[pjw] REPORT BACK: Iraq, Iran& a Dumpster- Friday rally #48 under stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Feb 20 16:26:03 EST 2021

PJW supporters

Sorry for the second bulk email today, as I said my intention was to send 
the meeting reminder a few days ago.

Last night at the Friday Rally for Peace and Justice there were four of us 
at the SW corner of Yamhill and Broadway, masked up and distanced, and 
three of us went on the march. I didn't have to use my home-made wheel 
chock to stop the wagon of peace from rolling, I just rolled it up into a 
pile of snow that was still present on the corner.

We got a number of supportive honks but no memorable comments from 

We didn't cover a whole broad range of news but these seem pretty 
important anyway.

--As the US has drawn down its forces in Iraq to 2500, NATO announced it 
would up its presence from 500 troops to 4000:


--This was in response to a rocket attack which killed a civilian 
contractor and injured a US service member, leading President Biden to 
consider retaliatory military action:


I noted that if there were foreign troops stationed in the US, we would 
not tolerate that country taking military action within our borders if 
someone attacked them.

I also took the opportunity to announce our special Friday Rally coming up 
on March 19 focusing on the 18 years the US has been in Iraq, as well as 
the 10th anniversary of the US war on Libya.


--Biden made his first speech to an international audience.

---On the bright side, he announced the US' return to the Paris climate 
accords. According to this article, we were only out for 107 days:


---However, his announcement about rejoining the Iran "nuclear deal" was 
tempered with the idea of "negotiations," rather than acknowledging the US 
signed a deal and they should return to it.


In local military-like news, I noted that the Portland Police are once 
again rebranding their Gang Enforcement Team, which became and then was 
dissolved as the Gun Violence Reduction Team. The new unit claims they 
learned their lesson and won't racially profile Black Portlanders like 
their predecessors, whose stops disproportionately affected African 
Americans, with 50% or more of stops in a city that is 6% Black.


Along the route, where we usually talk about Israel/Palestine, I relayed 
the information that Israel was in fact giving COVID vaccinations to 
Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem-- but only if they have work 
permits to do labor in Israel proper.


For the "money for human needs, not war" segment of the march, I talked 
about the overlap of police excess and capitalism's cruelty, reflected by 
the incident here at a Fred Meyer store where they called Portland Police 
on people trying to get food from a dumpster to feed folks in need. The 
food was perishable and was thrown out due to the power outage. ELEVEN 
officers showed up to protect the dumpster, laying bare the Bureau's 
claims that they are too short-staffed to do things like solve murders. 
The police says they only showed up because the store said their employees 
felt threatened. The store said they were just trying to keep people from 
getting sick on the "expired" food.


The Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign went out very early on the east side 
of Pioneer Place Mall and wouldn't reboot, so I left it off until we got 
back to the Square.

As always it'd be great to see more people down at the rally. It's not 
100% clear whether vaccinations will make it easier for people to go out 
in public places, especially since at least 4 people in Oregon who were 
vaccinated have died of COVID... That said, if you feel comfortable 
masking up and joining us you're always welcome.

dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

More information about the pjw-list mailing list