[pjw] REPORT BACK: Fake withdrawal? Friday rally #56 under stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Apr 17 15:54:58 EDT 2021

PJW supporters

Last night at the Friday Rally for Peace and Justice, five of us attended, 
masked up and distanced-- with one person returning for their second time 
since March and another occasional attendee returning as well. We had 
plenty of people giving us supportive honks and gestures, and a few people 
who stopped to look at the scrolling digital reader board sign.

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

--President Biden said he plans to start taking all "combat troops" out of 
Afghanistan on May 1 (when the US was supposed to be out altogether), but 
it's likely there will still be special operations forces in the country 
and troops in nearby countries such as Tajikistan well into the future.


----The Taliban warned that the US troops who remain after May 1 are there 
in violation of last year's agreement and face retaliation.


--Meanwhile, Iraq really would like the US troops out of their country 
before their upcoming elections, so that the continuing occupation doesn't 
fuel the movements who think the government needs to do more to assert 


----In the meantime, non-state actors used a drone laden with TNT to bomb 
the northern Iraqi airport where US troops are stationed, but nobody was 


--Right now we have a repurposed sign that says "No US War on China" but 
it seems we should add one about Russia, as the US expelled Russian 
diplomats and imposed sanctions for... I don't know, past alleged actions.


----Interestingly one thing mentioned was the story about Russia putting 
out bounties on US troops in Afghanistan, which Biden's administration 
actually said is not proven by intelligence reports just a day before the 
sanctions were announced.


-----However there is some good news, so maybe we don't need that sign 
just yet: The US called off their plan to put warships into the Black Sea 
to intimidate Russia over their moves to the Ukranian border.


--Though Yemen is facing mass starvation and other problems related 
to fuel not being allowed into the country by Saudi Arabia, the US says 
there is not a Saudi "blockade", likely just a semantic game like "we're 
taking all of our __combat__ troops out of Afghanistan."


--You may also have heard that an Iranian nuclear production site was 
sabotaged to where the power was cut off; Iran believes Israel was behind 
the attack.


In local militaristic news, the Portland Police shot and killed a man who 
was in mental health crisis yesterday, the first killing since they killed 
Koben Henriksen in 2019 in strangely similar circumstances.


This follows a week of horrific national news such as the police shootings 
of a young black man in a Minneapolis suburb, a 13 year old in Chicago, 
and, in what appears to be an accident (but details are sketchy) a 
Washington County deputy striking and killing a pedestrian near the Nike 
campus Thursday.


Along the march route at the corner where we usually update on 
Israel/Palestine issues, I noted that students at Florida State University 
filed a lawsuit due to discrimination against Palestinians-- a nice twist 
on the more recent trend of cracking down on Palestinian rights activists 
as allegedly being anti-Semetic.


As we headed back to the square, to talk about money for human needs not 
war I noted that the City is poised to give a $2 million bump to the 
Portland Police this coming Wendesday... about as much as the Mayor had 
asked to re-create the Gun Violence Reduction Team. Though some of it is 
earmarked for a computer program, it's not clear what the rest of the 
money is being used for. This is not a link to a news story, but rather 
the agenda item on the Council agenda.


I'm not sure if the new Gucci store turned off some kind of 
electromagnetic device, but the Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign made it 
all the way up the block on 4th Ave last night, only to go out in the 
older location around the corner on Yamhill. Maybe we need one of these? 
(hint hint, donations welcome)


Of course I also announced the special event coming up on April 30 that we 
sent out to the list yesterday, looking at America's strange obsession 
with the date of May 1 tied into its imperialist shenanigans.

"Mission Accomplished?" Iraq, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda Still Issues in 2021


Hope to see you at some point down at SW Yamhill and Morrison, maybe on 
the 30th?


dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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