[pjw] REPORT BACK: 74 years of displacement: Friday rally #112 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat May 14 14:02:20 EDT 2022

Hello again IAG supporters

We had our third rainy Friday Rally for Peace and Justice in a row last 
night. Nonetheless seven of us gathered, masked up and distanced as we 
stood at the corner of SW Yamhill and Broadway to promote nonviolence. The 
rain let up by the time we marched around downtown, gathering a lot of 
honking horns of support. Just before 5 PM when only two of us were there, 
someone walked by and said "I really appreciate y'all being here, 
especially in the rain."

Multnomah County has "suggested" that people start wearing masks at indoor 
events again-- it's this very see-saw public health alert system that has 
led us to continue our policy throughout the pandemic. One day, maybe the 
"all clear" will be All Clear.

Anyway, there was plenty to talk about at the rally, here's a sample:

--As noted in yesterday's email, the house voter 368-57 to support the $40 
billion aid package to Ukraine... including all five Oregon 


---And it was also noted how Rand Paul asked for an inspector general to 
review how the money was spent, holding up the vote in the Senate.


--A very strange piece of good news... reported airstrikes by the US were 
at their lowest rate since 2006 last year, but that still included 500 
strikes in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.


--Because of the US' reluctance to de-list the Revolutionary Guard from 
their "terrorist" list, France belives the Iran nuclear deal has hit a 
dead end.


---Of course this was not helped by that vote of 62-33 in the Senate 
advising Biden not to change the IRG's status (as noted yesterday).


--In Iraq, there were missiles fired at Kurdish fighters in the North. 
Given the brutal history of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, we hope this 
doesn't escalate.


--And in more "over-the-border international killings with no 
consequences" news, Turkey says they killed six "fighters" in Syria.


--An article gives voice to activists who questioned why Jill Biden 
visited refugee camps in and near Ukraine, but not Yemen (or Syria, or 
anywhere else where war has displaced people).


--The UN says that food insecurity in Afghanistan has hit a "catastrophic" 
level, with 20 million people malnourished. Wonder if that would still be 
true if the US hadn't stolen Afghan money.


In local news, the Portland Police's Focused Intervention Team, which was 
formerly the Gun Violence Reduction Team and before that the Gang 
Enforcement Team, had four members shoot and gravely wound a man on Friday 
night (after last week's rally). One of the cops had been on KOIN-TV in 
January saying how the FIT would make the City safer.



Before we took off I noted that this weekend marks the 74th anniversary of 
the Nakba, or the time when Palestinians were forced from their land to 
make room for the creation of the state of Israel. There's a protest 
Sunday (tomorrow!) at 12:30 at Salmon St Springs with a march to PSU. (I 
had the time wrong at the rally, it is 12:30).


Tying into that theme, along the march route I talked about the incident 
where an Al Jazeera journalist was killed by Israeli forces while covering 
the West Bank. Eyewitnesses say it was the Israelis, who of course are 
blaming Palestinians.


In the last stretch of the march, I noted that the $40 billion package for 
Ukraine is mostly for direct and indirecte military aid, with at most 
about $14 B for human needs. If this new money clears Congress, that will 
be a total of $54 Billion spent by the US so far.


The Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign turned off again in front of the 
Gucci store on SW 4th. It must be a signal jammer that doesn't like our 
messages about "US out of..." areas including North America, and calling 
for justice for victims of police violence.

Finally two reminders:

--Election day is Tuesday, and candidate questionnaires on peace and 
police issues for City Council, Sheriff's and Governor candidates can be 
found here:


--The Ann Wright livestream event about the US and Nato's "pivot to Asia" 
is on Monday June 20.



--dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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