[pjw] REPORT BACK: Friday rally #31 under stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Oct 24 14:53:44 EDT 2020

Iraq Affinity Group supporters

Last night four of us attended the Friday Rally for Peace and Justice as 
the skies grew dark from the post-autumn equinox shorter days and 
non-rain-producing clouds. At first we were approached by a number of 
people with strange or off topic things to say. Soon after I said 
something about this to the other rally-goers, one person approached us 
and asked-- in all seriousness, "Is the US still in Iraq?" So we got to do 
some educating about the 2500+ troops and the world's largest embassy. 
While that conversation was going on another person came up and took a 
fact sheet from the wagon.

Cars drove by with appreciative honks, even though downtown seemed a bit 
more empty than usual, our presence was apparently still inspiring to 

Some of the things we talked about at the rally and along the march:

--The US made a hard-to-follow-the-logic deal where they said if Sudan 
would pay money into a compensation fund for victims of "terrorist" 
attacks, America would pull them off the list of states who sponsor 
terrorism and Sudan would recognize Israel. This is yet another Arab 
nation which seems to be turning its back on the Palestinian cause. The 
US' endgame seems to be lining up countries to oppose Iran.


--The Afghan government seems to continue to be taking cues from the US in 
how to kill civilians, blowing up a mosque they said was full of militants 
but which reportedly had eleven children in it who died in the blast.


--The Senate is meeting over the weekend, no, not to find ways to bail out 
a failing economy and millions of people who need health care and housing 
stability, but to force through the vote on Trump's very conservative 
court nominee before the election.


Meanwhile, locally, for only the third time in about 60 years, a Portland 
officer was indicted for on-duty use of force. Officer Scott Groshong, who 
retired in August, hit a vandalism suspect using an unmarked police 
vehicle two months earlier.


I forgot to mention at the rally what I told a reporter earlier 
yesterday-- last year an officer in Columbia county used a patrol car 
to hit and kill a suspect, so this could be considered deadly force.


I reminded folks that they can read about the views on police 
accountability for 3 of the 5 candidates running for City Council. Though 
nobody walking by asked for a copy of the questionnaire, you can still 
find it here:


(If you want a hard copy we do have some posted on the door of our office 
as well.)

We also talked about how Israel is now setting aside its concerns about 
sales of high-tech F35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates. As I 
suspected, this is in part because the US is going to sell even more 
potent weapons to Israel.


Finally as we were returning to the Square, where we usually talk about 
the theme "money for human needs, not war," I noted that City Council is 
poised to vote on the "fall budget bump" on Wednesday this week. 
Commissioners Hardesty and Eudaly want to cut another $18 million from the 
Police Bureau (shy of the $23 million+ being asked for by community 
https://www.uniteoregon.org/defund_ppb_fall_bmp ). But Mayor Wheeler wants 
to cut $0.


The scrolling sign did ok this week, but conked out in the usual spot next 
to Pioneer Place Mall and the Max tracks. As an experiment I walked 
back that way on the north side of the street with the sign facing in 
toward the mall, and it lit back up on its own, only to go blank again at 
the end of the block. If they weren't in the FBI (and fictional) I would 
call in the X-Files team.

Don't forget to look at the video of the sign in action, which as I noted 
along the route has a "viral" 17 views at this point.


Aaaannnd.... we continue to welcome more people to join us for the weekly 
Friday event, 5 PM at SW Yamhill and Broadway, for our socially distanced, 
masked-up ongoing visibility action for peace.

That's all for now

--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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