[pjw] REPORT BACK: Who are the bad guys?: Friday rally #125 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Aug 13 16:19:57 EDT 2022

Iraq Affinity Group Supporters:

Last night's Friday Rally for Peace and Justice was attended by seven
people, including one newcomer who stuck with us even though he claimed to 
"not support Black Lives Matter or anything." The weather was reasonable 
and we had a smattering of signs of support from the general public, 
sometimes prompted by an occasional regular (if that makes sense) urging 
people to honk for peace. The intentional participants wore masks and were 
socially distanced. Peace and Justice Works will need to discuss the 
latest advice from the CDC (which continues to seem to make declarations, 
it seems, based on political pressure more than science when it comes to 
the idea that the pandemic is over... while they acknowledge it is not).

I started out the rally by talking about the Hiroshima/Nagasaki memorial 
event that happened on Monday (video can be seen at
https://www.facebook.com/OregonPSR/videos/801346037900443/ ). I noted that 
on that same day, the UN Secretary General warned the world is closer than 
ever to a nuclear conflict.


Also, kind of along those lines, shelling going on around a nuclear power 
plant in Ukraine is causing high anxiety.


Here are some of the other headlines we talked about:

--The European Union has pledged another $1.5 Billion to help keep the 
Ukraine war going, rather than, I don't know, finding a way to promote a 
cease fire and diplomatic end to the conflict.


--President Biden formally announced US approval of Finland and Sweden 
joining NATO, meaning there are now 23 of the needed 30 votes to 
re-provoke Russia by moving NATO close to its borders some more.


--The US launched three airstrikes in Somalia, all at the same time, 
claiming to kill four "terrorists."


---and in Syria, Russia launched a strike against US-backed rebels (close 
to a US base, which has no reason to be in Syria), killing many.


Looking at these two stories together, Syria and Russia think the 
US-backed rebels are terrorists and the US thinks the people they killed 
in Somalia are terrorists, so I guess they're terrorists if they're not 
OUR terrorists.

--In Yemen, the cease fire was broken not by Saudi vs. Houthi fighting but 
rather infighting between those backed by the Saudis and others backed by 
the UAE. I hope this doesn't deteriorate the larger calm that's been in 
place for most of the year.


--In Iraq, where I think the sit-in at Parliament has been going on 
for almost two weeks, Moqtada Al Sadr has said if Parliament is not 
dissolved next week he and his followers will take further action, as yet 


In local news, a group is forming to oppose the City's rush to adopt "Shot 
Spotter" technology, which puts microphones into neighborhoods 
experiencing gun violence (read: near Black people) and purports to get 
the police on scene quicker than 911 calls. Unless they are Superman, they 
still can't get there before people run away.


There's actually an event tonight from 8-10 PM but it's not 100% clear 
what kind of audience there will be downtown at 8 PM on a Saturday near 
the Justice Center.

Along the march route, two bits of news about the situation in 
Israel/Palestine following the four days of bombardments by Israel that 
killed 44 Palestinians including 19 children.

--The US ambassador said that America supports the fight against "bad 
guys" in Gaza. Again, they're not OUR "bad guys" which is what makes them 


--The UN Human Rights commissioner called the killing of children 


As we got back toward the Square I noted that the new bill passed by 
Democrats this week has $400 billion for climate and $300 billion for 
deficit reduction, a good step toward spending money for human needs... 
but still considerably less than the $830 billion military budget.


The Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign froze outside the Gucci store but 
stayed illuminated almost all the way around the corner and up to 5th 
Ave, going out by one of the mystery junction boxes across from the 
Apple Store.

As I noted last week, I left from the PJW rally early to go to the monthly 
Keaton Otis vigil, held each month on the 12th. The in-person part of the 
hybrid event is growing again with about a dozen people standing at NE 6th 
and Halsey, listening to people leading discussion on Zoom.


Join us if you can, we're still down at SW Broadway and Yamhill every 

--dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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