[pjw] REPORT BACK: War authorizations- Friday rally #50 under stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Mar 6 16:22:44 EST 2021

Hi again supporters of peace and justice

At last night's Friday rally for peace and justice, we had four people at 
the rally (and three on the march), masked up and distanced. We also had a 
short visit from one of the "Nurses for Black Lives" whose event had just 
ended before we started. Over the course of the protest we had many cars 
and pedestrians expressing support, though one person did flip us off. 
Along the march route a man saw my "IRAQ--US Out" sign and said "it's the 
same since 2003." When I got back to the parking garage with the equipment 
the attendant came to me; I was worried they didn't like me dragging the 
wagon up the ramp instead of the elevator. But rather, he said "I just 
wanted to say I appreciate your dedication to your cause." So while it's 
crummy we are still doing this weekly event after 19-1/3 years, that was 
nice to hear.

Anyway, here is some of the news we talked about:

--A new missile strike in Iraq has brought promises of more military 
action by the US; it killed one contractor.


--Fortunately there is some bipartisan movement to end the Authorization 
for Use of Military Force-- at least the one about Iraq that was passed in 
2002 (which, by the way, references Saddam Hussein as a threat.)


I didn't realize this last night but it also aims to revoke (who knew this 
hadn't happened already? I didn't) the 1991 authorization for "Gulf War 
part 1."

--In news I was slow to notice, in mid-February the US told the United 
Nations they do NOT believe the "snap back" sanctions listed in the Iran 
nuclear deal are in place. However, as I said at the rally, this is kind 
of meaningless since the rest of the world ignored Trump's insistence that 
the US could invoke part of a deal that they had walked away from.


______In more business as usual news_________

--President Biden declared that Venezuela is still an active threat to the 
United States, to which I said yes, they threaten US access to the world's 
largest oil reserve.


--In addition to the ongoing provocations of Iran and China, the US 
continues to send military "messages" to Russia, this time using B-1 
bombers that have recently been moved to... Norway.


--Despite the report that Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia 
was directly involved in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, 
President Biden won't sanction Bin Salman, only people in his immediate 
orbit. He claimed the US does not sanction heads of state, but as CNN 
pointed out, that has happened at least 8 times in the recent past, 
including by Bush, Obama and Trump on Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Syria, 
Belarus, Libya, Myanmar and Zimbabwe.


In local news, Portland Police officers are required to be ready to 
respond in an "on call basis." One such officer showed up to a shooting 
scene the other day and was promptly arrested for DUII when other cops 
noticed he was acting strange.


At the corner where we discuss developments in Israel/Palestine, I noted 
that the US expressed its extreme displeasure that the International 
Criminal Court is investigating Israeli war crimes.


And in the final block before the march ended for the "money for human 
needs, not war" theme, I brought up the recent study showing that about $8 
billion has been spent on reconstruction in Afghanistan-- mostly out of 
the "Defense Department" budget-- but only about $1.2 billion was actually 
used for reconstruction.


This week the Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial sign went out before we even got 
to the Gucci store at Pioneer Place mall-- it seems to be getting knocked 
out earlier and earlier.

I added a new message promoting our March 19 event, it says:

18 years
Iraq still recovering from the US invasion, Fri 3/19 5 PM


We were talking among ourselves at the rally wondering whether as people 
get vaccinated they will be willing to come down to the rally; I'd be 
interested to hear from folks who might join us on an occasional or 
regular basis.


dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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