[pjw] REPORT BACK: Snowy, short, small -- Friday rally #47 under stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Feb 13 16:02:53 EST 2021

Hello again PJW supporters

Pretty much every week in the introduction at the Friday Rally for Peace 
and Justice, I note that someone has been out at or near the SW corner of 
Pioneer Courthouse Square at 5 PM every Friday, rain, shine, pandemic or 
no, since November 2001. Last night was no exception despite sub-freezing 
weather, freezing rain and snow all over the ground. Two of us made it to 
the rally, masked up and distanced.

For reasons I'll get to below, I had a cell phone with me and was able to 
take these photos, first of me with my sign and then of the two of us 
where you can see the snow.



Actually a third person who's often at the rallies came by before 5 PM but 
decided not to stick around after less than a minute.

We did get a few honks of support but as you may imagine there wasn't a 
lot of foot or motor traffic. We did not march.

At the rally here are some of the things we talked about regarding the 
week's news in peace and justice issues:

--President Biden has promised to "responsibly" end the forever wars, 
which is code for "we're going to leave troops and occupy at least Iraq 
and Afghanistan forever, just like we still have troops in Japan and 
Germany over 75 years after WW II."


As noted many times in this space, the US has withdrawn its troops from 
Somalia, but still has ground troops in Yemen and Syria, also attacking 
all five of these countries (and occasionally Libya) using airpower.

(A little bit of info on the US special forces in Yemen is in this 


--There's also a little thing called Trump's second impeachment trial 
going on here in the US. As of yesterday they hadn't decided whether to 
call witnesses, today they said they would, then didn't. Too bad, I was 
looking forward to Mike Pence having to take the stand. In any case, it 
is, I noted, important to hold Presidents accountable for what they did 
during their time in office.


--About Israel/Palestine (normally raised on the march route, this time 
brought up at the Square) I talked about our letter to Senators Wyden and 
Merkley taking them to task for voting to support the US embassy moving to 


We have not heard back yet.

For the local connection to violence used to support state policy, I 
talked about the Portland Police Association's second public contract 
negotiation session, which happened on Wednesday. Though there was a lot 
to chew on, I focused on the officers' suggestion that the contract give a 
strict 180 day timeline to misconduct investigations. If the City doesn't 
finish in that time, the investigation gets dropped. The PPA seriously 
stated that they believe otherwise it is unfair to the community members 
to drag the investigation on so long. There is some kind of connection 
between their seeking to get away with violating people's rights and 
Trump's ability to "shoot someone in the middle of 5th avenue and get away 
with it."


Needless to say I did not bring the little green wagon of peace or the Ann 
Huntwork Peace Memorial sign downtown as they would have been awkward to 
get on the bus. Also on my mind: the little _red_ wagon of peace 
(actually, beige with red sides) was pretty much destroyed when we used it 
to drag the tower of peace down to the Hawthorne Bridge in 2017 during a 
snowstorm that January.


The reason I had my cell phone with me (usually I don't bring one to 
rallies since police can search your cell phone if they seize it-- and can 
even make you unlock it if you have a fancy smart phone which I don't:


was that the 12th of each month prompts a vigil to remember Keaton Otis, 
killed by the PPB on May 12, 2010.


Keaton's father started the vigils soon after. A few months ago the 
organizers started doing a hybrid Zoom call/ live vigil and since I was 
out with my signs in the snow I decided to hop on the Max and head over 
there after the Friday rally ended. Here the sign is propped up against 
the building where bullet holes from the PPB's violence can still be seen.


Obviously my phone is not the greatest as only one of the three photos is 
not blurry, but you get the idea.

Anyway, we expect next Friday's rally will be far less treacherous and we 
hope to see other people there, if you feel safe under COVID doing so.


dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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