[pjw] REPORT BACK: Friday rally #41 under stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Jan 2 15:41:27 EST 2021

PJW supporters

Last night at the Friday rally (#1001 for those playing along at home), 
five of us rallied with face coverings while staying 6 feet apart, and 
three of us went on the march. I added a message of "Happy^21 - Have a 
peaceful and just new year" to the Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign (note, 
for some reason it doesn't have an apostrophe or an exclamation mark). One 
person said happy new year back to me just while I was on the way to the 
rally site. We also got a few other supportive comments and gestures, as 
well as one man who saw my "Iraq US out" sign and said "if you want to see 
the wars end, trust in Joe Biden." I guess he forgot that Biden voted for 
the Iraq war in the first place.

While it was a 100% chance of rain day and we did start out under 
raindrops, the weather cleared up while we were on the march. During the 
rally, as usual we talked about local, national and international news.

I started by countering our optimistic commenter's point, noting an 
article that traces the history of the military industrial complex and how 
it thrives, takes money from human needs, wreaks havoc in other countries 
and destroys the environment no matter who the president is. This article 
was written by outgoing PJW board member Desiree Hellegers for 


We talked about how the US had sent B-52 bombers to the Gulf region for 
the third time in recent months as a "message" to Iran, as tensions rise 
near the anniversary of the assassination of General Soleimani (which is 
recognized today in Iran, tomorrow here in the US).


And in another in a long string of isolated votes, the "2" in the 167-2 
vote to approve this year's United Nations budget were the US and Israel.


The Iraq Affinity Group continues to follow news about that country's 
efforts to survive after 30 years of sanctions and wars that destroyed its 
infrastructure and self-sustainability. Thus it was of interest that they 
will be suffering more of an energy shortage because Iran is cutting back 
on gas supplies due to lack of payment.


It also came up in the news that Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, who 
helped broker the many "weapons-for-peace-with-Israel" deals in the 
"Middle East," is setting up a $100 million bond project in Israel.


I also noted that at last week's rally, we talked about how people's 
unemployment was going to run out on Saturday if Trump didn't sign the 
COVID relief bill. Naturally, he did not do so until Sunday night, 
throwing millions of people's income into chaos.


Locally, I noted that we learned the second Portland Police officer 
involved shooting of 2020 (both of which did not wound the suspects) 
involved a female officer who was seriously injured by the suspect's car, 
but I also pointed out that PPB policy warns officers not to shoot at 
moving cars or they could become unguided missiles.


  (sections 8.5.2, 8.5.5, and 8.5.6)

Along the march route we talked about how Israel is being pressured to 
deliver COVID vaccines to the Palestinians, since they are an occupying 
power and are required to provide care.


At the tail end of the march on the "money for human needs not war" 
stretch we noted that the outrageous nearly 3/4 of a Trillion Dollars 
National Defense budget got passed in the first-ever override of a Trump 
veto. The House vote was 322-87 and the Senate was 81-13. Our Oregon reps 
mostly did well voting not to fund the military on principle rather than 
just wanting to tweak the President's nose: Reps. Blumenaeur and Bonamici 
voted no (but not, for some reason, DeFazio), and both Senators Wyden and 
Merkley did too.


On that last stretch, the readerboard froze-- but didn't go out. We saw 
that the black plywood on the Apple Store had been graffitied over, 
including the words "no they don't" next to Apple's statement about 
supporting the movement for Black lives. The last portrait of George Floyd 
on that block-- which had been left despite other murals being painted 
over by Pioneer Place Mall-- was gone.

I once again reminded everyone that next week's rally starts early-- 4:30 
PM-- to mark 19 years since the opening of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, 

Friday, January 8, 4:30 PM Friday Rally (early start time):
   "No More Excuses: Shut Down Guantanamo!"

And that rally will be used to promoted our livestream event four days 
later with author Sarah Mirk.

Tuesday, January 12, 7:00 PM streaming event on YouTube:
   "Illustrating Imprisonment: Sarah Mirk Presents 'Guantanamo Voices'"

Final reminder-- the Friday rally two weeks hence will mark THIRTY YEARS 
since the first US attacks on Iraq in 1991.

Friday, January 15, 5 PM Friday Rally:
   "30 Years Too Long: US Out of Iraq"
   marking 30 years since the start of the "Gulf War."

If your situation allows for it, please join us! We expect to have a few 
Amnesty International folks at the special event on the 8th.

--dan handelman
Peace and Justice Works
    Iraq Affinity Group
    PO Box 42456
    Portland, OR   97242
    (503) 236-3065
    iraq at pjw.info
    Donate on line: http://www.pjw.info/pjwdonate.html

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