[pjw] REPORT BACK: One for the Planet: Friday rally #64 under (modified) stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Jun 12 16:05:37 EDT 2021

Iraq Affinity Group supporters:

There was considerably less traffic and fewer pedestrians downtown 
yesterday than last week, I suppose because of the overcast weather, but 
the Friday Rally still sparked a proportionate number of supportive 
comments and gestures. One woman stopped by to suggest we talk more about 
the US getting out of Central and South America (I noted that the Ann 
Huntwork Peace Memorial sign says for the US to get out of North America). 
Along the route an African American man thanked us for our work and 
(presumably referring to the year of police accountability protests) 
thanked us generally for helping bring forward issues that have been out 
there for years. Another African American man-- our frequent pro-Trump 
heckler-- came out of retirement to list his perceived grievances against 
Biden, including that Trump won the election. We were very clear (as we 
have been in the past) that we're not there to promote any President or 

In total there were four of us there, masked up and distanced, and here 
are some of the things we talked about at the rally and march:

--President Biden is in Europe on his first overseas trip to say that 
"America is back." Many would argue that America never left, seeing as we 
have military bases in dozens of countries around the globe and continue 
to drop bombs in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria while stoking confrontations 
with Russia and China.


--Secretary of War, er, Defense Austin said that the US has begun its 
"over the horizon" military posture in case America wants to keep bombing 
Afghanistan once the troops leave.


--In slightly good news about Iran, seeing that the nuclear deal is likely 
to move forward, both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are talking with the 


--But for our part, the US, while keeping a supposed arm's length from 
those two countries' war in Yemen, conducted ground troop exercises with 
the Saudis.


--In Iraq, where we've been talking about how drones have been attacking 
bases where the US is stationed, two drones were shot down. The article 
doesn't say whether it was the US or Iraq that did the shooting.


--In some really good news for the planet, as noted in the headline, the 
Keystone pipeline has been declared dead.


However, as I noted, that's been said before and like monsters in horror 
movies, when you turn your back after they seem dead, they may get up to 
haunt you again. (And by the way I used this metaphor before seeing this 
NPR story about COVID which says pretty much the same thing about the 



In local news, the family of Terrell Johnson, who was shot after a 
Portland Police officer chased him near a Trimet station in 2017, will 
likely be receiving a $600,000 settlement from the City. The group that 
reviews police shootings had noted the officer involved likely violated 
foot chase policies and probably shouldn't have fired a gun after losing 
his balance and falling down.


This comes just a few months after the City settled with the family of 
Quanice Hayes, another young man of color killed by the PPB that same 

Along the route I noted that Israel had pressured social media-- 
particularly Tik Tok and Facebook-- to shut down posts that are critical 
of Israel.


Ani Haines and Theresa Mitchell, former KBOO hosts who now have their own 
webcast series, had their entire Facebook account shut down without 
explanation and they suspect it had something to do with their support for 
Palestinian rights-- but Facebook won't say.


In the home stretch, I started to talk about how City Council had decided 
to pass their budget with, essentially, increased funding of the Police 
and no expansion of the Portland Street Response, and that after dozens of 
people testified at the first hearing in May, only three people spoke on 
Wednesday... I never finished that thought because that's when the heckler 
came by.

Note: this linked article doesn't mention the police or the Street 
Response, which is indicative of the Council's deliberations.


The digital readerboard sign didn't fare much better this week despite 
still being decked out with some tinfoil on its back and on the power 
cord. It froze up by the Gucci store on SW 4th and went out mid-block 
between 4th and 5th on Yamhill again. I suggested that we may need an 

I also announced the June 24 livestream event "Guided Missiles, Misguided 
Policies, and Changing Direction" which is promoted both with a full color 
11x17 poster and on one of the Ann Huntwork sign's scrolling messages. 
I'll be sending out an update about the event tomorrow or Monday, but 
here's the link in case you want to see the current info.


Please do think about joining us downtown some Friday at 5 PM at the 
corner of SW Yamhill and Broadway. For the time being, we're looking at 
the gauge of when masking is no longer required on TriMet for when we will 
relax mask and distancing guidelines for the rally.

dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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