[pjw] REPORT BACK: Silencing the opposition: Friday rally #105 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Mar 26 17:12:41 EDT 2022

Iraq Affinity Group supporters

Last night we had nine people at the Friday Rally for Peace and Justice, 
but only six came along for the march. We were able to hand out a few more 
fact sheets about the Iraq war (and its comparisons to Ukraine). Now we're 
at twelve weeks where the worst weather was drizzle for a short time on 
March 18. Nice! We had a reasonable number of people honking horns and 
giving us positive verbal or visual feedback. At least one person (and 
this has happened before) picked up a sign, had someone take his picture, 
then walked away. They aren't counted in the nine person total.

By the way the Willamette Week did not run the photo from last week's 
rally. Oh well.

So, what were the main headlines we talked about this week?

--In Ukraine, they have banned the opposition parties, most of which 
appear to be leftists. If this is a war about "defending democracy," how 
does that jibe, and if the Ukrainian government is more right wing than 
left, does that mean the USA is Nazi Germany in the new WW III???


---NATO is sending new combat units to four Eastern European countries: 
Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary. I am sure this will not be seen 
as provocative by Russia. (Sarcasm).


---At the UN Security Council, Russia proposed to make safe humanitarian 
aid and refugee routes, but there were only two votes (Russia and China) 
with 13 abstentions.


---Despite the likelihood of it expanding the war, people are still 
calling for a "no-fly zone" over Ukraine.


--In looking up the news about Ukraine I ran across this article that says 
there are 21 countries without standing armies, 15 of which have no 
military at all. Two of the six with armies that can be called up are 
Costa Rica and Iceland.


--Meanwhile, the US Central Command made a statement on the anniversary of 
the invasion of Iraq that they expect to be in that country for years 
more. Boo!!!!


---I took a moment to recall that in last week's fact sheet, we mentioned 
Madeleine Albright's response to the harm done by US Sanctions on Iraq. 
Secretary Albright died earlier this week. I said "I don't want to speak 
ill of the dead but if I get bad Karma from saying bad things about 
Madeleine Albright, I think the price is worth it."

--The US is upset that United Arab Emirates hosted a meeting with Syrian 
President Bashar Al Assad. My guess is that American arms will continue 
flowing to UAE anyway.


In local news, the contract I wrote about two weeks ago regarding the 
Portland Business Alliance's Clean and Safe Program, which pays for four 
Portland Police who respond primarily to the PBA's private security 
guards, is supposed to be voted on this Wednesday. Local groups including 
Stop the Sweeps are asking people to ask City Council to postpone the 


Along the march route I noted that the UN Human Rights Council was 
considering adopting a report yesterday that calls Israel an Apartheid 
state. This article in the Jerusalem Post has an Israeli official saying 
"no we're not, anyone can be part of our state which is based on one 
religion" (I'm paraphrasing). The Israeli government is more concerned 
about this report than the ones from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty 
International because it will be posted on the UN's website.


As we headed back toward Pioneer Courthouse Square I noted how the 
"defense production act" was turned from military to humanitarian purposes 
during the pandemic to produce masks, protective gear and more. 
Unfortunately the Pentagon now wants to invoke it to replenish all the 
missiles they've sent to Ukraine.


This week the Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign went out right away by the 
Gucci store, in part because a fleet of scooters made it impossible to 
move to the curb. It turned back on again after we wrapped up at the 

As the last two of us were getting ready to head out, a woman in a Justice 
for Patrick Kimmons t-shirt approached us to thank us for being there. She 
said she had been in Normandale Park when the white supremacist shot five 
people (before being shot and wounded himself). She told us that most of 
the protestors were all the way across the other side of the park due to 
kind of a logistical fluke, which means the man may have inflicted even 
more damage if not for that happenstance. She took a Portland Copwatch 
newsletter (which are always stocked in the literature rack) and shared a 
JFPK flyer. I don't know why I didn't think to point to Patrick Kimmons' 
name on the Ann Huntwork sign's scroll.

So just as a reminder we're still planning to be out there every week for 
now, we're asking for people to mask up and stay distanced *at least* 
until April 18 when the transportation mask mandate ends, but we're always 
happy to have more people with us.

--dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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