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Peace and Justice Works/Portland Copwatch
20th Anniversary Celebration & Warmonger of the Year Award

[PJW 20th Anniversary]

EVENT INFO: Skip to description of event

FLYERS: Click here for downloadable .pdf flyer

NOMINEES: More about the nominees for "Warmonger of the Year"

THE WINNER! US Government named "Warmonger of the Year"!

FOR SALE: See a list of items that will be available to buy at the event

THANKS: A list of thank yous to those contributing food and other items

Peace and Justice Works/Portland Copwatch
  PO Box 42456
  Portland, OR 97242
  (503) 236-3065
  pjw@pjw.info   copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org
  http://www.pjw.info   http://www.portlandcopwatch.org


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE           July 23, 2012


On Saturday, July 22, in a hotly contested race, the United States Government was named "Warmonger of the Year" by a group of Portlanders, winning 30% of the vote of 311 votes cast. The contest was held at the 20th anniversary event of local group Peace and Justice Works (PJW), which also included as nominees the U.S. Military, the Portland Police Bureau, War Profiteers/"Contractors," and Drones.

The government may have had a leg up because its category combined the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, which pointed out in their nomination speech that "each branch has done [its] own share of keeping the wars going at home and abroad." From a presidential "kill list" to bloated military budgets that include weapons the Pentagon doesn't even want to supporting corporate funding of political races as free speech, the Government's win was well deserved.

"I was robbed!" said the member of Portland Copwatch (a project group of PJW) who stood in for the Portland Police Bureau giving a nomination speech. With a list of eight people shot by Portland Police in the last two years, including a homeless man and a suicidal man on a rooftop, violent crackdowns on Occupy Portland and enforcing laws such as Sit/Lie disproportionately against poor people and people of color, many thought the PPB would score higher; instead, they came in a close final.

"Outrageous!" claimed the PJW board member who stood in for the war profiteers and contractors. Pointing out that the profiteers are very familiar with the system of voting at the PJW event, in which participants could pay more money to buy extra votes, this nominee felt there would be more kinship with the crowd. Instead, the track record of $130 million spent lobbying in 2011, large contracts by Portland are contractors such as FLIR Systems, and negligence by Kellogg Brown and Root that led to health problems for the National Guard weren't enough to push the profiteers to the top slot. (They did come in second, though.)

"I'm very disappointed," said the PJW Iraq Affinity Group member who stood in to speak for the Drones. The drones' use in six countries to kill people (Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and Libya), the emergence of a drone lobby and caucus in Congress, and the growing number of drone operators experiencing PTSD should have made the killer robot aircraft a shoe-in for "Warmonger of the Year." All that, plus a 10-foot model drone greeting participants in the driveway and a stuffed toy appearing for the nomination speech and throughout the evening didn't get the drones past third place.

"No comment," said the Vietnam veteran for peace who stood in for the military's four branches (Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines). Despite pointing out how much money is going to the military instead of to human needs, such as the $2 billion a week spent on the war in Afghanistan; the military's wide scope--over 600 bases in over 140 countries, including 1200 soldiers in Africa; the continued presence of "advisors" in Iraq (as well as in Yemen); and the fact that one quarter of the over 2000 dead in Afghanistan were killed just in 2011-2012, the Military scored just one vote higher than the Police and came in fourth.

In the winner's speech, the PJW co-founding member who represented the U.S. Government thanked the runners up who helped make warmongering possible: The corporate media for "cheerleading the carnage and passing over the protests," the prison-industrial complex for putting more people in jail than any other nation, the nuclear weapons and nuclear power industry for continuing to grow even after the Fukushima disaster, and most of all, the American public for staying mostly silent despite overwhelming opposition to, for example, the continued military presence in Afghanistan.

The 311 votes were cast by just around 30 people, adhering to the saying "vote early and vote often." Participants at the event gained one vote at entry, and were able to buy more votes to reflect how elections can be bought and sold under America's democracy.

For more information, contact Peace and Justice Works / Portland Copwtch at 503-236-3065, pjw@pjw.info or copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org .

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

For immediate release July 9, 2012

Participants will vote for "Warmonger of the Year"
Fundraiser to be held Saturday, July 21, 7 PM at Peace House, 2116 NE 18th

Peace and Justice Works and Portland Copwatch are inviting the community to come celebrate 20 years working for a better world. Join PJW/PCW on Saturday, July 21st at 7 PM at the Peace House, 2116 NE 18th (at Tillamook) for a fun and educational fundraising event. The evening's main event will be the election of the "Warmonger of the Year"*, with celebrants being entitled to one vote per person based on a $5 entry fee, but to show how American Democracy really works, additional votes can be bought for $1. There will be entertainment **, refreshments, memorabilia, information about PJW and PCW's first 20 years, and items for sale.

Nominees for the prize are: The US Military, the Portland Police Bureau, Drones, War Profiteers/"Contractors", and the US Government. The candidates will be presented at the event and the winner announced at the end of the evening.

Peace and Justice Works, a 501-c-3 non-profit dedicated to promoting nonviolent conflict resolution on local, national and international levels, was founded in March, 1992. Its project group Portland Copwatch first met in May of that year. More information on the event, the "Warmonger" nominees, and about PJW and PCW can be found at http://www.pjw.info. If you would like to volunteer for the event, or donate goods, services, or good old fashioned cash to help in the celebration, contact PJW at 503- 236-3065 or pjw@pjw.info.

* Shamelessly, but with permission, based on Jobs with Justice's "Scrooge of the Year" awards...
**Unfortunately, "Shaky & Larry" will be unable to play at the event as of 7/16; we are working on alternatives.
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US Military: Still in Afghanistan, "advising" in Iraq, troops in Yemen and Africa, bases all over the world (including marines in Australia), etc.

Portland Police Bureau: Shootings (4 in 2011, 3 4 in 2012), custody/proximity deaths (1 in 2011, 3 in 2012), racial profiling, harassment of homeless people, overuse of Tasers, attacking protestors, etc.

Drones: Extrajudicial "targeted killings" which also kill civilians in Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc. (Bonus points: Spy drones are now used on US soil AND are manufactured in southern Washington state.)

War profiteers/"Contractors": KBR, Halliburton, Xe/Blackwater/Academi whatever they're called now, privatizing Afghan and Iraq wars, oil companies, etc. (Bonus: FLIR produces infrared war equipment right here in Oregon.)

US Government:
Executive branch: Ordering drone strikes on a "kill list," keeping Guantanamo open, continuing legal actions to support spying, etc.
Legislative branch: OK'ing money for wars, military equipment even the military doesn't want, while gutting social spending, etc.
Judicial branch: supporting or refusing to hear cases about illegalities in the "war on terror," allowing corporations to endlessly fund elections, etc.

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[PJW sale items]

Items for sale at the 20th anniversary event will include (limited supplies of):

  • T-Shirts
  • Bumper Stickers
  • Autographed copies of Dar Williams' latest CD, "In the Time of Gods"
  • Pre-Order DVDs/Tapes by Flying Focus Video Collective of Events and Analysis by PJW/PCW

  • Click on image to see a picture of some of the sale items

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  • People's Food Coop
  • Alberta Co-Op Grocery
  • ...for their generous contributions of food for our event.

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    Portland Copwatch
    PO Box 42456
    Portland, OR 97242
    (503) 236-3065/ Incident Report Line (503) 321-5120
    e-mail: copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org
    (Click here for other email info)

    Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.

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    Page posted June 15, 2012, updated July 23, 2012