[pjw] REPORT BACK: War is freedom: Friday rally #128 since stay-at-home orders

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Sep 3 16:39:14 EDT 2022

Hello again Peace and Justice Works supporters

Despite the extremely humid atmosphere, last night we had the largest 
crowd at a Friday Rally for Peace and Justice since January (I believe), 
with 13 people attending the rally. (A fourteenth tagged along for about 
1/3 of the march but never grabbed a picket sign, still... nice to get 
more numbers!).

We had a lot of support but a few detractors, including someone who drove 
by shouting the line I used for the subject this week: "War is freedom." I 
joked, "George Orwell, everybody!"

We were mostly masked up and distanced-- we have a plan to split up the 
crowd to other corners when we have more than 12 people but it just seemed 
like a small enough "large" crowd not to do that.

We handed out about a dozen flyers for the October 7 Friday rally about 
Afghanistan and Syria that I wrote about yesterday.


In addition to announcing that event, here is some of the stuff we talked 

--President Biden has asked Congress to provide another $14 billion in 
support of Ukraine, because the first $53 billion they set aside has 
almost all been spent.


--The US says the Iran nuclear deal is "moving backward," which is 
warmonger speak for they won't do what we want and we won't compromise, so 
get ready for military action.


--In Iraq, as noted earlier this week, the nonviolent protests 
started by cleric Moqtada Al Sadr got attacked by Iraqi police, 
killing people; Al Sadr called off the protests to avoid further 


--This week marked one year since American forces pulled out of 
Afghanistan; no country has yet recognized the current government there. 
While the Taliban have odious policies, well, so does our country and a 
lot of our "allies" (*ahem Saudi Arabia ahem*).


---As part of the anniversary coverage, the media noted that 6 million 
Afghans face starvation even though the country has billions of dollars in 
foreign banks. Russia and China are demanding that money be released.


--For the first time since Nancy Pelosi's provocative visit to Taiwan, the 
US has sent more warships through the Taiwan Strait.


--Journalist Julian Assange continues his fight for justice, filing a 
formal appeal against being extradited to the US. (Apparently in England 
this is called "perfected grounds of appeal".)


--In more arrogance about entering a sovereign country without permission, 
a US commander visited a camp for Islamic State prisoners in NE Syria.


In local news, I noted that a state commission on law enforcement held a 
hearing Thursday for feedback on Oregon's police discipline rules. In 
addition to allowing officers to receive mere letters of reprimand for use 
of force and other serious misconduct, they have defined racial profiling 
as when an officer takes action based "solely" on a person's race, gender, 
housing status, etc. This means that a cop could say "I didn't like his 
car or that he was Black" and get away with it. (If you want a copy of 
Portland Copwatch's testimony please write back; comments are being taken 
until Sept. 16).


Along the march route, I talked about how Israel had fired upon a fishing 
boat off the coast of Gaza, sinking it, and also fired guns at shepherds. 
The middle east's shining example of democracy!


To talk about money for human needs, not war, I referenced the same 
article which spoke of Biden's new bid for Ukraine aid, which is part of a 
larger $47 billion emergency funding package. It includes a request for 
$4.5 billing to replenish weapons used up by... selling them to Ukraine.


The Ann Huntwork Peace Memorial Sign did really well, making it all 
the way around the corner of Pioneer Place Mall, but conking out 
across from the Apple Store (which you may recall is surrounding by 
fencing, leading me to call it the "capitalist zoo.")

The larger than normal turnout was in part due to FOUR people from the 
Arbor Lodge Black Lives Matter protest joining us, building solidarity.


We're always glad to have people there to get the word out and to do a 
little socializing and take a healthy walk around downtown. If you are up 
for it please join us; we heard from one person who attended regularly 
before the pandemic they're waiting until nobody has to wear a mask 
anywhere before they return. That's valid-- people have to do what feels 

--dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

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