[pjw] REPORT BACK: New cold war?-- Friday rally #54 under stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Apr 3 13:17:59 EDT 2021

PJW supporters

In a strange turn of events, there were many, many more people driving and 
walking around downtown than in the recent past (likely due to people's 
over-confidence that the pandemic is waning, even as we enter a "fourth 
wave"... because of that over-confidence) but only three of us were there 
for the rally and march. We remained masked up and distanced.

Initially it seemed that the increased traffic didn't produce much by way 
of supporters, but eventually people honked, waved and flashed peace signs 
at us.

Here are some of the things we talked about at the rally:

--The US and Iran are going to start talking about how to get America back 
into the Iran Nuclear deal during an upcoming meeting in Vienna. However, 
like school kids playing silent treatment, they won't talk directly to 
each other, instead using intermediaries:


--In the ongoing ramp-up of a new cold war among the US, Russia and China:

---The US is pulling some troops out out of Saudi Arabia to allow 
them to re-deploy and encircle China. This article says there are 50,000 
troops in the "region" but not how many are in the Kingdom or how many are 


---The US is working on war games simulating a conflict with both Russia 
and China:


---Because "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" the US has pledged its 
unwavering support of Ukraine. Even though that country has seen a rise of 
antisemitism and other right wing extremism, there's a concern that Russia 
is moving troops near the Ukranian border:


--In other news, drone whistleblower Daniel Hale pleaded guilty to one 
charge of espionage, but the DOJ wants to prosecute him on four other 
charges. He will be sentenced in July:


--The US envoy is meeting with the Taliban to negotiate troop withdrawal 
later in 2021 than May 1 (which, mind you, is only 28 days from now):


--In local news, it was reported Wednesday night that all four other City
commissioners oppose Mayor Wheeler's plan to revive the racist Gun 
Violence Reduction Team with an emergency $2 million investment in police, 
pushing instead for grassroots and unarmed law enforcement efforts to help 
get a handle on the civilian-on-civilian shootings in Portland:


When we got to the part of the march route where we talk about updates on 
Israel/Palestine, we started with the good news and ended with the 
not-so-good about US policy:

--Secretary Blinken said the US wants to ensure Palestinians have equal 


--The US confirmed its policy is to consider that the West Bank is 
occupied, starting to undo scrubbing of that language put in place by 


--However, the US also did not dispute that the Golan Heights are part of 
Israel (even though that area of Syria was occupied at the same time as 
the West Bank and Gaza) and reaffirmed its recognition of Jerusalem as the 
capitol (I forgot to mention the Wyden email while we were walking)


Then in the final block, looking at Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure 
plan (which was first floated as a $3 trillion plan, I didn't see it was 
chopped by 1/3), in terms of money for human needs not war: (a) there is 
no talk of taking that money, from the Pentagon's budged and (b) it 
includes $180 billion for military "innovations":


I guess the good news is that those innovations include reducing fossil 
fuel use, but what's the good of saving the environment if you still plan 
to kill as many people with your "green" war machine?

The Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign turned off again outside the Gucci 
store at the Pioneer Place Mall (east side), and even after being 
restarted at the end of that block shut off on the south side as well. I 
may take some photos and try to enlist the help of the media to figure out 
what's going on, though I joked about rolling the little green wagon of 
peace into the Gucci store to ask them to explain it to me.

As always, we want people to be safe and feel safe, but if you are able 
and willing please join us one Friday at 5 PM at SW Yamhill and Broadway 
for this uplifting (even though the news is depressing) visibility action.


dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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