[pjw] REPORT BACK: Friday rally #34 under stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sun Nov 15 13:24:32 EST 2020

Hi again PJW supporters

As to the subject line of these emails-- I guess I thought we were 
technically still being asked to stay home, save lives since the 
Governor's order in March, but she's now issued a new set of orders that 
kick in on Wednesday due to the surge in cases. As such, at least two of 
our regulars who use public transportation to attend the rallies are going 
to be out for probably the next four weeks, so if you're comfortable 
coming downtown and joining us at least until then we'd love to have you 

Meanwhile, there were four of us who did participate-- albeit one stayed 
for less than five minutes-- in last night's Friday Rally for Peace and 
Justice at Pioneer Courthouse Square. We were masked up and socially 
distanced. We had the usual smattering of thumbs-ups, honking horns and 
appreciative pedestrians, and I'd say the traffic still seems light. 
Especially considering that the experts are saying traffic is almost back 
to where it was before the pandemic, and that we're downtown during rush 
hour. And while Friday was a very rainy day, we didn't experience much 
precipitation until the last 5-10 minutes of the march.

At the rally of course the issue came up about (if and) when President 
Trump decides to leave office, what comes next? And sadly, there are 
plenty of examples that we have more work to do.

For instance, President-elect Biden has said he will keep the US troops in 
Syria (you know, the ones "guarding" the oil wells there, with no UN 
mandate or invitation from the Syrian government).


Also don't expect full withdrawals from Iraq or Afghanistan either.


Biden also said (back in August, but this came up again at the election) 
that while he won't expand the border wall, he also won't tear down what 
Trump already built.


Aaaaaannd don't expect the Biden White House to move the US's (illegally 
moved by Trump) embassy back from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv in Israel; he also 
will not reverse Trump's recognition of the Israeli occupation of the 
Golan Heights.


Locally I noted that we also will have a lot of work to do now that the 
incoming City Council is likely to be supportive of mild, not major 
reforms to the police with the election of Mingus Mapps and the middle of 
the road action by Dan Ryan last week on the budget. This means we have to 
be very vigilant in pressing to make the changes that will be necessary 
for the new oversight system to succeed, including changes to the Police 
Association contract and state law.

Along the march route I talked about another Israel/Palestine issue, 
namely that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is planning to visit a winery 
in the occupied West Bank, the first such state visit to an (illegal) 
settlement in the territories.


And during the "money for human needs not war" block I talked about 
Biden's potential nominee for secretary of defense who has ties to the 
defense industry.


Once again the Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial sign went blank on the east 
side of Pioneer Place Mall before we turned the corner and headed west up 
Yamhill. FYI, the monthly memorials for Keaton Otis (who was killed by 
Portland Police in 2010) started meeting as hybrid online/in-person events 
last month. I made it down on Thursday and brought the wagon and the sign 
to the delighted eyes of the three other people at the "live" event and to 
the ears of the more than a dozen folks experiencing the vigil on Zoom. I 
limited the message to just being about police accountability, but added 
the anti-intervention message back on at the Friday rally.

In closing, these facts are not meant to depress or demoralize you, 
they're meant as a sort of pep talk to recognize that our work must 
continue, regardless of who sits in the seats of power... or until the 
policies of this country are such that there's peace, environmental 
sustainability, economic stability/housing for all.


--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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