[pjw] REPORT BACK: 21 Years Protesting: Friday rally #137 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Nov 5 16:03:10 EDT 2022

Peaceful people of Portland (and elsewhere)

Last night's Friday Rally for Peace and Justice marked 21 years of the 
weekly event. A huge tip of the hat to Portland Peaceful Response 
Coalition, which started the rallies in November, 2001 shortly after the 
US invasion of Afghanistan.

Although we were in the middle of what was called an "atmospheric river of 
rain," the droplets were relatively mild and by the time the march started 
it felt as if we were in the eye of a hurricane-- dry and quiet. Despite 
the wet weather we still had many people honking horns and thanking us 
along the way, including one person who fist-bumped me to say he agreed 
with my sign saying "no more war."

Here is some of the news we talked about at the rally:

--The US and South Korea were running huge wargames about "what if" they 
went to war with the North; North Korea then fired off missiles, and the 
US and the South decided rather than de-escalate, they would _extend the 
wargames for a few extra days._


--Now the US is saying they don't have to renegotiate the Iran nuclear 
deal because Iran has never wanted a nuclear weapon. Which most everyone 
knew before the first deal was struck, leading to the question, why did 
the US push for the deal in the first place?


--Good news of the week, Ethiopia and the Tigray people signed a peace 
deal, ending that two year conflict. And, it was the African Union that 
brokered the deal, so the imperialists / white supremacists in the US had 
nothing to do with it (so far as I know).


--Members of the US military are now in Urkaine "inspecting weapons" that 
America sent them, which I guess is the new euphemism for war, taking the 
place of "advising."


--The International Criminal Court will reopen the war crimes probe in 
Afghanistan, including examining crimes by the US. (Remember, America 
signed on to the ICC under Clinton, but Bush Jr. unsigned the document.)


--And in Iraq, as the new government was being sworn in, the US Ambassador 
offered the "reassuring" words that America is "here to stay." Yep, the 
2500 troops and world's largest embassy built after an invasion that 
destroyed your country, we're sticking around.


In local news, the City Council voted on the five resolutions from Ted 
Wheeler and Dan Ryan to address houselessness, which includes the 
provision to create mass encampments and let the police arrest or cite 
people who refuse to go to them. Or, as the Mercury put it, to criminalize 


I guess the good news is that the mass camps were supposed to be as large 
as 500 people, but Commissioner Carmen Rubio offered an amendment to make 
them only be 250 people. Advocates and houseless people with experience 
say the maximum workable number is about 40.

Along the march route, there were two pieces of Israel/Palestine news to 

1) It seems that Benjamin Netanyahu will return to power in Israel after 
elections, to which the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority 
remarked the two main parties are like the difference between Coke and 


2) The UN General Assembly voted nearly unanimously for Israel to get rid 
of its nuclear weapons (the least well kept secret in the world). The five 
countries opposed? Micronesia, Palau, Canada, Israel (of course) and the 
US (of course of course).


For the money for human needs story, an update on that $22 billion 
contract Microsoft has to make enhanced reality goggles for the military: 
Shareholders are pushing to prevent any use of the technology to harm 
people. But the moneyed bigwigs say not to worry about it. One of the 
biggest tech companies on the planet making it easier to kill.


Not much change in the flaky performance of the Ann Huntwork Peace 
Memorial Sign, which if you didn't know is designed for outdoor use so 
it's fine in the rain. It still can't handle rolling past the Gucci 
Store at the Pioneer Place Mall.

Weather and health concerns permitting, please think about attending the 
Friday Rally some week down at SW 5th and Yamhill. Sometime soon will be 
the 1100th rally (I'll let you know). Twenty-one years is pretty amazing!

--dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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