[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
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!
peace and justice works iraq affinity group
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