[pjw] REPORT BACK: Wheels coming off: Friday rally #119 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Jul 2 18:00:43 EDT 2022

Hello again Iraq Affinity Group supporters.

I think it's fitting for us to keep doing our work while remembering our 
friend Yvonne. So, below is the report back on last night's Friday 
Rally for Peace and Justice.

In the tribute email, I neglected to include this link to a photo of 
Yvonne at a huge peace march we put on in 2004 against the wars in Iraq 
and Afghanistan.


Now, about last night... There were seven of us there, masked up and 
distanced. We received a good smattering of honking horns and supportive 
gestures. The closest to a heckler was someone who wished ill of Vladimir 
Putin but stopped and talked for a bit. The weather was cooperative and 
though a bit hot, quite nice.

I've titled this week's report "wheels coming off" in honor of one of the 
attorneys from the US Department of Justice, who used that term to 
describe how a community board set up in 2018 was starting to fall apart 
exactly at the same time they were recognized by a federal judge. This 
seems to be the theme all around the globe. (More on the DOJ below.)

Here's what we talked about at this week's rally:

--The Supreme Court continues to dismantle much of American civil society, most 
recently saying that the Environmental Protection Agency can't protect the 


--And the January 6 committee continues to find out things that happened in and 
around the White House leading up to and after the marauders invaded the 
Capitol including ties to white supremacist groups.


--While President Biden has ruled out putting US troops on the ground in 
Ukraine, apparently that doesn't extend to the CIA, which has agents there 
providing intelligence.


--In somewhat related news, rather than express concern about how expanding 
NATO will continue to provoke Russia, Turkey has agreed that Finland and Sweden 
can join, so long as those countries extradite 33 Kurdish independence 


--In a mildly humanitarian gesture, the US has agreed to give $55 million to 
Afghanistan to help with the earthquake that killed over 1000 people there. No 
mention of releasing the $7 billion the US continues to hold (or the other $7 
billion they pledged to 9/11 families).


--New talks going on for the last two weeks to revive the Iranian nuclear deal 
have unfortunately gone nowhere.


--Another small bit of good news... nobody else seems to be in the position to 
bring together the countries fighting a proxy war in Yemen, so Iraq is 
facilitating dialogue between the Saudis and Iran.


--The US has killed a supposed "Al Qaeda leader" in Syria using some kind of 
strike (drone? it's not clear). But the US still has no Congressional or UN 
mandate to be in Syria.


--American officials headed to Venezuela to rebuild ties, as the Ukraine war 
continues to disrupt the world's oil supply. I'm sure Venezuela having one of 
the world's largest oil reserves has nothing to do with it.


In local news, the US DOJ has declared that the City is even more out of 
compliance with the 2012 Settlement Agreement than it was in 2020 when the 
violent response to protests undid years of work. They cited the failings of 
the Portland Committee on Community Engaged Policing and the Behavioral Health 
Unit's Advisory Committee among their critiques of the 6 of 7 areas that failed 
to pass muster.


Along the march route, I reminded folks that Ben and Jerry's had caused 
controversy by refusing to sell ice cream in the occupied territories where 
illegal Israeli settlements were established. The company that bought them out 
sold rights to another party who is selling their products now, over their 


And as we headed back to the Square I noted that General Dynamics is receiving 
$1 billion to build new tanks, I guess for the ground war the United States is 
expecting to conduct? Wouldn't want to use that money to, say, help the 
environment, housing or healthcare.


The Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign made it halfway up the block past the 
Gucci store but went out as we got to the next storefront at Pioneer Place 
Mall. On and on the interference goes. It did flash back on after a few minutes 
at the very end when we were wrapping up.

Just before that happened, I reminded people they can watch the video of the 
Ann Wright event on our youtube page. It's up to 27 views now, 9 more than a 
week ago.


As Multnomah County has become one of the 24 in Oregon now at high risk of 
COVID infections, we continue to urge folks to join us only if you feel 
comfortable doing so. As noted above, we're still wearing masks and staying 6 
feet (or so) apart.

Next week we will shout "Yvonne Simmons-- presente!!!!"

--dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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