[pjw] REPORT BACK: 6th Prez bombs Iraq-- Friday rally #45 under stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Jan 30 12:47:35 EST 2021

Supporters of peace and justice

Before getting to the details of last night's rally, I'll start with the 
first point I made in the rally talk: Joe Biden this week became the sixth 
consecutive President to bomb the country of Iraq. Think about that for a 
second. I did when I read this article about a US bomb killing an alleged 
Islamic State leader in Northern Iraq on Wednesday.


OK, so here's what happened. Four of us rallied (distanced, masked) and 
three went on the march. Before we started the talk, three people stopped 
to talk to us, two took literature. One took a Copwatch newsletter.
(also available at http://www.portlandcopwatch.org/PPR82/PPR82dex.HTML).
The other had been at a weekly 4 PM rally in the other corner of the 
Square-- Health Care Workers for Black Lives and offered to "swap 
propaganda," thanking us for being there. I gave him the all-new flyer 
for the March 19 Friday Rally to mark the invasion of Iraq 18 years later.


We got a lot of honks and thumbs up again which is nice-- hopefully people 
see that opposition to US policy is OK regardless of who is in the White 

Along those lines, other news we discussed:

--Biden also continued Trump's tactic of flying B-52s over the Persian 
Gulf to tweak Iran's nose (also on Wednesday):


--Then on Thursday, the new hope President sent three warships into the 
Black Sea off the coast of Russia.



--Meanwhile there are still 5000 National Guard troops in Washington DC 
and there's talk of keeping a fence up around the Capitol permanently.



For local news I noted how the Portland Police's Joint Terrorism Task 
Force report had been woefully inadequate and that Mayor Wheeler had shut 
us out of public testimony. Here's OPB's coverage (which unfortunately 
doesn't mention our live watch party but does quote me from a post-Council 
interview; I wrote to the reporter about fixing the spelling of my name 
but that hasn't happened yet):


By the way, the Mayor's aide Asena Lawrence tried to dismiss my efforts 
which led the Portland Committee on Community Engaged Policing to suggest 
taking public testimony on the Report, claiming that never happened for 
any kind of Report in the 7 years she's been in City Hall. Luckily, Debbie 
Aiona from the League of Women Voters jumped in with a few examples of 
when that DID happen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cI0q_k5hmYY&t=2h43m21s (me/PCCEP)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cI0q_k5hmYY&t=2h50m13s (aide/LWV)

When we got to the part of the march where we talk about Israel/Palestine, 
I had bad news/good news.

The bad news: Biden's nominee to be UN Ambassador said the Boycott, 
Divestment and Sanctions movement is anti-Semitic and should not be heard 
at the UN:


But the good news is that Biden is freeing up money held back by Trump to 
aid the Palestinians.


In the final stretch where we talked money for human needs, I also had two 

--What more can we say about how America works than that a Seattle 
hospital offered their big money donors early access to the COVID 


--In mixed news, President Biden is proposing to make good on a 
promise to provide $1.9 trillion in COVID relief.


The bad news is that money is not coming from the $700 billion military 
budget and will likely put the nation further into debt unless Bernie 
Sanders and others in Congress can tax the wealthy and the huge 
corporations to pay for it.

The Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign Sign froze on the way in to the 
rally, I reset it at it was fine. Then it froze again along the march 
early on the block between 4th/5th on Yamhill. I rebooted it again only to 
have it go totally blank in the next block (as we came back to the 

Once again there's an open invitation to join us if your situation 
allows for it, every Friday at 5 PM at SW Yamhill and Broadway. A PJW 
member who attended a rally for the first time earlier this month 
expressed how transformative an experience it was especially under COVID.


dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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