[pjw] REPORT BACK: Barricades but no Biden: Friday rally #134 since stay-at-home orders
Peace and Justice Works
pjw at pjw.info
Sat Oct 15 12:57:19 EDT 2022
Hello again IAG supporters
Before I give a longer report back on last night's Friday Rally for Peace and
Justice, I need to describe what downtown was like. Several blocks around the
Duniway Hotel where President Biden is reported to be staying were closed off
by 2-foot plastic "barricades," with dumptrucks full of gravel closer to the
perimeter, and police caution tape strung up to discourage pedestrians. Lots of
police abounded, including four stationed about 10 feet away from the six
(seven for a shot time) of us at the corner, joined for a bit by two in an SUV.
They had no interest in our event, which is fine with me. HOWEVER, not long
after we finished the rally, the PPB shot and wounded a man about 10 blocks
from Pioneer Courthouse Square for allegedly brandishing a knife.
As indicated in today's subject line, we did not catch a sight of the
President, in part because he didn't touch down until after 6 PM and in part
because he headed right to the SEIU union hall in southeast-- so good thing we
didn't hang out waiting for the motorcade.
We stayed masked up and distanced as we received a lot of supportive comments
from people on the sidewalk (including one outside a bar who applauded us) and
honks from cars. Many people asked whether we were there because of the
President... and were amazed that we've been there every week since 2001! I'm a
little surprised the crowd wasn't bigger, but people may have been discouraged
by the Trimet and traffic disruptions caused by all the Presidential
So, here's what we talked about at the rally:
--President Biden is a warmonger! Proof point #1, he changed the rules on drone
strikes. Rather than forbid them, he changed them back from Trump's wide
latitude rules to Obama's requiring Presidential authorization outside active
war zones. Side note: His declaration says that Iraq and Syria are active war
zones. Huh, I thought the US ended its war in Iraq in 2011... 2017... and 2020,
and I don' recall war being declared on Syria.
--Biden refuses to meet with Russian President Putin to de-escalate the Ukraine
situation, only if it's to talk about releasing Americans.
---In a related note, the US flatly says it is not nudging Ukraine to negotiate
an end to the war.
--The US also is explicitly saying the Iran nuclear deal is not a current
"focus." What they mean by that is they want to piggyback on the people's
righteous anger about a woman who was killed for violating dress codes to
undermine Iran's government. You can do both, you know-- support human rights
AND negotiate a nuclear free future!
--Meanwhile, under the President's new rules a US drone strike in Syria killed
an "ISIS member"
--The President also hasn't stopped calling for the extradition of Julian
Assange, who revealed many US war crimes. Over the weekend, worldwide protests
took place including people encircling the Parliament building in the UK.
--And in a headline that's not related directly to the President (maybe?), the
National Guard is losing 7500 people a year; that's good since they're being
mis-used to be sent into undeclared war zones.
In local news (reminder again that the shooting listed above happened AFTER the
rally), the Portland Police rewrote their crowd control policies. After the
riot squad known as the Rapid Response Team all quit last year when one of
their members was indicted for on duty use of force, they have renamed the
squad the "Public Order Unit" or "POU." Don't you think they should have put
more thought into that? This proposed change was supposed to wait for a report
from consultants who are examining what happened at the 2020 protests. They
held a community forum on Wednesday, so their report is nowhere near done.
Along the march route, I gave news that is an update from earlier this year:
there are now 800 Palestinians in detention without charge in Israel, the most
in 15 years. [I fact checked this: In April when this was part of the rally
report, that number was just under 600.]
We were unable to turn the corner at 4th and Yamhill due to the police
presence, so as we disbanded there I noted that the Senate has started planning
for the 2023 defense budget, proposing $817 billion, rather than fixing the
planet or providing housing and other human needs. Sheesh.
[I forgot to mention that a key component is building up military support for
Taiwan, a clear provocation to China...]
The Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign went out on the block just before we
stopped, right by the Gucci store, even though it had made it to that last
corner each of the two previous weeks. Too bad, too, because the officers would
have been able to see the names of people killed by police for whom we seek
justice. At the Square, the cops were behind the wagon so never saw the sign.
We welcome more folks to join us, at this point we're still there every Friday
at 5 PM getting the word out that war is not the answer.
peace and justice works iraq affinity group
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