[pjw] REPORT BACK: Friday rally #25 under stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Sep 12 17:39:08 EDT 2020

Hello again PJW supporters

For not the first time in its almost 19-year history, yesterday's Friday 
Rally for Peace and Justice was just a rally with no march. With 
Portland's air quality deemed among the worst in the world, the four of us 
present thought it best to stay in one place.


I was the only PJW representative this week. We were all masked up and 
stayed socially distanced, even when a pseudo-sympathetic video crew 
showed up to interview me. I say pseudo because they claimed to be for 
Black Lives Matter and such, but were asking clearly baited questions 
about whether it was ok to call for Trump supporters to be kicked in the 
head, for example. Even at that, it gave me the opportunity to, for 
instance, note that President Obama deported more people than Trump.


and that while Trump is still bragging he wants to bring home the troops 
from Iraq and Afghanistan, his war on Mosul killed thousands and that the 
war in Afghanistan will likely continue as drone warfare. This website
shows there have been 1012 US airstrikes so far in 2020:


Oh and by the way none of the three "crew members" were wearing masks.

Eventually we did our rally announcements about recent news. First up was 
Trump's ballyhooed deal with Bahrain which seems similar to the one he 
made with the UAE to recognize Israel. No mention yet where the Bahrani 
embassy will be located, but for sure this is not going to help the 
previously established solidarity in the Arab world demanding justice for 
the Palestinians before recognition of Israel.

This article mentions that "Bahrain, along with Saudi Arabia, had already 
dropped a prohibition on Israeli flights using its airspace."


Also thanks to a hot tip from a fellow demonstrator I was able to report 
that one of the architects of the massacre of priests in El Salvador in 
1989 was finally brought to justice with a 133 year sentence in a Spanish 


It was also important that we noted yesterday was the 19th anniversary of 
9/11, which President GW Bush decided to use as a platform to launch the 
wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as drone warfare in Pakistan, Yemen 
and Somalia, then expanded to Libya and Syria by President Obama. I did 
note, however, that there still has not been a drone strike in Pakistan 
since the summer of 2018, so... progress?

Pakistan is near the end of this assessment by Airwars of the July air and 
drone strikes in various countries:


While the Afghan government is starting peace talks with the Taliban 
today, it's not clear whether that will lead in any way to a full 
withdrawal of US troops as it's doubtful the corporate class will be 
interested in leaving trillions of dollars of natural resources behind.


And as one commentator noted, Trump's plan to reduce US troops in Iraq to 
3500 (from 5000) would just put them back where they were in 2015.


I noted that Mayor Ted Wheeler had taken a very late stance to ban the use 
of tear gas by Portland Police, which led to backlash from the cops who 
say now they will "have to" use other, more violent means like baton 
strikes, pepper balls and other "less lethal" munitions. This is an 
empty... I guess threat since they have already been using these tactics 
despite having tear gas in their arsenal.


By the way, I gather that the "official" Black Lives Matter themed rallies 
are on hold due to the wildfires.


There was noticably less traffic than usual but we did get a good number 
of supportive honks and thumbs ups. We had a few other people stop by, one 
of whom was drawn in by the Ann Huntwork Memorial Sign. (Since there was 
no march, by the way, the sign didn't conk out.) A woman wandered by and 
picked up a Copwatch newsletter without saying a word.

I also announced once again that we are holding special Friday rallies 
on the Sept 25 (Syria 6 years later) and Oct. 2 (Afghanistan 19 years 
later-- part 1). We welcome more people who can commit to coming to one 
rally, one rally a month, or weekly! Please RSVP if you are able to 
attend our events so we can keep the size down to the state-mandated 25 
person limit.

Here again is the link for the upcoming two Friday rallies, as well as the 
special event on Tuesday Oct 6 with Stand for Peace at Burnside and Martin 
Luther King Blvd:


I'm sure there's more that I'm forgetting but that's about the gist of it.

--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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