[pjw] REPORT BACK: Iraq condemns US: Friday rally #67 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Jul 3 15:17:22 EDT 2021

PJW supporters

Well, technically speaking the Governor lifted the "stay-at-home orders" 
we have referenced in these reports back since PJW took over sponsorship 
of the Friday Rallies for Peace and Justice last March. However, as noted 
before, many restrictions remain including federal laws requiring masks on 
public transportation, so for now we're still masking up and keeping 
distanced. (And who knows what the Delta variant, much less people mass 
congregating indoors will bring us in the coming weeks?)

Six of us made it to the rally last night. There was a noticeable increase 
in pedestrian and automotive traffic, but not a corresponding uptick in 
signs of appreciation, though we did get a welcome share of horn honks and 
people thanking us. MAX trains were also noticeably more full of people 
than in the past months.

There was a lot to talk about last night, here are some of the highlights:

--The Iraqi Prime Minister condemned the US for its airstrikes in Iraq and 
Syria last weekend


---and the Pentagon referred to them as "retaliation" which, so far as I 
understand it, isn't a legal justification for warmaking. As noted 
before, the US bombs killed 4 militia members and a child, and wounded 
civilians, while the drone strikes we were avenging harmed no person.


--The US announced it had handed over the Bagram Airbase to the Afghan 
government, signaling that the "withdrawal" is almost complete; however 
as previously noted the US plans to leave 650 troops to guard its 
embassy... and how many "contractors" (/mercenaries) are still there?


--In uplifting news, as noted earlier this week, the House voted to repeal 
the 1991 Iraq "Gulf War" and 1957 anti-communism-in-the-Middle East war 
authorizations; the vote was 366-46 (here's a different link than I sent)


--Also covered this week, Donald Rumsfeld died, but as this Truthout op-ed 
points out, in doing so he escaped prosecution for war crimes


In local news, Portland Copwatch was the only group to testify at City 
Council as they voted to extend their ability to hold meetings virtually, 
making no provisions for the remote-meeting Commissioners to be able to 
see the community if they are, for instance, wearing the same t-shirts or 
buttons, or standing up and turning their backs on bad decisions. A slow 
death for democracy by technology, just not how one may have expected.


When we got to the corner where we talk Israel/Palestine, I noted that 
after an Amnesty International report on Israeli human rights abuses, the 
Palestinians are calling for sanctions on Israel:


At the "money for human needs not war" stretch near the end of the march, 
I had a bad news/good news/bad news sandwich to share:

--the bad news is, the House is giving Biden $1 billion more than the
  $715 billion he asked for in Pentagon spending.

--the good news is, the bill includes a provision to stop funding

--the bad news is, the date to cut that funding is Sept. 30, 2022,
  leaving nearly 40 people in limbo for another 15 months and
  who knows if that provision will survive the Senate?


In technology updates, I forgot the "bullhorn" (orange traffic cone on an 
oil filter wrench) so yelled the news this week. The metal nut tied to the 
grounding wire for the Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign fell off somewhere 
on the way to the Square and the sign froze up early-- across the street 
from the Gucci store-- and then went out on Yamhill just west of 4th. 
Seriously if you know a person who can do a spiritual cleansing that would 
be great.

When we got back to the square I mentioned our livestream event with 
David Swanson, which was at that point up to 93 views, making it the fifth 
most popular video on our YouTube page:


(there's one more view as of today).

As you feel ready, consider joining us one Friday at the corner of SW 
Yamhill and Broadway. It's a great way to remind people that there's still 
a peace movement.


dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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