[pjw] REPORT BACK: Friday rally #24 under stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Sep 5 16:41:18 EDT 2020

Greetings again supporters of peace and justice

Last night at the Friday Rally for Peace and Justice, six of us came 
together, masked up and distanced, to continue the nearly 19-year-long 
tradition of holding these events at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

I started the talk last night by acknowledging that a Trump supporter had 
been killed at a protest, which is not an action we support, but also that 
the self-proclaimed anti-fascist who killed that person was then shot 
dead by law enforcement, which is also not something we support. As our 
electeds keep wondering why people in the community think it's ok to 
resolve problems through violence and get away with it, they remain 
oblivious to the fact that it is governmental use of deadly force without 
consequence that reinforces that idea.

I noted that the City Council is poised to give the family of Lane Martin, 
who was killed by the PPB last summer while he was in a mental health 
crisis, a nearly $1 million settlement on Wednesday.

We talked a little bit about the fact that Governor Brown had not only 
called in the FBI to investigate protestors (per yesterday's email) but 
that State Troopers are / remain deputized as US Marshals, blurring the 
line between federal and local police.

One international news item which is very telling that we covered was 
Trump's work to get Serbia and Kosovo to come to an agreement-- not a 
political one, but an economic one. As a weird bonus (it's not at all 
clear what this has to do with resolving the longstanding issues in the 
Balkans) Kosovo and Israel recognized each other, and Serbia says it will 
move its embassy to Jerusalem next year. This of course is very 
problematic for resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict since Israel's 
internationally recognized capital is Tel Aviv and the US moving its 
embassy (and now encouraging others) flies in the face of diplomatic 
norms. But that's par for the course around here these days.


We also raised concerns about the US continuing to increase tensions with 
China, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claiming the "world" (read: US 
and its economically dependent crony states) is turning against China.


We acknowledged that today, Sept. 5, will mark 100 days since the 
uprisings for racial justice and police accountability started.

Once again we talked about how the bloated, nearly $800 Billion military 
budget could instead be used to, say, confront coronavirus, keep people 
housed, get people education and other basic human needs.

I will also add here since I'm still stewing over this news that our 
racist President has decided to end all racial equity training for 
Government employees, calling it "un-American" and "racist" as well as 
claiming that examining racial injustice is creating divisions among the 
population. I said from the beginning that Trump doesn't use "dog whistle" 
racism (that only a select few understand), he is using a human whistle.


Anyway, we're still interested in having more folks who can commit to 
coming downtown even just once a month so long as you feel safe about 
doing that. As noted previously-- and again at the rally last night-- 
we're holding special themed events on the weeks of Sept 25 (on Syria) and 
Oct. 2 (on Afghanistan). RSVP if you are thinking of attending any of our 
events so we know who to expect and whether we're reaching capacity of 25 


Finally-- and to be honest I almost started the email with this news-- the 
Ann Huntwork sign made it all the way to the end of the march this week 
(which only 5 of us participated in) without conking out. I achieved this 
by keeping the little green wagon of peace as far away from the MAX tracks 
as possible on the way up Yamhill, staying back from the corner at 5th 
(where the E/W and N/S tracks converge) and dashing across the street once 
the light changed. After the rally ended, as the wagon returned the other 
direction across the street I was not so lucky. It's a bit of trial and 
error to evade the electromagnetic interference.


--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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