Revolution #465, November 14, 2016 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/464/in-the-name-of-humanity-we-refuse-to-accept-a-fascist-america-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

November 9, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America

Rise Up... Get Into The Streets... Unite With People Everywhere
to Build Up Resistance in Every Way You Can

Don’t Stop: Don’t Conciliate... Don’t Accommodate...Don’t Collaborate

 

Donald Trump has now won the presidency. Under the slogan “Make America Great Again,” he has viciously attacked Mexicans and Muslims, threatened to deport millions and boasted that he will build walls and close borders. He incites people to fear and hate those who are “different,” or who come from other countries or nationalities, or practice different religions. He crudely demeans and degrades women, and openly boasts about molesting them. He’s a champion of white supremacy who has insulted and threatened Black people, and whipped up a racist lynch-mob mentality. Trump has mocked the disabled.  He is an aggressive and unapologetic militarist, who threatens to use nuclear weapons and will have his fingers on the nuclear codes. He openly advocates war crimes and crimes against humanity—including torture and killing the families of people accused of terrorism. He plans to pack the Supreme Court with justices who will gut and reverse the right to abortion, gay rights, and other important legal rights. He calls climate change a hoax and his policies will wreak further devastation on the environment. He has attacked and threatened the press and stirred up his supporters to do the same. Trump has utter contempt for facts and the truth, and consistently lies to advance his agenda. As for the rule of law, Trump went so far as to openly threaten his opponent, Hillary Clinton, not only with jail, but even assassination. Donald Trump is an outright fascist. And he is now the president-elect.

Fascism is a very serious thing. Fascism foments and relies on xenophobic nationalism, racism, and the aggressive reinstitution of oppressive “traditional values.” Fascism feeds on and encourages the threat and use of violence to build a movement and come to power. Fascism, once in power, essentially eliminates traditional democratic rights. Fascism attacks, jails, and executes its opponents, and launches violent mob attacks on “minorities.” In Nazi Germany in the 1930s and ’40s, under Hitler, fascism did all these things. They imprisoned millions in concentration camps and exterminated millions of Jews, Roma people (Gypsies), and other “undesirables.” And Hitler did almost all of this through the established institutions and the “rule of law.” This is where this goes. And yes, Hitler himself could “talk graciously” when he felt it would serve his interests and lull his opponents.

Trump did not even win the popular vote, (even though he did win the “electoral college” which decides elections in the U.S.). Hitler himself came to power through democratic procedures, including through the process of elections. Should people have accepted Hitler?! Unfortunately, they did, at a horrific cost to humanity. Today, with nuclear weapons, that cost could be far higher.  

In the name of humanity, we must refuse to accept a fascist America!

The fact that Trump won as many votes as he did must be understood. The fact that he got more than even 10 percent of the vote is disgraceful and reveals some very ugly things about America. So why did this happen? The world today is turbulent, full of changes. Those who supported Trump’s fascist program were overwhelmingly sections of white people, especially but not only white men, who yearn for the days of open white supremacy and American global domination, and the blatant subjugation of women. A significant minority of white people did oppose him, but we have to confront how deep the racism, the national chauvinism, and the hatred of women is woven into this society... and not give in to this, but vigorously challenge and fiercely oppose it. 

But even more than this, Trump was backed by powerful forces in this society. Beyond those who directly supported him, the media, the Democratic Party, and others treated him as a legitimate candidate, refused to call him out as the fascist he is, and now call on everyone to accept his ascension to power. All the major powerful forces in this society bear the responsibility—it is they who have, over decades, either built up this fascist force or have “enabled” it.

You cannot try to “wait things out” with fascists. Those who lived through Hitler’s Germany and sat on the sidelines, looking on as Hitler rounded up one group after another, became shameful collaborators with monstrous crimes against humanity. Trump and his regime must be resisted and defied, beginning now, in many different ways and in every corner of society. 

Reconciliation and collaboration would be nothing less than criminal and deadly. Literally. Come together... resist... and let the whole world know that we will not allow this to stand!

revcom.us

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

Obama & Clinton Say "Get Over It," But Tens of Thousands Rebel in the Streets

Updated November 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the wake of the election of Donald Trump, key opinion makers in the mass (that is, the ruling class) media are portraying the incoming Trump regime as a legitimate “peaceful transition of power.” They say this is essential to what makes America “great.” Literally “normalizing” fascism.

But in the streets, on high school and college campuses, in large cities and small towns, in vigils and fierce confrontations, people are not accepting that this is just business as usual. People are refusing to accept the ominous implications of a fascist presidency. Many thousands have marched in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Oakland. In Portland, defiant protesters have taken the streets for four days straight in the face of police pepper spray and rubber bullets. People are refusing to accept Trump’s war on immigrants. They are refusing to accept his obscene celebration of prejudice, ignorance, and hate for those who don’t fit into the dominant American culture of white supremacy and patriarchy.

Thousands and thousands have marched on Trump Tower in New York and Chicago. Signs say “Love Trumps Hate.” Chants of “Not our president” and “Fuck Donald Trump!” disrupt business as usual. Freeways have been blocked in LA, Miami, Atlanta, and Iowa City. Hundreds of Phoenix high school students walked out of classes. They marched to the state capitol chanting “Who’s Donald Trump? Not our president!” and “Whose city? Our city!” Thousands of high school students in California, Colorado, and Washington and hundreds in Iowa have walked out in protest. Large and angry rallies against Trump broke out immediately on college campuses, especially on the West Coast but also at schools like the University of Pittsburgh, historically Black Fisk University in Tennessee, and the University of Texas in Austin. In Cincinnati, an anti-Trump march with a significant component of LGBT rights activists converged in the streets with people, mainly from the Black community, protesting the refusal of a jury to convict the pig who murdered Samuel DuBose.

Voices with influence, including clergy, and people in the art and entertainment communities are taking a stand and speaking out. Among those were, in NYC, Lady Gaga, Mark Ruffalo, and Cher, who joined protests late on election night at Trump Tower. Jennifer Lawrence tweeted “Let this be the fire you didn’t have before... If you are an immigrant, if you are a person of color, if you are LGBTQ+, if you are a woman—don’t be afraid, be loud!” And New York Daily News columnist Shaun King wrote, “No, we should not wait and see what a Trump administration does. We should organize our resistance right now.”

Students at American University in DC burned American flags, as did protesters in Atlanta where the New York Times reported that protesters “revis[ed] Mr. Trump’s campaign slogan [and] chanted ‘America was never great.’”

In Cleveland and Chicago, revolutionary communists—the revcoms—and some others have gone nose to nose with howling Trump supporters.

In the midst of all this, the message from revcom.us, “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America,” has been taken up widely by all kinds of people, and is playing a critical role. It needs to be spread much more widely.

Battle Lines Being Drawn... Big Questions Up...

Tens of thousands, now, are standing up. They are motivated both by a sense of the magnitude of what Trump’s ascension means, and refusing to accept the hate crimes already being committed in the wake of the election—like assaults on Muslim women and attacks on immigrants.

The response to the Trump election—in its size, determination, and breadth of people—is unprecedented in modern U.S. history, going back to the Civil War. This is very important and positive. It needs to both keep going and spread. At the same time, everybody needs to be figuring out both how this spreads and finds more organized expression.

And the sites of resistance must become scenes where people are seriously discussing and debating what gave rise to a Trump and how to get beyond the confines of a system that legitimates and dictates not only “choices” like this but values like this as well.

For frequent updates on the coast-to-coast upsurge against the election of fascist Trump, click HERE.

Scroll down for the call to
ALL Revolutionaries, Students, Professors, and Others on Campuses

In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America

Rise Up... Get Into The Streets...
Unite With People Everywhere
to Build Up Resistance in
Every Way You Can

Don’t Stop: Don’t Conciliate...
Don’t Accommodate...Don’t Collaborate

Read more    
Reproduce and Distribute Leaflets and Posters HERE


Other Voices on Trump and Resistance

Editor's note: Important voices are calling out the ominous implications of a Trump presidency from a range of viewpoints. And challenging people to confront what that means, and to resist. Here we link to some of those. (Updated 11/19/16)

Read more


To ALL Revolutionaries, Students, Professors, and Others on Campuses!
With the election of Trump, we confront a FASCIST America, No Less!

Read our call to you HERE

Let them not fool you—with Obama’s soothing and comforting talk of all of them being on the “same team” and the election being merely but an “intramural scrimmage,” some saying Trump is “softening” on his hatred and hated policies, and that he does not really intend carrying them through, and yet others saying “let’s give him a chance.” NO!

Read more


Revcoms Confront Trumpites on Cleveland Campus—And Minds Begin to Change...

Read more


After Chicago Pigs Murder Unarmed Black Motorist on Way Home From Funeral...

People Stand Up Against Killer Cops and Neighborhood Trumpite Goons

Read more

Download "We Refuse to Accept Racist White Supremacy in Mt. Greenwood FACT SHEET"


Report from the Streets of Los Angeles

From a correspondent:

On Friday, November 11, a protest of 3,000 people blocked the 101 Freeway that runs through the middle of LA, and marched through downtown. There were 200 arrests, in addition to hundreds of other arrests of protesters on Wednesday and Thursday. Other protests took place in cities and on campuses throughout Southern California.

On Saturday morning, well over 10,000 people from all over Southern California—shocked and outraged at the election of Donald Trump—came together at MacArthur Park, in the center of the Central American immigrant community, and marched to the Federal Building in downtown Los Angeles. It was the fourth day in a row that anti-Trump protesters had taken to the streets of LA. People came from many different sections of society with all kinds of homemade signs, together delivering a serious, determined, and powerful message that the election of Donald Trump is unacceptable, and that his fascist program against the people has to be opposed.

College and high school students were there from many different campuses where protests, marches, and walkouts had taken place in recent days. There was a powerful outpouring of women of all ages expressing, together with men, a visceral disgust at Trump’s vile and dangerous misogyny against women. And there were a large number of people from the LGBT community, whose lives are threatened by the Christian fascist program that Trump and Pence openly support. The marchers strongly expressed their support for immigrants, including by chanting “Immigrants are welcome here” while immigrants from Central America lined the streets.

The sense was palpable that the country has just entered a new and dangerous period. In this moment, the headline on the statement put out by revcom.us, and on hundreds of posters— “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept A Fascist America”—had a powerful impact on many, many people, and on the march as a whole. It expressed the seriousness and gravity of this historical moment, while raising people’s sights to see that they are acting in the interests of all humanity. Before and during the march, hundreds of people grabbed for the posters and donated generously to pay for them. Over $800 was raised in donations for these during the day.

A vibrant Revolution Club contingent led hundreds and hundreds of people throughout the day to pledge, in a call-and-response way, that they would not conciliate; they would not accommodate; and they would not collaborate; that they would act in the name of humanity. And thousands of copies of the statement “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept A Fascist America,” together with the brochure “HOW WE CAN WIN: How We Can Really Make Revolution,” were taken up by marchers and by immigrants who lined the streets.

 

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/two-works-by-bob-avakian-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

Two works by Bob Avakian that shed a great deal of light on the current political juncture—its roots, its dynamics, and what must be done in response

November 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

EDITORS' NOTE: These two pieces by Bob Avakian shed a great deal of light on the current political juncture: its roots, its dynamics, and what must be done in response. "The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer" was published in 1998 and it concerns the impeachment of Bill Clinton. The other, "The Fascists and the Destruction of the 'Weimar Republic'...And What Will Replace It," was published in 2005, shortly after the re-election George W. Bush.

We strongly recommend that our readers get into these, get them out and discuss them. It really has to be said that there has been nothing close to this analysis in its prescient and penetrating character (even as Bob Avakian draws on a wide range of sources to make this analysis).

The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer

This work by Bob Avakian was originally published anonymously and so the author, Bob Avakian, is referred to in the third person; and also note that it was originally published during the presidency of Bill Clinton and so, unless otherwise noted, when "Clinton" is referred to this means Bill, and not Hillary, Clinton.

Read more

 

 

 

 

       

 

 


 

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Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

The Science...Actual Revolution title image

Download PDF of entire work

Editors' note: The following is an excerpt from the new work by Bob Avakian, THE NEW COMMUNISM. In addition to excerpts already posted on revcom.us, we will be running further excerpts from time to time on both revcom.us and in Revolution newspaper. These excerpts should serve as encouragement and inspiration for people to get into the work as a whole, which is available as a book from Insight Press. A prepublication copy is available on line at revcom.us.

This excerpt comes from the section titled "III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution."

Excerpt from the section:
National Liberation and Proletarian Revolution

And what is still operating in this country as a very important contradiction is something that was pointed out two centuries ago by a French visitor to the U.S. who studied what was going on in this country, Alexis de Tocqueville. He was actually a conservative in the context of France, but he had some interesting observations and insights about the U.S. While he praised the American political system, he also talked about what we might call the “money grubbiness” of Americans (although he didn’t use that particular phrase). In America, he said, everybody wants to know what any idea has to do with making money right away. So he had some insights about America and Americans. But his most important and strategically significant insight was his observation that in America, as he saw it, they have a really good system going there, but there’s just one thing that could cause it all to come undone, and that’s the question of slavery. He actually pinpointed what remains a very crucial contradiction in this country, this contradiction that’s existed from the time of slavery down to today—this contradiction which cannot be resolved under this system, in a way that would put an end to oppression of Black people, and can only be resolved through a revolution which puts an end to this system and replaces it with a radically different system, on the road to abolishing all exploitation and oppression. This has everything to do with the following statement of mine that continually appears now on revcom.us:

There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system which has, for so long, not just exploited but dehumanized, terrorized and tormented them in a thousand ways—putting an end to this in the only way it can be done—by fighting to emancipate humanity, to put an end to the long night in which human society has been divided into masters and slaves, and the masses of humanity have been lashed, beaten, raped, slaughtered, shackled and shrouded in ignorance and misery.

And, along with the role of Black people, as a pivotal and potentially very powerful force for the revolution that is needed, there is the oppression of large numbers of people of other nationalities, including millions of immigrants, who have a potentially very important role in this revolution as well. At the same time, there are a number of contradictions among and between these different sections of oppressed people—some of which are acutely posed now—and once again it is our responsibility to lead people to struggle through these contradictions, to forge unity on the basis of their common, and fundamental, interests, and to fully realize and give life to their potential as makers of revolution and emancipators of humanity.

 

Contents

Publisher's Note

Introduction and Orientation

Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit

Part I. Method and Approach, Communism as a Science

Materialism vs. Idealism
Dialectical Materialism
Through Which Mode of Production
The Basic Contradictions and Dynamics of Capitalism
The New Synthesis of Communism
The Basis for Revolution
Epistemology and Morality, Objective Truth and Relativist Nonsense
Self and a “Consumerist” Approach to Ideas
What Is Your Life Going to Be About?—Raising People’s Sights

Part II. Socialism and the Advance to Communism:
            A Radically Different Way the World Could Be, A Road to Real Emancipation

The “4 Alls”
Beyond the Narrow Horizon of Bourgeois Right
Socialism as an Economic System and a Political System—And a Transition to Communism
Internationalism
Abundance, Revolution, and the Advance to Communism—A Dialectical Materialist Understanding
The Importance of the “Parachute Point”—Even Now, and Even More With An Actual Revolution
The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America
   Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core
Emancipators of Humanity

Part III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution

One Overall Strategic Approach
Hastening While Awaiting
Forces For Revolution
Separation of the Communist Movement from the Labor Movement, Driving Forces for Revolution
National Liberation and Proletarian Revolution
The Strategic Importance of the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women
The United Front under the Leadership of the Proletariat
Youth, Students and the Intelligentsia
Struggling Against Petit Bourgeois Modes of Thinking, While Maintaining the Correct Strategic Orientation
The “Two Maximizings”
The “5 Stops”
The Two Mainstays
Returning to "On the Possibility of Revolution"
Internationalism—Revolutionary Defeatism
Internationalism and an International Dimension
Internationalism—Bringing Forward Another Way
Popularizing the Strategy
Fundamental Orientation

Part IV. The Leadership We Need

The Decisive Role of Leadership
A Leading Core of Intellectuals—and the Contradictions Bound Up with This
Another Kind of “Pyramid”
The Cultural Revolution Within the RCP
The Need for Communists to Be Communists
A Fundamentally Antagonistic Relation—and the Crucial Implications of That
Strengthening the Party—Qualitatively as well as Quantitatively
Forms of Revolutionary Organization, and the “Ohio”
Statesmen, and Strategic Commanders
Methods of Leadership, the Science and the “Art” of Leadership
Working Back from “On the Possibility”—
   Another Application of “Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core”

Appendix 1:
The New Synthesis of Communism:
Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach,
and Core Elements—An Outline
by Bob Avakian

Appendix 2:
Framework and Guidelines for Study and Discussion

Notes

Selected List of Works Cited

About the Author

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/the-founding-criminals-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

The Founding Criminals

November 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

“The Founders”—Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, and the rest who signed the Constitution—participated in a massive crime against humanity: the reinforcement and strengthening of the enslavement, torture, and rape of millions of human beings, and the violent suppression of those who dared to rise up. This crime stretched over four generations. The wealth they plundered from the enslaved—grown on the lands the “Founders” so bloodily stole from the Native American Indians whom they slaughtered—formed the foundation of their “democracy” and the basis for their “greatness” (that is, their domination of the world). Trump is their fitting heir.

AMERICA WAS NEVER GREAT! OVERTHROW, DON’T “HEAL,” THIS SYSTEM!

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/what-do-we-owe-donald-trump-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

What Do We "Owe" Donald Trump?

November 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Give Him a Chance? meme
Tweet this

Hillary Clinton says we “owe” Donald Trump an “open mind.”

Why the fuck!?!

Nobody owes him shit. We DO owe the people of the world and those in this country who sit in Donald Trump’s crosshairs a spirit and movement of uncompromising resistance. We owe them as well the sharp critical thinking that will not be lulled by either Trump OR the Democratic politicians who in the end represent the same capitalist-imperialist system—as Clinton’s stance so clearly shows. And we owe them the backbone to keep fighting until this shit is stopped.

AMERICA WAS NEVER GREAT! OVERTHROW, DON’T “HEAL,” THIS SYSTEM!

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/obama-on-trump-were-all-on-the-same-team-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

Obama on Trump: "We're All on THE Same Team" (!)

November 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Barack Obama did two things at his press conference with Donald Trump on Thursday morning after the election. First, he lent all the power and prestige of his office to legitimize a confessed sexual predator, an open racist, a man who has vowed to use his power to torture and murder people whom he deems to be threats, and all the rest. He went all out to smooth the way for this FASCIST to come to power. This is a shameful and low crime, for which people are already paying, and everyone who has supported or even made excuses for Obama up to now needs to confront this.

But Obama also revealed a profound truth. Obama said that he and Trump were members of the “same team,” running a “relay race,” and that the election was an “intramural scrimmage” to see who could best represent that team.

But what is that relay race? A “relay race” for empire and a “relay race” to dominate and plunder the world, a “relay race” driven by the laws of capitalism-imperialism: expand or die. A race that puts billions in a living hell every day. A “relay race” destroying the planet—a destruction that Trump promises to immeasurably accelerate.

And what is that “team”? The team of military assault and domination; the team of the new Jim Crow of mass incarceration, police murder and genocidal persecution of Black and Brown people; the team of the subjugation of women; the team hounding and deporting immigrants and breaking up their families.

So when Obama said, “We're Americans first. We're patriots first,” he told an important truth: both he and Trump put the interests of U.S. imperialism above the interests of humanity. So even if there are real differences—and there are, sometimes quite sharp—at crunch-time moments like now, when those who thought Obama 'stood for' them are roiling with anger, the “team” closes ranks.

The question this poses to you is whether you are an American first. Do you hope, as Obama told you to hope, that Trump’s much more openly vicious and brutal squad of thugs should succeed in maintaining that “team’s” domination? Or do you hope that this whole fascist takeover fails, and are willing to keep fighting to make that happen? Is this your team? And what do we all do in the face of this?

AMERICA WAS NEVER GREAT! OVERTHROW, DON’T “HEAL,” THIS SYSTEM!

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/give-him-a-chance-wtf-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

Give Him a Chance? WTF!

November 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Saturday Night Live, Dave Chappelle concluded a routine about Trump—a routine that was packed with all kinds of reactionary patriotism and other crap—with the words: “Let’s give him a chance...”

A chance? A chance to do WHAT, Chappelle?

To carry out his promises to drive out Mexicans?

To round up Muslims?

To stop-and-frisk and murder Black people?

To ban abortion?

To build a wall on the border?

To take away the rights of gays and transgendered people?

To beat, imprison, and torture protesters and revolutionaries, and to murder the families of those suspected of “terrorism”?

To intimidate the press?

To wage war on those who cross him?

To spew hatred and degradation at every opportunity?

To set the environment on an even more headlong path to devastation and ruin?

No—hell, no—let’s NOT “give him a chance.”

Let’s fight him.

OVERTHROW, DON’T “HEAL,” THIS SYSTEM!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/slavoj-zizek-is-a-puffed-up-idiot-who-does-great-damage-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

Slavoj Žižek Is a Puffed-Up Idiot Who Does Great Damage

by Raymond Lotta | Updated November 15, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Slavoj Žižek, an influential fool-of-a-philosopher who often poses as a “communist,” declared his support for Donald Trump on British TV. A victory for Trump, according to Žižek, will help the Republicans and Democrats “rethink themselves”—and could bring about “a kind of big awakening.” And speaking from his “what-me-worry” perch, Žižek pronounced that Trump “will not introduce fascism.” (“Slavoj Žižek would vote for Trump”)

This is wrong, this is poison. Standing with racism, misogyny, and xenophobia has absolutely nothing to do with the morality and politics of genuine communism—and, whatever the twisted rationale, actually flies in the face of bitter historical experience, where the first act of the Nazis upon coming to power was to crush the revolutionaries.

Anyone who wants to understand a truly communist analysis of that historical experience and its relevance to today should explore the work of Bob Avakian, including:

THE NEW COMMUNISM;

The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer”;

The Fascists and the Destruction of the ‘Weimar Republic’... And What Will Replace It”;

The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era; and

Conquer the World? The International Proletariat Must and Will.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/a-historical-parallel-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

A Historical Parallel

Updated November 16, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America

Rise Up... Get Into The Streets...
Unite With People Everywhere
to Build Up Resistance in Every Way You Can

Don’t Stop: Don’t Conciliate...
Don’t Accommodate...Don’t Collaborate

Read more    
Reproduce and Distribute Leaflets and Posters HERE

While the following observations from Claudia Koonz’s book The Nazi Conscience are overall very important and highly relevant to the current situation in the U.S., Koonz’s statement that the Nazis replaced traditional religious ideology with their own “secular” ideology is not entirely accurate. In fact, the NAZIs made use of and promoted reactionary traditional religion. And, in the fascist movement in U.S. society today, and specifically the Trump phenomenon and the impending Trump regime, reactionary fundamentalist Christianity—Christian Fascism—has all along been, and is now, a major factor.

 

“Hitler, always an astute reader of his audiences' desires, heard Germans' hunger for a government they could trust and a national purpose they could believe in. From his earliest days as a political orator, he addressed that longing. In phrases his opponents ridiculed as empty and followers heard as inspirational, Hitler promised to rescue old-fashioned values of honor and dignity from the materialism, degeneracy, and cosmopolitanism of modern life. His supporters' lists of grievances were long, and their anxieties ran deep. Bolsheviks threatened revolution; emancipated women abandoned their family responsibilities; capitalists amassed immense fortunes; and foreign states robbed Germany of its rightful status as a European power. Hitler transformed his followers' anger at cultural and political disorder into moral outrage. In place of the Weimar Republic, which he ridiculed as weak and feminine, Hitler promised the dawn of a resolute masculine order. Where once religion had provided a steady moral purpose, Nazi culture offered an absolutist secular faith.

“Unlike liberal regimes, in which the moral calculus turns on the concept of universal human rights, the Third Reich extolled the well-being of the ethnic German community as the benchmark for moral reasoning. Nazi morality explicitly promoted racist and sexist assumptions at a time when ideals of equality had begun to make themselves felt throughout the Western world. German racial theorists, eager to be seen as modern and progressive, dignified age-old prejudices with the claims of science. They appealed not so much to malevolence as to ideas of health, hygiene, and progress in their campaign to elicit compliance with policies that might otherwise have been seen as cruel and violent. Mobilizing citizens in a modern and enlightened nation, Nazi rule relied not only on repression but also on an appeal to communal ideals of civic improvement. In a vibrant public culture founded on self-denial and collective revival, ethnic Germans were exhorted to expunge citizens deemed alien and to ally themselves only with people sanctioned as racially valuable. The road to Auschwitz was paved with righteousness.”

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/the-tour-begins-standing-up-to-pigs-and-trump-fascists-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

The Tour Begins:
Standing Up to Pigs and Trump-Fascists, Spreading Revolution Everywhere

November 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

“America Was NEVER Great! Overthrow—Don’t Vote For—This System!”

That’s how the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Campaign and Tour 2016-2017 kicked off in Chicago and Cleveland in October and November. It was a fierce beginning, right in the midst of intense battles over police terror and social turmoil around the presidential campaign, and then the election of the fascist Donald Trump.

The goal of the year-long Tour is to organize thousands of people across the country into the communist revolution humanity desperately needs to end all oppression.

The Tour is being spearheaded by the Revolution Club and supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (RCP). They’ve been boldly taking the new communism developed by Bob Avakian out to the masses. These revolutionary communists (revcoms for short) are wielding the RCP’s statement “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution” to build up forces for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.

Tour organizers say, “Everyone who hungers for a radically different world, free of exploitation and oppression and all the needless suffering caused by this system” should join or support the Tour.

October in Chicago: Standing Up to Pigs, Spreading Revolution

The Tour kicked off on October 18 and focused on Chicago the rest of the month. Chicago is home to many thousands of Black and other oppressed peoples living on some of America’s hardest streets. It’s also home to one of the country’s most prestigious universities.

Chicago is ground zero for some of this system’s ugliest outrages. It’s notorious for naked, racist police brutality and murder, like the 16-shot execution of Laquan McDonald. Not only did the police murder him in cold blood, they confiscated and suppressed video and the whole city up to the highest levels was in on the cover up. Chicago is where Black youth, who this system has vilified, ghettoized, and terrorized have been turned against each other, fighting and killing each other in epidemic numbers, hundreds each year.

For two weeks, the Tour took its message to neighborhoods of the most oppressed as well as college campuses, and organized people to stand up against this system’s crimes. And it brought alive the radically new morality the Revolution Clubs live by and fight for, concentrated in their “Points of Attention.”

The bold breath of revolutionary fresh air was immediately met by outrageous repression by the system and its enforcers, in an attempt to suppress the Tour’s message. On October 22, the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation, Noche Diaz and three others were arrested for legally marching, even though they had a permit to do so!

Noche Diaz at University of Chicago
Noche Diaz (center) at the University of Chicago, November 1. (Photo: Special to revcom.us)

On October 26, after taking the Tour’s message to students at the University of Chicago, Noche Diaz was again arrested, violently, as he was peacefully leaving the campus. The University then banned Noche from campus entirely! (Recently three more revcoms have been targeted and arrested during the outpourings against Trump’s election.)

In the face of these attacks, the Revolution Club politically mobilized people and came back stronger. On October, 27, the day after Noche Diaz was arrested at the University of Chicago, students were challenged to “Come Hear What They Are Determined to Suppress” with Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor in a campus lounge.

The revcoms announced their determination to defy the campus and rally on campus on November 1, and the University newspaper—The Maroon—interviewed Noche about it. When Noche and the revcoms returned to campus on November 1, successfully defying the ban, dozens of students gathered around for an extensive back and forth.

       

A focus for the revcoms was neighborhoods of people hardest hit by the system. Sunsara Taylor reported, wherever the Tour went, it has “connected powerfully with people, inspired and drawn many to checking out and beginning to engage the revolution.”

On October 29, a Get Into the Revolution Organizing Campaign and Tour Rally was held in downtown Chicago at Grant Park to organize people reached and touched by the Tour into the revolution.

Spreading the Revolution and Defending the RNC16 in Cleveland. In November the Tour went to Cleveland to defend notorious flag burner Joey Johnson and the RNC 16 at a November 3 court hearing. The RNC16 are the 16 Revolution Club members who were illegally arrested this summer for burning the American flag at the entrance to the Republican National Convention.

When the RNC 16 showed up at the INjustice Center, all wearing BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T- shirts and chanting, it was clear this wasn’t going to be business as usual.

After the hearing, a People’s Tribunal put the system on trial outside the Cleveland courthouse. The verdict: “The whole damn system is guilty as hell.”

In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America

Rise Up... Get Into The Streets...
Unite With People Everywhere
to Build Up Resistance in Every Way You Can

Don't Stop: Don't Conciliate...
Don't Accommodate...Don't Collaborate

Read more    
Reproduce and Distribute Leaflets and Posters HERE

The next day, revcoms confronted pro-Trump students at Cleveland State. They also prepared to contest any attempts by the Trump-fascists to suppress peoples’ right to vote, even as they spread the Tour’s theme: America Was Never Great! Overthrow—Don’t Vote For—This System. The revcoms understand that, while voting is not the way to end oppression, any attacks on the right of Black and other oppressed people to vote must be fought. The Revolution Club also did this in Phoenix, Arizona, another flashpoint of efforts to suppress non-white voter turnout.

Back to Chicago—Confronting Trump Fascists, Bearing Down on Bringing People Forward

The Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Tour is now back in Chicago.

The Chicago neighborhood of Mount Greenwood became a flashpoint of confrontation between the oppressed and Trump-inspired pigs and fascists. On November 5, at least three off-duty pigs were involved in the murder of a young Black man, Joshua Beal, who was attending his cousin’s funeral. This triggered a racist, lynch-mob frenzy, with gangs of whites gathering and threatening Joshua’s family and gloating over his murder. The revcoms immediately went right into the face of this jeering mob to defend Joshua’s family, condemn his murder, and denounce the fascist pig Trump.

The Tour is also really bearing down on the question of organizing people into the revolution. This means learning how to overcome the obstacles holding people back who have been attracted to, and desperately need the revolution. It means being able to better turn attacks by the enemy into avenues for more people to step forward. And it means wrestling with the big challenge of bringing forward youth, who have such a huge role to play in the emancipation of humanity but who are now caught up in fighting each other, into fighting the system.

Organizers summed up that October and November marked a “real beginning.” Donald Trump’s election poses ominous dangers for humanity, and underscores the urgency of the Tour and its mission.

*****

Contact the Tour at GetIntoTheRevolution@gmail.com to get involved today.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/critical-juncture-in-battle-at-standing-rock-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

Native Americans Fight Modern-Day Genocide: Critical Juncture in Battle at Standing Rock

November 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Standing Rock encampment 11/5/2016 Standing Rock encampment, November 5, 2016. Photo: Special to Revolution/revcom.us

The battle taking place near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, which straddles the border between North and South Dakota, to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline (DAPL) may be reaching a critical turning point.

In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America

Rise Up... Get Into The Streets...
Unite With People Everywhere
to Build Up Resistance in Every Way You Can

Don’t Stop: Don’t Conciliate...
Don’t Accommodate...Don’t Collaborate

Read more    
Reproduce and Distribute Leaflets and Posters HERE

On November 11, media outlets reported that after delaying the pipeline since September 9, Obama is preparing to approve resuming its construction, perhaps as early as this week. One report said the approval is “related to the election of Republican nominee Donald Trump who would eventually approve the project anyway.” The Obama administration denied the reports. Kelcy Warren, head of Energy Transfer Partners that has funded the pipeline, recently boasted he’s “100 percent sure” that Trump will OK the pipeline.

The struggle to stop the DAPL is a battle against modern-day genocide of Native Americans and environmental destruction. The pipeline, being built right next to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation as part of its almost 1,200-mile route, threatens the tribe’s water, land, irreplaceable historical and cultural sites, and their future as a people. The DAPL, scheduled to carry nearly 500,000 barrels of oil a day, is also a potential environmental catastrophe for the planet.

The Standing Rock Sioux is a small tribe—8,250 live on the reservation near where the Cannonball and Missouri Rivers meet. They’re up against powerful forces: a juggernaut of big financial institutions and energy companies, backed by the government, the legal system, and the armed enforcers of the state.

Standing Up

The Standing Rock Sioux have been battling the DAPL for two years. Early this year, they made a bold move and set up a protest camp to stop the pipeline. This just and courageous stand by a determined few “water protectors,” as many at Standing Rock call themselves, has galvanized the fighting spirit of many more.

Hundreds of Native tribes have joined the struggle, including ones with longstanding historical conflicts. Environmental activists and a wide range of people compelled to take a stand against injustice and oppression have joined. Thousands of people have been part of the protest encampment. Well-known voices, such as Edward Snowden and Susan Sarandon, have spoken out in support, and actor Shailene Woodley was among those arrested at a protest. At least 19 city governments have passed resolutions or written letters opposing construction of the pipeline. Thousands have taken part in support actions in over 200 cities across the U.S. and in Canada and England. On November 3, over 445 clergy members came to Standing Rock to act in solidarity.

       


Cannonball River. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Protesters have repeatedly faced off with police and constructions crews. They’ve stood up to pepper spray, rubber bullets, attack dogs, and heavily armed police and hired thugs. They’ve built barricades across roads and forded the freezing waters of the Cannonball River. They’ve refused to back down in the face of a media-fueled climate of violent hatred whipped up among significant numbers of whites in the area, who are armed and openly threatening Native Americans and those they perceive as supporting them. Many Native Americans and supporters have been brutalized and hundreds have been arrested.

The System’s Ongoing Genocide and Environmental Devastation

Over 90 percent of DAPL is being built on private land—much of it on land granted to the Sioux by the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie and then stolen. The original plans called for the pipeline to cross the Missouri near Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota. State officials worried that an oil spill could poison Bismarck’s drinking water. In a blatant act of environmental racism, they moved the pipeline crossing to within half a mile of the Standing Rock reservation, land taken from the tribe in 1958.

The determined actions of the fighters at Standing Rock—and now the possibility that Obama is preparing to give final approval to the pipeline and the near certainty that Trump will—are shining a light on the predatory nature of the oil-addicted capitalist-imperialist system. Whatever the differences within the ruling class, all of them are committed to increasing domestic fuel production (what they call U.S. “energy independence”) in order to gain strategic advantage over rival world powers. This is a key part of maintaining their position as top global oppressor and exploiter. All this is driven by the workings of their capitalist-imperialist system.

A Critical Juncture

The pipeline construction reportedly reached the Missouri River in early November, and Energy Transfer Partners has stated it plans to start digging under the river in less than two weeks. The election of the fascist Trump promises to further embolden the capitalists building the pipeline and reactionaries in the area.

Read the entire HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution HERE

Our correspondents at Standing Rock report that many at the protest camp are NOT in a mood to sit by as this pipeline continues to go through, and more people continue to arrive at the encampment. As we go to press, the November 15 national day of action in solidarity with Standing Rock is demanding that the federal government and the Army Corps of Engineers stop this pipeline.

This is a crucial juncture. Everyone needs to express clear, unequivocal, and public support for the fighters at Standing Rock, who are not only defending the lives, water, and humanity of the Standing Rock tribe, but standing up against centuries of genocide against all Native peoples in America, and against the further destruction of the Earth’s environment. What takes place at Standing Rock can contribute to fueling a more defiant and determined spirit of resistance against all this system’s crimes—including the election of Trump.

Background on the struggle at Standing Rock:
"Native Americans Fight Modern-Day Genocide: Standing Up at Standing Rock"

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/464/america-up-to-its-eyeballs-in-mass-murder-and-starvation-in-yemen-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

America—Up to Its Eyeballs in Mass Murder and Starvation in Yemen

Updated November 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

While the presidential election campaign was going on, America was up to its eyeballs in the mass murder of thousands of people, and the starvation of millions more. These war crimes were never mentioned, and many may never have heard about the country being devastated: Yemen.

Yemen mapMap: revcom.us

Yemen is located at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula and is one of the world’s most impoverished countries. Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia has been flying warplanes supplied by the U.S., guided by U.S. intelligence, refueled by U.S. tanker planes, and dropping U.S.-made bombs on Yemen. These bombs have destroyed homes, factories, funeral parlors, schools, and markets, and killed thousands of ordinary people.

This savage campaign is aimed at crushing the Houthi rebellion because it threatens the reactionary interests of Saudi Arabia and the U.S. The Houthi movement is based among followers of the Zaidi branch of Shia Islam, who are over a third of Yemen’s 25 million people. The Houthis are fighting under the reactionary Islamist banner of Ansar Allah (Partisans of God). They’re politically supported by and have some ties to the reactionary Islamic Republic of Iran.

Markets, Homes, Funeral Parlors—Now a Prison

Rubble after a funeral hall was destroyed by a Saudi-led airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen, October 13.
Rubble after a funeral hall was destroyed by a Saudi-led airstrike in Sana'a, Yemen, October 13. (Photo: AP)

The infrastructure of life in and around Saada, Yemen has been devastated from U.S.-backed airstrikes by Saudi Arabia
The infrastructure of life in and around Saada, Yemen (above) has been devastated from U.S.-backed airstrikes by Saudi Arabia: 178 bridges, 13 power stations, 17,193 houses, 173 schools, 118 markets and 696 farms have been destroyed or damaged according to AP. (Photo: AP)

The latest Saudi massacre happened on October 30, when Saudi warplanes bombed a jail full of prisoners in the Houthi-controlled city of Al Hudaydah. At the time, the prison held 84 inmates; it was reduced to rubble by a direct hit which collapsed the roof. Sixty people were killed. They were mainly prisoners.

The U.S.-backed Saudis are waging a barbaric war against a whole section of Yemen’s population numbering in the millions. The United Nations reports that over 4,000 civilians have been killed and over 7,000 more wounded since the Saudi campaign began, mostly by the Saudis.

After the prison bombing, for the first time in the 19-month war, the U.S. called on Saudi Arabia to stop attacking civilian targets. Yet Saudi Arabia remains a key U.S. ally, military aid and support continue to flow, and the U.S. continues to uphold Saudi Arabia’s “right to self-defense,” their excuse for attacking Yemen in the first place.

War by Starvation and Disease... A Country “on the Verge of Collapse”

The Saudis are also waging war by a blockade that’s prevented food and needed supplies from getting to Yemen’s people.

Now 80 percent of the population—more than 21 million people—urgently need humanitarian aid. Some 1.5 million children are acutely malnourished. The World Health Organization has reported that deadly cholera is spreading. The UN warns that Yemen is on the verge of collapse.

The Destruction of Saada

Saada is an old town in northern Yemen where 50,000 people live. It’s also the birthplace of the Houthi movement. On November 4, the Associated Press reported the city had been devastated by the U.S.-Saudi bombing campaign: “All along the main street, buildings are crumpled beyond recognition, roofs punched in and pancaked. Historic mud-brick houses in its walled old city are pounded to dust.”

The infrastructure of life in and around Saada has been shattered: 178 bridges, 13 power stations, 17,193 houses, 173 schools, 118 markets, and 696 farms have been destroyed or damaged. One local organization documented the killing of 2,262 civilians, including 397 children, in the area from March 2015 to March 2016.

Fear is a constant. “The more crowded a place is, the more we are afraid of bombings,” a 15-year-old girl said. Her family, like 4 of 10 Saada residents, had fled the town.

Why Is the U.S. Backing the Saudi Slaughter?

Why is the United States backing and enabling Saudi war crimes in Yemen?

Because the U.S. is a capitalist-imperialist power. It economy, wealth, and international influence are based on a global empire of sweatshop exploitation, resource plunder, and brutal oppression—enforced by the world’s biggest military. The Middle East region is a key part of this. It contains the world’s largest concentration of oil and natural gas. Important trade routes pass through the region. The U.S. has a number of military bases there.

Now the region is being torn by wars, upheavals, and deep suffering and anger. The U.S. is desperately working to protect key allies, like Saudi Arabia, while it fends off regional and global rivals, and the spread of anti-U.S. Islamic jihadism.

Saudi Arabia has been shaken by the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal, and then the 2014-2015 Houthi uprising. Both could strengthen their archrival Iran’s position in the region. So the U.S. has stepped up the arming of Saudi Arabia and backed its murderous war, even as the U.S. may have differences with some Saudi moves.

In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America

Rise Up... Get Into The Streets...
Unite With People Everywhere
to Build Up Resistance in Every Way You Can

Don’t Stop: Don’t Conciliate...
Don’t Accommodate...Don’t Collaborate

Read more    
Reproduce and Distribute Leaflets and Posters HERE

System’s Crimes Will Continue—No Matter Who Is “Commander in Chief”

Saudi Arabia’s American-backed and -enabled crimes against Yemen have taken place under Obama, a Democrat. As his Secretary of State in 2011, Hillary Clinton personally oversaw the sale of $29.4 billion in U.S. weapons to the Saudi kingdom, including some 84 advanced F-15SA fighters, which are now in all likelihood being used to attack Yemen. An International Business Times investigation found that U.S. arms exports to Saudi Arabia increased 97 percent when Clinton ran the State Department.

Now, Donald Trump has been elected. Trump is a dangerous, outright fascist and war criminal in waiting.

Here’s the reality: no matter who is “commander in chief,” America backs barbaric, fundamentalist despotisms like the Saudi kingdom. And it backs and has carried out horrific crimes that have shed oceans of blood—in Yemen and around the world.

STOP Wars of Empire, Armies of Occupation, and Crimes Against Humanity!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/no-conviction-for-cop-who-murdered-samuel-dubose-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

Angry Marchers Take to the Streets:

No Conviction for Cincinnati Pig Who Murdered Samuel DuBose

November 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On November 12, Judge Megan Shanahan declared a mistrial for University of Cincinnati (UC) cop Ray Tensing. Tensing was charged with the July 2015 killing of Samuel DuBose, a 43-year-old Black man, after pulling him over for failure to display a front license plate. (See “The Police Murder of Sam DuBose and the Coverup: EXPOSED”)

This was not the first time Samuel DuBose had been stopped for Driving While Black. In the past 20 years he had been charged more than 75 times in Hamilton County (which includes Cincinnati), mostly for minor traffic and other violations.

Unarmed and posing no threat to the cop, DuBose tried to defuse the situation. He spoke calmly, showed Tensing the missing plate sitting on his dashboard, and pointed out that he had a valid rear plate. And yet this pig shot Samuel DuBose in the head, killing him.

Drawing from the playbook of so many pigs who have murdered Black people, Tensing claimed he feared for his life. He claimed DuBose tried to run him over. Other cops on the scene signed on to these lies. The DuBose family fought for Tensing’s bodycam video to be released. When it was, the video showed Tensing’s story to be bullshit. DuBose never threatened Tensing in any way. After the video, and large protests, Tensing was indicted on murder and voluntary manslaughter charges.

During the trial, more damning exposure of the murder, and Tensing’s history of racism, were exposed. It came out that neither Tensing’s body nor uniform showed any injury or damage. And, it came out that Tensing had a history of racial profiling, with the highest rate of any officer on the UC police force for pulling over Black people. On the day he murdered Sam DuBose, Tensing was wearing a Confederate flag T-shirt under his uniform!

In spite of all this, the injustice system still did not convict Tensing! The jury of 10 whites and two Blacks deadlocked (reportedly, four wanted to convict on murder and eight on voluntary manslaughter). The judge declared a mistrial early Saturday morning, on very short notice—so short that Samuel’s family didn’t even have time to get to the courthouse. But a crowd of 50 people was at the courthouse anyway and it grew as word of the mistrial spread. Anger was intense. A young Black woman outside the courthouse said, “This verdict further confirms that the criminal justice system is designed to insure that victims of state sanctioned murder have no recourse. A system which does not respect Black lives does not deserve respect in return.”

People outside the courthouse in Cincinnati react in anger to the refusal to convict the cop who murdered Samuel DuBose, November 12, 2016.
Credit: ‏‏@McGingeryBeard

A crowd of people, mostly Black, then marched from the courthouse through the downtown business district and the oppressed Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. The march merged with a mostly white protest against Donald Trump, and together grew to something like 1,000 people.

Once again: A Black man, murdered by this system's police. One of so many murdered because they reached for their license... or made eye contact with a pig... or put their hands up. Or... did nothing at all.

Once again: the pig who did it is walking the streets, a free man.

Once again: bitter proof that when pigs murder Black and Brown people, they are doing their job.

And once again: damning evidence that this system needs to be overthrown at the soonest possible time.

 

       

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/a-timeline-with-lessons-for-today-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

A Timeline with Lessons for Today:

Hitler’s Rise to Power

November 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In 1933, Adolph Hitler became chancellor of Germany. That event set in motion some of the greatest horrors of the 20th century. Here’s something most people don’t know, or if they do know it, far too many fail to confront the implications: Hitler and the Nazis came to power through established channels of democracy and elections. The following timeline traces key events in Hitler’s rise to power.

* * *

1919

In the aftermath of Germany’s crushing defeat in World War 1, the country is in widespread economic, political, and moral crisis. An attempt at communist revolution is drowned in blood. At the same time, fascist organizations are given great leeway to organize.

1921. Adolph Hitler becomes the leader of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (the Nazis). He combines populist patriotic appeals to the ruined middle class with a program calling for the violent subjugation of neighboring countries to the east. He taps into and whips up ignorant, violent fear and hatred of Jews. He calls for revoking the citizenship of Jews. In his blustering persona and agenda, Hitler champions and symbolizes unapologetic and belligerent revival of German nationalism. Much of the German ruling class media, and much of society, dismiss him as a buffoon.

1923

The Weimar Republic is the democratic form through which the German capitalist-imperialists rule Germany. Hitler leads 2,000 armed fascists in the city of Munich in an attempt to overthrow the republic. His aim is to establish a fascist regime without pretense of civil liberties or elections. The attempted coup is a failure but it serves as a rallying cry for fascists throughout Germany.

1924

Hitler’s 24-day treason trial becomes a widely publicized manifesto for his fascist agenda. He denounces the Weimar Republic as “traitors” whose weakness brought humiliation and defeat in war. Hitler is convicted of treason but serves less than a year in jail. In prison Hitler writes his infamous book, Mein Kampf (My Struggle). The book asserts racist theories adapted from those widely promoted in the United States at the time. It articulates an agenda of genocide against Jews, war on cosmopolitan (tolerant and enlightened) thinking and values, and absolute rule by naked terror. It calls for restoring German power by invading and conquering lands to the east. There is no basis now for anyone to claim ignorance of Hitler’s program.

1925

Emerging from prison with a national audience and more powerful backing from sections of the German ruling class, Hitler and his backers determine the best way to achieve their goals is through legal means and elections. At the same time, Nazi “brownshirts”—armed gangs of fascist terrorists—step up violence against Hitler’s opponents, especially radicals and communists.

1928

Hitler’s party wins just 2.6 percent of the vote in national elections.

1929

Global economic crisis is triggered by the crash of the U.S. stock market. The crisis devastates the German economy. The Nazis gain a larger following, and are seen as the best option by growing sections of the German ruling class.

1930

Hitler’s party wins 18.3 percent of the vote in elections to the Reichstag (parliament, or congress).

1931

Hitler and the Nazis join parliament and form coalitions with more established reactionary parties. Nazi officials are elected or appointed in key regions of Germany

1932

Hitler places a strong second in the presidential elections. At the same time, nearly a third of the vote goes to communists or social democrats who oppose Hitler. The Nazis target Germany’s large communist movement for the most violent attacks. Ferocious street clashes rage between fascists and communists.

January 1933

Clashes between Nazis and communists are invoked by the Nazis to demand “law and order” and an end to civil liberties. Nazi militias and paramilitary thugs are formally integrated into official police forces as “auxiliary police.” In the fifth election in five turbulent years, the Nazis win 44 percent of the vote. This is not a majority but it is a plurality—a larger share of the vote than any other party. Hitler is appointed chancellor by Germany’s President Hindenburg. Hitler’s cabinet is made up of one-third Nazis who control the forces of repression and ministry of propaganda. The remainder of the cabinet is made up of traditional establishment conservative and reactionary figures—old-school monarchists and representatives of newer capitalists including a mass-media mogul. Their agendas overlap with Hitler, even though in the main they do not share his fixation on exterminating the Jews. They provide critical connections and imbue legitimacy on the regime.

February 1933

The Reichstag building is set on fire. Historians have generally concluded that the Nazis planned the arson and carried it out for their own ends. The incident is blamed on a communist conspiracy. A huge propaganda blitz whips up anti-communist hysteria. Nazi militias and official police round up communists.

March 1933

Despite terror and intimidation, millions continue to vote for the communists in national elections. The dozens of communists in the Reichstag are jailed or in hiding. The Reichstag passes an act giving Hitler absolute power for four years. Remaining political parties are banned. Germany’s existing prison system cannot accommodate the tens of thousands of opponents of the regime rounded up by Hitler—overwhelmingly communists. The first of what will be many concentration camps is set up to detain them. Later, millions of Jews and others will be shipped to what become death camps.

1934

The Nazis declare they are the party that can unify the country, impose law and order, and restore traditional values. Unions are abolished and replaced by Nazi labor organizations. Hitler’s rivals in government are rounded up and shot. After President Hindenburg dies, Hitler assumes the position of Germany’s president as well as chancellor.

In the next 11 years, six million Jews, Roma people (“Gypsies”), gay people, people with disabilities, communists, and dissidents are rounded up and shipped to death camps in Germany and German-occupied Europe. Under Hitler, German imperialism wars with rival imperialists (France, Britain, and the U.S.) and invades and occupies Eastern Europe, enslaving and slaughtering peoples considered “inferior.” Germany invades the (then) socialist Soviet Union, resulting in the deaths of some 27 million people in the Soviet Union. Germany’s defeat in that invasion is the single most defining event that leads to the defeat and collapse of the Nazi regime.

* * *

History does not proceed by repeating itself, and the future is unwritten. But history DOES provide lessons and it would be very unwise, to understate the case, to draw comfort from the fact that at this point in the United States, President-elect Donald Trump heads a larger and contradictory alliance of right-wing forces. At first, Hitler ruled as part of a larger coalition of forces. Further, as Trump goes forward with repressing some of the groups he has targeted, it would be very wise to take a lesson from Martin Niemöller, the German clergyman who, after the war, made the following famous statement:

First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.

 


Resources / References / Background Material:

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich—A History of Nazi Germany, William L. Shirer (1960)

Why Did the Heavens Not Darken? The “Final Solution” in History, Arno J. Mayer (1989)

Martin Niemoller and the Lessons for this Moment,” by Toby O’Ryan, Revolution/www.revcom.us (October 20, 2005)

Revolution Responds To Question on Nature of Holocaust,” Revolution/www.revcom.us (October 31, 2010)

 

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/461/sunsara-taylor-women-2016-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

Break All the Chains!

Break ALL the Chains!
Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution

Sampler Edition | Full Work

Women Are Not Bitches, Ho's, or Punching Bags... Women Are Full Human Beings

by Sunsara Taylor

November 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This is an edited and shortened version of an article originally posted at revcom.us on October 15, 2016.

It’s 2016, and Donald Trump has been elected to be the president of the United States—a man caught bragging and laughing about sexually assaulting women: “Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” “I just start kissing them... I don’t even wait.” “I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it. ... You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ... And you see these incredible looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.”

As if women are not people. As if they exist only to look good for him, to sexually please and flatter him, to submit to his groping hands, his physical assaults, his crude insults. As if viewing women this way was something to laugh about.

All this is not “just words.” It’s a punch in the face to women everywhere. These are boasts about the actual violation of real women—the infliction of trauma and pain, of humiliation and insult. It’s a green light to men everywhere, permission to excuse and revel in the violence this society inculcates and unleashes against women. It is a statement to millions of women who have been raped, harassed, groped, flashed, hit, stalked, “brushed up against,” and silenced: shut up and get used to it.

What Kind of System Produces THIS?

Any system that could produce a man like this—not only a violent misogynist and serial sexual assaulter, but a vile racist, hateful xenophobe, a brutal fascist, and all-around predator—that could produce a whole culture where someone like this could command a frothing-at-the-mouth, violently loyal social base of millions, where a man like this could be put forth and backed by major ruling institutions, supported, promoted, and excused by the ruling class media, and backed by powerful donors and interests—such a system is COMPLETELY ILLEGITIMATE.

It has no right to rule over the masses of humanity.

It has to be overthrown at the soonest possible time.

After women from all walks of society courageously stepped forward to put their faces to sexual assault, Trump’s response? To dismiss and excuse this sexual violence as “just locker room banter” and to lash out further at these women. To suggest that these women were not “attractive” enough to “deserve” his sexual predations. As if being groped, humiliated, raped, harassed—having one’s humanity violated and one’s body degraded for someone else’s perverse power-trip—were a “compliment.” No! It is NOT a “compliment” to be preyed upon, demeaned, and degraded. It is a violation. It is painful and humiliating. It is traumatic and something that no one should ever have to endure.

Again, any system that would consider this slithering, blustering, world-class creep after he lashes out in this way as a legitimate president, has no right to rule. It must be overthrown at the soonest possible time.

This shit does go on in locker rooms. Men joking and boasting about women as things to be used and abused, ranking their value according to objectifying and demeaning physical standards, encouraging or looking the other way while men violate or abuse women. It goes on in the frat houses—where new recruits have been mobilized to chant “No means yes and yes means anal.” It goes on in military barracks—where violent and cruel porn is used to pump people up before they go out and kill, where one in three women is raped or sexually assaulted. It goes on in the office suites of Wall Street and strip clubs; in video games that reward players for beating prostitutes to death. In the hotels of traveling businessmen where 40 percent of housekeepers report having been groped, sexually assaulted, or flashed.

Heart-wrenching voices have poured out on Twitter—MILLIONS of women describing their first sexual assaults.

The fact is, the oppression of women is deeply woven into every aspect of this “modern” society. Its roots are thousands of years old, and while some of the forms have changed, it is not “getting better.”

In fact, in many ways, the vindictiveness of this misogyny and the cruelty of its violence are escalating—precisely as a backlash and revenge against the major changes that have taken place in recent decades in women’s place and traditional roles, including the changes women have fought for and won. So now they are being assaulted for challenging thousands of years of patriarchy’s barbaric chains. This, in fact, is one thing that explains the rise of this reeking pig and how he clawed his way to the top to win the presidential election.

"A World of Rape and Sexual Assault"
by Bob Avakian

The Most Important Thing...

But here is the most important thing: as vile as Trump is, Trump and the violent misogyny he embodies are NOT a problem that can be solved by electing a Democrat—even if they can sometimes speak compellingly against the crudest expressions of this slave-master talk about women.

Differences, Yes. But Trump, Obamas, Clintons Are Still Products, Representatives, Functionaries of the Same System

Yes, Hillary Clinton, the Obamas, and the Democrats aren’t exactly the same as Donald Trump. But all are products, representatives, and functionaries of the same system as Trump—a system which in a thousand ways embodies and enforces the most horrendous oppression of women, in this country and throughout the world.

Break the Chans!
JPG | PDF poster

The reality is that the system represented by the Obamas, the Clintons, and the Democrats, as well as the Republicans, rests in a fundamental way on a worldwide network of sweatshops, where masses of people, a large number of them women and girls, are viciously exploited.

What have the Clintons, Obamas, and Democrats done about the massive dissemination of woman-degrading pornography, which is encouraging and conditioning whole generations of males to regard and treat women as subhuman objects of exploitation and degradation? What have these liberal representatives of this system actually done about the international enslavement and trafficking of millions and millions of females, a huge number of them young girls?!

The fundamental fact is that this system could not do away with the oppression and degradation of the half of humanity that is female, and on the contrary can only maintain and enforce this, including in the most horrendous forms, regardless of what the sentiments of individual representatives and functionaries of this system might believe or wish.

The world doesn’t have to be this way. Men are not born baby-Trumps. Misogyny and patriarchy are not ingrained in human nature. They are products of a system that can and must be overthrown at the soonest possible moment.

UNLEASH THE FURY OF WOMEN AS A MIGHTY FORCE FOR REVOLUTION!

WE NEED TO OVERTHROW, NOT VOTE FOR, THIS SYSTEM!

 

BAsics 1:10

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/other-voices-on-trump-resistance-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

Voices of Conscience and Resistance in the Time of Trump/Pence

Updated September 15, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Also see videos and statements from initiators and others on the importance of Refuse Fascism

Editor's note: Important voices are calling out the ominous implications of a Trump presidency from a range of viewpoints. And challenging people to confront what that means, and to resist.

Voices of Conscience posted on this page
(click to read or watch):

Professor's first act as American citizen—get arrested for protesting in support of DACA students

Harvard Professor Ahmed Ragab's first act as an American citizen was to get arrested for protesting in support of DACA students. Ragab drove directly from his citizenship ceremony to a protest in Cambridge, Massachusetts to stand in solidarity with other Boston area professors and protest the DACA repeal.

He wrote in part in a Washington Post opinion letter:

With the Trump administration abolishing DACA, my students now live in fear that the lives they have built will be wrestled away, that they could be thrown out of this country, which is theirs as much as it will ever be mine. Adding insult to injury, President Trump is using them as pawns in his political games. First, shirking his responsibility, he put their fate in the hands of Congress. Then he suggested that he would take action if Congress doesn’t, and that they will not be a deportation priority. Finally, he tweeted that they have nothing to fear “for six months.” Throughout, the abuse continues. These young people are to continue working, studying and serving this country while simply hoping that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents don’t show up, and they are expected to believe in a system that consistently rejects their rights and threatens their lives and families.

The discourse defending DACA focuses on these young people being in the United States “through no fault of their own.” This narrative vilifies their parents to avoid difficult, broader questions about immigration, racism and xenophobia. My “DACAmented” students are here thanks to their parents, who made many sacrifices to offer their children better lives. Two generations ago, James Baldwin wrote of “the American Negro”: “It is a terrible thing for an entire people to surrender to the notion that one-ninth of its population is beneath them. Until ... we are able to accept that we need each other, that I am one of the people who build the country, there is little hope for the American Dream.” Baldwin’s prescient diagnosis is still germane; our society still denies the contribution of millions of undocumented Americans to the making of this country, and dismisses their rights to the fruits of what they helped build. The American Dream lives in tortured dissociation: claimed to be for all, but denied to many.

So last week, my fellow Boston professors and I protested beside a statue of Charles Sumner, an abolitionist who nearly lost his life for rejecting the Fugitive Slave Act. We crossed Massachusetts Avenue to stand in the middle of the street. As a friend put it, we wanted to bridge the distance between law and justice with our bodies. Before we were arrested, the officers informed us that we were disturbing the peace. But the peace that we disturbed is but a veneer obscuring the injustices embedded in arbitrary immigration systems and institutional racism.

Banner unfurled at Boston’s Fenway Park:
“Racism is as American as Baseball”

Letter from a reader:

On Wednesday, September 13, a group of white people dropped an enormous banner, “RACISM IS AS AMERICAN AS BASEBALL,” over the famous “Green Monster” wall in Boston’s Fenway Park during a nationally televised game between the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics.

The group stated “We are a group of white anti-racist protesters.  We want to remind everyone that just as baseball is fundamental to American culture and history, so too is racism. White people need to wake up to this reality before white supremacy can truly be dismantled. We urge anyone who is interested in learning more or taking action to contact their local racial justice organization.” “We are responding to a long history of racism and white supremacy in the United States that continues to pervade every aspect of American culture today.  We deliberately chose a platform in an attempt to reach as many people as possible.” After Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles was taunted with bags of peanuts thrown at him and being called the “N-word” by Boston fans earlier in the season, the group decided that something had to be done. Other Black players spoke up after Jones did, saying similar things happened to them when they played in Boston against the Red Sox. The Boston Red Sox was the last Major League Baseball team to have a Black player on its roster. Tom Yawkey, the owner of the Red Sox from 1933 to 1976, continuously rejected any attempts to integrate the team. He refused to sign Jackie Robinson, who called Yawkey “one of the most bigoted guys in baseball.” The current owner of the Red Sox, John Henry, is attempting to remove the name of the street, Yawkey Way, where Fenway Park is located and rename it with the name of a famous Red Sox player, like David Ortiz, who is known as “Big Papi.” In speaking to the issue of racism in Boston, the group that dropped the banner said, “…we saw, we see Boston continually priding itself as a kind of liberal, not racist city, and are reminded also constantly that it’s actually an extremely segregated city. It has been for a long time, and that no white people can avoid the history of racism, essentially. So we did this banner as a gesture towards that, to have a conversation about that.”

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A Voice of Conscience in Sports World— ESPN Reporter Calls Trump a "White Supremacist"

From a reader:

The shit hit the fan on Tuesday, September 12, after Jemele Hill, an anchor on ESPN's SC6 (SportsCenter at 6) news show, tweeted out on Monday that Donald Trump is a "white supremacist."

Hill has been known for not shying away from politics in her commentaries.

She began her tweets about Trump by first going after singer Kid Rock, a supporter of the fascist Trump/Pence regime, by responding to his tweet that he was thinking about running for the U.S. Senate and claiming he "loves black people," and then accused the "extreme left" of "trying to use the old confederate flag BS" to label him a racist. Hill responded by tweeting out, "He loves black people so much that he pandered to racists by using a flag that unquestionably stands for dehumanizing black people."

The Twitter thread by Hill continued after she was attacked for her tweet about Kid Rock. She posted her Trump tweets in reply to them:

Hill then was barraged with racist and anti-woman tweets calling her a "nigger" and a "bitch." The white supremacist supporters of Trump, including Breitbart and Fox News, called for ESPN to fire her. ESPN tried to throw her under the bus when they "disavowed" what she said, and put out a statement, "We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate." 

Then on Wednesday September 13 the White House called for ESPN to fire Hill—Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders responded to a question about the tweets by saying "That's one of the more outrageous comments that anyone could make and certainly something that I think is a fireable offense by ESPN."

But broadly from athletes, Hill immediately got support from Colin Kaepernick, who tweeted out, "We are with you @jemelehill." Deadspin.com reported, "ESPN Issues Craven Apology For Jemele Hill's Accurate Descriptions Of Donald Trump." Reggie Miller, former NBA basketball all-star, tweeted out, "I'm on team @jemelehill..." Current NBA all-star Dwayne Wade responded to Miller's tweet with, "Sign me up!"

Hill, who grew up in poverty-ridden Detroit, has continuously brought politics into sports. In 2008, she compared rooting for the Detroit Pistons with rooting for the Boston Celtics, a team that traditionally became known as the team for white people to root for in a predominantly Black league, when she wrote, "Rooting for the Celtics is like saying Hitler was a victim. It's like hoping Gorbachev would get to the blinking red button before Reagan. Deserving or not, I still hate the Celtics." (Listen to Bob Avakian's talk about the NBA, "Marketing the Minstrel Show and Serving the Big Gangsters," at revcom.us)

Earlier this year, Hill was reporting on Colin Kaepernick not currently being signed by an NFL team because of his political views by refusing to stand for the national anthem in protest of police brutality and murders against Black people. In reporting that Kaepernick had compared the cops of today with "slave patrols," she said the comparison of police to "slave patrols" was "inflammatory, but historically accurate."

After she was attacked for bringing politics into sports and ESPN was attacked as being liberal, she gave an interview to Yahoo.com (See https://finance.yahoo.com/news/sportscenter-anchor-jemele-hill-espns-politics-athletes-dragging-us-193537563.html)

I just hadn't noticed the correlation between us being called more liberal as you see more women in a position on our network... as you see more ethnic diversity, then all of a sudden ESPN is too liberal. So I wonder, when people say that, what they're really saying. The other part of it is that we're journalists, and people have to understand, these uncomfortable political conversations... the athletes are dragging us here. I didn't ask Colin Kaepernick to kneel. He did it on his own. So, was I supposed to act like he didn't? Gregg Popovich, every week at his press conferences, is having a 10-minute soliloquy on Donald Trump. Am I supposed to act like he's not doing that? You have athletes saying they're going to the White House, not going to the White House, that's all sports news. It didn't just start with this generation of athletes, it's always been that way. Sometimes when I hear a viewer say they don't want their politics mixed with sports, I say, "What did you think about Muhammad Ali?" And then all of a sudden it's glowing praise.

In another interview she said:

Whether we want to discuss it or not, athletes are dragging us into these conversations. It's not that Mike [her co-host, Michael Smith] and I wake up one day and say, "Hey, today we're going to be MSNBC." It's usually based off a news story that is relevant to sports.

If ESPN attempts to suspend or fire Jemele Hill for telling the truth, people need to come to her defense in a big way.

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Munroe Bergdorf, L'Oréal's First Trans Model Fired for Calling Out White Supremacy

Munroe Bergdorf, a transgender model was recently hired by L'Oréal to be featured in a YouTube ad for its True Match Foundation. However, Bergdorf's deal with the company did not last very long.

Bergdorf posted comments on Facebook calling out white supremacy, white privilege and systemic racism in the United States. She wrote:

Honestly I don't have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people" .... "Because most of ya'll don't even realize or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of colour. Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this shit." .... "Come see me when you realise that racism isn't learned, it's inherited and consciously or unconsciously passed down through privilege," she added. "Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth... then we can talk."

Immediately the media attacked Bergdorf filled with vitriol, how can she say, "All white people are racist?" The media continued by spreading falsehoods and distorting her statements. In fact, Bergdorf's statements represent undeniable truths about the nature of this system and its foundation in white supremacy that continues up until today. Bergdorf did not remain silent after being fired. She took to Facebook again to clarify her statements, making a powerful point:

"When I stated that 'all white people are racist,' I was addressing that fact that western society as a whole, is a SYSTEM rooted in white supremacy—designed to benefit, prioritise and protect white people before anyone of any other race," she wrote. "Unknowingly, white people are SOCIALISED to be racist from birth onwards. It is not something genetic. No one is born racist."

To read more of Munroe Bergdorf's posts and her response to L'Oréal click here

Messages of Resistance at the MTV Video Music Awards

This week MTV held its annual Video Music Awards. This year's VMAs were far from apolitical—a number of artists made righteous political statements, many against white supremacy.

During her presentation for best pop video, Paris Jackson, daughter of Michael Jackson, condemned the white supremacists and Nazis that marched in Charlottesville. Jackson said, "I hope we leave here tonight remembering that we must show these Nazi, white supremacist jerks in Charlottesville and all over the country that as a nation with liberty as our slogan, we have zero tolerance for their violence, hatred and their discrimination."

Katy Perry jokingly compared the votes for best video award for the show to the votes cast in the election, saying this is "one election where the popular vote actually matters." Somali nominee K'naan wore a mock "Make America Great Again" hat with a message scrawled in Arabic.

The night's big performance was by Kendrick Lamar, who started his song with a brief message about police brutality. Later in the night, singer Cardi B showed support by giving a shout out to Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who is being blackballed from the the NFL because of his refusal to stand for the national anthem in protest of police brutality and murder of people of color. Cardi said, "Colin Kaepernick, as long as you kneel with us, we gonna be standing for you baby."

Susan Bro, whose daughter Heather Heyer was killed in Charlottesville when a white supremacist slammed his car into a group of anti-racist protestors, took the stage at one point. She was joined by Robert Wright Lee IV, pastor and descendant of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. "We have made my ancestor an idol of white supremacy, racism and hate," said Lee. "Today, I call on all of us with privilege and power to answer God's call to confront racism and white supremacy head-on."

Strong and steadfast, Susan Bro spoke about Heather and the foundation she has started in honor of her. She then presented the Best Fight Against the System Awards as a tribute to Heather's passion for social justice. Susan Bro said, "I want people to know that Heather never marched alone. She was always joined by people from every race and every background in this country."

The winners of the Best Fight Against the System Awards were: Logic ft. Damian Lemar Hudson, for "Black Spider Man"; The Hamilton Mixtape, for "Immigrants (We Get the Job Done); Big Sean for "Light"; Alessia Cara, for "Scars To Your Beautiful" (Body image); Taboo ft. Shailene Woodley, for "Stand Up/Stand N Rock #NoDAPL"; and John Legend for "Surefire."

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Punk Rock Band Anti-Flag: Time to remove "all monuments to the Confederacy and the racism for which they stand"

Punk rock band Anti-Flag has released a new track, "Racists," in the wake of the recent fascist/white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. In the lyric video, photos of the KKK, Confederate flag, pro-Trump signs, and other images appear on the screen along with the song's words, including the chorus:

Just 'cause you don't know you're racist
A bigot with a check list
Just 'cause you don't know you're racist
You don't get a pass when you're talkin' your shit

Along with releasing the song, the band released a statement saying:

We stand in solidarity with those fighting racism and fascism in the streets of Charlottesville and beyond. We believe it is time for the removal of all monuments to the confederacy and the racism for which they stand. We must put these symbols of white supremacy into places where the proper context can be provided for what they actually are; outdated, backwards, and antithetical to what we believe the values of humanity should be. It is past time to have real conversations on systemic racism and America's history of it. There are museums memorializing the Holocaust all across Europe, while America continues to try to hide from its racist and murderous past and present

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NFL Player Anquan Boldin Quits Because of Charlottesville: "There's something bigger than football"

All-Pro National Football League wide receiver and Super Bowl champion Anquan Boldin has quit football, just two weeks after signing a contract with the Buffalo Bills, saying, “Just seeing things that transpired over the last week or so [in Charlottesville], I think for me there’s something bigger than football at this point.” In an interview with ESPN, Boldin said he was “drawn to make the larger fight for human rights a priority” and that “my life’s purpose is bigger than football.”

Boldin, a 14-year NFL veteran, said that he has been considering retirement for a while, but the events that unfolded in Charlottesville helped prompt his decision. He said, “I can remember as a kid wanting to get to the NFL and wanting to be a professional football player. I dedicated my life to that, and I never thought anything would take the place of that passion. But for me, it has.”

He went on, “I’m uncomfortable with how divided we are as a country. Is it something new to us? No. Is it something that we’re just starting to experience? No. But to see just how divided we are, I’m uncomfortable with that.”

Last year, Boldin was awarded the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for his volunteer and charity work. In talking about that, he said, “Humanitarian work is something that I’ve been working on for years. Advocating for equality, criminal justice reform, all of those things are something that I’ve been working on for years. So this is not just a fly-by-night decision for me. It’s something that I’ve been dealing with for years, and it’s something that I’m willing to dedicate my life towards. Do I think I can solve all the problems that we have in this country? Of course not. But I think I do have a duty to stand up and make my voice heard and be a voice for those that don’t have a voice.

“My passion for the advocacy work that I do outweighs my passion for football at this point,” he said. “So I’m not coming back to play for a contender or to do anything else. I’m done with the game of football.”

Artist Joseph Guay on his "Border Wall" Installation in Atlanta

Several weeks ago, a large art installation popped up along a busy Atlanta street. The project is "Border Wall," by Joseph Guay, who explains, "It is modeled after the proposed $20 Billion dollar wall for the US/Mexico 1,989 mile border. The purpose of this installation is to create social awareness on the issues surrounding immigration in the United States." Guay's wall is 40 feet long, 16 feet tall and made of steel, rebar, and concrete.

As part of his conception for the work, the "Border Wall" was constructed by undocumented Mexican workers. One side of the wall shows a giant image of Donald Trump, the other side is adorned with a massive Mexican flag. The "Border Wall" sits strikingly behind a barbwire fence in an abandoned parking lot. Guay has invited anyone who wants to express their thoughts on the Trump wall and on the issue of immigrants and immigration by posting and writing graffiti on the wall. In just a few weeks, the wall has been covered mostly with anti-Trump statements, messages of love for immigrants, and a number of Refuse Fascism NO! signs.

On his website, Joseph Guay says:

"The incredible souls that we label as illegals, poor immigrants, the people who want to steal our jobs...( undocumented Mexican labor workers ) have actually come together to help construct this wall. They believe in showing the world what a dividing wall looks and feels like. They believe in letting the American public know, in a peaceful way, that they are not here to take anything. They are actually here to give and help build our 'United' States. One worker has shared several stories of his difficult journey here. He also explained how other individuals raised $15,000 US in order to pay an illegal transporter to get them into this country... only to be treated like slaves on their arrival. Every story he tells makes me upset at the incorrect way we are dealing with this issue. I hope this project will give a better voice to the difficult topics individuals face that are only looking for a better life, and the difficult topics we face as a country. I can't help but ask myself... Does this wall stand for more than just a border crossing point? Maybe it's a symbol of division.... division of land, of cultures, of race, and equality. If we start going in this direction as a nation then where do we stop? I do not know, but I hope we can collectively explore the path together and find a more humane solution."

Artist Joseph Guay's “Border Wall” Installation in Atlanta  
Photo: special to revcom.us

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Mitch O’Connell, Artist, on his Anti-Trump Billboard in Mexico City: “Mexico came to mind because Trump started out his campaign by being cruel and mean to everyone in Mexico”

Chicago-based artist Mitch O’Connell’s artwork featuring an “alien invader” image of Donald Trump now towers above one of Mexico City’s busiest roads. The billboard features a monstrous image of Trump with a blue and red fleshless face and the slogan “Make America Great Again,” and an American flag waves in the background.

O’Connell said the idea came as he was designing a poster for a science-fiction and horror film festival. The artist said that he intended the project to be posted in a U.S. city but was denied a permit 30 times. “No one wanted to touch it because it's political," he said. O’Connell’s mind then turned to Mexico. He said, “Mexico came to mind because Trump started out his campaign by being cruel and mean to everyone in Mexico." With the help of an Argentinian artist living in Mexico City, O’Connell brought his controversial billboard to fruition.

O’Connell says, "With every month that passed since I did the drawing two years ago, he has become more like that crazy alien. It seems over time he became more and more like the movie, so it became more and more appropriate over time."

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David Strathairn: "July 15, We Have to Stand Up and Say NO!"

From David Strathairn:

Our form of a humane, compassionate, all-inclusive governance, guaranteed us by the founding principles of our constitution, a government, remember?, “of the people, by the people, and for the people”, is in a battle for its life against the vile, malignant, fascist agenda of the Trump/Pence regime.

This regime and it’s co-conspirators, is being allowed to infiltrate more widely, more deeply, and more insidiously, into the precious fabric of our daily lives, everyday, assaulting our inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness by spreading bias, hatred, greed, and distrust; threatening to tear apart our own nation’s vital need for communality and inclusiveness; displaying a disgusting example of basic human decency; attempting to establish economic policies that will only fill their already bulging pockets while fleecing tens of millions of people of essential human services; trying to pass laws of ethnic, religious, and gender oppression; seeking to control the way we chose our public servants; arrogantly and ignorantly destabilizing crucial global alliances to a frightening degree; and willfully denying, while adding to, the undisputed scientific facts that the health of our planet is under serious duress. And this is all happening right under our noses.

We have to stand up and say NO. However we can, Wherever we can. Before it’s too late. Add your voice on July 15th. The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go.

Lily Eskelsen García, National Education Association: “We will not find common ground with an administration that is cruel and callous to our children and their families.”

Over the weekend, the National Education Association (NEA) met for their annual conference in Boston. The NEA has three million members at all levels of education and describes itself as the “largest professional employee organization” in the U.S. The tone of the conference was certainly different from years past—fear and defiance of the Trump Regime permeated the air.

Lily Eskelsen García, the president of the NEA, delivered a speech indicting Trump and his Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, for their “profoundly disturbing” agenda aimed at destroying public education. She said, “I do not trust their motives. I do not believe their alternative facts. I see no reason to assume they will do what is best for our students and their families.”

While not naming them by name, García made clear that the NEA was taking a sharply different stand from heads of other unions who have had friendly meetings with Trump: “There will be no photo-op…. We will not find common ground with an administration that is cruel and callous to our children and their families.”

In her speech García warned that educators’ resistance will have a backlash from the Trump regime: “They’re going to hit us with everything they’ve got because we are a threat to them. They will try to take away your freedom to organize. They will try to take away your freedom to negotiate with a collective voice. They will try to silence us because when we win, the entire community wins.” García went on to say that teachers must be prepared to fight back against the Trump/Devos’s fascist agenda while defending the students, families, and communities under attack.

Read text of her talk here

Watch FB video of her speech (starts about 13:15)

Neil Young: “Children of Destiny”

Neil Young surprise-released a new song titled “Children of Destiny” in time for the Fourth of July weekend. The song features a new young rock group, Promise of the Real, fronted by Willie Nelson’s son, Lukas Nelson, as well as a 65-piece orchestra. The video for the song shows flag-waving crowds, protests/marches, beautiful nature scenes, and the destruction of war. The song shifts between upbeat to melancholy and so does the imagery.

The song’s chorus is powerful and a call to resistance. Young sings:

Stand up for what you believe
Resist the powers that be
Preserve the land and save the seas
For the children of destiny.
The children of you and me

Then, suddenly, the imagery shifts and so does the emotion of the song as Young sings:

Should goodness ever lose, and evil steal the day
Should happy sing the blues, and peaceful fade away.
What would you do?
What would you say?
How would you act on that new day?

The upbeat chorus kicks back in as Young answers his own questions with images of resistance and protests: “Resist the powers that be…”

Watch the video:

Corey Stoll, actor in New York Public Theater’s production of Julius Caesar, calls the performance an act of resistance

Corey Stoll played Julius Caesar’s assassin, Marcus Brutus, in the New York Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar. The Public Theatre’s staging of the play depicted the murdered title character as Donald Trump—and this outraged the fascists. Trump’s fascist base was up in arms, and they disrupted the performances multiple times.

In an essay written after the final show, Stoll says that he realized that the play itself was an act of resistance. “The protesters never shut us down, but we had to fight each night to make sure they did not distort the story we were telling,” recalls Stoll. He continues, “At that moment, watching my castmates hold their performances together, it occurred to me that this is resistance.”

Stoll and the rest of the cast performed amidst the media’s distortion of the meaning and intention of the play, along with fascist trolls yelling things like, “Liberal hate kills” and “Goebbels would be proud.” (Joseph Goebbels was the Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany.) In addition, Donald Trump Jr. went on TV to lambaste the play, claiming that it was responsible for the shooting at the congressional baseball game. The director of the play also said that the performance received multiple death threats.

Stoll writes, “In this new world where art is willfully misinterpreted to score points and to distract, simply doing the work of an artist has become a political act. I’m thankful for all the beautiful defenses of our production written in the last few weeks. But the cliché is true: In politics, when you’re explaining, you’re losing. So if you’re making art, by all means question yourself and allow yourself to be influenced by critics of good faith. But don’t allow yourself to be gaslighted or sucked into a bad-faith argument. A play is not a tweet. It can’t be compressed and embedded and it definitely can’t be delivered apologetically. The very act of saying anything more nuanced than ‘us good, them bad’ is under attack, and I’m proud to stand with artists who do. May we continue to stand behind our work, and, when interrupted, pick it right back up from ‘liberty and freedom.’”

Read Stoll’s entire essay at Vulture.com.

Diala Shamas, supervising attorney at the International Human Rights Clinic, on Supreme Court reinstating parts of Trump’s Muslim ban: “Lawyers alone can’t save us from Trump. The Supreme Court just proved it.”

Diala Shamas, a lecturer in law and supervising attorney at Stanford Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic, has worked extensively with Muslim communities in the U.S. as well as refugees abroad. Her June 27 piece for the Washington Post, which appeared right after the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated large parts of the Trump/Pence regime’s Muslim ban, was titled “Lawyers alone can’t save us from Trump. The Supreme Court just proved it.”

Shamas begins by recalling that when Trump first issued the Muslim ban in January, she and other lawyers who went to the airports to help immigrants and refugees detained or stranded because of the ban were treated like “superheroes” by the crowds that had gathered. While she appreciated the good will, she also writes that “it also seemed to foreshadow a dangerous tendency to rely on the courts and lawyers to act as a balance to our new administration’s executive power.”

Her fear came to life when the Supreme Court reinstated significant parts of the Muslim ban, which had been blocked by several appeals courts. Shamas explains that “The logic of this decision turns fundamental premises of refugee law, immigration law and the international system on their heads...” As she notes, “Significantly, it was also a per curiam decision, issued on behalf of the full court—meaning that the justices usually considered bastions of the left partook in its holding and its underlying logic.”

Shamas warns, “While lawyers are important allies, the dangers of entrusting us with the pushback against executive overreach—as the liberal camp began to do almost instantly after Trump issued the original executive order—are now evident.” She points to U.S. history and present-day struggles as evidence that rights cannot be won solely by relying on the courts: “Even landmark civil rights cases—whether Roe v. Wade or Brown v. Board of Education—were preceded by significant organizing and mobilization. Victories in the Supreme Court (and in lower courts) reflected their times, cementing hard-earned popular progress only after the political ground had already begun to shift.”

Shamas cautions people against “finding comfort” in the possibility of the Supreme Court further reviewing the case or the case becoming moot by that time. Instead, she remarks, “We must renew popular and political interest in pushing back against the executive order—and the many iterations that could follow, including other forms of discriminatory immigration profiling—in more sustained, nonlegal ways.”

Read Diala Shamas’s article here.

Moby: "In This Cold Place" music video portrays horrors of the Trump regime—and is attacked by fascist ghouls

Musician Moby and the Void Pacific Choir recently released the new music video “In This Cold Place” featuring animation by Steve Cutts. Among the many animated characters in the video is Trump as a Transformers-like robot that wreaks destruction and then turns into a swastika/dollar sign and self-destructs. Trump supporters are lashing out at Moby for this work of art. One fascist blog, for example, accused him of “corrupting children into hatred and accepting violence against President Trump.” As RefuseFascism.org points out, “Meanwhile, around the country, Muslims, immigrants, people of color, and others face threats to their well-being and their very lives on a daily basis at the hands of these same fascists. This is art that plays an important part in exposing the illegitimacy of this regime. It deserves to be shared, debated, and defended.”

Watch the video:

Reza Aslan, former host of CNN series Believer: “When the house is on fire you can’t just calmly describe the flames. You need to get onto the roof and scream at the top of your lungs, ‘Fire!’”

Reza Aslan is the former host of the CNN show Believer, which followed Aslan as he traveled the world and explored different religions. Aslan, who is Muslim, and his staff were deep into the production of the second season of the show, and he was literally packing his bags to fly to the first location to shoot some footage when he received the news that his show had been canceled. Why? Following the recent terror attacks in London, Trump seized the opportunity to reiterate the fascist call for a ban on Muslims traveling to the U.S. Outraged, Aslan took to Twitter and called President Trump “a piece of shit”—and for that, CNN fired him. This was soon after this same network cravenly fired comedian Kathy Griffin for a joke she made that Trump did not like.

In a recent interview on Deadline.com, Aslan said he was “bummed” about the canceling of his show and having to let his staff go in the middle of production—but, he said, “I think that there is something much more important right now, which is the assault on our democracy and I need to make sure that that fight is the fight that I am fighting first and foremost.”

Asked whether he regrets his tweet, Aslan responded, “I don’t regret the sentiment. I’m not trying to exaggerate here but look, when the house is on fire you can’t just calmly describe the flames. You need to get onto the roof and scream at the top of your lungs, ‘Fire!’ And I think that nothing less is tolerable at this time that we are living in.”

Aslan’s sense of urgency is something that people broadly should learn from and act on.

Read the rest of Reza Aslan’s interview here.

Jacob Ayol, Security Supervisor at Denver International Airport and Sudanese Refugee, Speaks Out Against Trump’s Muslim Ban

Jacob Ayol came to the United States in 2003 from Sudan. He spent several years in the U.S. military before finding his current job as security supervisor for the Denver International Airport.

He was at the airport when Trump’s first Muslim travel ban went into effect, and says there was lots of fear and confusion among many people at the airport. As the head of security, he faced questions from employees and passengers who were coming to him for answers that he could not provide. He states that there was an overall “fear of the unknown.” The travel ban reminded him of the fear felt in his former country and the religious divide between Sudan and South Sudan. “Each wanted to be superior, and each was afraid of the other,” Ayol says. “It has brought our country to its knees and divided our country. It’s not just history; it’s real life. We just all want to live. We want to appreciate life and not tell the other what to believe.”

Ayol has joined with the Service Employees International Union in opposing the travel ban and believes that sharing his story and the stories of other refugees will help in that fight. “It’s important if you’ve ever lived where you don’t see buildings, where you don’t know where you will eat tomorrow, you don’t see clean water. If you ever live like that, you will understand that it is very important that someone have a shot at life.”

Read the rest of Jacob Ayol’s story here.

Steven Thrasher, Writer for the Guardian: “Yes there is a free speech crisis. But its victims are not white men.”

A writer at large for the Guardian US, Steven Thrasher was, among other honors, named Journalist of the Year in 2012 by the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association. In a June 5 piece at theguardian.com, Thrasher makes incisive points about what is widely being discussed by media “talking heads on both the left and the right” as a “freedom of speech crisis.” Thrasher notes that those talking heads are “not lacking in a freedom to speak, nor are the white conservatives on college campuses they seem so worried about. It’s women and people of color who struggle the most finding a platform—but there is a conspicuous lack of concern about that by free speech crusaders.”

Thrasher raises the recent example of what happened to Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, a Princeton professor and the author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation. After she gave a commencement address at Hampshire College in which she said that Donald Trump had “fulfilled the campaign promises of a campaign organized and built upon racism, corporatism and militarism,” she was threatened with lynching and being shot in the head; and she said, “I have been repeatedly called ‘nigger,’ ‘bitch,’ ‘cunt,’ ‘dyke,’ ‘she-male,’ and ‘coon’—a clear reminder that racial violence is closely aligned with gender and sexual violence.”

Thrasher writes that he and his journalist colleagues have also been recipients of such outrageous and violent threats. And as Thrasher notes, all this is not happening in a vacuum: “They are happening in a country where the majority of white voters elected a man who bragged about grabbing women ‘by the pussy’ without consent. They are happening in a country where, as Business Insider put it, ‘Trump has unleashed a white crime wave’ against people of color from Maryland to Kansas to Oregon.

“They are happening in a country where Confederate monuments are removed at night (for the safety of those removing them) but where pro-Confederate forces feel safe to carrying torches. They are happening in a country where an academic philosophy journal will publish a Black Lives Matter symposium without any black philosophers.

“And they are happening in a country where black children are shot by the police, where the greatest basketball player of all time has a racial slur painted on his home, and where a noose was found at the nation’s newest black history museum.”

Read Steven Thrasher’s article online here.

C. Christine Fair, Georgetown University Professor, on Confronting neo-Nazi Leader Richard Spencer: “This is our December 1932“

Christine Fair is a Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. A May 25 op-ed in the Washington Post by Fair was titled, “I confronted Richard Spencer at my gym. Racists don’t get to lift in peace.” Recently, while working out at the gym, Fair came face to face with Richard Spencer. Spencer heralds himself as the new face of white supremacy, the “alt-right,” which is in fact a euphemism for fascist neo-Nazi thugs. Spencer is a strong supporter of Trump, whom he believes is mainstreaming his racist vision of an “ethno-state.” Some will recall, after the election, Spencer and his “alt-right” storm troopers celebrating and referring to Donald Trump as their “Führer,” giving Nazi salutes, and shouting “Hail Trump,” summoning to mind the Nazi “Heil Hitler.”

Fair courageously called Spencer out as a “vocal propagandist for racism” right in the middle of his workout. Immediately, Spencer took to YouTube to decry his “unfair” treatment and lambaste Fair in the most misogynist of terms.

As Fair points out, Spencer “sought to garner sympathy by arguing that he is a model gym user—he should be allowed to spread hate and stoke racist, misogynist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and other bigoted forms of violence, and organize torchlit nighttime rallies that conjure up images of similar rallies staged by the Klan—all without facing consequences for his actions when off the job, so to speak.” Fair simply responds, “But Spencer is wrong.”

Fair goes on to compare the current historical moment with that of Germany in December 1932. She says, “I imagine Germans sitting around their tables in December 1932 lamenting the eroding civil society and expansion of hateful, nationalist rhetoric between bites of Wiener schnitzel and sips of beer. They see what’s coming but they are too uncomfortable to do anything.”

Fair ends her article with a challenge to today’s “Good Germans” (she refers to Richard Collins, a Black U.S. Army lieutenant who was recently murdered by a white man who was involved in a Facebook group that posts racist material):

This is our December 1932. We have a choice. Good people can acquiesce to the purported demands of polite society and concede that Spencer’s right to lift weights in peace is more important that the rights of men like Collins to live full and productive lives, that being a white supremacist is not a 9-to-5 job, and that as long as he doesn’t bring his torch into an establishment, Spencer and his associates should be treated as any other civilized person. Or we can refuse to treat this hateful, dangerous ideology as just another way of being, and fight it in every space we occupy.

I’ve made my choice. You need to make yours.

Read C. Christine Fair’s op-ed here.

Lincoln Blades, Contributor to Teen Vogue: “White male terrorists are an issue we should discuss”

In a May 9 piece for Teen Vogue, Lincoln Blades explores why the United States needs to take seriously the presence of white male extremists. He contrasts the swirling media coverage and intense government response of mass attacks carried out by Islamic jihadists and the lack of coverage by the media and the government’s reluctance to identify attacks carried out by white (often right wing) men as acts of terrorism. He also notes Trump and other politicians’ fierce response to attacks by Muslims, while refusing to address the far more likely scenario of white supremacists attacking Black people.

After the San Bernardino shooting, Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Marco Rubio all jumped at the opportunity to declare that America was at “war.” Then candidate, and current president, Donald Trump took the rhetoric a step further by calling for a broad-sweeping ban on Muslims entering the United States. But, five days earlier, a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs was targeted by a white male devout Christian, and there was no degree of rage expressed by those same Republican presidential candidates or the accompanying hyperbolic war proclamations. In fact, the shooter, Robert Dear, was referred to as a “gentle loner” by The New York Times....

Who radicalized Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who in 2015 executed nine unarmed black churchgoers inside of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina? After he was arrested, it was discovered that he had published a website where he espoused racist ideology, regurgitating bigoted talking points on the false “epidemic” of “black-on-white” crimes, espousing that black people are inherently “violent” and that white women need to be protected from black men. It’s easy to say that his views were influenced by a small, fringe group of insane right-wing extremists, but it’s seemingly far more difficult for us to collectively accept that these prejudiced talking points have been given life through mainstream media bias, and even by the president of the United States, who once tweeted a racist meme that incorrectly cited myths about “black-on-white” crime in America as fact.

Read Lincoln Blade’s entire article here.

Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie—on connection between the murders by a white-supremacist Nazi in Portland and Trump’s anti-Muslim bigotry

On May 26, Jeremy Joseph Christian, a known white supremacist and neo-Nazi, began harassing two teenage Muslim women on MAX, Portland’s subway train. Christian was verbally assaulting the two young women, yelling racist and anti-Muslim slurs. When several men on the train attempted to intervene, Christian pulled out a knife and stabbed three men. Two of the men died from their wounds, and a third is in a hospital.

Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie, a contributor at HuffingtonPost.com wrote a powerful piece a day after the attacks. Currie is a minister in the United Church of Christ, Director of the Center for Peace and Spirituality, and University Chaplain at Pacific University. He lives just a few blocks from where the attack took place. In his piece, Currie discusses correlation between hate crimes and the election of Donald Trump, pointing to the reported increase in hate crimes by 197% since the day after the election to February. He notes that Trump and others are being helped in spreading anti-Muslim bigotry by “Christian leaders such as Franklin Graham, a close ally of the president."

Dr. Currie calls on Christians and others to oppose the hate incited by Trump and his cronies:

Islam is not evil or a dangerous religion. Fundamentalism, however, can turn any faith tradition into a violent movement. Consider the number of terrorist bombings at women’s health clinics in the United States by so-called Christians over the last several decades, and the link between white nationalist domestic terrorist groups that identify as part of a fringe movement within Christianity.

Trump, Graham, and others have helped to incite violence at their rallies and in the streets. This new normal can only be called sinful. The attack in Portland can only be called domestic terrorism.

My prayer is that every Christian body speaks out against hate crimes such as the one that occurred in Portland last night. It is vital that the interfaith movement in the United States continues to stand-up as a counterweight to those who would use religion as a tool of division. All our faith traditions, at their core, are about building just societies and freeing people from oppression. We must be about the work of bringing people together; not building walls to keep one another apart.

Read the whole article by Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie article here.

Max Perry Mueller, Religious Studies Professor: How Trump and Pence Together Embody a "White Christian America" in Decline

Religious studies professor Max Perry Mueller, writing before the election of the Trump/Pence regime, dug into the seeming contradiction between the worldview of Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Mueller, an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, described Mike Pence’s long history of perverse Christian fascist legislation, which is substantial to say the least. He reminded readers that Pence as vice president would be “just a heartbeat—or impeachment—away from the Oval Office,” describing him as “a politician who, as Pence himself implied at the vice presidential debate, believes it his ‘calling’ to legislate his religious views into public policy.”

In his piece, Mueller hit on some important reasons why Trump and Pence, despite some of their obvious differences in worldview and public persona, dangerously complement each other:

Pence’s first—and primary—identity as a conservative Christian and the governing worldview that it forms in many ways aligns with Trump’s own view of seeing the world divided starkly into allies and enemies, good deals and bad deals, security and menace.

In this sense, both Trump and Pence are restorationists. And their restorationist visions for America are complementary. Trump’s is racial; Pence’s is religious. Together, their ticket embodies a “white Christian America” in decline, as Robert P. Jones has powerfully described it. In a Trump-Pence ticket, white Christian America not only hopes to resist the forces demographic and cultural change, but to restore white Protestant Americans (especially men) to their place of unchallenged preeminence.

See Mueller’s article, “The Christian Worldview of Mike Pence,” here.

Michelangelo Signorile, Editor of HuffPost "Queer Voices" on Firing of Comey: "Stop Being Polite and Immediately Start Raising Hell"

In a May 10 article, Michelangelo Signorile, editor-at-large of the “Queer Voices” column on HuffPost, says that with the firing of FBI Director James Comey, Donald Trump “made his most frightening authoritarian power grab yet.” He writes, “This could be viewed as a direct step toward consolidating power and, yes, toward fascism, as we’ve seen play out in other countries―in Turkey recently, and in many other countries in history from which you could choose as an example.”

Signorile puts forward sharply that, given this very dangerous situation, “It’s time to move beyond polite protests within specified boundaries. It’s time to escalate the expression of our outrage and our anger in a massive way.”

He goes on:

Starting today and from here on, no elected official―certainly those in the GOP defending and supporting Trump on a variety of issues, for example―should be able to sit down for a nice, quiet lunch or dinner in a Washington, DC eatery or even in their own homes. They should be hounded by protestors everywhere, especially in public―in restaurants, in shopping centers, in their districts, and yes, on the public property outside their homes and apartments, in Washington and back in their home states.

White House officials too―those enabling the authoritarian―need to be challenged everywhere, as do all those at the conservative think tanks who support Trump and those who publicly defend him in their columns and on television. 

Go here to read the entire piece, “To Save America We Must Stop Being Polite And Immediately Start Raising Hell.”

Joan Baez: "In the new political and cultural reality in which we find ourselves, there is much work to be done"

On April 7, in recognition of her nearly 60-year folk singing career, Joan Baez was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The following is from her acceptance speech:

What has given my life deep meaning, and unending pleasure, has been to use my voice in the battle against injustice. It has brought me in touch with my own purpose. It has also brought me in touch with people of every background... And I've met and tried to walk in the shoes of those who are hungry, thirsty, cold and cast out, people imprisoned for their beliefs, and others who have broken the law, paid the price, and now live in hopelessness and despair. Of exonerated prisoners who have spent decades in solitary confinement, awaiting execution. Of exhausted refugees, immigrants, the excluded and the bullied. Those who have fought for this country, sacrificed, and now live in the shadows of rejection. People of color, the old, the ill, the physically challenged, the LGBTQ community.

And now, in the new political and cultural reality in which we find ourselves, there is much work to be done.

Where empathy is failing and sharing has been usurped by greed and the lust for power, let us double, triple, and quadruple our own efforts to empathize and to give of our resources and our selves. Let us together repeal and replace brutality, and make compassion a priority. Together let us build a great bridge, a beautiful bridge to once again welcome the tired and the poor, and we will pay for that bridge with our commitment. We the people must speak truth to power, and be ready to make sacrifices. We the people are the only one who can create change. I am ready. I hope you are, too. I want my granddaughter to know that I fought against an evil tide, and had the masses by my side.

Read the whole speech here.

Henry Scott Wallace: “American Fascism, in 1944 and Today”

In a May 12 op-ed in the New York Times, Henry Scott Wallace—lawyer and co-chairman of the foundation Wallace Global Fund, which promotes “sustainable development”—compares Trump to the fascist Benito Mussolini, whose regime ruled Italy leading up to and through World War 2. Wallace’s grandfather was Henry A. Wallace, who was vice-president under Franklin D. Roosevelt in the early 1940s.

In 1944, Henry A. Wallace wrote an article in the New York Times titled “The Danger of American Fascism.” According to Henry Scott Wallace, his grandfather’s article “described a breed of super-nationalist who pursues political power by deceiving Americans and playing to their fears...” He writes, “’[I]n my view, he predicted President Trump.”

In the op-ed, Henry Scott Wallace cites different quotes from his grandfather’s article and points to their relevance today. One point the op-ed addresses is how fascists use lies:

In fact, they use lies strategically, to promote civic division, which then justifies authoritarian crackdowns. Through “deliberate perversion of truth and fact,” [Henry A. Wallace] said, “their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity.”

Thus might lying about unprecedented high crime rates legitimize a police state. Lying about immigrants being rapists and terrorists might justify a huge border wall, mass expulsions and religion-based immigration bans. Lying about millions of illegal votes might excuse suppression of voting by disfavored groups.

The op-ed appears in the May 12 print issue of the NY Times and online here.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah) in The New Yorker, December 2, 2016

"Now is not the time to tiptoe around historical references. Recalling Nazism is not extreme; it is the astute response of those who know that history gives both context and warning."

Statement from Faculty at the University of Southern California, published in the Los Angeles Times, March 23, 2017

We are USC Faculty.

We are scientists, artists, and thinkers from over 115 countries, working together every day, side by side, to understand the world around us and to share what we’ve learned with future generations.

We proudly affirm the core mission of the university as a place for the generation of knowledge, the preservation of scholarship, and informed discussion and debate, all of which are vital to a healthy democracy.

We will vigorously defend our core values of academic freedom, high standards of evidence, free inquiry, openness, and inclusion against policies and actions driven by fear, bigotry, and propaganda.

We are committed to:

— protecting the human rights of our students, our fellow faculty, staff, and all members of the USC community, irrespective of their race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, nationality, or citizenship status.

— supporting and encouraging all university efforts to provide critical resources for staff, students and faculty who are most vulnerable and at greatest risk.

— supporting faculty, students, and staff who engage in civil disobedience and protest if members of the academic community are harmed or deported due to targeted state actions.

We will Fight On!

Shaun King: “No President who ever owned human beings should be honored”

In his article "No President who ever owned human beings should be honored" on March 15, Shaun King wrote in the New York Daily News that Adolf Hitler "is a monster who should never be honored," and continued:

Just as this is true for Hitler, it is true for any American President who ever owned human beings and forced them into a life of slavery. The Holocaust and slavery are each an unjust disgrace.

King details the monstrous horrors of slavery and then calls out Trump:

Today, Donald Trump is going out of his way to honor President Andrew Jackson. He should never be honored. Over his lifetime his family owned at least 300 human beings. This is terrible and no contribution he made in his life will ever outweigh this fact. To this very day, Andrew Jackson's own estate openly admits that the key source of his wealth came from owning human beings and forcing them to work on his plantation. At the time Jackson died, he owned about 150 people. He was a full-fledged unrepentant bigot. The enslaved Africans on his plantation were often whipped and beaten. If they escaped, fugitive squads searched for them and returned them back to the plantation. One advertisement put out by Jackson for a runaway slave offered $10 for every 100 lashes given to the slave who was caught. Is that not sick to you?

This makes Andrew Jackson a monster. Nothing he did as President of the United States is good enough to look past this.

The same holds true for every single American President who owned human beings.

Read the whole article here

Michael Bennett, NFL football player, supports the women's strike on International Women's Day

Michael Bennett, who plays for the Seattle Seahawks, who participated in the pro football players’ national anthem protest, and who refused to be a shill for Israel against the Palestinian people (see “Pro Football Player Michael Bennett Refuses to Be a Shill for IsraelRevolution, February 14, 2017, revcom.us), had his statement in support of the women’s strike on International Women’s Day read by Dave Zirin on his podcast.

Here are some excerpts from Bennett’s statement:

“As a Black man in America sometimes I get overwhelmed and discouraged by what I see, from the police killings of unarmed Black men to the unequal educational system to mass incarceration, but when I look into my daughter’s eyes, I see the courage of Harriet Tubman, the patience of Rosa Parks, the soul of Ida B. Wells, the passion of Fanny Lou Hamer, and the heart of Angela Davis.  I see the future.  I see hope.  And, I’m inspired because it will be women who lead the future.  So, I’m writing this to express my unconditional solidarity for the women’s strike on International Women’s Day, March 8th.”

“It’s about the women across the Earth who are suffering.  Women not so worried about the glass ceiling because they are trying to survive a collapsing floor.  It’s about women of color across the Earth who live on less than one dollar a day.  It’s about all women who are subject to sexual assault and violence.

“I stand with the women’s strike because I agree with their unity statement that reads that this day is ‘organized by and for women who have been marginalized and silenced by decades of neoliberalism directed towards working women, women of color, Native women, disabled women, immigrant women, Muslim women, and lesbian women.’”

“I encourage my fellow football players to take off their helmets and stand with these brave women across the world.”

“We need change, and to quote Frederick Douglass, ‘Without struggle, there is no progress.’”

(The statement is 35 minutes into the podcast at https://www.thenation.com/article/the-edge-of-sports-podcast-the-enduring-legacy-of-hoop-dreams/)

Former ABC News Reporters, Executives, Producers Urge Strong Stand Against Trump

As of March 1, more than 230 former ABC News correspondents, executives and producers have signed a letter urging the network’s top executive to take a firm stand against any Trump administration effort to curtail press access. The letter was written after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a briefing on February 24 and, in an unprecedented move, excluded several news organizations that have done stories Trump didn’t like.

The letter called the February 24 incident “an alarming new development enacted by an administration that has declared war on respected news outlets” and asked James Goldston, president of ABC News, to “take a public stand” and “Refuse to take part in any future White House briefings based on an invitation list of who’s in/who’s out.” The letter noted that there has been strong public protest by Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, and statements by the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg that they would not participate in future briefing where reporters are barred.

Signees include former White House correspondent Sam Donaldson; former ABC reporters Ken Kashiwahara, Jeanne Meserve and Lynn Sherr; four former executives and four former executive producers of “World News Tonight” and top leaders at “Nightline,” “20/20″ and “Good Morning America.” Kayce Freed Jennings, the widow of the late anchor Peter Jennings, was also one of the signers.

ABC News is one of the media organizations Trump has labeled as the “enemy of the American people” and “fake news.” ABC was allowed into the Spicer briefing, while CNN, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Politico and BuzzFeed were denied access. Reporters from other organizations, including the Associated Press, USA Today and Time magazine, refused to attend the briefing in protest.

Tim Rogers at Fusion: Calling Trump "Presidential" Is the First Step to Normalizing Fascism

Tim Rogers is senior editor for Latin America at the cable and satellite TV channel Fusion. After Trump’s February 28 speech to Congress, Rogers wrote a piece titled “Calling Trump’s speech ‘presidential’ is the first step to normalizing fascism” (March 1, 2017) noting that “talking heads were quick to applaud Trump for acting ‘presidential.’” Rogers goes on to say:

But Trump’s speech to Congress was only presidential by fascist standards. What Trump laid out, in the methodical words penned by an ideologue behind the throne, was a frightening vision of a country under siege by foreign hordes that are trying to establish a “beachhead of terrorism” to convert the United States into a “sanctuary for extremists.”

Trump depicted a dark world in which the U.S. is fighting “a network of lawless savages” that it must “extinguish ...from our planet.”

Trump was talking about ISIS in that instance, but his fear-mongering over foreigners wasn’t limited to Islamic State fighters any more than the travel ban was limited to Muslims from seven countries. The narrative of barbarians at the gate was woven throughout Trump’s speech, which seemed to build on George W. Bush’s worldview of “You’re either with us, or against us.” But Trump’s view is even racist and alienating by W’s standards.

From his call to build a border wall as “a very effective weapon against drugs and crime,” to reiterating his appallingly cynical pledge to create a new Homeland Security Office to “serve American victims” of crimes committed by immigrants, Trump’s whole speech was to lay out a dichotomy of us versus them, or “America first” in Trumpspeak. ...

When the speech was over, Trump lackeys congratulated themselves on a “home run”—actually, make that a “grand slam.”

But even normally critical pundits said they thought Trump looked “presidential.”

That’s dangerous thinking. Calling Trump’s fear-mongering “presidential” is a first step to normalizing fascism. It’s granting acceptance to the dangerous fascists skulking behind the golden curtains of the Oval Office.

Anderson Cooper 360° ✔ @AC360: Van Jones: Trump “became President of the United States” when he honored the widow of the Navy SEAL killed in Yemen. ...

In an America where Trump’s speech can be called “presidential,” it’ll be a slippery slope to despotism.

Read Tim Roger’s article in its entirety here.

"I am vowing, here and now, not to show papers in this situation"

American citizens had their introduction to the Trump-era immigration machine Wednesday...” So begins “Papers, Please,” an article that appeared in The Atlantic online on February 27, about the February 22 domestic flight from SFO to JFK airport where every passenger was told by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents to show their ID before they could get off the plane. The agents claimed they were looking for a passenger who was undocumented and had a criminal record; it turned out that the person they sought was not on the plane.

In the article, written by Garrett Epps, legal scholar, novelist, and contributing editor to The Atlantic, he examines all possible legal authorities and concludes that there is no justification in U.S. law for what was done to the passengers on that plane. And then Epps, demonstrating the courage of his convictions, writes:

I am vowing, here and now, not to show papers in this situation. I know that it will take gumption to follow through if the situation arises. What will be the reaction of ordinary travelers, some with outstanding warrants or other legal worries? Should we expect heroism of people who just want to get off an airplane?

Read more

"I wasn't pulled out because I'm some kind of revolutionary activist, but my God, I am now." Mem Fox's Terrifying Detention at the Los Angeles Airport

Mem Fox, an award winning author from Australia, was pulled off an airplane when she arrived at Los Angeles International Airport and held in detention for almost two hours and interrogated for 15 minutes.  In an op-ed article in The Guardian, she tells of her terrifying, belligerent, and violent experience.

She describes the room “like a waiting room in a hospital but a bit more grim than that.... There was no water, no toilet... Everything was yelled...” She said that she “heard things happening in that room happening to other people that made me ashamed to be human.”

She describes an elderly Iranian woman in a wheelchair where they were yelling at her at the top of their voices—“Arabic? Arabic?”  They screamed at her “ARABIC?”  She told them “Farsi.”  A woman from Taiwan was being yelled at about how she made her money: Does it grow on trees? Does it fall from the sky?”  Mem said, “...the agony I was surrounded by in that room was like a razor blade across my heart.”

When she was called to be interviewed, she was degraded, and called it “monstrous.”  She told them that she writes books about exclusivity.  She had one of her books in her bag and said, “I am all about inclusivity, humanity and the oneness of the humans of the world; it’s the theme of my life.”  He yelled at her, “I can read!”  She was standing the whole time and said, “The belligerence and violence of it was really terrifying. I had to hold the heel of my right hand to my heart to stop it beating so hard.”

Read more

Interview with Claudia Koonz, Historian and Author of The Nazi Conscience

Claudia Koonz is a historian of Nazi Germany and the author of Mothers in the Fatherland: Women, the Family and Nazi Politics, The Nazi Conscience, and other works. She was interviewed on The Michael Slate Show on KPFK Pacifica Radio on February 10. This is a transcript of the interview, slightly edited for length and clarity.

Michael Slate: In broad strokes, let’s talk about how fascism developed in Germany.

Claudia Koonz: OK. First of all, let’s remember that nobody ever heard of Hitler until the early 1930s. He was unemployed. The only steady job he ever had in his life was when he fought in World War I for four years. He was quite brave.

This was a splinter party. As late as 1928, ten years after the defeat in World War I, the Nazis got 2.6% of the vote. 1930, they got 18% of the vote. 1932 they were up to the high point ever, 37.4% of the vote. So, the Nazis were never voted into power. Hitler was appointed into power.

So the question is, how did this disreputable, fringe party of loudmouth, brawling Stormtroopers get from a tiny splinter party to the center in 1932, which put Hitler in position to get appointed as chancellor?

Read the whole interview

John Legend: "Are we going to just accept inhumanity, or are we going to resist?"

The singer John Legend has won ten Grammy Awards, one Golden Globe Award, and one Academy Award. He will be playing Frederick Douglass in the second season of the WGN series Underground. In a recent interview in the New York Times Magazine he was asked, “Has there been a piece of art that has affected you politically?” He replied:

Books have certainly affected me. In college, I took a class that centered on a book called “Obedience to Authority,” which was trying to explain why an ordinary German would be a worker at a concentration camp, or why anyone would be part of a system that is so evil and corrosive, and how they deal with authority and whatever cognitive dissonance they need to have to do something so inhumane. Then we read some James Joyce and Virginia Woolf; all those books in that class opened my eyes to the way human beings deal with authority and deal with how we become inhumane. I took those classes 20 years ago, but I’ve been thinking about that a lot when I think about how we’re reacting to Donald Trump right now.

The interviewer then asked, “How are you applying that thought process to contemporary times?” Legend said:

Yeah, are we just going to go about our lives and try to be normal? I’ve seen a tweet going around about how a lot of people say that they would have been part of the civil rights movement, so this is basically that chance, this moment of truth for our society. Are we going to just accept inhumanity, or are we going to resist?

Read the New York Times Magazine interview with John Legend here.

Ann Frank Center for Mutual Respect Condemns Trump’s So-Called “Condemnation” of Anti-Semitic Attacks

On February 21, Donald Trump issued a statement supposedly condemning anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish institutions. At his February 16 press conference, Trump had insulted and bullied a correspondent from an Orthodox Jewish news agency who asked if Trump could condemn the wave of threats against Jewish institutions. Trump cut him off, yelled “quiet!” and “sit down” and ranted that this was “a very insulting question.” Trump then declared himself “the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life” while refusing the reporter’s request to condemn attacks on Jewish institutions. Days after this, on February 20, Jewish community centers in ten states were targeted with bomb threats and forced to evacuate.  There were also 170 graves at an historic Jewish cemetery in Missouri desecrated in the last few days.

Immediately after Trump’s February 21st statement, the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect posted a response on Facebook. The Center takes inspiration from Anne Frank, a Jewish teenager hunted down and killed by the Nazis. Her Diary is a famous chronicle of hiding out from the Nazis.  The center “calls out prejudice, counters discrimination and advocates for the kinder and fairer world of which Anne Frank dreamed.”

The statement said in part:

The President’s sudden acknowledgement is a Band-Aid on the cancer of Antisemitism that has infected his own Administration. His statement today is a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting Antisemitism, yet day after day have refused to apologize and correct the record. Make no mistake: The Antisemitism coming out of this Administration is the worst we have ever seen from any Administration. The White House repeatedly refused to mention Jews in its Holocaust remembrance, and had the audacity to take offense when the world pointed out the ramifications of Holocaust denial. And it was only yesterday, President’s Day, that Jewish Community Centers across the nation received bomb threats, and the President said absolutely nothing.

Berkeley Law School Faculty and Staff: #NoBanNoWall

Members of Berkeley Law (University of California, Berkeley School of Law) are taking a public stand against Trump’s executive orders intensifying repression against immigrants and on the U.S.-Mexico border through a #NoBanNoWall photo project. Close-up photos of faculty and staff members show them with handwritten or printed signs.

Their statement reads:

President Trump’s immigration executive orders, enforcement actions, and xenophobic threats directly impact members of our law school community.

They undermine the public mission of our university to ensure access to the talented pool of students and researchers that reflects the diversity in the State of California and the world.

They attack the ability of the university to fulfill its unique role as a site for the generation of knowledge and the free exchange of ideas among students, faculty, and staff of all nationalities, backgrounds, and creeds.

They threaten our values of diversity and inclusion, which ensure a vibrant democracy.

We oppose the executive orders and President Trump’s attacks on certain communities.

We are committed to maintaining the law school as a just and inclusive community.

Poster of Berkeley Law Faculty & Staff: NoBanNoWall
Click to enlarge

The PDF of the poster is available here.

"Hands Off Our Revolution"—More than 200 Artists Around the World Say "We will not go quietly"

When you go to the website, Hands Off Our Revolution, the first thing you see is the flashing words: HANDS OFF OUR BORDERS... WATER... AIR... LAND... CITIES... HOMES... PLANET... BODIES... HEALTH... JUSTICE... FRIENDS... FAMILIES... LOVES.... LIVES...

More than 200 artists, writers, photographers, musicians and curators from around the world—including well-known figures such as Anish Kapoor, Steve McQueen, Laurie Anderson, Ed Ruscha, Matthew Barney, Rosalind Krauss, Maya Lin, Hank Willis Thomas, Catherine Opie, Yinka Shonibare, David Byrne, and Michael Stipe—have joined this spirit of resistance, signing the following Mission Statement:

We are a global coalition affirming the radical nature of art. We believe that art can help counter the rising rhetoric of right-wing populism, fascism and the increasingly stark expressions of xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia and unapologetic intolerance.

We know that freedom is never granted—it is won. Justice is never given—it is exacted. Both must be fought for and protected, yet their promise has seldom been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp, as at this moment.

As artists, it is our job and our duty to reimagine and reinvent social relations threatened by right-wing populist rule. It is our responsibility to stand together in solidarity. We will not go quietly. It is our role and our opportunity, using our own particular forms, private and public spaces, to engage people in thinking together and debating ideas, with clarity, openness and resilience.

The website also announces a project to do a “series of contemporary art exhibitions and actions that confront, head on, the rise of right-wing populism in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere... to help envision and shape the world in which we want to live.”

The Mission Statement in 10 different languages and the full description of the project are online at handsoffourrevolution.com.

"I want to be a voice for the voiceless": Pro Football Player Michael Bennett Refuses to Be a Shill for Israel

Bennett, who plays in the NFL (National Football League) for the Seattle Seahawks, announced he will not be joining an NFL delegation to Israel.

Bennett has been involved in the struggle by professional athletes to protest police brutality. He took up the protest in the NFL started by San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the national anthem. Bennett called for white athletes to take a stand against police murders, saying “You need a white guy to join the fight. The white guy is super important to the fight. For people to really see social injustices, there must be someone from the other side of the race who recognizes the problem, because a lot of times if just one race says there’s a problem, nobody is realistic about it.” Bennett has also posted photos and quotes from Black Panther leader Fred Hampton on his Instagram page.

Bennett had originally planned to be on the delegation because he wanted to have interaction with both Palestinian and Israeli people. But he learned from an article in the Times of Israel that the trip would isolate him from the Palestinian people and turn him into a “goodwill ambassador.” Then he read an open letter in The Nation magazine, signed by John Carlos, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Alice Walker, and others calling on the athletes to ”reconsider taking this trip to ensure you are standing on the right side of history.”

Bennett then wrote an open letter that he posted on Instagram and Twitter.

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Meryl Streep on standing up against "armies of brownshirts and bots": "You have to! You don't have an option"

Actor Meryl Streep received the National Ally for Equality Award at a fundraising gala held by the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBTQ civil rights organization, on Saturday night, February 11. In her acceptance speech, Streep said:

[F]undamentalists, of every stripe everywhere, are exercised and fuming. We should not be surprised that these profound changes come at a steeper cost than we originally thought. We should not be surprised that not everyone is totally down with it.

If we live through this precarious moment, if his catastrophic instinct to retaliate doesn’t lead us to nuclear winter, we will have much to thank this president for. He will have woken us up to how fragile freedom is....

I am the most overrated, overdecorated and, currently, over-berated actress, who likes football, of my generation. But that is why you invited me here! Right?

The weight of all these honors is part of what brings me to this podium. It compels me, against every one of my natural instincts (which is to stay home), it compels me to stand up in front of people and say words that haven’t been written for me, but that come from my life and my conviction and that I have to stand by....

It’s terrifying to put the target on your forehead. ... And it sets you up for all sorts of attacks and armies of brownshirts and bots and worse, and the only way you can do it is if you feel you have to. You have to. You don't have an option, but you have to stand up and speak up and act up.

Hear Meryl Streep’s whole speech here.

 

A Tribe Called Quest at Grammys: "Resist, Resist, Resist"

The Grammy Awards on Sunday night, February 12, closed with an electrifying set by the legendary hip-hop crew A Tribe Called Quest joined by Busta Rhymes, Anderson .Paak, and Consequence. At mid-point in the Tribe’s medley of several songs, Busta Rhymes came—on and focused right on the outrages being carried out by Trump and his regime: “I’m not feeling the political climate right now. I just want to thank President Agent Orange for perpetuating all of the evil that you’ve been perpetuating throughout the United States. I want to thank President Agent Orange for your unsuccessful attempt at the Muslim ban. When we come together—we the people, we the people, people!” As he said those words, Tribe member Q-Tip, along with a woman wearing a hijab and others, bust through a wall on the stage.

Q-Tip then launched into the Tribe song “We the People.” And as he went into the hook, which sarcastically hits at those who spew hate and intolerance—“All you Black folks you must go/All you Mexicans you must go/And all you poor folks, you must go/Muslims and gays, boy, we hate your ways/So all you bad folks, you must go”—a diverse grouping of people of different nationalities, genders, and style of clothing walked up on to the stage. The performers all lined up at one point with fists in the air, and protest signs reading “No Wall No Ban” and photos of different faces were projected in the background.

The powerful performance, inspiring performance closed with the chants from the stage: “Resist! Resist! Resist!”

"The Rock," Misty Copeland, Steph Curry Hit Under Armour for Calling Trump an "Asset"

On Tuesday, February 7, on CNBC’s Halftime Report, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank called Trump “a real asset for the country” and lauded his plans to “make bold decisions and be really decisive.” The next day, ballerina Misty Copeland, actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and NBA star Steph Curry, who all have endorsement deals with the athletic clothing company, spoke out against Plank.

Copeland wrote in an Instagram post, “I strongly disagree with Kevin Plank’s recent comments in support of Trump.” In a Facebook post, Johnson said Plank’s comments were “neither my words, nor my beliefs” and said that he would ultimately “stand with this diverse team, the American and global workers, who are the beating heart and soul of Under Armour.” Curry told the San Jose Mercury News that he agreed with Plank’s comment on Trump... “if you remove the ‘et’” from the word “asset.” When asked if he would abandon Under Armour, Curry said that if “the leadership is not in line with my core values, then there is no amount of money, there is no platform I wouldn’t jump off if it wasn’t in line with who I am.” Curry went on to say, “So that’s a decision I will make every single day when I wake up. If something is not in line with what I’m about, then, yeah, I definitely need to take a stance in that respect.”

George Prochnik on Stefan Zweig, Trump, and "When It's Too Late to Stop Fascism"

George Prochnik wrote the book The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World (2015). Zweig was an Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist, and biographer who at the height of his literary career in the 1920s and ’30s, was one of the world’s most popular writers and most widely translated living author. Zweig was a Jewish intellectual and his books were burned in Berlin in 1933. Like millions of others, with the rise of Hitler, he was driven into exile. Zweig went to London, New York, and then to Brazil where he committed suicide in 1942. Prochnik wrote a piece in the February 6 issue of The New Yorker, “When It’s Too Late To Stop Fascism, According to Stefan Zweig.” Prochnik says when Zweig sat down to write his biography, “He was determined to trace how the Nazis’ reign of terror had become possible, and how he and so many others had been blind to its beginnings.” Zweig wrote: “the big democratic newspapers, instead of warning their readers, reassured them day by day, that the [fascist] movement ... would inevitably collapse in no time” and that Hitler had “elevated lying to a matter of course.”

Prochnik writes:

Reading in Zweig’s memoir how, during the years of Hitler’s rise to power, many well-meaning people “could not or did not wish to perceive that a new technique of conscious cynical amorality was at work,” it’s difficult not to think of our own present predicament. Last week, as Trump signed a drastic immigration ban that led to an outcry across the country and the world, then sought to mitigate those protests by small palliative measures and denials, I thought of one other crucial technique that Zweig identified in Hitler and his ministers: they introduced their most extreme measures gradually—strategically—in order to gauge how each new outrage was received. “Only a single pill at a time and then a moment of waiting to observe the effect of its strength, to see whether the world conscience would still digest the dose,” Zweig wrote. “The doses became progressively stronger until all Europe finally perished from them.”...

In Zweig’s view, the final toxin needed to precipitate German catastrophe came in February of 1933, with the burning of the national parliament building in Berlin—an arson attack Hitler blamed on the communists but which some historians still believe was carried out by the Nazis themselves. “At one blow all of justice in Germany was smashed,” Zweig recalled. The destruction of a symbolic edifice—a blaze that caused no loss of life—became the pretext for the government to begin terrorizing its own civilian population. That fateful conflagration took place less than 30 days after Hitler became chancellor. The excruciating power of Zweig’s memoir lies in the pain of looking back and seeing that there was a small window in which it was possible to act, and then discovering how suddenly and irrevocably that window can be slammed shut.

To read the whole article, go here.

Wagner College (Staten Island, NYC) Profs Denounce Trump Executive Orders

In a February 8 paid ad in the Staten Island Advance newspaper, 33 professors at Wagner College, a liberal arts college in New York City, denounced Trump’s executive orders and other actions. The statement is in the form of an open letter to Representative Dan Donovan, a Republican congressman from a district on Staten Island, who supported Trump’s executive order banning refugees and immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries saying it was “in America’s best interest.” The Wagner professors’ statement said they “first and foremost” condemn that ban, saying that “this order creates religious discrimination and does so intentionally.”

The professors also condemned Trump’s removal of any mention of climate change and LGBTQ rights from the White House website, Trump’s attacks on the press and fact-based journalism, and his continued profit-making from his global holdings. They ended their statement with: “We believe the above actions, among others, taken by the Trump Administration are a threat to our democracy, our economy, our American values, our international alliances, and the ideals of citizenship and respect for knowledge and diversity that we strive to foster in our students.”

Read the statement and list of signatories (PDF) here.

Two NBA Coaches Take On Trump this Week
Popovich and Kerr Speak on Racial Inequality and the Muslim Ban

From a reader:

This week GQ published an article by Jay Willis, “Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr Would Make a Great Presidential Ticket” where “these two have no time for the ‘stick to sports’ bullshit.”  Kerr and Popovich, both who are white, have been close friends since Kerr played for the San Antonio Spurs, coached by Popovich.  Kerr coaches the Golden State Warriors in the San Francisco Bay Area.

When Popovich was asked about Black History Month he said,

“But more than anything, I think if people take the time to think about it, I think it is our national sin. It always intrigues me when people come out with, ‘I’m tired of talking about that or do we have to talk about race again?’ And the answer is you’re damned right we do. Because it’s always there, and it’s systemic in the sense that when you talk about opportunity it’s not about ‘Well, if you lace up your shoes and you work hard, then you can have the American dream.’ That’s a bunch of hogwash. If you were born white, you automatically have a monstrous advantage educationally, economically, culturally in this society and all the systemic roadblocks that exist, whether it’s in a judicial sense, a neighborhood sense with laws, zoning, education, we have huge problems in that regard that are very complicated, but take leadership, time, and real concern to try to solve. It’s a tough one because people don’t really want to face it.”

Kerr was born in Lebanon, where his father was president of the American University of Beirut.  His father was murdered at the university by two men in 1984, and soon after an unknown Islamic group called the press to claim responsibility.  Kerr weighed in on Trump’s Muslim Ban this past week when he said,

“As someone whose family member is a victim of terrorism, having lost my father—if we’re trying to combat terrorism by banishing people from coming to this country, we’re really going against the principles of what our country is about, and creating fear. It’s the wrong way to go about it. If anything, we could be breeding anger and terror, so I’m completely against what’s happening. I think it’s shocking. I think it’s a horrible idea and I feel for all the people who are affected, families are being torn apart.”

Kerr also had something to say about the liars in the Trump administration when he told reporters after a game with the Orlando Magic that “Sean Spicer will be talking about my Magic career any second now. 14,000 points. Greatest player in Magic history.”    Kerr actually scored 5,437 points while playing in the NBA from 1988-2003.

Shawn Gaylord, Advocacy Counsel for Human Rights First: "I would call on the entire LGBT community to stand up and say 'not in our name'"

In a February 3 article for the Advocate titled "Trump's Executive Orders: Divide and Conquer," Shawn Gaylord, advocacy counsel for Human Rights First focusing on LGBT issues, makes an important point about how Trump must not be allowed to pit different sections of the people against each other.

Gaylord writes, "I am sure I am not alone in reading through each statement and each executive order [from Trump] with a sense of foreboding as we watch community after community being targeted by a government that seems determined to roll back the progress of the last few decades." He notes that so far Trump's executive orders have not "specifically targeted people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity," though, as he points out, among the sections of the people targeted so far—women, refugees, immigrants, religious minorities, people of color—LGBT people are part of each.

Noting that there is one direct mention of "sexual orientation" is Trump's executive order banning immigrants and refugees from seven mainly Muslim countries, Gaylord writes:

A quick read might cause you to think it was actually a move to protect LGBT people. But on closer examination, you quickly realize that what is at play is something we dreaded all along. The protection of LGBT people is cited as a justification for a set of cruel and unnecessary new immigration policies that, no matter how carefully worded they might be, amount to a Muslim ban.

The "Purpose" section, which purports to explain what the executive order is designed to accomplish, notes, "The United States should not admit ... those who would oppress members of one race, one gender, or sexual orientation." It is not clear exactly how immigration authorities would know which individuals "would" take such actions, although I suspect they will turn to broad generalizations about religious groups. This language, like other sections of the order, seems clearly designed to target Muslims. We saw this coming and we cannot let it stand....

The Trump administration seems to be employing every tactic at its disposal, but one of the most egregious is this strategy of "divide and conquer." By appealing to the shared desire that LGBT people might live their lives free from violence, the Trump administration is hoping we will turn that desire into fear and hatred of another marginalized community. He did it after Orlando, he did it with this executive order, and I would call on the entire LGBT community to stand up and say "not in our name."

Read Shawn Gaylord's article at the Advocate web site.

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Cleveland Clinic Doctors, Medical Students, and Other Medical Staff: Trump's actions "directly harm human health and well-being in the United States and abroad"

When Trump signed the executive order banning Muslims from seven countries from entering the U.S., one of the people affected was a first-year internal medicine student at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic hospital, Dr. Suha Abushamma. Even though she has a legal visa and documents allowing her to legally study and work in the United States, she was not allowed to re-enter the country because she has a passport from Sudan—one of the seven banned countries—and was forcibly diverted to Saudi Arabia.

Her colleagues at the Cleveland Clinic, along with more than 1,400 other medical students, doctors, and other medical staff have issued an open letter criticizing the heads of the hospital for not taking a stand against Trump's Muslim ban. The letter points out that far from condemning Trump's actions, "the Cleveland Clinic silently continues to promote ties with the Trump administration." In fact, an upcoming Cleveland Clinic fundraiser—with tickets costing upwards of $100,000—is scheduled to be held at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

The open letter says:

Through this action you are supporting a president who has, in his first ten days in office, reinstated the global gag rule, weakened the Affordable Care Act, fast-tracked construction of both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines through legally protected native lands, and banned legal U.S. residents from majority-Muslim countries. All of these actions directly harm human health and well-being in the United States and abroad. Your willingness to hold your fundraiser at a Trump resort is an unconscionable prioritization of profit over people. It is impossible for the Cleveland Clinic to reconcile supporting its employees and patients while simultaneously financially and publicly aiding an individual who directly harms them.

The open letter and list of signatories is available here

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NARAL Pro-Choice America: “Gorsuch represents an existential threat to legal abortion in the United States...”

After Trump announced the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court seat that has been empty since Antonio Scalia died last year (see “Trump Picks ‘Scalia Clone’ to Replace Scalia on the Supreme Court“), the pro-choice group NARAL issued a statement saying in part:

...President Trump’s decision to speed up the announcement of his Supreme Court nominee will not distract from the hundreds of thousands of Americans demonstrating in the streets and at airports. After Trump’s disastrous first week on the job—from his global gag rule to his travel ban on Muslims—we cannot afford to elevate his destructive agenda with a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court.

With Judge Neil Gorsuch, the stakes couldn’t be higher when it comes to women and our lives. Gorsuch represents an existential threat to legal abortion in the United States and must never wear the robes of a Supreme Court justice.

With a clear track record of supporting an agenda that undermines abortion access and endangers women, there is no doubt that Gorsuch is a direct threat to Roe v. Wade and the promise it holds for women’s equality. The fact that the court has repeatedly reaffirmed Roe over the past four decades would no longer matter, just as facts often don’t seem to matter to President Trump. Confirming Gorsuch to a lifetime on the Supreme Court would make good on Trump’s repeated promises to use his appointments to overturn Roe v. Wade and punish women.

NARAL and our 1.2 million member-activists call on the Senate to reject Trump’s nominee using any and all available means, including the filibuster.

The complete statement from NARAL on Trump’s nomination of Gorsuch is online here.

Emma Stone, Actor: “We have to speak up against injustice, and we have to kick some ass”

At the Screen Actors Guild award on January 29, Emma Stone won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for her work in the film La La Land. In her acceptance speech she said:

We’re in a really tricky time in the world and our country and things are very inexcusable and scary and need action and I’m so grateful to be part of a group of people that cares and that wants to reflect things back to society.

Later in an interview backstage, she said:

We have to speak up against injustice, and we have to kick some ass.... I was thinking about art this year, and that in a time like this, for so many, horrific things are happening. It’s so special to be a part of people who want to reflect what’s happening back to the world and to make people happy. I would hope that people would fight for what’s right and what’s just fucking human....

I think if we’re human beings, and we see injustice, we have to speak up, because staying silent, as they say, only really helps the oppressor. It never helps the victim. So I think that, yes, right now, I would hope that everyone, when seeing things being done that are absolutely unconstitutional and inhumane, would say something, anything. Whether it’s at school or at an awards show or work, offices, or online.

Saira Rafiee, CUNY Grad Student: “We, the 99% of the world, need to stand united in resisting the authoritarian forces all over the world”

Saira Rafiee, an Iranian Ph.D. student in political science at the CUNY (City University of New York) Graduate Center, was traveling back to the U.S. from Iran when Trump issued the executive order banning people from seven majority Muslim countries, including Iran, from entering the U.S. Rafiee, an Iranian citizen, was visiting family and was on her way back to New York, with legal documents, to resume her work and studies at CUNY.

Saira Rafiee wrote on Facebook about what happened:

I got on the flight to Abu Dhabi, but there at the airport was told that I would not be able to enter the U.S. I had to stay there for nearly 18 hours, along with 11 other Iranians, before getting on the flight back to Tehran. I have no clue whether I would ever be able to go back to the school I like so much, or to see my dear friends there. But my story isn’t as painful and terrifying as many other stories I have heard these days

The sufferings of all of us are just one side of this horrendous order. The other side is the struggle against racism and fascism, against assaults on freedom and human dignity, against all the values that even though are far from being realized, are the only things that would make life worth living. As a student of sociology and political science, I have devoted a major part of my scholarly life to the study of authoritarianism. The media has published enough statistics during the past few days to show how irrelevant this order is to the fight against terrorism. It is time to call things by their true names; this is Islamophobia, racism, fascism. We, the 99% of the world, need to stand united in resisting the authoritarian forces all over the world.

Ben Cohen, Founder/Editor of The Daily Banter: “This Is Straight Up Fascism”

Ben Cohen is the founder and editor of The Daily Banter (thedailybanter.com). Originally from London and now living in Washington, DC, he has written for the Huffington Post and ESPN.com. His January 27 article, “Trump's Weekly List of Crimes Committed by Immigrants is Straight Up Fascism,” says in part:

Adding to his list of executive orders and policy proposals designed to roll back civil liberties, wreck the environment and insult foreign nations, the Trump administration is also mandating that Homeland Security “make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens.” This was included in Trump's new executive order on immigration, and according to the Independent, "Will also include details of so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ that refuse to hand over immigrant residents for deportation"...

Make no mistake about it, this is straight up fascism... nothing more than a nasty scare tactic designed to instill fear in white Americans and create a new way of dividing the country along ethnic identity lines. We have seen this over and over again throughout history. Fascist dictators rise to power through the scapegoating of immigrants and minorities, then hold onto office by continuing the tactic. The Trump administration clearly believes it is a winning formula and Trump has made so called "illegals" the focal point of his first few days in office. From insisting that he only lost the popular vote due to (completely non-existent) widespread voter fraud to his executive order to build a wall stopping Mexicans from entering the country, Trump is betting big on white fear keeping him in office. The weekly list of immigrant crime is appalling and will simply fan the flames of xenophobia and hate....

Read Cohen’s article here.

Rihanna: “What an immoral pig”

On January 28, singer Rihanna tweeted:

Disgusted! The news is devastating! America is being ruined right before our eyes! What an immoral pig you have to be to implement such BS!!

As of January 30, there have been 175,000 re-tweets of this Rihanna tweet.

Cast of Stranger Things: “We will get past the lies. We will hunt monsters!”

On Sunday night, January 29, the Netflix series Stranger Things won the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble. A capsule description of the series says: “In a small Indiana town in the early 1980s, a boy goes missing after finding something sinister lurking in the woods. Nearby, a girl with extraordinary powers escapes from a sinister government facility and joins together with the boy’s friends to get him back.” At the televised SAG award show, David Harbour, who plays Chief Hopper in the series, stepped up to the mic to accept the award on behalf of the cast. After making a number of acknowledgements he turned to current events. He called on his fellow actors to:

Go deeper and through our art battle against fear, self-centeredness, and exclusivity of our predominantly narcissistic culture.... As we act in the continuing narrative of Stranger Things, we 1983 Midwesterners will repel bullies. We will shelter freaks and outcasts, those who have no hope. We will get past the lies. We will hunt monsters! And when we are at a loss amidst the hypocrisy and the casual violence of certain individuals and institutions, we will, as per Chief Hopper, punch some people in the face when they seek to destroy the weak and the disenfranchised and the marginalized! And we will do it all with soul, with heart, and with joy. We thank you for this responsibility.

University Science Professors Call for Defense of Science and Government Scientists

Three university science professors—Graham Coop, Professor of Evolution and Ecology, UC Davis; Michael B. Eisen, Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, UC Berkeley; Molly Przeworski, Professor of Biological Sciences, Columbia University—have issued a statement in support of scientists within the government who are under attack.

Their message is as follows:

Governmental scientists employed at a subset of agencies have been forbidden from presenting their findings to the public. We have drafted the following response for distribution, and encourage other scientists to post it to their websites, when feasible.

In Defense of Science

We are deeply concerned by the Trump administration’s move to gag scientists working at various governmental agencies. The US government employs scientists working on medicine, public health, agriculture, energy, space, clean water and air, weather, the climate and many other important areas. Their job is to produce data to inform decisions by policymakers, businesses and individuals. We are all best served by allowing these scientists to discuss their findings openly and without the intrusion of politics. Any attack on their ability to do so is an attack on our ability to make informed decisions as individuals, as communities and as a nation.

If you are a government scientist who is blocked from discussing their work, we will share it on your behalf, publicly or with the appropriate recipients. You can email us at USScienceFacts@gmail.com.

Laurence Tribe, Constitutional Law Professor: "Trump must be impeached for abusing his power"

Laurence Tribe, Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School and the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University, sent out a series of tweets on January 28—as thousands of people protested at airports across the U.S. against the anti-Muslim order Trump signed the day before:

Vital to impeach and remove Trump before his cruel brand of bigotry and scapegoating seeps even more deeply into our national bloodstream.

Trump just said what he’s doing at the airports “is working out very nicely.” The man has no eyes, no brain, and no heart.

Trump must be impeached for abusing his power and shredding the Constitution more monstrously than any other President in American history.

The tragic scenes unfolding at JFK and other US airports expose Trump as a heartless merciless monster. He must be stopped.

Trump’s promise to prioritize Christian over Muslim refugees when the 90-day ban lifts violates the Religion Clauses of our First Amendment.

Jewish Voices for Peace on Trump’s Anti-Muslim, Anti-Refugee Order: “We pledge to resist in every way that we can”

On January 25, Jewish Voices for Peace released the following statement in anticipation of Trump’s issuing of an executive order the next day targeting refugees and immigrants from mainly Muslim countries:

As the Trump administration follows through on the some of most harmful and alarming promises of his campaign, we will follow through on ours: to love, defend and fight alongside our friends, neighbors, and communities directly under attack.

Decades of racist, Islamophobic, and xenophobic policies and discourses around national security, the “War on Terror,” and immigration have laid the groundwork for this nightmare set of policies designed to target, profile, surveil and ban people due to their religion, race, national origin or legal status. These new policies will build on existing infrastructure, primarily impacting people who have fled from countries that the United States has bombed or invaded, as well as those whose local economies have been destroyed by our military operations and trade policies.

While the details of these new policies are still unfolding, we pledge to resist in every way that we can. We’ll put our hearts, souls, and bodies on the line to stop hateful and racist attacks. We will organize our communities to stand alongside our Muslim, immigrant & refugee neighbors, in the halls of Congress & government institutions, and in the streets.

We cannot let this stand.

Nikki Giovanni, the well-known African- American poet, essayist, and a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech, recently spoke with the Huffington Post. During the interview, she said the following:

“My heart breaks for the next generation with these fools in the white house. Asking us to give Trump a chance is like asking Jews to give Hitler a chance. I read that eight percent of blacks voted for him. That’s like a vote for slavery. I’m so proud of women for standing up at the Women’s Marches all over the country. In Washington it was so crowded that you couldn’t move. These women were telling Donald Trump ‘not on our watch’. Saying they won’t bow down or bend over and take the worse from him. Why take abortion and make us have children and then deny those kids healthcare?...

“Trump will not listen and only a fool would try to reason with him. He is beyond redemption.”

For the entire interview go here:

Philip Roth on Trump: “What is most terrifying is that he makes any and everything possible, including, of course, the nuclear catastrophe”

Philip Roth’s 2004 novel The Plot Against America imagines a scenario where there is a fascist takeover in America—through the ballot box. The aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh—who in his day was one of the three or four biggest celebrities in the world and a Nazi sympathizer—sweeps the 1940 election in a landslide. Then, in steps both incremental and rapid, fascism comes in. At the time, Roth wrote in the New York Times Book Review that he did not intend to write this as a political roman à clef (a novel in which real people or events appear with invented names). He said he wanted to dramatize some “what-ifs” that never happened in America.

Now Roth is commenting about the current relevance of The Plot Against America. A piece titled “Philip Roth E-Mails On Trump” by Judith Thurman appears in the January 30 issue of The New Yorker. Thurman says Roth was asked via e-mail if the scenario in his book has now happened. Roth’s response, in part:

It isn’t Trump as a character, a human type—the real-estate type, the callow and callous killer capitalist—that outstrips the imagination. It is Trump as President of the United States.

I was born in 1933, the year that F.D.R. was inaugurated. He was President until I was twelve years old. I’ve been a Roosevelt Democrat ever since. I found much that was alarming about being a citizen during the tenures of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. But, whatever I may have seen as their limitations of character or intellect, neither was anything like as humanly impoverished as Trump is: ignorant of government, of history, of science, of philosophy, of art, incapable of expressing or recognizing subtlety or nuance, destitute of all decency, and wielding a vocabulary of seventy-seven words that is better called Jerkish than English...

Unlike writers in Eastern Europe in the nineteen-seventies, American writers haven’t had their driver’s licenses confiscated and their children forbidden to matriculate in academic schools. Writers here don’t live enslaved in a totalitarian police state, and it would be unwise to act as if we did, unless—or until—there is a genuine assault on our rights and the country is drowning in Trump’s river of lies. In the meantime, I imagine writers will continue robustly to exploit the enormous American freedom that exists to write what they please, to speak out about the political situation, or to organize as they see fit...

My novel wasn’t written as a warning. I was just trying to imagine what it would have been like for a Jewish family like mine, in a Jewish community like Newark, had something even faintly like Nazi anti-Semitism befallen us in 1940, at the end of the most pointedly anti-Semitic decade in world history. I wanted to imagine how we would have fared, which meant I had first to invent an ominous American government that threatened us. As for how Trump threatens us, I would say that, like the anxious and fear-ridden families in my book, what is most terrifying is that he makes any and everything possible, including, of course, the nuclear catastrophe.

The New Yorker piece with quotes from Philip Roth is available online here.

Roger Cohen, NY Times Columnist: “Trump’s outrageous claims have a purpose: to destroy rational thought”

Roger Cohen is an author and columnist for the New York Times. Before becoming a columnist for the Times, he worked as a foreign correspondent in 15 countries. In the January 24 edition of the Times, his column titled “The Banal Belligerence of Donald Trump” said in part:

I have tried to tread carefully with analogies between the Fascist ideologies of 1930s Europe and Trump. American democracy is resilient. But the first days of the Trump presidency—whose roots of course lie in far more than the American military debacles since 9/11—pushed me over the top. The president is playing with fire.

To say, as he did, that the elected representatives of American democracy are worthless and that the people are everything is to lay the foundations of totalitarianism. It is to say that democratic institutions are irrelevant and all that counts is the great leader and the masses he arouses. To speak of “carnage” is to deploy the dangerous lexicon of blood, soil and nation. To boast of “a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before” is to demonstrate consuming megalomania. To declaim “America first” and again, “America first,” is to recall the darkest clarion calls of nationalist dictators. To exalt protectionism is to risk a return to a world of barriers and confrontation. To utter falsehood after falsehood, directly or through a spokesman, is to foster the disorientation that makes crowds susceptible to the delusions of strongmen.

Trump’s outrageous claims have a purpose: to destroy rational thought. When Primo Levi arrived at Auschwitz he reached, in his thirst, for an icicle outside his window but a guard snatched it away. “Warum?” Levi asked (why?). To which the guard responded, “Hier ist kein warum” (here there is no why).

As the great historian Fritz Stern observed, “This denial of ‘why’ was the authentic expression of all totalitarianism, revealing its deepest meaning, a negation of Western civilization.”

Americans are going to have to fight for their civilization and the right to ask why against the banal belligerence of Trump.

Read the whole Cohen column here.

Poem by Nina Donovan, “I am a nasty woman” performed by Ashley Judd at Women’s March: “I feel Hitler in these streets”

The poem, “I am a nasty woman” by 19-year-old Nina Donovan was performed by actress Ashley Judd at the Women’s March in Washington, DC on January 21. It starts:

I’m not nasty as a man who looks like he bathes in Cheetos dust.

A man whose words are a distract to America.
Electoral college-sanctioned, hate-speech contaminating this national anthem.
I’m not as nasty as Confederate flags being tattooed across my city.
Maybe the South actually is going to rise again.
Maybe for some it never really fell.
Blacks are still in shackles and graves, just for being black.
Slavery has been reinterpreted as the prison system in front of people who see melanin as animal skin.

I am not as nasty as a swastika painted on a pride flag, and I didn’t know devils could be resurrected but I feel Hitler in these streets.
A mustache traded for a toupee.
Nazis renamed the Cabinet Electoral Conversion Therapy, the new gas chambers shaming the gay out of America, turning rainbows into suicide.
I am not as nasty as racism, fraud, conflict of interest, homophobia, sexual assault, transphobia, white supremacy, misogyny, ignorance, white privilege ... your daughter being your favorite sex symbol, like your wet dreams infused with your own genes.
Yeah, I’m a nasty woman — a loud, vulgar, proud woman.

To listen to the whole poem performed by Ashley Judd go here:

Sierra Club on Trump's Energy Plan: "A shameful and dark start"

The Sierra Club is the largest grassroots environmental organization in the U.S., with more than 2.7 million members and supporters. On the day of his inauguration, Trump released his energy plan (available on the White House website). In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:

Minutes after he was sworn in, any illusion that Trump would act in the best interests of families in this country as President were wiped away by a statement of priorities that constitute an historic mistake on one of the key crises facing our planet and an assault on public health. What Trump has released is hardly a plan—it’s a polluter wishlist that will make our air and water dirtier, our climate and international relations more unstable, and our kids sicker. This is a shameful and dark start to Trump’s Presidency, and a slap in the face to any American who thought Trump might pursue the national interest.

Matthew Rothschild: “Trumpolini.... Beware”

Matthew Rothschild is the executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonprofit, nonpartisan political watchdog group. His January 21 article titled, “The fascist overtones in Trump’s inaugural address” starts underneath a photo of Benito Mussolini, leader of Italy's National Fascist Party from 1922 until 1943, and says in part:

It was hard to listen to Trump’s inaugural address without hearing some not-so-faint echoes of fascism.

The most obvious was his invocation of “America First” as the “new vision” that “will govern our land.” But it’s not a new vision or a new name. In fact, “America First” was the name of the isolationist and anti-Semitic organization in the 1930s that wanted to accommodate Nazi Germany.

But there were other echoes as well....

Like 20th century fascists, he extolled the nation’s “glorious destiny.” He saluted “the great men and women of our military and law enforcement.”

And then he invoked the divine will. “Most importantly,” he said, “we are protected by God.”

And let’s not forget that his campaign slogan and the coda to his inaugural address, “Make America great again,” itself strikes a fascist chord: nostalgia for national greatness, mixed with grievances (that can lead to scapegoating) about who is to blame for the loss of such greatness.

If you were looking for Trump to take the high ground in his inaugural address and call on “the better angels of ourselves,” you were kidding yourself.

That is not who he is. He is Trumpolini.

Beware.

To read the whole article go here

Big Bang Theory on Eve of Trump Inauguration: “Beware of Darkness”

Vanity cards have become a trademark for Chuck Lorre Productions. At the end of every episode of shows Lorre produces there are different messages that read somewhat like a comment or observation on life or what’s going on in society. This was done with shows Lorre produced like Dharma & Greg and Two and a Half Men. And these vanity cards appear at the end of The Big Bang Theory—the #1 comedy on TV for many seasons. On the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, the message that flashed across at the end of The Big Bang was the lyrics to George Harrison’s song, “Beware of Darkness”:

Watch out now, take care,
Beware of greedy leaders
They’ll take you where you should not go
While Weeping Atlas Cedars
They just want to grow, grow and grow
Beware of darkness

Then another quote, this one from Monty Python:

Run away! Run Away!

Roger Waters from Pink Floyd on Inauguration: "The resistance begins today"

Roger Waters, English singer, songwriter, bassist, and composer, is the co-founder of the rock band Pink Floyd—internationally known for albums like The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall. On January 20, the day of Trump’s inauguration, Waters posted a video for his Trump-slamming performance of “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” in Mexico City last October. A message also went up on his Facebook: “The resistance begins today.”

The performance took place in Zόcalo Square before 300,000 fans. During the song, the huge screens flash graphics of ugly Trump faces with text like “Charade” and “Gotta stem the evil tide.” There is an image of Trump doing a Hitler Nazi salute and the KKK. At the end, disgusting quotes from Trump are seen on the screen. The final text: “Trump eres un pendejo” (Trump, you’re an asshole).”

Some of the lyrics to “Pigs (Three Different Ones)”:

Big man, pig man, ha ha charade you are
You well heeled big wheel, ha ha charade you are
And when your hand is on your heart
You’re nearly a good laugh
Almost a joker
With your head down in the pig bin
Saying “Keep on digging.”
Pig stain on your fat chin
What do you hope to find
When you’re down in the pig mine
You’re nearly a laugh
You’re nearly a laugh
But you’re really a cry

Petition to White House Correspondents' Association: "Stand up to Trump's blacklist"

At his January 11 press conference, Trump refused to take a question from CNN reporter Jim Acosta, saying, “You are fake news.” Angelo Carusone from Media Matters posted a petition, “Tell the White House Press Corps: Stand up to Trump’s blacklist,” to be delivered to the White House Correspondents’ Association, which says:

If Trump blacklists or bans one of you, the rest of you need to stand up. Instead of ignoring Trump’s bad behavior and going about your business, close ranks and stand up for journalism. Don’t keep talking about what Trump wants to talk about. Stand up and fight back. Amplify your colleague’s inquiry or refuse to engage until he removes that person/outlet from the blacklist.

The goal is to get 300,000 signatures. As of January 22, nearly 290,200 people had signed. The petition includes a background that says in part:

Trump has a history of doing this—and worse.

He has literally banned the Des Moines Register from covering his events. He banned Univsion from attending his events. He revoked The Washington Post’s credentials for a period in retaliation for a headline that he didn’t like. He revoked Politico’s credentials for a while to punish them for an article he didn’t like. BuzzFeed—which Trump called “a pathetic pile of garbage” during the press conference—has been on a blacklist since June of 2015. The Daily Beast is on the blacklist and is almost always denied credentials as a result. This list isn’t exhaustive, either.

But journalists covering Trump don’t learn. Time and time again, as one outlet after another is frozen out, reporters continue to go about their interactions with Trump and his people as if nothing is wrong.

Enough is enough. Some principles are more important than competition among news outlets....

To read the petition and full background go here.

Citizen Therapists Against Trumpism: "We cannot remain silent as we witness the rise of an American form of fascism"

Citizen Therapists for Democracy, an association of psychotherapists, states that their mission is to: “Learn and spread transformative ways to practice therapy with a public dimension; Rebuild democratic capacity in communities; and Resist anti-democratic ideologies and practices.” The website of Citizen Therapists for Democracy contains “A Public Manifesto” from Citizen Therapists Against Trumpism. It has been signed by 3,500 people and says in part:

As psychotherapists practicing in the United States, we are alarmed by the rise of the ideology of Trumpism, which we see as a threat to the well-being of the people we care for and to American democracy itself. We cannot remain silent as we witness the rise of an American form of fascism. We can leverage this time of crisis to deepen our commitment to American democracy....

Why speak collectively? Our responses thus far have been primarily personal—and too often confined to arm-chair diagnoses of Donald Trump. But a collective crisis faces our nation, a harkening back to the economic depression and demoralization of the 1930s (which fed European fascism) and the upheaval over Jim Crow and Black civil rights in the 1950s.... As therapists, we have been entrusted by society with collective responsibility in the arena of mental, behavioral, and relational health. When there is a public threat to our domain of responsibility we must speak out together, not just to protest but to deepen our commitment to a just society and a democratic way of life. This means being citizen therapists who are concerned with community well-being as much as personal well-being, since the two are inextricably joined.

To read the whole statement go here.

Punk Band United Nations on Inauguration Day: "Never Again Is Fucking Happening Again"

United Nations, hardcore supergroup led by frontman for the band Thursday, Geoff Rickly, released a new song on January 20, the day of Trump’s inauguration. The song is called “Stairway to Mar-a-Lago”—Mar-a-Lago is Trump’s estate in Florida which he says will be his “winter White House.”

Some of the lyrics go:

Dimwitted bigot
Misplacing sympathies
From on your cross
Tell them who matters
Policing cities in ruin

It blows my mind
How these Nazis
Took the stage
And pandered to
Your deepest fears
Dead and cold
The Gipper must be
Rolling in his grave

Never again,
Again and again
Never again is
Fucking happening
Again

New from Outernational: "Decision"—"How will you live? What will you decide?"

The band Outernational released a new song and video on the morning of the Trump inauguration, titled “Decision.” Miles Solay of Outernational wrote, “I am writing to you from the USA on the morning that a fascist regime is being coronated. I will be in the streets of Washington, DC today and tomorrow. The regime of Donald Trump and Mike Pence is illegitimate because fascism is illegitimate. If ever there was a time in our lives to act as if the future depended on us, now would be that time. GET INVOLVED AND TAKE TO THE STREETS WHEREVER YOU ARE.”

The lyrics of “Decision” include:

Decision!
Enforced!
You can’t say you hate this
While you’re waiting for the cure...

Deception!
All the lies!
America was never great
Eat your apple pie and genocide

Decision!
Of your life!
How will you live?
What will you decide?...

Listen and download audio here.

New Anti-Trump Song by Entrance: "Not Gonna Say Your Name"

“There are people who say we ought to give you a chance. But there’s not a chance in hell that we’ll sit back and watch you try to turn back the clock and sigh and say, oh well.”

This is how “Not Gonna Say Your Name” starts—a new song released on January 16 by Los Angeles-based musician Guy Blakeslee (aka ENTRANCE). The song’s video features clips of anti-Trump protests that broke out in the days after the election.

Blakeslee says, “I really wanted to write a song expressing my own feelings about the election and the state of things in our country—like many I was in a state of mourning. I wondered, how can I sing about this without saying his name?” All proceeds from song purchases are going to Planned Parenthood. Blakeslee said: “I decided to use the song to benefit PP because one of the things that is so shocking about the election result is that it sends such a negative message to women and girls.... It’s the least I could do - for all of the women in the world, in my life, and especially for my mother - to fight back and make a clear statement that we will not accept this backwards agenda.” In a piece in TheTalkhouse, Blakeslee wrote:

When the result was called at the crack of dawn that November morning, I knew I had to come back home as soon as possible and join with my fellow Americans in resisting this imminent slide toward fascism, tyranny, intolerance, bigotry, sexism, xenophobia and unchecked capitalist pillaging.

In a psychological state quite similar to mourning, I was inspired and comforted watching from afar on social media as friends and family joined hundreds of thousands of others in the streets and wished I could be there with them to say NO to hatred and regression and YES to love and continued communal progress.

While in Amsterdam a few days later, the idea for this song (“Not Gonna Say Your Name” ) came to me; I was writing a lot of angry words and I was desperately trying to figure out how to say something positive, to make some kind of contribution and offer a different way of thinking about the situation instead of just complaining and fixating on this person that so many of us can’t help but despise.

To read the whole piece by Blakeslee go here

To watch the video of “Not Gonna Say Your Name” go here.

News of Girl Scouts Marching for Trump Inauguration “filled me with rage”

The Girl Scouts of America have come under severe criticism for its decision to have 75 Girl Scouts march in Trump’s inauguration parade. People are saying they should not participate—given Trump’s ugly comments about women and Pence’s extreme anti-abortion views. Jean Hannah Edelstein, a New York-born, London-based journalist and the author of Himglish and Femalese: Why Women Don’t Get Why Men Don’t Get Them, wrote in a January 18 opinion piece in the Guardian:

The news that the Girl Scouts are sending a contingent to participate in Donald Trump’s inauguration filled me with real rage. How can an organization that promises to build “girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place” send them to celebrate the ascent of a leader who would likely consider them fair game for sexual assault if they grow up to be “beautiful”?

...what would be emotionally and physically safe for a girl about watching the swearing-in of Mike Pence as Vice President, a man who’s sworn to overturn the laws that allow them to use the bathrooms where they feel safe? What of Muslim Girl Scouts, who’ve been told that their names will be put on a list, or undocumented girls, who are also welcome to join Girl Scouts? Should they march, or should only the girls who Donald Trump might one day rate “a 10” be encouraged to participate?

...Yes, it’s a tradition: they’ve marched at inauguration for decades. But does tradition justify collaboration with an administration that promises to oppress the young women it’s supposed to serve? As shown by John Lewis and the other members of Congress who are choosing to skip the inauguration, sometimes human rights are more important than protocol. The Girl Scouts is an organization that has stood up for the human rights of girls and women for many years. Why quit now?

Read this whole piece here.

Charles M. Blow on the Day Before Inauguration Day: "Are You Not Alarmed?"

New York Times columnist, Charles M. Blow’s piece on January 19, 2017 is titled, “Are You Not Alarmed?” and says:

I continue to be astonished that not enough Americans are sufficiently alarmed and abashed by the dangerous idiocies that continue to usher forth from the mouth of the man who will on Friday be inaugurated as president of the United States.

Toss ideology out of the window. This is about democracy and fascism, war and peace, life and death. I wish that I could write those words with the callous commercialism with which some will no doubt read them, as overheated rhetoric simply designed to stir agitation, provoke controversy and garner clicks. But alas, they are not. These words are the sincere dispatches of an observer, writer and citizen who continues to see worrisome signs of a slide toward the exceedingly unimaginable by a man who is utterly unprepared.

In a series of interviews and testimonies Donald Trump and his cronies have granted in the last several days, they have demonstrated repeatedly how destabilizing, unpredictable and indeed unhinged the incoming administration may be. Their comments underscore the degree to which this administration may not simply alter our democracy beyond recognition, but also potentially push us into armed conflict...

This is insanity. But too many Americans don’t want to see this threat for what it is. International affairs and the very real threat of escalating militarization and possibly even military conflict seems much harder to grasp than the latest inflammatory tweet.

Maybe people think this possibility is unthinkable. Maybe people are just hoping and praying that cooler heads will prevail. Maybe they think that Trump’s advisers will smarten him up and talk him down.

But where is your precedent for that? When has this man been cautious or considerate? This man with loose lips and tweeting thumbs may very well push us into another war, and not with a country like Afghanistan, but with a nuclear-armed country with something to prove.

Are you not alarmed?

To read the whole piece go here.

Green Day: Trump and "Troubled Times"

Green Day continues to call out Trump as a fascist. A video of the song “Troubled Times” from their latest album, Revolution Radio, was released on Monday, MLK Day. A statement from Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong said, "Today we celebrate love and compassion more than ever." The song/video doesn’t name Trump but the message is clear through the imagery. There’s a Trump-like figure with KKK teeth wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap—spewing hateful, racist garbage before crowds as Kluckers come out of the White House. Cops beating up Black people. But there are also images of resistance: People with signs saying “Stop racism, islamophobia, and war,” “No border wall,” and “Against racist hate.” Clips from the Civil Rights Movement and the the women’s suffrage battle. At the end, the stakes of the situation are underscored with a nuclear mushroom cloud.

This isn’t the first time Green Day has called out Trump. Shortly after the election, during their MTV and American Music Awards performances of the song “Bang Bang,” they added the chant: "No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA." Armstrong said, "It was a good start to challenge [Trump] on all of his ignorant policies and his racism."

The lyrics to "Troubled Times" are searing:

What good is love and peace on earth?
When it's exclusive?
Where's the truth in the written word?
If no one reads it
A new day dawning
Comes without warning
So don't blink twice

We live in troubled times
We live in troubled times

What part of history we learned
When it's repeated
Some things will never overcome
If we don't seek it

The world stops turning
Paradise burning
So don't think twice

We live in troubled times
We live in troubled times

Rapper T.I.: "Be Aware or Be Bamboozled"

On MLK Day, Rapper T.I. (Tip Harris) sent out a series of tweets and videos addressed to Black celebrities and athletes who are meeting with Trump.

“Attn.!!!! Be clear.... There IS an agenda behind all these meetings. “There’s a strategic plan that people are trying to make you a part of.... Do not accept any invitation to have any meeting, no matter how positive you think the outcome may be.” “Given what’s going on between him & Congressman Lewis... All y’all looking CRAZY right now!!!! Be Aware, BE Alert, Or Be Bamboozled.”

One tweet has a photo of Malcolm X with a quote from him: “The first thing the (white racist) does when he comes in power, he takes all the Negro leaders and invites them for coffee. To show that he’s all right. And those Uncle Toms can’t pass up the coffee. They come away from the coffee table telling you and me that this man is all right.” T.I. writes: “Sound familiar? Malcolm knew it then.... Be Aware, Be Alert, or Be Bamboozled.”

One tweet addresses Trump: “Should it ever seem at times like we are against you, I assure it is a result of you defining yourself as the representative of those who are and who always have been against us... The deck has always been stacked against us in this country. With every generation there has been strategic steps to oppress, imprison, and control us.”

See T.I.’s tweets and videos here.

Statement from Michael Dietler, professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago, at Chicago Protest Against Trump-Pence Regime and Police Terror on MLK Day

A small but determined group of protesters rallied in the cold Chicago rain on MLK Day, where Christian clergy, representatives from the Muslim community, and youth spoke along with other fighters in the movement to Stop Trump and Pence. After the rally the protest took off in two parallel marches down both sides of State Street, stopping on the corners to speak to people who were out on the cold, wet street. Protestors criss-crossed back and forth across State Street, blocking traffic briefly a number of times. Some people along the route joined in the march briefly, and others took up posters and/or bundles of the Call and were organized to organize others in the fight to stop the fascist Trump-Pence regime.

Speakers at the rally addressed the need and possibility of stopping the Trump-Pence regime from taking power and the recently released Justice Department report detailing years of abuse of Black and brown people by the Chicago police. They included Rev. Gregg Greer of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Rev.Pughsley; Salman Aftab from the American Muslim Task Force on Civil Rights and Elections; Raja Yaqub from the American Muslim Aliance; and a middle school student who spoke about the terror Pence will bring to the LGBTQ community with his promotion of electro-shock torture “conversion therapy.” The following statement from Michael Dietler, professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago was read.

This day, of all days, should raise awareness of the danger that Donald Trump poses to this country, and to the world. The contrast with Martin Luther King could not be stronger.

Today the nation honors a fearless champion of human rights and human dignity, a man of principle who dedicated his life to the service of others and was willing to be sacrificed in the struggle against injustice. We also honor all those heroes of the Civil Rights movement, those thousands of ordinary people who courageously put their bodies and their lives on the line to oppose the racist, oppressive, violent regimes that tried to deny people their rights.

In ironic contrast, this Friday, a new president will be sworn in who waged a disgraceful campaign of lies and deceit, of racist bigotry and hatred, of misogyny, fear, and ignorance. Donald Trump has no principles, no concern for anyone but himself. He has spent his life in the relentless pursuit of personal wealth and power, using any means available without regard to the consequences for others.

He is a liar, fraud, and a dangerous egomaniac who has already normalized racism, xenophobia, and misogyny and prepared a cabinet of robber barons ready to pillage the country. Now is the time for all good people of conscience to come together to oppose this destructive force, before it is too late. Let the voice of the people rise again in solidarity with the spirit of the Civil Rights movement: justice and equality for all! Stand up against racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and greed!

Clip from Ava DuVernay Documentary 13th—Searing Exposure of Trump on the “Good Old Days”

Ava DuVernay is an American director, screenwriter, film marketer, and film distributor. Her film Selma, which told the story of the campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King for equal voting right and the famous march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965,was nominated for Best Picture at the 2014 Oscars. And DuVernay became first Black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

DuVernay’s recent Netflix documentary 13th just picked up three Critics’ Choice Awards and is on the Oscar shortlist for best documentary. 13th, named for the constitutional amendment that abolished slavery with the exception of punishment for crime, digs deeply into and exposes the rise of mass incarceration in the USA. 13th includes a series of powerful clips that shows Donald Trump and footage from the Civil Right era—where Trump is talking about “the good old days.”

During the film’s press screening at the New York Film Festival in October, DuVernay talked about how she debated whether to include Trump, who at the time was the Republican presidential candidate, in the documentary. She said, “Take him out? Leave him in? No, he doesn’t deserve a place in this thing, and such. But you gotta show that stuff because it’s too important and it can’t be forgotten,”

13th is available to stream on Netflix.

Pete Vernon in Columbia Journalism Review: "Trump and his team have shown a willingness to retaliate, bully, and ban journalists"

At his January 11 press conference, Trump refused to take a question from CNN reporter Jim Acosta, saying, “You are fake news.” In an article in the Columbia Journalism Review titled “Trump berated a CNN reporter, and fellow journalists missed an opportunity” Pete Vernon says:

CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta stood pleading with Trump to acknowledge his question, referencing earlier attacks made by Trump and his press secretary about the accuracy of a CNN report detailing Trump’s ties to Russia. “Mr. President-elect, since you have been attacking our news organization, can you give us a chance?” Acosta yelled above the scrum of reporters.

“No! Not you. No! Your organization is terrible,” the President-elect shot back. When Acosta persisted in shouting for recognition, Trump pointed a finger at him and said, “Don’t be rude. No, I’m not going to give you a question.”

Trump then turned to the next question, and the press conference proceeded from there. It was a striking moment not only for the direct confrontation between the two men, but also for the fact that it seemed to have no effect on other journalists in the room. No one immediately leapt to Acosta’s defense....

I wished those journalists in attendance had picked up Acosta’s line of questioning, or even refused to continue asking questions, until the President-elect acknowledged the organization he had earlier attacked....

Next Friday, the new administration begins. As a candidate, and now as the President-elect, Trump and his team have shown a willingness to retaliate, bully, and ban journalists whose questions he doesn’t want to answer. As an industry, we must be prepared for more moments like today’s, and we must be ready to respond accordingly.

Peter Vernon’s article is available online here.

Theologians Raise Opposition to Jeff Sessions for "positions that compromise the rights of these vulnerable populations"

A group of Christian theologians of various denominations delivered an open letter to the heads of the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose the nomination of Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General. The signatories include Peter Goodwin Heltzel, New York Theological Seminary; Jeannine Hill Fletcher, Fordham University; Gary Agee, Anderson University (Indiana); Cornel West, Harvard University; James Cone, Union Theological Seminary; Jim Wallis, Sojourner; and others.

The theologians’ letter says in part:

Vulnerable populations in our country—victims of police brutality, undocumented workers, LGBTQ persons, women, people of color, and people of non-Christian faiths—are placed at increased risk of further harm when our laws are not upheld. Yet, throughout his career, Senator Sessions has taken positions that compromise the rights of these vulnerable populations. His racist comments reflect prejudice against people of color. His opposition to immigration reform, LGBTQ rights, women’s rights and equal access for persons with disabilities make it unlikely that he shares the Christian vision of justice and protection of the vulnerable that we embrace.

The letter and signatories are available online here.

Powerful Video Produced by Katy Perry: #DontNormalizeHate

A moving and deeply thought-provoking PSA video produced by Katy Perry asks the question: is history repeating itself? The short video features actor Hina Khan, a Muslim of Pakistani heritage, and begins with the voice of 89-year-old Haru Kuromiya—recalling how, when she was a girl during World War 2, her family, along with about 120,000 other Japanese Americans, were first put on a registry and then forced by the U.S. government into concentration (internment) camps.

According to the LA Times, “Codirected by filmmakers Aya Tanimura and Tim Nackashi, the #DontNormalizeHate PSA landed the early support of director Spike Jonze and actor-activist George Takei. But it was Perry whom Tanimura credits for making the short possible.” The video has close to 300,000 views since it was posted on YouTube—it should be seen by millions. Watch it below:

Bruce Springsteen: "The country feels very estranged..."

Bruce Springsteen on Marc Maron’s WRTF podcast on January 2 (at the end) is asked what his biggest fear is about Trump and says:

That a lot of the worst things and the worst aspects of what he appealed to come to fruition. When you let that genie out of the bottle – bigotry, racism, when you let those things out of the bottle, intolerance, they don't go back in the bottle that easily if they go back in at all. Whether it's a rise in hate crimes, people feeling they have license to speak and behave in ways that previously were considered un-American and are un-American. That's what he's appealing to. And so my fears are that those things find a place in ordinary, civil society; demeans the discussions and events of the day and the country changes in a way that is unrecognizable and we become estranged, as you say, you say hey well, wait a minute you voted for Trump, I thought I knew who you were, I’m not sure. The country feels very estranged, you feel very estranged from your countrymen. So those are all dangerous things and he hasn’t even taken office yet.

The podcast is available here

Children's and YA authors refuse "to quietly accept or assent to this 'Gleichschaltung,' this getting in line with fascism and making it mainstream"

Recently, Threshold, an imprint of the book publisher Simon & Schuster, gave a $250,000 book deal to Milo Yiannopoulos, writer for the neo-Nazi, white-supremacist Breitbart News Network and supporter of Trump. There was immediate outrage against the deal from writers, bookstores, book reviewers, and others. (See “Outrage at Simon & Schuster’s Book Deal for Pro-Trump Racist.”) Now more than 160 children’s and young adult (YA) book authors and illustrators with Simon & Schuster have sent a letter protesting the deal to the Simon & Schuster CEO and “all the readers and supporters of books for children.”

As technology editor at Breitbart, Yiannopoulos promoted “GamerGate,” a vicious flood of degrading attacks and terroristic threats against prominent women in the video game development community. This summer he was banned from Twitter after his followers carried out a racist harassment campaign against Black comedian/actor Leslie Jones.

The letter from the authors and illustrators reads in part:

Threshold has placed Simon & Schuster’s considerable reputation and weight behind one of the most prominent faces of the newly repackaged white supremacist/white nationalist movement and financially supported a man who routinely denigrates, verbally attacks, and directs dangerous internet doxxing and hate campaigns against women, minorities, LGBTQ individuals, Muslims, and anyone he chooses to target who supports equality and human decency. Irrespective of the content of this book, by extending a mainstream publication contract, Threshold has chosen to legitimize this reprehensible belief system, these behaviors, and white supremacy itself....

As Simon & Schuster authors and illustrators who are already published, with books in the release pipeline, with contracts in place, we do not have to quietly accept or assent to this “Gleichschaltung,” this getting in line with fascism and making it mainstream. We reject the wisdom of this decision. This man, and this book, are not America. This man, and this book, are not the bulk of Simon & Schuster. This man, and this book, are not us, the authors and illustrators of Simon & Schuster. We believe that the children we write for deserve a better America.

Among the signers of the letter are winners of Newbery, Caldecott, and National Book Award honors, including Cassandra Clare, Laurie Halse Anderson, Christian Robinson, Dan Santat, Marla Frazee, Ellen Hopkins, and Rachel Renée Russell. The Publisher’s Weekly article on this, including the text of the full letter and the list of signatories, is available online here.

Charlotte Church, Singer, Refuses Invitation from Tyrant Trump

Charlotte Church is a Welch singer who performs in many genres and has a big following. She has sold over ten million records worldwide.

The Trump team, which has already been turned down by most of the entertainers they have asked to perform at the inauguration, sent an invitation to Church. Church tweeted her reply directly to Trump @realDonaldTrump:

“Your staff have asked me to sing at your inauguration, a simple Internet search would show I think you’re a tyrant. Bye.”

Her message was followed by four poop emoji.

This is the link to her tweet.

Australian Tennis Star: T-Shirt Statement on Trump

At the Australian Open tennis tournament, Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios made a statement about Donald Trump with his T-shirt. During his match with Rafael Nadal he wore a shirt that had Trump’s face covered with devil-like illustrations and the words “Fuck Donald Trump” at the bottom.

Nick Kyrgios wearing anti-Trump T-shirt

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights: "Sessions has 30-year record of racial insensitivity, bias against immigrants, disregard for the rule of law, and hostility to the protection of civil rights"

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights sent a letter to the U.S. Senate opposing the confirmation of Sessions as Attorney General, saying:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 national organizations committed to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States, and the 144 undersigned organizations, we are writing to express our strong opposition to the confirmation of Senator Jefferson B. Sessions (R-AL) to be the 84th Attorney General of the United States.
Senator Sessions has a 30-year record of racial insensitivity, bias against immigrants, disregard for the rule of law, and hostility to the protection of civil rights that makes him unfit to serve as the Attorney General of the United States. In our democracy, the Attorney General is charged with enforcing our nation’s laws without prejudice and with an eye toward justice. And, just as important, the Attorney General has to be seen by the public—every member of the public, from every community—as a fair arbiter of justice. Unfortunately, there is little in Senator Sessions’ record that demonstrates that he would meet such a standard.

To read the whole letter go here

Shaun King: "One of the most dishonest men on Earth is about to become our leader"

Shaun King’s column in the Monday, January 9 New York Daily News was titled “Americans must call Trump out on lies, not get so used to them that we become desensitized to his dishonesty.” King writes, in part:

Last night, Meryl Streep, in an acceptance speech for a lifetime achievement award that she won at the Golden Globes, reminded the audience that our incoming President once openly mocked a reporter with a physical disability from the stage of a rally....Trump has now outrageously said he has no recollection of ever meeting Kovaleski and was not aware of his disability, but that is another outrageous lie. He did not meet Kovaleski once or twice. He did not meet him three or four times, or even half a dozen times, but met with Kovaleski at least a dozen times across the years. They met in Trump’s office, at events, and at press conferences. They were so close that Kovaleski described them as being “on a first name basis for years.”

To fight back against Streep reminding us of what he did, Trump is lying about lies about lies. His lies have so many layers that it often seems like he gets lost and simply cannot keep up....

Our incoming President of the United States is a liar. He tells them often. He lies far more often than he tells the truth. We must call him out on it. We must not become desensitized to his lies. We must not get so used to them that they become normal to us.

One of the most dishonest men on Earth is about to become our leader. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t deeply concerned about what comes next.

To read the whole piece by Shaun King, go here.

Meryl Streep at Golden Globe Awards Speaks Out on Trump: "When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose"

On Sunday night, January 8, Meryl Streep received The Cecil B. DeMille Award, an honorary Golden Globe Award given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” In accepting the award, she said, in part:

An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us and let you feel what that feels like. And there were many, many, many powerful performances this year that did exactly that—breathtaking compassionate work. But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter, someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it and I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.

Watch Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech here

Jello Biafra on Trump: "What we're looking at here is Jim Crow 2.0"

Jello Biafra is the former lead singer for the band Dead Kennedys, known for songs like “California Über Alles” and “Nazi Punks Fuck Off.” In a recent interview in Rolling Stone magazine he said:

As laughable as Rick Perry has been as governor of Texas and other [presidential] campaigns, he’s also very dangerous. At first they were saying Secretary of Agriculture for him, but then suddenly Secretary of Energy. That dude is in charge of our nukes now and he’s also part of a fundamentalist Christian doomsday cult. ... It was basically yet another cult like the one Sarah and Todd Palin prescribed, whose whole mindset was “Jesus is coming soon, and in order to expedite we should be wasting every last natural resource and clear-cutting every tree we can right now because Jesus is coming back again. It’s OK to run up further budget deficits, because Jesus loves America, he’s going to put the money back.”...

People are freaked out that Trump has made the head of Exxon the Secretary of State, and the guy is so tight and in bed with Putin—well, there’s another part of Rex Tillerson I hope people are going to highlight, too. He’s the one who finally admitted climate change existed as head of Exxon, but then he said mankind will adapt and so it’s no big deal....

What we’re looking at here is Jim Crow 2.0, and they’re going to be even more hardcore about that in the 2018 election, to keep anybody with a conscience from being able to vote. Look at who the new Attorney General is going to be, the same guy who in the Eighties said he thought the people in the Ku Klux Klan were all right “until I saw some of them smoked pot.”

Cornell William Brooks: NAACP opposes nomination of Jeff Sessions "bodily, spiritually, morally, by encouraging civil disobedience"

Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP, and five other civil rights leaders were arrested January 3 after sitting in at Jeff Sessions’ office in Washington, DC, demanding the withdrawal of his nomination by Trump for Attorney General. In a January 5 interview on Democracy Now, Brooks said:

Our objections are, fundamentally, Senator Sessions represents a kind of dim and dystopian view of American civil liberties and civil rights. And so our objections are at least threefold, first of which is that he has demonstrated an unwillingness to acknowledge the reality of voter suppression that we have seen from one end of the country to the other, as attested to in the Fourth Circuit decision that found voter suppression in North Carolina, the Fifth Circuit decision which found voter suppression in Texas. He has not acknowledged the reality of that, and certainly not the reality of voter suppression in his own state...

In terms of immigration rights, he is one—among one of the most conservative, ultraconservative, extremist senators in terms of his opposition to comprehensive immigration reform. In addition to that, he has voiced an openness to a immigration ban on a global religion, namely Islam, which cannot be squared in any way, shape, fashion or form with the U.S. Constitution.

Number three, his views on criminal justice reform stand in stark contrast to both red state and blue state governors. In other words, he stands for law and order in Nixonian and draconian terms, at a moment in which we have over 2 million Americans behind bars, 65 million Americans with criminal records, 1 million fathers behind bars....

Brooks said the NAACP is “unapologetically opposed” to Sessions and is calling for civil disobedience protests:

The board of directors of the NAACP voted to oppose this nomination. And we’re doing so not only as a matter of policy, but we’re doing so bodily, spiritually, morally, by encouraging civil disobedience—that is to say, standing in the tradition of Mohandas K. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, standing in that tradition by sitting down. And so, we understand that the odds may be difficult, but we, as the NAACP, don’t gauge our principled opposition to a nominee based upon odds and probabilities, but rather the rightness of the cause....

Read the whole interview here.

Joshua Pechthalt, Calif. Federation of Teachers President: “The similarities with the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1930s...are chilling”

In the November-December issue of California Teacher, Joshua Pechthalt, the president of the California Federation of Teachers (CFT), which is part of the American Federation of Teachers, has a piece titled “Responding to election of Donald Trump: Reassess, Mobilize, Defend.” Pechthalt writes:

In the last few weeks, I have had many discussions trying to sort out the implications of a Trump presidency. His nomination for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, who has been a pro-voucher, pro-charter school advocate, demonstrates he wants to privatize and charterize public schools. President-elect Trump is making clear where he wants to take the country.

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who has said positive things about the KKK and will likely head the Justice Department, indicates this administration will not be an advocate for criminal justice reform, voting rights, and countless other social justice efforts. More disturbing will be Trump’s appointments to the Supreme Court. A generation of justices will be in the majority and committed to an agenda that is opposed to union rights, women’s rights, voting rights, environmental protection, and other matters that will affect our children and grandchildren.

Trump has also strengthened his relationship with Steve Bannon, the former leader of Breitbart News and one of the leaders of a movement known as the alt-right. The alt-right sees this appointment as an opportunity to fan the flames of white nationalism, racism and anti-Semitism. One needs only to watch the Nazi salute at a recent gathering of alt-right supporters in the nation’s capital to be alarmed. The similarities with the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1930s, and the growing neo-fascist movement now gaining traction in Western European countries, are chilling and require a response...

The issue of California Teacher containing the article by Pechthalt is available online here.

Thousands Sign Petition Against University of Tennessee Marching Band Participation in Trump Inauguration

The University of Tennessee marching band is scheduled to march in Trump’s Inauguration parade, but a lot of alumni of the school and residents of Tennessee are protesting this. More than 3,340 people have already signed an online petition calling on the president and director of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville to stop the university marching band from playing in the inaugural parade. The change.org petition, signed “Concerned Citizens and Alumni,” says in part:

As either proud residents of Tennessee or proud University of Tennessee alumni, we are greatly disturbed by the behavior exhibited by Donald Trump both during and after the recent presidential campaign. He has made racist and sexist remarks that should never come out of the mouth of someone in public office.

As residents of Tennessee, we believe that the attendance at the upcoming inauguration of a band representing the state of Tennessee would condone this behavior. As alumni, we believe that no university should risk its reputation and credibility by welcoming such ignorance and celebrating a man like Trump. It is for this reason that we urge that the band not march at the upcoming inauguration.

San Francisco teacher calling on educators across the country to take up the "NO!"

Rosie O'Donnell on Trump: "Less than 3 weeks to stop him"

On January 1, comedian and TV entertainer Rosie O’Donnell tweeted:

DONALD TRUMP IS MENTALLY UNSTABLE -

LESS THAN 3 WEEKS TO STOP HIM AMERICA

 

The day before, in response to a Donald Trump New Year’s Eve tweet, O’Donnell tweeted:

@realDonaldTrump - we know what to do RESIST YOU - and everything you represent #notANYONESpresident #resist #liar #cheater #fraud #crook

She also tweeted:

Nobody can go back
and start a new beginning,
but anyone can start today
and make a new ending.
~ Maria Robinson

Then on January 3, @ROSIE retweeted:

#NoFascistUSA ‏@RefuseFascism

The amount of flak @Rosie O’Donnell is taking right now for stating fact, as if SHE’s out of line, is criminal. #NoFascistUSA #DontNormalize

Petition at Olivet Nazarene, Christian University, Speaks Out Against Trump's "well-documented sexism, his political alliances with white supremacists, and his hostility toward immigrants and refugees"

Olivet Nazarene is a Christian university located south of Chicago in Illinois. When school officials announced that the Olivet Nazarene band would be taking part in Trump’s inauguration, there was immediate opposition. An online petition, “Withdraw Olivet Nazarene University from Inaugural Parade,” has gathered over 2,000 signers. The petition, addressed to the college president and administrators, says in part:

Sadly, President-elect Trump has consistently articulated and advocated policies that undermine the Christian commitments of communities like Olivet. His well-documented sexism, his political alliances with white supremacists, and his hostility towards immigrants and refugees are just a few positions incompatible with Christian teachings in general and the Nazarene message of holiness in particular.

Any university presence at the inauguration would suggest toleration or, even worse, endorsement of the President-elect’s objectionable attitudes on these and other issues. Such a presence is simply unacceptable.

We call on you to decline this and any other invitations to participate in President-elect Trump’s inaugural festivities. We make this request not out of partisan opposition. Both educational and religious organizations should be capable of holding differing political opinions within the bonds of community. Yet, conservatives and liberals alike acknowledge that President-elect Trump has demeaned and alienated many, with little or no effort made towards reconciliation. For Olivet to embody the faith it proclaims, we have a responsibility to stand with those marginalized by the President-elect’s divisive rhetoric rather than march in celebration of it.

Rebecca Ferguson Says She'll Sing at Trump Inauguration Invite IF She Can Sing "Strange Fruit"

Rebecca Ferguson is a British singer and songwriter. Her 2015 album “Lady Sings the Blues,” covering classic songs by Billie Holiday, made the charts in the UK. Ferguson says she was asked to sing at Trump’s inauguration and says she will do it.... IF she can sing “Strange Fruit”—a song first recorded by Billy Holliday in 1939 that scathingly indicts the lynchings of Black people in the American South. Ferguson wrote on TwitLonger:

I’ve been asked and this is my answer. If you allow me to sing “strange fruit” a song that has huge historical importance, a song that was blacklisted in the United States for being too controversial. A song that speaks to all the disregarded and down trodden black people in the United States. A song that is a reminder of how love is the only thing that will conquer all the hatred in this world, then I will graciously accept your invitation and see you in Washington. Best Rebecca X

Gregg Popovich, Coach of NBA San Antonio Spurs: "[Trump] is in charge of our country. That's disgusting"

Soon after the election, Gregg Popovich, one of the top coaches in the National Basketball Association (NBA), was asked to comment on Trump’s victory. The following are excerpts from his comments:

It’s our country, we don’t want it to go down the drain. Any reasonable person would come to that conclusion. But it does not take away the fact that he is fear-mongering—all the comments, from day one—the race baiting, trying to make Barack Obama, the first Black president, illegitimate. It leaves me wondering where I’ve been living and with whom I’m living.

And the fact that people can just gloss that over and start talking about the transition team, and we’re all gonna be kumbaya now and try to make the country good without talking about any of those things. And now we see that he’s already backing off of immigration and Obamacare and other things, so was it a big fake? Which makes you feel it’s even more disgusting and cynical that somebody would use that to get the base that fired up. To get elected. And what gets lost in the process are African-Americans, and Hispanics, and women, and the gay population, not to mention the eighth-grade developmental stage exhibited by him when he made fun of the handicapped person. I mean, come on. That’s what a seventh-grade, eighth-grade bully does. And he was elected president of the United States. We would have scolded our kids. We would have had discussions and talked until we were blue in the face trying to get them to understand these things. And he is in charge of our country. That’s disgusting.

See a YouTube of Popovich (along with another NBA coach, Stan Van Gundy) commenting on Trump here.

Mormon Tabernacle Singer Quits Over Trump Inauguration: "I could never throw roses to Hitler."

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is scheduled to sing at Trump’s inauguration and 19,000 members of the Mormon Church have already signed a petition against them performing. Now, a member of the choir, Jan Chamberlin, has resigned over this, saying, “I could never throw roses to Hitler. And I certainly could never sing for him." Her letter, which was posted on Facebook, says:

Since “the announcement” [of the Choir performing at the inauguration], I have spent several sleepless nights and days in turmoil and agony. I have reflected carefully on both sides of the issue, prayed a lot, talked with family and friends, and searched my soul.

I’ve tried to tell myself that by not going to the inauguration, that I would be able to stay in Choir for all the other good reasons.

I have highly valued the mission of the Choir to be good-will ambassadors for Christ, to share beautiful music and to give hope, inspiration, and comfort to others.

I’ve tried to tell myself that it will be alright and that I can continue in good conscience before God and man.

But it’s no use. I simply cannot continue with the recent turn of events. I could never look myself in the mirror again with self respect...

I also know, looking from the outside in, it will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny and fascism by singing for this man...

Tyranny is now on our doorstep; it has been sneaking its way into our lives through stealth. Now it will burst into our homes through storm. I hope that we and many others will work together with greater diligence and awareness to calmly and bravely work together to defend our freedoms and our rights for our families, our friends, and our fellow citizens. I hope we can throw off the labels and really listen to each other with respect, love, compassion, and a true desire to bring our energies and souls together in solving the difficult problems that lie in our wake...

History is repeating itself; the same tactics are being used by Hitler (identify a problem, finding a scapegoat target to blame, and stirring up people with a combination of fanaticism, false promises, and fear, and gathering the funding). I plead with everyone to go back and read the books we all know on these topics and review the films produced to help us learn from these gargantuan crimes so that we will not allow them to be repeated. Evil people prosper when good people stand by and do nothing.

We must continue our love and support for the refugees and the oppressed by fighting against these great evils.

For me, this is a HUGELY moral issue....

I only know I could never “throw roses to Hitler.” And I certainly could never sing for him.

To read the whole letter go here.

Rockette Speaks Out Against Trump: "A moral issue, a women's issue"

The Radio City Rockettes, whose trademark routine is a line of dancers doing eye-high leg kicks in perfect unison, are scheduled to perform at Trump’s inauguration. Right away there were signs that some of the dancers are very disturbed about this. In a shameful move, the union representing the Rockettes, the American Guild of Variety Artists, sent an email to the dancers saying they were “obliged” to perform at the inauguration. Later the company that owns the Radio City Rockettes, the Madison Square Garden Company, told Rolling Stone magazine that individual dancers “are never told they have to perform at a particular event, including the inaugural. It is always their choice.” But one can imagine the pressure being put on these women to perform and what it could mean for their careers if they refuse.

Recently, MarieClaire.com wrote a piece about this controversy, including quotes from an exclusive interview they did with “Mary,” one of the Rockettes. The following are some excerpts from this article:

The dancer next to Mary was crying. Tears streamed down her face through all 90 minutes of their world-famous Christmas Spectacular as they kicked and pirouetted and hit mark after mark on the glittering Radio City Music Hall stage. This was Thursday, three days before Christmas, the day the Rockettes discovered they’d been booked to perform at the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

“She felt she was being forced to perform for this monster,” Mary told MarieClaire.com in an exclusive interview. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable standing near a man like that in our costumes,” said another dancer in an email to her colleagues.

For Mary? “If I had to lose my job over this, I would. It’s too important. And I think the rest of the performing arts community would happily stand behind me.” ...

“There is a divide in the company now, which saddens me most,” Mary says. “The majority of us said no immediately. Then there’s the percentage that said yes, for whatever reason—whether it’s because they’re young and uninformed, or because they want the money, or because they think it’s an opportunity to move up in the company when other people turn it down.” ...

Mary says that to her knowledge, no women of color have signed up to perform that day. “It’s almost worse to have 18 pretty white girls behind this man who supports so many hate groups.” ...

“This is not a Republican or Democrat issue—this is a women’s rights issue,” she continues. “This is an issue of racism and sexism, something that’s much bigger than politics. We walk into work and everyone has different political views. The majority of the stage crew are Trump supporters; there’s a ‘Make America Great Again’ bumper sticker on the crew doors at the side of the stage.”

But the majority of the staff skews liberal, she says, especially considering the many LGBT employees at Radio City. “It’s the ensemble. It’s the people in our wardrobe and hair department, some of whom are transgender,” she says. “These are our friends and our family, who we’ve worked with for years. It’s a basic human-rights issue. We have immigrants in the show. I feel like dancing for Trump would be disrespecting the men and women who work with us, the people we care about.”

On December 29, former Rockette Autumn Withers said in an interview on cable news channel MSNBC that the group has performed at previous inaugurations but Trump is different:

[W]e’ve never had an incoming president who has publically and repeatedly demeaned women and said derogatory things about women. And I think that’s what makes this is a really unique situation and elevates it above a situation of just doing your job as a Rockette as you would for any other event and elevates it to a moral issue, a woman’s rights issue. What does this say, the optics of having the Rockettes perform at Trump’s inauguration? How does that normalize these comments and remarks that Trump has made to women at large and is that OK?

He has talked about grabbing women’s genitals, he has called them names from dogs, pigs, slobs, crooked, nasty. And to have a beautiful line of women dancing behind him I think on a larger level kind of normalizes his derogatory comments. I have Republican female family members and even when you bring up his comments they’re very uncomfortable and they still agree that this is a women’s rights issue....

The whole MarieClair.com article is available here.

To listen to the MSNBC interview with Autumn Withers, go here.

1,500 Past and Current Fulbright Scholarship Recipients: "The consequence [of Trump becoming president] could be dire for both international cooperation and peace"

The Fulbright Program, funded by the U.S. government and private sources, gives prestigious scholarships to about 8,000 recipients yearly—for students, academics, artists and others in the U.S. to study and do research abroad and for recipients in other countries to do the same in the U.S. After the presidential election, three past and current Fulbright grant recipients wrote an open letter expressing alarm at Trump’s victory. The letter has gathered signatures from over 1,500 other past and current Fulbright scholarship recipients from 95 countries.

Their letter says in part: “We have, for the last eighteen months, watched the electoral process unfold in the United States as the president-elect openly engaged in demagoguery against a number of vulnerable populations, courted hate groups, threatened the press, and promised vindictive actions against his opponents. This is not populism; it is recklessness. The consequence could be dire for both international cooperation and peace. We are now worried by the prospect of his inauguration into one of the world’s most powerful offices with the power to carry out his stated intentions. While we respect the American electoral system, we write to express our deepest concerns.”

The letter and list of signatories are available online here.

Franz Wasserman, Survivor of Nazi Germany: “We have to counter this trend toward fascism in every way we can.”

Franz Wasserman, 96 years old, was a youth in Germany during the 1930s and saw the rise of the Nazis first-hand. He’s never considered himself an activist. But with the election of Trump, he felt he had to act. He wrote a letter to U.S. senators warning of the parallels between Trump and Hitler—and shared it with others. Jerry Lange, a columnist for the Seattle Times, received a copy, and he wrote a piece on Wasserman that appeared on December 26.

Wasserman begins the letter: “I was born in Munich, Germany, in 1920. I lived there during the rise of the Nazi Party and left for the U.S.A. in 1938. The elements of the Nazi regime were the suppression of dissent, the purging of the dissenters and undesirables, the persecution of communists, Jews and homosexuals and the ideal of the Arians as the master race. These policies started immediately after Hitler came to power, at first out of sight but escalated gradually leading to the Second World War and the holocaust. Meanwhile most Germans were lulled into complacency by all sorts of wonderful projects and benefits.”

Today, Wasserman writes, “The neo-Nazis and the KKK have become more prominent and get recognition in the press. We are all familiar with Trump’s remarks against all Muslims and all Mexicans. But there has not been anything as alarming as the appointment of Steve Bannon as Trump’s Chief Strategist. Bannon has, apparently, made anti-Semitic remarks for years, has recently condemned Muslims and Jews and he and Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the pick as National Security Adviser, advocate the political and cultural superiority of the white race. At the same time Trump is trying to control the press... We can hope that our government of checks and balances will be more resistant than the Weimar Republic was. Don’t count on it.”

The Seattle Times article with quotes from Franz Wasserman and his story is available here.

Feminist Scholars: "We cannot and will not comply. Our number one priority is to resist."

The following “Statement by Feminist Scholars on the Election of Donald Trump as President” is posted at a number of sites on the Internet and so far has more than 900 signatories:

“On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, a sizeable minority of the U.S. electorate chose to send billionaire Donald Trump, an avowed sexist and an unrepentant racist, who has spent nearly forty years antagonizing vulnerable people, to the White House. Spewing hatred at women, people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and those with disabilities is Trump’s most consistent, and well-documented form of public engagement. Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women because, as he quipped, his celebrity made it easy for him to do so. We can only assume that the hostile climate and anxiety about what is to come were contributing factors. The political shift we are witnessing, including the appointment of open bigots to the president-elect’s cabinet, reaffirms the structural disposability and systemic disregard for every person who is not white, male, straight, cisgender, able-bodied, and middle or upper class.

“As a community of feminist scholars, activists and artists, we affirm that the time to act is now.  We cannot endure four years of a Trump presidency without a plan. We must protect reproductive justice, fight for Black lives, defend the rights of LGBTQIA people, disrupt the displacement of indigenous people and the stealing of their resources, advocate and provide safe havens for the undocumented, stridently reject Islamophobia, and oppose the acceleration of neoliberal policies that divert resources to the top 1% and abandon those at the bottom of the economic hierarchy. We must also denounce militarization at home and abroad, and climate change denial that threatens to destroy the entire planet.

“We must also reject calls to compromise, to understand, or to collaborate. We cannot and will not comply. Our number one priority is to resist. We must resist the instantiation of autocracy. We must resist this perversion of democracy. We must refuse spin and challenge any narratives that seek to call this moment “democracy at work.” This is not democracy; this is the rise of a 21st century U.S. version of fascism. We must name it, so we can both confront and defeat it. The most vulnerable, both here and abroad, cannot afford for us to equivocate or remain silent. The threats posed by settler colonialism and empire around the globe have never been more real, nor has our resolve to oppose these injustices ever been stronger. Concretely, within the U.S., we oppose the building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and the establishment of a registry for Muslim residents.

“We owe this moment and the communities we fight for our very best thinking, teaching, and organizing. We must find creative solutions to address the immediate needs of those who will be acutely affected within the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency. We must push ourselves into new, and more precise and radical analytical frameworks that can help us to articulate the stakes of this moment.

“The most important thing we can do in this moment is to make an unqualified commitment to those on the margins through our actions, insist that the media be allowed to do its job; and protect the right to protest and dissent. We recognize clearly that our silence will not protect us. Silence, in the aftermath of 11/8 is not merely a lack of words; it is a profound inertia of liberatory thought and praxis. So - what are we waiting for? We are who we are waiting for. We pledge to stand and fight, with fierce resolve, for the values and principles we believe in and the people we love.”

The statement and list of signatories is available here.

 

Center for Constitutional Rights: “We must resist and prevent at all costs a slide into American fascism”

Shortly after Trump’s election, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York City issued this statement:

"We send love and solidarity to all those who are hurting and afraid that Donald Trump’s America excludes them. We share the despair of the millions who are in shock that a candidate supported by the KKK has won the presidency of the United States.

"If there is a silver lining in this election result it is that it is impossible now to deny the racism, sexism, and xenophobia that have been part of America for centuries. Our duty is to stand together with all those who dissent from this bigotry and to defend and protect vulnerable communities. That has been CCR’s mission for 50 years, and we will work harder than ever to defend civil and human rights and the U.S. Constitution.

"The dangers of a Trump presidency go beyond the attacks on people of color, women, Muslims, immigrants, refugees, LGBTQI people, and people with disabilities. His campaign was marked by the strategies and tactics of authoritarian regimes: endorsing and encouraging violence against political protesters, threatening to jail his opponent, refusing to say he would accept the results of the election if he lost, punishing critical press. Together with all those who value freedom, justice, and self-determination, we must resist and prevent at all costs a slide into American fascism.

"Resistance is our civic duty."

Lauren Duca, Teen Vogue Editor: Trump's "Gaslighting" and the Fight for the Truth

Lauren Duca is an editor for Teen Vogue magazine and has been a contributing reporter/writer for several other magazines including Huffington Post, Vice, New York, and The New Yorker. In a December 10, article published in Teen Vogue titled “Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America,” she writes:

“Trump won the Presidency by gas light. His rise to power has awakened a force of bigotry by condoning and encouraging hatred, but also by normalizing deception. Civil rights are now on trial, though before we can fight to reassert the march toward equality, we must regain control of the truth. If that seems melodramatic, I would encourage you to dump a bucket of ice over your head while listening to ‘Duel of the Fates.’ Donald Trump is our President now; it’s time to wake up.

“‘Gas lighting’ is a buzzy name for a terrifying strategy currently being used to weaken and blind the American electorate. We are collectively being treated like Bella Manningham in the 1938 Victorian thriller from which the term ‘gas light’ takes its name. In the play, Jack terrorizes his wife Bella into questioning her reality by blaming her for mischievously misplacing household items which he systematically hides. Doubting whether her perspective can be trusted, Bella clings to a single shred of evidence: the dimming of the gas lights that accompanies the late night execution of Jack’s trickery. The wavering flame is the one thing that holds her conviction in place as she wriggles free of her captor’s control.

“To gas light is to psychologically manipulate a person to the point where they question their own sanity, and that’s precisely what Trump is doing to this country.... At the hands of Trump, facts have become interchangeable with opinions, blinding us into arguing amongst ourselves, as our very reality is called into question.... The good news about this boiling frog scenario is that we’re not boiling yet. Trump is not going to stop playing with the burner until America realizes that the temperature is too high. It’s on every single one of us to stop pretending it’s always been so hot in here...

“The road ahead is a treacherous one. There are unprecedented amounts of ugliness to untangle, from deciding whether our President can be an admitted sexual predator to figuring out how to stop him from threatening the sovereignty of an entire religion. It’s incredible that any of those things could seem like a distraction from a greater peril, or be only the cherry-picked issues in a seemingly unending list of gaffes, but the gaslights are flickering. When defending each of the identities in danger of being further marginalized, we must remember the thing that binds this pig-headed hydra together. As we spin our newfound rage into action, it is imperative to remember, across identities and across the aisle, as a country and as individuals, we have nothing without the truth.”

To read the whole article go here.

Journalist Summer Brennan: "I promise to be a siren going off..."

On December 19, Summer Brennan, an award-winning investigative journalist, author, and visiting scholar at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University, tweeted:

“Trump is a fascist. I promise to be a siren going off about this national disaster until it is averted or stopped. #resist”

Constitutional Law Scholars to Trump: "We feel a responsibility to challenge you in the court of public opinion"

In an open letter to Trump dated December 13, constitutional legal scholars associated with law schools across the U.S. wrote, “Some of your statements and actions during the campaign and since the election cause us great concern about your commitment to our constitutional system.”

The open letter gets into some of these issues: First Amendment protection of the rights of free speech and free press; “poisonous anti-Muslim rhetoric”; violation of government checks and balances; threats to overturn the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion; appointment of Alabama Senator Sessions, with a “troubling history on voting rights and civil rights,” as Attorney General; “baseless charges concerning voter fraud”; and “inflammatory rhetoric” that has been “taken as invitation to discriminate and to act out in all kinds of hate-filled ways.”

In the point on anti-Muslim attacks, the open letter notes: “To make matters worse, your proposed national security advisor, Michael Flynn, has described what he calls ‘Islamism’ as a ‘vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people’ that ‘has to be excised.’ Such rhetoric is shocking in its  ignorance and bigotry; it must not become normalized. We continue to hear talk of a ‘Muslim registry’ being created by your administration—or a nationality-based registry that would be a proxy for religious discrimination. To our national shame, the federal government during World War II carried out—and the Supreme Court’s discredited Korematsu decision upheld—the mass internment of Japanese Americans based upon no individualized suspicion of wrongdoing; the federal government under President Ronald Reagan subsequently apologized and paid reparations. We urge you to reconsider your naming of Flynn and to renounce a Muslim registry or anything like it.”

The open letter concludes: “Although we sincerely hope that you will take your constitutional oath seriously, so far you have offered little indication that you will. We feel a responsibility to challenge you in the court of public opinion, and we hope that those directly aggrieved by your administration will challenge you in the courts of law. We call upon legal conservatives who cherish constitutional values to join us in speaking law to power. And we call upon citizens, lawyers, educators, public officials, and religious leaders to use every legal means available to protect the most vulnerable members of our society and our constitutional guarantees. At no point that any of us can remember has this need been more imperative than it is now.”

See a pdf of the open letter and list of signatories here.

America Ferrera: Future under Trump is "terrifying" but "we can't give up the fight"

America Ferrera is an actress who has won many awards, including an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award. In a December 14 interview, she was asked, “How are you feeling about the future of our environment during the Trump administration?”  She said:

“When you have a president-elect who says he doesn’t even know if climate change is real, for the next four to eight years, the future looks pretty horrible. We know that climate change is real, and yet he’s still questioning it. So, that’s pretty terrifying. We haven’t had any time to waste for a long time now, and it’s a pretty devastating thing to start moving backward. So yes, I think that it’s really daunting. But we have to be committed to staying alert and staying awake and staying educated and using our voices to push back. It doesn’t mean it’s gonna be easy, or there’s ever going to be a defining last fight where we win and we never have to go back and defend the idea that climate change is the real thing we need to pay attention to. But we can’t give up the fight.”

Celebrities Refuse to Perform at Trump Inauguration

During his presidential campaign, many musicians, actors, and other celebrities spoke out against Donald Trump. And now he and his team are having a hard time getting musicians to perform at his inauguration. A number of celebrities have been asked and refused, and some have made it clear that if they are asked, they will refuse.

Read more here

Open Letter Protesting American Library Association Press Release: "I am absolutely not ready to work with President-elect Trump"

On November 20, Sarah Houghton wrote an Open Letter to Julie Todaro, President of the American Library Association, protesting a press release from the ALA in which Todaro stated, “We are ready to work with President-elect Trump, his transition team, incoming administration and members of Congress to bring more economic opportunity to all Americans and advance other goals we have in common.”

Houghton has been an active member of the ALA for 16 years and says, “I have never before this week considered canceling my membership.” Houghton says in her letter: “I am absolutely not ready to work with President-elect Trump. He has stood for racism, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination for his entire life—including during his campaign. Those are all things ALA stands firmly against. Explain to me why we’re ready to work with a bigot? Because I’m not ready for that at all. The rest of this release went on to detail some of the things libraries do for communities—coming off as a weak and pandering missive begging for scraps and, in truth, coming from a place of fear.”

Houghton points to another ALA press release that highlights “how libraries can advance specific policy priorities of the incoming Trump administration in the areas of entrepreneurship, services to veterans and broadband adoption and use” and says:

“This trajectory away from justice and toward collaboration with a fascist regime disturbs me greatly. These comments are tone deaf and, not only do not represent my values as a librarian, but do not represent the shared values of the American Library Association and its membership. There is a time to walk a middle road, to give voice to a moderate viewpoint of an organization’s membership. This is not that time. This is the time to stand tall and proud, and give voice to the fiery ethics and values that our profession has held dear for so long in the face of fascism and bigotry.

“I have no intention of supporting this incoming administration in any way whatsoever. With the transition team and other appointments being floated in the press, President-elect Trump has made it clear that racism, sexism, bigotry, assault, discrimination of all kinds, and the destruction of basic civil liberties are foundational to his administration’s philosophy. I refuse to be complicit in the work of the Trump administration and cannot in good faith remain part of a professional organization that chooses to be complicit.”

Read the whole letter here.

Celebrity Chefs vs. Trump

Anthony Bourdain, currently host of CNN’s travel and food show Parts Unknown, was asked in a recent interview about sushi chef Alessandro Borgognone’s decision to move his restaurant to Trump’s Washington, DC, hotel. Bourdain said he would “never eat in his restaurant” and felt “utter and complete contempt” for the chef. He explained, “I’m not asking you to start putting up barricades now, but when they come and ask you, ‘Are you with us?’ you do have an option. You can say, ‘No thanks, guys. I don’t look good in a brown shirt. Makes me look a little, I don’t know, not great. It’s not slimming.’” In a tweet on December 22, Bourdain said, “I am not ‘boycotting’ anything. I choose to not patronize chefs who tacitly support deporting half the people they’ve ever worked with”—clear reference to Trump’s threat to deport millions of Mexican immigrants.

José Andrés operates more than a dozen restaurants in cities including Washington, DC; Miami; Las Vegas; and Los Angeles. In 2015, after Trump made disgusting racist comments about Mexican immigrants, Andrés withdrew the commitment he’d made to open a restaurant in Trump’s new DC hotel. Trump sued him for breach of contract, seeking $10 million in damages. Andrés countersued, and said, “More than half of my team is Hispanic, as are many of our guests. And, as a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American citizen myself, I believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status.” Andrés tweeted on December 19: “I am a proud immigrant!! To my fellow immigrants thank you for the amazing work you do every day. #ToImmigrantsWithLove” Trump is required to appear to be deposed in Andrés’s suit, just weeks before his scheduled inauguration.

Fiona Apple's Christmas Song: "Trump's nuts roasting on an open fire..."

At the December 18 “We Rock with Standing Rock” benefit concert in Los Angeles, singer Fiona Apple did a fiery performance of her version of the Christmas standard “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” that begins: “Trump’s nuts roasting on an open fire...” She ends with “Donald Trump... Fuck You!” to the loud cheers of the audience. Watch it here:

George Polisner, Executive of Tech Company Oracle: "I am here to oppose [Trump] in every possible and legal way"

George Polisner, a top executive at the tech corporation Oracle, publicly resigned from the company on December 19 after Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz announced she was going to join Trump’s presidential transition team. Catz was among the executives from major tech companies, including Amazon, Google, and Apple, who met with Trump last week—a shameful meeting that helped to lend legitimacy to the Trump-Pence fascist cabal. When Polisner learned of this, he sent his letter to Catz and at the same time posted it on the LinkedIn website.

His resignation letter says in part, “Trump stokes fear, hatred and violence toward people of color, Muslims and immigrants. It is well-known that hate crimes are surging as he has provided license for this ignorance-based expression of malice.... He seeks to eviscerate environmental protections, the public education system, LGBTQ rights and women’s rights.”

And Polisner says in the letter: “I am not with President-elect Trump and I am not here to help him in any way. In fact—when his policies border on the unconstitutional, the criminal and the morally unjust—I am here to oppose him in every possible and legal way.” (emphasis in the original)

Polisner told the UK Guardian that he decided to make his resignation letter public because he “decided it was too important to die as a private letter” and that “I thought I could either be a role model in terms of a path forward or a cautionary tale.”

Read George Polisner’s resignation letter here.

Actor Michael Sheen: "In the same way as the Nazis had to be stopped in Germany in the Thirties, this thing that is on the rise has to be stopped"

Michael Sheen is a Welsh stage and screen actor whose work includes starring roles in the 2008 film Frost/Nixon and the current Showtime series Masters of Sex. On December 17, the Sunday Times of London ran a profile on him, titled “Michael Sheen gets political. This time it’s for real.” The writer of the profile had expected Sheen to discuss his role in the upcoming sci-fi film Passengers. “Instead, Sheen, 47, wants to talk about politics. Lately, it’s been bothering him a lot. No, that’s not nearly strong enough. What he calls the ‘demagogic, fascistic’ drift of politics in the western world in the past few years, culminating in Donald Trump’s election victory, has left Sheen horrified, furious and determined to do everything he can to counter it. It’s why, after several years of increasing commitments to a broad spread of causes, including the NHS, Unicef, the Freedom of Information Act, fighting homelessness and campaigning against fracking, the actor is preparing to go all in. He plans to start fighting the rise of the ‘hard populist right’—evident in France, Austria, Poland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Britain and the United States—via grassroots organizing in his beloved Port Talbot (he pronounces it “P’Talbot”) and see where it takes him.” (Port Talbot is Sheen’s hometown in Wales.)

Later, the profile quotes Sheen saying, “In the same way as the Nazis had to be stopped in Germany in the Thirties, this thing that is on the rise has to be stopped. But it has to be understood before it can be stopped.”

The whole profile is available at the Times website here (the site requires registration for free access).

100+ Professors at Notre Dame Say: We are coming forward to stand with the professors you have called "dangerous"

A website called “Professor Watchlist,” run by a group called Turning Point USA, has posted the names of more than 200 professors they accuse of putting forward “leftist propaganda” and “discriminating” against right-wing students. This campus witch-hunt is a sign of the time of Trump.

Among the names appearing on the Watchlist are two Notre Dame academics: philosophy professor Gary Gutting and Iris Outlaw, director of Multicultural Student Programs and Services. The Watchlist said Gutting was added because he wrote that the country’s “permissive gun laws are a manifestation of racism,” and Outlaw because she “taught a ‘white privilege’ seminar that pledged to help students acknowledge and understand their white privilege.”

In response, more than 100 Notre Dame faculty members published an open letter in the Observer, the student newspaper at Notre Dame, defying the Professor Watchlist. Their statement said in part: “We surmise that the purpose of your list is to shame and silence faculty who espouse ideas you reject. But your list has had a different effect upon us. We are coming forward to stand with the professors you have called ‘dangerous,’ reaffirming our values and recommitting ourselves to the work of teaching students to think clearly, independently, and fearlessly.

“So please add our names, the undersigned faculty at the University of Notre Dame, to the Professor Watchlist. We wish to be counted among those you are watching.”

The full letter and list of the names are available at the Observer site.

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In his December 5 piece titled "Trump's Agents of Idiocracy," in the New York Times, columnist Charles Blow wrote:

"What if Trump has shown himself beyond doubt and with absolute certainty to be a demagogue and bigot and xenophobe and has given space and voice to concordant voices in the country and in his emerging Legion of Doom cabinet? In that reality, resistance isn't about mindless obstruction by people blinded by the pain of ideological defeat or people gorging on sour grapes. To the contrary, resistance then is an act of radical, even revolutionary, patriotism. Resistance isn't about damaging the country, but protecting it..."

Read the whole column here

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MIT Faculty: "The President-elect has appointed individuals to positions of power who have endorsed racism, misogyny and religious bigotry, and denied the widespread scientific consensus on climate change."

More than 500 members of the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have issued a statement opposing Trump’s official appointments and “upholding the value of science and diversity.” The signers include people from every academic department at MIT, nine department and program heads, and four Nobel Prize recipients. Notable signatories to date include Susan Solomon, Co-Chair of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Tim Berners-Lee, World Wide Web inventor; Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor Emeritus; Joichi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab; and Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize winning author.

This is an important development, and this kind of stand needs to spread to other campuses and through the academic community, even as people get more clarity on the actual fascist nature of Trump and the incoming regime. Read the MIT faculty statement here.

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Shaun King: "No, we should not wait and see what a Trump administration does. We should organize our resistance right now."

New York Daily News columnist Shaun King's writes: "Now, in the name of a peaceful transition, both President Obama and Hillary Clinton are striking a conciliatory tone. I understand that such a tone is a tradition in American politics, but everything about Donald Trump and this election breaks with tradition. President Obama may feel obligated to strike such a tone, but I don't have such an obligation. Perhaps President Obama feels that by striking such a tone, it makes it more likely that Donald Trump will be moderate after his inauguration. I don't believe that for one second."

His column concludes: "We can't wait until he does those things before we act against him. We must outsmart and out-organize his team. I implore you to ignore anybody saying anything other than that. They've been wrong all year. We must act and we must act now."

Read Shaun King's piece here.

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Singer John Legend

"Trump is saying Hitler-level things in public... And I feel like it's dangerous for us to be complacent"

Read John Legend's comments here.

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Green Day at American Music Awards, November 20: NO TRUMP! NO KKK! NO FASCIST USA!

During the live TV broadcast of the American Music Awards on Sunday night, November 20, the punk rock band Green Day let loose with a defiant condemnation of Donald Trump. In the middle of performing “Bang Bang,” from their latest album Revolution Radio, the band, led by singer Billie Joe Armstrong, broke into the chant: 

“No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!” 

ABC TV executives were reportedly thrown “completely off guard.” The audience gave Green Day a standing ovation. 

This is the kind of bold, truth-telling denunciation of Trump—calling out what he actually represents—that we need much more of, right now! 

Watch a video clip here.

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“Farewell, America” by author Neal Gabler, November 10

Whatever place we now live in is not the same place it was on Nov. 7. No matter how the rest of the world looked at us on Nov. 7, they will now look at us differently ...

With Trump's election, I think that the ideal of an objective, truthful journalism is dead, never to be revived. Like Nixon and Sarah Palin before him, Trump ran against the media, boomeranging off the public's contempt for the press. He ran against what he regarded as media elitism and bias, and he ran on the idea that the press disdained working-class white America. Among the many now-widening divides in the country, this is a big one, the divide between the media and working-class whites, because it creates a Wild West of information – a media ecology in which nothing can be believed except what you already believe.

With the mainstream media so delegitimized — a delegitimization for which they bear a good deal of blame, not having had the courage to take on lies and expose false equivalencies — they have very little role to play going forward in our politics. I suspect most of them will surrender to Trumpism — if they were able to normalize Trump as a candidate, they will no doubt normalize him as president. Cable news may even welcome him as a continuous entertainment and ratings booster. And in any case, like Reagan, he is bulletproof. The media cannot touch him, even if they wanted to. Presumably, there will be some courageous guerillas in the mainstream press, a kind of Resistance, who will try to fact-check him. But there will be few of them, and they will be whistling in the wind. Trump, like all dictators, is his own truth.

Read more here.

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Architect Resigns from Association for Pledging to “Play Nice” with Trump

Two days after Trump’s election, Robert Ivy, the CEO and executive vice president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), sent a memorandum to the organization's members saying, “The AIA and its 89,000 members are committed to working with President-elect Trump to address the issues our country faces, particularly strengthening the nation’s aging infrastructure. … It is now time for all of us to work together to advance policies that help our country move forward.”

When Frederick “Fritz” Read, the founder and head of Read & Company Architects in Baltimore, saw this, he acted immediately. He sent a letter condemning Ivy’s statement and declaring his resignation from the AIA. He wrote: “The alacrity with which Robert Ivy hopped out there to promise the President-Elect that the AIA will play nice with his administration, without even a pro forma caution that what Mr. Trump has promised and threatened are deeply antithetical to the values that many of us cherish, is the final straw for me, the last bit of evidence I needed, that our only serious interest as an organization has become a craven interest in securing our piece of the action. The AIA does not represent my personal or professional interests. Please consider this my resignation from the AIA, effective immediately, and remove both my name and that of my firm from your membership records. I am appalled.”

In a subsequent email to an official of the Baltimore AIA chapter who talked about how AIA relations with the U.S. government have always been and should continue to be “neutral,” Read wrote: “Am so curious how a pledge made explicitly on behalf of all 89,000 members of open-ended and unqualified support for a climate-change-denying, xenophobic, racist, sexist, repeated bankrupt can possibly be understood as a statement of organizational neutrality. … Ours is not an honorable history of willingness to forgo enrichment simply on principle, and this statement slips all too closely to the worst of that: are we all too young or forgetful to recall that Albert Speer was one of ours?” Speer was Hitler’s chief architect who headed major projects under the Nazi regime and became Minister of Armaments and War Production during World War 2.

Under mounting criticism from architects, architecture faculty, and other architecture professionals, Ivy and other leading AIA officials were forced to apologize to the membership for their craven remarks about working with the Trump administration.

Read more about this here at Architect News online

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Center for Biological Diversity: “Lash Out at the Darkness and Fight Like Hell”

In the November 10 issue of their online newsletter “Endangered Earth,” the Center for Biological Diversity included a statement saying, “We're only thinking about one thing right now: stopping Donald Trump from destroying the planet.” The statement goes on to say, “If President Trump carries out the disastrous promises he made while campaigning, the Environmental Protection Agency will be gutted, the Endangered Species Act will be repealed, old-growth forests will be clearcut, hard-fought global climate change agreements will be undermined, and polluters will be given free rein over our water and air.”

And the center vowed, “There's no way in hell we're letting that happen.” Read the entire statement here.

Read the Center's piece here.

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Jewish historians speak out on the election of Donald Trump

Hostility to immigrants and refugees strikes particularly close to home for us as historians of the Jews. As an immigrant people, Jews have experienced the pain of discrimination and exclusion, including by this country in the dire years of the 1930s. Our reading of the past impels us to resist any attempts to place a vulnerable group in the crosshairs of nativist racism. It is our duty to come to their aid and to resist the degradation of rights that Mr. Trump's rhetoric has provoked.

However, it is not only in defense of others that we feel called to speak out. We witnessed repeated anti-Semitic expressions and insinuations during the Trump campaign. Much of this anti-Semitism was directed against journalists, either Jewish or with Jewish-sounding names. The candidate himself refused to denounce—and even retweeted--language and images that struck us as manifestly anti-Semitic. By not doing so, his campaign gave license to haters of Jews, who truck in conspiracy theories about world Jewish domination.

Read entire statement here

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Issa Rae, Actor: "The scariest part is how normal it's becoming to some people"

Issa Rae is star of the HBO series Insecure. Sunday night, January 9, on the red carpet at the Golden Globes awards in Los Angeles., she was asked what she thought of Trump. Rae said:

Every single time I see a tweet from that man, every single time I see the administration that he’s bringing in, it just gets worse and worse. And the scariest part to me is how normal it’s becoming to some people. And I think we just have to keep calling things out, it’s like nope, you’re lying, nope, that’s not true, nope, that doesn’t work that way. As long as we don’t continue to let him slide, then there might be some hope, but it’s scary.

Actor Debra Messing: "This is a regime that will strip away the rights of millions..."

Debra Messing, best known for her starring role in the TV comedy series Will & Grace, tweeted on December 18:

This is a regime that will strip away the rights of millions. Threaten the lives of millions. And threatens the planet. #NOFASCISTUSA

Messing is one of the signatories of the Call to Action of RefuseFascism.org. On Wednesday, January 4, when the Call appeared as a full page in the New York Times, she tweeted a photo of that Times page with the #NoFascistUSA hashtag and link to refusefascism.org.

Literary Magazine Editor Philip Elliot: "Fascism is rising. Not just in the U.S. but across Europe too"

Philip Elliot is the editor-in-chief of Into The Void, a print and digital literary magazine based in Dublin, Ireland, “dedicated to providing fantastic fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art from all over the world.” In a recent roundtable with several editors, the online journal The Review Review asked the question “How Will a Trump Presidency Impact Literary Magazines?” Elliot answered:

Fascism is rising. Not just in the U.S. but across Europe too. In the West we’re experiencing similar circumstances that led to its rise a century ago and now the wheel has turned again. People say to me, especially because I live in Ireland, that I’m overreacting to this; that’s it’s just more politics, everything will blow over, etc. They fail to see the bigger picture. What’s been put into motion here, catalyzed by the election but arisen from a far more complex sense of discontent and fear, is the greatest threat to our newly-progressive societies that we’ve ever seen. More than anything else, my fear is that we as artists and curators of art will allow our way of thinking to become the “It’s just politics, it will all blow over soon” attitude. I fear that because nothing terrible is going to happen right away, we will normalize this whole affair and accept it. What people forget is that Hitler began his slow climb to absolute power in 1918. Bad things are coming, that’s for certain, but they will come slowly, and they will come under the guise of good. As writers, we peer under the masks of things for a living and that skill is more important now than ever. Art’s duty to criticize the bad and protect the good is infinitely more important in times of darkness. It reminds us what we can be. And it must also remind us of the terrible evil we once did. Because if we truly remembered, how could we have let this happen again? At Into the Void, we’ll be paying close attention to work that criticizes the actions of our supposed leaders in the months and years to come.

Elliot’s comments and others can be found here.

Petition Against Museum Loan of Art for Inauguration: "We object...to an implicit endorsement of the Trump presidency"

When the St. Louis Art Museum announced that they were making an artwork from their collection available on loan to serve as a centerpiece of the Trump inauguration luncheon, art historian Ivy Cooper and artist Ilene Berman began an online petition calling for the cancellation of the loan. According to the petition, the 1855 painting, “Verdict of the People” by George Caleb Bingham, “depicts a small-town Missouri election, and symbolizes the democratic process in mid-19th century America.” The petition goes on to say:

We object to the painting’s use as an inaugural backdrop and an implicit endorsement of the Trump presidency and his expressed values of hatred, misogyny, racism and xenophobia. We reject the use of the painting to suggest that Trump’s election was truly the “verdict of the people,” when in fact the majority of votes—by a margin of over three million—were cast for Trump’s opponent. Finally, we consider the painting a representation of our community, and oppose its use as such at the inauguration.

Art can be used to make powerful statements. Its withdrawal can do the same. Join us in our campaign.

As of January 6, close to 2,700 people have signed the petition, which is available here.

Gothamist.com on Refuse Fascism NY Times Ad: "It's a Noble Cause..."

In a January article at Gothamist.com, an article by Rebecca Fishbein titled “Celebrities, Activists Publish Anti-Fascist, Anti-Trump Ad In NY Times“ said, in part:

Rosie O’Donnell, Debra Messing, and a handful of celebrities and activists have joined forces with RefuseFascism.org, a Cornel West and Carl Dix-helmed group dedicated to opposing the incoming Trump Administration and calling Trump’s presidency “illegitimate.”

The group took out a full page ad in the Times yesterday calling for a month long resistance effort against Trump: [facsimile of the ad is included]

Refuse Fascism is also asking for donations to help reprint the Times ad in papers across the country, as well as “to support volunteers going to D.C., to produce millions of copies of Refuse Fascism material and get them out everywhere, and to support organizers and speakers.”

It’s a noble cause, and there’s nothing wrong with celebrities speaking out. Influential people should be speaking out against Trump, and advocating activism, and fighting him at every turn....

Rafael Jesús González, Poet and Literature Professor: “Full-fledged U.S. fascism has come”

Rafael Jesús González, poet and Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing & Literature, has taught at the University of Oregon, Western State College of Colorado, Central Washington State University, the University of Texas El Paso, and Laney College, Oakland where he founded the Mexican and Latin American Studies Dept. In a New Year’s Eve blog post, González wrote of Donald Trump:

Shall I repeat the litany of his faults—his misogyny, his racism, his homophobia, his bigotry, his profound ignorance? His analysis, his description, his judgment of anything does not go beyond stock superlatives; he knows nothing of ideas, much less policy, not an iota of science. “I am a business man,” he says proudly as if that justified all his conniving, his dishonesty, his thievery. Should we doubt it, he has his billions to prove it. So the empire now gets its own, homegrown Caligula. Sociopathic megalomaniac, he too may come to declare himself divine. True, we have been governed by criminals before (can one govern an empire and not be criminal?), but this is a case apart.

It is the cruelty I fear, the utter heartlessness in the face of suffering, the willingness, nay, the intent to cause suffering and pain. Nor compassion nor justice is a hallmark of the 1%, the Republican Party he represents and that brought him to power. (Being a Democrat is no guarantee of decency, but it seems that a decent Republican is an oxymoron.) With Republican control of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Executive (the proposed Cabinet reads like a Hitlerian wish-list), full-fledged U. S. fascism has come, a fascism prepared to destroy the Earth itself for the sake of wealth and power. Can it be called anything but madness?

He went on to write:

Democracy once lost is very hard to restore. Our resistance must be immediate and overwhelming, our love fierce, our joy protected. Our homes, our neighborhoods, our cities must be made bulwarks of justice, of refuge. Our schools sanctuary of freedom of thought and inquiry, our churches voices for justice rooted in compassion. Much is demanded of us and great may be the sacrifice, but if we all share it, it will be much, much less. Let us then take to the streets and public places dressed in our most joyful colors, making music with our drums and flutes, dragging our pianos out our doors if we must, dancing, singing, chanting, turning all our art into protest and celebration—and make our spaces truly our own.

Read the whole piece by Rafael Jesús González, titled “Thoughts for the Last Day of the Year 2016,” available in English and Spanish here.

More Than 1,100 Law Professors Tell Senate to Reject Sessions Nomination

More than 1,100 law school professors from across the country are behind a letter sent to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, January 2, calling for the rejection of Trump’s nomination of Jeff Sessions for attorney general. The letter says (in full):

We are 1140 faculty members from 170 different law schools in 48 states across the country. We urge you to reject the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions for the position of Attorney General of the United States.

In 1986, the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee, in a bipartisan vote, rejected President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of then-U.S. Attorney Sessions for a federal judgeship, due to statements Sessions had made that reflected prejudice against African Americans. Nothing in Senator Sessions’ public life since 1986 has convinced us that he is a different man than the 39-year-old attorney who was deemed too racially insensitive to be a federal district court judge.

Some of us have concerns about his misguided prosecution of three civil rights activists for voter fraud in Alabama in 1985, and his consistent promotion of the myth of voter-impersonation fraud. Some of us have concerns about his support for building a wall along our country’s southern border. Some of us have concerns about his robust support for regressive drug policies that have fueled mass incarceration. Some of us have concerns about his questioning of the relationship between fossil fuels and climate change. Some of us have concerns about his repeated opposition to legislative efforts to promote the rights of women and members of the LGBTQ community. Some of us share all of these concerns.

All of us believe it is unacceptable for someone with Senator Sessions’ record to lead the Department of Justice.

The Attorney General is the top law enforcement officer in the United States, with broad jurisdiction and prosecutorial discretion, which means that, if confirmed, Jeff Sessions would be responsible for the enforcement of the nation’s civil rights, voting, immigration, environmental, employment, national security, surveillance, antitrust, and housing laws.
As law faculty who work every day to better understand the law and teach it to our students, we are convinced that Jeff Sessions will not fairly enforce our nation’s laws and promote justice and equality in the United States. We urge you to reject his nomination.

To read the statement with list of signatories go here.

 

Outrage at Simon & Schuster's Book Deal for Pro-Trump Racist

When the book publisher Simon & Schuster recently signed Milo Yiannopoulos, writer for Breitbart News Network, to a $250,000 book deal for the Threshold imprint, there was immediate outrage. Breitbart is a neo-Nazi, misogynistic, white-supremacist website whose former owner, Steve Bannon, is now Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor. As technology editor at Breitbart, Yiannopoulos promoted the vicious campaign known as “GamerGate,” a flood of viciously degrading attacks and terroristic threats against the very small number of prominent women in the video-game development community. Among the despicable things he’s written is: “...Donald Trump and the rest of the alpha males will continue to dominate the internet without feminist whining. It will be fun! Like a big fraternity...” And Yiannopoulos was banned from Twitter this summer after his followers mounted a racist harassment campaign against Black comedian/actor Leslie Jones.

After the Simon & Schuster signing of Yiannopoulos, the Chicago Review of Books tweeted:

In response to this disgusting validation of hate, we will not cover a single @simonschuster book in 2017.

A bookstore in Dublin, Ireland, tweeted that it would not be carrying any Simon & Schuster titles:

Sometimes it’s a tough call for bookshops between respecting free speech and not promoting hate speech. Sometimes not. Byebye

Writer Danielle Henderson’s memoir is scheduled for publication by Simon & Schuster next year. Henderson wrote in a series of tweets:

I’m looking at my @simonschuster contract, and unfortunately there’s no clause for “what if we decide to publish a white nationalist”

But know this: i’m well aware of what hill I am willing to die on, and my morals and values are at the top of that list.

I will happily go back to slinging coffee—I’m not afraid to stand for what I believe in, and I make a MEAN cappuccino foam

Comedian Sara Silverman tweeted:

The guy has freedom of speech but to fund him & give him a platform tells me a LOT about @simonschuster YUCK AND BOO AND GROSS

Shannon Coulter, a marketing specialist who started a campaign to boycott Ivanka Trump products, tweeted (“@Lesdoggg” is Leslie Jones’ Twitter handle):

@simonschuster are you concerned $250k book deal you gave Milo Yiannopoulos will read as condoning the racist harassment @Lesdoggg endured?

 

 

Poet Nikky Finney: Talladega College should stand with others "protesting the inauguration of one of the most antagonistic, hatred spewing, unrepentant racists"

The January 2 announcement that Talladega College, a historically Black college in Alabama, would send its marching band to be part of Trump’s inauguration march was met with immediate outrage from many students and alumni. Nikky Finney, a poet whose 2011 work Head Off & Split won the National Book Award, is an alumna of Talladega and currently a chair in creative writing and Southern Studies at the University of South Carolina. Finney said of Talladega’s decision:

The news that Talladega College has forgotten its steady and proud 150 years of history, by making the decision to not stand in solidarity with other clear-eyed and courageous people, academic institutions, and organizations, protesting the inauguration of one of the most antagonistic, hatred-spewing, unrepentant racists, has simply and unequivocally broken my heart today. Historical Black colleges are duty bound to have and keep a moral center and be of great moral consciousness while also teaching its students lessons about life that they will need going forward, mainly, that just because a billionaire—who cares nothing about their 150 years of American existence—invites them to a fancy, gold-plated, dress-up party, they have the moral right and responsibility to say “no thank you,” especially when the blood, sweat, and tears and bodies, of black, brown, and native people are stuffed in the envelope alongside the RSVP.

This should have been a teachable moment for the President of Talladega College instead it has become a moment of divisiveness and shame. Bags of money and the promise of opportunity have always been waved in front of the faces and lives of struggling human beings, who have historically been relegated to the first-fired and the last-hired slots of life. It has been used to separate us before. It has now been used to separate us again.

Stan Van Gundy, Detroit Pistons Coach: "We have just thrown a good part of our population under the bus"

Speaking about Trump after his election victory, Stan Van Gundy, coach of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Detroit Pistons, said in part:

We have just thrown a good part of our population under the bus, and I have problems with thinking that this is where we are as a country. It’s tough on [the team], we noticed it coming in. Everybody was a little quiet, and I thought, “Well, maybe the game the other night.” [The Pistons were badly beaten in the game that night.] And so we talked about that, but then Aron Baynes said, “I don’t think that’s why everybody’s quiet. It’s last night.”

It’s just, we have said—and my daughters, the three of them—our society has said, “No, we think you should be second-class citizens. We want you to be second-class citizens. And we embrace a guy who is openly misogynistic as our leader.” I don’t know how we get past that.

Martin Luther King said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but bends toward justice.” I would have believed in that for a long time, but not today.... What we have done to minorities... in this election is despicable. I’m having a hard time dealing with it. This isn’t your normal candidate. I don’t know even know if I have political differences with him. I don’t even know what are his politics. I don’t know, other than to build a wall and “I hate people of color, and women are to be treated as sex objects and as servants to men.” I don’t know how you get past that. I don’t know how you walk into the booth and vote for that. I understand problems with the economy. I understand all the problems with Hillary Clinton, I do. But certain things in our country should disqualify you. And the fact that millions and millions of Americans don’t think that racism and sexism disqualifies you to be our leader, in our country....

We presume to tell other countries about human-rights abuses and everything else. We better never do that again, when our leaders talk to China or anybody else about human-rights abuses. We just elected an openly, brazen misogynist leader and we should keep our mouths shut and realize that we need to be learning maybe from the rest of the world, because we don’t got anything to teach anybody...

To see a YouTube of Van Gundy’s remarks (along with another NBA coach, Gregg Popovich) go here.

Scientist Lawrence M. Krauss on "Donald Trump's War on Science"

Lawrence M. Krauss is a theoretical physicist and cosmologist who is Foundation Professor of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, and director of its Origins Project. He was one of the producers of the documentary film The Unbelievers, which promotes a scientific view of the world. An article by Krauss appeared in the December 13 issue of The New Yorker titled, “Donald Trump’s War on Science.” In this article Krauss says:

The first sign of Trump’s intention to spread lies about empirical reality, “1984”-style, was, of course, the appointment of Steve Bannon, the former executive chairman of the Breitbart News Network, as Trump’s “senior counselor and strategist.” This year, Breitbart hosted stories with titles such as “1001 Reasons Why Global Warming Is So Totally Over in 2016,” despite the fact that 2016 is now overwhelmingly on track to be the hottest year on record, beating 2015, which beat 2014, which beat 2013. Such stories do more than spread disinformation. Their purpose is the creation of an alternative reality—one in which scientific evidence is a sham—so that hyperbole and fearmongering can divide and conquer the public.

Bannon isn’t the only propagandist in the new Administration: Myron Ebell, who heads the transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency, is another. In the aughts, as a director at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, he worked to kill a cap-and-trade bill proposed by Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman; in 2012, when the conservative American Enterprise Institute held a meeting about the economics of a possible carbon tax, he asked donors to defund it. It’s possible, of course, to oppose cap-and-trade or carbon taxes in good faith—and yet, in recent years, Ebell’s work has come to center on lies about science and scientists. Today, as the leader of the Cooler Heads Coalition, an anti-climate-science group, Ebell denies the veracity and methodology of science itself. He dismisses complex computer models that have been developed by hundreds of researchers by saying that they “don’t even pass the laugh test.” If Ebell’s methods seem similar to those used by the tobacco industry to deny the adverse health effects of smoking in the nineteen-nineties, that’s because he worked as a lobbyist for the tobacco industry.

When Ebell’s appointment was announced, Jeremy Symons, of the Environmental Defense Fund, said, “I got a sick feeling in my gut.... I can’t believe we got to the point when someone who is as unqualified and intellectually dishonest as Myron Ebell has been put in a position of trust for the future of the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the climate we are going to leave our kids.” Symons was right to be apprehensive: on Wednesday, word came that Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney general, will be named the head of the E.P.A. As Jane Mayer has written, it would be hard to find a public official in the United States who is more closely tied to the oil-and-gas industry and who has been more actively opposed to the efforts of the E.P.A. to regulate the environment. In a recent piece for National Review, Pruitt denied the veracity of climate science; he has led the effort among Republican attorneys general to work directly with the fossil-fuel industry in resisting the Clean Air Act. In 2014, a Times investigation found that letters from Pruitt’s office to the E.P.A. and other government agencies had been drafted by energy lobbyists; right now, he is involved in a twenty-eight-state lawsuit against the very agency that he has been chosen to head...

And the Trump Administration is on course to undermine science in another way: through education. Educators have various concerns about Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education—they object to her efforts to shield charter schools from government regulation, for example—but one issue stands above the rest: DeVos is a fundamentalist Christian with a long history of opposition to science. If her faith shapes her policies—and there is evidence that it will—she could shape science education decisively for the worse, by systematically depriving young people, in an era where biotechnology will play a key economic and health role worldwide, of a proper understanding of the very basis of modern biology: evolution....

Taken singly, Trump’s appointments are alarming. But taken as a whole they can be seen as part of a larger effort to undermine the institution of science, and to deprive it of its role in the public-policy debate. Just as Steve Bannon undermines the institution of a fact-based news media, so appointments like Ebell, Pruitt, McMorris Rodgers, Walker, and DeVos advance the false perception that science is just a politicized tool of “the élites.”

...It is not only scientists who should actively fight against this dangerous trend. It is everyone who is concerned about our freedom, health, welfare, and security as a nation—and everyone who is concerned about the planetary legacy we leave for our children.

To read the whole article go here.

Mormon Church Members Protest Mormon Tabernacle Choir Singing at Trump's Inauguration

Some members of the Mormon church are protesting the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing at Trump’s inauguration. A petition saying “Mormon Tabernacle Choir Should NOT Perform at Trump Inauguration” has now been signed by close to 19,000 people. It says in part: “As members and friends of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we strongly urge the Church to stop this practice and especially for an incoming president who has demonstrated sexist, racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic behavior that does not align with the principles and teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” The online petition can be found here.

Law Students Speak Out Against Trump's Attorney General Nominee: "Sessions stated that he believed the Ku Klux Klan was okay"

After Trump nominated Alabama white supremacist and Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, the American Constitution Society (ACS) at Harvard Law School—one of the most prestigious law schools in the world—wrote a letter to Trump opposing the nomination and began distributing it for signatures through ACS chapters across the country. As of December 22, it was signed by 1,060 law students from many different schools.

The letter points at some of Sessions’s outrageous record:

*“As a four-term member of the U.S. Senate, former Alabama Attorney General and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, Senator Sessions consistently opposed laws advancing civil rights, environmental protections, reproductive rights, criminal justice, voting rights, immigration and marriage equality.”

*“During the unsuccessful confirmation hearing [for federal judgeship in 1986], witnesses testified under oath that Sessions described a white civil rights attorney as a ‘race traitor’; referred to a black attorney as ‘boy’; and called the ACLU, NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, National Council of Churches and other groups ‘un-American organizations.’”

*“During the 1986 hearing, a former colleague also testified that Sessions stated that he believed the Ku Klux Klan was okay, until he learned its members smoked marijuana.”

The letter and signatories are online here.

National Nurses United: Trump pick for Health and Human Services would throw "our most sick and vulnerable fellow Americans at the mercy of the healthcare industry"

National Nurses United (NNU) is the largest union of registered nurses in the United States. It recently organized a national network of volunteer RNs to go to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to meet the first aid needs of thousands who were there to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline. On December 22, the NNU sent a letter calling on the Senate to reject Trump’s nominee for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Tom Price.

According to a NNU press release, the letter says in part: “If confirmed, it is clear that Rep. Price will pursue policies that substantially erode our nation’s health and security—eliminating health coverage, reducing access, shifting more costs to working people and their families, and throwing our most sick and vulnerable fellow Americans at the mercy of the healthcare industry.”

Price has played a major role in attempts by Republicans to undercut or repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Obama’s healthcare law (see “Tom Price, Trump’s Pick for Health and Human Services: A Slasher of Healthcare for the Poor and Women“). The NNU letter says: “Even today, four years after enactment of the Affordable Care Act, we have seen a drop in U.S. life expectancy rates for the first time in decades, millions of people who self-ration prescription medications or other critical medical treatment due to the high out-of-pocket costs, and continuing disparities in our health care system based on race, gender, age, socio-economic status, or where you live.

“While our organization repeatedly voiced concerns that the ACA did not go far enough, repealing the law, especially the expansion of Medicaid which extended health care coverage to millions of low and moderate income adults, and limits on some of the most chronicled abuses in our present insurance based system, would only exacerbate a healthcare crisis many Americans continue to experience...”

Read the NNU press release here.

Thousands of Doctors Speak Out Against Trump's Pick to Head Health and Human Services

On November 29, the American Medical Association (AMA), which represents about a quarter of doctors in the U.S., issued a statement saying that it “strongly supports” Trump’s nomination to head the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Tom Price, and calling on the Senate to “promptly consider and confirm” him for the position.

In response, three physicians from the University of Pennsylvania—Drs. Manik Chhabra, Navin Vij and Jane Zhu—posted a statement online opposing the Trump nominee.  The statement has been signed by over 5,500 doctors as of December 16.

Their statement, “The AMA Does Not Speak for Us,” says in part:

We are practicing physicians who deliver healthcare in hospitals and clinics, in cities and rural towns; we are specialists and generalists, and we care for the poor and the rich, the young and the elderly. We see firsthand the difficulties that Americans face daily in accessing affordable, quality healthcare. We believe that in issuing this statement of support for Dr. Price, the AMA has reneged on a fundamental pledge that we as physicians have taken — to protect and advance care for our patients.

We support patient choice. But Dr. Price’s proposed policies threaten to harm our most vulnerable patients and limit their access to healthcare. We cannot support the dismantling of Medicaid, which has helped 15 million Americans gain health coverage since 2014. We oppose Dr. Price’s proposals to reduce funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a critical mechanism by which poor children access preventative care. We wish to protect essential health benefits like treatment for opioid use disorder, prenatal care, and access to contraception.

We see benefits in market-based solutions to some of our healthcare system’s challenges. Like many others, we advocate for improvements in the way healthcare is delivered. But Dr. Price purports to care about efficiency, while opposing innovations by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to improve value and eliminate waste in healthcare. He supports plans to privatize Medicare, a critical program which covers 44 million of our elderly patients.

The AMA’s vision statement includes “improving health outcomes” and “better health for all,” and yet by supporting Dr. Price’s candidacy — and therefore, his views — the AMA has not aligned itself with the well-being of patients.

For the complete statement and list of signatories, go here.

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Merrill Miller, Associate Editor of TheHumanist.com: "Now is the time for us to stand in solidarity with those who face oppression"

Merrill Miller is associate editor of TheHumanist.com and Communications Associate at the American Humanist Association. The January/February 2017 issue of the Humanist includes an article by Miller titled, “Who Will We Speak For? Humanism’s Role in Defending Human Rights and Civil Liberties.” The piece starts with the famous quote from Protestant pastor Martin Niemöller, who spent seven years in one of Hitler’s concentration camps, about how he had not spoken out when the Nazis attacked different sections of the people until there was no one left to speak for him.

Miller writes: “For many humanists and those in the progressive community at large, these past weeks have, in some ways, felt like decades. We’ve seen Hillary Clinton win the popular vote for president by an enormous margin and still lose the Electoral College to Donald Trump, who is now president-elect. We’ve seen Stephen Bannon, who fueled the fires of racism, sexism, and bigotry in his time at Breitbart News, named as a chief strategist for the Trump administration, as climate change deniers and individuals with no respect for church-state separation (Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, for one) are being nominated or considered for other top positions. We’ve heard talk of legislation that would chip away at our constitutional right to free, peaceable assembly, such as Washington State Senator Doug Ericksen’s bill to classify street protests as a form of ‘economic terrorism’...

“Humanists are in a unique position to demonstrate outrage...We must harness that capacity for outrage now—not just to defend church-state separation but to protect all of our basic human rights and civil liberties.

“We can start by directing that outrage at the notion that the government would profile and register people based on their race and religion, as the Muslim registry would do. While current discussions of this registry would focus on immigrants, Trump said during his campaign that he would require all Muslims to register, presumably including US citizens. Humanist groups should reach out to their local mosques and Islamic community centers and ask them what their community needs are and how to help...

“Now is the time for us to stand in solidarity with those who face oppression, whether they are undocumented immigrants in danger of losing their basic human dignity or women in danger of losing their hard-won reproductive rights. We must stand up for all people of color and LGBTQ individuals, who are terrified by the bigotry unleashed by Trump’s campaign and his coming presidency. We must stand up for healthcare for the elderly and for everyone in our nation or else more than 22 million people (as estimated by Vox) will be without it, even though a national, single-payer healthcare system should be considered a human right. We must stand with the labor movement to fight for economic justice for all low-wage workers, whose rights will be threatened by Republican-controlled executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of government. We must do all that we can to protect these and other vulnerable communities and individuals, because the very foundations of our democracy, our civil liberties, and our human rights are at stake. If humanists and nontheists don’t speak up for these marginalized groups while we can, there is a distinct possibility that when we’re specifically threatened, there will be no one left to speak for us.”

To read the full article go here.

Andrea Bocelli Fans Raise Uproar to Stop Him from Singing at Trump Inauguration

Apparently Donald Trump is a fan of the famous Italian opera tenor Andrea Bocelli. When word went out that Trump had approached Bocelli to perform at his inauguration, and there were reports that Bocelli had tentatively agreed (which, if true, is utterly shameful), there was a huge uproar of protest from Bocelli’s fans. Some threatened to #BoycottBocelli if he decided to sing on January 20. Here are a few tweets, among many: “Dumped @AndreaBocelli CD’s in trash, won’t be buying tickets to Feb. Orlando concert after all. DONE with him. Will #boycottBocelli forever.” “Please accept the inauguration offer because the Klu Klux Klan makes great fans!” “Contact @AndreaBocelli's booking agent & manager to warn of #BoycottBocelli if he sings for fascist Trump.” One fan wrote on Facebook: “Mr Bocelli, please do not sing for Donald Trump. He stands for racism, misogyny, and hatred of others. Music is beautiful, sacred. Don’t let this man buy you and desecrate art, hope, and beauty.”

In the face of the outrage from so many of his fans, Bocelli announced he would not be performing at the inauguration. Trump’s people claimed that they had rescinded the invitation.

Earlier, in the summer, the widow and daughters of another famous Italian tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, asked Trump to stop using his recording of Puccini’s aria “Nessun Dorma” at his campaign events. They said that “the values of brotherhood and solidarity which Luciano Pavarotti expressed throughout the course of his artistic career are entirely incompatible with the worldview offered by the candidate Donald Trump.”

Hollywood PR Agency Cancels Parties to "defend the values we hold dear"

Sunshine Sachs is a PR agency that represents stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Natalie Portman. Every year they usually hold a big holiday party, on both the East and West coasts. But this year they didn’t feel the usual “holiday cheer.” CEO Shawn Sachs said, “However I felt the morning after [Trump was elected] was nothing compared to how I felt talking to people in this office, those who felt their citizenship—in a matter of moments—was gone or had been lessened... Being the diverse workplace we are, many of us felt under assault.” So Sunshine Sachs cancelled its annual bicoastal holiday celebrations, and will donate the money that would have been spent for the lavish galas to 16 different organizations, including the ACLU, the Human Rights Campaign, the Environmental Defense Fund and Planned Parenthood. The agency sent out an email saying their decision was a gesture to “defend the values we hold dear.”

George Takei Speaks Out Against Trump on Nuclear Weapons and Registry for Muslims

Responding to Trump saying he wants to “strengthen and expand” the nuclear capabilities of the U.S., actor George Takei tweeted on Thursday, December 22: “Trump wants to expand our nuclear arsenal. I think of my aunt and baby cousin, found burnt in a ditch in Hiroshima. These weapons must go.”

Takei and his family spent years in one of the U.S. concentration (“internment”) camps for people of Japanese descent during World War 2. In his November 18 op-ed for the Washington Post titled, “They interned my family. Don’t let them do it to Muslims,” Takei wrote:

“During World War II, the government argued that military authorities could not distinguish between alleged enemy elements and peaceful, patriotic Japanese Americans. It concluded, therefore, that all those of Japanese descent, including American citizens, should be presumed guilty and held without charge, trial or legal recourse, in many cases for years. The very same arguments echo today, on the assumption that a handful of presumed radical elements within the Muslim community necessitate draconian measures against the whole, all in the name of national security....

“Let us all be clear: ‘National security’ must never again be permitted to justify wholesale denial of constitutional rights and protections. If it is freedom and our way of life that we fight for, our first obligation is to ensure that our own government adheres to those principles. Without that, we are no better than our enemies.

“Let us also agree that ethnic or religious discrimination cannot be justified by calls for greater security....”

In a December 8 interview on CNN, Takei said that during World War 2, before they were sent to an internment camp, his family was placed on a registry of Japanese Americans and subjected to a curfew: “We were confined to our homes from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the morning, imprisoned in our homes at night. Then they froze our bank accounts. We were economically paralyzed. Then the soldiers came... I remember the two soldiers walking up our driveway, marching up our driveway, shiny bayonets on the rifle, stopping at the front porch and with their fists started banging on the front door and that sound resonated throughout the house....”

Takei connected that history to what is happening today: “It is an echo of what we heard from World War II coming from Trump himself. That sweeping statement characterizing all Muslims. There are more than a billion Muslims in this world. To infer they are all terrorists with that kind of sweeping statement is outrageous, in the same way that they characterized all Japanese Americans as enemy aliens.”

Patti Smith's rendition of Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" at Nobel Prize ceremony resonates powerfully today

At the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, singer Patti Smith performed a moving tribute to Bob Dylan, the winner of this year’s laureate for literature. She chose to sing one of Dylan’s songs—“A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” released in 1963, a time when the civil rights movement and anti-Vietnam War protests were a sign of the times.

Check out the performance here:

The final stanza, especially, resonates very powerfully today:

“And what’ll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
And what’ll you do now, my darling young one?
I’m a-goin’ back out ’fore the rain starts a-fallin’
I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
And the executioner’s face is always well hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it
Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’
But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.”

Danny Glover: "We have to fight him every inch"

At a December 7 rally in Washington, DC, to support striking federal workers, actor Danny Glover criticized people who say Trump should be given “a chance.” Glover said, “Give him a chance what? We know who he is. We know exactly who he is. We have to accept that. But we have to fight him every inch. We have to fight him every moment.”

Time magazine had just come with their annual “Person of the Year” issue with Trump on the cover. Glover said, “It’s irresponsible to make him Person of the Year. Based on what? Based on the fact that he won the Electoral College? Based on the fact that he lied to people? Based on the fact that all the stories of all he’s done to women and what he thinks about women? Based on his racism? A racist as Person of the Year? I’m appalled, I’m appalled. I’m angry now that Time magazine would name this person Person of the Year. It’s incredible.” He said this was a “slap in our face” and “the most disrespectful thing.”

Rosie O'Donnell: "Not My President"

Actor and TV personality Rosie O’Donnell has been calling on people to stand up against Trump in a number of recent tweets. In response to someone who tweeted, “we need to organize an anti-Trump inauguration,” O’Donnell tweeted: “no one go – film urself – periscope STANDING keep saying ‘NOT MY PRESIDENT – LIFE – WITH MILLIONS OF OTHERS.” She also wrote “its called STAY HOME – DO NOT WATCH IT.” And she quoted from writer and journalist Norman Cousins: “There is nothing more powerful than an individual acting out of conscience.”

IBM Employees Denounce CEO's Collaboration with Trump

On November 15, IBM Corporation CEO, Ginni Rometty, published an open letter to Donald Trump, offering the tech giant’s cooperation to “advance a national agenda” and offering “ideas that I believe will help achieve the aspiration you articulated” in his Election-night acceptance speech.

The following week, Elizabeth Wood, a senior content specialist in IBM Marketing, wrote her own open letter, denouncing Rometty’s shameless offer to collaborate with the new fascist regime, and resigning from her position.

Wood’s letter said (all emphasis in original):

Your letter offered the backing of IBM’s global workforce in support of his agenda that preys on marginalized people and threatens my well-being as a woman, a Latina and a concerned citizen. The company’s hurry to do this was a tacit endorsement of his position. ...

“The president-elect has demonstrated contempt for immigrants, veterans, people with disabilities, Black, Latinx, Jewish, Muslim and LGBTQ communities. These groups comprise a growing portion of the company you lead, Ms. Rometty. ...

When the president-elect follows through on his repeated threats to create a public database of Muslims, what will IBM do? Your letter neglects to mention.1

Read Wood’s entire letter here.

Wood’s action inspired others at IBM to stand up. In early December, 10 current IBM employees started a petition to Rometty insisting that IBM has “a moral and business imperative to uphold the pillars of a free society by declining any projects which undermine liberty, such as surveillance tools threatening freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure,” and that “history teach[es] us that accommodating those who unleash forces of aggressive nationalism, bigotry, racism, fear, and exclusion inevitably yields devastating outcomes for millions of innocents.”2 And they specifically demand that IBM execs respect the right of individual employees to “refuse participation in any U.S. contracts that violate constitutional and civil liberties.”

The petition circulated privately at first, and went public on December 19. It now has at least 500 signatories—employees, former employees, IBM stockholders and others in the tech community. The petition is available online here.


1. On December 16, after Wood’s letter was published, as well as a statement from at least 800 tech workers saying they would refuse to work on such a Muslim registry, IBM, as well as Google, Apple and Uber, all told BuzzFeed that they also would refuse. [back]

2. This history includes the fact that IBM put its precursor to the computer—the IBM punch card sorter system—at the service of Hitler’s genocide of Jewish people. In IBM and the Holocaust, Edwin Black writes: “IBM Germany, using its own staff and equipment, designed, executed, and supplied the indispensable technologic assistance Hitler's Third Reich needed to accomplish what had never been done before—the automation of human destruction. More than 2,000 such multi-machine sets were dispatched throughout Germany, and thousands more throughout German-dominated Europe. Card sorting machines were established in every major concentration camp. People were moved from place to place, systematically worked to death, and their remains cataloged with icy automation.” [back]

Writers Resist NYC: Louder Together for Free Expression

On January 15, writers across the U.S. and other countries are holding Writers Resist events to “focus public attention on the ideals of a free, just, and compassionate society.” The “flagship” event on that day is slated for New York City and is co-sponsored by the writers’ group PEN America. It is described on the PEN America website as a “literary protest” that will be held on the steps of the New York City Library at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan “to defend free expression, reject hate crimes and uphold truth in the face of lies and misinformation.”

The protest “will bring together hundreds of writers and artists and thousands of New Yorkers on the birthday of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. American poet laureates Robert Pinsky and Rita Dove will each offer hope and inspiration with original ‘inaugural’ poems written for the occasion.”

And, “After the readings and performances, a group of PEN America leaders and any who wish to join will walk the blocks to Trump Tower together to present PEN America’s free expression pledge on the First Amendment signed by over 110,000 individuals to a member of the President-elect’s team. We are confident the reading at the library and the subsequent march, as two distinct but powerful events to uphold free expression and human rights for all, will be powerful.”

According to Writers Resist organizers, in addition to NYC, January15 events are planned for “Houston, Austin, New Orleans, Seattle, Spokane, Los Angeles, London, Zurich, Boston, Omaha, Kansas City, Jacksonville, Madison, Milwaukee, Bloomington, Baltimore, Oakland, Tallahassee, Newport, Santa Fe, Salt Lake, and Portland (Oregon AND Maine) and many other cities.”

For more on the protest and participants, go here.

500 Women Scientists: "We reject the hateful rhetoric that was given a voice during the U.S. presidential election..."

An online letter by a group of women scientists against Trump’s attacks on science and on his hateful poison directed at different sections of the people has gathered over 11,000 signatures from around the world as of December 23. In an article published by Scientific American, ecologist Kelly Ramirez said that, after the Trump-Pence victory, she and a small group of scientist friends began discussing “how can we take action?” On November 17, they posted their letter with signatures of 500 women scientists.

The letter begins: “Science is foundational in a progressive society, fuels innovation, and touches the lives of every person on this planet. The anti-knowledge and anti-science sentiments expressed repeatedly during the U.S. presidential election threaten the very foundations of our society. Our work as scientists and our values as human beings are under attack. We fear that the scientific progress and momentum in tackling our biggest challenges, including staving off the worst impacts of climate change, will be severely hindered under this next U.S. administration. Our planet cannot afford to lose any time.

“In this new era of anti-science and misinformation, we as women scientists re-affirm our commitment to build a more inclusive society and scientific enterprise. We reject the hateful rhetoric that was given a voice during the U.S. presidential election and which targeted minority groups, women, LGBTQIA [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual], immigrants, and people with disabilities, and attempted to discredit the role of science in our society. Many of us feel personally threatened by this divisive and destructive rhetoric and have turned to each other for understanding, strength, and a path forward. We are members of racial, ethnic, and religious minority groups. We are immigrants. We are people with disabilities. We are LGBTQIA. We are scientists. We are women.”

The letter outlines a number of actions that the signers pledge to take “to increase diversity in science and other disciplines.” The complete letter (available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Dutch, and Farsi), signatories, and other related information is available online here.

Mystery Writer Elizabeth George: "I will not ever accept what's going on right now in the US as the new normal"

Elizabeth George is a U.S.-based writer of mystery novels set in Great Britain. She is widely known for her series of books featuring Inspector Thomas Lynley. In a recent post titled “Mea Culpa” on her website, part of a series of essays on the 2016 elections, George wrote in part: “...what I cannot forgive is the effort being made on all sides to normalize what is going on, to say ‘let’s give him a chance.’ To this I say that, for me, what’s going on is not the new normal. So far and at the time of my writing this, Donald Trump has given cabinet positions to two of his billionaire friends, has chosen a Wall Street bigwig from Goldman Sachs to head the Treasury Department, has selected a foe not only of women’s rights to choose but also of insurance supplied contraception as his head of Health and Human Services, has chosen a racist as his attorney general, has chosen a climate-change denying non-scientist to head the EPA, has chosen a woman who sank the educational system in Detroit to be the head of the Department of Education.... If at some horrible point in the future, Muslims are told that they must register, I intend to register as a Muslim and I encourage everyone else to do the same. I will not ever accept what’s going on right now in the US as the new normal.”

She closes the essay with: “Normal is actually standing for something and drawing a line in the sand across which racial hatred, religious intolerance, sexual aggression, misogyny, fascism, Nazism, white supremacy, Hitler salutes, the Ku Klux Klan, and LGBTQ persecution dare not cross.

“That’s the new normal, that’s the old normal, and that’s the only normal that I will ever accept or support.”

Read the whole piece by Elizabeth George here.

Playwright and Literature Professor Ariel Dorfman: "Now America Knows How Chile Felt"

Ariel Dorfman is a Chilean-American playwright, novelist, human rights activist and an emeritus professor of literature at Duke University. In an op-ed titled “Now, America, You Know How Chileans Felt” that appeared in the New York Times on December 17, Dorfman describes how after Salvador Allende had won the presidential election in 1970, U.S. President Richard Nixon and the CIA worked to undermine the results, including the assassination of a general who stood in the way of the U.S. plans. When the U.S. was not able to block Allende’s inauguration, “American intelligence services, at Henry A. Kissinger’s behest, continued to assail our sovereignty, sabotaging our prosperity (‘make the economy scream,’ Nixon ordered) and fostering military unrest. Finally, on Sept. 11, 1973, Allende was ousted, replaced by a vicious dictatorship that lasted nearly 17 years. Years of torture, executions, disappearances and exile.”

Dorfman notes the irony of the CIA “now crying foul because its tactics have been imitated by a powerful international rival,” referring to allegations of Russian interference in U.S. elections. He writes that when Donald Trump dismisses those allegations, “he is bizarrely echoing the very responses that so many Chileans got in the early ’70s when we accused the C.I.A. of illegal intervention in our internal affairs.” And Dorman writes, “The United States cannot in good faith decry what has been done to its citizens until it is ready to face what it did so often to the equally decent citizens of other nations. And it must resolve never to engage in such imperious activities again.”

Ariel Dorfman’s piece is online here.

Neveragain.tech: "We refuse to facilitate mass deportations of people the government believes to be undesirable"

On December 13, a group of people who work in tech organizations and companies based in the U.S. issued a strong statement pledging “solidarity with Muslim Americans, immigrants, and all people whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by the incoming administration’s proposed data collection policies.” They said they refuse to build databases of people based on their religious beliefs and to facilitate mass deportations. Their statement was also in defiance of top execs from major tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Tesla, and Alphabet (Google), who a day earlier met with Trump, adding to the efforts to normalize fascism.

The statement says: “We have educated ourselves on the history of threats like these, and on the roles that technology and technologists played in carrying them out. We see how IBM collaborated to digitize and streamline the Holocaust, contributing to the deaths of six million Jews and millions of others. We recall the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War. We recognize that mass deportations precipitated the very atrocity the word genocide was created to describe: the murder of 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey. We acknowledge that genocides are not merely a relic of the distant past—among others, Tutsi Rwandans and Bosnian Muslims have been victims in our lifetimes.

“Today we stand together to say: not on our watch, and never again.”

As of the evening of December 14 the statement has close to 800 signers. The statement and other resources are available here.

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In a piece titled "Forward Ever, Normal Never: Taking Down Donald Trump" in Monthly Review, Susie Day writes:

"People often compare the ascendance of Trump and his cabinet of deplorables to the rise of the Nazis—taking momentary refuge in the fact that 1933 Germany didn't have the nuclear option.  Apropos of Trump's take on flag burning, one of the first things Hitler did as chancellor was to rescind freedom of speech, assembly, the press. . .  Then the arrest of political opponents, the forcing of Jews to register their propertywear Stars of David.  Remember those "good" Germans, who may have lamented, but went along because they could—because they still fit in to what remained normal?'

Read the entire article here

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Cornel West: “Goodbye, American neoliberalism. A new era is here”

...In this bleak moment, we must inspire each other driven by a democratic soulcraft of integrity, courage, empathy and a mature sense of history – even as it seems our democracy is slipping away.

We must not turn away from the forgotten people of US foreign policy – such as Palestinians under Israeli occupation, Yemen's civilians killed by US-sponsored Saudi troops or Africans subject to expanding US military presence.

As one whose great family and people survived and thrived through slavery, Jim Crow and lynching, Trump's neofascist rhetoric and predictable authoritarian reign is just another ugly moment that calls forth the best of who we are and what we can do.

For us in these times, to even have hope is too abstract, too detached, too spectatorial. Instead we must be a hope, a participant and a force for good as we face this catastrophe.

Read entire statement here

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Guns N’ Roses Invites Mexico Fans Onstage to Destroy Trump Piñata

On November 30, in the middle of a song they were performing at Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City, the band Guns N’ Roses cut the music and brought a giant piñata of Donald Trump onstage. According to an online TIME magazine report, Axl Rose, the band’s front man, said, “Let’s bring up some people and give them a fucking stick... Express yourselves however you feel.” Fans got up on the stage and began swinging at the piñata.

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Undocumented in Trump’s America
By Jose Antonio Vargas, November 20

On election night, while making my way through a crowd gathered outside the Fox News headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, a white man wearing a Mets cap patted my back and said through the noise: "Get ready to be deported." Rattled, I made it inside the green room and waited to go on the air.

I am an undocumented immigrant. I outed myself in a very public way in The New York Times in 2011, and since then have appeared regularly on cable news programs, especially on Fox, to humanize the very political and polarizing issue of immigration ...

What will you do when they start rounding us up?

Read entire article here

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An abortion doctor on Trump's win: "I fear for my life. I fear for my patients."
By Warren M. Hern, November 11

As I've headed to work in recent days to see abortion patients in my office, I have felt bereft: All the premises of my life, work, education, and future were gone. Something very profound in the meaning of the America I know has been destroyed with the election of Donald J. Trump as president ...

Under an unrestrained Donald Trump and this Republican Congress, I fear for my life, I fear for my family, and I fear for my future. I fear for my staff and my patients.

Even more, I fear for my country, and I fear for the world.

Read entire article here

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: "We cannot let justice be denied by waiting. History has shown us over and over what horrors that leads to."

In a December 1 article for the Washington Post online edition, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar calls for resistance against Trump. Writing from his viewpoint of protecting this country’s “most sacred values,” Abdul-Jabbar criticizes others and their “hide-beneath-the-bed tactic”—like Jack Rosen, president of the American Jewish Congress, who says “we should take a look-and-see approach” and Black Entertainment Television founder and Hillary Clinton supporter Bob Johnson who said African Americans should give Trump “the benefit of the doubt.” He writes that the appointments Trump has been making already show that “these people and their contra-constitutional view are a clear and present danger” and calls for civil disobedience in different forms.

See Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s article here.

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In a November 10 speech in the Irish Parliament, Senator Aodhán Ó Riordáin made a strong speech denouncing Donald Trump as a fascist—and condemning the Irish government's conciliatory response.

After the election of Trump, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny called to congratulate him and ask whether the annual White House celebration of St. Patrick’s Day was still on. Irish Senator Aodhan O'Riordáin, fired off this response in the Irish Seanad (Senate):

Edmund Burke once said the only way evil can prosper is for good men to do nothing. American has just elected a fascist and the best thing that good people in Ireland can do is to ring him up and ask him if they can still bring the Shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day. I’m embarrassed about what the Irish government has done I can’t believe the reaction from the government. And I don’t use the word fascist lightly. What else would you call somebody threatens to imprison his political opponents? What else would you call somebody who threatens to not allow people of a certain religious faith into their country? What would you say, or how would you describe somebody who is threatening to deport 10 million people. What would you say about somebody who says that the media is rigged, the judiciary is rigged, the political system is rigged. And then he wins the election and the best we can come out with is a call to say is it still ok to bring the shamrock...I am frightened. I am frightened for what is happening in this world and in our inability to stand up to it. I want to ask you, leader, to ask the Minister of Foreign of Affairs into this house and ask him how we are supposed to deal with this monster who has just been elected president of America because I don’t think any of us in years to come should look back on this period and say we didn’t do everything in our power to call it out for what it is.

See the whole speech below.

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Andrew Sullivan: "The Republic Repeals Itself"

Andrew Sullivan is a well-known conservative writer and online commentator, currently a contributing editor to the New York magazine. We want to bring to our readers’ attention a November 9 online article by Sullivan titled “The Republic Repeals Itself.” While we have differences with Sullivan overall and with this particular article in certain dimensions, we think he makes important points that are worthy of reflection.

Read Andrew Sullivan's piece here.

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/the-election-of-trump-and-the-racist-police-neighborhood-of-mount-greenwood-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

After Chicago Pigs Murder Unarmed Black Motorist on Way Home From Funeral...

People Stand Up Against Killer Cops and Neighborhood Trumpite Goons

November 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

November 9, 2016, Mount Greenwood in Chicago

Protest called for Sunday, November 20:

The following call has been issued:

We Oppose White Supremacy.
We Stand Up to Racist Mob Threats in Mt. Greenwood IL

To All People of Consicence:

We oppose white supremacy!
We will stand up against racist mob threats in Mt. Greenwood!
Protest: 2 pm, Sunday, Nov 20, 111th & Kedzie, Mt. Greenwood, Chicago

Initiating signatories:

Buddy Bell, Chicago
Fr. Bob Bossie, SCJ
Hank Brown, SNCC 1968, Revolution Club Chicago
Rev. Ronna Case, retired
Mark Clements
Rev. Jason Coulter, Ravenswood United Church of Christ*, Community Renewal Society*
Kevin De Beck Ministerial Intern, Unitarian Church of Evanston*
Airickca Gordon-Taylor, Cousin of Emmett Till
Pastor Gregg L Greer, Freedom First International, SCLC
Tio Hardiman, Violence Interrupters, Inc.
Pat Hill, Director of Chicago Independent Human Rights Council
Ted Jennings, Chicago Theological Seminary*
Rev. Taigen Dan Leighton, Ancient Dragon Zen Gate, Chicago*
Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston
Nancy Michaels
Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation, Roosevelt University
Quintus AO Maximus
PHENOM, HipHop Youth Development Specialist
Indigo Quashie, Chicago Children’s Choir*
Rev. Matthew Ross, Eureka M.B. Church*
Ted Sirota, Drummer
Marc K Smith
Wanda Taylor, mother of Marcus Landrum, killed by police in 2008
Edward Ward
Tracy Washington, mother of Marcus Washington
& cousin of Joshua Beal
Dee Williams, Revolution Club Chicago

*For identification purposes only

To sign this call, and for updates and the full text, go here, for a PDF flyer go here, and for "We Refuse to Accept Racist White Supremacy in Mt. Greenwood: FACT SHEET," go here.

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

As I have said a number of times: These reactionaries should not even be allowed to use “conservative” to describe themselves. We should say, “Conservative, my ass, these people are Nazis.”

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:26

The politics of the possible is the politics of monstrosity

What Trump actually means by “make America great again” was given living and horrifying expression on the streets of the Chicago neighborhood of Mt. Greenwood. Mt. Greenwood is an almost all-white neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. It is home to many cops and firefighters. What is playing out in Mt. Greenwood should be a loud siren further awakening people in Chicago and around the country to the immediate and urgent stakes posed by Trump’s election.

In the days surrounding the presidential election, crowds of rabid racists, including many off-duty cops and their families, clearly on the offensive as a result of Trump’s campaign, are out to violently restore white supremacy as part of the larger fascist project.

On Saturday, November 5, at least three off-duty pigs were involved in the shooting death of a young Black man, Joshua Beal, in the middle of a sunny afternoon in Mt. Greenwood. Beal, the father of two, had come from Indiana to take part in a funeral for his cousin. An off-duty pig in plainclothes tried to run a 17-year-old driver off the road and then pulled a gun and threatened her. According to the family, Beal and other family members got out of their cars in the funeral procession out of concern for her safety. Then another off-duty pig on his way to work jumped out of his car and shot 13 bullets at Beal.

But this was not all. Joshua’s brother was arrested and held for days for tackling one of the off-duty maniacs in an attempt to save his brother’s life.

And that still was not all. The family, in complete shock, was told to wait at a local Burger King until the police released their cars from the crime scene. The Revolution Club and activists in the fight against police murder came to the BK to support the family. Meantime all around the BK, racists began to gather. White people with baseball bats sticking out of their car windows drove by. Shouts of “n***ers” rang out. A group of white people who turned out to be off-duty cops and friends began shouting and chanting, “CPD! CPD!” Cars driving by chanted back “Trump, Trump, Trump.”

The very next day and then again on election night, protests were held in Mt. Greenwood over the police murder of Joshua and to call out the overt displays of racism as unacceptable. Both protests were small and met by hundreds of rabidly racist white people clogging the streets. Off duty cops, cops’ families and their supporters put on brazen and ugly displays. They celebrated the execution of a Black man; called Black people who came to protest “coons” and “n***ers,” spewed ignorant shit like “this is America, not Africa,” and told people to get out of their neighborhood. They called Black Lives Matter a terrorist organization. They growled about how sick they were of the “liberal narrative” making cops look bad (imagine the nerve after endless exposures of racist police brutality and murders in Chicago, all unpunished!). All the while, they were threatening physical violence on protestors. Trump was supported by the police union in Chicago and many places around the country. “Blue Lives Matter” chants filled the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and the streets of Mt. Greenwood.

Father Michael Pfleger came out on election night. The very well-known Catholic priest posted afterward, “Just got back from the protest in Mt. Greenwood... I have not seen so many angry White People filled with such Hate since a child in 1966 in Marquette Park [This is a reference to when mobs of white people attacked with bricks and bottles a march led by Martin Luther King to integrate housing—Ed.].... I was called every name and cursed with every word, by adults and children walking with their parents... an area that is not only White, but heavily Catholic, and will be at church on Sunday... I am embarrassed as a Priest and a Catholic to witness what I witnessed tonight.... Earlier today a man said he wanted to break my legs and drag me from a truck.... Mt. Greenwood you should be embarrassed... by those who represented you tonight....”

The Revolution Club very courageously and boldly made up a significant presence at all three protests together with a handful of Black activists and others who were outraged over the murder of Joshua. For more than an hour and a half on election night, the protestors stood their ground and got in the face of these reactionaries who were chanting, “USA, USA, CPD, CPD, Trump, Trump, Trump.” The Revolution Club was a strong pole of attraction in their shirts as they led chants of “1, 2, 3,4, Slavery Genocide and War; 5, 6, 7, 8, America Was Never Great.” “Sixteen shots and a cover up; thirteen shots at a funeral.” They called for revolution to sweep away the white supremacy embedded in this system.

While small in number, the protestors refused to be intimidated by the howling mobs. Many more people should have poured out to protest this. Some people undoubtedly thought it was too risky to go right up against this. But history has repeatedly shown it is far riskier to do nothing and to retreat to “safe” spaces. The purpose and point of going up against this is not just to make a statement, but to both reveal the virulence of the infection and to draw forth others to FIGHT this. If the revcoms and later Father Pfleger in particular had not been there, the nastiness of the infection would not have been revealed. Much more needs to be done quickly to inspire and challenge people to come forward to fight it.

People need to take heart from and also give backing to a few white youths from the neighborhood who right on the spot took a very courageous stand. In the midst of the scene in Mt. Greenwood, a young white student and her two friends crossed the line and stood with the people protesting the murder of Joshua Beal. (There were also a couple of white youths from the neighborhood who came to stand with Joshua’s family the night of his murder.) This young woman held the Stolen Lives banner with pictures of dozens of people killed by police. She said: “Most of my friends are on the other side; this infuriates me, they are probably really pissed at me for crossing the line, but I couldn’t take it anymore.” She continued, “I am here today for the injustice of people that just keeps happening, this racism that’s institutionalized into our homes and in our backyards, in Mt. Greenwood especially. Mt. Greenwood is so racist, man, we just had somebody shot... so many times... and people want to deny and say it’s not because of skin color, but what else is it? I’m ready to make a stand now, I’m ready. Before I would sit quietly, you know, maybe protest online, but now I’m ready to make my voice heard... and speak for those... amplify their voices, not speak over them, but amplify their voices.”

As they did right in the midst of this situation, the revcoms need to wage a determined struggle to expose how this foregrounds and represents the actual program of these fascists, rooted in the whole history of this country and how they have played white people to keep capitalism humming along. We need to be winning large chunks of this generation of white youth to reject this in deed as well as in word. This happened during the 1960s in a major way and the powers that be were very threatened by it.

We need to make this a question very broadly. While the major media reported on the police killing of Beal, there was initially no coverage about the ugly response from the neighborhood. The revcoms issued a public challenge to the major media for its failure to cover the racist garbage spewing out of Mt. Greenwood—soon after articles, editorials began to appear, forcing the Mayor to issue a timid rebuke of what he called “ethnically tinged” language. “Ethnically tinged”? The word n***er from the mouths of pigs is lynch-mob-noose-speak! Now reporters are pointing out police are wearing Trump buttons and defending Trump while on assignment at the large “not my president” demonstrations that have broken out.

This situation is roiling around the city and interpenetrating with the election of Trump, although it is unclear if the thousands who poured out to decry Trump’s victory know about what is concentrated in Mt. Greenwood. After the police shooting of Joshua Beal and the protests over it, a student at Marist, a Catholic high school in the Mt. Greenwood area, had texted, “I F***ing hate N***ers.” Her friend replied “same.” A tweet with a screen shot of this text went viral. One Black student at Marist expressed how deeply angry she was about this text to the Chicago Tribune, “[she] said that while she has been called racial epithets before and during her time at Marist, she was shocked and hurt that the girls whose text messages were publicized, some of whom had been longtime friends of hers, would say such things.... She said she feels like their relationships have been irreparably harmed by the texts and doesn’t plan to reach out to any of the girls about the messages.”

The high school had to issue a statement, as did the Catholic Church, condemning the racism. At high schools around the city, students held mini-rallies to condemn this and organize to go down to Marist. Only 12 percent of the Marist student body is Black. In response, the school shut down for the day of the protest while police blogs spread lurid tales that a notorious gang was coming to Mt. Greenwood to harm children. Some of the high school students who called the demonstration publicly cancelled it and were bamboozled into meeting with the police chief and Marist’s principal to “dialogue” instead. People, including these young student protestors, need to look at what was on display in Mt. Greenwood—what does this tell you? The Black police chief was out there within hours defending the police murder of Joshua Beal. He has not said a peep about the racist mobs made up of members of his department. Do not conciliate with these murderers.

The Revolution Club made thousands of stickers that say, “I Used to Be a White American, but I Gave It Up in the Interests of Humanity” to get out at these schools over the next few days and is looking to call forward the youths who do want to go out and challenge these white students at schools like Marist to hold teach-ins and convocations and protests.

In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America.

Rise Up... Get Into the Streets ... Unite with People Everywhere to Build Up Resistance in Every Way You Can

Don’t Stop: Don’t Conciliate... Don’t Accommodate ... Don’t Collaborate

RIGHT NOW IN CHICAGO AREA AND BEYOND—AMONG ALL SECTIONS OF PEOPLE OF ALL NATIONALITIES, ARTISTS AND PROFESSIONAL, RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES AND PEOPLE OF CONSCIENCE AND YES, AMONG LARGE NUMBERS OF WHITE PEOPLE—YOU NEED TO SPEAK OUT, ORGANIZE AND MOBILIZE AGAINST THIS RACIST UGLINESS THAT TRUMP’S ELECTION IS CALLING FORTH. AND YES, WE NEED TO MARCH THROUGH MT. GREENWOOD. WE MUST SAY TO THE WORLD LOUDLY—THIS STOPS HERE. THIS STOPS NOW. THIS LYNCH MOB RACISM IS ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE. AND NOW THAT YOU KNOW, YOU CAN NOT BE SILENT—SILENCE IS COMPLICITY.

There are plans for a major protest called "We Oppose White Supremacy! We Stand Up to Racist Mob Threats in Mt. Greenwood IL"—Sunday, November 20, 2 pm, at 111th & Kedzie in Mt. Greenwood, Chicago. See the call for the protest and signatories here.

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

 

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/lessons-from-cleveland-state-university-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

Revcoms Confront Trumpites on Cleveland Campus—And Minds Begin to Change...

November 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From revcoms with the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Campaign and Tour:

In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America

Rise Up... Get Into The Streets...
Unite With People Everywhere
to Build Up Resistance in Every Way You Can

Don’t Stop: Don’t Conciliate...
Don’t Accommodate...Don’t Collaborate

Read more    
Reproduce and Distribute Leaflets and Posters HERE

When the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Campaign and Tour arrived at Cleveland State University (CSU) days before the new Hitler was elected, there were a few minutes when it seemed we would just be talking to a few people on a sleepy campus. But as we stood on the American flag holding a display sign of THE NEW COMMUNISM by Bob Avakian and talking with students who were curious about all this, the fascist students at CSU jumped out, upholding the ugliness of the whole history of this country and quickly creating a violent-mob atmosphere of physical attack and death threats. It was a very negative and dangerous alignment, where those who disagreed with the Trump-ites were silent, paralyzed, timid, and even at arm’s-length.

We were speaking out on why America was never great: the dragging of Africans to these shores in slave chains and generation after generation of torture and terror of Black people, including the whole history of lynchings; the CIA coups and U.S.-installed military dictatorships in Central America. This was met with prideful dismissal by the Trump-ites, who angrily confronted the revcoms, and one lunged in trying to start a fight. He was prevented from landing any blows and some other students dragged him away. Police moved in, circling the revcoms, while the crowd of students watching grew. The fascists were incensed, puffed up, passionate, and on the offense.

Students who disagreed with the Trump-ites stayed silent. As police circled in, we chanted the name of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old murdered by Cleveland police while he played with a toy gun in a park. The Trump-ites started shouting in response, “Blue Lives Matter!” A group of Black high school students there with their social studies class stayed aloof, some even laughing at the whole scene. Their teacher told them to stay and pay attention and they would discuss what was happening there in their next class. But the teacher said he wouldn’t pick sides, and most of the students weren’t going against the tide.

Other university students said things like, “I like what you’re doing,” but refused to publicly step forward in support of it, letting the terms be set by the foaming-at-the-mouth fascists, who had grabbed an American flag and come out to rally around it, shouting, “USA, USA, USA.” In addition to their loud public rabidness, the fascists also threatened up close, telling one revcom, “You want a revolution, I can’t wait to see you on the battlefield so I can put a bullet in your chest.” At the same time, this was all flavored with snark and ridicule. This scene went on like this for about an hour, with the revcoms encircled by police and fascists, and other students quietly watching or not staying around to watch. The revcoms continued on the bullhorn calling all this shit out and calling on other students who don’t like all this shit to step forward. When the revcoms marched out of campus, we were followed by a mob of flag-waving Trump assholes and police, but also others who were just watching, taking the whole thing in. After we had left the front of the campus, a Black student who had seen us on the quad approached and said simply she liked that we were saying “America Was Never Great” and wanted to find out more what this was about.

The revcoms were back the next school day with a literature table and display of THE NEW COMMUNISM. As we were setting up, students were stopping and engaging. It was the day before election day, and one young Black woman stopped to see what this was about and expressed how she was at a loss for what to do about the direction of society. She was intrigued and interested to find out more about THE NEW COMMUNISM. Minutes later, a snarky buffoon arrived to ridicule us and try to whip up the fascists, who were beginning to gather.

We decided to make the defenders of America have to deal with us in the realm of content and substance. We challenged them to a debate. Many of them didn’t want to seriously put forward arguments and have to defend their shit, they just wanted to be Trump-ite frat idiots. But we persevered in leading this, challenging them with the fact that they are on a college campus, supposed to engage in critical thinking, and we were able to set some terms at least among a section of students. At times, this even required that we fought for some of the reactionary clowns who were just jumping around and acting like buffoons to shut up and listen when the flag-wavers spoke up for Trump, so that people could hear their best arguments and then measure them up against what we had to say. Through this, some people did step forward to debate and this shifted away some of the initiative of the gathering mob like the one that had formed the day before. Some people debated earnestly; others posed snarky questions, but did pose them and did allow everyone to hear the answers.

One of the sincere comments was from a guy who said his great grandparents were killed in Finland during the Russian Civil War, and that his family came over to America because of the liberty and freedoms it modeled to the world. We asked what year it was they came over. 1917-1918. And what was happening in America at that time? For one, the lynching of Black men, being hung off of trees, killed for being Black. And we posed back to him and the crowd if this was the liberty and freedom he thought was a model to the world. He actually had to concede this point at least, and others in the crowd felt the need to change the subject and revert things back to sneering and snark.

       

Students who opposed the America-first fascist crowd again mainly did not step forward and make themselves felt, even while there were numbers of students passing through the quad who stopped to listen to the debate. And tellingly, a student who calls himself a socialist and has claimed CSU as “his” community where he doesn’t want to see students get organized for revolution, joined the crowd of reactionaries to denounce the revcoms, preferring to strengthen the fascists than to take a principled stand. Disgustingly and in an extremely self-exposing way, he actually played a key role in breaking up the debate we had fought through to establish. He saw the two sides, and rather than saying jack shit about these Nazi-youth prototypes, he laid into us! This was bullshit, and we took it on. The guy complained he thought we were giving revolution a bad image, but when we challenged him, if he was so revolutionary, to tell the crowd of flag-wavers what he thought of their flag; he repeatedly and cowardly refused.

But, through this whole process, the hardened nature of the polarization was softening up. Many students were starting to recognize that there was real substance to what we were saying and it was stirring their thinking and their concern for the world, even as most were still coming from a very different—frequently oppositional—place. As the larger debate was opening up, a few students came over to our literature table to hear what we really had to say. Some were oppositional and some were more open, but all of them were curious.

One Black student who was against the Trump crowd but said he was in favor of capitalism, did take the conscious step of walking up to the literature table to engage further, essentially crossing a line that the fascists had drawn to keep people away. A white guy with a U.S. Marines baseball cap came charging towards us in a threatening way, asking us, “What did you say about the military?” We braced ourselves, but told the truth, paraphrasing BA’s quote about how they say the military is out there fighting for the people and for freedom and democracy, but really it is killing and dying for a system that oppresses and terrorizes humanity and enforces a world of horrors, and has no regard for the humanity or lives of those who fight in it either, they are used by this system for very bad purposes. He engaged in conversation and thanked us for being there, but was back the next day holding an American flag.

To be clear, the reactionaries still mainly had many people vocally aligned with them, but through continuing to agitate, to draw out the differences, to fight for real engagement, and through never backing off from the full dimension of the horrors of this country and what Trump represents and the truly liberating revolution we are making to end this, we increasingly gained political and ideological initiative.

Burning the U.S. flag outside the Republican convention
Joey Johnson with the support of the Revolution Club burned the American flag outside the Republican National Convention to protest the toxic chauvinism and reactionary ideas of all stripes surrounding Trump’s nomination.

The following day was election day. Things were different off the jump. There was chalking all over the floor from Trump followers and Hillary people crossing out each other’s messages. The revcoms marched onto campus in formation and lined up on the quad in front of a big banner that said, “America was never great! We need to overthrow, not vote for, this system!” Several members of the Revolution Club, all defendants in the RNC 16 flag-burning case, took turns on the microphone. (The RNC 16 and Joey Johnson were arrested at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland for burning the American flag and are now facing trial for this political protest.) They spoke compellingly about how Clinton and the Democrats can’t and won’t stop the fascist movement being led by Trump, and about a radically different way the world can be, and organizing to make revolution to emancipate the seven billion people on the planet. Through it they drew bare what Trump is and the whole country and system he concentrates.

One male revcom did moving exposure of the woman-hating Trump represents, “his misogynist bullshit, his celebration of sexual assault, his glorifying and mainstreaming of rape and degradation of women,” and how this is woven into the fabric of U.S. society. Another revcom laid into the U.S. military: “You sign up for their military—you’re going to get sent halfway around the world to go kill and die, not for freedom and democracy... for the 1 percent who controls the military, who controls the economic system—you’re going to go kill and die for capitalism. Is that what you want to do?”

This time, there were students who stepped forward to hear what was being talked about, with a great deal of appreciation for the exposure of the crimes of America. Some of the Trump-ites gathered on a balcony a little distance away to shout their opposition, and this time with an American flag that also had a huge image of John Wayne on it. The ones who ventured up close had to deal with a much more two-sided situation. There were only a couple of students who really stood firmly in support of the revcoms, but this opened up a lot of space for other thinking students to step in and engage and begin to take sides and express that. When a Trump-ite from the balcony yelled, “Get a job,” a revcom responded, “That’s all you got? That is some weak shit! I thought this was a college campus, can’t you make an argument?” At this, another student who had been sitting nearby listening for some time began clapping. The revcom continued to talk about the tremendous importance of students lifting their heads to think about the world, to stand up and fight against injustice, to engage the most radical and scientific leadership for revolution on the planet, Bob Avakian, and join the movement to make revolution—sharply challenging the bullshit, but also struggling with students to be better.

That night, we were reflecting on what we’d begun to change on the campus. Then the election results started coming in, and with it the growing realization that the fascist who had been legitimized by the media, the Democrats, and the whole system was being voted into office. This is an unprecedented—and truly dangerous—moment in history! The next day when we arrived near campus with a Mein Trumpf sign showing Trump as the Klan Nazi he is, we were approached by students thrilled to see that sign, before we even walked onto campus. One of them, a white student, agreed that we need to resist this presidency immediately and joined us on the spot, marching with us onto campus and staying with our crew the entire time.

When we got onto campus and began speaking, students were drawn in—many Black students and some white students—who were very upset about the election results. The reactionaries quickly appeared again and this time some of the other students were visibly upset at them and stayed around to support opposing them. Not many of those opposed to Trump were ready to get on the microphone and speak out themselves, though one student did, condemning Trump and saying America is better than this. In between calling out the illegitimacy of the new president and the need to resist it now as part of preparing for an actual, communist revolution, the revcoms chanted. Several students were drawn in to chanting “1, 2, 3, 4, slavery, genocide and war... 5, 6, 7, 8, America was NEVER great!”—hesitant at first, but responding when the microphone was put in front of them. For a while in the middle we chanted simply, “Fuck Trump!” which several students more readily jumped in on. When it was time to leave, we grouped up and sang out with a lot of joy and defiance, “WE ARE THE REVCOMS! THE MIGHTY, MIGHTY REVCOMS!” and marched off campus.

What we were doing, together with the elections, ripped open a situation where racists and flag-waving fascists are emboldened, while students who hate  all that shit are on the defensive and trying to live in “safe spaces” on the edges of it. We went straight after the foundation of all that disgusting Trump shit: America and the capitalist-imperialist system it concentrates. And in doing so, we drew the ugly out into the open. We were a minority in the face of a howling mob, forcing people to “own,” and be exposed by, their reactionary shit. But we also modeled and fought to lead people to confront it head on, fearlessly and with substance. Coming from the interests of humanity to end all oppression, we stood for the seven billion, the people of the world, and we had the substance to back it up, while working collectively to give each other strength. Through it, we wrenched out a situation where people were actually using their brains, and were forced to critically think (including by fighting for people who disagree to hold to principles they claim to agree with, such as critical thinking, or at least make them feel they have to play by such principles to be taken seriously by others). This at the exact moment when the fascist Trump has been elected president and there is a need for daring and courage to resist the new order.

And in the mix of all this, we did draw forward some students who are looking for another way, and engaged with them over what the problem was, what about the system that would give rise to a Trump and treat him as another legitimate president-elect? What about Bob Avakian and THE NEW COMMUNISM? And what’s in “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,” and the challenge and the need for students to get into, and get with, this revolution now.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/get-into-the-revolution-national-organizing-tour-reps-arrested-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Campaign and Tour Representatives Arrested at Anti-Trump Demonstration Today

November 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

In Chicago, for the fourth day in a row, people have taken to the streets to protest Trump. Overall, there have been few arrests. The Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Tour and the Revolution Club have been targeted for arrest. Two members of the tour were arrested toward the start of today’s protest for doing agitation on a sound system calling on people to refuse to accept a fascist America. Lucha was speaking to some of the thousands of young people who have been compelled to take to the streets, many for the first time, as they make their rejection of Trump known. The person holding the sound system was also arrested and the sound system confiscated (use of sound is legal). The charges and bail are not known at this time. (See the video). Call the Chicago Police Department 1st District headquarters (312-745-4290) and the mayor’s press office (312-744-3334) and demand release of the two protesters arrested this morning while protesting Trump’s election.

Also, Thursday, Iggy of the Revolution Club was arrested for telling a cop “this is a peaceful protest” and held overnight before he was bailed out.

Funds are urgently needed for the tour and the Revolution Club(s) to be in the mix of this enormously important outpouring of struggle against Trump election. Please donate now. Click here to support GET INTO THE REVOLUTION NATIONAL ORGANIZING CAMPAIGN AND TOUR.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/important-update-from-revcoms-at-standing-rock-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

Important Update from Revcoms at Standing Rock

November 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America

Rise Up... Get Into The Streets...
Unite With People Everywhere
to Build Up Resistance in Every Way You Can

Don’t Stop: Don’t Conciliate...
Don’t Accommodate...Don’t Collaborate

Read more    
Reproduce and Distribute Leaflets and Posters HERE

Friday, November 11. This afternoon, several news media outlets released articles stating, “The Obama administration is set to approve the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project to begin as early as the beginning of next week.” The original article came from a source reporting for Politico and was picked up by The Hill and The Daily Beast. According to the articles, there are reports that the approval is “related to the election of Republican nominee Donald Trump who would eventually approve the project anyhow.” And the Daily Beast reported, “The announcement, however, is expected to escalate conflicts at the Dakota Access protest site, which may lead the Obama administration to postpone its decision until later next week.”

Less than an hour later, the Obama administration came back denying this, with an administration official stating, “The process is ongoing and no decisions have been made.”

These updates are coming just hours after about 40 people were arrested among a group of about 100 protesters who entered a DAPL construction site and allegedly damaged equipment and ran some DAPL workers off the site.

So even as there are people here who are NOT in a mood to sit by as this pipeline continues to go through, these updates indicate that this system has some serious problems on its hands, sorting out how to go forward with this pipeline, as more people continue to arrive at the encampment to support the Standing Rock Sioux, and masses of people, night after night, have continued to take to the streets around the country opposing Trump, chanting “Not Our President!”

All this further emphasizes the need for what is being called for in “We Refuse To Accept a Fascist America.” What people do NOW matters a great deal, and could determine the direction of the struggle here at Standing Rock, and the direction of things overall, against a fascist America.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/standing-rock-interview-with-eleanor-bravo-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

Standing Rock Interview with Eleanor Bravo:
"We're destroying the Earth... This is the basic consequence..."

November 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

More than a thousand people gather at an encampment to protest Dakota Access oil pipeline near North Dakota's Standing Rock Sioux reservation, September 9. Photo: AP

 

Revolution: Can you tell us your name, who you are with, and why you are here?

Eleanor Bravo: My name is Eleanor Bravo and I am with Food and Water Watch. We’re here because this encampment, this struggle here, has become the focal point for all pipeline battles—not just pipelines but all infrastructure for extraction and transportation of oil and gas, which is a huge corporate issue in this country. So we’re here to find out what’s going on, see how we can assist and to try to put this struggle into the context of so many other pipelines that are being built all over the country.

Revolution: And what do you think are the stakes, what are the consequences of people actually being able to stop this DAPL [Dakota Access Pipeline] pipeline, or if they don’t stop it, what are the consequences?

Eleanor Bravo: If we’re able to stop it here, that is good news because then that bodes well for stopping not only this pipeline but other pipelines. And this pipeline is also being fought in Iowa and we’re also involved in that fight in many different ways. The pipeline here in Standing Rock is being fought with direct action. There is some litigation going on against eminent domain, which the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been abusing for many years. Eminent domain is supposed to be for the good of the people, not for the good of Kelcy Warren and Energy Transfer Partners, which is a corporation. So, this is in a greater context and these people are not alone; it just so happens that these people have been colonized and terrorized for hundreds of years. And this pipeline was rerouted once already. It was supposed to go to Bismarck and they said, well, let’s not put it there, it will hurt other people—let’s put it over here where the Native People, they’re there and we’ll just put it over there. Well, that’s not OK anymore. That’s been going on for way too long. And what we would like to see is that it’s just not OK for any people, people in Bismarck or Native people. No one should be subjected to the dangers of the corporate structure that has taken over this country.

Revolution: Very concretely, what is the actual danger of this pipeline?

Eleanor Bravo: All pipelines leach, crack, leak, explode. Only two weeks ago, maybe two and a half weeks ago, the Colonial Pipeline exploded—terrible explosion in Alabama. There’s a terrible pipeline in Arkansas, the Diamond Pipeline. There’s a pipeline that goes on the floor of Lake Huron, which was built in 1950; it was a 50-year pipeline, it’s still going on. And now they’re supposed to clamp it every 75 feet and they won’t do it. Now if that pipeline—if, it’s not if, it’s when that pipeline breaches, there will be no cleanup for the Great Lakes. These are serious irrevocable damages to the environment. And the environment and the natural resources are not owned by these corporations and they won’t clean them up. No one should own the natural resources. It is owned by the people.

So Food and Water Watch doesn’t take any corporate or government money. We’re funded by foundations and small, personal donations so we are beholden to no one. So this particular election that just happened is extremely troubling. This president is straight out of corporate America. But no matter who is president, we have work to do because our job is to hold government officials, elected officials, accountable. And we still have that role, so we just have more work to do and we will not be deterred. And we are not going to lose because we will not go away. So we will be vigilant and we will continue in what we are doing and we won’t stop.

Revolution: When I met you yesterday, you talked about how in fact there are many different pipelines across the country that are similar to DAPL. Can you talk more about that?

Eleanor Bravo: Well, there is a pipeline that’s called the Trans-Pecos Pipeline. This is bigger than the Keystone XL and it is now permitted to go across the U.S.-Mexico border to ship fracked gas from Texas into Mexico. And Mexico can sell it to China. So this is going through Big Bend National Park, right near Big Bend, near Marfa [Texas]. And it is a pipeline that really promotes the continued extraction of fossil fuels, continued fracking in Texas. That’s a pipeline that we are heavily opposed to and working with people and trying to oppose. There’s another pipeline called the Piñon Pipeline, and it will transport fracked gas in the San Juan Basin in the northwestern part of New Mexico, near Chaco Canyon, a national, historical treasure, which could easily be damaged by any more truck traffic and air pollution and pollution of the night skies....

Revolution: So what are the consequences for humanity—of not getting out of a fossil fuel-based economy?

Eleanor Bravo: First, of all, global warming, we’re destroying our Earth. This is the basic consequence. There are other consequences—the rich get richer; the poor get poorer. And we are essentially slaves to big corporations. The consequences are we are leaving our children and grandchildren a legacy that will not sustain them. So we are destroying Mother Earth, we are shifting all the wealth in this country to a tiny little percentage of people—those are huge consequences. And we are leaving our children a devastating legacy.

Revolution: A lot of people have come here and literally—and we’ve interviewed some of them who went to jail—they’ve put their bodies on the line to stop DAPL. There’s all kinds of different views on tactics and strategy. But this has gone out all over the world because people actually stood up and put their bodies on the line to stop it.

Eleanor Bravo: Look, these people have been colonized. I come from a country that was colonized in the 1400s. I’m from the Philippines. The Jesuits came—you don’t get baptized, you get your head cut off or your hand cut off. These people were treated the same way. This has happened, colonialism has happened all over the world. It is wrong. It is wrong. People deserve to live the lives that they choose for themselves without being enslaved and without being punished and without being colonized. So what is going on here is just the limit. This is the tipping point for people, not just indigenous people, but people who believe that they have the right over their own government, to have the kind of life that they choose. And it just so happened that the energy converged here. And that people were able to look at what’s going on here and take it to heart and say, hey, I believe in that as well. What’s going on there is wrong and what’s going on in our community is also wrong. So there is a lot of commonality. We have met people from all countries, from all walks of life, all different economic situations here. It is really a place where like-minded people have converged.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/464/protests-erupt-across-the-country-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

Scroll down for the call to
ALL Revolutionaries, Students, Professors, and Others on Campuses

In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America

Rise Up... Get Into The Streets...
Unite With People Everywhere
to Build Up Resistance in Every Way You Can

Don’t Stop: Don’t Conciliate...
Don’t Accommodate...Don’t Collaborate

Read more    
Reproduce and Distribute Leaflets and Posters HERE

Attn all Revolution/revcom.us readers:

• SEND US PHOTOS & VIDEOS of high school walkouts, street protests, and other forms of mass protest by people refusing to accept Trump and a fascist America! 

• If you have experience getting out the revcom.us statement "In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America," share that experience with us as well. 

• Send pix and videos in any form, including dropbox links, to: revolution.reports@yahoo.com

• Spread the word widely: "Go to www.revcom.us!"

To ALL Revolutionaries, Students, Professors, and Others on Campuses!
With the election of Trump, we confront a FASCIST America, No Less!

Read our call to you HERE

Let them not fool you—with Obama’s soothing and comforting talk of all of them being on the “same team” and the election being merely but an “intramural scrimmage,” some saying Trump is “softening” on his hatred and hated policies, and that he does not really intend carrying them through, and yet others saying “let’s give him a chance.” NO!

Read more


Miles Solay of revolutionary rock band Outernational reading the important statement from www.revcom.us: "In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America."

Seattle

Seattle, November 20: 500 people rally and march in “#DumpTheTrump #NotMyPresident” protest. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Rutgers University in New Jersey, where more than 1,000 walked for the #SanctuaryCampus protest, November 16. (Credit: Jav Mendez/Twitter)

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, November 16. (Credit: Devyn Giannetti/Twitter)


A diverse crowd of about 300 people marched from Wright Park, Tacoma, Washington, down a major avenue blocking all four lanes of traffic, November 19.


New York City, Jimmy Van Bramer, a member of the city council, led a march from Queens across the Queensboro Bridge to Trump Tower in Manhattan. Photo: Special to revcom.us


Los Angeles, November 12.

Protests Continue Against the Election of Fascist Trump

Updated December 5, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Updates Through December 4

2,000 Protest in Hollywood, CA - Seeking A Way Forward to Stop Trump and His Fascist Regime

Hollywood, December 4
Photo: Special to revcom.us

From a reader: On Sunday, December 4, 2,000 people marched down Hollywood Blvd. and rallied at the CNN headquarters in opposition to Trump. The event attracted a cross section of middle strata people, many of them electoral progressives, "third party" Greens and democratic socialists. The event was coined "Bernie's Unity March" and "Our Political Revolution, Phase Two." Many hundreds carried the posters with the slogan “In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America.” We had a plan to distribute Revolution newspaper to everyone at the event, and people were greatly appreciative as well as challenged. We got over $500 in donations for the 700 Revolution newspapers, 325 posters and 600 flyers that were distributed.  

At CNN, the Revolution Club led hundreds in pledging “In the name of humanity, we REFUSE to accept a fascist America.One of the main slogans of the march was "Love Trumps Hate, That's What Makes America Great," but that conclusion was being challenged by what the Club was exposing about “America Was NEVER Great,” the reality of the foundation of the country being genocide and slavery and America's continuing crimes. At the end of their speech, the Revolution Club clearly spelled why there was a need for revolution and that there is leadership for this revolution, concentrated in Bob Avakian.

Queens, New York City: Rally and March to Call for a Hate-Free Zone

Rally for a hate-free zone in Queens, December 3
Photo: Special to revcom.us

From a reader: On December 3, the South Asian immigrant group DRUM, with 42 organizations as co-sponsors and 26 organizations as endorsers, led an action in the Sunnyside and Jackson Heights neighborhoods of Queens to demand New York City be a hate-free zone. More than 300 people came out and it was a very diverse and determined group—a large number were South Asian and Arab and Muslim immigrants. There was a significant presence of Latin American immigrants, LGBT immigrant groups, and many white people there to express their strong opposition to the attacks and demonization of immigrants, Muslims, and gay people. There were people with homemade signs like “Organize, Not Normalize” and “Here to Stay, Here to Fight” and many against hate and for sanctuary for immigrants. Our crew got out the print issue of Revolution newspaper and the statement “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America,” which was warmly received by the vast majority of the people there.

Twitter video Seattle Women’s March Against Hate, December 3


“Black Friday” protest in Seattle, November 25. Photo: Special to revcom.us

March in Minneapolis, November 23.

Banner in front of the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour in Silver Springs, Maryland, that replaced the one defaced by fascists

Banner in front of the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour in Silver Springs, Maryland, that replaced the one defaced by fascists. Photo: Robert Harvey/Facebook

Seattle Women March Against Hate

From a reader: On Saturday, December 3, about 5,000 people rallied and marched in a protest called Seattle Women March Against Hate. They gathered at Volunteer Park in an upscale neighborhood and from there marched to Cal Anderson Park in a student, LGBT, and youth neighborhood. The crowd was largely but not exclusively white and middle class, mostly women but also many men. One sector was older middle class women, and there were also many young women there. Overall there was a deep receptivity to the statement “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!” Revcom.us supporters got out about 1,500 copies of the statement and 170 of the latest print issue of Revolution newspaper. This march of thousands was important, but the resistance needs to go to a whole other level to prevent the consolidation of fascism.

Updates Through November 25

“Black Friday” Protests

On “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving, there were protests around the country against Trump, supporting the Standing Rock struggle against modern-day genocide of Native Americans and environmental destruction, denouncing murders by police, and opposing exploitation of minimum-wage workers. We received this snapshot from a reader on the protest in Seattle:

“November 25: Over 1,000 people marched and blocked the main streets and intersections of the downtown shopping core on Black Friday, declaring it ‘Black Lives Matter!’ Friday and chanting ‘No Trump, No KKK, No Racist USA.’ Over 1,500 copies of the statement ‘In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America’ were distributed along with Revolution newspaper.

“The response of shoppers and tourists was highly polarized, with some people crossing police lines and reaching over barricades to grab the statement, while a smaller but more vocal minority angrily shouted ‘No!’ and ‘Get over it’ or got offended that others would call Trump a fascist and refuse to accept his victory.”

Day Before Thanksgiving

The night before Thanksgiving, November 23, 200 people marched through the streets of Minneapolis. They chanted, in Spanish and English, against Trump’s threats to immediately deport millions of immigrants and his whipping up of open racism, and called for cities to become sanctuaries for immigrants.

Earlier in the day, at Towson University near Baltimore, 100 students mobilized to oppose a campus rally called by Trump supporters. Among the few who showed up for the pro-Trump rally was one wearing a “Nazi-esque arm band with a T in the place of a swastika.”

“Fuck Donald Trump” Show

On Thanksgiving Day, Portland’s Roseland Theater was the venue for two sold-out shows by the Compton rapper YG and his crew, who are on their Fuck Donald Trump tour. YG, along with Nipsey Hussle, had released a song and video titled “FDT (Fuck Donald Trump)” in the summer. According to Billboard.com, “During the evening performance, the artists didn’t water down their message, taking the opportunity in each of their sets to start ‘F—k Donald Trump’ chants. Sad Boy, perhaps best known for describing the discrimination Hispanics face in L.A. on YG’s song ‘Blacks & Browns,’ exercised his freedom of speech by having his hype man wave Mexico’s flag as a signal of pride. It felt like a direct middle finger to Trump and his stance on immigration.”

Going Up Against Emboldened Fascists

Trump has energized and emboldened fascists, racists, and reactionaries of all kinds. And people are taking this on in various ways from their viewpoints. These are some recent examples:

» Silver Springs, Maryland: In the Thanksgiving Day parade here, a number of people carried a banner saying “Silver Springs Loves and Welcomes Immigrants!” The story behind this banner involves people coming together to make a stand against Trump-inspired fascist attacks on immigrants. The Episcopal Church of Our Saviour has a congregation that is mainly made up of immigrants, from 50 different countries. A few days after the election, the church’s pastor found that a banner in Spanish that usually hangs outside the church was defaced with an ugly message saying “Trump Nation. Whites Only.” The same words were also painted on the church’s brick walls. When the pastor, Robert Harvey, was leaving the church a few days later, he found that someone had put a new banner up outside a church with a very different message—this was the banner carried in the Thanksgiving Day parade, and which received cheers from the crowds lining the parade route. The banner was the work of a middle school teacher who said that at first she was overwhelmed by “a feeling of hopelessness and impotence” after Trump’s election—but when she heard about the fascist graffiti on the church, she decided she must act and raised the money for the banner. Other people also came to the church with flowers and messages of support for immigrants.

» Burlington, North Carolina: A group that declares they are for preserving “Southern rights” announced a rally at the municipal building on Saturday, November 26. Immediately, people opposed to these reactionaries mobilized a counter-protest, including religious people speaking out against those using the Bible as justification for their poison. Rev. Holly Lux-Sullivan, an organizer of the action, said about the group promoting “Southern rights”: “The things their website says and things their founders say sound very much to me like thinly veiled racism, homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, and so we wanted to be here to speak for love and justice for all. We are here about love and peace, and not exclusion of forgetting that part of Southern heritage was a horrific time of slavery, and we don’t want to go back to the ‘way things were.’”

» Albuquerque, New Mexico: On November 23, at a Smith’s grocery store, a woman began harassing another shopper who wore a hijab, yelling things like “You’re a terrorist, get out of here.” One witness posted on Facebook: “The entire store banded together and yelled at the Nazi to get out. Smith’s employees dragged the racist out. They later escorted the woman to her car past the screaming Nazi.”

Rally at Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn, NY, November 20

Rally at Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn, NY, November 20. Photo: @DanielSquadron/Twitter

» Brooklyn, NY: On November 20, hundreds of people gathered at Adam Yauch Park to make their voices heard against fascist graffiti, including swastikas and the words “Go Trump,” that had appeared in the park after the election. Adam Yauch, who died in 2012, was a founding member of the rap group the Beastie Boys. Yauch spoke out against racism, including on national TV at the MTV Music Awards in 1998 when he denounced “racism that comes from the United States toward Muslim people and towards Arabic people.” The rally included Jewish and Muslim religious leaders. According to a tweet from the Beastie Boys, the action was meant to “denounce hate and intimidation in Brooklyn and across the country.”

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In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America! at the Doo Dah Parade in Pasadena, CA

From a reader:

Pasadena Doo Dah ParadeNovember 20—The Pasadena Doo Dah Parade is a popular farcical and flamboyant parade held in Pasadena, California, each year. Absurd and unique participants such as the Shopping Cart Drill Team, the Bastard Sons of Lee Marvin, and the Men of Leisure Synchronized Nap Team form contingents, and thousands of people line the streets to watch and have fun.

Read more

~~~~~~~~~~

Protests vs. Trump: Walking Out of Schools... Going Up Against Fascists and Racists... Speaking Out in Resistance

Updates Through November 22:

November 21 at the Environmental Protection Agency

Bozeman, MT
Bozeman, Montana, November 21: Hundreds march against Trump. Photo: Twitter @GSTuttle

Hundreds of Jewish protesters marching against Steve Bannon, Trump's fascist chief strategist, Philadelphia, November 22.

On Monday night, November 21, people from a number of environmental groups used a high-powered projector to project huge images and text onto the front of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters to protest Trump’s stand on climate change. Trump appointed Myron Ebell—who denies that human-caused climate change is happening, and is close to the coal industry—to head the transition at the EPA and who may be named its head. (See “Trump’s Victory—A Disaster for the Environment Requiring Massive Resistance,” at revcom.us) Messages projected onto the EPA building included “Don’t Let a Climate Denier Take Over the EPA” and could be clearly seen from the building across the street—the Trump Hotel.

As protests have continued around the country this week, one thing to note is the fact that people are taking it to the streets not only in larger cities but smaller areas as well, like Bozeman, Montana, where hundreds marched last Sunday; Providence, Rhode Island; Columbus, Ohio; Gainesville, Wilton Manors, and Palm Beach, Florida, where people marched around Trump’s estate; Newport News, Virginia; Palm Springs, California; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Charlotte, North Carolina; Springfield, Missouri; and Northampton, Massachusetts. A revcom.us reader who is helping this site cover the nationwide protests observed, “I personally believe that some of these protests in smaller towns and smaller cities, and in spread out parts of the country (like Bozeman, Montana) are ... important indicators of the moment we’re in.”

On Tuesday, November 22, the group IfNotNow, a U.S. Jewish organization that opposes Israel’s occupation of Palestine, protested outside Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey’s office to demand that he denounce Steve Bannon, the virulently white supremacist fascist Trump chose as his chief strategist. A first year rabbinical college student, who said her grandmother was a Holocaust survivor, said: “We have seen this before, and we know the most dangerous thing we could possibly do right now is to wait it out and see what happens.” Many people carried white roses—the symbol of a group of students and professors in Germany who resisted Hitler and the Nazis.

The statement “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America” is getting out in some of these protests—and it urgently needs to spread much, much more broadly, into the hands of hundreds of thousands in the protests, through social media, and other ways. On Sunday night, November 20, there was a “#DumpTheTrump #NotMyPresident” rally and march of 500 people in Seattle. A reader wrote about an important part of this scene: “TV news coverage included a revcom.us supporter reading out the statement ‘In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America’ on the mic. After she did, she then asked people to join her in making a pledge: She then ‘mic checked’ the full title of the statement. Stacks of the statement were passed into the crowd to distribute and also take back to people’s communities. About 1,000 copies total were got out during the whole event.”

Updates through November 20:

As Trump and the incoming fascist regime forge ahead toward taking over the White House, protests have continued across the country—on the campuses and in the streets and with a broad range of people raising their voices in different ways.

Throughout the week of November 14, thousands of high school and college students walked out, rallied, and marched, taking the lead in protesting Trump. On Monday, more than 1,000 high school students from at least a dozen highs schools in Oakland, California, marched out of classes. At the rally downtown, an Asian student got repeated cheers when he said, “We are in protest against regressive policy, regarding religion, abortion—who is to say you can’t do what you want with your own body? We are not here just to protest Trump, we are here to protest Pence—the man who as part of the Republican Party opposes gay marriage, abortion... We are here to organize. We are here to say to the system, fuck you!"

In Silver Springs, Maryland, a suburb north of Washington, DC, 500 youths from five high schools joined together—chanting “we reject the president-elect” and blocking downtown traffic. Hundreds of students marched on the state capitol in Denver, Colorado, and on city hall in Portland, Oregon. In Los Angeles, 4,000 students from at least a dozen high schools—many expressing fear and anger that friends and relatives who are undocumented are now under even greater threat of deportation—walked out. The next day, November 15, more than 1,000 middle and high school students walked out in DC and protested outside Trump International Hotel. Among the other student protests that day, hundreds of high school and college students joined together in New York City and marched down busy 5th Avenue in cold, rainy weather. The high school walkouts continued through the week.

Anti-Trump Jewish Protesters Occupy Trump Transition HQ in Washington, DC, Shut Down Bannon in New York

On November 17, anti-Trump Jewish protesters occupied Trump’s transition headquarters in Washington, DC.

On Sunday night November 20, in New York City, hundreds of Jewish people and others, including Muslim people, staged a loud protest for hours outside a conference of the Zionist Organization of America where Trump's Senior Counselor Steve Bannon was supposed to speak. They defied repeated threats by the NYPD to arrest them. Some protesters emphasized unity with Muslims targeted by Trump. Many signs invoked the legacy of the Holocaust, Hitler's genocide against Jews and others in Nazi Germany. Mainstream news is reporting that Bannon did not show up for the event.

"Never again is now!" Twitter/@AshAgony

  
Oakland, CA, November 14, more than 1,000 high school students from at least a dozen highs schools marched out of classes. Photos: Special to revcom.us


Portland, Oregon, November 16, Protesters chant before approximately 100 students march through the streets. Photo: AP


Jackson, Mississippi, November 16. Students protest at Millsaps College. Photo: AP


Brown University, November 16. Hundreds of students walked out of their classrooms and activities at 3 p.m.


November 16, Yale University students to join together and declare Yale as a "Sanctuary Campus" protecting undocumented immigrant college students. Photo: Eino Sierpe


Rutgers, NJ, November 16. Hundreds of Rutgers University students block College Ave. in New Brunswick. Photo: AP


Wichita Falls, Texas, November 16. Students from Midwestern State University march in protest. Photo: AP

The high point of protests on college campuses during the week was on Wednesday, November 16, when thousands of students walked out of classes, held rallies, and marched around campuses and through city streets demanding that their schools become sanctuaries—places of protection for undocumented immigrants, LGBT people, and others who Trump has targeted for increased repression. Students were called to action via social media hashtag #SanctuaryCampus. Walkouts reportedly took place in more than 100 campuses, including NYU and Columbia in New York City; Ivy League universities like Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and Brown; Notre Dame; Stanford; University of Southern California; Oregon State University at Corvallis; University of Memphis; Rutgers in New Jersey; University of Michigan; Oberlin in Ohio; and Middlebury College in Vermont

Other marches and various kinds of protests took place in cities across the country, including demos of hundreds in smaller cities like Tacoma, Washington, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. In Seattle, 5,000 people, mainly white and middle class, held hands to create a 2.8-mile human chain around Green Lake.; One participant said, “We just want to come together and let everybody know we will protect you, we are here to fight for you. We will not stop.”

There were a number of actions where people went directly up against fascists and white supremacists. There were several such protests on Saturday, November 19. In Austin, Texas, several hundred people confronted a racist group calling themselves “White Lives Matter,” some of them armed, who were protesting a new monument recognizing contributions of Black people to the state.

In downtown Washington, DC, several hundred people protested outside the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, where the National Policy Institute, a white supremacist group, was celebrating Trump’s victory. New York City, Jimmy Van Bramer, a member of the city council, led a march from Queens across the Queensboro Bridge to Trump Tower in Manhattan—Van Bramer had received a threatening email after announcing the march, saying in part, “Rest of the people from Queens do not agree with your homosexual lifestyle, so get the fuck out of this country, you fucking traitor...Execution is the penalty for a traitor...”

And on Sunday, November 20, determined protesters opposed white supremacy and police murder in Mt. Greenwood in Chicago, in the face of a howling racist mob. (See NO to Police Murder and Lynch-Mob Threats! Standing Up to White Supremacy in Mount Greenwood.)

People with voices of influence, including in the arts and entertainment communities, have been speaking out. Fashion designer Sophie Theallet, who has designed dresses for Michelle Obama, declared publicly that she refuses to have anything to do with designing for Melania Trump, saying, “The rhetoric of racism, sexism, and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by... I encourage my fellow designers to do the same.” Singer John Legend said, “Trump is saying Hitler-level things in public... And I feel like it’s dangerous for us to be complacent.” Read other voices of conscience here.

The protests and different expressions of resistance that have been happening are significant—and need to not only continue but grow and become even more determined and broad. In the midst of this, it is very important that the revcom.us statement “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America” has been getting out and taken up by all kinds of people. (For example, see a report from the Revolution Club, Los Angeles about school walkouts in that city.) The statement needs to spread much more widely throughout society.


Students Across the U.S. Protest to Demand Campuses Become Sanctuaries for Immigrants

November 12, 2016, Dallas. Credit: @pabloaarauz


Portland, OR, November 11. Photo: AP

As part of his fascist program, Trump has vowed to build a border wall, throw out Obama’s policy of deferring deportations for some undocumented youth, and immediately deport millions of immigrants. Members of his circle have talked about instituting a “registry” of Muslims in the U.S., even making comparisons with the rounding up of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry in the U.S. into concentration camps during World War 2. In the face of this, on Wednesday, November 16, thousands of college and university students across the U.S. walked out of classes, rallied, and marched to demand that their campuses become sanctuaries for immigrants.

Columbia University, November 15

Columbia University, New York City, November 16. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Students were called to action with the social media hashtag #SanctuaryCampus, and walkouts reportedly took place in more than 100 campuses, including NYU and Columbia in New York City; Ivy League university like Yale, Harvard, and Brown; Notre Dame; Stanford; University of Southern California; Oregon State University at Corvallis; University of Memphis; Rutgers in New Jersey; University of Michigan; Oberlin in Ohio; and Middlebury College in Vermont.

A student involved in organizing the protest at NYU told the NY Post: “'We as students are walking out today because we recognize undocumented students are among the most vulnerable on our campus and so we are rallying to say that, as citizens or students with privilege, we will put our bodies on the line between them and a Trump presidency.”

At the University of Memphis, where about 100 students took part, chants included "Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here" and "No racists, no KKK, no fascist USA.” That “...no fascist USA” chant was heard on different campuses, including at Rutgers, where more than 1,000 students, teachers, and staff marched on the campus and took to the streets.

The protests on the campuses need to continue, spread, and become even more determined, as crucial part of the overall resistance against fascist America. As we said in “To ALL Revolutionaries, Students, Professors, and Others on Campuses! With the election of Trump, we confront a FASCIST America, No Less!” [link]: “Establish Trump-free and fascist-free zones! We need teach-ins and sit-ins! We need massive multifaceted resistance to the whole program represented by Trump, any acts of white supremacy and misogyny, any attacks on immigrants and Muslims, and other manifestations of fascism.”


Anti-Trump Protests Continue for a 6th and 7th Straight Day Around the Country

Students took the lead in carrying forward protests against Trump for a sixth and seventh straight day. Hundreds of high school students around the country organized walkouts.

Monday, November 14

Students walked out of schools in California, Colorado, Maryland, Washington and other states. In Los Angeles, more than 1,000 students marched out of classes. Many said they have relatives and friends in the country illegally who they fear will be deported. The United Teachers Los Angeles union applauded the walkouts, saying the union "stands proudly" with the students.

Los Angeles: High school students protest in front of Los Angeles City Hall, November 14. Photo: AP

 

In Oakland, a citywide protest drew more than 1,000 students from at least a dozen high schools. In Denver, 200 middle and high school students walked out of two charter schools to march to the state capitol. In Silver Spring, Maryland, a northern suburb of Washington, DC, youth from five high schools all walked out and marched together, 500 strong, chanting "we reject the president-elect" and blocking traffic on a busy downtown street. In Portland, Oregon, hundreds of students from at least three schools walked out and marched to City Hall.

Thousands of students from high schools all over Los Angeles walked out to protest the election of Donald Trump.  In some schools, they did this in real defiance against school administrators trying to prevent students from walking out.  In one school, they had a large sign in front of the school that said, “Don’t Walk Out, WALK IN.”  Other schools sent home letters to parents so that the parents could stop the youth who wanted to walk out.  One school in particular made an announcement that said, “Students should remain on campus where they’re safe. Ignorance can often lead to violence: please understand that the greatest way to overcome ignorance is through education.”  Despite these efforts of the administrators in different schools, over 4,000 students from different high schools walked out and marched to City Hall. Read a report from the Los Angeles Revolution Club

LA Revolution Club on Election Night at UCLA

Election Day: We went out to an event at UCLA on election night where they were showing the election results and got out “How We Can Win.” There were hundreds of students there, most of whom were rooting for Hillary (we could tell because they yelled in approbation every time Hillary won a state). We misassesed the potential for something to erupt there and we left early, but then heard that this event turned into a protest. It went through Westwood where someone set fire to a Trump piñata and it ended up at the dorm area, where I and another comrade caught up with it. It was dying down by this point but there were still a couple hundred students sitting together chanting, “Love Trumps Hate.” We pulled out the American rag, stepped on it and did some agitation, saying that America was never great! Trump is an open fascist, and we need to resist him and what he stands for, and get organized for an actual revolution. I called on people to take a pamphlet from us and to join the Revolution Club. Many people were listening intently. Read more

 

Tuesday, November 15

Washington, D.C., more than 1,000 middle school and high school students staged a walkout and protested outside of Trump International Hotel, holding signs that read "Boycott Bigotry" and "Stronger Together." The demonstrations were organized by Wilson High School students.

Just outside of D.C. in Beltsville, Maryland, students walked out of High Point High School and held a sit-in, blocking major roads for more than half an hour. Students held an anti-Trump protest at Ohio State.

Hundreds of high school and college students in New York City came out in cold, rainy weather and took to the streets again, marching down 5th Avenue.

 

Sunday, November 13:

Youth, together with the Revolution Club in Los Angeles, protest Trump at CNN building in Hollywood.

Saturday, November 12:

Tens of thousands marched in cities from coast to coast. This day saw the largest protests since Tuesday’s election—with over 10,000 in Los Angeles and more than 10,000 in New York City. For the fifth night, in Portland, Oregon, protesters went up against the police who attacked and arrested demonstrators.

One demonstrator in Los Angeles was quoted in the press, expressing the sentiment of many in the crowd: “If you’re gay, if you’re LGBT, if you’re Muslim, if you’re Latin, if you’re special needs, if you’re female, it’s a much unsafer place now. What is happening today [protests] is going to be the normal for a while, because we’re not going to just sit back and watch our rights being taken away, our health care being taken away.”

In Cincinnati, anti-Trump demonstrators were joined by hundreds of people protesting the hung jury in the murder trial of a University of Cincinnati cop who shot and killed Sam DuBose, a Black man, in July 2015.

There were protests with thousands of people in other big cities, like Chicago, Miami, and Atlanta, as well as demonstrations of hundreds in smaller cities like Detroit; Minneapolis; Kansas City, Missouri; Olympia, Washington; Worcester, Massachusetts; Iowa City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; Oklahoma City; Salt Lake City; Providence, Rhode Island; and Las Vegas.

Friday, November 11:

On Friday, for a fourth night in a row, thousands took to the street across the country in protests against Trump—some disrupting traffic and blocking interstate highways, some going into the early morning hours of Saturday. Cities included: New York; Los Angeles; Miami; Chicago; Portland, Oregon; Atlanta; Miami; Iowa City; Washington, DC; New Haven, Connecticut; Orlando; Boston; Asheville, North Carolina; Nashville; Columbus, Ohio; San Diego; Denver; Kansas City, Missouri; Norfolk, Virginia; Philadelphia; and Detroit

The New York Times reported that demonstrators in Atlanta rushed over a bridge to block a highway, and in front of the Georgia State Capitol, a U.S. flag was set on fire as protesters “revising Mr. Trump’s campaign slogan, chanted, ‘America was never great.’”

In Los Angeles, a protest of 3,000 people who blocked the 101 Freeway and marched through downtown went into early Saturday; and police arrested around 200 people. Thousands marched in Miami, surrounding cars and blocking both lanes of Interstate 395 and then went through downtown.

In Iowa City, hundreds of demonstrators marched through downtown and shut down Interstate 80; earlier in the day, 200 high school students walked out of class and marched through downtown. At the protest in Dallas, people dragged and kicked a Trump piñata through the streets.

 


Chicago, November 12. Photo: Special to revcom.us


Cincinnati, OH, November 12. Anti-Trump demonstrators were joined by hundreds of people protesting the hung jury in the murder trial of a University of Cincinnati cop who shot and killed Sam DuBose, a Black man, in July 2015. Photo: @DariceChapel



Los Angeles, November 10. Photo: twitter/@SophiaArmen


Columbus, OH, November 10. Photo: twitter/@_miabarnes


Minneapolis, November 10. Photo: twitter@bengarvin


American University, Washington DC, burning the U.S. flag. November 9. Photo: twitter/@kneeczarr

Thursday, November 10

For a third night after the election, protests spread across the country in response to the Trump election. CNN reported that “Tens of thousands filled the streets in at least 25 U.S. cities overnight.” Thousands rallied in front of Trump Tower in Manhattan. Hundreds marched in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles; there were protests in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Dallas, Houston, and Austin, Texas. Protests took place in Columbus, Ohio; Greensboro, North Carolina; Salt Lake City, Utah; Louisville, Kentucky; Indianapolis; Athens Georgia; and Tampa, Florida.

Thousands of protesters stepped into the streets in Portland, Oregon with determination, not backing down in the face of the riot police that attacked with pepper spray and rubber bullets—and going up against vilification by the media and officials for their righteous resistance.

High school students in the Bay Area, from San Francisco to the East Bay to surrounding suburbs, walked out of school in their thousands. Thousands occupied the streets of Oakland, and there were fires and clashes with police.

Protests continued in college and university campuses all over, from large schools to small—from Michigan State University to Texas State University and elsewhere. One correspondent wrote, “Two dozen students at Antelope Valley College [in southern California] organized a rally at library plaza. We chanted ‘racist sexist anti-gay Republican fascist go away” and shouted calls for people to fight in defense of immigrants, the gay and lesbian community, Muslims and women! At one point students took up the chant ‘always so full of hate, America was NEVER great.’”

According to the AP, “A Louisiana University football coach disciplined four players in response to a locker room video showing members of the team dancing and singing the lyrics of the a rap song by YG and Nipsey Hussle called FDT ‘Fuck Donald Trump’ and the video was made sometime shortly before Tuesday’s election in which Trump was elected president.”

Protesters represented a wide range of perspectives. Many of the signs and chants included defiant outrage at Trump’s attacks on immigrants (“I will not live in fear,” “Fight back, stand up,” “¡Si se puede!”). A Trump effigy was set on fire outside Los Angeles City Hall. Lady Gaga, Mark Ruffalo, and Cher were among the thousands protesting outside Trump Tower in NYC late on election night.

A correspondent in Seattle, where 5,000 people were in the streets on Tuesday night, reported: The feeling was that of the despair and shock hanging in the air being transformed into activity and brave resistance. A backdrop to this was a massive array of armed pigs in riot gear, on bicycles, on motorcycles, and in cars...”

We continue to receive reports from protests and will update this page as we hear more.

At the White House, Washington, DC 11/10 @ChuckModi1

Michigan State University, 11/10 @DanielEggerding


Chicago, November 10. Photo: worldcantwait.net


November 9, Day After Election
Protests vs. Trump Spread in Streets and Campuses Across the Country

Protests spread—November 9, 2016

On the day after the election of fascist Trump as president, protests continued and spread in cities and on campuses across the U.S.

In the morning, protesters were out in front of the Massachusetts State House in Boston, and later in the day thousands of college students and youth rallied downtown and marched through the streets.

In front of the State House, Boston, 11/9:

Trump Protest in front of the State House in Boston #Election2016 #NotMyPresident pic.twitter.com/Qj2oo3qrr7

— erin (@ErinLaVigueur) November 9, 2016

 In the evening, thousands of people took to the busy Manhattan streets in New York City. In Chicago, according to a correspondent, “Thousands of angry young protesters of all nationalities swarmed the area around Trump Tower. They marched back and forth over major streets around the Trump Tower, including taking over all six lanes of Michigan Avenue on the Magnificent Mile. At one point crowds broke through the police lines guarding Trump Tower.” The protesters then shut down Lakeshore Drive, a major multi-lane thoroughfare. People were out in the streets Oakland and San Jose, California; Tempe, Arizona; Portland, Oregon; and various other cities.

Protest in Manhattan, November 9 New York City (Photo Revolution/revcom.us)

Chicago, November 9 Sit-in at Trump Tower, Chicago (Photo:@ShararehDrury/Twitter)

In Austin, Texas, as reported by one correspondent, “Hundreds of University of Texas students gathered on the campus Wednesday and set off on a powerful march through downtown Austin. ‘Out of your jobs and into the streets,’ ‘Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go,’ ‘Si se puede,’ and other chants rang out as protesters temporarily blocked Austin’s busy Congress Avenue bridge. Many protesters carried homemade signs, including one that read ‘America was Never Great.’”

Students from Fisk University, a historically Black school in Nashville, Tennessee, marched to the state capitol and blocked an on-ramp to a freeway. At the American University in Washington, D.C., hundreds of students protested in front of the campus center, and several U.S. flags were burned—while other pro-Trump protesters tried to stop the flag burning and shouted “USA, USA.”

Albany High School students walked out, November 9
Albany High School students at Sather Gate, UC Berkeley. (Photo: Special to revcom.us/Revolution)

There were walkouts at high schools in different cities, sometimes joining with college students and others. A correspondent in the San Francisco Bay Area reported, “Berkeley High School students and Albany High School students broke out of school today and marched to UC Berkeley.” In Colorado Springs, known as a “military town” with a major Air Force base nearby, students from the University of Colorado campus and Palmer High School joined together to march through downtown.

Berkeley High School, 11/9:

More than 1,000 CA high school students walk out of classes to protest the election of Donald Trump https://t.co/z8EyKAEcIC pic.twitter.com/qP4hgu2Ttr

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 9, 2016

High school walk-outs were also reported in Richmond, California; Boulder, Colorado; Phoenix, Arizona; Seattle, Washington; and Des Moines, Iowa.

High school students after walk-out in Richmond, CA, 11/9:

Richmond High students are walking down Macdonald Ave to protest the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. #Richmond @riconfidential pic.twitter.com/qKb1wTgh1U

— Catherine Schuknecht (@catschuknecht) November 9, 2016

Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa (Photo:@WHOhd)

Protests erupted immediately after the election results were announced:

On college campuses and in cities around the country, furious, defiant protesters took to the streets expressing outrage and resistance in immediate response to the Trump election. And outrage took expression in the Twitter feed: #notmypresident.

As Donald Trump took the stage to deliver his presidential acceptance speech early Wednesday morning, protesters took to the streets of Manhattan. Other street protests broke out in Oakland, Portland, and downtown Los Angeles. Protesters outside the White House chanted "Fuck Donald Trump!"

In Berkeley, a correspondent reports: As the election returns were coming in, at least 5,000 UC Berkeley students gathered to watch, before a giant screen set up in the center of the campus.  As it became clear Trump was winning, revolutionaries marched through the crowd, “1,2,3,4, slavery genocide and war, 5,6,7,8, America was never great!”  “It’s time, to get organized, for an actual revolution!” rang through the crowd, getting out flyers with the memes “People say ‘don’t you have to accept Majority Rule?’  The majority for a long time in the US favored slavery.  Should people have confined themselves to ‘working within the system?’  HELL NO.” After Clinton’s campaign announced she would make a statement in the morning, and the giant screen was shut down, hundreds started marching off the campus, to the streets, towards Oakland—chanting “not our president”, and “Fuck Donald Trump.” Protesters stormed onto a freeway and shut it down.

Protests broke out at other University of California campuses, including Santa Cruz, Davis, and San Diego. Hundreds rallied at San Francisco State.

Credit: @rynooodynooo

UC Davis:

A thousand UCLA students took to the streets:

At the University of Oregon campus in Eugene, hundreds of University of Oregon students marched and gathered in an anti-Trump protest in response to the presidential election results. Students rallied on campus and spoke out against Trump.

Social media has reports of protests at other schools coast-to-coast including Columbia in NYC, Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, and the University of Pittsburg.

Send reports to: revolution.reports@yahoo.com.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/to-all-revolutionaries-students-professors-and-others-on-campuses-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

To ALL Revolutionaries, Students, Professors, and Others on Campuses!

With the election of Trump, we confront a FASCIST America, No Less!

November 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America

Rise Up... Get Into The Streets...
Unite With People Everywhere
to Build Up Resistance in Every Way You Can

Don’t Stop: Don’t Conciliate...
Don’t Accommodate...Don’t Collaborate

Read more    
Reproduce and Distribute Leaflets and Posters HERE

Let them not fool you—with Obama’s soothing and comforting talk of all of them being on the “same team” and the election being merely but an “intramural scrimmage,” some saying Trump is “softening” on his hatred and hated policies, and that he does not really intend carrying them through, and yet others saying “let’s give him a chance.” NO!

1 In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!

Spread this statement everywhere—at the outpourings of protest that have erupted, bring it into classrooms, hand it out in cafeterias, spread it on social media, saturate the campus with this, sit down and really get into, grapple with, and discuss it with others.

Work with students and professors to anchor teach-ins on the content of this—on what Trump ACTUALLY represents, what FASCISM is, its history, and its implications for vast sections of people, and what WE need to do! Study and discuss these works by Bob Avakian: “The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer” and “The Fascists and the Destruction of the ‘Weimar Republic’... And What Will Replace It.” Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, has done scientific analysis over decades that sheds a great deal of light on the current political juncture—its roots, its dynamics, and what must be done in response.

Take to heart, and act on, the title and call of this statement:

Rise Up... Get Into The Streets... Unite With People Everywhere to Build Up Resistance in Every Way You Can! Don’t Stop: Don’t Conciliate... Don’t Accommodate... Don’t Collaborate!”

Establish Trump-free and fascist-free zones! We need teach-ins and sit-ins! We need massive multifaceted resistance to the whole program represented by Trump, any acts of white supremacy and misogyny, any attacks on immigrants and Muslims, and other manifestations of fascism.

2 Go deeper—be radical!

What the vast majority of seven billion of humanity faces is a horror, the system of capitalism-imperialism. Trump is but a concentrated manifestation—grotesque and monstrous—of this system. This is not the best or only possible world or society. A radically different and far better world is possible.

Bob Avakian’s THE NEW COMMUNISM provides a thoroughly scientific approach to knowing and radically changing the world, making revolution and a whole new framework for the emancipation of humanity.

Get into—and organized into—the ACTUAL revolution, to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time, for a communist revolution aiming to get beyond the long darkness of humanity divided into masters and slaves. “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution” details the strategy for such a revolution. What is needed is YOU: contact and get with the Revolution Club on campus. If there is no Revolution Club on your campus, organize one -- go to the Revolution Club page to find out how.

3 Fight back against the authorities’ attacks on radical discourse and organization, critical thinking, and resistance. Respond with more, come back stronger!

REVERSE the outrageous “bans” that have been—ILLEGITIMATELY—placed this fall on members of the Revolution Club at two major campuses in this country, University of Chicago and CCNY. Join with the Revolution Clubs in fighting this, in welcoming the revolutionaries onto campus and into your classes, and being part of this struggle.

All those who feel there needs to be genuine discourse on “What is the problem and the source of horrors in the world?... What is the solution?... and What will it take to change and get beyond all this?” needs to be part of this, as do all those who value critical thinking and free speech! In a world of Trump-Fascist America, it is worth remembering the words of Pastor Martin Niemöller, “First, they came for the communists....,” take heed, and fight to reverse these bans!

Resist and repel every attempt to shut down radical discourse and debate, to wall off the campus from the larger world, and to attack those on the front lines of resistance against oppression and refusing to accept a fascist America.

A final thought: WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Write us with your thoughts and insights, the reactions and responses of others, and questions you run into that you might need help answering: revolution.reports@yahoo.com.

 

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/donald-trump-is-not-goin-to-bring-back-american-jobs-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

Donald Trump Is Not Going to "Bring Back American Jobs"... But in the Name of American Jobs He Will Bring on New Horrors

by Raymond Lotta

November 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

One of Donald Trump’s trademark declarations is that “American jobs” are being “ripped off” by China, Mexico, India, and other countries. Your job is being stolen, and he’s going to bring it back. This is lying, chauvinist propaganda about how capitalism-imperialism actually works; and it serves an ugly imperialist agenda. Here is the reality.

1. In a capitalist economy, workers do not “own” their jobs. They own their capacity to work, their energy and skills... their labor power. But people don’t get to work simply because they want to and have that capacity. They must sell their labor power to a capitalist in order to survive and keep their families alive. And the capitalists will only hire workers if, and only if, that labor power can be profitably utilized and exploited. When it can’t, people are unemployed and go hungry.

This situation exists because the capitalist class owns and controls the major means of production in society: machines, raw materials, factories, warehouses, telecommunications, and so on. And once your labor power is sold, you perform a job according to the dictates of the capitalists who own those means of production. You are not part of process of determining, “Well, we’re going to create transport that is safer and environmentally sustainable.” No, you are under the control of the capitalists.

There is no such thing as “American jobs.” A company like GM hires workers, lays-off workers, builds new factories, closes factories, re-tools factories, and moves factories—from one part of the country to another and to different parts of the world. This is driven by the quest for profit and more profit, by competition to reduce costs and to gain market share. Jobs don’t have labels with people’s names on them. You don’t own a job and have no right to employment—much less meaningful work for the betterment of humanity—under capitalism.

2. It is a fact: decent-paying, less-skilled jobs in manufacturing and other industries have been disappearing in the U.S. over the last 30 years. There are 5 million fewer manufacturing jobs in the U.S. today than in 1995. This is not because some Chinese worker or undocumented immigrant decided to “steal” an American worker’s job, or because the U.S. has “inept trade negotiators.” No, it has to do with the imperatives of production for profit.

       

Donald Trump Is Not Going to Bring Back American Jobs (image in Farsi)
Translation of this article into Farsi was donated to Revolution.

Download PDF

Here’s the deal. Donald Trump can tear up every trade agreement he wants. But the great bulk of jobs lost since 1980 can’t be brought back from China, Mexico, or anywhere. They can’t be brought back because they don’t exist anymore. It’d be like saying, “Let’s bring farm jobs back to America,” return to the time when one-third of the U.S. population was on farms. Those jobs are gone, replaced by tractors and all kinds of agricultural technology.

3. Under the umbrella of a virulent “America first” chauvinism, and serving a larger imperialist agenda, the fascist Trump could take certain measures and adopt certain policies that could boost jobs in the U.S... at a horrific cost to humanity and the planet.

But those countries Trump targets—especially China, the U.S.’s single largest trading partner—would likely retaliate with tariffs of their own. U.S. capitalists would not be able to sell as much of what they export to the incredibly lucrative and expanding market in China (because U.S. goods would become more expensive and less competitive). That would lead to layoffs in the U.S. Production might slow down in other countries and more trade wars could break out—leading to a downward spiral of economic activity. And growing trade tensions could fuel military conflict. It has happened in the history of capitalism.

~~~~~~~~~~

This system compels U.S. capitalists to circle the globe to exploit labor, dominate markets, and plunder resources in ruthless competition with other capitalists. This imperialist-capitalist system is backed and enforced by enormous military violence. This predatory system creates misery and suffering for billions around the world and is destroying the planet. Donald Trump is its extreme incarnation in extreme times.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/65-defiant-days-at-revolution-books-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America...

65 Defiant Days at Revolution Books: Talks, Dialogue, & Culture

Updated December 5, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

As Donald Trump assembles a dangerous leading core of outright bigots, white supremacists, xenophobes, and misogynists—what is taking shape is nothing less than the beginning of a fascist regime. This must be understood. This must be resisted. It must be stopped.

Five days after the election... Revolution Books New York called for 65 days of urgent programming. To dig into why this fascist has been elected president; what is fascism; what are the roots and present-day reality of the vicious demonization and oppression of Black people, immigrants, women, and LGBT persons. To get into what are the truly dangerous implications for the people of the world. To identify and get to the root of the denial of science and truth, and the whole Christian fascist program and social base that is now cohered in the Trump-Pence package.

65 Days of excavating the roots of the real horrors Trump’s “Make America Great” fascist program and the historical precedents of fascism. There will be exploration, discussion, and debate about what must be done NOW to STOP this, and what this new situation tells us about the necessity, possibility, and desirability of an actual revolution.

In the weeks to come... Historians and scholars who have analyzed fascism historically and currently will give talks. Voices of conscience and resistance, progressive clergy, journalists, essayists, and novelists will be invited to speak. There will be presentations and exchanges on Bob Avakian’s writings on fascism and the origins of the fascist movement in the history of America and the workings of this system, and fighting the imposition of the Trump regime’s program from the perspective of preparing the ground for revolution. There will be roundtable discussions, film showings, poetry and music of resistance and revolution. RB will be the resource to find the relevant books to read and study.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR A SPECIAL TICKETED EVENT
Wednesday, December 14

Colson Whitehead, reading from The Underground Railroad
The 2016 National Book Award Winner in a Special Appearance during the “65 Defiant Days at Revolution Books”

These are times to raise people’s understanding and determination—to build very broad unity and fan resistance everywhere to refuse to accept a fascist America, to not conciliate, accommodate, or collaborate with this direction. And, at the same time, we will invite people to discuss and engage the new communism developed by Bob Avakian and to become a part of the movement for an actual revolution.

And so we announce and invite all who care about the fate of humanity to join in... 65 Defiant Days at Revolution Books!

Check out the coming events in column at right.

Window of Revolution BooksRevolution Books: The place to buy your unique holiday books and gifts.

Donate to the Holiday Fund drive for Revolution Books. Become a sustainer.

Humanity needs revolution.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/california-school-teacher-suspended-for-comparing-trump-to-hitler-refuses-to-back-down-is-reinstated-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

California  School Teacher Suspended for Comparing Trump to Hitler, Refuses to Back Down, Is Reinstated

November 15, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In an incident that got wide coverage in Northern California media, Frank Navarro, a Mountain View, California high school teacher was suspended for comparing Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. School officials say they suspended him based on a single email complaint from a parent, which Navarro was not allowed to see.

Frank Navarro did not back down. He is a Holocaust scholar who has taught at Mountain View High School for 40 years. In interviews with regional and national media, he made evidence-based arguments for serious parallels between the rise of Hitler and Trump. In so doing, he turned a move to censor critical examination of the parallels between Trump and Hitler into an incident that put the issue out in society in a larger way.

 

 

An article in the Mountain View High School student newspaper quoted Navarro saying, “My intention was to connect the history of the 20th century with this ongoing history now ... I feel strongly about this: to stand quiet in the face of bigotry and to turn your eyes away from it is to back up the bigotry, and that’s not what I, or any history teacher, should be doing in our work.”

Tens of thousands of people have signed an online position that, in addition to re-instatement, demanded an apology from the school, “for attempting to intimidate a respected educator.” And it declares, “We will not stand for censorship and respectability politics.”

The suspension was originally in effect from Thursday, November 10 through November 16, but over the weekend school authorities called Navarro and told him to return to work on Monday, November 14. He told the Mountain View student newspaper, “Words cannot begin to express my gratitude and love in my heart that has come from the outpouring of responses from community, students, parents, former students.”

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/what-trumps-victory-means-to-women-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

What Trump's Victory Means to Women: Unparalleled Danger and the Need for Massive Outpourings of Resistance

by Sunsara Taylor

November 15, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

It is impossible to overstate the danger of the Trump/Pence victory to women. I am not talking about an undesirable but incremental “rollback of women’s rights.” I’m talking about a brutal beatdown intended to leave women bloodied and bruised, nursing their wounds in humiliated silence while cradling the rape babies they’ll be forced to bear. No, I am not fucking exaggerating.

Trump is a walking, talking embodiment of rape culture, of vindictive revenge, of cruel degradation and violence against women. He brags about sexually assaulting women to other powerful men for laughs. He mocks and lashes out at the women who complain—fires them, smears them, sues them, tries to poison their relationships, works hard to hurt them in any way he can. He relies on—and whips up to new levels—the sense of entitlement that men have for centuries been socialized to have over women’s bodies, lives, psyches, and aspirations. He thinks it is up to him whether women smile, how they walk, whether they eat, whether they speak. He is unapologetically modeling this behavior and fighting for men everywhere to forcefully reclaim this brutal domination. And he will soon wield the most powerful state apparatus in the history of humanity. Already, women and girls as young as elementary school across the country have reported being grabbed by the genitals by strangers and classmates in the name of the new president.

Trump has married this program with that of his vicious and cruel running mate. Mike Pence hails from the most extreme wing of the Christian fascists—what could accurately be called the American Taliban. No birth control. No sex-ed. No sex before marriage. Forget about abortion—even if the woman is raped or in danger of dying. Pence fought to protect “the right” of businesses to practice bigotry against same-sex couples, to prohibit trans people from using bathrooms that fit their gender identity, and to back anti-scientific and cruel programs to torture gay kids into being straight.

As outrageous as all of this is, it is not even a little bit far-fetched that all this could soon become the law of the land. If Roe v. Wade were overturned, a likelihood as Trump fills Supreme Court vacancies, 19 states would automatically activate laws already on the books that would effectively end abortion. This comes on top of hundreds of restrictions and thousands of acts of terror, clinic-bombings, assassinations, acts of arson, death threats, clinic invasions, stalking of clinic staff, and much, much more. Whether enacted through extra-legal terror or the even more far-reaching state-backed restrictions, denying women the right to birth control and abortion, forcing women to bear children against their will at risk of death and shame and prison time, amounts to nothing short of the open enslavement of women. It strips women of their humanity, slams them backwards, reduces them to possessions of men and breeders of children.

And here is where the cold moral rectitude and theocratic shaming of Mike Pence comes together with the crude, womanizing predations of Donald Trump: both reduce women to objects to be owned, used, and controlled by men. There is no fundamental difference between reducing women to sex objects to be degraded and humiliated by men asserting their domination and reducing women to breeders of children who are punished for having sex and forced to bear children against their will. This is female enslavement.

THIS MUST BE STOPPED! Women are NOT bitches, ho’s, punching bags, sex objects, or breeding machines!

Women are FULL HUMAN BEINGS—capable of participating fully and equally in every realm of human society together with men. We must fight for a world in which women are treated as such with every fiber of our being.

But in waging this fight, it is not enough to merely try to stave off the monstrous things that Trump unleashes against women—as well as immigrants, Black people, the environment, Muslims, and people around the world. Fighting to keep things the way they are now is not only impossible, it would mean preserving the widespread culture of rape and degradation, white supremacy and xenophobia, American chauvinism, and the anti-science that has given rise to Donald Trump.

The status quo is intolerable. It is convicted rapists getting only a slap on the wrist. It is Christian fascists terrorizing women outside abortion clinics in all fifty states. It is elite universities filled with a culture of predation and dehumanization of women.1 All this rests on global networks of exploitation and plunder, in which women everywhere are hit doubly hard. Women are locked into sweatshops in China and Bangladesh and beyond, slaving to make cheap U.S. consumer goods. Women are kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery in the brothels that surround and “service” every U.S. military base in the world. Women are imprisoned under veils, stoned to death, or burned with acid, by the rising forces of Islamic fundamentalism which the U.S. has massively strengthened through its invasions, occupations, torture, and drone strikes.

None of this should be preserved. All of it must be ended. We must fight for a world in which every chain that binds women—and other oppressed people—is shattered forever. A world free of exploitation and oppression in every form. This is possible, but only through an actual revolution. Bob Avakian, through decades of work and struggle, has not only forged the understanding of the need, basis, and scientific approach to making this necessary revolution, he has deepened and fought for an approach that grasps the centrality of the fight to break ALL the chains that bind women to this fight to emancipate all of humanity. Never has it been more urgent to dig into and take up the leadership he is providing. (See a list of recommended readings at the end of this article.)

It is very good that people—including waves of furious women—have poured into the streets against Trump. This must continue and it must become even more widespread, even more determined, and even more radical. Every attack he unleashes—whether through the tremendous power of the state or through his fascist “grassroots” bigots—must be boldly confronted and uncompromisingly resisted. As we fight, we must bring alive the culture of mutual respect and equality between women and men, between people of different genders and sexual orientations, that we are fighting for. We must value and treasure the lives of people around the world as much as our own. We must fiercely oppose white supremacy and the terror that is being unleashed against Black people, Latinos, Muslims, immigrants, and Native peoples. And we must lift our sights to—and fight to make real—the kind of real revolution that can build a future where there is no longer the basis for anything like this to ever happen again.

BREAK THE CHAINS!

UNLEASH THE FURY OF WOMEN AS A MIGHTY FORCE FOR REVOLUTION!

 

Suggested readings from Bob Avakian:

Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution

THE NEW COMMUNISM: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to emancipation

Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal)

The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer

The Fascists and the Destruction of the ‘Weimar Republic’... And What Will Replace It.”

 

* Note the recent exposures—and subsequent suspensions—of the men’s soccer team at Harvard and the men’s wrestling team at Columbia, two of the most prestigious universities in the U.S., for rampant and ongoing cultures of gross objectification and sexual degradation of women. At Harvard, this included systematically ranking the members of the female soccer team in terms of their supposed physical attractiveness, and each was assigned a physical sexual act or position. At Columbia, this included not only sexually degrading women but also vulgar racism as well. [back]

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/los-angeles-high-school-walkout-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

Los Angeles High School Walkouts Protest Trump Election

November 16, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the Revolution Club, Los Angeles

On Monday, November 15 thousands of students from high schools all over Los Angeles walked out to protest the election of Donald Trump.  In some schools, they did this in real defiance against school administrators trying to prevent students from walking out.  In one school, they had a large sign in front of the school that said, “Don’t Walk Out, WALK IN.”  Other schools sent home letters to parents so that the parents could stop the youth who wanted to walk out.  One school in particular made an announcement that said, “Students should remain on campus where they’re safe. Ignorance can often lead to violence: please understand that the greatest way to overcome ignorance is through education.”  Despite these efforts of the administrators in different schools, over 4,000 students from different high schools walked out and marched to City Hall.

In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America

Rise Up... Get Into The Streets...
Unite With People Everywhere
to Build Up Resistance in Every Way You Can

Don't Stop: Don't Conciliate...
Don't Accommodate...Don't Collaborate

Read more    
Reproduce and Distribute Leaflets and Posters HERE

The Revolution Club went out to unite with students and get out the statement “In The Name Of Humanity, WE REFUSE To Accept A Fascist America.”  We talked to some students and many took posters with the title of the statement. We got out hundreds of statements. LAUSD (the official school district) arranged to have school buses pick students up and take them back to the area of the school where they came from.  Many students got on the buses but some stayed behind to continue the protest.  A group of 10 students marched up as people were leaving and were calling on people to march with them. We went over and talked to them and joined their march. Another nearby school of 15 students marched up to where we were gathering and stood around until one of the young students got on the bullhorn and called on them to join us.  This second group of students were kind of shy so they stayed aside.

As this scene was developing, one guy came up to speak on the bullhorn.  He started telling the youth that what they needed to work on was planting trees and getting an education. The young students—who didn’t want to hear this—took the mic from him and he got upset and started yelling at the revolutionary who was holding the bullhorn.  That second group of students who had been hesitant ran over and got in between this guy and the revolutionary. This was very important.

A member of the Revolution Club then got on the bullhorn and said, “Tell me how planting a tree is going to stop Donald Trump from deporting three million people! Tell me how planting a tree is going to stop these PIGS from running loose in the neighborhoods, harassing, and brutalizing, incarcerating, and murdering people! NO! We need to be in the streets!” and the students cheered and started a chant against trump, “NO TRUMP-NO KKK-NO FASCIST USA!”  We then led the students in a march through downtown LA, including through a popular tourist place in Downtown LA. We led the students in a pledge, “WE REFUSE TO ACCEPT A FASCIST AMERICA. WE WILL NOT CONCILIATE. WE WILL NOT ACCOMMODATE. WE WILL NOT COLLABORATE. WE WILL RISE UP! WE WILL STAY IN THE STREETS! WE WILL UNITE WITH PEOPLE EVERYWHERE TO BUILD UP RESISTANCE IN EVERYWAY WE CAN!” A lot of students told us they felt scared that their families will be separated because of the deportations and they wanted to act, to do something because they don’t want this to happen to anyone.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/la-revolution-club-ucla-election-night-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

LA Revolution Club on Election Night at UCLA

November 16, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a member of the Revolution Club, Los Angeles

Election Day: We went out to an event at UCLA on election night where they were showing the election results and got out “How We Can Win.” There were hundreds of students there, most of whom were rooting for Hillary (we could tell because they yelled in approbation every time Hillary won a state). We misassesed the potential for something to erupt there and we left early, but then heard that this event turned into a protest. It went through Westwood where someone set fire to a Trump piñata and it ended up at the dorm area, where I and another comrade caught up with it. It was dying down by this point but there were still a couple hundred students sitting together chanting, “Love Trumps Hate.” We pulled out the American rag, stepped on it and did some agitation, saying that America was never great! Trump is an open fascist, and we need to resist him and what he stands for, and get organized for an actual revolution. I called on people to take a pamphlet from us and to join the Revolution Club. Many people were listening intently.

Someone yelled out something about violence being wrong, and we went at that —bringing the reality that this system is inherently violent, and it cannot be reformed, so if we are serious about bringing into being a world free of the outrages that make people’s hearts ache, then we need to confront the fact that it’s going to take an actual revolution—meeting, defeating and dismantling this system's violently repressive apparatus—to get rid of this system. Many people came up to us and took the pamphlet and they were expressing concern over what Trump's election will mean for undocumented people living in the U.S., for Muslim people, and for the people of the world because of his access to the nuclear codes. We challenged people to stay and talk and to join the Revolution Club, but most people just left their contact info because they were very tired. We did talk to one young white guy who said he agreed with the kind of society we are trying to bring into being, but thought we could get there through peaceful means. We stayed several hours struggling over this.

The next day I went to an open mic organized by the Undercommons group on campus. I got on the mic and agitated about people’s concern about the direction of society being legitimate, about it being righteous to resist and maintain the resistance, and the need to get organized to overthrow this system to bring into being a socialist state in transition to a communist world. I spoke to a couple of people, one of whom asked how individuality would be preserved under communism because capitalism allows people to do what they want to do. The other student standing there challenged that by saying that people's desires are shaped by this system and that people don't even have the freedom to survive and be treated as fully human under capitalism. We spoke some more and he said he wanted to meet up with us after his class.

A couple comrades joined me on Bruin Walk for a few hours. We read the statement that came out in the morning and many people took the flyer and the “How We Can Win” pamphlet. One woman who met us earlier in the year was very excited to see us out there and was set on joining the Club. We met up with her later in the day and went through the six “Points of Attention for the Revolution” and began the recruitment process with her. She said she wanted to join the Club earlier in the year, but let school get in the way, but that things are so extreme now that she feels the need to act. We met with the young man from the open mic afterward and got into the question of the importance of BA's leadership when he raised concerns about “putting too much emphasis on one guy.” We talked about building a wall around BA, the importance of protecting and defending his leadership, and about what the new synthesis of communism represents for humanity, and we played the clip “BA Through the Years” for him. He said in the beginning that he wanted to learn more before he joined the Club, but after some struggle, (including asking him what was more important than being a part of contributing to making revolution at the soonest possible time—to which he responded, “Nothing. I know, I’ve been thinking about this a lot.”) he said he wanted to join the Club, so we set up another time to begin the recruitment process with him because he didn't have time that same day.

The day after that, there was a “Love Trumps Hate” rally on campus. Around 1,000 students were there. It started with an open mic and we went up and made the same basic announcement that we need to get organized for a revolution and later summed up that the agitation and challenge could have been and needed to be sharper. Half the people (the ones who were within earshot of our bullhorn) took up our chants during the march: “It’s time, to get organized, for an actual revolution,” “What’s the problem? The whole damn system. What’s the solution? Revolution,” and “1234, slavery, genocide and war. 5678, America was NEVER great.” At the end of the rally, the organizers called on people to occupy the quad. We posted up and agitated more sharply this time, challenging people to get organized to make a real revolution to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time because as right as it is to resist Trump, we cannot resist only to go back to the status quo. The status quo means the continuation of the murders of Black and brown people by the pigs, the murder of civilians in Yemen by bombs made in the USA, the genocide against Native peoples, the destruction of the planet, etc. Someone began a chant about peaceful protests being the answer and the organizers of the event came up and tried to get us to stop agitating. I spoke a bit to the question of violence and called them out for preventing people from linking up with the vanguard of this revolution that is so urgently needed. Some people came to our defense saying that they wanted us to speak because what we were saying was important, but most people began to leave. We spoke to those who stayed and put the same challenge to them to join the Revolution Club. A few people wanted to join the Club and we got their contact info to set up a time to meet up. One young woman came up to us and asked what the disagreement was about and she said she thought it wasn't right that we were shut down just because people didn't agree with us. She said she agreed with the need for revolution and she wanted to join the Club so we went through the six “Points of Attention for the Revolution” with her on the spot and got her contact info to set up another time to finish the recruitment process.

Later that the day, there was a smaller march in front of the Federal building in Westwood. When we got there, people were sitting in a circle, having a conversation. Someone raised that he didn't know what the election of Trump meant; he was there to learn more about what’s at stake. Someone else replied with his concern for the environment. I spoke to the question, drawing from and pointing to the statement, “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America” and encouraged people to read it. Someone raised that it was ignorance and a lack of education that got Trump elected, and I spoke to the fact that more than that, it was that white supremacy and patriarchy run deep in this country and that Trump’s program resonated with people. I talked about how this system produced Trump and his base, and the need to overthrow the whole system through a revolution. Once again the question of violence came up and I tried to bring alive that the fundamental antagonism between us and the state exists precisely because the kind of emancipatory world we want to bring into being cannot be brought about within this system, that this system cannot be reformed into anything that comes close to being in line with the interests of humanity, and that they will do whatever they see fit to maintain their system.

People decided they wanted to march, so we went through Westwood chanting some of our chants, (in particular they liked, “Not one more deportation, Not one more day of dehumanization, Not one more slave, Not one more rape, Not one more kid with prison as his fate! What do we do? What’s the solution? We’re building a movement for revolution!”) and other chants, such as, “Say it loud, Say it clear: Immigrants are welcome here,” “(Black/Latino/Trans) lives matter,” “No Trump, No KKK, No fascist USA,” “Fuck Trump, Fuck Pence,” and others. At the end, we spoke to people who were interested in learning more about the movement for revolution. They were too tired to get into things on the spot but left us with their contact information to set up a time to get deeper into things.

The question of violence has been coming up a lot. So has the idea that Trump won't be able to do much because “checks and balances” limit his freedom, so we shouldn't be too worried. But many other people have been jolted by this and express the sentiment that such an extreme situation is going to take extreme measures to resolve.

We've also been putting out the word to people to join us for the major citywide march called for this Saturday downtown and to be part of the Revolution Club contingent.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/press-conference-thursday-chicago-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

Press Conference Thursday in Chicago

To call on all people of conscience who oppose white supremacy to stand up against racist mob threats in Mt Greenwood at the protest on Sunday, Nov 20

November 16, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Nov 16, 2016
Immediate Release
Contact: 773-329-5014

WHAT: Press Conference
WHEN: Thursday, November 17, 11 am
WHERE: outside Trump Tower, 401 N Wabash Ave, Chicago

PURPOSE: To call on all people of conscience who oppose white supremacy to stand up against racist mob threats in Mt Greenwood at the protest on Sunday, Nov 20 at 111th and Kedzie

SPEAKING: Signatories of the Call to Protest on Nov. 20 in Mt. Greenwood who endorse these 2 slogans, “We Oppose White Supremacy.”  “We Will Stand Up to Racist Mob Threats in Mt. Greenwood”

Including:
Gregg Greer- Minister, social activist, and editor of "One World" internet journal. Greer is also the Founder of Freedom First International
Ted Jennings- Chicago Theological Seminary, ...
Rev. John Smith MDiv- Beverly Unitarian Church
Dee Williams- Revolution Club

November 5, Joshua Beal, a Black man, was shot and killed by an off-duty cop while driving from his cousin’s funeral. Within hours, hundreds of white residents of Mount Greenwood, where the killing took place, amassed with baseball bats, shouting racist epithets and chanting, “Trump, Trump, Trump!” at the grieving family. Mt. Greenwood is a neighborhood that is almost 90% white and has a history of racism and segregation. It is home to many members of the Chicago Police Department who are required to live within city limits.

The repeated mob threats aimed at Beal’s family and anti-police-murder protesters can be seen as a flashpoint in the national struggle over what Black life will be in this country.  These events also can be seen as a flashpoint in Trump’s rising fascism. There have been many attacks on Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQ people, people speaking foreign languages and many others, all round the country, in the days since Trump’s victory. History has shown that you must go to where the attacks are the ugliest and the sharpest if you want to turn the tide of history.  This requires a united, public manifestation by all those who oppose the vicious enforcement of white supremacy.

Statement by Gregg Greer:
“We call on Chicago Civic Leaders, Faith Leadership, Social Justice Activists, and concerned citizens to follow and accept the 'clarion call' for November 20, 2016, 2:00 pm. More basically, Mt. Greenwood is a problem because long-term racial injustice is there. We all must constantly respond to this type of call for aid. We should never again accept the narrow, provincial 'outside agitator' idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.”

Most Up to Date List of Endorsers of the Protest at Mt Greenwood Nov 20, 2 pm, 111th and Kedzie

Buddy Bell, Chicago
Fr. Bob Bossie, SCJ
Hank Brown, SNCC 1968, Revolution Club Chicago
Rev. Jeddidiah Brown
Rev. Ronna Case, retired
Mark Clements
Rev. Jason Coulter, Ravenswood United Church of Christ*, Community Renewal Society*
Kevin De Beck Ministerial Intern, Unitarian Church of Evanston*
Ja'Mal Green
Airickca Gordon-Taylor, Cousin of Emmett Till
Pastor Gregg L Greer, Freedom First International, SCLC
Tio Hardiman, Violence Interrupters, Inc.
Pat Hill, Director of Chicago Independent Human Rights Council
Ted Jennings, Chicago Theological Seminary*
Rev. Taigen Dan Leighton, Ancient Dragon Zen Gate, Chicago*
Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston
Freddie McGee, Father of Freddie Latice Wilson, murdered by CPD in 2007 & Cousin of Emmett Till
Nancy Michaels
Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation, Roosevelt University
Quintus AO Maximus
PHENOM, HipHop Youth Development Specialist
Gloria Pinex, mother of Darius Pinex, murdered by CPD in 2011
Indigo Quashie, Chicago Children’s Choir*
Rabbi Brant Rosen, Tzedek Chicago*
Rev. Matthew Ross, Eureka M.B. Church*
Ted Sirota, Drummer
Marc K Smith
Wanda Taylor, mother of Marcus Landrum, killed by police in 2008
Edward Ward
Tracy Washington, mother of Marcus Washington & cousin of Joshua Beal
Dee Williams, Revolution Club Chicago
World Can't Wait - Chicago
Rev Kim Ziyavo, Dorothy Day Mission*

* organization listed for identification purposes only

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/466/chicago-press-conference-nov-17-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

Chicago, November 17

Press Conference declares: "We oppose white supremacy. We will stand against racist mobs in Mt. Greenwood."

November 17, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Today, November 17, a press conference was held in front of Trump Tower in downtown Chicago to declare: "We oppose white supremacy. We will stand against racist mobs in Mt. Greenwood."

Speakers from a range of various views and organizations expressed profound determination to stand up to white supremacy and Trump-America by protesting this Sunday, November 20, at 2 pm in Mt. Greenwood, Chicago.

Mt. Greenwood, an almost all-white enclave in South Chicago, is home to many Chicago cops. On Saturday, November 5, an off-duty cop there shot and killed Joshua Beal, a 25-year-old Black man who was driving in a funeral procession for his cousin.

Within hours, a white mob amassed against Joshua Beal's family, members of the Chicago Revolution Club, and others who came to protest the police murder. The next night, and again on election night, hundreds of white residents filled street corners screaming racist insults and threats at protesters. They brandished "Blue Lives Matter" flags, shouted "Go home, you are animals," screamed the n-word, and chanted "Trump, Trump, Trump!" and "CPD, CPD, CPD!" (CPD stands for Chicago Police Department). They were no different than the white mobs that used to gather to celebrate the lynchings of Black people.

See previous reporting about Mt. Greenwood on www.revcom.us:

After Chicago Pigs Murder Unarmed Black Motorist on Way Home From Funeral...
People Stand Up Against Killer Cops and Neighborhood Trumpite Goons

November 12, 2016

Correspondence from Readers:
Election Night in Mount Greenwood—This Is Amerikkka 2016.

November 9, 2016

Why Isn't the Racist Lynch Mob in Cop-Enclave Mt. Greenwood a Major News Media Story??
November 7, 2016

Chicago Cop Kills Joshua Beal During His Cousin's Funeral Procession
Revolution Club Stands with Family vs Police and Racist Mob

November 6, 2016

And today, these white mobs are the poster children for Trump's Amerikkka.

Rev. Gregg Greer, Chicago SCLC and Freedom First Ministries

Dee Williams, Chicago Revolution Club

Ted Jennings, theologian and professor at Chicago Theological Seminary

John Smith, minister of Beverly Unitarian Universalist Church

"We stand together against white supremacy! We reject Trump America!"

Rev. Gregg Greer of the Chicago SCLC and Freedom First Ministries said, in part, "We won't tolerate the ongoing incidents of hate in Mt. Greenwood. We will not tolerate violence against anybody, especially, more specifically, racial violence, in November of 2016! This is not November of 1950! It has to end. It has to end today. We won't accept it, we won't tolerate it. We will be there 2 o'clock Sunday and we will represent the community who wants change. Change has to happen in Mt. Greenwood. We'll be there with a group of people. People who are willing to commit to change. And we will continue an ongoing program for that change to happen—no ifs, ands, or buts. Thank you."

Dee Williams of the Chicago Revolution Club spoke next. She made it clear: that "There is a way out of this. Through revolution. We have the line, the leadership in Bob Avakian, and the strategy to make a revolution and we are out recruiting right now for people to get organized for an actual revolution. And we call on you to get this pamphlet "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution." We need a revolution at the soonest possible time to end this system founded on slavery, genocide, and war. A system that has legitimized Donald Trump, a racist, misogynist fascist.

"In the name of humanity," Williams continued, "we refuse to accept a fascist America. We stand for getting rid of this system where police murder Black and Latino people with impunity. And get away with it all the time. And now things have gone to a whole new level. I have never seen anything so ugly as this. It reminded me of footage I saw of the Freedom Riders being attacked by racist mobs in the South. And they were shouting 'Trump, Trump, Trump' and 'CPD, CPD, CPD'.

"The Revolution Club intends to be there on Sunday with our full message of revolution, and we challenge each and every one of you hearing this today to join with us, to stand against this vile racism no matter what you think the solution is."

Next, Ted Jennings, theologian and professor at Chicago Theological Seminary, gave an eloquent and impassioned call to action that targeted the full spectrum of hateful oppression embodied in Trump's rise to power. He said, in part:

"Open racism had seemed to retreat behind a façade of law and order, behind the mask of polite indifference, and some even deluded themselves that the days of a post-racial society had dawned. But in the last months, that façade has crumbled, the masks have come off and the delusion has been dispelled. Vile and vicious racism now openly stalks our streets ... its howling voice sanctioned and indeed emboldened by a vulgar politics of contempt and cruelty now dares to make itself heard in our neighborhoods...

"...The poet Holderlin told us that it is in times of gravest peril that the light of hope begins to dawn. We the people of Chicago pledge ourselves to be that hope. Armed only with love of one another and for all and with an indomitable hope, we shall overcome."

Finally, Minister John Smith of Beverly Unitarian Universalist Church talked about the Biblical admonition to "love thy neighbor as thyself." He said, in part:

"We are to resist the inner enemies of pride, both personal and national, which tempts some to believe we are not equal. Sadly, far too many still believe there is a better breed of human beings and some deserve special privilege and exemptions. If we continue to harbor such hatred and intolerance toward our neighbors, we fall short of our creator and of our forefathers' desire for humanity. We are to care for the poor and the oppressed, just as Jesus did. His story is told through the lens of a refugee fleeing political oppression. In the end, there is nothing Christ-like in turning your cheek to the predicament of those less fortunate. As a minister of the Beverly Unitarian Church, I want to remind each and every one of our American fellows that we are a part of one human family, in the image and likeness of all that is holy. May we go, loving thy neighbor as thyself."

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/466/carl-dix-statement-on-mt-greenwood-en.html

Revolution #465 November 14, 2016

There is No "Reasonable Middle" Between a Lynch Mob and Racial Justice
WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

By Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

November 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

On November 5th, Joshua Beal, a Black man, was shot and killed by an off-duty cop in Mt. Greenwood, Chicago. That night, and at least twice afterwards, white residents from the neighborhood gathered to mock, taunt, and threaten Beal's grieving family and others who stood with them. Some wielded baseball bats. Others carried firearms. Many hurled the N-word. Hundreds and hundreds of angry white people. Their signs read, “Go back to Africa!” and “You are animals. #gohome.” They threatened to break the legs of a white Catholic priest who opposed them, and to drag him from the back of a truck. The only thing that distinguished this crowd from an old-school Southern lynch mob were the chants: “Trump! Trump! Trump!” and “CPD! CPD!” [Chicago Police Department]

This is a dangerous sign of the times. Of ugly backlash against the righteous struggle of recent years to stop the murder of Black and Brown people by police. Of the rising fascism that Trump whipped up, rode to power and is now working with lightning speed to lock into the ruling structures of the most dangerous empire in human history.

Yet, there are growing voices that are refusing to confront it for what it really is. Some purport to seek “common ground” between people on both sides. This is wrong. Frankly, it is deadly. There is NO “reasonable middle” between a lynch mob and racial justice.

But, because there seems to be so much confusion, let me walk through some of the lies that underlie this confusion and break down the truth.

Lie #1: The problem is that racial tensions broke out between mainly Black protesters and mainly white residents. Both sides got angry, both used heated language, both need to take the time to understand each other better.

Truth: The problem is that police murdered Joshua Beal and then a mob of white residents came out and literally celebrated this murder. They cheered when they got to the place it occurred, and then threatened and harassed the grieving family and those who had come to support them. Everyone needs to stand against the injustice of the police murder, and those who celebrate it.

Lie #2: Let’s not “rush to judgment” about the police killing of Joshua Beal, maybe it was justified.

Truth: The police murdered Joshua Beal in cold blood because he was Black. Joshua Beal was driving with his family for a funeral. As they passed through the white neighborhood of Mt. Greenwood, members of their caravan were driven off the road by a white off-duty cop. This cop waved a gun in the face of a 17-year-old female member of Joshua Beal's family. Joshua and others got out of their cars out of very legitimate concern. When yet another off-duty cop pulled over, he appraised the situation and fired 13 shots into Joshua Beal, murdering him on the spot. Does anyone honestly believe that if the situation were reversed – if a white family had been defending themselves against a Black gunman on the side of the road – that a cop would've pulled over and shot at the white family?

Lie #3: The racist insults hurled at protesters were wrong, but it was also wrong for protesters to call the cops “pigs” and liken them to the Ku Klux Klan.

Truth: There is no justification in any circumstances for ever hurling racist insults or taunting a family of someone who was murdered by the state. In contrast, it is not only righteous – it is necessary – to express anger against these acts of state-backed racist terror! Further, the police who murder our youth time and again in cold blood are pigs! And they are playing exactly the same role as the Ku Klux Klan of old. During the peak of Old South lynch-mob terror, every Black person lived under an active death sentence. It may or may not be carried out, but it always could be. And everyone knew that the white people who lynched would almost never be held to account. While the uniforms have changed, this is no different today. Every single Black person in this country lives under an active death sentence. It may or may not be carried out, but everyone knows that the cop who kills a Black person will almost never be charged, let alone go to jail. In fact, it is much more likely that they will retire with a full pension – or even get a promotion and sent back out on the street – than ever go to jail.

Lie #4: Sure, there are a few bad cops, but it’s not all of them.

Truth: The problem is not “a few bad cops.” The problem is the whole damn system. And Chicago is a concentration of this nightmare.

Every time police murder, the entire IN-justice system goes to work to cover it up, justify the murder, demonize the person killed, and make sure the murderer-in-blue walks free. Think of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Shot 16 times by a pig who lied. But not only that, all the other pigs on the scene lied. And they stole videotape from the local businesses so the word wouldn't get out. And the whole thing was covered up and lied about all the way to the Mayor's office. Even when it was all exposed, the cop still hasn't gone to jail! Or think of the pig Gildardo Sierra. With the aid of another elaborate and widespread cover-up he got away with murdering Darius Pinex, only to be put back on the beat where he murdered Flint Farmer six months later. And just today the Chicago Tribune has reported that Robert Rialmo, the PIG who murdered 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier and 55-year-old Bettie Jones last year the day after Christmas, has been back on the street since July. Just to name a few.

Lie #5: Police told the protesters that they couldn't guarantee their safety and pressured them to get on a bus or into squad cars to leave Mt. Greenwood.

Truth: The police didn't want to protect the protesters.This is because the police are not neutral. They are the enforcers of a state and system which has white supremacy woven into its very fabric and foundation. Think about it: If hundreds of furious Black people had poured out into the streets to yell, wave baseball bats, issue threats, and boast of being armed, do you think for a second that police would have thrown up their hands and said, “Nothing we can do to stop them”? Hell no. Everyone knows they would have brought in sound cannons and tanks, stun grenades and tear gas, rubber bullets and tasers, paddy wagons and mass arrests.

****

There is a reason for all of this. As Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, has said, “The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness.”(BAsics 1:24)

It is very positive that there are white people from Mt. Greenwood who oppose this violent racism. This should be welcomed and strongly encouraged! But it must be on the basis of firmly repudiating and drawing a clear line of demarcation against both the police murder of Joshua Beal and the lynch-mob on the street. And it is absolutely imperative that all who care about justice – from every part of this country and no matter their background – raise their voices against this outrageous injustice.

This is a time for clarity and courage. WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?