Peace and Justice Works

promoting nonviolent conflict resolution on local, national and international levels since 1992 in Portland, Oregon
Portal at The Alliance:

Peace and Justice Works
     Iraq Affinity Group

     PO Box 42456
     Portland, OR   97242
     (503) 236-3065  (Office)

EVENT: Mission Accomplished? Iraq, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda Still Issues in 2021 Fri 4/30/21 5 PM

From Peace and Justice Works <> on 2021-04-28 22:41


Info on this event is available at

Peace and Justice Works
   Iraq Affinity Group
   PO Box 42456
   Portland, OR   97242
   (503) 236-3065  (Office)

                              "Mission Accomplished?"
                 Iraq, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda Still Issues in 2021
                          Friday, April 30, 2021 5:00 PM
                     Weekly Friday Rally for Peace and Justice
                            Pioneer Courthouse Square,
                              SW Yamhill and Broadway

What do these three things have in common? George W. Bush declared
"Mission: Accomplished" in Iraq in 2003, Barack Obama oversaw the targeted
killing of Osama Bin Laden in 2011, and Donald Trump set a deadline to get
US Troops out of Afghanistan last year-- a deadline Joe Biden has chosen to
use as a start rather than an end date. They all center around the same
date: May 1. At the weekly Friday Rally for Peace and Justice on Friday,
April 30, the theme will be "Mission Accomplished? Iraq, Afghanistan, Al
Qaeda Still Issues in 2021" as protestors (masked up and distanced) call
ttention to the the fact that military actions are not the solutions, they
just lead to endless wars. The event will take place at 5 PM at the corner
of Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW Yamhill and Morrison, starting with a 25
minute rally followed by a 20-minute march around downtown.

The US now says the withdrawal from Afghanistan will be done by September 11 (the 20th anniversary), still has troops in Iraq, and continues to face affiliates, offshoots or copycats of the Al Qaeda network that Bin Laden headed up. President Biden has called Russian President Vladimir Putin a "killer" without acknowledging his own role in the assassination of Bin Laden (which he called "delivering justice" in his naitonal address Wednesday), proximity to targeted drone strikes, and ongoing warfare including at least two strikes in Iraq and one in Syria this year.

It's possible that the Presidents are all focused on May 1 because in most
countries other than the United States, that day is celebrated as
International Workers' Day. Portland has seen years of lively May Day
protests lifting up both working people and immigrants, though frequently
those events have been attacked by Portland Police. May Day is also a day
celebrated to mark the spring season. Instead, Americans are reminded
regularly on this date that "might makes right" and that the way to resolve
problems is at the end of a gun, bomb or missile.

The Friday Rally for Peace and Justice was established by Portland Peaceful
Response Coalition in November, 2001, shortly after the US invasion of
Afghanistan, and has occurred every week for over 1010 weeks. In March,
2020 following the outbreak of the COVID pandemic, Peace and Justice Works
took over sponsorship of the weekly event.

For more information, contact Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group
at 503-236-3065 or

             18 Years and 8 Convictions: Time to Shut Guantanamo
                        Visibility action, rally and march
                 Expanded PPRC Friday Rally for Peace and Justice
                             Friday, January 10, 2020
                                 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

January 11, 2020 marks 18 years since the opening of the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Once again, local human rights, peace and justice organizations are planning a visibility action, rally and march on Friday, January 10 to mark the occasion with the theme "18 Years and 8 Convictions: Time to Shut Guantanamo. The action is an expanded Portland Peaceful Response Friday Rally for peace and justice, taking place from 4:30 PM* to 6:00 PM at the corner of SW Yamhill and Broadway, Pioneer Courthouse Square. Cosponsoring the event are the Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group and Amnesty International Group 48.

The prison now holds just 40 people (from a height of nearly 800 at one point), and stands as a symbol of the United States' deteriorating respect for due process, human rights and the rule of law. Out of the hundreds of people imprisoned, only eight have ever been convicted. Others have grown old while being indefinitely detained, prompting the installation of wheelchair ramps rather than freeing the prisoners. In early 2018, President Trump reversed President Obama's policy directive that called to find a way to shut down Guantanamo.Local Portland groups join worldwide voices calling to Close Guantanamo Now!

A flyer for the event is available at .

For more information contact Peace and Justice Works at (503) 236-3065 (call or text) or

*- PPRC rallies usually start at 5 PM but this event will begin at 4:30.

by Dan Handelman, Peace and Justice Works

On Saturday, April 21, the USS Portland was officially commissioned at the Port of Portland on the west side of the Willamette River. Directly across from the estimated 6000 people at the commissioning ceremony, activists erected a 20 foot wide, 7 foot tall banner reading "No War."

All four TV stations and at least three local newspapers covered the commissioning ceremony. Only one paper-- Willamette Week -- noted there was a demonstration on the west side by anti-war activists.
KPTV-12 also spoke to the west side demonstrators.*

The papers and TV stations seemed to be deliberately cropping their photos to ignore the giant banner which was clearly visible from the ship's vantage point.





(from )
Portland Tribune:

A photographer working with Peace and Justice Works, which organized the banner protest, was able to get on board the ship and take photos, including this one of a weapon aimed close to the protest.

The photographer reports that the navy crew was joking about how in another time and place they would have blown away the demonstrators.

In March, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler proclaimed April 21 to be "USS Portland Day" to honor the giant warship's commissioning. This "amphibious landing dock" has two anti-air missile systems, two 30MM anti-surface guns, nine 50 caliber anti-surface machine guns, and according to Naval Today, an experimental laser weapon. Peace and Justice Works (PJW) asked the Mayor to withhold the proclamation seeing as in 2012, Portland City Council adopted a policy for redirecting funds from wars to human needs. Several of our Mayors have supported similar resolutions at the National Conference of Mayors. One resolution passed in 2017 asks cities to direct department heads to consider what they could accomplish if money now being spent on the military were redirected for local use. It called attention to the fact that even "fractions of the ... military budget could provide free, top-quality education from pre-school through college, end hunger and starvation on earth, convert the U.S. to clean energy, provide clean drinking water everywhere it's needed on the planet, build fast trains between all major U.S. cities."

The proclamation states that the USS Portland will "protect our nations [sic] interests but also provide aid during emergencies such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes or other disasters." When Iraq was under United States and United Nations sanctions, our country refused to let in hundreds of items the Iraqi people desperately needed, including tires for their ambulances. The federal government claimed those items were "dual use" for both civilian and military. Just as it was a morally imprecise stretch to prevent tires from reaching the Iraqi public because they might be used for military purposes, it is a stretch in the other direction to praise a warship because it may someday be used for humanitarian relief efforts. Mayor Wheeler echoed his contention that the ship was for humanitarian purposes in his comments at the ceremony.

A little research turned up the cost of this floating behemoth-- two billion dollars. The commissioning ceremony itself is costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and is predictably (but dishonorably) being supported by dozens of companies who profit from war including Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing and Insitu (which have plants in Oregon) and Wilsonville's FLIR Systems (which makes infrared devices to help target "the enemy").

When warships visit our waterfront during the Rose Festival, we are now met with signs that say "No Trespassing-- US Navy Restricted Area-- USE OF FORCE AUTHORIZED."

It is unfortunate that the Navy has decided to name such a warship after our City. Given the current international tensions, Portland should refrain from praising military spending when our housing, roads, parks, schools and other critical infrastructure are under-funded and crumbling, and given the US military's role as the world's largest institutional driver of climate change. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said: "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."


* RT (formerly known as Russia Today) also covered the west side protest.


Peace and Justice Works
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
(503) 236-3065

* Historical documents: 25 Years in Iraq:
Article on 1/12/91 March

About Portland's 1991 Coalition

1991 Weekly Friday Rally

Flyer for 2/16/91 Rally and March

Peace and Justice Works

promoting nonviolent conflict resolution on local, national and international levels since 1992 in Portland, Oregon

See our wish list (at the Portland Copwatch website)
Check out our Items for Sale! (November 2012->)

Sign up for the Peace and Justice Works email list by going to:
NOTE: New email list info 6/15!

Current and Upcoming Events
Check out info on Emergency rallies in case of US bombings.

[Guantanamo 18 Years Later flyer]Friday, January 10, 2020 4:30-6:00 PM
"18 Years and 8 Convictions: Time to Shut Guantanamo"

SW Yamhill and Broadway, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland
Visibility action, rally and march
Expanded PPRC Friday Rally for Peace and Justice
More infoFlyer
Saturday, February 22, 2020, 12 noon-2:15 PM
Peace and Justice Works 28th Annual Meeting

Augustana Lutheran Church (upstairs) 2710 NE 14th, Portland
Vegetarian potluck 12-12:30, meeting 12:30-2:15
Keep Oregon's Guard Home / War Dollars

NEW! Read about our November 2019 efforts to Keep the National Guard from deployment to Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.
(letter signed by 14 organizations to Governor Kate Brown).
Also see previous efforts of the war dollars home campaign
JULY-2014->: City Council War Dollars Home Campaign:
In late July 2014, numerous local peace and social justice groups
began petitioning Portland City Council to reaffirm its 2012 War Dollars Resolution
by passing a new Council Resolution calling for federal war dollars to be spent on local human needs.
To get involved sign the petition or contact PJW.


[Climate/War Forum Flyer]

Peace and Justice Works [PJW], formerly known as Portland Peaceworks,
is an Oregon non- profit corporation whose main purpose is to educate the general public
on important issues including but not limited to: peace, justice, the environment, and human rights.

Organizationally, much of Peace and Justice Works' activities are conducted through Project Groups,
also known as affinity groups. Peace and Justice Works is primarily an umbrella organization
which disseminates information on the tragedy of military interventions and military spending,
builds coalitions among groups whose goals intersect with our own.
(We began as a chapter of the state-wide group Oregon PeaceWorks,
which ceased operations at the end of April, 2013.)
We participate in annual Hiroshima Day commemorations, and
various community activities with other peace and justice organizations.

PJW has helped organize and coordinate multiple major mobilizations for peace
since late 2002 with various other groups seeking to end (and prevent) the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Previously, one of our largest activities was the Peace and Justice Fair, held on
Memorial Day (1992- 1995, 1997, 1999) to remember those who gave their lives in war
by working toward a world without war. The community event involved
the neighborhood surrounding Irving Park as well as activists from all over the region,
musicians, food, children's activities and speakers. Literature from many
groups was distributed to make this an educational event as well as a celebration.

While Project Groups can (by our bylaws) be created or disbanded
from time to time, existing groups at this time are:
(i) Portland Copwatch
(ii) Iraq Affinity Group
(iii) Sarajevo Peace Centre/People's Aid to Former Yugoslavia.
(iv) Pentagon Porkbusters
(v) Portland SOA Watchers

Nothing stated above limits Peace and Justice Works to the project groups listed.
As circumstances develop, we will begin other projects. Our overall mission will remain
to educate the general public on issues including but not limited to peace, justice,
the environment and human rights.
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