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

News Item/Community Calendar Announcement

For Immediate Release                  July 22, 2008

Coincides with National Actions, Portland Iranian Festival
Friday, August 1, 2008, 5 PM
Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW Yamhill and Broadway

With the U.S. giving ultimatums to the Iranian government about their nuclear program, Israeli planes running test missions apparently aimed at Iran, and Iran showing off its own missile capabilities, Portland area peace groups are calling for a "Don't Attack Iran" Rally on Friday, August 1, 2008. The event will be an enhanced version of the Portland Peaceful Response Coalition (PPRC)'s regular Friday rally, which has been held at the SW corner of Pioneer Courthouse Square every week since November 2001. The rally is being cosponsored by the American Iranian Friendship Council and the Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group.

The organizers hope that the message will get out that:
1) Iran has been cooperating with International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors;
2) the US continues to build up its military in the region despite active and retired generals warning against military action on Iran;
3) the Iranian people are more likely to support their own government and suppress their own movements for democracy if they fear being attacked;
4) any further military actions by the U.S. or its allies in the Middle East will likely lead to an eruption of wider violence in the region.

A national "Stop the War on Iran" Coalition has called for nationwide actions on Saturday, August 2; the Portland area groups are planning this action for Friday night in part because the annual Iranian Festival will be taking place August 2 at the Portland State University Park Blocks. Here are some articles excerpted by the "Stop the War on Iran" Coalition:

"Despite the opposition of his own generals and widespread skepticism that America is ready to risk the military, political and economic consequences of an airborne strike on Iran, the president has given an 'amber light' to an Israeli plan to attack Iran's main nuclear sites with long-range bombing sorties, the official told The Sunday Times. 'Amber means get on with your preparations, stand by for immediate attack and tell us when you're ready,' the official said." ([British] Sunday Times, July 13).

"Sources in the Iraqi Defense Ministry told a local news network that IAF war planes were practicing in Iraqi airspace were landing on US airbases in the country as a preparation for a potential strike on Iran," (The Jerusalem Post, July 13).

--the House and Senate are poised to pass resolutions (HR 362 and SR 580) which will impose stricter economic sanctions on Iran, perhaps including a naval blockade that many consider an act of war.
--Seymour Hersch reported in the New Yorker magazine that the U.S. has been funding covert operations aimed at toppling the Iranian regime.
--High level talks between US and Iranian officials could either lead to a diplomatic solution or an excuse for war.

Organizers for the August first rally ask: What would the United States do if another country acted this way towards our country?

The Friday rally, a weekly institution in Portland for over 7-1/2 years, starts at 5 PM, followed by a march at about 5:20 PM. The rally is held at the SW corner of the Square at SW Yamhill and Broadway. In addition to the three groups listed above, additional sponsors of Friday's rally and march include Women and Black.

For more information or to endorse or cosponsor Friday's rally contact the American Iranian Friendship Council at 503-381-3696, Peace and Justice Works at or 503-236-3065, or PPRC at 503-344-5078.

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Page posted July 23, 2008