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

Governor Kate Brown
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, OR 97301-4047

November 8, 2019

To: Governor Kate Brown

Re: enclosed letter about Keeping Oregon's Guard in Oregon

Governor Brown

Enclosed is the 2019 version of our letter asking you to keep Oregon's Guard in Oregon. Peace and Justice Works (PJW) organized the effort this year to get this information to you in advance of the 101st recognition of Armistice Day on Nov. 11. Whilie PJW was gathering over a dozen the signatures from organizations from around the state, we came across some additional information to share:

This September 26 article from the Task and Purpose blog on military issues says that the highest per capita suicide rate in the military is in the National Guard.

  https://taskandpurpose.com/national-guard-pentagon-suicide-report

We also appreciate that your office declined to send National Guard troops to police a protest event in Portland on August 17, per this Oregon Public Broadcasting article from October 29.

  https://www.opb.org/news/article/proud-boys-portland-rally-national-guard

We look forward to hearing back from your office about the attached letter.

Dan Handelman
secretary, Peace and Justice Works


Governor Kate Brown
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, OR 97301-4047

November 8, 2019

To: Governor Kate Brown

Re: Deployment of Oregon National Guard

Governor Brown

A number of organizations sent you a letter in October, 2017 asking for you to keep Oregon's National Guard from being deployed to undeclared war zones. In 2018, Peace and Justice Works followed up to that latter noting that you have told President Trump that you do not intend to send the Guard to the border with Mexico, even if called to do so. We, the undersigned, support this policy and urge you to connect the misuse of our local military for xenophobic border patrol and the ongoing and looming US wars. While President Trump has not yet started any new wars, the existing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Syria (and to a very reduced extent, Pakistan) have continued under his administration. There have been escalating tensions with Iran including deployment of US forces to the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia, and threats of military action against Venezuela.*-1

Despite superficially aiming to wind down the war in Afghanistan, which entered its 19th year on October 7, the administration's negotiations with the Taliban were only going to lead to removing about half of the troops currently deployed there.*-2

Peace groups in Oregon have been urging our Governors not to send the Guard overseas for what appears to be unconstitutional combat since at least 2008. In addition to the collective letter sent in 2017, we also sent a similar one in 2015, and PJW raised this question in a letter to candidates in July 2016.*-3

Many of the groups contacting you were also involved in the 2009 effort to Keep Oregon's Guard in Oregon, hoping to prevent deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan under the then- and still- outdated Authorizations for Use of Military Force from 2001-2002. That campaign included the submission of over 7000 signatures from all over the state urging the legislature to pass a resolution about keeping the Guard home.

Oregonians still need to rely on Oregon's National Guard to fight wildfires, conduct search and rescue missions, and handle unexpected events like the mass influx of tourists to the 2017 eclipse. It is likely that natural disasters will continue to multiply as climate change keeps threatening our planet.

Because the 2001 AUMF was specific to those responsible for what happened on 9/11, and the 2002 AUMF was about ousting the now-long-dead Saddam Hussein from power, there is no authority for the US to maintain troops in any of the seven countries listed above.

Once again, we hope to meet with your or your staff about this issue, and would be encouraged to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Thank you,

Dan Handelman for
     Peace and Justice Works (Portland, OR)

Leah Bolger for
     Women's International League for Peace and Freedom-Corvallis

Dan Shea for
     Veterans For Peace Chapter 72 (Portland)

Bart Bolger for
     Veterans For Peace, Linus Pauling Chapter 132 (Corvallis)

Daniel Davis, President, for
     Veterans for Peace, Rogue Valley Chapter 156

Albany Peace Seekers

Michael Carrigan for
      Community Alliance of Lane County

John Grueschow for
     War Resisters League Portland Chapter

Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights

Metanoia Peace Community/18th Ave Peace House of Portland

Nathalie Paravicini, Co chair of state coordinating committee for
     Pacific Green Party

Portland Peaceful Response Coalition

Recruiter Watch PDX

Malcolm Chaddock for
     Individuals for Justice

Footnotes:

*1-US Navy "ready" for Venezuela mission, says a top commander, AFP 8/20/19
https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2019/08/20/US- navy-ready-for-Venezuela-mission-says-a-top-commander.html
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*2-Trump says US will maintain 8,600 troops in Afghanistan after major withdrawal, USA Today 8/29/19
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/08/29/donald-trump-troop- presence-afghanistan-would-fall-8-600/2151508001/
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*3- Ultimately five of the eight candidates/parties expressed philosophical or outright support to keep Oregon's Guard stateside; the only candidates/parties who did not reply were from the Republican, Democratic and Working Families parties; respondents were from the Libertarian Party, Constitution Party. http://www.pjw.info/guardletter2016.html
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2017 letter
 

2016 letter
  (to gubernatorial candidates)
 

2015 letter  

2013/2014 letters  

 


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

Page posted November 8, 2019

 

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