[pjw] REPORT BACK: Control military guns: Friday rally #115 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Jun 4 16:16:47 EDT 2022

Iraq Affinity Group supporters

This week there were seven of us at the Friday Rally for Peace and Justice 
amid a steady sprinkle of rain. We had quite a few people who gave 
enthusiastic comments as they walked by but strangely few drivers 
responding (save for a few who gave thumbs up from their dry interiors). 
Two people took literature-- with one asking about whether we were having 
in-person meetings yet. Maybe a new recruit? Who knows.

We also had one person who told us to stop worrying about other countries 
and get people in the US into housing. There was also a sole heckler who 
told us we were in the wrong country... but it's actually our role to make 
this country better.

I announced the Ann Wright livestream event on Monday June 20; flyers 
available with other info here:


Here are some of the headlines we talked about this week:

--A few weeks ago, the $40 billion in aid to Ukraine was held up when Sen 
Rand Paul demanded there be oversight of how it is spent. While it's been 
approved, more people-- including Sen. Elizabeth Warren-- are echoing the 
idea of accountability.


---The US has agreed to send rockets with a 50 mile range to Ukraine as 
long as they promise not to fire them into Russia. What could possibly go 


--In the good news department, the two month long ceasefire in Yemen has 
not only continued to hold, but is slated to extend another two months. 
Let's see how long the US can stay out of the fray, and whether the 
famine, disease and economic collapse can be righted, and the war ended.


--On the other hand, the US and Israel put out a statement that they are 
coordinating to be sure Iran will not get nuclear weapons. Since Israel's 
only plan is to use military force to do so, this is not good news.


--In typical hypocritical fashion, the US is asking Turkey to "refrain" 
from military operations in Northern Syria against Kurdish independence 
fighters. This is the same US that has bases in N. Syria without the 
approval of that country, the UN, or the US Congress. Not saying Turkey 
attacking is right, just questioning the source of the warning.


--And as a reminder that the US also still has troops in Iraq, where they 
were supposed to leave in December, three rockets landed near a US base 
but didn't hurt anyone.


In local news, last Friday during our rally the Portland Police finally 
released information on the man they had shot exactly three weeks earlier. 
Surprisingly though the officers are from the notoriously racially biased 
gun enforcement team (now known as the Focused Intervention Team), the 
man, Matthew Leahey, is white.


Along the march route I gave some more good news-- General Mills is 
divesting from its Pillsbury factory in the occupied territories, a win 
for the Palestinian rights Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.


And as we got back toward the Square I referenced a Salon opinion piece 
that agreed we need gun control to stop the horrible epidemic of mass 
shootings-- but that needs to include gun control for the military, which 
has spent $14 trillion since 9/11. Referring back to the woman who told us 
to change our focus... how many homes could that have paid for? Or how 
much could have been spent on health care, the environment, education, 


We paused during the march to make sure everyone could keep together 
before we crossed to the next street-- a block before the Pioneer Place 
mall. The Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign froze up (on the phrase "US 
Out") and stayed lit up past the Gucci store and around the corner until a 
few feet past a mysterious junction box on SW Yamhill where the sign 
originally started cutting out about two years ago after we first got it.

As we wrapped up I made an announcement about the War Resisters League 
protest at the Rose Festival, which is happening next Saturday, June 11 
from 1-3 PM north of the Burnside Bridge along Naito Parkway.


And you can always join us any Friday at SW Yamhill and Broadway at 5 PM 
if you are up for it. We're still staying masked up and distanced-- about 
half a dozen people I know have come down with COVID in the last 2-3 
weeks, it's still out there!

--dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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