[pjw] REPORT BACK: A mess in Afghansitan: Friday rally #74 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Aug 21 16:56:57 EDT 2021

Iraq Affinity Group supporters:

Last night we broke through another attendance barrier at the Friday Rally 
for Peace and Justice, with 10 people along the march by the time we 
finished. Eight of us met up at the corner (masked up and distanced), and 
one person came upon us asking to join. 1/2 way through the march, a 
person who's been part of PJW on and off since... close to the 
beginning???... saw us and joined the rest of the way.

We had plenty of supportive gestures, horn-honks and words of enthusiasm. 
Mayor Ted Wheeler wandered through with his bodyguards; I said hello but I 
don't think he recognized me with my mask on. Sadly, I had my "Stop the 
War on Afghanistan" sign facing forward rather than the "Justice/Police 
Accountability" one.

So you can guess one of the main things we talked about, but here's a 
fairly thorough rundown:

--I didn't to justice to this quote from Stop the War UK about the messy 
and hasty retreat and defeat of the US military/Afghan government:

"As parliament and the media focus on the disaster of the withdrawal it is
important to remember that it was the starting of the war not its ending
that is the root cause of today crisis."

Here's a related article they posted:


---The US was in the middle of withdrawing 2500 troops, but now has 5200 
troops at the airport. Did you know there were over 15,000 Americans 
there before the airlift started?


---Former President Ashraf Ghani fled the country to the United Arab 
Emirates. It's said he took with him a helicopter full of cash.


---Oh, and many of you may not have heard that Ghani's origin story as a 
puppet of the United States began when he was a High School student in 
Lake Oswego, OR (!!!!):


--Meanwhile, the UN is trying to figure out how to enforce the nuclear 
test ban treaty because eight countries haven't either ratified (United 
States, China, Israel, Egypt, Iran)) or signed (N. Korea, India, 


--More nuclear news: The US is calling on Iran to stop "escalations" of 
its nuclear program as the Iranians say they are making uranium for 
energy-producing reactors (not, from an environmental point of view, 
that's better then weapons per se, but just more American hypocrisy):


--In Iraq, some militant faction (unnamed as of this article) knocked out 
electrical grids in West Baghdad, cutting off water supplies. Such attacks 
never were happening before the US invasion of 2003.


--In local news, I mentioned that the Portland Police Bureau had presented 
their Annual Report at three meetings, one for each of their Precincts, 
but gave a report back to City Council after only the first meeting 
occurred. This is one part of the Settlement Agreement with the US 
Department of Justice they have never gotten right in _nine years_ and 
shows they just don't get how to do outreach to the community.

The meetings were all this week, but here's the flyer:


Along the route I talked about how Israeli troops stormed a stadium in 
East Jerusalem to stop an event where Palestinian students were 
celebrating taking an exam. This is life in an apartheid state.


In the last leg of the walk, focusing on money for human needs not war, I 
noted that the Infrastructure Bill includes millions (the article doesn't 
say how much) to build a highway connecting 12 military bases between 
Texas and Georgia, running through five southern states:


This week the Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial made it all the way past the 
Gucci store but went blank in the middle of the block between 4th and 5th 
on Yamhill. The ghostly spirits of Pioneer Place Mall strike again.

Also at the Square I announced our special event coming up in a few weeks 
to mark 20 years since 9/11. I should have an updated announcement out in 
the next few days as two groups have endorsed-- the Peace Action Group of 
First Unitarian Church and the Progressive Party.


So, while the Delta Variant is definitely turning back the tide of the 
"reopening" of our city / country, we managed to have a safe and effective 
event with 10 people pushing peace. We don't want to put anyone at risk or 
make anyone feel uncomfortable, but you can join us any Friday at 5 PM at 
SW Yamhill and Broadway-- 4:30 PM for the Sept. 10 event.


dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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