[pjw] REPORT BACK: Cirular logic- Friday rally #51 under stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Mar 13 15:41:55 EST 2021

Greetings PJW supporters

Last night at the Friday rally for peace and justice, three of us were 
there, masked up, distanced, and marched around downtown. (A fourth person 
stopped by briefly but left before picking up a sign.) We had plenty of 
support from motorists and pedestrians once again, though at least one 
heckler who briefly disagreed with our message (as far as we could tell 
from his short rant).

Some of the things we talked about to recap this week's news in peace and 
justice issues:

--Another missile strike hit a US base in Iraq, prompting Secretary of 
Defense Lloyd Austin to assert America's right to defend itself. I 
described this is circular logic: The US invaded Iraq, set up the world's 
largest embassy, refused to leave when the Iraqi parliament voted to expel 
them, and now claim the right to protect themselves inside another 
nation's borders.


--In a slightly more hopeful story, for what it's worth, the Pope visited 
Iraq last week and met with Muslim leaders to urge cooperation among 
religions and cultures.


--Two stories about Iran policy and the nuclear deal:

---The US and Israel have had high level talks about Iran policy through a 
"strategic group meeting," notable both for the possibility that the US 
might convince Israel not to attack Iran unilaterally AND that previous 
such talks were so covert, the public didn't know about them.


---Unfortunately, a broad bipartisan group of 70 Democrats and 70 
Republicans urged President Biden not to rejoin the nuclear deal as it is 
currently written.


(I dug around to find a copy of the letter itself, which wasn't linked by 
ABC. Oregon's DINO representative Kurt Schrader is the only local 
politician I see on the list, meaning not even Republican Cliff Bentz 
signed it:

--Most of the countries unilaterally put under sanctions by the US are 
petitioning the United Nations for relief/help. The specific sixteen 
countries are: China, North Korea, Russia, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, 
Algeria, Angola... (deep breath)..., Belarus, Bolivia, Eritrea, Laos, 
Nicaragua, Cambodia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines*.


In local news, I noted that the fence around the Federal Courthouse (about 
6 blocks from our demonstration) had been taken down the day before after 
a summer of federal police attacking protestors with chemical weapons and 
other violence. A protest took place that same day, to which the federal 
police responded with chemical weapons and violence.

Along the route at the usual spot I noted that thousands of Palestinians 
who live in Israel proper marched to protest police brutality, further 
connecting the issues of police abuse, imperialism and colonialism.


(Side note here: while many articles in the Times of Israel-- and the 
caption on the photo in this article-- use the word "Palestinians," they 
sometimes opt for the cultural erasure word "Arabs" as in the text of this 

At the home stretch on the way back to the Square I noted that two 
lawsuits were settled this week: That of the family of George Floyd in 
Minneapolis for $27 million and for the Quanice Hayes family in Portland 
for $2 million. While the families can use that money for good, this is 
our tax dollars paying for the brutality of police, and fits into the 
category of money being used for war rather than human needs. In addition, 
Mayor Wheeler now wants to spend an additional $2 million to revive the 
Gang Enforcement/Gun Violence Reduction Team which was shown to be 
over-policing Portland's Black community, claiming the rise in gun 
violence is a result of dismantling the GVRT even though there's an uptick 
in gun crime in most major cities.


I'm starting to wonder if the interference with the Ann Huntwork Peace 
Memorial sign has something to do with the security cameras at Pioneer 
Place Mall; it went out on the east side at Salmon St. again by the new 
Gucci store.

Oh and the Apple Store "human zoo" cage is still up with security guards 
letting people in a few at a time in what seems like a great illustration 
of elitist capitalism.

I reminded everyone that next week marks 10 years since the US War on 
Libya and 18 years since the US invasion of Iraq. Once again here's the 
link to the event announcement for next Friday's special rally:


Yesterday also marked an easing of restrictions around COVID, but at some 
point the "moderate risk" maximum outdoor gathering number dropped from 25 
back down to 10 people. Still not an issue for us, though if we ever do 
exceed that number, as noted before, we can spread out among the four 
corners at Yamhill and Broadway. We hope you can join us next week, if 
not, attend virtually by reading next week's report back.


dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

*I had to look this up, it's an island nation in the Caribbean.

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