Revolution #466, November 21, 2016 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

As Trump Puts Together His Fascist Team, The Resistance Must Grow Stronger!

November 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

In the first week and a half of his “transition,” Trump has shown how he intends to rule. He has put together a core team of outright fascists—this includes Pence, Bannon, Flynn, Sessions, and Pompeo. To get a sense of who these people are, just look into the accompanying articles on them. Trump has also made clear that he intends to continue to go after the press and those in the arts who dare even the mildest dissent—with his Twitter assaults against the New York Times and the cast of the Broadway show Hamilton. Even if in the weeks to come he now adds some more “moderate” voices, he has made very clear what the core of his rule will be: a leap into fascism.

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

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NEW: WATCH and SHARE this video reading of this statement.

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Fascism means something very definite. As is said in the statement “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America,”

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.

While there are some people saying some of this, and certainly many people feeling parts of it in their guts, there is still a need to fight for this understanding of the problem: what is going on now is the imposition of fascism. Trump is not just a collection of horrible attitudes, policies, and appointments: he aims to take a leap to a qualitatively more repressive form of rule and a qualitatively more oppressive society.

The Resistance Must Get Stronger and Go Further

There have also in this past week been important outpourings against this beginning fascism. People are standing up and speaking out in all kinds of ways. Students have walked out of high schools and colleges. People have taken to the streets and come to meetings and even organized their own meetings to deal with this. People have taken stands within professions and workplaces and schools. People have vowed defiance against different policies, and some have reached out to those directly targeted by the Trumpites. There is a sense of urgency in everyday conversation, and people who have not demonstrated in years now are flooding into active political protest and resistance. (See "Protests vs Trump: Walking Out of Schools...Going Up Against Fascists and Racists...Speaking Out in Resistance," “Obama & Clinton Say ‘Get Over It,’ But Tens of Thousands Rebel in the Streets” and “Other Voices on Trump and Resistance.”)

This is extremely important. But this must go further. The still very embryonic acts and actions and sentiments must be pulled together into an active, organized movement to prevent the implementation of this fascist program... and to actually oust this fascist regime before these Trumpites crush, or “neutralize,” any effective opposition. People of all kinds of viewpoints need to work together to forge the answers to how to do this—and there is not that much time. So we want to hear, from readers new and old, your ideas on what this would mean and how this might happen. We want to hear from you on every form of resistance you are undertaking and what you are hearing from others. And we want to figure out with you how to both push forward and give direction so that millions of people can be led to actually rise to this huge challenge.

One big step that everyone can take is to get out the statement “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America.” We need to get out, at the very least, hundreds of thousands of this statement on campuses, in neighborhoods—all throughout society. As you do so, get that slogan everywhere. One woman who works helping immigrants told us she’s going to put up the front page of last week’s Revolution newspaper in her office, because “it’s telling the truth and people need to see this”; when asked what would happen if those who run the office asked her not to do this, she said simply and fiercely: “I don’t care.”

One important fight to wage is within the movements coming out to oppose Trump in different ways. Some people insist that what we see now is on a continuum with what has been going on. “Yeah, things are gonna get worse under Trump, but they’ve been bad for a long time,” these people say, “and we should keep doing more of what we’ve been doing, and not get people all alarmed about what this will mean.” Some of them are already talking about “the long run”—as if Trump is not going to take things to a different level and put in changes that may not be able to be reversed for some time to come. Sorry, but this kind of normalization is just wishful thinking... and dangerous wishful thinking at that. If Trump is allowed to hammer his regime into place... if he is not prevented from doing that and then driven from office... there will be a huge price to pay and irreparable damage to millions of individuals that humanity cannot afford. Wake the hell up, people; do you think it would have been wise to quarrel over definitions when Hitler came to power? The fact is: the beast is loose.

Stopping Trump and Getting Rid of the System That Produced Him

At the same time as we aim to urgently unite with everyone we can to oppose this onslaught, we want to discuss, and debate, with everyone the source of the problem—and the solution.

To be clear: Trump is the product of a system—the capitalist-imperialist system. For all this “Make America Great Again”—and for all of Hillary Clinton’s “America Is Still Great”—the fact is that this country was founded on genocide and slavery, that it has rampaged and plundered all over the world, and that to this day continues to be the “greatest” criminal on the planet. Right now this system faces extremely difficult problems for which it has no real answers; up against this, those who run this system have reached for and are now uniting around a very extreme program to resolve those contradictions, one which will take those crimes to new levels and go very far in crippling people’s ability to resist them.

On the one hand, the fact that this is a product of the system overall is illustrated by the fact that much of the machinery to launch Trump’s program is in place. Actions taken by the Bush and Obama administrations have set the stage for all the repressive measures Trump will now take. And remember, this is a program that includes ratcheting up to whole new levels the persecution of minorities, the widespread denial of political rights, the unrestrained pillaging and destruction of the environment, the intense ramping up of war against the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa, and elsewhere, the demonization of all Muslims, and the drastic curtailment of press freedoms and rule of law. This machinery needs only to be “adjusted” or “tweaked” for Trump to crush all opposition. This systemic character is also illustrated by how quickly those like Obama and Clinton, who just weeks ago warned that a Trump presidency would be an unprecedented disaster, now support “working with” Trump.

And yet, to underestimate how disastrous Trump’s program would be for the masses would be a very grave error. The bourgeoisie and its politicians may be able to adjust to Trump’s rule—and they all certainly prefer it to masses of people making revolution or even “getting out of hand”—but for many millions here and even more all over the planet this will be a question of life and death and very directly so. This must be stopped.

We Need Revolution

At the same time as we work together with all kinds of people to stop and reverse the disaster of fascism, the revcoms will continue and actually intensify organizing people directly into the revolution. We'll be putting forward two very important reasons why we have to get rid of this whole thing to everyone now flooding into political life. First, because all of what Trump is doing represents a concentration of what goes on every day under capitalism-imperialism. Second, because unless and until we DO get rid of this whole system, then this threat of a massively repressive fascist rule will always be in reserve and ready to be used against the people.

Drawing an analogy to the ways in which Hitler and the Nazis in Germany attacked the Weimar Republic in Germany (that is, the bourgeois-democratic, non-fascist regime which preceded the Nazis), Bob Avakian put it like this:

The answer is not to seek to defend and maintain the “Weimar Republic” (bourgeois democracy—the “democratic form” of capitalist dictatorship) as such. That does not offer a real solution, and certainly not one in the interests of the masses of people and the great majority of humanity. But we should recognize and not be blind to what it means when these fascists put the “Weimar Republic”—by analogy, the liberals in the ruling class—in the camp of enemy, and go so far as to label them traitors, and go after them in that way. What is that preparing the ground for, what are the implications of that? The point, and our objective, once again, is not to defend the Weimar Republic—tailing and upholding the “liberal” section of the imperialist ruling class—but to fully recognize, and oppose in a radically different way and toward radically different ends, the seriousness of these attacks and what this all represents. In previous talks and writings I have spoken to this phenomenon of the unraveling of what for some time has been the “cohering center” of the society and the rule of the bourgeoisie in the U.S.—and how we are already seeing manifestations of that. I have emphasized that all of this will not, by any means, be positive in the short run, and left to itself—and it is not the role of communists, it is not meeting our responsibilities, to simply stand by and celebrate all the unraveling of the existing cohering center and form of capitalist rule and think it is going to mean that something positive is bound to emerge from this and in fact is just going to “fall into our lap.” We have to take up the tremendous challenge of repolarization—repolarization for revolution.

The “Weimar Republic” does need to be replaced, and superseded. The bourgeois republic—the rule of capitalism and imperialism, in its bourgeois-democratic form—is in fact a repressive system of rule, rooted in a whole network and process of exploitation and oppression, which brings untold, and unnecessary, suffering to millions, and literally billions, of people, throughout the world, including within the republic itself. It needs to be replaced and superseded, however, not by an even more grotesque and more openly murderous form of the same system, but by a radically new society, and a radically different kind of state, that will open the way and lead finally to the abolition of all forms of oppressive and repressive rule and all relations of domination and exploitation, throughout the world.

From that standpoint, and with an acute sense of the dangers that Trump poses, we extend the hand to every single person who wants to stop this fascist juggernaut dead in its tracks.

 

       

 

 


 

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Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

Mike Pence: A Christian Fascist Who's a Heartbeat Away from the U.S. Presidency

November 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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The United States will now have a vice president who wants to ban all abortions, overturn laws barring discrimination against LGBT people, fully unleash the police to stop and frisk Black and other oppressed people, and carry out other extreme steps that will lead to horrible new leaps in repression. Mike Pence cites Bible verses to back up such ugly policy stands. He is a Christian fascist who will be #2 in the White House.

One of Trump’s sons reportedly said before the election that his father’s vice president will be “the most powerful vice president in history,” in charge of domestic and foreign policy while Trump concentrates on “making America great.” Trump’s people denied the report—but, in any case, Pence will wield enormous sway. He is already playing a major role, including choosing cabinet and other officials. He met top Republicans in the House of Representatives and told them to “buckle up” to move quickly, making clear he’ll play a leading role in pushing fascist laws through Congress. As writer Jeremy Scahill put it (in an article at TheIntercept.com), “Mike Pence will be the most powerful Christian supremacist in U.S. history.”

Pence is part of a Christian fascist movement that aims to impose on society a government, laws, and dominant morality based on strict interpretations of the Bible. According to a Slate.com article, when Pence was a congressman from Indiana, “Aides and other politicians often saw him reading his Bible, and Pence would cite specific verses to justify policy arguments. ‘These have stood the test of time,’ he told one staffer. ‘They have eternal value.’” He made an anti-evolution speech on the floor of the House saying he believes in “intelligent design” (an unscientific claim that life is too complex to have evolved and must be the work of God) and arguing that it be taught in schools.

Bob Avakian (BA) pointed out in his work The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer that these Christian fascists are “political leaders and forces who insist that ‘traditional morality,’ as embodied in the patriarchal family as well as ‘right or wrong’ patriotism—and rationalized in terms of fundamentalist Christianity—must be the basis for maintaining the cohesion and solidity of American capitalist society and the dominant position of imperial America in the world arena.”

As BA noted, “These people are deadly serious—and they are very powerful.” (This article came out at the time of Bill Clinton’s impeachment, but it remains very relevant to what is going on today.)

As BA also pointed out, these Christian fascists do not, today, insist on fully carrying out “biblical truths”—for example, that gay people, adulterers, rebellious children, witches, and so on must be put to death. BA dug into what’s behind this:

Once again, the leading Christian fascists do not insist on applying these and many other biblical laws and commandments because, under present circumstances, it would not be politically expedient for them to do so—it would be seen as barbarous by the great majority of people, even in bourgeois society, and it would actually undercut their political objectives. ... What they do is to set themselves up as the authorities, the “interpreters” and the “arbiters” of “biblical truth,” who can and should decide, not only for themselves but for society as a whole, what in “God’s absolute laws and commandments” and “absolute moral principles” can and must be applied and what must be ignored or explained away at any given time. This is why it is correct and necessary to identify them as theocrats: they do, in fact, seek a form of rule which is based on religious, and more specifically Christian, authority—as represented by people like themselves—in the service of the American capitalist-imperialist system. It is not necessary to be atheists, as we revolutionary communists are, in order to recognize the atrociously reactionary nature of such a political program and the need to vigorously oppose it.

These theocrats are deadly serious about imposing their will on society. And now, a leading theocrat is a heartbeat away from the presidency, in a powerful place to push forward the overall Christian fascist agenda.

Targeting the Right to Abortion

The forceful assertion of “traditional family values” is central to what the Christian fascists are aiming for. And attempts to cut away at, and even eliminate, the right to abortion are at the spearhead of this. They want to overturn the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

       

Up to this point, a key part of the strategy of the anti-abortion movement has been to put increasingly severe restrictions on abortion state by state. As Indiana governor, Pence has been among those at the forefront of this. Earlier this year, Pence signed a law stuffed with all kinds of restrictions and requirements designed to make it even more difficult for women to get an abortion and for abortion providers to function. Under the cynical justification of protecting women’s safety, the Indiana law, like similar ones in other states, required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital—a medically unnecessary rule that is impossible for providers to meet. The law prohibited women to have an abortion for various reasons, including when tests show that the fetus will be born with Down’s syndrome or other disabilities. It required that clinics bury or cremate aborted fetuses—in other words, to treat fetuses legally as actual persons, which they are not.

These abortion restrictions are not about the health of women, “to protect life,” or any other falsehoods used as justification. The real objective is to tighten patriarchal control over women—to turn women into nothing more than incubators and sexual playthings for men. That’s why these anti-abortionists are also against access to birth control. Pence himself has been active in the efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, a major provider of birth control for women, especially poor women.

The anti-abortion law Pence signed was stopped from going into effect by a federal judge. But now, Pence will be in place to charge ahead with the threat he made during the presidential campaign: “We’ll see Roe v. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs.”

Targeting LGBT People

Another major aspect of the Christian fascist push for “traditional family values” is attacks on LGBT people. While in Congress, Pence voted against employment nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people, opposed same-sex marriage, and tried to block federal funding of HIV treatments to organizations that are supportive of gay people and require that it go only to organizations that "provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior."

As Indiana governor, Pence signed the so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA). The RFRA was intended, despite the transparent claims that it was about “religious freedom,” to shore up bigotry and prejudice against LGBT people and all kinds of oppression rooted in fundamentalist Christianity. The RFRA banned cities and towns from enacting laws that provide protection for LGBT people against discrimination.

Pence and others were forced to step back a bit and amend the RFRA in the face of righteous protests. But the Christian fascists have hardly given up on their crusade against LGBT people as part of their overall ultra-reactionary program.

More Reactionary Shit from Pence

Jeremy Scahill outlines other policies pushed by Pence that will mean even more murders by police and leaps in overall repression against Black and other oppressed people: “He has advocated greater militarization of the so-called war on drugs, including escalated military patrols. Pence denounced activists and others protesting recent police killings of unarmed African-Americans, charging they ‘seize upon tragedy in the wake of police action shootings.’... Pence is a strong supporter of stop-and-frisk programs, which in New York were used overwhelmingly against people of color. ‘It’s on a constitutional footing,’ said Pence.”

Scahill also lists some of Pence’s positions on unleashing the overall repressive machinery of the U.S.:

* He supported making the Patriot Act permanent and wants to ban the burning of the U.S. flag.

* Pence does not believe federal law enforcement agencies should have to get a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Service Act) warrant to conduct domestic surveillance and voted against requiring any warrant for domestic wiretapping.

Unlike Trump, Pence has not openly promoted torture. But when asked on CBS Face the Nation on November 20 whether he agreed with Republican Senator McCain's opposition to torture, Pence refused to rule it out, saying: "We're going to have a president who will never say what we'll never do."

Trump and Pence Together

Pence is often portrayed in the mainstream media as more “stable” than Trump and a “bridge to the establishment.” Pence does have longstanding ties to the more “establishment” Republicans, including major financial backers like the Koch brothers and Erik Prince, founder of the Blackwater security firm, which has close ties to the U.S. military. What does it say about the illegitimacy of the entire political structure of the U.S. that a Christian fascist monster like this is considered an “established” figure?

Pence and Trump may seem like an odd pairing—a religious fundamentalist and a crude, leering reactionary sleazebag. What ties them together is their fascist program, their view that this is what is needed to keep things together for the capitalist-imperialists and “make America great again.” Major powerful sections among the rulers of this society have, for decades, either built up or enabled the fascist forces that Trump and Pence represent. And now, these fascist forces are poised to take command of the state in the USA.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/466/fascist-resume-of-trumps-chief-strategist-steve-bannon-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

The Fascist Resumé of Trump's Chief Strategist Steve Bannon

November 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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One of Donald Trump's first decisions as president-elect was to name Steve Bannon his chief strategist and senior counselor. Bannon managed Trump's campaign. Before that he was the owner and hands-on force behind the website Breitbart News Network. Mainstream news and Bannon himself call Bannon's politics "conservative," "alt-right," or "white nationalist." It's worse than that.

"Hoist the Confederate Flag"

On June 17, 2015, Charleston, South Carolina: nine people at a Bible study class in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church were murdered by white racist Dylann Roof. Roof said he carried out the massacre to start a "race war" to turn America back to the days of open segregation. He posed online with pro-Hitler symbols and a Confederate flag. Part of the response, very broadly throughout society, was an eruption of outrage against the Confederate flags, flags of slavery and lynching.

Breitbart's response: an article headlined "Hoist It High And Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims A Glorious Heritage." Steve Bannon ran Breitbart when this article was published. He signed off on it, and as a hands-on editor likely instigated it. It begins:

The American left is in a feeding frenzy, cynically exploiting the tragic murders of nine black worshippers in a Charleston church to promote its agenda of cultural genocide against conservatism, tradition and the South.

The liberals feel they are on a roll, having trashed states' rights by railroading compulsory acceptance of homosexual marriage through the Supreme Court. Now, they feel, is the time to airbrush out of history every tradition that is an obstacle to their new, rootless, alien society based on intolerant political correctness. The epitome of everything they detest and fear is the Confederate Flag, so that is now the target of a hate campaign so fanatical and irrational as to seem barely sane.

And this ends:

Those who initiated identity politics are attempting to obliterate the Southern identity. There is only one response: defiance. Every tree, every rooftop, every picket fence, every telegraph pole in the South should be festooned with the Confederate battle flag. Hoist it high and fly it with pride, it proclaims a glorious heritage.

A Violent Agenda Behind Demonizing All Muslims...

In a short stint as host of an influential radio show on SiriusXM radio, Steve Bannon put Pamela Geller on the air seven times. He called her "one of the top world experts in radical Islam and Sharia law and Islamic supremacism," "the top leading expert in this field" and "one of the great American patriots."

Geller's initial claim to fame was organizing a frenzied campaign against a Muslim Community Center near the site of the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center, claiming—without any evidence—that the center would be a "victory mosque" for Muslims on "conquered land" to celebrate the attacks. Geller calls Islam (all Islam) "the most radical and extreme ideology on the face of the earth." She says "Hussein [how she refers to Barack Obama] is a muhammadan [a follower of Mohammad]. He's not insane ... he wants jihad to win."

       

This is not just poisonous lunacy. There is a logic and agenda behind whipping up a climate of mass ignorance, hatred and fear of all Muslims. Where this is all aimed at was revealed in Geller's response to a 2011 fascist massacre in Norway: A white supremacist Norwegian terrorist, Anders Breivik, killed 77 Norwegian people, overwhelmingly white teenagers, at a social democratic youth camp. These were people he blamed for what he claimed was the "Islamization of Europe." After it was revealed that Breivik had cited Geller's writings 12 times in his manifesto, Geller denied any responsibility. But she said, "If anyone incited him to violence, it was Islamic supremacists." In other words, this massacre wasn't a fascist massacre, it was provoked by "Islamic supremacists." In other words: It was a legitimate response to the "Islamization" of Europe.

...and Latino Immigrants

On his radio show, Steve Bannon promoted Jason Richwine, another fascist lunatic "expert" who claims Hispanics have lower IQs than non-Hispanic whites. Bannon calls Richwine "an American hero."

In terms that are carefully designed to fly under the radar of some, while connecting clearly and explicitly with, and mobilizing, a violent fascist social base, Bannon used an interview with Richwine to send this message: "The whole thing in Europe is all about immigration, it's a global issue today, this kind of global Camp of the Saints."

Bannon was invoking the book The Camp of the Saints, which depicts the overrunning of the white Western world by hordes of starving dark-skinned monsters from India and the Third World who take what white people have, with the complicity of weak liberal white "traitors" to Western civilization. The title of The Camp of the Saints alludes to and mobilizes a violent Christian fundamentalist vision of the violent implementation of the Book of Revelations, and projects attacks on immigrants and a coming, decisive, cataclysmic war against them, as a clash of good (Christians) and evil (inhuman beasts). It has been compared to The Turner Diaries—which "envisions" a race war in the U.S. with fascist forces lynching Black people and whites who wanted integration.

Cheerleading Lynch Mob Attacks on Women

A flashpoint in online degradation of women and online violence against women, was "Gamergate." This vicious campaign, which exploded in 2015, was a flood of viciously degrading attacks and terroristic threats against the very small number of prominent women in the video-game development community. Male gamers attacked these women with online rape threats and death threats, and physically stalked and threatened them. "Gamergaters" attacked people who defended women online—calling in false hostage or terrorist threats and sending SWAT squads to storm their homes.

Milo Yiannopoulos is the technology editor at Steve Bannon's Breitbartsite. As such, he operated as point man in promoting "GamerGate" in terms that paralleled white supremacists upholding going back to the even worse old days of slavery. Yiannopoulos wrote that GamerGate was "where gamers fought back against the nannying, hectoring feelings police and were branded 'harassers' and 'misogynists.'"

And he wrote: "Women are—and you won't hear this anywhere else—screwing up the internet for men by invading every space we have online and ruining it with attention-seeking and a needy, demanding, touchy-feely form of modern feminism that quickly comes into conflict with men's natural tendency to be boisterous, confrontational and delightfully autistic." And, "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..."

Calling Advocates for Government Funding of Alternative Energy "Pure Scum"

Steve Bannon attacks climate science from a stated agenda that there is "an American industrial renaissance in front of us if we just get the government out of the way." Bannon interviewed Stephen Moore, Trump's energy advisor, for Breitbart radio. Moore's book advocates unrestrained fracking, which pollutes groundwater, pushes poison methane gas into the air, pumps toxic chemicals into the ground, and is a particularly extreme factor in global climate change.

In the interview, Bannon dismissed warnings of climate change as a hoax, invoking as proof a TIME magazine cover, purportedly from the 1970s, as evidence that scientists once thought the world was entering into a new ice age. There was no such cover of TIME. Bannon called extremely modest government policies that promote alternative energy sources like wind and solar power "madness." And he called proponents of any government support for alternative energy "pure scum."

Promoting Anti-Semitism—Attacking Jewish People

Bannon and the Breitbart website are deeply steeped in anti-Semitism—which channels the discontent of sections of people into blaming the Jews, based on lies and concocted conspiracy theories, in ways that historically have led to violent slaughter.

Sometimes this takes the form of "dog whistle" messages, where those who have been conditioned to think in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories "hear" the message while others don't. After Steve Bannon became head of Trump's campaign, the campaign closed out with a major ad lashing out at "those who control the levers of power in Washington ... a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities." As those words were read, the faces of prominent Jews in finance and government appeared on the screen.

At other times Bannon and Breitbart have just come out with straight-up, unvarnished anti-Semitism, including in attacks on conservative or mainstream liberal figures. A column by reactionary right wing hit man David Horowitz featured a headline calling anti-Trump conservative writer Bill Kristol a "renegade Jew."

* * *

Steve Bannon is misogynist, racist, promotes hatred for LGBT people, whips up xenophobia, and is anti-Semitic, as part of a whole fascist package. He is the incoming chief strategist and senior counselor in the Trump White House.

Anyone with a conscience who is repelled by what Bannon represents has the responsibility to confront the implications of that.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/466/trumps-national-security-adviser-lt-gen-mike-flynn-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

Trump's National Security Adviser:
Lt. General Mike Flynn—"At War with Islam"

November 21, 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

This week Trump named Lt. General Mike Flynn to be his National Security Adviser, one of the most powerful foreign policy positions in the government. The National Security Advisor is generally the president’s main foreign policy advisor and key coordinator of implementing his decisions. Flynn is seen as one of Trump’s closest and most rabid advisors. (During the Republican National Convention, he joined in the anti-Hillary Clinton chants of "Lock her up!")

Flynn, a retired three-star Army general and former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA, the Pentagon’s spying arm), claims the U.S. is in a global war, not just against Islamic jihadists but against Islam itself. It’s not really a religion, Flynn argues, but a dangerous political ideology. Flynn has called Islam a "cancer" and said "fear of Muslims is rational." In April 2015 he told Fox News, “I've been at war with Islam, or a component of Islam, for the last decade.”

Flynn vitriolically argues that the U.S. shouldn’t be restrained by human rights, international law, rules of engagement, or other forms of “political correctness” but should ruthlessly fight this “existential enemy.” (This stance and his open criticism of the Obama administration’s “softness” toward and “lying” about Islamic fundamentalists probably led to his 2014 firing as head of the DIA.)

In his recent book, The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies, Flynn declares the U.S. should unapologetically condemn Islamic cultures as inferior to the imperialist West, which he calls “far more civilized, far more ethical and moral.” He says the global war against Islam has to begin in the U.S. itself: “If we cannot criticize the radical Muslims in our own country, we cannot fight them either in America or overseas.”

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Flynn also calls for more aggressive actions against Iran, including “information warfare” to undermine the Islamic regime. And he targets various countries and forces around the world as part of an “enemy alliance that runs from Pyongyang, North Korea, to Havana, Cuba, and Caracas, Venezuela”—and including “Iran, al Qaeda, the Taliban and Islamic State.” At times, Flynn includes Russia in this enemies list.

Flynn’s appointment basically enshrines Trump’s campaign promises to bomb “the hell” out of ISIS; to practice torture “way worse” than waterboarding; to “load up” the U.S. torture camp at Guantanamo; to assassinate the families of suspected “terrorists”; and to surveil, target, terrorize and possibly put into concentration camps Muslims living in the U.S.

This is all part of a more bloodthirsty, no-holds-barred approach to the challenges the U.S. faces in the Middle East and around the world—an approach even less constrained by appearances of concern for civilian casualties, human rights, or civil rights.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/466/mike-pompeo-advocate-of-torture-and-tearing-up-rule-of-law-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

Trump's CIA Pick: Mike Pompeo—Advocate of Torture & Tearing Up Rule of Law

November 21, 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

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Reproduce and Distribute Leaflets and Posters HERE

Mike Pompeo wants to expand the government’s ability to spy on millions. He advocates legalizing and carrying out torture. He champions gutting fundamental civil rights. Now Trump has named this Congressman and former Army officer to head the Central Intelligence Agency—the CIA—one of the most powerful and deadly arms of the U.S. government’s repressive apparatus.

Pompeo opposed ending the ability of the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect phone records, or metadata, in bulk. Instead, he called for Congress to expand spying and “pass a law re-establishing collection of all metadata, and combining it with publicly available financial and lifestyle information into a comprehensive, searchable database. Legal and bureaucratic impediments to surveillance should be removed.” (Wall Street Journal, January 3, 2016)

Pompeo opposes closing down the infamous U.S. torture camp known as the Guantánamo Bay detention camp. After visiting there in 2013, he mocked the detainees who were on protest hunger strikes, telling a Congressional committee that it looked like some of the prisoners had “put on weight” and that the hunger strikes were a “political stunt.” Pompeo criticized Obama’s decision to end the CIA’s secret prisons around the world (so-called "black sites") and the requirement that all interrogators adhere to anti-torture laws. Like Trump, Pompeo has denounced the ban on waterboarding and other forms of torture, euphemistically labeled "enhanced interrogation techniques." (Guardian, November 18, 2016)

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This proposed new head of the CIA operates as if the fundamental legal principle of “innocent until proven guilty” doesn’t—or shouldn’t—really exist. Earlier this year he told CSPAN that Edward Snowden “should be brought back from Russia and given due process.” But then, before any due process had taken place, he pronounced his own sentence: “I think the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence.” (Slate.com, November 18, 2016)

Pompeo calls for targeting any Muslim leaders (or really, any Muslims) who refuse to denounce acts of terrorism as "potentially complicit" in the attacks. "When the most devastating terrorist attacks on America in the last 20 years come overwhelmingly from people of a single faith and are performed in the name of that faith, a special obligation falls on those that are the leaders of that faith," he said in 2013. "Instead of responding, silence has made these Islamic leaders across America potentially complicit in these acts, and more importantly still, in those that may well follow." (Guardian, November 18, 2016)

And Pompeo embodies the fascists’ virulent efforts to tear down and destroy their liberal ruling class opponents. He rose to prominence during the Congressional investigation into the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya—and has served as a major attack dog against Hillary Clinton. Pompeo’s role in the Benghazi inquiry was reportedly a significant factor in Trump’s decision to select him to lead the CIA. (NY Times, November 18, 2016)

In sum, Mike Pompeo represents tearing down democratic rights, civil rights, and the rule of law—in the U.S. and internationally.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/466/trumps-attorney-general-jeff-sessions-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

Trump's Attorney General Jeff Sessions:
An Enforcer of White Supremacy and Extreme Patriarchy

November 21, 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

This week, Donald Trump selected the longtime Alabama white supremacist (and U.S. senator) Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to be the next Attorney General of the U.S.

Sessions first gained national attention in 1986, when he was nominated for a federal judgeship by Ronald Reagan. In his confirmation hearings, it was exposed that in 1984, when he was a U.S. attorney in Alabama, Sessions led the prosecution of three Black civil rights workers for attempting to register Black people to vote in areas of Alabama where virtually no Black people had been able to vote, near the infamous town of Selma. They faced 100 years in jail. The three were acquitted by a jury in four hours.

In his confirmation hearing, an associate testified that Sessions had called a white civil rights lawyer a "disgrace to his race" for litigating voting rights cases.

A Black former assistant U.S. attorney testified that Sessions "stated that he believed the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Operation PUSH and the National Council of Churches were all un-American organizations teaching anti-American values." And that Sessions said he believed the Ku Klux Klan was OK until he learned its members smoked marijuana, something the former assistant U.S. attorney testified was not a joke, but something he took as "a serious statement" of Sessions' views. Sessions made this contemptible statement about the KKK in the aftermath of a trial of two Klansmen for slitting the throat of a Black man in Mobile, Alabama.

Sessions' nomination was rejected by a majority-Republican Senate committee. Only two nominees for federal judgeships had been rejected by the Senate in 50 years.

Soon after, he became Attorney General in Alabama, and then a U.S. senator.

Enforcer of Fundamentalist Patriarchy

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Sessions opposes Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that established a woman's right to abortion. Sessions voted to defund Planned Parenthood. And this was not just to prevent women from terminating dangerous or unwanted pregnancies with abortions. Sessions opposed funding for Planned Parenthood period.

Sessions opposes the right to marriage between same-sex couples and has voted to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban that. He voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act that says violence against people because of their race, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity is a crime. The Human Rights Campaign dubs him an unambiguous "anti-gay rights" legislator with a 0% record on gay issues.

* * *

Jeff Sessions is a lifelong racist; he is steeped in the culture of white supremacy, and has for decades used the powers of his offices to impose it.

He has contempt for immigrants, and thinks that all immigrants, whether legal or "illegal," create "cultural problems" in this country.

He has voted to restrict abortion rights at every opportunity he's had, he has "given a pass" to violent assaults on abortion clinics, and doesn't think grabbing a woman's genitals is sexual assault.

Donald Trump said he is "unbelievably impressed" with Sessions and on the basis of this record announced he will nominate him for Attorney General of the United States.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/avakian/science/26ba-science...the-strategic-importance-of-the-struggle-for-the-emancipation-of-women-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 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:
The Strategic Importance of the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women

The oppression of women, and the fight for their emancipation, has to be recognized, in its full dimensions, as a strategic question—both within this country and in the world as a whole—something which can and must play a crucial role in the overall fight to uproot all oppression and exploitation and emancipate all of humanity. This is spoken to in BAsics 3:22,56 and it’s elaborated on more fully in Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution Part 3,57 where the point is made that one of the things that stands out in the world today is the way in which the contradictions that are bound up with the oppression of women are becoming more and more pronounced and acute. Part of this is owing to changes in the way in which globalized imperialism operates. Let’s put it this way: The exploitation of the proletariat in many parts of the world is, to a very significant degree, the exploitation of women. That’s not entirely the case, but it’s very significantly so.

That is one objective factor which is clashing against some of the traditional forms of the oppression of women. With regard to these fundamentalist religious forces in the world, they are, at their very core, reactionary, murderous patriarchal forces—if one thing defines them, above all it is that—and one of the reasons this reactionary fundamentalism has become such a major phenomenon is this dramatic change in conditions, with so many women out in the world more, and being exploited as proletarians as a significant part of this. There has been the uprooting of much of the peasantry in many countries throughout the Third World—the hurtling of people into urban shantytowns. Here, again, what’s emphasized in those six paragraphs at the beginning of Part 2 of Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity comes into play: You can’t know all that will result from all the different things happening in the world, including what comes about as a result of the workings of the system, and what other class forces are doing—you can’t anticipate fully all the changes this might lead to—but you do have to work on all that, including what these other class forces are trying to do in working on the situation. Even the creation of larger middle class forces in many of these Third World countries—whether it’s China, India, or elsewhere, even in many African countries that are so plundered by imperialism, you still have a significant development of middle classes in a way that you didn’t have a few decades ago—even that kind of development is itself contradictory. On the one hand, it causes a problem for the communist revolution. The middle classes, we have to win them over, at least to a significant degree, but goddamn, it can be a real problem in the short run! You get my point—you get the spirit in which I’m saying that. In any case, this phenomenon of significantly increased middle strata in many Third World countries is contradictory, not only in a general sense but also specifically in regard to the woman question, because you have many more educated women, for example, in the middle strata, and this is sharply clashing up against a lot of traditional ways in which women are oppressed. One of the reasons why you have horrific things like these mass rapes in India and other outrages is because of these changes that are undermining and challenging a lot of the traditional forms of oppression, including specifically patriarchal oppression. But there hasn’t been any kind of revolutionary transformation. So this leads to a very explosive, a very volatile, situation, which gives rise in the short run to many horrific things.

And then you can look within this country: It has been pointed out that, with the changing nature of the economy, along with large numbers of women working in lower tier, lower paid jobs, you have a lot more women professionals, a lot more women in the middle class generally who are themselves working, many more women college graduates, and so on. Things like this are vastly different than a few decades ago. And this, too, has its very contradictory effects—all this personal empowerment, and “let me start up my entrepreneurial thing, or let me get into a business executive position and learn how to be just as cutthroat as the men,” on the one side. But, on the other side, this is clashing up against the traditional relations, and in this country, too, it is calling forth, or is a major factor in calling forth, all this fundamentalist madness, in this case Christian Fascist fundamentalism. For example, the whole assault on the right to abortion. And speaking of this, there is something we really should emphasize: These dark ages fanatics are not just going after abortion, they are moving very directly now in opposition to birth control as well. As kind of an aside, but an important one, this really illustrates what’s actually involved here. This point has been made before, but I want to really drive it home, that this opposition to birth control, as well as abortion, sharply illustrates how much this is about the subjugation of women and treating them as breeding machines, as well as sex objects, and how it’s not at all about “the killing of babies.”

But, to return to the main point here, the contradictions between significant social changes affecting women in particular, up against traditional expressions of the oppression of women, are assuming acute expression; and this question—of the oppression, and the struggle for the emancipation, of women—is objectively posing itself in a much more pronounced way. It needs to be taken up on a much greater scale, as a major part of the proletarian revolution—as an important fight in its own right, but also, in a fundamental sense, as a crucial part of the revolution whose ultimate goal is a communist world without any form of oppression or exploitation.

Look at the treatment of women around the world and in this country. You cannot live in this country without being constantly assaulted with the degradation of women. Along with the widespread sexual assault and sexual degradation of women, as well as attacks on something as basic as their right to determine when, or even whether, to have children, think about child-rearing. With the changes that have taken place, where a large number of births in this country involve single women, it’s obvious who’s taking responsibility for the child-rearing in those situations. And within families with a husband and wife, it is still overwhelmingly the women who are taking care of the children and the household, while many of them are also working outside the home. This is not just a superficial phenomenon—or just a “relic” of past relations in the family; it is linked to, and in an overall sense a part of, deeply rooted patriarchal relations, which—going back to the point about the mode of production—are rooted in relations of commodity production and exchange, where the exploitation of the commodity labor power is the means for accumulating capital, in competition with other capitals. All this is not incidental to this system—it cannot be abolished by reforms within this system or by getting more “enlightened people” in positions of authority. A scientific analysis, digging into the fundamental relations and dynamics of this system, will powerfully illustrate why it is not possible to abolish the oppression of women under this system.

A couple of thought experiments, as they say, can help drive home this fundamental point. Could you abolish the traditional family under this system? And if you abolished that family, how would you deal with things like the inheritance of private property? Or how would you end the oppression of women under this system while maintaining the family? These are questions for us to grapple with ourselves, but also to pose to other people. If you’re going to be serious about ending this oppression, let’s talk just about whether you could do those things under this system. The truth is, you cannot. But, again, rather than just saying that and affirming it like religious dogma, we need to do the work to really get into why that is so, in order to have the necessary grounding ourselves to be able to win many more people to that understanding, as a crucial part of bringing them forward to the overall revolution we need.

There is not going to be any communist revolution which tries to sidestep this question or puts it into a secondary, subordinate place. This must be recognized, not just out of moral conviction—although that, too—but out of strategic considerations. It obviously shouldn’t be a goal to have a revolution without the emancipation of women being a prominent aspect of that revolution, but in any case it isn’t possible—you’re not going to be able to get seriously on the road of a communist revolution without this figuring prominently into everything you’re doing.

And, again, we don’t go by populism or by superficial phenomena. We don’t go by what most people are doing or thinking at any given time. We go by looking to and analyzing the more deeply rooted contradictions at the base of this system, of which the oppression of women is a very, very profound one. Right now there is not nearly the mass motion and struggle around this contradiction that there needs to be. But that does not mean that it’s not a deep-seated contradiction. It means that there are other contradictions involved that also have to be struggled through to bring forward the kind of mass struggle around this that there needs to be, and to link it with the overall revolutionary struggle whose ultimate goal is communism. And this is strategically very favorable. It’s bound up with a lot of contradictions which have aspects that are unfavorable in the short run, but in an overall sense, and strategically, this is very favorable. If you want to talk about a group in society whose fundamental need to be able to breathe, and to live as human beings, cannot be met other than through the communist revolution, there’s no group for whom that’s more true than the masses of women.

56. BAsics 3:22

“You cannot break all the chains, except one. You cannot say you want to be free of exploitation and oppression, except you want to keep the oppression of women by men. You can’t say you want to liberate humanity yet keep one half of the people enslaved to the other half. The oppression of women is completely bound up with the division of society into masters and slaves, exploiters and exploited, and the ending of all such conditions is impossible without the complete liberation of women. All this is why women have a tremendous role to play not only in making revolution but in making sure there is all-the-way revolution. The fury of women can and must be fully unleashed as a mighty force for proletarian revolution.”
BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian [back]

57. Bob Avakian, Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution, edited transcript of a talk given in the fall of 2009. Available at revcom.us. [back]

 

 

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/two-works-by-bob-avakian-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 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.

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/466/carl-dix-refusing-to-accept-a-fascist-america-is-everybodys-problem-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

More on Why Dave Chappelle Is Wrong About Trump

Refusing to Accept a Fascist America Is Everybody's Problem

by Carl Dix

November 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Saturday Night Live, Dave Chappelle said Black people have survived worse than Donald Trump and they’ll be able to survive this too. And that Trump was white people’s problem and they should deal with it. This is straight-up wrong and very dangerous.

Trump has demonized immigrants and Muslims. He has demeaned and degraded women and boasted of sexually assaulting them. He has advocated for torturing and murdering families of people accused of terrorism. He has called climate change a hoax and promoted policies that will escalate the devastation of the planet we live on. His election has unleashed white supremacist forces to attack everybody they see as “others.”

It is incredibly narrow and selfish to say a fascist coming to power in the most powerful country in the world is “somebody else’s problem.” This is a problem for all of humanity, and everybody has a responsibility to stop this. When people stand aside while fascists come after other groups of people—it strengthens the ability of the fascists to consolidate their rule and later come after those who stood aside.

Anyone who says Trump isn’t a problem for Black people is refusing to look reality square in the face. I know Black people have caught hell in America since the first Africans were dragged to these shores in slave chains. The savage oppression they’ve been subjected to—slavery, Jim Crow segregation, lynch mob terror, and today’s New Jim Crow of mass incarceration and police terror—has been built into the fabric of this capitalist-imperialist system from the beginning. Anyone who looks at this history and comes to the conclusion that Black people should just tough it out through whatever Trump might add to it has lost their goddamn mind. This savage oppression is unacceptable and illegitimate. It’s one big reason why this system should be ripped up from its foundations and replaced with a totally different and far better way for people to live, why it must be done away with through an actual revolution at the soonest possible time. If this was the only thing wrong with this system, and it’s far from the only thing wrong with it, this would be reason enough to make revolution to wipe it off the face of the earth.

I have called the current situation faced by Black people, what it comes down to, a slow genocide. But a slow genocide could become a fast one, and this is what a Trump regime is objectively moving to bring about. His election has unleashed a lynch mob mentality, with his supporters targeting immigrants, Muslims, women, LGBT people, AND Black people. Trump is appointing racists and even an outright white supremacist to his cabinet and key positions on his White House staff.

People like Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. This man called a white civil rights attorney a traitor to his race. His racism was so out there that a Senate committee headed by Republicans wouldn’t approve his nomination to be a federal judge back in the 1980s. Now he’s Trump’s pick to be the new Attorney General. Steve Bannon, who headed up the Breitbart online news site, a platform for fascist and white supremacist forces, has been picked to be the chief strategist and senior counselor to the president. Or Rudolph Giuliani who unleashed draconian and police state measures when he was mayor of New York. He was a major surrogate during Trump’s campaign and is now being considered for a cabinet post.

In a country that already offers no future for Black youth and has many of them on a track to go in and out of prison, Trump has declared he’ll be a Law and Order president and will implement stop-and-frisk throughout the country. Think of what this will mean. At the height of stop-and-frisk, the NYPD stopped tens of thousands of mostly Black and Latino people every month. They subjected them to the harassment of being stopped by the police and the humiliation of having a pig run thru their pockets in front of neighbors and strangers and worse. Every Black and Latino person in New York City knew this could be done to them at any time for no reason other than the color of their skin. And that this could end with them being brutally beaten or even murdered by the cops, even if you hadn’t done anything wrong. Then there’s Trump’s stance on the case of the Central Park 5. These were five Black and Latino men who were railroaded into prison on charges of rape in 1989. Back then Trump called for the reinstatement of the death penalty so these men could be executed. Even though the real rapist came forward and confessed and the courts found these men innocent, Trump still says the Central Park 5 should still be in jail.

What does all this say about what a Trump regime will mean for Black people? That even more savage oppression will be enforced on Black people. And this will come down as part of an overall program of demonizing immigrants and Muslims, taking the right to have an abortion away from women, and more.

This is a problem for all of humanity, and everybody who has any concern for the future of humanity needs to be a part of standing up against the horrors this will mean for the people of the world. The fact that a whole lot of people, especially large numbers of white people, have taken to the streets to reject a Trump presidency is a good thing for humanity. More people of all nationalities, including larger numbers of Black people, need to flow into the streets and join these protests and get involved in the resistance in many other ways. The future of humanity is at stake here.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/donald-trump-is-not-goin-to-bring-back-american-jobs-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 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.

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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/what-trumps-victory-means-to-women-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 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/466/reality-check-to-those-still-looking-to-bernie-sanders-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

Reality Check

To Those Still Looking to Bernie Sanders...

November 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

To Those Still Looking to Bernie Sanders... Sanders is talking about working together with Trump on some things like “infrastructure investment for jobs” while, supposedly, opposing him “if” he tries to take away people’s rights. This is like supporting Hitler when he “provided jobs” by building up the war industry, while saying you were going to oppose his repression, war, and genocide; it didn’t and couldn’t happen then, and it won’t happen now. It’s bullshit: You can’t pick and choose with fascists. For Sanders, who knows better, to promote the fantasy that you can is unconscionable—and shows how at the end of the day he serves a system, and the “revolution” he used to talk about was just a change of faces.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/466/standing-up-to-white-supremacy-in-mt-greenwood-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

NO to Police Murder and Lynch-Mob Threats!
Standing Up to White Supremacy in Mount Greenwood

November 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Standing up against white supremacy in Mt. Greenwood, Chicago
Standing up against white supremacy in Mt. Greenwood, Chicago. Photo: revcom.us

White supremacists tell protesters to "go home"
Mt. Greenwood white supremacists behind police lines, with anti-white-supremacy protesters in foreground. Photo: David Steiber

In the face of a lynch mob in Mount Greenwood, Chicago, that has repeatedly gathered to celebrate the police murder of a young Black man, Joshua Beal, and threaten further violence against Black people, a diverse group of more than a hundred people rallied Sunday to refuse to tolerate this. Led by the Revolution Club, the people who came out showed great courage and determination. They came out to stand up against a mob that had spewed hatred and threatened violence at several earlier protests. And the protesters were further strengthened through the process.

There were a number of clergy in the crowd. There were Black people who had been active in other struggles for justice for people killed by the police. There were young white people who heard about it on Facebook or got flyers at other rallies or lived in areas near Mount Greenwood who wanted to take a stand against this ugly outpouring of racism. There were several people who live in Mount Greenwood who joined the rally. Some people told us this was the first protest they had ever attended.

The Revolution Club started things off marching and chanting: “1, 2, 3, 4, slavery, genocide and war; 5, 6, 7, 8, America was never great”; “No Trump, No KKK, No fascist USA”; and “It’s time, it’s time, to get organized, to get organized, for an actual revolution.” A leader of the Club spoke to why they had issued the call for this protest: “We came to Mount Greenwood today because a cop murdered Joshua Beal. This was a modern-day lynching. And the crowd that came out after the murder was a modern-day lynch mob. As this white mob celebrated the murder of Joshua Beal and threatened to rape women who spoke out against it and break the legs of a Catholic priest who called out their racism, they also chanted ‘Trump, Trump, Trump.’ This is an early showdown in the battle to stop a fascist America.” She spoke about how important it was that people came out from a great range of different perspectives to stand against this, and that much more resistance like this will be needed.

The area was flooded with on-duty police who felt compelled to put up a barricade this time. On the other side of that barricade, a crowd of mainly white men gathered, holding altered American flags that were black and blue. There were dozens of them—significantly less than had been at several previous lynch-mob outpourings. Usually, they just chanted things like “USA, USA, CPD, CPD” and “Blue Lives Matter.” When they did string whole sentences together, they were cheering the murder of Joshua Beal and calling Black people “criminals.” At one point they started shouting, “Go back to the ghetto.” This crowd was noticeably “toned down” from the one that had shouted “animals” and “n***ers” at Black people on election night.

Carl Dix was the featured speaker at the rally. “You people chanting ‘CPD’ (Chicago Police Department) and ‘USA’ and waving American flags remind me of the white mobs who gathered when they heard the KKK was going to lynch a Black man. They packed picnic lunches and brought the kids out to watch.... And you’re ready to celebrate any crime this system commits, whether it was dragging Africans to these shores in slave chains, stealing the land from the native inhabitants or dropping bombs and chemicals that killed millions of people during the Vietnam War—a war that I refused to be a part of. And you assholes saying I should be ashamed for not fighting should apply for positions in Trump’s cabinet because maybe he needs a few more racists or misogynists. And people like you belong with Trump. For our part, [the RevComs] are out here as part of getting rid of the system that’s responsible for all these horrors and has even worse horrors in store for humanity. We are organizing for an actual revolution at the soonest possible moment. We have the leadership needed for this revolution in Bob Avakian. We have a blueprint for the kind of society this revolution can bring into existence in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America that Avakian has written, and we have the strategy to make this revolution. Everybody who wants to see an end to the misery and brutality people are forced to endure needs to get with this revolution.”

Other speakers included: Reverend Greg Greer of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, who called for a moment of silence for Joshua Beal and noted the vile racism the mob expressed in their chants and their signs. Quintus Martin, a young Black anti-police brutality activist, who cited some facts like that a mother’s son was dead, that Joshua Beal’s mother couldn’t hold a vigil for her son, and how many people the police had killed so far this year; he ended by saying that racism must fall and we as human beings needed to change these facts. Tio Hardiman of the Violence Interrupters Inc., who said, “We don’t need to be conciliating with racism. We don’t need to be sitting down with people who don’t want to hear anything about police killing Black people.” Amina Matthews of Pause For Peace, who led the rally in saying Joshua Beal’s name; she repeated several times that this was 2016 and expressed her determination to continue to fight for justice for Joshua Beal. Mr. Crim, who recently did a video that went viral of a white woman attacking him and his wife and spitting on them; he spoke of being bused to school in Mount Greenwood for eight years and of the racism he had to put up with during those years. Bernice, who spoke of having relatives who died in concentration camps in Germany during WW2. Reverend LaDarius Beal, a cousin of Joshua Beal, who was there “because it is important that the church joins in these kinds of fights, to speak against police brutality, to raise our prophetic voices, to let us know we are tired of this long-overdue system."

       

A third group had mobilized to try to carve out a “middle ground” between what they claimed were two extreme sides, both of which had gone too far. A few activists had met with police and residents of Mount Greenwood during the week and planned a dinner for people on “both sides” to get to know each other. Carl Dix pointed out that this “unity” was being forged on an unprincipled and dangerous basis. It was based on ignoring the police murder of Joshua Beal and acting like the issue was “tensions” between protesters and the residents. Further, it was based on wrongly equating the anger of protesters against police murder and a mob of white people hurling threats and racist insults, with the racism and threats of the mob itself. He pointed out, “There is no ‘reasonable middle’ between a lynch mob and racial justice.”

Revolution Club in Mount Greenwood
Revolution Club in Mount Greenwood, November 20. Photo: revcom.us

When the fascists said “go back to the ghetto,” one of the RevComs repeated it for all to hear and went on to say: “Jewish people were locked into ghettos in Nazi Germany before they were rounded up and exterminated. This is exactly what America is doing to Black people today, and these people are celebrating and enforcing.”

She also pointed to the lynch mob on the other side of the barricade and said: “I want to say something to you white people over there—you don’t have to be ignorant assholes your whole life, it’s not in your DNA.... You would think human beings wouldn’t be capable of celebrating the murder of another human being because of the color of his skin, but America was founded on this.... You can regain your humanity.... And we, the revolutionaries, we don’t believe in revenge—we’ll welcome you into the revolution if you get out of this racist shit, so you can come onto this side. But until then, we’re not going to let this shit stand for a second, we’re going to fight it and keep fighting all the way until we get rid of the system that gave rise to it.... Our leader Bob Avakian says American lives are not more important than other people’s lives. He says the whole world comes first. He says we can’t break all the chains but one—we have to break the chains of brutality and degradation of women. Bob Avakian says out of all the ugliness of what Black people have been subjected to, there is something beautiful that can come out of this: Black people, together with others, rising up to tear this whole system down, and emancipating all of humanity from this horror. That’s the revolution we’re making, and the society we bring into being is going to look like this crowd behind me, all this diversity fighting together for a better world.”

Before ending, another member of the Revolution Club gave a powerful salute to everyone who had come out and stood together against this national flashpoint in Trump’s rising fascism.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/466/carl-dix-statement-on-mt-greenwood-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 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?

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/464/protests-erupt-across-the-country-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 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

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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/ruling-class-says-trump-Is-president-get-over-It-tens-of-thousands-in-the-streets-say-no-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 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/466/trumps-victory-a-disaster-for-the-environment-requiring-massive-resistance-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

Trump's Victory—A Disaster for the Environment Requiring Massive Resistance

November 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Without Donald Trump in power, the world was already experiencing a growing environmental emergency that is relentlessly driven forward by the competitive predations of global capitalism. But now, Trump’s victory threatens to kick the destruction of the planet into overdrive. This is an extremely dangerous situation, and another important part of the overall need to stop this entire fascist program in its tracks before it can be fully implemented.


Do you know anyone else—any person or organization—that has managed to bring forth an actual PLAN for a radically different society, in all its dimensions, and a CONSTITUTION to codify all this? — A different world IS possible — Check out and order online the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal).

2016 is on track to break high-temperature records for the third straight year. Just last week a new study in the magazine Science Advances said if the world keeps burning fossil fuels as it is, global temperatures could rise twice as high this century as previously predicted. A press release for the study says this would mean pushing “Earth’s climate out of the envelope of temperature conditions that have prevailed for the last 784,000 years.” Leading climate scientist Michael Mann commented that this study “does indeed provide support for the notion that a Donald Trump presidency could be game over for the climate.”

Trump has said he would pull the U.S. out of the Paris international climate accords. He intends to kill off Obama’s “Clean Power Plan,” which would have made modest cuts in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. He has repeatedly stated he would lift environmental protections restricting oil and natural gas drilling, open up public lands to energy extraction, kick-start coal mining, and reverse Obama’s decision against the Keystone XL pipeline. Trump would certainly try to lift any restrictions on the Dakota Access Pipeline—now under international focus because of the righteous struggle at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North/South Dakota. Trump reportedly has personal financial interests in this pipeline.

He threatened to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency, then backtracked to say that he would “refocus” it on ensuring “clean water.” This is a complete joke. Ripping away environmental protections and allowing unfettered energy production will mean more massive and frequent pipeline ruptures, oil spills, train disasters, gas leaks, poisoning of people’s water supplies, and a greatly worsening climate disaster.

Environmental destruction—which has continued and grown worse under Obama—will be vastly accelerated by a fascist Trump regime. Obama and the section of the ruling class around him intended to maintain U.S. global competitiveness and top-dog position in the world while making certain very limited moves to try to “manage” climate change, a crisis actually unmanageable under capitalism. Obama vastly expanded U.S. oil and gas production, pipeline development, and corresponding environmental devastation, all while trying to cast himself as “the environmental president.” But Trump and those huge capitalist interests who stand to gain the most intend to do away with any limits on their ability to gorge themselves on the resources of the Earth, with no publicly spoken “niceties” about protecting it needed.

Trump has said climate change is a “hoax” perpetrated by China to undermine U.S. global competitiveness. Trump claims “there is no drought” in California and all that needs to be done is to “start opening up the water.” Apparently he is not aware of how huge natural reservoirs like Lake Mead are emptying. Denying the reality of droughts, rising seas, melting ice caps and glaciers, temperatures continually breaking records year after year, increasingly destructive storms and all the coming disaster climate changes mean for humanity, makes Trump appear a ridiculous ignoramus. But his denial of reality and of science and his disdain for the truth is a dangerous part of this whole fascist package. And the denial of the emergency already smacking humanity in the face also makes him and his “team” an extremely deadly force that will mean cementing humanity to catastrophe if they get away with it.

       

Lest anyone be grabbing onto the illusion that, well, maybe he was just saying these things during the campaign and won’t be so bad when he becomes president—Trump has already made it abundantly clear he intends to do exactly as he has threatened. Trump appointed Myron Ebell, a climate change denier and coal industry tool, to head up the transition of the Environmental Protection Agency! Trump is preparing to turn over the reins of managing public lands and protection of the air, water, and wilderness to a conglomeration of capitalist energy company hacks and anti-scientific know-nothings—like Sarah Palin, Ebell, and Mike McKenna, an energy lobbyist with ties to the American Energy Alliance, a group representing leading U.S. capitalist energy interests.

And TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, has announced it will meet with Trump officials this week to discuss reviving this environmental disaster.

This horrible rape of the environment Trump intends, and the danger it means, must be combatted and resisted now and at every step. The struggle to stand with Standing Rock and stop the Dakota Access Pipeline has become a key struggle that has gained support across the U.S. and internationally. Tens of thousands have actively joined with it in national days of action. This key struggle against the continuing genocide of Native American people and against environmental destruction takes on even more importance in light of Trump’s coming to power.

It’s important that many environmental groups have called out Trump’s plans in sharp terms and vowed to not allow them to be implemented. This should be united with. The struggles to defend the environment can, and need to, be joined with preventing this fascist from implementing his power, his whole fascist program assaulting women, Black people, immigrants, Muslims, and all of humanity. But this struggle can’t be limited to trying to preserve the status quo or “get back” to what existed with Obama, which after all meant ongoing destruction of the environment and continual, brutal oppression of world humanity. What is needed is to join this with a real way out through revolution that can move to preserve and protect the planet’s environment while moving to do away with all forms of oppression of humanity all over the globe.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/466/thousands-act-together-in-solidarity-with-struggle-at-standing-rock-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

From Revcoms at Standing Rock:

Thousands Act Together in Solidarity with the Struggle at Standing Rock

November 20, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

November 16—Since last reporting from Standing Rock, there have been some incredibly dramatic shifts in society. A reactionary, white-supremacist, neo-Nazi movement has been called forward and emboldened by Trump’s victory. Already there have been more than 400 reports of harassment and assault—and most of these incidents have happened in schools and universities. At the same time, a movement of tens of thousands has taken to the streets night after night, shutting shit down, disrupting business as usual, to oppose this racist, misogynist fascist who has been elected president of the United States.

We have been following all the coverage of these demonstrations on TV and it has given us tremendous joy to watch our comrades in the Revolution Clubs and thousands of other determined people taking this kind of righteous stand, and refusing to back down! Now more than ever, the struggle here at Standing Rock needs to grow and become even more strengthened and determined.

Dakota Pipeline protesters and cops face off during march from state Capitol to the Federal Building, November 14, Bismarck, ND.
For several days straight, there have been direct actions in the Bismarck/Mandan area, with many people courageously putting their bodies on the line to further delay and halt construction of the DAPL. Above: Protesters and cops face off during march from state Capitol to the Federal Building, November 14, Bismarck, ND. (Photo: Mike McCleary/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

Dakota Access Pipeline protesters block rush hour traffic, New Haven, Conn., November 16, 2016. (Peter Hvizdak/New Haven Register via AP)
Dakota Access Pipeline protesters block rush hour traffic, New Haven, Conn., November 16, 2016. (Photo: Peter Hvizdak/New Haven Register via AP)

Yesterday was the National Day of Action in Solidarity with Standing Rock. Thousands participated in demonstrations in 300+ cities in all 50 states, as well as throughout the world. Prominent voices who participated included actress Shailene Woodley, who was also arrested at Standing Rock several weeks ago; actors Mark Ruffalo, Susan Sarandon, and Scarlett Johansson tweeted in solidarity; and actors Patricia Arquette, Rosanna Arquette, and Frances Fisher joined actions on the ground at Standing Rock.

Here at Standing Rock, more than 1,000 people took action, with approximately 200  putting their bodies on the line in a direct action at a DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline) construction site, where several people were pepper-sprayed and arrested. About 900 people marched from inside the main encampment to the nearby Rosebud camp to pray and create a piece of art together—a human medicine wheel that was captured from above.

For several days straight, there have been direct actions in the Bismarck/Mandan area, with many people courageously putting their bodies on the line to further delay and halt construction of the DAPL. This is a very good thing. The authorities have responded with arrests. And at an action to blockade where DAPL keeps construction equipment, a driver leaving the site pulled a gun and reportedly fired six shots in the air. He was questioned by police but not arrested!

A young white person from Colorado, who had just gotten out of jail after being arrested for participating in a direct action, talked about how there was an even greater need, now that Trump had been elected, to continue with these kinds of actions and not back down or slow down. Some of the more intellectual youth here—both Native and non-Native—who we’ve spoken to feel that this Trump victory does not change anything, that their focus remains defeating the pipeline, and they will continue to fight. Among the Native elders, this also seems to be the dominant take on the Trump victory, while also appealing to Obama to stop this pipeline. However, some of the elders more feel that now is the time to prepare for more intense struggle and more bold action. Some of the more rebellious youth see the current situation as an opportunity to rally more people to stand up and fight, both against this pipeline but also for an all-the-way revolution. Some people who identify as gay or queer have expressed fear that they will not be able to return home after this struggle is over, or that the home they once knew will no longer exist.

       

It is also important to note that it is nearly impossible at the encampment to get online access or cell service to be able to see what has been going on in society in relation to the Trump victory. Many people here have almost no contact with the outside world on a day-to-day basis. So it came as news to many when we talked to them about the outpourings of people day after day, night after night, across the U.S. in response to Trump—and people were very excited to hear about this. Some of those who did hear of the outpourings described them as “riots” because of what they had heard on the mainstream news.

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

We have been getting out the call “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America” to people at Standing Rock, and we have gotten a lot of positive responses and unity with this call. People are mainly in agreement that Trump is a fascist, and his proposed program of mass deportations; criminalization and demonization of all people of color as well as Muslims; denying women their right to abortion; further destroying the environment; and overall fascist agenda cannot be allowed to be carried out. However, many do not immediately see the effect this has on the future of the struggle here at Standing Rock. There is also the contradiction of this encampment being a form of action in and of itself, and some people not seeing the need to respond to the Trump victory much beyond what is already happening here.

At the same time, we have had some very substantive discussions with people who are confronting the reality of what a Trump victory will mean for the future of this struggle, the environment, and humanity as a whole. We have spoken with some Native people who are very concerned with the direction things are headed—and we’ve gotten into the need for people to resist now, but also going forward to build for an actual revolution to get rid of this system once and for all. We got into questions of how a revolutionary socialist state would be set up with the overthrow of capitalism-imperialism, and how the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America deals with the question of oppressed people, including Native Americans.

These Native people we engaged with expressed serious concern over the question of sovereignty. So we got into this, and about the need for the strategic orientation of a United Front under the Leadership of the Proletariat against this system; why it is, in fact, in the interests of the Native people and all other oppressed nationalities to come together to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time; how a radically different socialist economic and political system would take actual measures to ensure the right of oppressed people and overcome the whole legacy of brutal oppression, including the right to autonomy, in the New Socialist Republic in North America, and to ensure the flourishing of oppressed people.

In going forward here, we are continuing to get this call out very broadly. We hope to meet with some of the more organized forces and leadership here to get into what they think of this call, and what they think is needed here in the face of the Trump victory. We are also giving people quantities of this call as well as “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Actually Make Revolution” to get out to their circles here, as well as back where they are from. We are also continuing to meet with folks who are serious about engaging with the work of Bob Avakian and what is in “HOW WE CAN WIN.

 

 


 

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

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

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

Updated July 31, 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):

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/466/american-crime-case-72-wounded-knee-massacre-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

American Crime

Case #72: Wounded Knee Massacre, 1890

November 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian recently wrote that one of three things that has "to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better: People have to fully confront the actual history of this country and its role in the world up to today, and the terrible consequences of this." (See "3 Things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better.")

In that light, and in that spirit, "American Crime" is a regular feature of revcom.us. Each installment will focus on one of the 100 worst crimes committed by the U.S. rulers—out of countless bloody crimes they have carried out against people around the world, from the founding of the U.S. to the present day.

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

 

 

Victims of the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee, where the U.S. Seventh Cavalry killed as many as 300 Lakota Indians, including children.

Victims of the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee, where the U.S. Seventh Cavalry killed as many as 300 Lakota Indians, including children. Photo: Library of Congress

Spotted Elk
Spotted Elk lying dead at Wounded Knee

Ghost Dance
Depiction of a Ghost Dance.

Civilian burial party at Wounded Knee
The dead being collected after Wounded Knee massacre

The Crime:

On December 29, 1890, U.S. government soldiers massacred nearly 300 of the 350 Lakota men, women, and children on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The massacre took place near Wounded Knee Creek. Some of the women murdered were already widows whose husbands had previously been killed by U.S. troops. The Lakota Chief Spotted Elk (Big Foot), who was dying of pneumonia, was among those massacred.

The Lakota had been chased down by a detachment of the U.S. 7th Cavalry under the command of Major Samuel Whiteside. They were later joined by additional troops of the 7th Cavalry under Colonel James W. Forsyth. The U.S. troops, now numbering 500, surrounded the camp and positioned four Hotchkiss guns nearby so no one could escape. (Hotchkiss guns were lethal, firing shells that exploded on contact, showering the enemy with jagged shell fragments.) The Lakota feared that there would be revenge in the hearts of the 7th Cavalry. This was the unit that had been defeated at the Little Big Horn when under the command of General George Armstrong Custer.

On the morning of December 29, the Lakota men were separated from the women and children, and were ordered to disarm. Unsatisfied with the number of rifles that were turned in, Colonel Forsyth ordered that all lodges and men be searched. In the course of the search, a scuffle broke out between the soldiers and one of the Lakota, a deaf man named Black Coyote (Black Fox), who had spent a lot of money on his rifle. In the course of the struggle, a shot rang out. Immediately, the soldiers opened fire on the whole encampment.

A Lakota survivor, American Horse, described the massacre:

When the firing began, of course the people who were standing immediately around the young man who fired the first shot were killed right together, and then they [the U.S. Cavalry] turned their guns, Hotchkiss guns, etc., upon the women who were in the lodges standing there under a flag of truce. ...

There was a woman with an infant in her arms who was killed as she almost touched the flag of truce.... Right near the flag of truce a mother was shot down with her infant; the child not knowing that its mother was dead was still nursing, and that especially was a very sad sight. The women as they were fleeing with their babes were killed together, shot right through, and the women who were very heavy with child were also killed. ... [A]fter most all of them had been killed a cry was made that all those who were not killed [or] wounded should come forth and they would be safe. Little boys who were not wounded came out of their places of refuge, and as soon as they came in sight a number of soldiers surrounded them and butchered them there.

“The soldiers lost 25 dead and 39 wounded, most of them killed by their own bullets or shrapnel,” Dee Brown wrote in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. “A detail of soldiers went over the Wounded Knee battlefield, gathering up Indians still alive and loading them in wagons. As it was apparent by the end of the day that a blizzard was approaching, the dead Indians were left where they had fallen.”

After a few days, and a freezing blizzard, the dead became frozen in grotesque shapes. Then these Lakota were buried in mass graves. At least one was buried alive.

President Benjamin Harrison awarded 20 soldiers Medals of Honor, the U.S.’s highest military distinction, to the butchers of the 7th Cavalry. This was the most ever awarded for a single battle in American history, before or since. Despite protests and demands, those medals have never been rescinded.

The Criminals:

U.S. President Benjamin Harrison: In late November 1890, President Benjamin Harrison ordered federal troops into South Dakota in the largest military mobilization since the Civil War. Considering the Lakota as “naturally warlike and turbulent,” he “placed at the disposal of General Miles, commanding the Division of the Missouri, all such forces as were thought by him to be required.”

The War Department of the U.S.

General Nelson A. Miles: Miles played a leading role in nearly all of the U.S. Army’s campaigns against the American Indian tribes of the Great Plains. During 1874-1875, he led the attacks on the Kiowa, Comanche, and the Southern Cheyenne. During 1876-1877, he forced the Lakota and their allies onto reservations.

In 1890, Miles aimed to crush any further resistance by the Lakota on their reservations. Miles and others in the U.S. government worried that this resistance was taking the form of the “Ghost Dance,” a group spiritual dance taken up by many Lakota in hopes it would reunite them with the spirits of their dead; bring the spirits of the dead to fight on their behalf; make the white colonists leave; and bring peace, prosperity, and unity to Indian peoples throughout the region. While he did not directly order the massacre, Miles’ overall campaign to subdue the Lakota led to the slaughter at Wounded Knee.

Major Samuel Whiteside and Colonel James W. Forsyth: Carried out the bloodthirsty massacre at Wounded Knee.

       

The Alibi: The U.S. government had long justified its murderous plans to force Native Americans, including the Lakota, off their traditional lands and onto reservations by the doctrine of “Manifest Destiny.” This was the claim that God—or “Providence”—supported the territorial expansion of the United States. (This included the claim that white people and Western Christianity and civilization were inherently superior to the “heathen” Native Americans.)

In 1890, the public excuse given for the campaign against the Lakota was that the rise and spread of the Ghost Dance would lead to a violent outbreak by the Lakota. Journalists who accompanied the federal troops sent to South Dakota wrote inflammatory articles to spread fear among the whites who had settled on Lakota land, which led to hysteria by 1890.

The Actual Motive:

In reality, the Ghost Dance was a pacifist movement.

A former agent, Valentine McGillycuddy, ridiculed the panic that overcame the agencies, saying: “If the Seventh-Day Adventists prepare the ascension robes for the Second Coming of the Savior, the United States Army is not put in motion to prevent them. Why should not the Indians have the same privilege? If the troops remain, trouble is sure to come.”

But more to the point, the massacre at Wounded Knee was meant to be the final end to any kind of resistance by Native peoples—the last episode in the bloody history of the U.S government’s genocide of the Lakota. The U.S. government wanted to consolidate its rule over the original inhabitants of North America, further opening up the West to white settlers, and saw any kind of resistance among the Lakota as a threat to its ambitions.

In 1851, the U.S. government had promised the Lakota an enormous extent of land in the north-central U.S. in the Fort Laramie Treaty. The government broke that treaty, and signed a new one for a much smaller amount of land in 1868. But three years later it passed the Indian Appropriation Act, which effectively turned reservations into prisoner of war camps whose inhabitants had no rights and could not leave. When gold and other valuable resources were discovered in the Black Hills, the government divided up the land, between Native Americans who hated the concept of private ownership of land and white settlers to whom private property was everything. Native Americans were left with land nobody else wanted.

Sources

Heartless at Wounded Knee,” from A World to Win News Service, Revolution, April 18, 2013

Dee Brown, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1970

Lakota Accounts of the Massacre at Wounded Knee, PBS Archives of the West

Shelley Fisher Fishkin, “Remembering the Wounded Knee Massacre,” Utne Reader, June 2016

WOUNDED KNEE MASSACRE,” Encyclopedia of the Great Plains

Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States, “Third Annual Message,” December 9, 1891

Jeffrey Ostler, “Conquest and the State: Why the United States Employed Massive Military Force to Suppress the Lakota Ghost Dance,” Pacific Historical Review, May 1996

Written Testimony of Mario Gonzalez from the September 25, 1990 Senate Hearing

Ghost Dance,” hanksville.org

Alysa Landry, “Benjamin Harrison: Busted Up Sioux Nation, No Remorse for Wounded Knee,” Indian Country Today Media Network, June 7, 2016

President Benjamin Harrison and Indian Policy,” Native American Netroots, March 18, 2014

James Mooney, The Ghost Dance Religion and Wounded Knee, Dover Publications, 1896

Ghost Dance,” New World Encyclopedia

Hari Jagannathan Balasubramanian, “America’s Westward Expansion, the Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee,” Thirty letters in my name, November 4, 2007

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/466/trump-attacks-actors-previewing-his-approach-to-arts-and-dissent-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

Trump Attacks Actors, Previewing His Approach to Arts and Dissent:
No Criticism Will Be Allowed

November 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Trump has gone out of his way to attack the actors in the Broadway musical Hamilton. Why?

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 Friday night, November 18, Vice President-elect Mike Pence went to see Hamilton. He was righteously booed by audience members. After the show, the cast took the opportunity to make a public statement from the stage that they were “alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us.” And they went on to raise hopes that their show would inspire Pence to act “on behalf of all” Americans.

Even this was too much dissent for Trump, who made several public comments demanding that the actors apologize. Trump tweeted that “The Theater must always be a safe and special place.” In other words, safe from public critique of Trump and Pence's fascist policies. In another tweet, he made a point to say that Pence was “harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing.” And then he added ominously, “This should not happen!”

This is not Trump being “too sensitive” or having a “bruised ego,” as too many people have stated. These comments are coming from the person who has been elected to be the commander in chief of the top imperialist empire. These are the dangerous threats of a fascist who is telling you that he will not allow public criticism in the arts. And that to raise even the slightest and tiniest of concerns is “terrible behavior” which will not be allowed.

This must be immediately understood and called out for what it is: dangerous, very serious fascist threats. And they must be resisted. 

Right now: Rise Up! Resist! Get into the Streets! Raise Your Voice!

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

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

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/466/emergency-forum-revolution-books-we-refuse-to-accept-a-fascist-america-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

Emergency Forum at Revolution Books: We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America

November 21, 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

An Emergency Forum at Revolution Books in Harlem on November 13 kicked off a series of urgent programs between now and the inauguration of Trump: In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America: 65 Defiant Days at Revolution Books: Talks, Dialogue, & Culture.

It was a packed house at RB. People came to get into what is behind and what do we do about the new and dangerous situation ushered in by Trump’s election, and the air was thick with anticipation and concern. RB spokesperson Andy Zee and Carl Dix, a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party and co-initiator of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, were the featured speakers. In the audience were friends of Revolution Books, people from Harlem, new activists who have been in the streets protesting the election, teachers, professionals, writers, veterans of the ’60s struggles, members of the Revolution Club, and others.

Andy Zee set the tone. He read the title of the statement posted at 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. This, he said, is not only the title of an article but “an important directive not just for revolutionaries, but for everyone. This is a time that’s going to demand a lot of courage—and a lot of delving into what is the actual situation. It is going to be a time when we have to cast away illusions about the society we live in and what is to come. And we’re going to have to prepare right now for a great deal of struggle. What is on its way is not pretty, yet there is potential in this situation to stop it—and also to wrest out a different future...”

Andy and Carl gave wide-ranging presentations. They got into the origins of the Trump package... the demonization and oppression of Black people, immigrants, Muslims, and women in this society... what fascism is and what this situation tells us about a system that makes a Trump a “legitimate” candidate and now president... and the necessity, possibility, and desirability of an actual revolution.

They addressed the historical parallels to Hitler and Nazi Germany—and lessons that must be drawn. They popularized and applied the far-seeing analysis brought forward by Bob Avakian over the last 20 years—in works like The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era, and The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer—that shed a great deal of light on the current political juncture: its roots, dynamics, and what must be done in response. They invited people to discuss and engage the new communism developed by Bob Avakian and to become part of the movement for revolution.

Carl Dix talked about the whole legacy and current-day reality of white supremacy, how it is so deeply embedded in the history and fabric of U.S. society—and what this has to do with the rise of Trump and his election. He referenced the famous statement by Pastor Martin Niemöller, who experienced Hitler’s consolidation of power and its lessons for future generations: “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.”

Andy Zee got into the experience of Germany and the rise of Hitler in the 1930s: “It’s not an exact analogy, but it’s more exact than you think. People say, ‘Trump has no cohering ideology. He contradicts himself all the time.’ And they said the same about Hitler. ... [The historian] Claudia Koonz makes the point that there actually is a cohering ideology and in fact a very strong sense of morality for the volk, for a section of people [volk is the German word] who didn’t view the Roma people (“Gypsies”) and the Jews as human beings, and all kinds of other people, including people with disabilities.

“And you can start seeing Trump in all of this. And all this is all very real, but then there’s a trajectory that this goes down that created tremendous, tremendous horrors. You know, you hear in the campaign and in these people’s words in the streets, they say it’s ‘us’—meaning Americans—‘against them’—meaning the immigrants, the Muslims, virtually anybody who stands against them, the environmentalists, the elites. But really when push comes to shove, their program is ‘us without them.’ That’s where it leads. That’s why the threats are not just idle threats....”

Andy spoke to the revolutionaries in the room: “It really matters that you unite very broadly with people to fight against this fascist America.” That doesn’t mean, he said, that we don’t organize for an actual revolution. “If you don’t do that, then the world will go on [as it is]. We do not want to go back to the world of November 7 with police killing people at the rate of three a day. We do not want to go back to the record-setting deportations of the Obama administration. But we have to grasp the difference between that and what’s coming. And there are millions of people who want to stop that. We have to unite with them. That’s what this statement is about [holding up We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America]. As communists we are leading people to stop these attacks from the standpoint of preparing the ground for revolution, for bringing a radically new society into being.”

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

And to others in the audience: “This is a statement that we believe everyone in this room could take out to all of their friends. Now we’d also like you to take out the pamphlet ‘HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Actually Make Revolution.’ But if you’re not ready to do that, or you don’t agree with it, OK, take ‘In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America’ out right now, and we have to put a stop to this.” These are times to build broad unity and fan resistance everywhere, to be in the streets. And he explained that, as communists, exactly “because we are serious about revolution, we’re serious about fighting this.”

The Q&A was lively, with questions including what the difference is between populism and fascism; whether energies should be channeled into local and legislative activity; how Putin fits into Trump’s foreign policy; what about Hillary Clinton and would we be holding forums and be out in the streets if she were elected (short answer: YES!).

The Emergency Forum was the opening salvo of Revolution Books’ special programming: “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America: 65 Defiant Days at Revolution Books!”

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/466/standing-rock-police-attack-with-water-cannons-and-rubber-bullets-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

From Revcoms at Standing Rock, November 20

Police Attack With Water Cannons and Rubber Bullets–Standing Rock Protesters Refuse to Back Down

November 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Police fired water cannons mixed with mace at people in 25° weather. People were working to clear burned out vehicles from a police blockade so that emergency vehicles could get through. Photo: Twitter/@erinschrode

 

 

Photo: Twitter/@erinschrode

 

Donate to Support revcom.us Correspondents at Standing Rock

Revcom.us correspondents at Standing Rock—Travis Morales and, from the Revolution Club, NYC, Riley Ruiz—are standing with the struggle, reporting on developments, learning from people, and engaging people with the new communism and the work and leadership of Bob Avakian. Click here now to make urgently needed donations to support them.

On Sunday night, around 8pm, a group of about 40 water protectors walked to the bridge on Highway 1806 which police have been occupying since the October 27th police raid of the North camp. They were attempting to remove some of the burnt out vehicles which were being used as part of the police blockade, to keep water protectors away from DAPL construction. This blockade also prevents people and emergency vehicles from going to Bismarck, forcing people to drive a much longer route.

The group quickly swelled from 40 to about 400, with hundreds on the bridge and dozens on the wetlands below the bridge. Water protectors on the scene told us that the fires, which the police say were the reason behind their unleashing of all their “nonlethal” weaponry, were actually started by the police themselves. As they shot tear gas canisters at water protectors, they would hit the razor wire they set up to reinforce the barricade, and this created a spark, which then hit the dry grass below and started a fire. When water protectors tried to put out these fires, multiple times, they were shot with rubber bullets.

We have heard that there are 200 or more people with injuries; an elder who went into cardiac arrest and was resuscitated by medics; at least one person who had a seizure; four people who suffered wounds from rubber bullets with three of these shots to the face or head; and one woman who had her kneecap broken. People were vomiting from exposure to the mace, and some people lost control of their bowels. The deputies were shooting water cannons mixed with mace. Police also fired rubber bullets at the media area where injured people were being treated.

When we arrived on the scene a few hours after the action started, there were still about 100+ people out, facing off with the police, dancing, praying, chanting, and supporting each other. Large flood lights were aimed at water protectors as well as two Humvees and dozens of riot police from the Morton County Sheriff's Department. Water cannons were still being sprayed at water protectors below the bridge in the wetlands, and on the bridge people were continuing to be pepper sprayed.

Deputies were shooting rubber bullets indiscriminately into the crowd. Riley (from the Revolution Club and a revcom.us correspondent at Standing Rock) was hit by a rubber bullet that ricocheted off the pavement. Medics were running back and forth helping those with injuries and getting water to people being poisoned by the chemicals being sprayed by police. Others ran back and forth with blankets and plastic shields to help protect people from the rubber bullets.

We ran into a couple of youth who we had met before and talked to about “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution and Bob Avakian (BA). They were glad to see us there, with one putting his arm around us and saying, “The communists came!” They had just gone back to their tent to change into warm, dry clothes after being sprayed with water so they could stay out longer and endure the cold. They were full of energy and joy being out there, and they both pulled out their mementos from the night: one pulled out two rubber bullets and concussion grenade he had been shot with, and the other pulled out a tear gas canister he has been shot with. They both described being on the front lines from the beginning of the night; how exciting it was to see the small group of people swell into hundreds; the determination they felt to stand up to these police; and how when there was a certain point in the confrontation where, in response to their screaming at the police, they were asked to say something meaningful. They shouted, “Fuck Trump!” and others joined in with them.

Tonight the Standing Rock water protectors made very clear that they have no intention of backing down or walking away from this fight. And DAPL and their armed thugs made clear that they are willing to do anything to make sure this pipeline gets completed.

What went down tonight, the vicious actions by the police, and the courage and determination of the water protectors in the face of this, needs to be seen and heard all over the world, and something that brings forward many more people into this struggle.  

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/466/winter-is-here--water-protectors-arent-going-anywhere-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

From Revcoms at Standing Rock, November 21

Winter Is Here—Water Protectors Aren't Going Anywhere

November 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/466/donald-trump-big-fan-of-alex-jones-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

What Does It Tell You That Donald Trump Is a Big Fan of Alex Jones, the Point Man in Going After the RNC16?

November 22, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A section of the re-enactment of the People's Tribunal, which put the system on trial for the towering crimes U.S. imperialism has committed and continues to perpetrate against the people of the world and masses of oppressed people in this country. They indicted the various pigs and pig agencies responsible for the illegal acts against the RNC 16, the people including Joey Johnson who burned the flag at the Republican National Convention. In this section Alex Jones is indicted.

What does it tell you that Donald Trump is a big fan of Alex Jones and that this same Alex Jones is the point man in going after the notorious flag burner Joey Johnson and the RNC16, the 16 Revolution Club members who were illegally arrested this summer for burning the American flag outside of the Republican National Convention?

It tells you a lot about why Johnson and the RNC16 were targeted, attacked, and face serious charges. And it tells you a lot about how righteous and necessary their protest was and why now they must be firmly defended! 

Burning the U.S. flag outside the Republican convention
Joey Johnson at Republican National Convention. Before setting the flag on fire, Joey chanted, "1, 2, 3, 4—Slavery, Genocide, and War! 5, 6, 7, 8—America Was NEVER Great!" Photo: revcom.us

 

For more see:

“Who Is Alex Jones and Infowars.com?”

“RNC 16 Put the Pigs on Trial: People's Tribunal Finds the System GUILTY!”

“We did nothing wrong—we have right on our side: RNC Flag Burners Go on the Offensive”

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/466/standing-rock-no-thanks-genocide-day-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

DONATE HERE TO SUPPORT
REVCOM.US CORRESPONDENTS
AT STANDING ROCK

No Thanks Genocide Day!

November 23, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

by Travis Morales

As U.S. capitalism-imperialism prepares
An orgy of gluttony and patriotism for Thanksgiving,
Police attack Native people and those standing up with them
To stop the poisonous and genocidal Dakota Access Pipeline. 

For what do we have to give thanks? 

Give thanks for 400 years of genocide against the Native peoples?
Give thanks for the poisoning of the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux?
Give thanks for the modern-day genocide against the Standing Rock Sioux?
Give thanks for the poisoning of the entire planet?
Give thanks for the rubber bullets shot point blank at water protectors?
Give thanks for the mace sprayed in people’s faces?
Give thanks for the concussion grenade that almost tore off Sophia Wilansky’s arm?
Give thanks for racist taunts of “prairie n***er” Native people have faced for generations?
Give thanks for decades of boarding schools for Native children where their hair was cut and they were beaten for speaking their native tongues? 

No. No. No. 

We will never give thanks to this nightmare of a country,
A country that rains down death and destruction
On people here and around the planet. 

We’re at a crucial juncture. 

The fighters at Standing Rock are defending the lives, water, and humanity of the Standing Rock tribe,
Standing up against centuries of genocide against all Native peoples in America
And against the further destruction of Earth’s environment. 

What takes place here can help fuel a more defiant and determined spirit of resistance
Against all this system’s crimes—
Including the election of Trump. 

Now, more than ever...
People must resist and stop the Dakota Access Pipeline!

 

 

Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline!

As was written in “Native Americans Fight Modern-Day Genocide: Critical Juncture in Battle at Standing Rock”:

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.

Now, more than ever, people must resist and stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/466/readers-guide-to-arguing-over-turkey-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

 

 

Reader’s Guide to Arguing About Trump Over Thanksgiving Dinner

November 23, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The political arguments around the table this Thanksgiving will be more meaningful and more passionate than ever. First off, those who voted for Trump must come in for some sharp struggle—whatever their reasons (whether misguided or reactionary) everyone has to be brought face to face with the reality of what the Trump presidency has already begun to mean, even before he has taken office. There is plenty of material on this website that goes into this, including the exposures of his appointees (see “Trump Installs His Fascist Team.”)

For those who didn’t vote for Trump, two big points: first, it’s important to confront just how bad this is. There are things to do, but only on the basis of coming to grips with the fact that Trump aims to impose nothing less than fascism on this society.

Second, for those who voted against Trump and are now heartsick, we should definitely struggle over the reality that the real source of the problem is the capitalist-imperialist system—the very system that gave rise to a Trump. But we should not let the conversations drift into recriminations or explanations for Trump's rise that are within the confines of the current political system and cast the blame on anything else but on that system. What needs to be done right now, all throughout society, is for people to put our heads together to figure out how do stop this.

What must be done, in the immediate period, to actually prevent this fascist regime from consolidating, and move beyond that to oust it…. and what kind of society must replace this one and how is this to be brought about? In all this the statement made available at Revcom.us (“In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America” will be critically important; and be sure that everyone at the table gets a copy of the new print issue of REVOLUTION.

No Thanks Genocide Day!

by Travis Morales

As U.S. capitalism-imperialism prepares
An orgy of gluttony and patriotism for Thanksgiving,
Police attack Native people and those standing up with them
To stop the poisonous and genocidal Dakota Access Pipeline. 

For what do we have to give thanks? 

Give thanks for 400 years of genocide against the Native peoples?
Give thanks for the poisoning of the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux?
Give thanks for the modern-day genocide against the Standing Rock Sioux?
Give thanks for the poisoning of the entire planet?
Give thanks for the rubber bullets shot point blank at water protectors?
Give thanks for the mace sprayed in people’s faces?
Give thanks for the concussion grenade that almost tore off Sophia Wilansky’s arm?
Give thanks for racist taunts of “prairie n***er” Native people have faced for generations?
Give thanks for decades of boarding schools for Native children where their hair was cut and they were beaten for speaking their native tongues? 

No. No. No. 

We will never give thanks to this nightmare of a country,
A country that rains down death and destruction
On people here and around the planet. 

We’re at a crucial juncture. 

The fighters at Standing Rock are defending the lives, water, and humanity of the Standing Rock tribe,
Standing up against centuries of genocide against all Native peoples in America
And against the further destruction of Earth’s environment. 

What takes place here can help fuel a more defiant and determined spirit of resistance
Against all this system’s crimes—
Including the election of Trump. 

Now, more than ever...
People must resist and stop the Dakota Access Pipeline!

 

Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline!

As was written in “Native Americans Fight Modern-Day Genocide: Critical Juncture in Battle at Standing Rock”:

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.

Now, more than ever, people must resist and stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.

 

On Thanksgiving Day, Confront the Actual History of This Country:
AMERICA WAS NEVER GREAT!

Bob Avakian recently wrote that one of three things that has “to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better: People have to fully confront the actual history of this country and its role in the world up to today, and the terrible consequences of this.” (See “3 Things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better.”)

In that light, and in that spirit, “American Crime” is a regular feature of revcom.us. Each installment will focus on one of the 100 worst crimes committed by the U.S. rulers—out of countless bloody crimes they have carried out against people around the world, from the founding of the U.S. to the present day.

Here are three installments from this series so far that focus on Native Americans.

American Crime Case #72: Wounded Knee Massacre, 1890


Victims of the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee, where the U.S. Seventh Cavalry killed as many as 300 Lakota Indians, including children. Photo: Library of Congress

American Crime Case #77: Christopher Columbus Brought Genocide and Slavery to the "New World," and America Celebrates Him for It


Spaniards killing women and children and feeding their remains to dogs. Illustration based on eyewitness account by Bartolomé de las Casas, in his book published in the 16th century.


Native Americans Fight Modern-Day Genocide: Standing Up at Standing Rock

From Revcoms at Standing Rock


Standing Rock, November 20


Police attack Water Protectors with rubber bullets and mace at the Cannonball River. Photo: Special to revcom.us

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/467/US-army-corps-of-engineers-moves-to-evict-water-protectors-encampment-by-dec5-en.html

Revolution #466 November 21, 2016

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Moves to Evict Water Protectors Encampment by December 5

November 26, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

by Travis Morales:

Sunday, November 20 Sheriff's Deputies fired water cannons at people in 25° weather. Photo: Twitter/@erinschrode

In a letter to Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the eviction of the Oceti Sakowin encampment just north of the Cannonball River. Thousands of Water Protectors have been camping there to oppose and stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Corps of Engineers threatened, “To be clear, this means that no member of the general public, to include Dakota Access pipeline protestors, can be on these Corps’ lands. ... Any person found to be on the Corps’ lands north of the Cannonball River after December 5, 2016, will be considered trespassing and may be subject to prosecution under federal, state, and local laws.”

This threat came just five days after Morton County Sheriff’s Deputies unleashed a vicious attack on 400 Water Protectors on the Highway 1806 bridge just north of the encampment, where police unleashed water cannons in 25° temperatures, rubber bullets, mace, tear gas, and concussion grenades. Sophia Wilansky had her arm nearly torn off as a result of a concussion grenade and faces possible amputation.

This eviction notice is a threat to use this vicious repression against the Native people and others who have put their bodies on the line to STOP this genocidal pipeline. It needs to be a rallying call for many more to step up and step into this struggle NOW!