[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
peace and justice works iraq affinity group
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