[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 ,
--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:
peace and justice works iraq affinity group
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