[pjw] REPORT BACK: Parallels to Iraq: Friday rally #102 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Mar 5 13:44:28 EST 2022

Hello again peaceful people

Last night's Friday rally for Peace and Justice was met with a lot of 
enthusiasm. Quite a number of pedestrians thanked us for what we were 
doing, and I will mention-- because Portland's population is so white-- 
that several of those were Black people. We got another thumbs up from a 
patron at the Rialto room, now becoming less rare, and lots of honking 
horns from drivers.

Once again we had seven people at the rally. As I mentioned last week even 
with the state/federal mask mandates changing we're continuing to mask up 
for now. With blue skies above we happily rallied for the ninth week 
during an Oregon winter without rain on our parade... despite torrents 
earlier in the week.

As the war in Ukraine dominated this week's headlines again, I announced 
the Veterans For Peace rally coming up tomorrow (Sunday) at noon.


So, here is some of what we talked about.

--In a rare vote on "security issues" the UN General Assembly voted 
Wednesday to condemn the Russian attack; the vote was 141-5-35. The "no" 
votes were Russia (no surprise), Belarus, Syria, North Korea, and
Eritrea, which has an interest in avoiding scrutiny for attacking 


--The UN Security Council condemned (but not by a vote, which would have 
been vetoed) Russia's attack on a Ukranian nuclear plant. It should be 
noted though that the fire which broke out there was on the grounds, not 
in the actual facility.


---CNN reported the US State Department initially called this attack a 
"war crime" but then quickly told people not to re-tweet that accusation. 
Perhaps they realized that the US and Israel have conducted raids on 
nuclear facilities and don't want to invite charges on themselves.


--The sanctions that the US put on Russia are already causing their 
economy to tank, hurting ordinary citizens. We've seen this playbook 
before and you'll note that the international call for peace says that 
sanctions kill and are an act of war.


--Meanwhile, in Iraq they are reacting to the Russian invasion by flashing 
back to the US' "shock and awe" attack on their country in 2003. They also 
recognize that the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait also draws parallels. My 
comment on that is: Yes, and just like Iraq's invasion was wrong, Kuwait 
was no beacon of democracy, Americans should be careful about rallying 
around the Ukrainian flag.


--In other news, the UN Security Council banned weapons sales to the 
Houthis in Yemen on an 11-0-4 vote, this while Saudi Arabia continues to 
attack (and the world throws more weapons at Ukraine, adding fuel to fire)


--Last Saturday, he US sent a warship through the Taiwan strait for the 
second time this year, for some reason thinking now is a good time to 
provoke China


In local news, City Council is poised to award $400,000 to a man who was 
severely injured when he was in the back of a police car on a misdemeanor 
warrant and the officer drove 53 in a 30 mile an hour zone, crashing into 
another vehicle.



Also, Officer Brian Hunzeker was fired by the Mayor for leaking a rumor 
that Commissioner Hardesty was involved in a hit and run last year. While 
that's a deserved punishment, it's likely the Police Association (which 
Hunzeker used to helm) will appeal, and possibly win since the Police 
Review Board and Chief each sought shorter suspensions.


Along the march route, I relayed yet another horrible story of Israel's 
uptick in military action in the West Bank, where Israeli settlers let 
their sheep out into land owned by Palestinians, and when those folks 
tried to move the sheep off their land Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at 


When we got to the "money for human needs not war" block near the end of 
the march, I noted that the White House is calling for an extra $10 
billion for the military budget to deal with Ukraine, half for weapons to 
be sent and half for the Pentagon. Wasn't the $777 billion you already got 


The Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign went out right at the corner of 
Pioneer Place Mall again, before even reaching the windows of the Gucci 
store. This was kind of a sandwich of lost time educating the public 
with our scrolling messages as the sign went out on my way to the rally 
and I forgot to reboot it for almost 15 minutes.

At the rally's open I announced the March 18 rally, "Remembering the 
Devastating US Invasion of Iraq 19 Years Later":


(Notably, I forgot to paste this link in for the past two weeks when 
reminding you all about it!!!)

If you are up for it and feel emboldened by the mask mandates dropping, do 
join us some Friday at 5 PM at SW Yamhill and Broadway. Conversely, 
there's at least one regular who won't come down if the transit mask 
mandate gets dropped. This is consistent with our ongoing request for 
people to mask up both at our rallies and at our office, for the time 
being, and even beyond the current March 18 expiration.


--dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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