[pjw] REPORT BACK: No War Anywhere: Friday rally #101 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Feb 26 16:45:58 EST 2022

Hi Iraq Affinity Group supporters

We were approached at last night's Friday Rally for Peace and Justice by a 
few people who wondered why we had signs saying "No War on Russia" rather 
than "No War in Ukraine," which is why I made the subject line "No War 
Anywhere." We have to be clear that what Russia is doing in Ukraine is 
wrong, but also that we have no influence over the Russian government but 
(nominally) do have influence here in the US.

So, seven of us were out at the rally last night, including two PJW folks 
who hadn't been for about two and six months, respectively, so that was 
good! We were masked up and distanced-- see the note below about the new 
CDC guidelines. Feeling a little more emboldened, I'll not it was the 
eighth week in a row without rain. While we did get skeptics and critics, 
we also drew a lot of support with cars honking their horns and people 
signaling their approval (including people at a sidewalk bar table raising 
their drinks toward us).

At the rally's open I announced the March 18 rally, "Remembering the 
Devastating US Invasion of Iraq 19 Years Later":

Since it was a slow news week we went home early. JUST KIDDING. We mostly 
talked about the Russia/Ukraine situation, thusly:

--The US is sending 7000 troops to Germany, meaning they'll has sent 
a total of 12,000 to Europe recently.


--NATO mobilized its "collective defense force" in eastern Europe for the
first time


--Germany has put international security above its financial interests 
(and pausing more fossil fuel burning) buy halting the Nordsream gas 
pipeline Russia was going to start using soon to supply them with fuel.


--Russian civilians are protesting the war at great risk to themselves, 
but this is very important given my above comment that Americans have no 
say in this.


--For this piece, first I put in a commentary that saying "The President 
of Ukraine is Jewish so they can't be a neo-Nazi country" is like saying 
"the police chief in Portland is Black so the Portland Police can't be 
racist." One needs to do institutional analysis. So, in addition to the 
vote at the UN we talked about a few weeks ago where the only two 
countries who didn't vote for a resolution denouncing Nazism were the US 
and Ukraine, apparently a neo-Nazi militia was allowed to merge into 
Ukraine's National Guard shortly after the Russian takeover of Crimea.


--Getting back to the questions of how to hold Russia accountable, earlier
I noted how the US isn't part of the International Criminal Court because 
Bill Clinton signed on but GW Bush unsigned the agreement. I did not 
remember that in 2016, Russia followed suit and quit the ICC too.


--In more "world powers refuse to allow themselves to be held accountable" 
news, the vote at the Security Council yesterday led to a veto from 
Russia as expected. I didn't know this at the rally, but here's the scoop: 
11-0-3 plus one veto; the abstentions were China, India and the UAE:


In other news, the US carried out its first airstrikes in Somalia since 
August, claiming there were no civilian casualties (but do we believe 


In local news, I talked about the shooting that happened last Saturday at 
the rally for Black Lives. We now know the shooter was a right winger and 
likely white supremacist who demanded the protestors get out from in front 
of his apartment. When they said no, he pulled a gun and shot five people, 
killing one woman and injuring three other people. One of the protestors 
shot back, wounding the shooter in the hip. That person wisely turned 
himself in to the police and handed over his gun-- thus not only 
supporting his claim of self defense but lowering the likelihood the cops 
would kill him on sight. Ever since Charlottesville (and certainly before, 
but more heightened since then) it's been clear there are people who are 
willing to use violence when they disagree with progressive protests. Be 
safe out there.

Here's a relatively early but more comprehensive than most story from the 
Portland Mercury about the incident.


Along the march route I reminded everyone that last week Israeli forces
killed a 17 year old in the West Bank. This year they killed a 14 year old 
boy. The escalation in the West Bank has gone mostly unnoticed with all 
the other things happening in the world.


And as we came to the final block back to the square, I noted that US 
defense stocks went up in value after the Russians began attacking 
Ukraine. Rich people love their wars.


And the Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign went out a few feet early this 
week, going blank right as we got to the corner where the Pioneer Place 
Mall is rather than by the Gucci store. It's kind of like that toilet 
handle you know you have to jiggle at this point, I don't really have 
enough time to fix it so I'm just living with it.

Anyway, who knows what this week will bring in terms of developments on 
the global stage. We welcome folks to join us any Friday at 5 PM.

NOTE: The CDC has announced lifting of mask mandates taking place soon, 
and Oregon is lifting its mandates on March 19, the day after our special 
event on Iraq. HOWEVER, the mask mandate for public transportation 
remains, so for now our guidelines will remain in place on masking up at 
the rallies (and at our office).

--dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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