[pjw] REPORT BACK: Friday rally #29 under stay-at-home orders
Peace and Justice Works
pjw at pjw.info
Sat Oct 10 13:34:02 EDT 2020
Hello again Iraq Affinity Group supporters
We were back to the "regularly scheduled" Friday rallies last night (after
our two previous focused events), and briefly had nine people in
attendance. I do mean briefly, as three young men came by, put down their
skateboards, picked up signs and took what was no doubt an instagram
photo, and walked off. At least they seemed supportive of the message.
This kind of "tourist protesting" used to happen occasionally before the
pandemic as well.
We also had what's become routine support from people driving or walking
by, flashing peace signs or thumbs up and honking horns.
Since the actual anniversary of the Afghan war was this week I left the
"19 Years: End the Afghan War" message on the Ann Huntwork memorial sign,
it ran along with the "US out of" and "Justice 4" messages.
For the rally talk I brought up a number of news items, including that
President Trump is now saying the troops in Afghanistan will all be home
Don't get your hopes up, though. As I noted last night, I heard a top
Democrat on the radio saying withdrawal is irresponsible, which is a fine
analysis for imperialism but not so good if you believe in people's right
to determine their own futures without countries like ours bombing you.
By the way the article linked above says this:
It was unclear if Trump, who is seeking reelection next month, was giving
an order via tweet or reiterating a long-held campaign promise in order
to appeal to voters.
I also relayed that the US had fired missiles from a warship into Iraq for
the first time in 2.5 years, supposedly to kill members of the Islamic
That attack happened on Sept. 23, the anniversary of the war in Syria. The
next day news broke about the US using "secret" drones to kill alleged
terrorists in Syria, though the attacks had happened two weeks earlier.
I didn't add this horrifying detail at the rally, and you may want to skip
it and go on to the next paragraph if you are squeamish.
"[the US deployed] a so-called Ninja Hellfire missile
on which the explosive warhead is replaced by long blades to crush or
slice its victim while minimizing risks to any civilians nearby."
Since that news broke the day before the special Syria rally on Sept 25, I
hadn't seen it and so wasn't able to add the info to our fact sheet.
Turning attention to Israel/Palestine, I noted that both Sudan
are rejecting the US' efforts for them to normalize relations with Israel.
For its part, Palestine gave up its chance to chair the Arab League to
protest the countries which sold them up the river by having done so
before there was justice for Palestinians.
Then I talked a little bit about the reports that came out this week that
found that the Portland Police
(a) are out of compliance with the US DOJ Agreement requiring them to use
less force, due to the violence at protests:
(b) are in violation of international law for attacking medics and using
broad tactics on crowds.
Don't worry, that report by Physicians for Human Rights also called out
the federal law enforcement officers. Oh, and the Compliance Officer's
report noted that the city found the officer who hit a woman in the head
with a baton very deliberately before walking off in a huff
was either doing it "accidentally" or was merely "pushing" her. I don't
think so-- the Compliance Officer used to be very apologetic for the cops
but called this out as a use of deadly force (hitting someone in the head
with a hard object) and he's right.
Toward the end of the march (which included six of us for the first
several blocks, then five) I once again talked about how the trillions of
dollars spent on these wars and the $700 billion military budget for this
year should be spent on housing, health care and other human needs. I
noted that there is a regional tax being proposed on the ballot to help
with local infrastructure. If there were write-in spots for ballot
measures I would write in "tell the feds to stop spending all our money on
killing people and we'd have plenty of funds for our local transportation
I should have the video up soon from last week's march of the sign, I need
to post it for review first. Once that's up on Youtube it's out there. The
sign froze up this week-- the message got stuck, before it went blank, and
then for the first time came back on at the end-- still frozen. It's got a
mind of its own.
Related to the concept of reviewing the video before it goes out-- these
emails are very much off the cuff recaps, unlike our news releases and
fact sheets which get vetted by the group first, so please (as someone did
yesterday) check if you plan to share them out.
Finally, those of us who were at the Tuesday event were able to compare
notes last night. I think we got the only hecklers where I was standing,
other folks only reported a lot of support, which is very gratifying!
Maybe some of the supporters will even take time to let the government
know how they feel about ending the wars, police brutality and other state
Peace and Justice Works
Iraq Affinity Group
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
iraq at pjw.info
Donate on line: http://www.pjw.info/pjwdonate.html
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