June 29, 2012: Expanded Friday Rally: "No U.S. War on Syria/No to the Drone Wars!"

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

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release             June 27, 2012

What: "No U.S. War on Syria/No to the Drone Wars!": Expanded Friday Rally and March for Peace and Justice
When: Friday, June 29, 2012, 5:00 PM
Where: Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW Yamhill and Broadway
Who: Portland Peaceful Response Coalition (PPRC) and Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group
    with scheduled special guest Medea Benjamin of Code Pink

"No U.S. War on Syria/No to the Drone Wars!":
Expanded Friday Rally and March for Peace and Justice
Friday, June 29, 2012, 5:00 PM, Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW Yamhill and Broadway

With tensions and violence rising in Syria, the war of words and actions by the U.S. and other countries is prompting Portland area activists to hold a "No U.S. War on Syria" rally next Friday, June 29 at 5:00 PM. The rally will also address the ongoing use of unmanned aircraft used to kill so-called "terrorist suspects," the drone wars now under scrutiny by the United Nations.-1 The event will be an expanded version of the weekly Friday Rally for Peace and Justice held weekly at the SW corner of Pioneer Courthouse Square. Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink and author of "Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control" is scheduled to be a guest speaker at the rally.

With U.S. diplomats being withdrawn from Syria and U.N. observers pulling back from the areas of conflict, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad,-2 and unconfirmed reports being repeated of the government using civilians as "human shields", -3 the situation is heading toward a likely military conflict. Making matters worse, it seems the U.S. and Russia are playing out a proxy war over Syria,-4 reminiscent of the late 1980s war in Afghanistan. Efforts to draw Western nations into the conflict have led to such moments as the BBC running images of Iraq when trying to illustrate fallout from Syria's internal conflict.-5

"The propaganda here from the United States and its allies is very similar to what we heard and saw in the leadup to the Iraq wars in 1991 and 2003, as well as the US/NATO war on Libya and countless other military interventions," said Dan Handelman of Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group, one of the cosponsors of the rally. "As in those other countries, we do not support government suppression of people's freedoms by use of violence, but that does not mean we also support American bombs being used to add to the violence."

The rally will also decry U.S. use of drones in overt and covert warfare in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Iran, among other nations. Activist/author Benjamin will be addressing the topic in a talk on her book on Friday the 29th at 7 PM at the Peace House in NE Portland.-6

The 5 PM event is an expanded Portland Peaceful Response Coalition (PPRC) Friday rally, an institution since late 2001. A march will commence at 5:20 PM.

For more information, or if you or your group would like to support the event with an endorsement and/or donation, please contact Peace and Justice Works at 503-236-3065 or PPRC at pprc@riseup.net .

1-"U.N. investigator decries U.S. use of killer drones"--Reuters, June 19,
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2-"Hillary Clinton assails Assad: 'Syria will not, cannot be peaceful until Assad goes'"--Yahoo news, June 7
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/hillary-clinton-condemns-assad-syria-violence- 131137331.html
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3-"Syrian children used as human shields, says UN report"--BBC, June 12,
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4-Russia prepares to send warships to Syria"--Financial Times, June 18,
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5- "BBC News uses 'Iraq photo to illustrate Syrian massacre'"--The Telegraph, May 27,
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9293620/BBC-News-uses-Iraq- photo-to-illustrate- Syrian-massacre.html
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6-Peace House is located at 2116 NE 18th, at Tillamook St.
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Page posted June 21, 2012 updated June 26, 2012