[pjw] REPORT BACK: Honoring veterans!?: Friday rally #123 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Jul 30 16:05:20 EDT 2022

Hello again Iraq Affinity Group supporters

Last night in the 90 degree-plus heat, seven of us gathered for the Friday 
Rally for Peace and Justice. One was a special guest, a person I 
previously described knowing virtually but meeting in person for the first 
time at another rally just a month ago. We stayed masked up and distanced, 
and decided to march since most of the route is in the shade. Our guest 
and one other marcher peeled off at about the 1/3 and 2/3 points of the 
march, but the remaining five wrapped things up.

We had a lot of appreciative responses. A woman (perhaps the same one from 
last week?) put her hand to her heart for us. A man said he supported us 
and noted how many things are going on. Several people took flyers for the 
Hiroshima day event on August 8. One man stopped to talk about a sign we 
have for Julian Assange-- and was up to date about the Mexican president 
offering asylum (as mentioned last week). Horns honked, people waved.

Speaking of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki memorial, I put 11x17 enlargements on 
the wagon based on this 8.5x11 flyer I created using Oregon PSR's graphic 
design work (integrating the cosponsors' names):


I started the talk by remembering our friend Rico Vicino. I relayed the 
story I sent out about his sense of humor (the "offal orifice" toilet dunk 
tank) and his related sense of nonviolence (feeling that dunking a 
likeness of GHW Bush was not peaceful). We miss you Rico!

What happened in the news this week? Here's some of the headlines we 
talked about:

--In Iraq, protestors swarmed the Parliament building and staged a 
nonviolent sit-in. HEY CAPITAL INSURGENTS maybe you could learn a 
thing or two from the Iraqis. They were protesting the nomination of 
pro-Iranian Mohammad al Sudani as Prime Minister.


---Also, the UN Security Council condemned the artillery shelling of the 
Iraqi resort we talked about last week, but was careful not to mention the 
likely culprit, Turkey, in the statement. They're in the club of no 
consequences. (No, that's not a "Turkey club" joke though I'm tempted.)


--The US is demanding Afghans replace the Taliban-linked heads of 
their national bank in order to receive the nearly $10 billion of 
money America is holding... that belongs to Afghanistan. Reminder: some of 
the Afghans' money is being set aside for 9/11 victims.


--The National Guard may expand its presence in the Pacific because of 
China's so-called "aggression"; it seems that the US flying planes and 
sending warships close to China isn't enough "aggression" from our side, 
let's send troops into an undeclared war zone. We will raise concerns 
about this with Oregon's gubernatorial candidates.


--Two American "volunteer soldiers" were killed in Ukraine; it's not clear 
if they are actually from the US military. Regardless, the fact that 
Americans are drawn to be part of this conflict which was provoked by 
US/NATO expansion shows how deep the propaganda runs.


In local news, the Portland Police were involved in THREE shootings 
between Sunday and Wednesday. Prior to that they had been involved in 
three shootings all year; the numbers' now at six, nearly as many by the 
end of July as in all of 2021 (which was eight). The first victim was a 19 
year old young man who was shot multiple times as point blank range by one 
officer after another apparently had disarmed the suspect. The second's 
name may not be known because they drove away and the officer's bullet(s?) 
apparently did not strike them. The third person was also killed, their 
name hasn't been released yet and neither has the officer's. PPB is 
supposed to release the name in 24 hours, but claims that the officers in 
the FIRST TWO shootings are being threatened by "doxxing" (having personal 
info looked up on line). But the policy says there has to be a threat 
against the officer in question... so they're not following the policy.

  (section 9.8)

As noted many times before, police violence is the same as military 
violence-- enforcing state policies using force.

Along the march route I noted that a UN special coordinator says Israeli 
settlements threaten a viable solution for Palestinians, urging that 
action be taken to ensure they can have an autonomous state.


As we came back toward the Square, to the best of my ability I updated 
folks about the Defense spending bill. The Senate took the House's 
proposal and stripped the funding of health care for veterans exposed to 
toxic burn pits (that we mentioned recently as a quasi-positive step 
despite not giving reparations to those in the countries where US wars 
exposed civilians to the same toxins). The Senate Democrats are still 
proposing a bill worth $31 billion more than the House. Where'd the money 
go that was for the veterans' health? Where's the money for human needs?


The Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign made it all the way around the corner 
of Pioneer Place Mall this week, but went out across from the Apple Store. 
I had some success last time that happened by running past the weird 
junction boxes on the sidewalk, but that didn't work this time.

As always, we welcome people in reasonably small numbers to join us any 
Friday at 5 at SW Yamhill and Morrison.

--dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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