new 
civilian oversight system for the police passed overwhelmingly (82%), but 
has already been challenged by the Portland Police Association. In a 
grievance, the PPA says the City skirted its obligation to negotiate with 
them before instituting a new system. However, (a) the new system is not 
expected to be in place for 18 months or more, and (b) the charter 
amendment explicitly says that the system has to conform to the collective 
bargaining agreement, and parts that do not can't be implemented. So I feel 
this is more for public relations for the new PPA President Brian Hunzeker 
than a serious challenge to the system.


We headed out on the march. In deference to the PPRC member who led the 
marches up until the COVID lockdown, I try to remember to give updates on 
Israel/Palestine at a particular part of the route. Last night's update 
was that a right-wing Israeli politician said that if Joe Biden wins and 
re-enters the nuclear agreement with Iran, Israel will start a war with 


As we approach the end of the march (back at the Square) we usually talk 
about money for human needs. Last night I talked about how Commissioners 
Hardesty and Eudaly had called for another $18 million to be cut from the 
Portland Police Bureau's $250 million budget. The other commissioners 
waited to hear from the city's budget office, which said that because the 
PPB is spending so much on overtime, those cuts would mean they would have 
to make layoffs. There was no discussion about, I don't know, _not sending 
the police out every night to attack protestors_ in order to save money. 
So new Commissioner Ryan, who campaigned on helping Hardesty realize her 
goals for police accountability, was the swing vote and defeated the cut 
in a 3-2 vote.


This week the Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial sign went blank on the _east 
side_ of Pioneer Place Mall rather than the south side. The electrical 
interference may be amplified by the rainy weather? I don't know I'm not 
a physicist, I'm a peace activist.

The video of the sign is now up to 24 views:


So we still could use 1-2 more people to commit to coming down once a 
month or so, though if we ever exceed six people we can always send folks 
across the street to make a separate gathering. Let us know if you are 
able to attend. Before the lockdown, for many years my commitment was to 
be at the rally once a month (though I often went more than that when we 
had a special event planned).

That's it for now, I guess we'll have to keep an eye on the courts and the 
Electoral College (whose idea was that? Oh yeah white rich guys who 
started the country) to see what happens next. Oh, and I forgot to 
mention, we also have to wait until January's runoff elections in Georgia 
to see what the balance of power in the Senate will be. So, more hurry up 
and wait.

It's always time to keep working for peace...

--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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