PPRC Friday Rally and March Joins With "Buy Nothing Day" Campaign, Marks Growing Numbers of American and Iraqi Casualties.

Event: PPRC Friday Rally and March Joins With "Buy Nothing Day" Campaign, Marks Growing American and Iraqi Casualties.
Date: Friday, November 28th, 2003
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Pioneer Courthouse Square

The Portland Peaceful Response Coalition 5:00 p.m. Friday rally and march for peace at Pioneer Courthouse Square mark the day American corporations officially kick-off their commercialization of the holiday season. For the last two years, local peace and justice activists have noted with some irony the coincidence of their weekly vigil for peace and the start of the downtown shopping festival. "Each week we gather to remember and take action to end the suffering imposed by American aggression," said Tina Hulbe, a regular participant in the Friday rallies. "This week, the Portland Business Association asks us to gather together and buy luxury items that most inhabitants of the planet will never have a chance to own." Hulbe pointed out that most of the items on sale in the major chain stores are manufactured abroad, and many under sweatshop conditions.

"The maximization of profit required by the multi-national corporate economic model prevents those workers from earning a wage that would allow them to enjoy the fruits of their labor," said Hulbe. "This same economic model is now at work in Iraq, where local companies are pushed out of competition for rebuilding contracts in favor of American companies with ties to the Bush Administration." Hulbe noted recent reports documenting the favoring of American companies with ties to the Republican party through their substantial campaign contributions. "The Bush Administration is running the planet like the machine politics of Chicago of 1950s," said Mikel Clayhold, another regular at the Friday rallies. "It’s political patronage and corruption on a grand scale, with US taxpayers footing the bill, along with the Iraqi people whose national wealth is being sold out from under them."

The Friday rally will also be acknowledging the growing casualties in Iraq. "The current resident of the White House refuses to attend even a single funeral for American soldiers killed in Iraq, refuses to visit the thousands of injured," said Clayhold. "We will pause on Friday to note the growing list of those who’ve fallen, the people whose lives have been traded by Bush to further enrich his pals at Halliburton and Bechtel."

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