[pjw] REPORT BACK: More troops to Afghansitan: Friday rally #73 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Aug 14 15:13:34 EDT 2021

Hello again supporters of peace

Six of us managed to rally and march despite the heat and looming wildfire 
smoke downtown last night. The bank clock thermometer told us it was 91 
degrees, much better than the 104 that was expected. At the corner we had 
two people comment positively about our sign calling for police 
accountability (I handed a Copwatch newsletter to one) and one supported 
the "Free Palestine" sign. We had other positive gestures/horn honks there 
and along the route.

Here is some of what we talked about at the rally:

--The US is sending in 3000 troops to evacuate their embassy in 
Afghanistan. Asserting it's not a combat force, it's remarkable that this 
is a larger contingent than the 2500 who are ostensibly in the middle of 
withdrawing. By the way did you know there were 4000 people working at the 
embassy in Kabul? And, it's unclear whether the US still plans to leave 
650 troops there to guard the building.


---The US has also stepped up bombing in Afghanistan, including destroying 
American equipment that was seized by the Taliban


---Reports show that American warplanes include B-52 bombers


--Meanwhile, Israel bombarded Lebanon last Friday, and continues to call 
for collective military action against Iran for the drone attack on an 
Israeli tanker in late July,


---The US has now joined the chorus of those who say Iran was 
responsible, even though there's still been no actual proof offered.


--In Iraq, where we previously heard some groups with ties to Iran 
welcomed the US moving from a combat to training role, some militia groups 
are not buying the rebrand, saying the US must leave and not just "change 


--In what seems like positive news, the National Guard said a member 
should not be punished for attending a Black Lives Matter protest because 
he was (a) not called up by the feds at the time and (b) not in uniform. I 
wonder, though, what if he had been at the US Capitol in January.


--In local news, the Portland Mercury found that only 18% of officers (2 
of 11) live in the City. The people responding to the public records 
request tried to block some of the data being released.


---Meanwhile the cops keep saying they want more money to hire more 
cops, even though there are over 100 vacancies, meaning there's plenty of 
money to pay for more officers. (It just takes 18 months to hire and train 


Along the route, I mentioned a story about how Israel is barring 
Palestinians from some beaches, claiming it has to do with COVID, even 
though their guidelines don't allow for such closures. But the Apartheid 
state does.


And as we got to the last leg, talking about money for human needs not 
war, I noted that the Senate has created a draft military budget for 10 
years with _increases_ each year, starting with the next fiscal year 
with $766 Billion.


I also announced the special event coming up on September 10, about which 
we wrote yesterday, marking 20 years since 9/11. It means a lot because 
Portland Peaceful Response came together and then started these weekly 
rallies because of 9/11. Here's that link again to the special 4:30 PM 
event that day.


The Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign went blank again when we walked past 
the Gucci store at Pioneer Place mall, back to its old tricks. I think 
that building is generating an evil energy field.

A few updates from last week's report:

--One of our members pointed out that the United National Antiwar 
Coalition's statement about Germans not being sent to internment camps 
in the United States is inaccurate. Here's an article that popped up when 
I searched for info:


--I forgot to mention that one person challenging our concerns about the 
US bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki asked us to talk about the US bombing 
people in Philadelphia, which was a reference to when the Phillie police 
dropped incendiary devices on the MOVE headquarters in 1985.


Anyway, we're back to an indoor mask mandate now in the state. Maybe we're 
ahead of the trends by not changing our policies (both in our office and 
at the outdoor events). Also, having the masks is somewhat useful with the 
wildfire smoke all about. If you want to join us some Friday for an 
educational picket line and healthy march around downtown please do!


dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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