[pjw] REPORT BACK: No Nuclear War: Friday rally #65 under (modified) stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Jun 19 13:14:31 EDT 2021

PJW supporters

Last night at the Friday Rally for Peace and Justice, five of us were 
there, masked up and distanced, holding down the corner that Portland 
Peaceful Response chose for regular protests way back in November 2001. 
For the record, this was the 1025th week of the protest. One sign of the 
pandemic "thawing": there were musicians in Pioneer Courthouse Square 
with a sparse audience. We rallied at the SW corner, once again receiving 
many positive pieces of feedback from pedestrians and motorists. One man 
of South Asian descent stopped to ask a series of questions, including 
"what war are you protesting?" (all of them) and "why do you do this?" (I 
said, because our tax money should be paying to help people, feed, house 
and educate people, not blow people up and kill them).

Here are the headlines from last night's event:

--Number one item is that the Authorization for Use of Military Force in 
Iraq from 2002 is set to be repealed. I forgot to note in the email 
Thursday that 268 votes was close to 2/3 of the House. The Senate has said 
they have the votes to repeal it too, likely because Republicans are just 
happy to take power away from a Democratic President, but we take what we 
can get when it comes to ending war.


--President Biden had a highly publicized summit with Russian President 
Putin. While there were some sly insults traded and tension (with no 
acknowledgment by the US of our own human rights abuses), the good news 
that came from it was that both leaders agreed there should not be a 
nuclear war.


--NATO this week made it clear that their mission is expanded from the 
influence of the former Soviet Union to include China, who they called "an 
adversary but not an enemy." If you look at the definition of "adversary" 
it says it means the same thing as enemy. So China is not too happy about 
this development.


--Iraqi forces shot down 2 drones over Baghdad, perhaps answering the 
question about whether they could be the ones who shot down drones over a 
US Military Base earlier this month.


---Meanwhile, a drone bombed another US base in Iraq, but did not injure 
anyone or do serious damage.


--Perhaps the Israel/Palestine cease fire is fraying as the Israeli 
government bombed Gaza after some incendiary balloons flew over the 


--The US has pledged that they won't use their aircraft to support the 
Afghan military unless the targets are directly threatening America. This 
would lessen the threat of the "over the horizon" plan discussed earlier, 
but also could be widely open to interpretation, so we shall see.


--In Peru, former military leaders are calling for the election there, 
where the socialist candidate leads by less then 1%, to be audited for 
fraud and for the military to reject the results. Hmm, sounds kinda 


--In local news, you may have heard that all 50 officers assigned to the 
Rapid Response Team have said they will go back to regular duty, but won't 
police protests any more. Their announcement came a day after the District 
Attorney leveled *misdemeanor* assault charges against a cop who 
deliberately hit a protestor in the head with a baton last year. It's true 
that until Mike Schmidt was elected, DAs had only indicted officers for on 
duty use of force twice in 50 years and he's now indicted two, but since 
the USDOJ said this needs to be investigated administratively as deadly 
force, one wonders why it isn't a felony charge. As for the RRT, they seem 
to be saying if we can't do whatever we want we're taking our toys and 
going home.


When we got to the corner where we talk Israel/Palestine, we gave out a 
cheer that Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer the Prime Minister.


However it's not clear whether Naftali Bennett, whose cobbled-together 
left/right/Arab government isn't exactly poised to create a consensus, 
will change the way Israel treats the Palestinians.


In the final block where we talk about money spent on war that should be 
spent on human needs, I noted that some Republicans are criticizing 
Biden's military budget for marking an "11% cut."


I don't know how they do their math, but the Defense budget was $705 
billion in 2021 and Biden asked for $715 billion.


Good news that I saved for the end: the Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign 
digital readerboard stayed on all the way around Pioneer Place Mall this 
week with our electrical engineer's clever, inexpensive and simple 
experiment. He added a grounding wire to the power cord with a bit of 
metal to drag along the sidewalk. The sign DID, however, black out when we 
got to the corner of 5th and Yamhill, where the two MAX lines cross. We 
shouldn't have said out loud how well things were going, it jinxed the 
repair (that's one reason I put this news in so far down). So as I wrote 
last week, we may need an exorcist, not an electrician...

When we got back to the Square I reminded everyone about our event coming 
up on Thursday (just 5 days away!): A livestream with David Swanson, 
"Guided Missiles, Misguided Policies, and Changing Direction." Watch the 
video on YouTube at 7 PM this Thursday June 24, and let other people now 
about it!!!!


I have word that a PJW member is thinking of joining us downtown in coming 
weeks, which is great. If you are free and feel safe doing so, join us any 
Friday at 5 PM at the corner of SW Yamhill and Broadway. We're still 
waiting to see when TriMet stops asking people to wear masks before we 
drop that protocol for the rallies.

dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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