[pjw] REPORT BACK: Historical echoes: Friday rally #111 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat May 7 13:49:21 EDT 2022

Iraq Affinity Group supporters

Last night at the Friday Rally for Peace and Justice, five of us stood out 
in the rain, shared information with people and marched as the rain 
lightened up. At the very start a Max train driver honked their horn (not 
unusual) but nodded their head affirming the messages of the rally 
(unusual!). One person took a flyer for the Ann Wright June 20 livestream. 
Numerous others honked horns, gave thumbs ups, etc. The only mild 
detractor was the Trump supporter who used to heckle us, who showed up at 
the very end to say how things were so much better until Trump left 
office. We've tried to explain to this person that we're against war and 
wrongful US policies, not for or against any politician or political party, 
but some people just can't wrap their minds around that notion.

Perhaps you've read that many of the reporters at the White House 
Correspondents' dinner came down with COVID. Another example of why we're 
continuing to ask people to mask up for the rallies (and in our office 

What were the headlines we talked about this week?

--The Pope said that maybe, just maybe NATO's actions coming up to 
Russia's borders prompted the invasion of Ukraine.


---In that frighteningly expanding fight, the US is supporting opposition 
political movements in Belarus.


---And the United Nations estimates over 3100 civilians have been killed 
in Ukraine so far, a much smalled number than the 10s of thousands 
reported by Ukraine last month; someone is not being accurate.


---As noted in a previous email, a Republican congressperson introduced 
a bill to give authorization for the president to use military action if 
Russia uses weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine.


--In good news (as in, bad stuff hasn't happened for a while), there were 
no reported airstrikes in Yemen in all of April, and thus no civilians 
were killed by such raids. I said, "I rarely say this but thank you , 
Saudi Arabia."


--China has made a military pact with the Solomon Islands and the 
government there is hinting that the US and Australia are threatening to 
invade to oppose this move.


--In Afghanistan, the Pentagon still has 900 contracts on the books worth 
$80 million to help the Afghan military. I have an idea-- let's send that 
money to them so the people can eat!


--Thousands of Iraqis reportedly fled northern Iraq to get away from the 
cross-border fighting by Turkey.


In local news, on Wednesday the City Council is poised to take the 
existing police oversight system, the Independent Police Review, and move 
it out from the Auditor's office. At that point it will sort of be under 
the guidance of the whole Council, except all they can do is fire the 
Director with a four-person vote. There's no ongoing body to review the 
Director's job performance as there will be under the system put in the 
charter in 2020. Portland Copwatch had to pull this item off the "consent 
agenda" so that Council has to discuss it publicly and the community can 


Along the march route, I noted that Israeli citizens stormed the Al 
Asqa mosque after security forces beat and fired rubber blts at Muslims 
who wanted to worship there.


This prompted me to note that we're coming up on Al-Nakba day, a day to 
remember the expulsion of Palestinians that helped establish Israel. It's 
amazing that this date (May 15) is so close to the day of Yom Ha Shoah , 
the day to remember the horrible holocaust. It's sad how the victims 
became the oppressors, I noted.

As we passed the Pioneer Place Mall's south wall, where one of the only 
remaining Black Lives Matter murals from 2020 remains, I noted that last 
week (April 29) was the 30th anniversary of the uprising in Los Angeles 
after Rodney King was beaten by the LA police and a jury acquitted the 
officers. That was one of the events that led Peace and Justice Works to 
adopt police accountability as a peace issue.

Then in the last block, I reported on a piece written by a former US 
congressperson that says spending $33 billion for Ukraine is the 
equivalent of the budgets of the labor and commerce departments and the 
Environmental Protection agency. Not that they're being cut, but, money 
has to come from somewhere to fund wars instead of human needs.


On the east side of the mall (the block we're on before getting to the 
murals), the Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign went out again in front of 
the Gucci store. I think it was drizzling last week when it ran for 
another block, but was fairly dry this week? Who knows.

As a reminder, there's an election coming up on May 17 (just 10 days from 
now!); questionnaires for City Council, Sheriff's and Governor candidates 
can be found here:


--dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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