NEWS ITEM/CALENDAR LISTING
For immediate release March 20, 2020
"17 Years Since the Iraq Invasion:
Rally and march marking 17 years since the US Invasion
Time to End All US Wars"
*Friday, March 20, 2020
Pioneer Courthouse Square- SW Yamhill and Broadway
This Friday, March 20, local peace groups are organizing a march
and rally marking 17 years since the US invaded Iraq in 2003. The
event will take place at the weekly Portland Peaceful Response Coalition
Friday Rally at 5:00 PM, at Pioneer Courthouse Square (SW
Yamhill and Broadway).
Portland Peaceful Response Coalition has held the Friday every week since
November, 2001, making this the 960th week in a row. The rallies have been
held rain or shine, snow or sleet, national emergency or not. Attendees
will be asked to try to remain 3-6 feet apart per social distancing
recommendations. Several regular attendees who are in at-risk groups
are choosing to stay home, which serves as good advice for others
The wars are going on regardless of the global pandemic. In fact, the US
bombed sites inside Iraq without the government's permission on March 12
in what the White House called retaliation for rocket attacks on American
troops in Iraq. The two incidents call into question why the US is in Iraq
at all, and deepen the organizers' reasons for holding the event.
"While we are living in fear of going outside and catching or spreading
coronavirus, it is important to think about what it might be like to live
Iraq and not be able to go outside your home because there might be
soldiers clashing with militias, who were emboldened by the US invasion
occupation," said Dan Handelman of Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity
Group. "Or for that matter people in Afghanistan, Yemen or Somalia, where
drones might drop bombs on you during your wedding. It seems like a
similarly random way to die, except that the coronavirus is a natural
phenomenon and war is man made." PJW points to a March 17 article by Kathy
Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence pointing out the ravages of
America's warfare and how it has impacted global pandemics from 1918 until
The US invasion and occupation was based on the knowingly false
information presented by the George W Bush administration alleging that
Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. After the invasion, no such
weapons were found. Similar lies about the alleged attack on a US naval
destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin helped justify the Viet Nam war. The
current President, who criticized the Iraq war, has made up similar lies
to justify violence against Iranian nationals inside Iraq (and Syria)'s
borders. Following the US assassination of an Iranian general in January,
the Iraqi parliament voted to demand the US leave their country. Rather
than respect their sovereignty, President Trump threatened sanctions and
demanded to be paid for the US military bases set up in Iraq as part of
this 17-year-long occupation.
Regardless of whether the troops leave, the US embassy in Baghdad is the
world's largest, despite Iraq being the 36th largest country by population
and 58th largest in size. It is clear the US wants to stay in Iraq to
control the oil resources not just in Iraq but in the entire region. It is
time to end all US wars and bring the troops home!
In a bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives voted 236-166 on
January 30 to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force in
Iraq, which was controversially created based on the WMD lies, and has
been used to justify continued US presence. Eleven Republicans voted for
The PPRC weekly Friday rally began shortly after the US
invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. The protests have also focused on the
ongoing wars as well as other foreign and domestic policies.
The event is cosponsored by Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group,
Portland Peaceful Response Coalition, CODEPINK, War Resisters League
Portland, and Veterans For Peace Chapter 72.
A flyer for the event is available at
For more information or to get involved contact the Peace and Justice
Works Iraq Affinity Group at 503-236-3065 (voice or text), or email email@example.com .