[pjw] REPORT BACK: Define "Cold War": Friday rally #79 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Sep 25 15:40:06 EDT 2021

PJW supporters

Last night's Friday Rally for Peace and Justice had a sparse crowd of four 
people, though we were joined for much of our march by a person who seemed 
more excited to be part of something than they were about peace issues. 
Hey, one more person holding a sign is one more person.

We had many people come by in support, thanking us for being there; one 
motorist doubled back around to take a picture of a Palestine solidarity 
sign. We took the march West and South instead of East and North as one 
attendee had seen an action going on at SW 12th and Jefferson. It turned 
out to be people calling for the folks inside the Mexican Consulate there 
to stop government militias from cracking down on the Zapatistas in 


Their rally was intended to, as they say, "make some noise" so it was 
difficult to have conversations. Rather, we stayed there for about 15 
minutes and then headed back to Pioneer Courthouse Square. But I get ahead 
of the story...

At the initial rally, we talked about these headlines:

--The United States has 750 military bases in 80 countries, and 173,000 
troops in 159 countries. There are only 195 countries on the planet. Al 
Jazeera did an excellent infographic a few weeks ago:


--At the United Nations, President Biden claimed the US is not seeking a 
new cold war with China... despite explicitly taking troops out of 
Afghanistan to focus on China, asking for more funding to oppose China, 
sending planes and warships to provoke China, etc.


--On that note, the US has created a new alliance with the United Kingdom 
and Australia (AUKUS) which is clearly aimed at China, but more news was 
made of Australia canceling its deal to buy submarines from France to get 
American ones, and France pulling its ambassador from the US.


--Though it wasn't by a broad margin, the House added a few amendments to 
the National Defense Authorization Act to end support for the Saudi war on 
Yemen. Remember, Trump used three of his very few vetoes to override such 


--And true to the theme of our upcoming October 8 event, the US is seeking 
help from NATO to conduct airstrikes in Afghanistan in the future.


--Contrary to the proposed deal to take all US combat troops out of Iraq 
by the end of this year, 2000 military personnel are being deployed for a 
nine month tour.


In local news, of the six shootings by the Portland Police this year, 
three were fatal. A grand jury found the first two-- involving people in 
mental health crises armed with (a) a fake gun and (b) a screwdriver-like 
tool to be lawful. The officers could still face administrative 
discipline, but it's highly unlikely.


Because we took an unusual march route (and our boisterous new "ally" was 
rather chatty the whole way) I didn't get to share these headlines about 
Israel/Palestine and money for human needs:

--Israel conducted mass arrests following the jailbreak by Palestinians a 
few weeks ago, including rounding up children:


--The House added the Senate's proposed extra $25 Billion to the NDAA, 
making the total $778 Billion.


As I said "since we're not going by Pioneer Place Mall, the sign will 
probably be ok," I regretted putting a jinx on it. By the time we got to 
the Mexican Consulate, it had frozen up. (It said "US Out" so, not the 
worst place to freeze.) I rebooted it and then on our walk back to the 
Square it turned off completely. So, there are gremlins all over downtown.

As noted last week and in the email that went out yesterday, the theme for 
the October 8 rally will be "The Afghan War Isn't Really Over." I 
accidentally put the wrong link to the flyer for that event in the 
announcement, it should have been:


Sorry for any confusion!

We hope to see a few more people next week-- some folks can only come ever 
other week and another was recovering from a bike accident yesterday...


dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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