[pjw] REPORT BACK: Bombs still falling: Friday rally #70 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Jul 24 14:50:30 EDT 2021

Iraq Affinity Group supporters

I'm throwing this report back together while preparing for our Quarterly 
Meeting to start at noon today, so sorry if I skip any important details. 
Last night we had a record-high turnout at the Friday Rally for Peace and 
Justice under the pandemic-- nine people were there, including a PJW 
member who hadn't been since late last year, all the current "regulars," 
and a a few guests. We had a lot of enthusiastic support, with many people 
eagerly taking literature from the little peace wagon. One person, 
however, expressed his displeasure by exposing his bare bottom to us, we 
ignored him.

I made sure all the attendees knew that the Friday rally in 2 weeks will 
mark Hiroshima/Nagasaki memorial day with the theme "76 Years Later, 
We're Still Building Nukes."  As noted before, you can find a flyer here:
The current flyer includes the information that we will march to 
Waterfront Park near the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility 
limited in-person commemoration.


Here's what we talked about at the rally:

--In Afghanistan, the US bombed the Taliban "several times," which 
technically is allowed by the withdrawal agreement, but seems to be a 
message they plan to keep this "over the horizon" bombing going. This 
article indicates they used conventional aircraft, someone else heard they 
also used drones:


(I couldn't read my handwriting but meant to also say that the number of 
contractors in Afghanistan is down from 17,000 to 7800:


--The US also resumed bombing Somalia, which hadn't been done since the 
day before Trump left office (January 19).


--It's reported that in Iraq, the US will shift the troops who are there 
from combat to "advisory" roles, but history (we're looking at you, Viet 
Nam) says that wordplay doesn't mean much.


--Iran has said they won't talk further about returning to the "nuclear 
deal" until their new President is sworn in in August.


--As noted earlier this week, the first prisoner from Guantanamo in four 
years was released and headed back to Morocco; here's a different article 
from the one I sent the other day.


--In local news, the Portland Police have now shot their fourth civilian 
this year (the second non-fatal shooting). I noted how City Hall is all 
upset about the increase in community-on-community shootings, but nobody 
seems to care this is a 100% increase in police shootings from 2020-- in 
just the first 7 months of this year. The man wounded earlier this week 
was holding a broken bottle, meaning none of the four people shot had a 
real firearm.


--Bonus news, the Commission to design Portland's new police oversight 
system will be appointed by City Council Wednesday; I will be one of the 
20 members on the team. The item is up at 4 PM Wed, if you want to say 
anything to Council you have to sign up by 4 PM Tuesday.

Item 618
Item 619

Agenda link where you can sign up:

When we got to the part of the march where we talk Israel/Palestine, I 
noted that Antiwar.com, where I get a lot of these headlines, had a whole 
section this week on Israel and Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. Ben and Jerry's 
decided to stop selling in the occupied territories-- at the end of 2022. 
Yet Israel and an Oklahoma Senator are freaking out and want to boycott 
B&J in retaliation.


On a more serious note, the new Prime minister has "frozen" (get it?) 
expanding settlements for the time being by delaying the meeting of the 
group that approves them. It may be temporary, but it's progress.


As we got back near the Square, in the "money for human needs, not war" 
segment I noted that the National Guard is about to run out of funding in 
two weeks' time, mostly because of the mobilization of so many Guard 
members to Washington DC before and after the Capitol incursion on Jan. 

We tried using the Universal Power Supply (surge protector with battery 
backup) between the generator and the the Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial 
Sign again, then "pulled the plug" so it would run on battery when we got 
to the Gucci store. The sign still conked out, so it's not an electrical 
connection issue, we think.

While we may be seeing new restrictions from Salem soon, currently there 
are no limits on our outdoor events, though we are continuing to mask
up until Trimet lifts its masking mandate. Feel free to join is if you 


dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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