[pjw] REPORT BACK: End of another year: Friday rally #93 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Jan 1 15:58:02 EST 2022

Iraq Affinity Group supporters

Last night at the New Year's Eve Friday rally, the five of us were 
approached by only a handful of people. Two sets were looking for 
directions, one couple specifically asked us where they could find a New 
Year's party at a downtown bar. The third supported our anti-imperialist 
signs. It was clear and cold, and traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular, 
was light, but we still got a few honking horns and thumbs-ups from 

I started the announcements by reminding folks that next week we're 
beginning early, at 4:30 PM, to protest Guantanamo Bay prison being open 
for 20 years.


This led to the news announcements.

--The National Defense Authorization Act, which was negotiated by 
Democrats and voted on by a majority of both parties, continues to block 
the president from using funds to close Guantanamo:


--Perhaps in a more optimistic light, the US and South Korea are drawing 
up plans to finally end the Korean war, 68 years after the armistice came 
with no peace treaty.


--Iraq, meanwhile, declared a formal end to the US' formal anti-ISIS 
mission that began in 2014, though the remaining 2500 American troops are 
still considered to be there as "consultants":


--In Syria, Israel reportedly killed two "militants" with an airstrike, 
and again nobody in the United Nations is doing anything, probably because 
the US would just veto it.


--When Iran expressed they felt the nuclear talks were going well, the US 
responded that they should not be optimistic, and repeated their plan for 
a deadline of weeks, not months, to finish negotiations:


--And, the UN has had a travel ban on many members of the Taliban for 
years, but is opening up a 90 day window to let them go to other countries 
to negotiate for peace.


In local news, you may have heard that the internal investigation into the 
officers who leaked a false allegation against Commissioner Jo Ann 
Hardesty was released. It says that former Police Association President 
Brian Hunzeker deliberately leaked the information to retaliate against 
Hardesty for her comment last year that maybe the police were setting 
fires at the protests, something she had already apologized for.


The investigation found he violated rules, along with two other officers, 
but no discipline was listed. It also found there was no proof what they 
did was motivated by race, which is typical since an officer basically has 
to say the "n" word to be found out of policy for racial bias.

Along the march route, I talked about an Israeli bill which made it out of 
committee in the Knesset (parliament) which if passed would allot Israel 
to take down any pro-Palestinian online content on the claim of security 


And in the last leg, I noted that Biden signed the NDAA (which includes 
the "don't close Guantanamo" provisions), appropriating $777 billion for 
war. Sen. Bernie Sanders was amused by how Sen. Manchin is upset about the 
infrastructure bill but not this bloated military budget.


The Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign turned off again right in front 
of the Gucci store on 4th ave, relatively early and without stopping 
first, just went blank.

So, all in all, the year ends with continued US presence in countries 
where we don't belong, money spent on war instead of human needs, and the 
police exposed for corruption and racism (and, of course, brutality 
elsewhere). We can hope that 2022 will be better-- as long as we keep 
working for peace and for justice.

Hoping folks can join us next week for the expanded rally or any week at 5 
PM at SW Yamhill and Broadway; we remain masked up and distanced as the 
pandemic morphs and continues to spread.

Happy new Gregorian calendar year

--dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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