Audio and Photogs of M15-09 Rally and March in Salem Oregon
On this sixth anniversary of the criminal invasion and occupation of Iraq, those who oppose this foreign policy gathered in Salem, Oregon, demonstrating to stop the wars at home and abroad, and also to keep the Oregon Guard home from these wars of Empire.|
Audio of Salem March 15, 2009 March and Rally
There has been an ongoing effort to pass legislation in Salem, HB 2556--which empowers the Governor to limit service of the Guard when a federal deployment is not based on a valid Congressional authorization, and a resolutions--HR 4--which calls on the Governor to withhold the Guard from deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.|
The bills are the result of work done by the national Bring the Guard Home--It's the Law! campaign, which emphasizes that current law disallows Governors to object to the "purpose, location, type or schedule" of a deployment, but does not address the question of whether the underlying authorizations are valid. HB 2556 is not specific to the Iraq or Afghan conflict, while HR 4 expresses the opinion that the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) has expired because its limited conditions no longer apply, and the 2001 "War on Terror" AUMF is too broad as it delegates powers to the President to call up the Guard perpetually.
Prior to a march through the streets of downtown Salem, about 300 people assembled on the steps of the Capitol to not only give voice to their resistance to war, but to demand money for jobs, education, healthcare and housing; for a just peace for Palestine-Israel conflict; and to stop the scapegoating and protect Immigrant rights.
Over sixty organizations statewide co-sponsored or endorsed the action today. I saw banners from Military Families Speak Out, and banners from various Veterans for Peace groups from all over Oregon. Also present were Jobs with Justice of Portland and Salem, Alliance for Democracy, CAUSA, PCUN and various peace and church groups from all over the state.
Also present was a photograph honoring Rachel Corry, who died in Palestine, crushed by an Israeli tank as well as photographs of the many Iraqi victims of this Occupation.
The event was moderated by JoAnn Bowman, Executive Director of Oregon Action who after brief introduction of the event made a special point to honor Michele Darr who has been fighting to keep the National Guard of Oregon home for months and has been arrested on the Capital Steps for violation of some curfew or local ordinance. She has gone on at least one forty day hunger strike maybe two and has held her own for a long period of time.
First JoAnn introduces Benji Lewis, Oregon Iraq Veterans Against the War. Benji was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and 2005, being honorably discharged in 2007. He has been involuntarily activated by the U.AS. Marine Corps, an activation he is publicly refusing.
Following Benji is Linda J. Burgin, president of SEIU Local 503, OPEU.
Next to take the microphone is Ramon Rameriz, President of PCUN, Tree planters and Farm Workers United , who forcefully Ramon addresses the racism against Latino workers.
Wael Elasady speaks next. He is a Palestinian-American student of Middle East Studies at Portland State University. Wael is co-founder of Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights.
Following Wael is Johanna Brenner, Member of Portland Solidarity, a feminist and anti racist organization, and last is Amy Dudley, Rural Organizing Project.
The action today in Salem also corresponds with the Rural Organizing Project's Annual Rural Caucus & Strategy Session, held March 15th and 16th in Salem. The ROP gathering includes a statewide strategic session on Sunday and a legislative visit day on Monday.
After the speeches, and before the march, the crowd was entertained by songs by the Raging Grannies, whose rousing songs provide an introduction and an ending to the audio file.
Audio of Salem March 15, 2009 Rally and March
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