[pjw] REPORT BACK: Stealing Afghan Money: Friday rally #99 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Feb 12 19:36:16 EST 2022

Greetings peaceful people

At last night's Friday Rally for Peace and Justice, we were blessed not 
only with the sixth consecutive week without rain but with a balmy 64 
degree temperature (according to the bank clock). But that blessing is 
likely a result of the curse known as climate change, reminding us to end 
militarism as one way to reverse the planet's ever-quickening demise.

Anyway, five of us were at the rally, masked up and distanced. We had a 
lot of positive feedback from the get-go, with one person telling us they 
were from Armenia so they know we don't need another world war 
(referencing WW I), and another person seeing the "No war on Russia" signs 
said "No war anywhere!" Another said the tensions with Russia were all 
misinformation and lies. We continued getting support along the march 
route including from folks drinking at a patio table in the street which 
has become a staple of pandemic Portland.

I announced that the March 18 rally, "Remembering the Devastating US 
Invasion of Iraq 19 Years Later," now has a flyer available which you can 
find here:


(I'll be adding a link to that from the website later today.)

Here is some of the news we talked about, with the first item being from 
an article I had hope to send out yesterday but provides this week's 
subject line:

--President Biden has decided he wants to take half of the $7 billion in 
Afghan funds in US banks to provide urgently needed humanitarian aid, with 
the other half to be set aside for victims/survivors of 9/11. Since the 
narrative of 9/11 says that Al Qaeda conducted the attacks on 9/11 and not 
the Taliban, it's incredibly cynical to do this with money that does not 
belong to the US. Also known in this article as stealing Afghan funds.


--While previously expressing interest in ending the war in Yemen, Biden 
has pledged to support the Saudis against Yemen rebels. (I meant to also 
mention, does the name Jamal Khashoggi mean anything anymore?)


--On the brighter side, the Senate judiciary is calling to take back 
authority on drones from President since Congress is supposed to have the 
powers to declare war, AND the US public is tiring of militarism


--In some ways this is a huge relief: As noted previously, Iraq has 
finally finished paying reparations to (not a democracy) Kuwait after 31+ 
years, so now the UN Panel overseeing payment is disbanded


--And in Russia news, Ukraine says diplomacy is more likely than invasion


---while the US is spreading more panic by asking all Americans to leave 
and saying the invasion will happen this weekend.


--In the Senate, 33 Republicans are saying they plan to block the Iran 
deal, claiming it is a treaty that needs a 2/3 vote. For one thing, 67 
votes would still win, but for another, if the deal had been a treaty 
President Trump couldn't have jumped out of it without a Senate vote.


In local news, I noted that the Portland Police Association contract was 
released to the public on Tuesday, and while it contains a few "bones" for 
the community, adding a few concessions around the new oversight system, 
it leaves a lot of status quo in place such as off-duty work by cops as 
security for corporations and the "embarrassment clause" shielding names 
of bad cops from the community.


Along the march route, I relayed the disconcerting news that Israeli law 
enforcement killed three suspected militants in West Bank, which were 
called "assassinations," and pledged to do more of the same.


Heading back to the Square I noted one of the WORST stories of the week, 
which is that congress is trying to appropriate $5 billion more for the 
Pentagon than the $25 billion they already added to the National Defense 
Authorization Act. With people living in the streets, a healthcare 
emergency and more human needs at stake, one question. WHY?


The Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign went out about 20 feet further up the 
sidewalk by the Gucci store than it sometimes does, but definitely 
needs more counter-measures to stay lit up the whole way.

If you want to join us sometime at the corner of SW Yamhill and Broadway 
on a Friday at 5 PM, please do so. Two items on the rally's future:

1) we're watching to see if the TSA and CDC extend masking requirements 
past March 18, the current expiration date; and

2) if they do, whether the IAG will continue sponsoring the rally every 
week or not; we may move to a once-a-month plus special events model.

We'll keep you posted.

--dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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