[pjw] REPORT BACK: : Friday rally #82 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Oct 16 14:49:03 EDT 2021

Greetings supporters of Peace and Justice Works

Before I get into the report back from this week's Friday Rally for Peace 
and Justice, one correction and one addition to _last_ week's report:

--there were six of us at the rally, not five... not sure why I made that 

--along the march route we were joined for a full block by a man with a 
tiny, Chihuahua sized dog; he kept insisting that the dog should pull the 
little green wagon of Peace for a media photo opportunity. However (a) 
there were no media there and (b) the wagon weighs 45 lbs and likely the 
picture would be the dog strangling itself trying to drag the whole thing.

Anyway, this week only four of us were at the Rally but we still attracted 
a lot of thumbs ups, peace signs and other encouragement from the people 
walking and driving by. Even though it was a pleasant 64 degree day with 
no wind or rain it seemed there were fewer people downtown than normal.

One man stopped us along the march route to talk to us about the war in 
the Congo where everything is motivated by the desire for materials that 
are used to make cell phones. He told us protesting was no good and we 
need to lobby. I said we also need to educate.

On that note, here's a Guardian article on the subject:


Here's what we talked about at the rally:

--Secretary of State Blinken went from saying that "there are other 
options" if Iran doesn't hold to the nuclear agreement to saying that "all 
options are open," which is diplo-speak for "we can start a war":


--In Iraq, some of the militias challenged the election of their new 
Parliament even though Moqtada al-Sadr, and anti-us cleric and leader of 
his own militia, won the most seats:


In Afghanistan, the Taliban has told the United States they don't 
need their "help" (see: Iraq and Syria) against the Islamic State:


---also, the Portland Tribune's September 29 editorial claimed this is 
the first time since 9-11 young people can experience a time without 
the US being at war. There's not a link to this piece I can find, but we 
sent in a heavily cut down version of our fact sheet about how the Afghan 
war is not over as an op-ed. I'll keep you posted if it runs.

--In Syria, Israel continues to fire missiles with no consequences:


In local news, Portland Copwatch analyzed the latest Police Review Board 
report (yes, BEFORE the Portland Mercury put out their own article but 
didn't acknowledge PCW's breaking the news) in which it was revealed that 
the Chief found two of three officers out of policy for protest violence 
that the Board deemed OK. The first two fired "less lethal" rounds at 
protestors not engaged in "active aggression," and the Chief over-rode the 
Board to give those cops each a Letter of Reprimand. The third officer 
pulled down a person's gas mask to apply pepper spray. The Board said even 
though that's not in the training, it was the best way to make sure the 
pepper spray worked-- ignoring that we're in the midst of a 
respiratory-based pandemic. The Chief agreed to exonerate the officer.


Along the route we picked up an extra person at the corner where we talk
about Israel/Palestine issues-- albeit he was from out of town and needed 
to find his way back to Pioneer Courthouse Square, he did chime in 
agreeing with things being said.

The news I shared at that corner was that the US is planning to re-open 
its consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem over the objection of the 
Israeli government. I'm not sure how that gets worked out from a legal 
standpoint but it seems to be a signal of weakening Trump's mistake of 
shuttering the consulate and opening an embassy.


In the final stretch, I noted that an article by Norman Solomon (cofounder 
of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting and Roots Action) in Salon says that 
overseas military bases cost $55 billion a year. (Our new friend said 
"that's way too much!!!").


Even though I tried pulling the wagon far away from the building (rather 
than next to it, which used to work), the Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign 
went out again next to the Pioneer Place Mall's Gucci store along SW 4th 
Ave. It popped back on again at the Square. Evil spirits.

At the beginning and end of the march I also announced that the November 5 
rally (just under 3 weeks from now) will mark..... twenty years of the 
Friday Rally in or about the same location. Hoping we can get some 
longtime friends of the Rally to join us for the anniversary.


Stay safe, work for peace, let's keep educating the public!

--dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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