[pjw] REPORT BACK: Mideast Meddling: Friday rally #86 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Nov 13 19:58:29 EST 2021

Iraq Affinity Group Supporters

Last night at the Friday Rally for Peace and Justice we were lucky to have 
dry weather on an extremely wet day, and temperatures warm enough to go 
without coats. Four of us held down the corner and held up signs promoting 
peace, receiving a moderate amount of support... it felt as if there were 
more cars and people around (holiday shopping has begun) but maybe things 
were a bit muted because sunset jumped back an hour to happen before our 
event got started.

Here are some of the headlines we talked about:

--First, I recognized that Thursday had been Armistice Day, which 
Americans call Veterans Day as part of an effort to erase the underlying 
message: World War I was supposed to be the end of all wars. Even the US 
military admits this.


--Bringing together two of the Arab nations who were persuaded (bribed) to 
recognize Israel, the US oversaw joint naval exercises with those three 
countries, a first, in an obvious "message" to Iran.


--Responding to Sunday's assassination attempt on the Iraqi prime minister 
(which we wrote about earlier this week), an Iranian general called for an 
investigation into incident.


--A bit contradictory to its succumbing to US policy on Iran and Israel, 
the UAE sent a diplomat to Syria to meet with President Assad.


--And, since they can't have an embassy without recognizing the Taliban 
government, the US has chosen Qatar to represent its interests in 


In local news, City Council seems poised to vote on the budget that will 
add about $7 Million back to the Police Bureau budget. Commissioner 
Hardesty added an amendment which will keep officers who (a) were found 
guilty of using excessive force (which has happened less than 20 times 
since 2001) or (b) retired to avoid being disciplined from being part of 
the retire/rehire program. However it still feels a lot like the military 
budget on the federal level where money is being thrown at violent armed 
people to try solving problems-- and this is despite about 60% of the 
people who testified at Wednesday's 7-hour meeting (not kidding!) asking 
not to "re-fund" the police. A key item was a study that found local crime 
levels have fluctuated regardless of how many police are on the force.


Along the march route I brought the mediocre news that rather than voting 
"no" on Palestinians' right to return to Israeli land (as happened during 
Trump's presidency), the US went back to the Obama policy of abstaining 
during the UN vote.


If you're looking for examples of single-use items that have no practical 
use (except to murder people), the new hypersonic missiles being developed 
are supposed to cost over $100 million each. While the planet burns, 
people live on the streets and a pandemic has taken 750,000 lives.


The Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial sign made it about 10 feet further than 
last week-- freezing on the "US Out" message by the Gucci store, and going 
out as we entered the intersection at 5th and Yamhill.

We actually started the rally a little early so I could head across the 
river to the Keaton Otis vigil-- marking 11.5 years since the Portland 
Police killed that man because, they said, he "looked like a gangster" 
(read, he was a young black man in a nice looking car wearing a hoodie). A 
few folks who hadn't been to the in-person part (it's a hybrid event on 
Zoom held on the 12th of each month) showed up.

On that note, if you want to join us any week at SW Yamhill and Broadway 
at 5 PM we welcome you, masked up and staying distanced.
--dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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