[pjw] REPORT BACK: Slow and steady: Friday rally #78 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Sep 18 12:32:44 EDT 2021

Iraq Affinity Group supporters

At the Friday Rally for Peace and Justice last night, we had eight people 
in attendance (albeit one didn't come on the march). We had a large number 
of supportive observers and at least one person who stopped to ask about 
our "No War on China" sign-- who became quite alarmed hearing about the US 
plans to "pivot" its military focus to that country. There were also a few 
hecklers (one person said "[the f word] China!" just as a counterbalance 

A few weeks ago Mayor Ted Wheeler walked by and basically just said hello 
and left. Last night Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty came by and chatted with 
me for a short time before going on her way. She seemed to like the Ann 
Huntwork sign's list of police shooting victims who need justice.

Here are some of the things we talked about at the rally:

--Barbara Lee, in an interview about her lone vote against the war on 
Afghanistan in 2001, said this:

    Lee credits activists for gradually swaying public opinion on the two

    "We had a long-term strategy -- myself, several other [Congress]
    members and  outside organizations. And we just said, 'We're just
    going to keep at it,'" she said.

That's us!!!


--The Pentagon admitted that the drone strike they executed on the way out 
the door in Afghanistan killed ten civilians (including seven children), 
and zero members of ISIS-K. One rally participant suggested that admission 
would not have happened if one victim weren't a worker for the US. The 
same article included the military's claim that such tragedies won't 
happen in the future because the "over the horizon" capabilities will give 
them more time to be accurate than in this "self-defense" killing.


--In Iraq, the US combat troops are supposedly going to rotate out to let 
in the "advisors" starting in October, and this article even claims they 
will take their military gear with them. I hope that's true.


--The ironically named Institute for Science and International Security 
(ISIS, get it???) claims that Iran could have a nuclear bomb within a 
month, which this article points out is utter nonsense.


--While this happened about two weeks ago, I thought it was 
important to note that after years of Israel bombing their country, Syria 
has called upon the United Nations to condemn these violations of 
international law.


--There's more indication that Congress is ready to repeal the 
Authorizations for Use of Military Force for Iraq (1991- "Gulf War" and 
2002-Iraq war) but they want to revise the 2001 AUMF so Presidents can 
still bomb people they claim are terrorists:


Along the route, I noted that the board of Facebook has asked to create a 
special group to monitor posts about Israel and Palestine, because the 
social media giant was accused of being too quick to eject people who 
opposed Israeli policies. I believe I know two Portland activists who were 
kicked off for just such a reason- but of course they don't know because 
Facebook just shut them down with no explanation.


As we got to the end of the march, I gave an update about last week's news 
that the defense industry spent $1 billion to get $2 trillion in return: 
that was only the top 5 companies. The actual total since 9/11 for these 
merchants of death was $4.4 trillion.


I forgot to report that last week, like this week, the Ann Huntwork Peace 
Memorial froze up in front of the Gucci store. But this time it stayed on 
all the way to the corner of Yamhill and 5th ave, half a block longer than 
usual. Maybe it was the inclement (but thankfully not wet yet) weather.

By the way, I'm still working on the promotional info for it, but we're 
planning that the theme for the October 8 rally will be "The Afghan War 
Isn't Really Over," as October 7 marks the 20th anniversary of that 
conflict. We'll also do something on the first Friday in November to 
mark-- yes, it's true-- twenty years of the Friday Rally.


dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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