[pjw] REPORTS BACK: Warships aren't fun: Friday rally #116 since stay-at-home orders + Rose festival

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Jun 11 19:32:26 EDT 2022

Hello again IAG supporters

This week you get a two-fer report back: I just got in from the War 
Resisters League Rose Festival protest and will share my experience there 
before getting to last night's Friday rally report.

Over the course of two hours, about 15 people were at the site in 
Waterfront Park just north of the Steel Bridge, with two WRL-made long 
signs at the top of a berm nearer the ship, one facing east and one west 
(see https://wrlpdx.weebly.com/uploads/1/3/4/5/13451637/img-1538_orig.jpg 
for one of the two from a past event) and me with the little green wagon of 
peace down the hill facing pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

We had far fewer hecklers and detractors than I was expecting, and a good 
number of people who gave us thumbs-ups, peace signs or thank yous. One 
person did call us the "f-word" and a nasty name at the beginning, another 
flipped us off close to the end. Two people who may have been with the 
military saw my sign that said "No More War" and said they agreed. Good!

Several folks took literature from the wagon, including a naval public 
information officer. He tried probing me for information about who 
organized the event, I just said "not me." I also said he was free to take 
literature since the Defense Intelligence Agency probably already knows 
about PJW.

The recruiting booths, which are lined up on the Japanese American 
Historical Plaza, included several military branches as well as the 
Portland Police. They just make it so easy to make the connection between 
militarism and police violence. I did raise the question a few years ago 
about what I see as desecration of the Plaza's message against internment 
of Japanese Americans, but the folks who manage the space noted there were 
Japanese Americans who served in the military in WWII and so they don't 
have the same reaction.

A few people stopped to have conversations, at the end a college student 
from Eugene took issue with our fact sheet on Ukraine because of Russia's 
destruction of historical monuments. I noted that the US has done the same 
thing in may countries. A member of Veterans For Peace joined in and 
talked about the US in Viet Nam.

Quite a few people took photos (none of us, though!). I sent what looked 
like two semi-professional photographers to look at the fence in front of 
the warship, which once again was adorned with signs saying "No 
Trespassing.... Use of Force Authorized."

So to sum it all up, as noted on the Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign 
(which had no problem running for 2 hours while stationary in the park): 
"Warships are NOT family fun."


Last night six of us withstood a heavier rain that last week as we rallied 
at Pioneer Courthouse Square. There was a normal amount of supportive 
response from the crowds. The driver of a MAX train early on flashed us 
a peace sign. In addition to announcing the WRL event, here's some of what 
we talked about this week:

--In what seems like an escalation, Israel bombed the Syrian airport in 
Damascus, causing it to shut down. Of course, the international community 
is not doing anything to prevent these attacks.


--Russia has said that (given the circumstances) they are willing to open 
negotiations about nuclear weapons reduction, but the US is refusing to 


---Meanwhile, speaking of escalation, as the US has pledged to send more 
weapons to Ukraine, President Putin says he will go after more targets in 


---As noted earlier this week, the US engaged in wargames with NATO, 
Finland and Sweden close to Russia (and with Japan near North Korea).

---3 NATO countries closed their airspace to a Russian plane that 
wanted to fly diplomats to Serbia. The countries were Bulgaria, 
Montenegro and North Macedonia.


---And on top of everything else, there's now a rise in cholera cases in 
Ukraine which are harder to treat because of the ongoing warfare.


--In Iraq, a drone exploded in the north (Irbil) injuring three people, 
nobody claimed responsibility. I blame the US for introducing drone 
warfare to the world.


--Iran has told the International Atomic Energy Agency it plans to enrich 
more uranium. Fortunately the article about this did not engage in lies 
about this shortening the timeline for Iran to get nuclear weapons, which 
is generally what the US and its allies have been saying since 2003.


--A few weeks ago, Russia and China vetoed a Security Council resolution 
against North Korea for its missile program. What's new is that due to a 
new protocol, they had to explain the vetoes to the General Assembly. 
Looking forward to the US having to do the same soon.


--As he called together most countries in this hemisphere for the Summit 
of the Americas, President Biden snubbed Venezuela but reiterated support 
for the opposition leader Guaido, acting as though Maduro is not the 
leader of that nation.


In local news, a man who was hit by a truck while trying to direct traffic 
during a protest in 2020 is suing the Portland Police for failing to 
investigate. He's asking for almost $800,000 and his lawyers produced 
video the police claimed didn't exist.


Along the route I reported that the UN Human Rights Council squarely 
blames violence in Israel/Palestine on the occupation and discrimination 
perpetuated by Israel.


As we got closer to returning to our start point, I noted that in addition 
to the aerospace lobby, Republicans are pushing to increase the military 
budget past $813 Billion due to inflation. Democratic Rep. Adam Smith 
things that much is enough and they can make do. He's mostly right, except 
it is TOO MUCH, and that money should be funding housing and other human 


At the very end of the march I also talked briefly about how 
surprising it is to see Liz Cheney taking such leadership in exposing 
what happened when the Proud Boys and others attacked the Capitol 
last January at the behest of Donald Trump.


The Ann Huntwork sign made it all the way past the Gucci store this week 
and even past the mystery metal box across from the Apple Store, but went 
out a few feet west of there where there's a mysterious little yellow box 
on the sidewalk. These fixtures have always been there, and are often a 
fail point for the sign. But when it turns off each week seems more and 
more random.

Also at the end I once again announced our livestream event with Col. Ann 
Wright, which is taking place one week from Monday!


We hope to see more folks at Friday rally, but as always want people to do 
what feels safe for you. We're still masked up and distanced at our 
events. Three "regulars" and two occasional visitors to Friday rallies 
were among those at the WRL protest.

--dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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