PPRC Friday Rally and March Promotes April 12th Peace March,
Confronts Pro-War Senator Gordon Smith at Portland Art Museum

Event: PPRC Friday Rally and March for Peace
Date: Friday, April 11, 2003
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Pioneer Courthouse Square

The Portland Peaceful Response Coalition regular Friday, 5:00 p.m. peace rally and march at Pioneer Courthouse Square will make a final push to promote the April 12th peace march, and will join a demonstration protesting the war on the poor at a reception at the Portland Art Museum featuring pro-war Senator Gordon Smith.
>p> "The art show opening attended by Smith " sponsored by the State Department, Nike, Weyerhaeuser, and others " is a glorification of nationalist art," said Mikel Clayhold, a PPRC volunteer. "The overflowing Iraqi hospitals, drenched with the blood of civilian war victims, littered with body parts amputated with barely a headache tablet for anesthetic, are the direct result of the blind nationalism being promoted by this kind of traveling propaganda show."

Clayhold said that there was a different kind of "patriotic art" that better deserved the consideration of Portland’s art patrons. "We think the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in particular are the most patriotic art ever produced," said Clayhold, "and yet people like Gordon Smith are overseeing the shredding of those documents and the rights that they once guaranteed to all Americans." Clayhold noted that the sunset provision of the Patriot Act is now being attacked by Smith’s Republican Party. If the sunset provision is struck down, the Patriot Act would become permanent law. "While his party is planning the further dismantling of our already degraded Bill of Rights, Smith is sharing canapés with Portland’s well-to-do as they celebrate the icons of imperial nationalism." Clayhold said that the fully permitted peace march would make its way by Terry Schrunk Plaza in solidarity with the peace encampment, and would then make its way up to the Art Museum to join with a protest focusing on the cutbacks in human services and education, cutbacks that hurt primarily the poor and unemployed.

Spokespersons from the PPRC and other organizations will also be expressing their solidarity with Frank Fromherz, the former director of the Catholic Archdiocese Office of Justice and Peace, who was fired on Tuesday. "We are bitterly disappointed with the Catholic Archdiocese of Portland," said William Seaman, a PPRC volunteer. "They’ve sent the chilling message that dissent will not be tolerated within the Catholic Church, and the irony is that Frank’s 'dissent' consisted in his acting according to his conscience and in solidarity with the Pope’s opposition to the US war on Iraq."

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