[pjw] REPORT BACK: Friday rally #27 under stay-at-home orders: Syria

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Sep 26 14:09:34 EDT 2020

Greetings again PJW supporters

Last night we were lucky enough to get a break in the rain while we held 
the first in a series of two special Friday rallies (with a third special 
event taking place on Tues Oct 6). The theme was "US Hands Off Syria's 
Oil" and we had extra "No War on Syria" signs to emphasize the issue. We 
also had a smattering of other peace and justice signs as usual-- 
considering there were five of us there it was fairly broad messaging.

Once again we had a lot of thumbs-ups and horn honking. One person came 
by, took a fact sheet and read it, and then joined the four of us who 
marched for the first several blocks.

A lot of the rally speech was taken from the brand-new fact sheet, which 
is now posted on our website here:


Feel free to share it around. I will send the text out tomorrow in a 
separate email.

I'm not including links for most of this because most were included in 
previous reports back.

So the basic story is that the US involvement in Syria passed its six year 
"anniversary" on Wednesday. While Trump keeps claiming he wants to take 
the troops out, once the mission changed to "protecting the oil fields" he 
stopped his anti-interventionist stance. A company based in Delaware is 
now involved in a deal to sell the oil to benefit the Kurdish rebels. 
Imagine, I said, foreign troops coming to the oil fields in Oklahoma and 
directing oil to a militia intent on toppling the US government. The US 
has no UN mandate, no vote of Congress and no invitation from Syria to be 
there. As noted recently, the 1000 US troops there are about to be 
augmented by 100 more in response to clashes between US and Russian 

Estimates from earlier this year are that 3835 Syrian civilians have been 
killed by the US-led coalition.*


I was also reminded how some of the rebelling factions fighting each other 
a few years ago were reportedly funded on one side by the Pentagon and the 
other by the CIA:


Moving on to other news, we noted that it is amazing that in the entire 
history of the US, no woman has been laid in state in the Capitol until 
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was so honored yesterday.


Unfortunately, as predicted, President Trump is planning to rush through a 
young, conservative woman to replace Ginsberg.


Glass partially full thought-- if she's true to her deep Catholic beliefs, 
there should be more rulings against use of the death penalty. Otherwise, 
if confirmed she's likely to push the country further in the wrong 

Before we headed out to march I reported that the 120-page OIR Group 
report about Portland Police deadly force incidents indicated that the 
officers who shot Patrick Kimmons (whose name is among those scrolling on 
the Ann Huntwork Memorial sign) were likely not following policy when they 
continued shooting at him after he ran past them and they hit him in the 
back, and after he fell to the ground.


(pages 69-71)

Portland Copwatch is planning to release an analysis early next week as 
the Report heads to City Council on Wednesday.

Along the march route we talked about how many times the US and Israel 
have stood alone against the rest of the world (mentioning again the 
solidarity statement they voted against a few weeks ago, calling on 
nations to stop fighting and unite against coronavirus).

We may make a project out of this question; so far I've only been able to 
find this article from 2017 about the US vetoing Security Council 
resolutions 43 times on Israel's behalf, but we want to look at General 
Assembly votes.


As we came toward the end of the route (and the sign went blank once again 
by the double-max tracks), I noted that congress has passed a $740 billion 
military budget while our nation faces economic and health crises. This 
happened a few months ago, but here's a good piece from when the Senate 
voted on it:


I should say I also mentioned that we are hoping that the positive 
messages of the anti-fascist organizers including Pop Mob today will drown 
out the rage and violence fueled Proud Boys rally. Hope everyone involved 
stays safe.

Last night there was breaking news that the Portland Police got officers 
deputized by the feds to be able to make arrests for federal prosecution-- 
this should not have happened without a public discussion. City Council 
already voted for the PPB not to cooperate with the feds around protest 
actions, not to mention this opens up the possibility of increased 
political spying getting around the pull-out from the Joint Terrorism Task 

Anyway, while we didn't draw any new folks down to yesterday's event 
(except the pedestrian who joined us for a bit), we welcome more folks to
join us next week for the second "US Out of Syria and Afghanistan" event 
at 5 PM at SW Yamhill and Broadway, please RSVP if you plan to attend. The 
third event on Tuesday, October 6 goes from 4:30 to 6 at the east end of 
the Burnside Bridge, RSVP for that as well.


Peace and solidarity

--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

*-the "fact" we listed in the fact sheet (14,024 Syrians killed by the US 
Coalition) attributed to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights came from 
this Wikipedia page, but it is not supported in the original source which 
says they cannot estimate the overall numbers. Oops!!!

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