Revolution #488, April 24, 2017 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/486/call-for-millions-to-wear-no-on-holocaust-remembrance-day-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

The following was issued by Refuse Fascism, at RefuseFascism.org

1933 to 2017 Never Again! Drive Out the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime!

This is a Call for millions of people to wear NO! on Monday, April 24, 2017, the United States Holocaust Remembrance Day

April 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

To all Holocaust survivors; their families, relatives and friends; and those who deplore the thought of any future Holocausts or genocide against any peoples anywhere;

To people everywhere who stand with the Muslims, the Mexicans, the refugees, the immigrants from everywhere who have been vilified and targeted by the Trump/Pence regime in ways that echo the demonization of Jews and other groups in Nazi Germany;

To all those people who deplore the fact that Trump left out any mention of the 6 million Jews, Gypsies, Eastern Europeans… slaughtered by the fascist Nazi regime on International Holocaust Remembrance Day in January, 2017;

To all Jews and other peoples who have experienced genocide;

To all those people who refuse to accommodate, refuse to conciliate, refuse to collaborate with the Trump regime;

To all those people who detest white supremacy, misogyny, or xenophobia and do not want to see a repeat of “make Germany whole again”;

To all those people who despise and fear the Trump regime and want to see it driven out;

We say Never Again! Never again will we allow another Holocaust to happen to any people.

Join us in wearing the NO! Everywhere! … on T-shirts, jackets, uniforms, hats… In Germany, Jews were forced to wear the Yellow Star of David, political prisoners the red triangle, homosexuals the pink triangle, and all the other triangles. We proudly choose to wear the NO! to symbolize opposition to the Trump/Pence regime’s efforts to brand any new group of people as ‘undesirable.’

Join us in posting the symbol of NO! Everywhere… on storefronts, school bags, synagogues, mosques, churches, lunch pails, billboards, newspaper stands, house windows, online… and link up with millions of people to express the need to DRIVE OUT the FASCIST TRUMP REGIME before it is able to fully consolidate its fascist plan and normalize the attacks and wars on Muslims, immigrants, women, LGBTQ, people of color, and destruction of our planet.

NO!  In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America!



       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/homeland-security-head-channels-nazi-predecessors-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

As Trump Regime Ratchets Up Attacks on Immigrants...

Homeland Security Head Channels Nazi Predecessors

April 24, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A Nazi atmosphere and repression against undocumented immigrants is being implemented right now. This was laid out in a stark and ominous way in Homeland Security head John Kelly’s April 18 speech at George Washington University. It was a speech that denied, distorted, and justified what is a rapidly escalating reign of terror against immigrants, and which declared this is necessary to provide a “peaceful life [!] in a free [!] country.

To which anybody with a half a brain or heart must respond: Peaceful!? Free!? For whom!?...

The Trump/Pence regime is ratcheting up terror, detention, and deportation directed at 11 million people within the borders of the U.S., and is creating a climate of demonization and marginalization for all immigrants, and for Muslims in general. And, for that matter, how “peaceful” and “free” is this society for poor Black and Latino people in the inner cities, subjected to crushing poverty and police murder and terror?

Channeling the Nazis Heading into Holocaust Remembrance Day

In his speech, Kelly lashed out at anyone who, because of what he called “some alleged event at an airport, in a courthouse, or at a border crossing ... assume[s] the men and women or DHS [Department of Homeland Security] are intentionally abusing innocent individuals while breaking or ignoring U.S. law or court orders.”

Alleged events?!

The Trump regime’s Muslim ban (versions 1 and 2.0) was intended to and did send shockwaves of terror around the world. It wasn’t an “alleged” event. It separated families. It cut off the trickle of desperate refugees. It criminalized and demonized a billion Muslims around the world, including in the U.S. It was met with unprecedented outpourings of protest at airports around the country, including by many, many non-Muslims.

And Kelly called incidents, like one where a woman was seized and deported while appearing at a courthouse to make a complaint of domestic violence, “partial or inaccurate media report[s].”

Kelly manipulated and invented statistics, and lied, to portray people in the United States besieged by a hostile world, driven by Islamist ideology or drug trafficking and profiteering, who “despise the United States, because we are a nation of rights, laws, and freedoms. They have a single mission, and that is our destruction.”

Kelly was channeling Nazi media in the period leading up to the Holocaust. Nazi propaganda seized on out-of-context, wildly distorted, or invented “Jewish crime” to create a climate among German civilians, fascist mobs, police and soldiers where Jews were seen as subhuman and dangerous enemies of the German Reich. This in turn set the stage for ethnic cleansing through detention and deportation, and eventually—as those options became untenable—for genocide.

Nazi-style lies and rants like this are not just creating the climate for future horrors, they are being translated into actual policy. No legislative action required, by the way. It is now Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy that possession of marijuana, something that is legal in eight states and DC, and generally considered benign, including probably by significant sections of Trump’s fascist base, is a basis to deport people.

Trump claims DREAMers—people brought to this country as children and who have grown up here undocumented—can “rest easy.” But Attorney General Jeff Sessions says everyone in this country illegally is subject to being deported. When asked about the contradiction, Kelly, who oversees enforcing immigration law and policy, declared: “Everybody in the country illegally is subject to being deported.” And in case that wasn’t clear enough, he declared that DREAMers “are here illegally and subject to deportation, that’s what the law says, my organization has not targeted these so-called [sic] DREAMers... we have more important criminals to go after.” In other words, DREAMers too live under constant danger that any random encounter with law enforcement will get them detained or deported.

Weeks into the Trump regime, a 19-year-old Honduran art student, Josue Romero, with a work permit through DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals—people who were brought to the U.S. as children], was arrested by San Antonio, Texas, police February 14 for possession of a small amount of marijuana as he was leaving a park where he’d been skateboarding. Instead of being released on $800 bond as other people usually are, he was arrested by ICE agents and taken to a detention prison. Romero told the Daily Beast that ICE told him he would be deported quickly. “They told me within the next week I would be flying to Honduras ... even when I asked about DACA, they told me there was nothing I could do, that there were no second chances with Trump.” Romero was released from detention after two days but has been put on supervision and must report to ICE authorities. “I can’t describe how I feel. I just want to break down and cry. I was kind of devastated, because I’ve never known a life outside of San Antonio.”

And Sessions is going after sanctuary cities that provide some minimal level of rights and protection for undocumented immigrants, threatening crucial cuts in federal funding if they don’t turn their police and employees of city agencies into ICE agents.

       

Two Solutions to a World of Borders and Oppression

In his speech, Kelly ranted that people coming to this country “despise the United States, because we are a nation of rights, laws, and freedoms. They have a single mission, and that is our destruction.”

Why do people really come here from around the world? As Bob Avakian puts it in the film of his talk, Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About, responding to those in the ruling class who ask why people come here from all over the world, it is “because you have fucked up the rest of the world even worse than what you have done in this country.” (Watch a clip of the video here.)

On one level, what is going on now is not new for the rulers of the U.S. The massive waves of global refugees—the children washing ashore, drowned on European beaches... the desperate mothers and children who have taken the dangerous journey from Central America—are products, first and overwhelmingly, of the workings of this capitalist-imperialist system. Economic, political, military, and environmental devastation inflicted on the world by U.S. imperialism is the direct factor driving millions and millions of refugees from their homes, in desperate search of survival. The workings of imperialism have uprooted people, destroyed traditional means of survival, and driven people into mega-cities of sweatshops, slums, and prostitution.

U.S. agribusinesses have stolen the water and land of Mexico, devastated subsistence agriculture there, driven millions to the cities and “El Norte,” and enslaved those who can get work producing food for export to feed Americans. (See “Imperialism’s Mexican Miracle of Transubstantiation: How the Bones of Mexican Peasants Become Broccoli on the Tables in the U.S.” at revcom.us.)

Global warming has led to desertification of lands where human agriculture arose. And here it must be said, by the way, that while the fascists in the Trump/Pence regime are climate change deniers, they do recognize the destabilizing threat to their system it will produce, and this is a factor in their war on immigrants.

All these horrors are enforced by constant war, torture chambers, assassinations, and pro-U.S. rulers put in place by the U.S. in countries from Honduras in Central America to Egypt in the Middle East.

Today’s massive dislocation of humanity has added to the “stress level” of maintaining the system that created this nightmare. The Trump regime, and the Nazi propaganda in Kelly’s speech, are an implementation of a fascist response to imperialism’s “immigration crisis.” There is a completely different, opposite, solution: an actual revolution, bringing into being a society aimed at ending all exploitation and oppression. That solution is blueprinted in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian. 

If for no other reason than what is being done, and what will be done to immigrants, this regime must be driven from power before it can fully and even more deeply tighten its grip on power. And because resistance, let alone an actual revolution to bring about an entirely different and far, far better world, would be much more difficult if this regime locks down its rule.

Kelly’s speech, and the fascist terror being ratcheted up against immigrants, points to the critical importance of the whole 10 Days of Resistance called for by Refuse Fascism, including actions on Holocaust Remembrance Day, and Refuse Fascism contingents in May 1st marches against attacks on immigrants.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/487/march-for-science-april-22-2017-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

In a Time of Trump's Fascist War on Science:

Hundreds of Thousands Around the World Step Out Against Ignorance and for Science and Truth

April 24, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

These are times when science and the very notions of truth and reason are under furious assault from fascists in power in the U.S. In the face of this, on April 22 in over 600 places all across the United States and around the world, hundreds of thousands of scientists and others from all walks of life rallied, marched and spoke out. From tens of thousands at the main march in Washington, DC, and large protests in other major cities to smaller gatherings—including at the North Pole—people came out with passion, determination and humor in defense of science. Something like this has never been seen before: scientists and people in the sciences, including many who work in laboratories and scientific institutions, stepping out into the public sphere to stand up for science. And joined by others who are not scientists but see how crucial science is for humanity—and for many of these people, this was also their first protest.

The wide variety of creative home-made signs carried by the marchers reflected the mood: buoyant and witty, at the same time serious and angry about the threats to science and truth. A few examples among many: “Oceans are rising—and so are we”; “No science—No beer”; “Trump is like atoms—They make up everything”; “Make America think again”; “Got a plague? Me either. Thank a scientist”; “Empirical data Trumps imperial alt-facts”; “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe it (Neil deGrasse Tyson)”; “I’m not a mad scientist, I’m absolutely FURIOUS”; “Nerds yes! Nazis no!”; “So serious, even the nerds are here”; “Just like experiments, one protest doesn’t work”; and the simple but clear “Fuck you, asshole.”

Among the speakers at the rally in DC, there were inspiring stories from people who have devoted their lives to the  increase and spread of knowledge, in the service of humanity. One speaker recalled how as a kid in India, he used his brother’s eyeglasses to make his first microscope—and told about how he is now heading an initiative to donate 50,000 microscopes a year to children around the world who can’t afford them and to provide affordable medical equipment to community health workers in poor countries fighting diseases like malaria. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician who played a big role in bringing to light the lead contamination of water in Flint, Michigan, and the serious dangers this posed, especially to children, said, “Flint is what happens when we dismiss science.”

With all the celebration and spirited promotion of science by broad numbers of people, April 22 would have been a great day for science—were it not for the reality that science and search for truth itself faces a threat not seen in the world in the 80 years since Hitler! The fact that, at this day and age, people face the need to stand up for something so basic and simple as reason and science points to the seriousness and urgency of the situation. There really is a worldwide march of anti-scientific ignorance and reactionary religious fundamentalism trying to drag humanity backward. A group of Christian fascists in Seattle even marched backwards in an attempt to disrupt the Science March there.

And at the “vanguard” of this hellish process is the braying fascist jackass Donald Trump and his fascist regime. A regime of “alternative facts” and the outright denial of scientific truths. A regime that only promotes science and technology in the interests of “America First” imperialist war and hyper-aggression around the world while undermining science and attacking scientists in critical areas like climate change and public health. A regime that not only brazenly celebrates ignorance but creates a situation where scientists have real cause to fear that their research on climate change and other questions of vital interest to humanity will be destroyed and are scrambling to preserve data. This raises the specter of a modern-day burning of the Library of Alexandria—a center of learning in ancient Egypt, which had preserved much of the existing human knowledge at the time, and which was destroyed at the beginning of the Christian era.

In this situation, the call for the March for Science was right on time and much needed. And it is very positive that hundreds of thousands across the country and around the planet came out in response. Like the Women’s March right after Trump’s inauguration, the crowds at the April 22 marches point to the even larger reservoir of people, in their millions and millions, who deeply fear and hate what the fascist regime stands for and the horrendous actions they are taking.

And it was very good that among those who threw into this were some who gave expression to the sense of anger and urgency that are called for in the situation the world faces now. Musician Questlove started things off at the DC rally by pointing toward the White House and “that guy over there” and blasting Trump’s “alternative facts or whatever that shit is.” Albert Yu-Min Lin, chief science officer for National Geographic Explorer, said about standing up for science: “It won’t be easy—it won’t be for the faint of heart. From Galileo to Jane Goodall, scientists have put their lives on the line. They’ve been risk takers, rebels, adventurers. An explorer who discovered the Titanic, Bob Ballard, once said, ‘science is a full-contact sport.’ And at this juncture in our history, the gloves must come off.”

At a number of Science Marches in the U.S., people with Refuse Fascism were in the mix, including dozens of marchers in Los Angeles—getting out the message: “NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America! Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!”

There is an urgent need for this fight to be continued—to draw in many more people, become even more determined, and more sharply target the Trump/Pence fascist regime. Stay tuned.

See also:

Deadly Enemies of Science and Truth; Champions of Ignorance

The Trump/Pence regime is a fascist regime. As such, it bludgeons the truth when it does not serve its interests or program. There is the regime of “alternative facts,” the outright denial of scientific truths, and the undermining and sidestepping of the role of science and scientists in critical areas like global warming and public health. The Christian fascist cohort led by Pence is readying its assault on the science of evolution and in other areas. Only science and engineering serving corporate and military interests are to be encouraged and funded.

Such a regime must not only be resisted, it must be driven out. The March for Science and the Refuse Fascism contingent in it are absolutely needed—and at the same time, must open up a whole new upsurge of struggle, leading to the ending of the regime, as soon as possible.

Read more

 

Scientists Speak Out on Why They Are Marching on April 22

Read more

 

Scientists participate in March for Science underwater at Wake Atoll
The March for Science went underwater, thanks to this group of scientists at Wake Atoll, in the Western Pacific Ocean. (Photo:Twitter/@ScienceMarchHI.jpg)

Scientists on the continent of Antarctica, which is melting faster than previously thought, add their message to the March for Science.
Students in Iraqi Kurdistan take part in March for Science. (Photo: Facebook/AlexPoppe)

Ottawa, Ontario
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (AP photo)

Greenland, April 22Greenland (Photo:Twitter/@TashaSnow)

Tokyo, April 22Tokyo, Japan (Photo:@ScienceMarchTOK)

Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland (Photo:Twitter/@douglasfinch)

A contingent of students from Cal Tech marched in the Los Angeles March for Science carrying a banner signed by hundreds from their campus.
A contingent of students from Cal Tech marched in the Los Angeles March for Science carrying a banner signed by hundreds from their campus. (Photo: Special to revcom.us)

Scientists on the continent of Antarctica, which is melting faster than previously thought, add their message to the March for Science.
Scientists on the continent of Antarctica, which is melting faster than previously thought, add their message to the March for Science. (Photo: Twitter/@DrRenukaBadhe)

March for Science, Washington, DC, April 22
Tens of thousands rally across from the Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Special to revcom.us)

Los Angeles march for science, April 22
In Los Angeles, tens of thousands of scientists, students, science enthusiasts, and opponents of the Trump/Pence fascist regime’s attack on science marched from downtown Pershing Square to City Hall and then back to where a science fair and speakers were featured. The mood of the protesters was upbeat, buoyant, full of humor on the one hand and deadly serious on the other. People’s thinking and their signs tended to put the earth and the people of the planet foremost. Speakers talked about the great contributions of science to human beings and the earth itself, but now science is under attack in an unprecedented way by Trump, which has dangerous implications for all of life on this planet. Refuse Fascism, Los Angeles kicked off its 10 Days of Resistance at this march. Hundreds of NO! posters calling for driving out the Trump/Pence regime were held by marchers, and together with its large banners and T-shirts Refuse Fascism was an attractive force and made a significant impact. (Photo: Twitter/@Fightfor15LA)

March for Science, Mexico City
As thousands marched toward the Zócalo, Mexico City’s main square, a student yelled through a megaphone: "Alert! Alert! The fight for science in Latin America is passing through!" (Photo: Twitter/@corazon_verde7)

Los Angeles, March for ScienceLos Angeles. In city after city, the marches were filled with homemade signs standing up for the importance of a scientific approach to all of reality. (Photo: Special to revcom.us)

 

Revolution Club at the Science March in ChicagoCarl Dix and the Revolution Club at the March for Science in Chicago. (Photo:@Carl_Dix)

March for Science, Chicago
Chicago. Tens of thousands march for science up Columbus Avenue near Lake Michigan. (Photo: Twitter/@SUEtheTrex)

Refuse Fascism contingent in the March for Science in Washington, D.C.
Refuse Fascism at the March for Science in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Special to revcom.us)

Madrid, April 22
Madrid (AP photo)

Seattle, March for Science

Seattle

March for Science, San Francisco
In the San Francisco March for Science, Refuse Fascism powerfully brought out to many thousands of people the basic message of “No! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!” through drums, chants, signs, banners, and some powerful agitation. The San Francisco Chronicle said of the march itself: “The roiling crowd, tens of thousands strong, blocked San Francisco’s main thoroughfare for at least two hours as families, children, immigrants and lab-coat-wearing protesters enthusiastically demonstrated their enthusiasm for science.” (Photo: Special to revcom.us)

March for Science, Eugene, OR
A revcom.us correspondent from Eugene, Oregon, said about 1,000 came out to the March for Science there. Twenty Revolution papers were distributed, and Refuse Fascism was there with a banner: “No! Drive Out Trump-Pence!” (Photo: Twitter/@Qalmana)

Science march, Uganda
Uganda (Photo:Twitter/@luckytran)

Bangladesh march for science
Bangladesh (Photo:Twitter/@luckytran)

San Diego, April 22San Diego (Photo: @NeiDalBem)

Svalbord, Norway
March for Science at Norwegian research village of Ny-Ålesund, on the island of Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean. (Photo: Rodolphe Merceron)

Young people who were introduced to Revolution newspaper.
Young people who were introduced to Revolution newspaper.

Thousands march for science in Madison, WI.
Thousands march for science in Madison, WI. (Photo: Twitter/@JosephBrusky)

Paris, April 22Paris, France

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/Carl-Dix-challenges-anyone-to-a-debate-over-the-US-threats-of-war-against-north-korea-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

As The Trump/Pence Regime Threatens War With North Korea—

Should Oppressed People Fight for the System That Holds Them Down—Or Should We Fight to Overthrow That System?

CARL DIX CHALLENGES ANYONE TO A DEBATE OVER THE US THREATS OF WAR AGAINST NORTH KOREA!

April 24, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

I was drafted into the U.S. army in the 1960s and given orders to go to Vietnam. I refused to go fight in Vietnam and served two years in prison because of that. I wasn’t going to go thousands of miles to be part of a war against people fighting to free their country while Black people were catching hell in this country.

That same question is up today. The US has ships armed with nuclear weapons and tens of thousands of troops around the borders of North Korea. A US war with that small country would be an unjust, imperialist war. If nuclear weapons are used, millions of people would die, millions more would suffer starvation and the climate of the whole planet would be devastated.

It is not in the interests of humanity to fight in or to support this system’s wars. Instead of fighting for this system, oppressed people need to get with the revolution to overthrow the system that threatens the world with nuclear war! And they need to get with the leadership we have for this revolution in Bob Avakian, a leader who has figured out how we could succeed in getting rid of this system thru revolution and developed a vision of the kind of world that this revolution could bring into being. You can find out about this leader and this revolution at Revcom.us.

And to the youth: Don’t go running to join their capitalist-imperialist army. It’s their army, not ours. And this isn’t our country either. The only time they tell us it’s our country is when they want us to fight, kill people and maybe die for them. Otherwise, they have their pigs beating us down, locking us up and even killing us off. Oppressed people have no business fighting in this system’s wars. And we shouldn’t ever get sucked into rooting for our oppressors to ever win a war. A system that has put a lunatic like Trump in the White House and a Christian fascist like Pence right beside him, and is threatening the world with nuclear war is no damned good. It needs to be gotten rid of thru revolution. We shouldn’t be fighting for them, and we shouldn’t be fighting each other either. We need to be seizing on their troubles to get busy preparing to do away with their system by making revolution at the soonest possible time.

So I will debate anyone who wants to tell the youth to join that imperialist army around this question:

Resolved: Oppressed people should not support the war moves of their oppressors or fight in their wars—We should fight to overthrow that system!

Contact the Revolution Club in Chicago
Phone: 312-804-9121, email: revclub.chi@gmail.com
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/revclubchi.
1857 E. 71st St., Hours 3-7 pm every day but Monday

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/487/to-those-who-found-out-about-revcomus-at-march-for-science-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

To Those Who Found Out About Revcom.us/Revolution at the March for Science... Welcome

April 22, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Check these out:

» Hundreds of Thousands March for Science in Over 600 Cities Across the World


  • Washington, DC
  • Los Angeles, CA

  • New York City

  • Ottawa, Canada

  • Greenland

  • Paris, France

 

» The March for Science on April 22—Why It Matters

 

» Deadly Enemies of Science and Truth; Champions of Ignorance

 

Science and Revolution book cover

» “A Scientific Approach to Society, and Changing the World” and “A Scientific Outlook, A Boundless Curiosity About the World”—excerpts from interview with award-winning scientist Ardea Skybreak, Science and Revolution, On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian

 

No! We refuse to accept a fascist America!

» Refuse Fascism—made up of people coming from a diversity of perspectives who recognize that the Trump/Pence regime is fascist, that it poses a catastrophic danger to all of humanity, and that it is our responsibility to mobilize millions to drive it from power.

We invite you to further explore...

Revolution front page

Revcom.us/Revolution newspaper brings alive a scientific analysis of major events in society and the world—why they are happening, how different events and developments relate to each other, how all this relates to the system we live under, where people’s interests lie in relation to all this, how revolution is in fact the solution to all this and what the goals of that revolution are, how different viewpoints and programs relate, positively or negatively, to the revolution that is needed, and how people can move, and are moving, to build toward that revolution. There’s something new here every day. Bookmark us and sign up for a free e-sub.

 

Bob Avakian

Bob Avakian (BA) is the architect for a whole new framework for human emancipation, the new synthesis of communism. This new synthesis is based on more than 40 years of revolutionary work critically analyzing and drawing from past revolutionary experience and theory, and a broad range of human activity and thought. It is a continuation of, but also represents a qualitative leap beyond, and in some important ways a break with, communist theory as it had been previously developed. Bob Avakian has been the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA since its founding in 1975. Find out more.

 

Revolutionary Communist Party, USA is the vanguard party for an actual revolution. Find out more.

 

Even as you explore what this revolution is about, find out WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/487/10-Days-4-important-protests-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

Download Flyer of this call (PDF)
updated 2:30 pm Tuesday 4/18

April 17, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

From Refuse Fascism:

5 Important Protests in 10 Days
March with Refuse Fascism in mass contingents to say:

NO! In the Name of Humanity – We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!

DRIVE OUT THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME!

 

Refuse Fascism endorses these protests and calls on you to march with us at:

April 22 March for Science

Oppose the Regime’s attacks on Science

April 24 Holocaust Remembrance Day:  

Join Processions from Holocaust Memorials in different cities to present Adolf 'ICE'man* awards to John Kelly, the head of ICE, & local officials. (*Adolf Eichmann was in charge of deporting Jews to the Nazi concentration camps.)

April 27, 7-9 pm EST National Livestream Teach-in:

Fascism in America
Could It Happen Here?
Is It Happening Here?
What Is the Danger that the Trump/Pence Government Poses?

Thursday, April 27, 7-9 pm, New York City
United Methodist Church in the Village
201 West 13th Street (at 7th Ave.), New York City

Speakers
George Prochnik, author, New Yorker contributor
Andy Zee, Refuse Fascism co-initiator, Revolution Books NYC spokesperson
Rita Dentino, Exec. Dir., Casa Freehold of National Day Laborers Organizing Network
Kierán Suckling, a founder and Executive Director of Center for Biological Diversity

Humanity faces an extreme emergency with Trump’s rise to power. This nationally live-streamed Teach-In aims to deeply explore, from different perspectives, the essential nature of the Trump/Pence Government, the relevance of the history of fascism, the threat it poses to humanity and the planet itself, and the dangers of normalization.

Donations requested, not required. This event will be livestreamed at RefuseFascism.org.

Sponsored by RefuseFascism.org
info@refusefascism.org / 917-407-1286
Twitter: @refusefascism / Facebook, Instagram: refusefascism
Media Sponsor: WBAI Radio, New York

April 29 People’s Climate March

Fight the Regime’s devastation of the climate and environment

May 1st – Stop the Regime’s Demonization, Attacks and Deportations of Immigrants

 

JOIN the RefuseFascism contingents under the banner of: NO!

10 DAYS from April 22-May 1, the end of the first 100 Days of the Trump/Pence Regime, must be a big leap in organizing the movement to drive this fascist regime from power. The stakes are nothing less than the future of humanity and the planet.

Make no mistake. The Trump/Pence Regime—the whole thing—every cabinet post, every executive order, every tweet is a link in the chain of a fascist government and worldview under the signboard of a vengeful “America First” being rammed into place. Every immigrant family ripped apart... every refugee turned back to war torn countries... every pipeline approved...every river despoiled... every denial of proven science, of established facts, of truth itself is killing people now and will cost millions more lives. This is poison to air, water, the earth, and to the conscience of the world.

History has shown that fascism must be stopped before it is too late. Fascism is not just a gross combination of horrific reactionary polices. It is a qualitative change in how society is governed. Once consolidated, fascism essentially eliminates democratic rights. This regime will repeatedly launch new highly repressive measures, eventually clamping down on all resistance and remaking the law... IF THEY ARE NOT DRIVEN FROM POWER.

People must see the NO! everywhere and learn that there is an organization working for the time when millions act together, filling the streets of cities and towns day after day and night after night, declaring this whole regime illegitimate—Demanding, and not Stopping, Until the Trump/Pence Regime is Driven from Power.

Millions must stand together with conviction and courage to resist and say NO! We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America, not just for ourselves, but in the name of humanity.

BASTA YA!/ENOUGH!

DRIVE OUT THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME!

 

RefuseFascism.org
Email: info@refusefascism.org
Phone: 917-407-1286
Twitter: @refusefascism
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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/487/why-do-u-s-rulers-consider-north-korea-dangerous-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

Why Do the U.S. Rulers Consider North Korea "Dangerous"—and What Does That Say About the Danger of the Trump/Pence Regime to Humanity?

April 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Massive Bombs, Skyrocketing Civilian Deaths, Nuclear Roulette: This is Fascism!
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In the midst of the barrage of “coverage” of Korea in the mainstream imperialist media, one thing to take note of is that many of the “military analysts and experts” who have been featured say that Kim Jong-un and others in the North Korean leadership are not going to launch a “first strike” nuclear attack against the forces of the U.S., South Korea, or Japan. They note that Kim and others know such a strike would certainly lead to the devastation of North Korea and the end of the regime. For instance, William Perry, who was defense secretary under Bill Clinton, said on CNN, “I do not believe that the North Korean regime is suicidal. Therefore I don’t believe they’re going to launch an unprovoked nuclear attack on anyone.” These “experts” say that North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons—and missiles capable of delivering them, including over long distances—is essentially for deterrent purposes. They are for deterring (in other words, discouraging or preventing) others from attacking North Korea.

Now, let’s be clear—these U.S. “military analysts and experts” are no “peace advocates” and opponents of American dominance over the world. Their arguments are based on what is best for the interests of U.S. imperialism.

So let’s follow the logic here. If North Korea is not going to launch a “first strike,” then why does it pose such a “threat” and why are its actions “dangerous” or “provocative”? The only logical answer is that the development of nuclear weapons and missiles could serve precisely as a deterrent, and render North Korea less vulnerable to bullying, and possible aggressive military actions, by the U.S. and its allies. So, in reality, the Trump/Pence regime, now at the helm of U.S. imperialism, is threatening and taking actions that could lead to a major—possibly nuclear—war, because an adversary is doing things that might make it less vulnerable to bullying and aggression by these imperialists!!

Let’s proceed further according to logical, rational thinking: While the North Korean regime is in fact oppressive and not at all a genuine “socialist” or “communist” state, or a force for progress in the world, it is the U.S., ruled now by the Trump/Pence fascist regime, which poses the real, and very dangerous, threat in this situation, and indeed is the greatest oppressor in the world and threat to the future, and very existence, of humanity. This is underlined by the “tour of bellicosity” that Pence just took in the region, even going right to the demilitarized zone in Korea to threaten war.

And, speaking of the danger of a fanatic who’s threatening war—you have it, right there in Mike Pence, a religious fundamentalist lunatic threatening war while representing a system and a fascist regime with its hands on weapons of mass destruction, in fact the world’s largest arsenal of nuclear weapons!

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/the-future-of-humanity-and-the-planet-hangs-in-the-balance-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

The Future of Humanity and the Planet Itself Hangs in the Balance

April 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Even before the Trump/Pence regime took over, our planet’s environment was hurtling toward catastrophe. Polar ice already melting to the point of affecting weather patterns. Huge damage to coral reefs, source of much of the life in the world’s oceans. Record-breaking high temperatures year after year... rising sea levels... devastating droughts... deadly storms... causing great damage, especially to people in the poorest areas of the world.

Almost all scientists worldwide have been convinced by scientific evidence that if climate change continues on this course, it will be a catastrophe for human society and the natural world generally.

Under Obama, the U.S. said global warming was a reality, took steps to put some limits on greenhouse gases, and signed an international climate treaty. None of this came anywhere close to what is actually required in the face of the unprecedented climate crisis.

Now, lunatic fascist ghouls are in power in Washington, and they outright deny the fact of climate change—in line with their all-out assault on the very notion of truth that corresponds to reality. They are coming out with one environmental outrage after another, no matter the cost to ecosystems and human lives. A witch hunt against scientists who have been researching climate change for decades. A big “fuck you” to the international climate agreement. A 30 percent slashing of the Environmental Protection Agency budget.

Capitalism-imperialism has no real solutions for the problem of global environmental destruction and all the other horrors people face—even as there are sharp differences among the rulers over what is in the interests of their system. Trump/Pence represents those among the rulers whose “answer” is: full speed ahead with undisguised dictatorship, life-draining exploitation of the people, and unrestrained raping of the environment.

The hour for Earth and people who live on it is very late. A leading environmental scientist warned that “a Donald Trump presidency could be game over for the climate.” Looked at from the interests of all of humanity, this puts an exclamation point on the high stakes in driving out the Trump/Pence regime—as soon as possible.

The approach of revolutionary communists in taking on the Trump/Pence regime is not to return to the “normal” workings of the system—which meant untold horrors for the people of the world and ravaging of the environment. What is needed is moving forward toward replacing this system through an actual revolution and bringing about a radically different and much better society.

There is a viable vision and concrete plan for this—a socialist society aiming for a communist world, where human beings would be free of all relations of exploitation and oppression and antagonistic conflicts, and could be fit caretakers of the Earth. A society that supports revolution worldwide and develops an economy aiming to meet people’s needs and revive and protect the environment. A society that mobilizes the knowledge and creativity of people to address the global environmental crisis in a way that proceeds from the interests of all of humanity.



Coral worldwide has been heavily affected, including dying in large proportions, due to repeated “El Niño” events and human-caused climate change. Above, a composite photo of before, during, and after bleaching at Airport Reef, Tutuila, American Samoa. (Photographed by The Ocean Agency / XL Catlin Seaview Survey / Richard Vevers)

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/USA-Monstrous-Super-Predator-Now-on-Steriods-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

USA: Monstrous Super-Predator,
Now on Steroids

April 23, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The images pour across our screens. In Mosul, a stream of people flee the U.S./Iraq siege, scrambling through rubble, dodging bullets, past what were once homes and businesses, a dead soldier. A boy clutches his father; a young girl carries her little sister, fear in their eyes, looking for a way out.

Let your eye sweep the globe and truly see: people digging through bombed homes for their children, men tortured by U.S. guards at Abu Ghraib, villages laid waste by U.S. drones. And millions of refugees fleeing, lives upended, in vast tent cities, baking under summer sun, freezing in winter, or taking to the sea in small boats, delivering the lucky to an unwelcoming Europe, while thousands drown and wash up on shore.

And WHY?

Not because of some unchanging “human nature” as we are told, but because of an inhuman system, capitalism-imperialism, that rests on win-or-die competition between blocks of capital, and between capitalist states, competition that drives them ceaselessly to expand, to see in the amazing regions and diverse peoples of our world only resources to plunder and bodies to enslave. Inevitably, they crash into obstacles—other imperialist powers doing the same thing; regional thugs trying to make it into the big leagues; peoples or nations that refuse to submit. And so wars of conquest, wars of occupation, proxy wars, become necessary accompaniments to the accumulation of capitalist profit on a world scale.

This system funnels the labor, creativity, and insight of millions into developing the means for killers sitting at computer consoles to rain destruction on  tiny villages 5,000 miles away, or to twist the minds of young soldiers to become torturers, baby killers, and mass murderers in foreign lands.

And worse looms on the near horizon. The fascist Trump/Pence regime does not yet have society locked down, but it’s not waiting for that to radically escalate military aggression; in fact, it is using militarism to project “strength” at home, to rev up its fascist social base, and to convince rival forces in the U.S. ruling class to close ranks behind them.

During his campaign, Trump literally said, “Bomb the shit out of them!” And he has nearly tripled the rate of civilian casualties in Middle East wars. The fascists revel in launching missiles, in dropping massive bombs, in displaying armadas of warships in Asian seas. They threaten and bully, engaging in nuclear brinkmanship with criminal recklessness. War with Russia or China are “options on the table”; North Korea is “a problem” and “we will solve it.... U.S.A.” All it takes is for one rival power to call Trump’s “bluff” and things could spiral into nuclear war, with tens of millions of lives and the livability of our whole planet on the line.

This regime must be driven out before it consolidates power, and before it unleashes further hell on humanity. But the thunder and torment of wars of conquest and domination are wired into the system as a whole—as is driven home by the legacy of two world wars in the 20th century that killed at least 75 million, and the wars that endlessly rage across the Middle East and Central Asia.

THIS MUST STOP and IT IS POSSIBLE. Stopping it means overthrowing the system that causes it—country by country, but aiming for the whole world—and the establishment of socialist societies that put the needs of the people of the world at the center of economic, political, and social life. Fuck “Make America Great.”  Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution, says “Internationalism―The Whole World Comes First,” and this outlook and leadership must inspire people to revolution, create new alliances, and infuse and guide a whole new society.

There are millions here, and around the world, who would fight for a future where people’s energy and creativity are used to heal the people and planet, not destroy them. People around the world, demonized by our rulers, are our brothers and sisters, and—if and as, with revolutionary leadership, we reach out to them—they will become our allies in conscious revolutionary struggle to free the planet and forge a new world fit for human beings.

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/america-always-racist-trump-takes-further-make-america-white-again-no-damn-way.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

America Has Always Been Racist—Now Trump Takes It Further

Make America WHITE Again??!? No Goddam Way!!!!

April 24, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Think of the world in which many Black and Latino youths come of age.

A world of crumbling schools, nonexistent health care. A world where people’s lives are routinely cut short. A world of heartless cutbacks in social services. A world with plenty of jail cells, but no jobs. A world that degrades and mocks at every turn.

A world prowled by murderous, brutal police. A world where all too many you came up with are dead or in a notorious hellhole set aside for people like you—San Quentin, Angola, Huntsville.

Violent oppression of Black people has been deeply embedded in every aspect of this country for hundreds of years. Brought here in chains. Whipped in cotton, tobacco, and rice fields during hundreds of years of slavery. A century of “second class citizenship” working those same fields, enforced by legal segregation and KKK lynchings. Forced off the land when profits dried up. Crammed into overpriced, decaying housing, working the shit jobs in factories. Even people who “make it”—professors, professionals and businesspeople, athletes, musicians—are subjected to discrimination, police harassment, and worse for “existing while Black.”

But now the system of capitalism-imperialism has developed other ways of wrenching profit from imperialism’s global empire. Millions of Black people in the inner cities have become expendable in the eyes of this system.

The political leadership of this system—Democrat and Republican—has responded with a sharp-edged program of repression. That program’s blade: vicious police brutality and mass incarceration and a legal system that lets killer cops off over and over.

Trump’s program for inner-city Chicago will take this to another level and serve as a model for his nationwide plan: Unrestrained police terror. Prisons and jails swelling with Black and Latino youths. Forcing youths into Christian fundamentalist schools that instill blind obedience. Maybe a place in the army or Border Patrol or police for those willing to enforce submission to a fascist order.

People need to resist. And when Black and Brown people rise up, they inspire and bring forward the best in people of all nationalities, as happened in the 1960s. This began to happen again in the past few years, and is one reason the system backed the fascist Trump.

That resistance is critical, but not enough. This system has white supremacy so deeply woven into its DNA that no reforms can fundamentally change the situation. And now we have Trump. The Trump/Pence program for the masses of Black people is not “more of the same only worse.” It is fascism. It truly has the potential to be genocidal. White supremacists are drawn to Trump like flies to shit. Lifelong racists are at the core of his administration. As Carl Dix said, Trump’s program “will bring down a reign of terror on top of the hell that has been coming down on Black people for centuries.” And fascist repression will make resistance, let alone revolution, immeasurably more difficult, which means we have to unite, now, with everyone who is ready to, or can be convinced to, drive out that regime in the interests of humanity.

Bob Avakian has worked for decades developing answers to the deepest questions of revolution. He has written a Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, a blueprint for a society aimed at getting to a world without exploitation or oppression of any kind. And there is strategy for doing this, in the statement HOW WE CAN WIN: How We Can Really Make Revolution, put out by the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party.

Bob Avakian says:

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

Get with this revolutionary leader. Join the movement for revolution.

 

Photo: Li Onesto/Revolution

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/first-they-came-for-the-immigrants-and-now-what-will-you-do-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

First They Came for the Immigrants...
And Now What Will YOU Do?

April 24, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

First they came for the people of Muslim faith, banning them from entering this country. Then they came for the millions of people from Mexico and the rest of Latin America living and working in this country without documents, unleashing their pigs to hunt them down, round them up, and deport them.

Deportations under Obama had already reached record proportions, and so had the number of Border Patrol agents. But the Trump/Pence regime is taking this war to a new level. Millions of people are living under police-state conditions, with an atmosphere of terror spreading. Documented and undocumented immigrants are demonized, painted as “criminal aliens” and treated as suspects, often denied basic rights—and their humanity. ICE (Immigration and Custom Enforcement) agents carry out storm trooper raids and roundups, any time and any place, against people whose only “crime” is to come to this country to work and survive. Families are being torn apart, children ripped from their parents. Mob violence and hate crimes are whipped up and let loose. Anyone with a shred of humanity should be horrified by these savage, inhuman assaults.

And more is on its way as the numbers of immigration courts and judges and ICE and Border Patrol agents are dramatically increased. Sanctuary cities are being threatened, to stop them from blocking the incorporation of local and state police into a national force to hunt down immigrants. The escalating scale of deportations, including deporting refugees to countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, means many will face certain death.

All this is crossing into new territory that is a hallmark of fascist regimes: one section of society is separated and isolated, forced to live a life in the shadows, fearing any interaction with an authority who can make them prove they have a legal right to carry out normal, everyday activities. In the fascist vision of society, those who cannot produce “papers” are caught between persecution and demonization, and face imprisonment and deportation at any moment. A society where expressions of outrage and resistance are met with brutal repression. This march toward fascism cannot be allowed to continue—mass resistance is absolutely crucial. And it must be aimed at driving out this fascist regime.

May First is a crucial time to take to the streets. Refuse Fascism is calling on people to join in the protests in cities around the country for immigrant rights and against the widespread roundups and deportations. Refuse Fascism is organizing contingents and calling on many to join, to make a powerful statement with the big “NO!” on signs and banners with the slogan: NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America! Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!

At the same time, to put an end to the war on immigrants and all of the horrors this system itself has created, our sights must be set on revolution. This system of capitalism-imperialism cannot be reformed. White supremacy and the brutal exploitation and demonization of immigrants are sewn into its fabric and its history. It feeds on the super-exploitation of the most oppressed like a vampire on blood. Only an actual revolution that brings about a new society with a whole new economic system, politics, and relations between people can lead to the fundamental change that is needed. There is a strategy for this revolution, and a way to actually defeat the system.

And there is a vision and plan for a radically different, and profoundly liberating, society: the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian and adopted by the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. This is a plan for a revolutionary society full of vibrant diversity, critical thinking, creativity, and internationalism. A society aiming for a communist world—without one part of society ruling over others, without countries and borders, without all the oppressive relations and ideas that imprison humanity today.

As this Constitution declares:

In this revolutionary struggle, and its victory, large numbers of immigrants, as well as masses of Black people and other oppressed nationalities within the former imperialist USA, played a crucial role, and they can and must continue to play a vital part in the continuing transformation of society, and the world as a whole, as part of the backbone of the New Socialist Republic in North America.

Get into this radical step into the future!

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/a-nightmare-now-made-even-worse.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

The Pussy-Grabber and the Theocrat Seize the Reins

A Nightmare Now Made Even Worse

April 23, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

We live in a world where HALF OF HUMANITY is treated as LESS THAN HUMAN. Around the world, women and young girls: Locked into sweatshops in countries like China and Bangladesh, making cheap U.S. consumer goods. Kidnapped into networks of sex trafficking that circle the globe. Stoned to death, or burned with acid, by forces of Islamic fundamentalism. Brutalized and murdered by the equally oppressive “modern” culture of rape, violent pornography, sexual assault, and Christian fascism.

Worldwide, tens of thousands of women dying each year from lack of safe abortions. Women, treated like SLAVES—denied the right to abortion, the right to determine something as basic as when, or even whether, to have children.

Anti-woman shit EVERYWHERE, normalized. Locker rooms, where men joke and boast about women, ranking body parts. Military barracks, where violent porn pumps up soldiers before they kill, and one in three women is raped or sexually assaulted. Offices where women are demeaned, and strip clubs, where women are bought and many times brutalized to satisfy sexual fantasies. Homes where women are treated like sex objects, punching bags, breeders of children, and servants of men.

All this, rooted in a system that cannot live one day without oppressing women. A capitalist-imperialist system that right now, in the U.S., is going towards fascism.

The violent reassertion of patriarchy is part of the Trump/Pence regime’s all-around fascist program that also includes attacks on immigrants and Muslims, threats against the press, denial of climate change, a frontal assault on science, and much more.

Trump, a walking embodiment of rape culture—crude degradation, revenge, and sexual violence against women. Trump with his pussy-grabbing boasts. Pence, a Christian fascist who says no abortion even if a woman is raped or in danger of dying, no birth control, no sex before marriage, who champions anti-LGBTQ bigotry.

Both see women as property of men. One sees them as sex objects to be used, abused, and discarded. The other sees them as breeders and lifelong servants of men.

Right away, Trump signed a global “gag order” banning U.S. money to international groups that perform or provide information on abortions. He just reversed a rule prohibiting states from defunding family planning clinics because they also provide abortions, making it easier to target Planned Parenthood.

There must be determined struggle against all this. This resistance needs to link up with and be part of the movement to drive out this fascist regime.

But let’s go further than that. Let’s get beyond this woman-oppressing capitalist-imperialist system that brought us Trump and will keep bringing us Trumps of one kind or another so long as it is on the planet. Things don’t have to be this way. And EVERYONE needs to be and can be a part of a historic fight to bring about a whole different world where women—and all human beings—are emancipated.

There are answers to: WHY the oppression of women is still going on and now taking a leap, and HOW this and every other form of oppression can be eliminated. There is a revolutionary leader, Bob Avakian (BA), who has done the work to find these answers as part of bringing forward a whole new synthesis of communism, a new communism. BA has examined movements and struggles of the past, looked at Russia and China when they were socialist, gleaning positive and negative lessons. He has studied theoretical work by many others. He has built on and learned from all this and is not only leading a movement to make an ACTUAL revolution, but has developed a concrete plan for building a new socialist society—the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.

So if you want to know: where the oppression of women came from and why you can’t get rid of it under this system... why we now face the consolidation of a fascist regime and what must be done to fight against it... how the struggle for the liberation of women is essential for a REAL revolution to emancipate all of humanity... and how we can build a whole new and liberating society... You need to get into the work of BA and hook up with the movement for revolution.

The world CAN be a whole different way. Revolution can bring a new society where women are treated as FULL HUMAN BEINGS—capable of participating fully and equally in every realm of human society together with men.


       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/487/letter-to-prisoners-on-situation-in-chicago-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

A Letter to Prisoners on the Situation in Chicago:
"There Is a Role for You To Play in Turning This Shit Around"

April 17, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

To Prisoners:

The Revolution Club is in Chicago taking the leadership and the science the people need to get free to the masses who are currently shooting and murdering each other. They are out on the front lines fighting relentlessly to get the youth to stop killing each other and get into the revolution.

There is an important role for you to play to be part of turning all this shit around. Every prisoner or former prisoner who has been caught up in the gang life themselves, and has any sense that our youth are capable of so much more than running around killing each other, has an obligation to speak to these youth. Get at your young homies in the streets, tell them that there are revolutionaries out there that they have to get with. There are offices on the Southside and soon on the West Side that they could walk into to get with the Revolution Club. Tell them to get with this revolution and leave that shit behind. Nobody else has to die before we can recognize that we’re getting played and get organized for an actual revolution, a revolution that aims to overthrow this system—the real enemy of the people.

Recently in the streets of Chicago, seven people were shot dead in the span of twelve hours and within four blocks. (“Black People Killing Each Other in Chicago Carl Dix says: Get Out of This Insanity and Get Into the Revolution”) People, whose only hope for any kind of a future depends on whether or not they’re able to come together, are shooting and murdering each other. All this while the grand wizard Trump, the modern-day Hitler, is at the head of the system that rules over them, the very system that created the conditions and shaped the choices that has got us seeing and treating each other as our own worst enemy.

But there is a way out! We don’t have to lay down and accept the shit that’s going to come down on us. There is a way to fight back that can lead all the way out of all this oppression. We can make an actual revolution that will get us to a whole radically different world. We have the strategy, the program and the leadership that we need for this revolution.

Revolutionaries who are fighting to get to a situation where we can overthrow and bury this whole goddamn system have mobilized and are out on the front lines of Chicago. They are taking the leadership of Bob Avakian (BA) and the Revolutionary Communist Party to the masses, struggling with them to unite to fight for the people against their real enemy and to get organized into the revolution.

You can make important contributions—right now. This life is not over. Talk to these youth, fight to change the mentality of these youth. There is a different future to fight for that will require more daring and sacrifice, more courage and commitment than fighting for small plots of territory that we don’t even fuckin own or control. We’ve been played for far too long and it’s brought us to the brink of extinction. Too many of us are dead or locked inside prisons who have come to realize how senseless killing each other really is and we have a role to play.

You may be inside a small cell surrounded by nothing but concrete but you are not helpless. If you’re holding Revolution newspaper in your hands, you’ve come across the way out. You’ve come across the most scientific and advanced understanding of the problem and the solution. You’ve come across the leadership of Bob Avakian (BA), who’s developed the science, the method and approach, that can and must be wielded to make an actual revolution. You can learn and deepen what you may already understand and fight to change the situation on these streets from behind those walls.

Write to your homies, write to this paper and reach out to every one who needs to know that their life could have real meaning and purpose by fighting and dying for a whole new world.

 

       

 

 


 

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

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

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

Updated November 20, 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):

Stan Van Gundy, Coach of the NBA Detroit Pistons, Supports NFL Players Refusing to Stand for the National Anthem and for Their Demands

From a reader:

In a November 14 essay in Time, Stan Van Gundy, the coach of the NBA Detroit Pistons, said he supports the NFL players who are refusing to stand for the national anthem in protest of police brutality and social injustice and he calls on others “to join me in supporting them.”

Van Gundy, who is white, talks about coaching in the NBA for 20 years in a league that is 75 percent Black and what he has learned about “the issues they and their families have had to encounter.” He wrote, “I have an obligation as a citizen to speak out and to support, in any way possible, those brave and patriotic athletes who are working to bring change to our country. I believe all of us do.”

Van Gundy points out that “These athletes could take the easy route and not placed their livelihoods at risk by standing up for what they believe in. They’ve put in their hard work. They could accept their paychecks and live lives of luxury. Instead, they are risking their jobs to speak up for those who have no voice.”

He goes on to say that “Those who have been at the forefront of great advances in social justice have always been willing to make significant personal sacrifices, and that group has always included athletes,” and he names Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith, John Carlos, and Colin Kaepernick as those who have sacrificed for the cause of calling out social injustice, and that these current NFL players are following in their footsteps.

He points out that these NFL players are not just protesting on Sunday, but “On virtually every Tuesday during the NFL season (the NFL’s traditional off-day), these committed athletes are using their platform as professional athletes in town halls, statehouses and even Washington, D.C., to listen, learn, meet with leaders, advocate for change and put the issues of criminal justice reform in the spotlight.”

The changes they are advocating for are:

At the end of his essay, Van Gundy says, “We should all join them in ensuring their collective voice is heard.”

Van Gundy’s essay is online here.

Return to top

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Calls Colin Kaepernick a Hero and Wants to Take a Knee with Him

From a reader

Jody Williams, recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, called Colin Kaepernick a hero for taking a knee in protesting police murders of Black people.  Williams, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work seeking the ban of anti-personnel mines, gave her support to Kaepernick during her October 15 acceptance speech when she was receiving the Human Rights Awards from the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill, New York.

In an interview after her speech, she talked about why the athletes are taking a knee:

(It's because) the seeming inability of this country to deal with racism in general, but in particular, the police brutality against primarily Black men. There certainly has been violence against Black women but the killings of Black men have been very, very disturbing to many people. I think [they] helped spark the Black Lives Matter movement.

So when Kaepernick decided to use his fame to take a knee, and by doing so, make a public statement about the need to deal with this, I thought it was outstanding, personally.

And when others joined him, it I think was a pivotal moment in race issues in the country. We may not see a dramatic change immediately, but that Kaepernick took a knee, and then other Black athletes and white athletes joined in in their own way and found the support of the team owners, etc.—it reminds me of the chain of people protesting apartheid outside of the South African Embassy. You know, the impact of doing it again and again and again, famous people and not-so-famous people—it does make a difference.

Then she talked about the importance of those who have a disproportionate influence speaking out:

They mean that important figures have decided that they will use their fame to make a difference. And that also empowers the not-so-famous to stand up and make a difference. I think it's terrific. I think it's long overdue.

Despite the fact that, you know, Muhammad Ali—going to jail instead of going to war, and the two athletes in the Olympics raising their fists—famous people have done it before, but not to this extreme.

I wish I could take a knee with Kaepernick.

When I first saw that he took a knee, I [thought], "Oh, yes! If I could only go to a football game and take a knee with him, I would be so proud." Whether he ever plays football again, the man has made a statement that affects our culture. And for that alone, he is a hero.

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Hertha Berlin Soccer Team Takes a Knee in Solidarity with Kaepernick

Hertha BSC (Berliner Sports Club), a German association soccer club based in the Charlottenburg area of Berlin, took a knee in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and the NFL players’ protest during their home game on Saturday, October 14. Hertha’s starting lineup, coaching staff, general manager, club officials, and substitutes joined in the protest before the start of the game.

Sebastian Langkamp, Hertha’s defender, told Sky TV, “We’re no longer living in the 18th century but in the 21st century. There are some people, however, who are not that far ideologically yet. If we can give some lessons there with that, then that’s good.” The Club released a statement on Twitter that said, “Hertha BSC stands for tolerance and responsibility! For a tolerant Berlin and an open-minded world, now and forevermore!”

Salomon Kalou, a forward for the team, who is from Ivory Coast, said their action was inspired by the NFL players’ protest against police brutality and murder of Black and other people of color, in the face of the attacks against them by Trump. He said, “We stand against racists and that’s our way of sharing that. We are always going to fight against this kind of behavior, as a team and as a city... [Racism] shouldn’t exist in any kind of event, in the NFL or in the football world, soccer as they call it there. It shouldn’t exist in any sport, period.”

German soccer club takes a knee

Hertha BSC (Berliner Sports Club), a German association soccer club based in the Charlottenburg area of Berlin, protests Saturday, October 14, in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and the NFL players

Credit: AP

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Richard E. Frankel, Professor of Modern German History, on Trump’s Pardon of Anti-Immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio: “To this German historian, the implications are ominous”

Richard E. Frankel is associate professor of Modern German History at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and is the author of Bismarck’s Shadow: The Cult of Leadership and the Transformation of the German Right, 1898-1945. The following originally appeared at historynewsnetwork.org, website of the Columbian College of Arts & Sciences at George Washington University.

In August of 1932, in the town of Potempa, nine Nazi Stormtroopers murdered a supporter of the German Communist Party, kicking him to death in his own apartment as his family watched in horror. Six were convicted with five receiving the death penalty. After the verdict, Hitler sent them a telegram in which he declared to them his “boundless loyalty.” Shortly after he came to power in 1933, he pardoned the killers. While former Sheriff Joe Arpaio never kicked anyone to death, his pardon by President Trump raises disturbing parallels.

Upon gaining power, Hitler immediately pardoned allies who’d perpetrated ghastly crimes against those deemed enemies of the nation. What do we make of Trump’s pardon of a political ally, a man duly convicted of systemic deprivations of people’s constitutional rights—people Trump never considered part of his America? As a professor of modern German history, this administration seemingly provides such unpleasant reminders of Germany’s dark past on a regular basis. What can German history teach us about this latest episode? How, for example, did the pardon of the Potempa killers help us better understand Hitler? What implications did it have for development of the Third Reich? And how does that knowledge help us better understand Trump and the danger that his pardon of Arpaio poses for the future of the United States?  Read complete article.

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Roger Waters: “I support my hero Colin Kaepernick, and all the fellow heroes in the NFL who stood up for rights and justice and equality”

At his September 28 concert in Boston, Roger Waters took a knee in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and other sports stars resisting police murder and the recent attacks from Trump.

As he took the knee on stage in front of a massive screen with the word RESIST projected on it, Rogers said:

I support my hero Colin Kaepernick, and all the fellow heroes in the NFL who stood up for rights and justice and equality. They’re part of a far larger movement all over the globe standing up for equal civil rights and equal rights for all the peoples of the world no matter what their race, ethnicity or religion.

Rogers’ entire current Us + Them tour has been laced with statements of resistance against the Trump/Pence fascist regime.

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NBA Basketball Players and Coaches Speak Out in Support of the NFL Players' Protests Against Trump

From a reader:

On Sunday, September 24, the world saw NFL players, joined in some cases by coaches and owners, deliver a powerful statement by sitting, taking a knee, locking arms together, or remaining in the locker room during the singing of the national anthem at nearly every game played that day and at the Monday night game. They were responding to the vicious, racist attacks unleashed by Trump at his Nazi rally in Alabama Friday when he declared that when a player refuses to stand for the national anthem, the owners should "get that son of a bitch off the field now." The taking the knee protest was started last year by then S.F. 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick against the police brutality and murder of people of color. As Carl Dix said, with Trump's fascist, racist rant against the NFL player protesters, this Klucker-in-chief was making clear what his "Make America Great Again" is all about.

The day following the NFL players' Sunday protests was the first day of NBA basketball practice, when all of the teams speak to the press. Many players and some coaches made thoughtful comments to the media, giving a glimpse of the impact the actions of the football players is having. It should be mentioned that last week, after Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors NBA team publicly said he wasn't going to be part of any team celebration at the White House, Trump tweeted that he was disinviting the Warriors.

Here are highlights from some of the comments from NBA players and coaches:

Jabari Parker, player for the Milwaukee Bucks:

I'm not really surprised at what he said, because basically that's the narrative of Mr. Trump and that's the type of person he is. ... I think that anybody with any responsibility has the opportunity to create change and to take a side. You have good and you have bad. There's no in-between, because when you're in the middle, you're in favor of the oppressor. That's a quote by Desmond Tutu.

As far as the flag goes, it's not like people are [protesting] for any ordinary reason. There's a huge meaning, a broad horizon to it. A lot of people are frustrated that nothing's changed from the time that we've learned it from kids until now. There's been a lot of bad going on with the oppression of colored folks and minorities...

Stan Van Gundy, head coach, Detroit Pistons:

There are serious issues of inequality and injustice in this country. People of conscience are compelled to oppose racism, sexism and intolerance of people of different sexual identities and orientation wherever and whenever they see it. I stand with those opposing such bigotry. I as an individual and the Detroit Pistons as an organization support diversity, inclusion and equality.

J.J. Redick, player for the Philadelphia 76ers:

There's very few days that go by where I don't get pissed off at something Trump does, so this weekend was kind of like a normal thing... There's nothing that I would ever want to say to Trump or interact with Trump. I agree with LeBron [James, of the Cleveland Cavaliers] in the sense that what the White House and what the presidency used to represent does not represent that during these four years. It just does not. It's now a mockery of what the presidency and the White House stood for. So, I would have zero interest in ever going there. [Reddick is a white player.]

Gregg Popovich, coach of the San Antonio Spurs:

Obviously, race is the elephant in the room and we all understand that. Unless it is talked about constantly, it's not going to get better. "Oh, they're talking about that again. They pulled the race card again. Why do we have to talk about that?" Well, because it's uncomfortable. There has to be an uncomfortable element in the discourse for anything to change, whether it's the LGBT movement, or women's suffrage, race, it doesn't matter. People have to be made to feel uncomfortable, and especially white people, because we're comfortable. We still have no clue what being born white means....

You have advantage that are systemically, culturally, psychologically rare. And they've been built up and cemented for hundreds of years.... People want to hold their position, people want their status quo, people don't want to give that up. Until it's given up, it's not going to be fixed....

[Referring to NASCAR team owners who said NFL protesters should be fired and even leave the country...] I had no idea that I lived in a country where people would actually say that sort of thing. I'm not totally naive but I think these people have been enabled by an example that we've all been given. You've seen it in Charlottesville, and on and on and on.

Erik Spoelstra, coach of the Miami Heat:

I commend the Golden State Warriors for the decision they made [not to accept Trump's invitation to go to the White House]. I commend NFL players and organizations for taking a stand for equality, for inclusion, for taking a stand against racism, bigotry, prejudice...

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

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

He wrote in part in a Washington Post opinion letter:

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

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

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

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

Letter from a reader:

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

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

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

From a reader:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In another interview she said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Messages of Resistance at the MTV Video Music Awards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On his website, Joseph Guay says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From David Strathairn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read text of her talk here

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

Neil Young: “Children of Destiny”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch the video:

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

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

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

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

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

Read Stoll’s entire essay at Vulture.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read Diala Shamas’s article here.

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

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

Watch the video:

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

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

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

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

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

Read the rest of Reza Aslan’s interview here.

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

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

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

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

Read the rest of Jacob Ayol’s story here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read Steven Thrasher’s article online here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read C. Christine Fair’s op-ed here.

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

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

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

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

Read Lincoln Blade’s entire article here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He goes on:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the whole speech here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are USC Faculty.

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

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

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

We are committed to:

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

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

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

We will Fight On!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the whole article here

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

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

Here are some excerpts from Bennett’s statement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read Tim Roger’s article in its entirety here.

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

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

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

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

Read more

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

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

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

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

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

Read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the whole interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The statement said in part:

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

Berkeley Law School Faculty and Staff: #NoBanNoWall

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

Their statement reads:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The PDF of the poster is available here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more

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/487/tribute-to-lynne-stewart-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

A Tribute to Lynne Stewart
from the NY Branch of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA,
April 22, 2017

April 22, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following statement was prepared for the memorial for Lynne Stewart.

 

The New York Branch of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, extends our deep condolences to Ralph Poynter and the family of Lynne Stewart.

Lynne was truly sui generis. Yet, we need more like her... more people who put their lives at the service of the people... more who are fearless in the face of the enemy... more who know how and why to unite and how to struggle and debate—so as to be able to tackle the biggest problems humanity faces... more people who put “serving the people” before self... more who act on what is right and who do so with courage.

Lynne Stewart was a woman who could walk into a room and light it up with infectious energy. And at the same time, we remember Lynne sitting quietly with Ralph without attracting any attention to herself—outside more than one court hearing for a case that wasn’t even hers—but being there just offering her support. Because she knew what that meant—for the case and for the defendant.

Losing Lynne hurts. Especially so now. Lynne faced down fascists in the courts and in the streets. Today we face the emergence of a regime that is consolidating fascism, threatening the people of the world and the survival of the planet.

Lynne’s spirit is presente. And, in her memory, now is the time for a new generation of people’s lawyers and fighters for the people to step forward with the revolutionary spirit and determination of Lynne Stewart. Honor her legacy: stand and struggle for a radically new world.

 

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/487/refuse-fascism-protest-trump-visit-to-kenosha-wisconsin-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

From Refuse Fascism Chicago:

Protest Trump Visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin!

April 17, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

No! In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a FAscist America - refusefascism.org

We have learned that Donald Trump is visiting the Snap-On Tools facility in Kenosha, WI, tomorrow, Tuesday, April 18! He will be accompanied by several of his top enablers: Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus, and Scott Walker. This is a rare step outside the circle of his “alt-right” (Nazi) co-conspirators and their fanatic followers.

What: Protest Trump Visit!
When: 12 pm - 3 pm, Tuesday, April 18
Where: Snap-On Tools, 2801 80th St., Kenosha, WI
Please join and share the Facebook event by Forward Kenosha.

This is the Donald Trump who is playing nuclear chicken with North Korea, whose generals dropped the largest bomb since Hiroshima on one of the poorest countries in the world last week. This is the Donald Trump who is slashing budgets at the EPA, the National Institutes of Health, NASA and other critical scientific and research facilities the whole world depends upon. Escalating deportations, demonization of immigrants, defunding of Planned Parenthood—the list of the assaults on humanity and our planet launched by these fascist is practically endless. And don’t think Trump is backing down! Charles Blow wrote in the NY Times April 17 about the “rolling litany of daily horrors that Trump has inflicted.”

We must give Trump the welcome all of this deserves! Join us in bringing the message: “NO! In the name of humanity, we REFUSE to accept a fascist USA!” This must be an excellent lead-in to the 10 Days of Resistance that bring hundreds of thousands into the streets, with a growing understanding that STOPPING this litany of horrors is on us, through our determination to drive them out! (Read more about how here.)

Arrive early and look for Refuse Fascism posters and banners. We will try to gather as close to the plant entrance as possible. Congregations United to Serve Humanity will meet at 9:30 am at St. Mary’s Lutheran Church, 2001 80th St., Kenosha, and march together to Snap-On Tools to protest in solidarity with undocumented immigrants.

If you need a ride or you can give others a ride, send us an email with your name and telephone number or call us at 312 933 9586. We’ll do our best to match folks up.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/487/drive-out-the-fascist-regime-of-alternative-facts-and-attacks-on-science-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

Deadly Enemies of Science and Truth; Champions of Ignorance

April 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Trump/Pence regime is a fascist regime. As such, it bludgeons the truth when it does not serve its interests or program. There is the regime of “alternative facts,” the outright denial of scientific truths, and the undermining and sidestepping of the role of science and scientists in critical areas like global warming and public health. The Christian fascist cohort led by Pence is readying its assault on the science of evolution and in other areas. Only science and engineering serving corporate and military interests are to be encouraged and funded.

Such a regime must not only be resisted, it must be driven out. The March for Science and the Refuse Fascism contingent in it are absolutely needed—and at the same time, must open up a whole new upsurge of struggle, leading to the ending of the regime, as soon as possible.

Capitalism-Imperialism in Its “Normal Workings”

Yet while fascism is indeed monstrous and grotesque, capitalism in its normal workings represents a real horror for humanity. Imperialist wars; the oppression of Black people and other oppressed nationalities, of women and immigrants; and the destruction of the environment are a matter of course and a result of the workings of this system.

And capitalism-imperialism is a real and substantive fetter on the pursuit of science. Just some of the ways include:

An Invitation to a Radically Different World

All of this is utterly unnecessary and can be overcome through an actual revolution to get rid of this system and bring about a radically different—and far better—society. One that aims to get beyond oppression, exploitation, and antagonistic social divides as part of a worldwide process. It is an economic system not based on exploitation of people or the environment, a political system that aims to eliminate antagonistic social divides, and the radical transformation of social relations and ideas.

A concrete and viable vision of this society is captured in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian (BA). In the overall context and blueprint for the new society, there are detailed sections on the Environment, Education, and Science and Scientific Endeavor that will be of specific interest to those marching in defense of science and the environment. The Constitution is based on BA’s new synthesis of communism, a whole new framework for human emancipation on a thoroughly scientific foundation, developed over four decades. For more, we encourage you to read the interview of the award-winning scientist and author Ardea Skybreak: Science and Revolution, On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian.

Past communist theory was marked by shortcomings that ran counter to its principally scientific character. Previous revolutionary experiences and genuine socialist societies—the Soviet Union and China—were also marked by serious shortcomings and errors that ran counter to their positive achievements and their liberatory goals. BA’s work examines and excavates these, and resolves them in a radically new—and different—synthesis. In the interview, Science and Revolution, Skybreak states,“Look, with BA, you have somebody here who’s really good at applying consistent evidence-based scientific methods to both the analysis of current society and the pathways for change of future society. How can you not want to seriously examine and check this out?”

At a moment when truth, science, the scientific method and their place in public life and policy are under siege—when human society itself is under direct threat from a science-denying, nuclear-roulette-playing regime—isn’t it time to take up Skybreak’s challenge?

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/michael-slate-interviews-scientist-michael-mann-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

Michael Slate Interviews Scientist Michael Mann:

“We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impacts of climate change”

April 23, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following is a transcript of an interview on The Michael Slate Show with Dr. Michael Mann, a Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University with joint appointments in the departments of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute. He is also Director of the Penn State Earth Systems Science Center and author of several books, including his most recent work, The Madhouse Effect. The interview, conducted on April 7, a couple of weeks before the worldwide March for Science, has been edited slightly for length.

* * * * *

Michael Slate: The situation facing the planet and all of humanity in relation to the climate is dire, and that’s putting it very simply. And it’s growing worse by the day. Give people a capsulized understanding of where things are at now.

Michael Mann: We are literally just seeing the tip of the veritable iceberg when it comes to the impacts of climate change because there is probably another half a degree Celsius, nearly a whole degree Fahrenheit, warming that is still in the pipeline. That is to say, even if we stop burning carbon right now we would see that additional amount of warming. And already, just from the warming that has occurred, the impacts from climate change, as I like to say, are no longer subtle. We see them play out now literally in the 24-hour news cycle on our television screens and our newspapers: many of the extreme weather events we see here in the U.S. over the last year or two—unprecedented floods, droughts, the list goes on—we can see the fingerprint of human activity now on those events.

Michael Slate: The science itself is under brutal attack now.

Michael Mann: It’s rather ironic. You don’t see concerted attacks by industry front groups when it comes to cosmology, black holes, the theory of gravity, organic chemistry. There are no lobbies that exist to discredit scientists in those fields. But when it comes to climate change, the findings of the scientific community have proven inconvenient to some powerful vested interests, to fossil fuel interests, who don’t like the implications of what we are finding; namely that we have to get off our addiction to fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy and non-carbon energy. That, of course, is a threat to their bottom line. They are profiting greatly from our current addiction to fossil fuels. They have used that immense power and wealth to wage what is arguably the greatest disinformation campaign in the history of human civilization: the campaign to deny and attack the science of climate change.

“I have one very powerful weapon, the truth”

Michael Slate: You were also recently part of a panel that was set up in Congress around this—they had the three chuckle-heads that were in there, and then they had you. They were presenting this as a “panel of experts.” You had to sit over there and look at these guys, and it was literally like looking at the Three Stooges!

Michael Mann: There is a great John Oliver segment that I think really cuts to the chase in the way that this is a sort of false portrayal of debate. The way that this Congressional committee—in this case, the chair of the House Science Committee, Lamar Smith, is a climate change denier whose largest source of funding is the fossil fuel interests. He invited three contrarians and one mainstream scientist. That was me. When, in fact, if you look at the actual scientific literature, when you look at publishing scientists, 97 percent or more of scientists in this field actually agree with the consensus that I described at that hearing, and a tiny minority have the sorts of views that were represented by the three contrarian witnesses. So, while in reality it’s 97 percent, in that House hearing, the overwhelming consensus of the world’s scientists was represented by 25 percent of the witnesses. That is the sort of distortion that is intended to make the public and policy makers think that there is a debate about the science of climate change, when there is none in the legitimate scientific discourse.

That having been said, I had one very powerful weapon, the truth! And by all accounts, the Republican majority and their witnesses faired very poorly because they don’t have the truth on their side. They weren’t prepared; they didn’t make cogent arguments because there aren’t cogent arguments to be made against the reality of human-caused climate change. So, I think in the end, truth and facts prevailed despite that fact that the hearing was really intended to sow doubts about the science, basically to justify an agenda of inaction by Congressional Republicans and our Republican president.

Michael Slate: One thing it brought up to me was something you wrote about a while back, which was called “The Serengeti Strategy,” and I’d like you to talk about that, because it seemed to be very evident in what they were trying to push up there.

Michael Mann: Absolutely. In my book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, I recount an experience back a couple of decades ago when I was at a scientific conference in Kenya and Tanzania. I had a chance to go out to see the Serengeti and the amazing creatures that roam the Serengeti, and one of the striking scenes that I saw were zebras standing back to back, to form a wall of stripes. That’s how they avoid being targeted by predators, by lions, by sort of blending into the background. And if one of them gets isolated, they become vulnerable.

So, I used that analogy to describe the way that climate change deniers, Congressional climate change deniers holding show trials to attack climate scientists like myself, or the various op-eds in conservative-leaning newspapers that target individual climate scientists like myself for ridicule and condemnation, that is intended to isolate. They know that they are up against a wall of facts, a wall of consensus, so all they can hope to do is try to pick off one of those zebras and make an example of them, right? Attack one scientist and try to send a message to all the other scientists that if you speak out about the reality and threat of climate change we’re going to come after you, too. I think it is very clear that that is the message that they’re trying to send to the scientific community. I, for one, will have no part of it and that is why I was there, to defend the mainstream science of climate change and to make sure that misinformation and disinformation did not rule the day.

Michael Slate: You did a very good job of it. One of the critical arguments is your insistence and other scientists’ insistence on examining both natural and human causes, and that seems to drive them up the wall. They try to present everything as, “Well, it’s all natural causes, and there’s ebb and flow.” But you’ve argued that there’s natural and human causes, and human causes are actually playing a huge role in what’s happening in the world today.

Michael Mann: That’s right. It’s sort of a false dichotomy, this picture they depict where it’s all or nothing. Either it’s all natural variability or it’s no natural variability. Or more to the point, that it’s all natural variability and very little human impact, which is, of course, not what the facts indicate.

So, there’s this effort to magnify, to exaggerate the role of natural variability—to make it sound like, “Hey, you know, there’s natural variability. There’s no way we can tell if we’re really changing the planet. Climate change is natural anyways. So, why should we care about this?”

It’s so wrongheaded. It’s wrong on the facts, and it’s an extremely misleading argument anyway. First of all, the warming that we’ve seen we know is caused by the burning of fossil fuels and the increase of carbon in our atmosphere. Our best effort to estimate the impact of natural factors—volcanoes, small but measurable changes in the brightness of the sun—those natural factors have actually acted slightly to cool the climate a little bit over the last half century. Human caused greenhouse warming has completely overwhelmed that small natural cooling trend and in fact given us a very substantial warming trend.

So, we are literally most likely responsible for more than 100 percent of the warming that we have seen, because we actually overcame a small natural trend that was in the opposite direction. It’s a temporary trend, and eventually would turn around. But over the last half century, it’s actually been in the opposite direction, and we’ve warmed as much as we have in spite of that.

So, natural causes can’t explain the warming. In fact, they go in the wrong direction. And when you point to uncertainty—because that was the other topic that they tried to insert into the discussion, to emphasize the existence of uncertainty—well, uncertainty cuts both ways, despite what Lamar Smith and his witnesses tried to tell observers. Uncertainty actually is a reason for taking even greater action, because it can cut both ways, and in many respects, as we start to resolve some of the uncertainty, we’re finding that things are actually worse than we originally thought. We’re losing sea ice in the Arctic faster than we thought we would—we are seeing the disappearance of the Greenland Ice Sheet and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The loss of ice from these two major ice sheets is well ahead of where the models said we should be. So, they are already contributing to sea level rise, ahead of schedule.

So, uncertainty is actually cutting against us. In many respects, the uncertainty, as we resolve it, we’re again learning that things are happening even faster than we had originally predicted. So, it’s a reason to act even sooner. It’s a reason for more concerted action, just the opposite of what the critics would like you to think uncertainty means here.

Michael Slate: As you were talking about that, I was thinking of what you were talking about a minute ago, the “hockey stick” graph. Because if you look at that now, it’s probably so much bigger than that antiquated picture you have in your book.

Michael Mann: [Laughing] Right, yeah. The so-called blade of the hockey stick, which is the modern warming, with each year, that blade gets longer, and we enter into even more unprecedented territory. We just saw the third consecutive warmest year on record. And so, to those who say, oh, global warming, it’s slowed down, it’s stopped, of course that’s nonsense. We’ve seen, for the first time on record, three consecutive record-breaking warm years, and along with that, the unprecedented rash of extreme weather events—floods, droughts, heat waves. We are seeing the impacts of that warming in the extreme weather that we are increasingly dealing with here in the U.S. and around the world, and that creates all sorts of problems, not the least of which is conflict, and the sort of conflict that drives societal instability, like the Syrian uprising, which ultimately precipitated terrorist groups like ISIS. That had at its root unprecedented drought in Syria that forced rural farmers into the cities where there was more competition for resources. That led to conflict—an instability that we are now dealing with in the form of international terrorism.

Melting of Arctic Ice—Cause for Great Concern

Michael Slate: Let’s talk about the ice melting. I just recently had on the show Josh Willis...

Michael Mann: Yeah. Great scientist.

Michael Slate: Yeah, he is. He’s been doing a lot of coverage of—it’s OMG, Oceans Melting Greenland—and he’s been talking a lot about the melting of Arctic ice, and even more, the melting of huge ice sheets. Let’s talk about that some more, because that’s something you’ve delved into, too.

Michael Mann: Absolutely. The melting of the sea ice is one thing, because sea ice can sort of come and go. It tends to form, a lot of it, in the winter, and then it melts back in the summer. And at least in the past, there’s always been some sea ice that persists through the summer, and that’s critical, because unique creatures like the polar bear rely on that environment. And we see now that environment disappearing. But, here’s the good news. If we turn the thermostat back down, the Arctic sea ice comes back. So, that is not what we call a tipping point. We don’t think we’re going to go past the point of no return if we can bring our carbon emissions under control and ultimately cool the planet back down, then we can bring back the Arctic sea ice.

Now, here’s the thing. Arctic sea ice is ice that’s floating on the ocean to start with, and so when it melts it doesn’t raise global sea level. But when you melt continental ice sheets, that’s ice that’s stored on land and that will increase global sea level. And here’s the other problem. When you start to melt the great ice sheets—the Greenland Ice Sheet, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, the large chuck of the Antarctic Ice Sheet that’s most susceptible to melting—once you set that in motion, it is very difficult to stop it. There is a tipping point, and we may have crossed the tipping point now where we’ve warmed up the climate enough that we’ve set in motion the destabilization of most if not all of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet—enough ice to give us 10 to 14 feet of sea level rise.

That may be baked in. We don’t know how long it will take for that to play out. But we may have ensured that that will happen no matter what. Even if we tried to turn the thermostat back down, those processes take on a life of their own. And once they get going, it’s almost impossible to reverse them.

So, the real worry, in fact, is the fact that we’re seeing the loss of ice in the major ice sheets decades ahead of schedule—sooner than the climate models said we should see it. That is a cause for great concern.

“Trump has literally turned his back on science”

Michael Slate: Now, entering into it all, Trump. Trump’s plan—you called it a middle finger to science. Let’s talk about that.

Michael Mann: I don’t remember saying that, but I would agree with it. If I did say it, I stand by it. Yeah. Trump has literally turned his back on science in this country. He’s defunding science in general, but especially science that’s inconvenient to the funders and the special interests that rule his campaign. Most of his cabinet members, the people he’s appointed to key positions, have ties to the fossil fuel industry, or the Koch brothers, the largest privately owned fossil fuel interest. So, the fox is not just guarding the henhouse, but running the henhouse at this point when it comes to issues like climate change.

It’s sort of a worst-case scenario from a domestic politics standpoint to have such an anti-science president. Donald Trump is trying to undo all of the achievements of the previous administration when it comes to dealing with climate and when it comes to studying the problem of climate change, working together with Congressional Republicans who have very much the same agenda, the Koch brothers driven agenda of gutting environmental protections and basically de-incentivizing the move toward renewable energy and doubling down on subsidies for the continued mining of fossil fuels, and the continued destruction of our environment. It’s sort of a worst-case scenario.

Fortunately, we’re just one country. The rest of the world is moving on, moving away from fossil fuel energy toward renewable energy. It’s clear that is the direction the world is moving, and at this point, it’s simply a matter of whether we get on board, or we get left behind.

Michael Slate: There’s something I’d like you to riff on.

Michael Mann: Sure.

Michael Slate: It’s from a scientist named Ardea Skybreak, from her book, The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What’s Real and Why It Matters. I was very moved by this and I wanted to hear your thoughts: “When people are deprived of a scientific approach to reality as a whole, they are robbed of both a full appreciation of the beauty and richness of the natural world and the means to understand the dynamics of change not only in nature but in human society as well.”

Michael Mann: Amen. I think that’s a wonderful statement, and I think it underscores something: that science is not just about solving specific problems, working out the solutions to mathematical equations, or mixing things together in test tubes. It’s really about how you look at the world. It’s about taking a fact-driven approach to how you look at the world. So, while it has implications, obviously, for how we do science, it has implications for how we view our place on this planet and in this universe. I think that’s part of why you see scientists now getting political, because they understand that that place is now threatened.

 

       

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/without-militant-protest-nothing-changes-for-the-better-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

Actually, Without Militant Protest NOTHING Changes for the Better...And No, We Should NOT Listen to the So-Called Legitimate Grievances of White People

April 24, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

On April 18, National Public Radio (NPR) ran a feature that offered “scientific evidence” that disruptive and militant protests against Trump are counterproductive and increase support for Trump. Other media outlets and Democratic Party operatives have been hammering at similar themes. The Boston Globe quoted a Democratic strategist disparaging protests: “I would prefer [people] organizing and knocking on doors. Protesting might give someone a psychological lift, but organizing gets wins.”

These arguments feed into a widespread preoccupation among many people who are opposed to the Trump/Pence regime with “winning over Trump’s supporters,” “winning over the white working class,” “winning over the majority,” and so on. The idea is, that instead of angry protests that denounce the Trump/Pence regime, we need to “have a conversation” with Trump’s supporters, seek “common ground,” and appeal to them around the issues that concern them like jobs and health care.

This viewpoint is a recipe for normalizing and capitulating to a fascist regime that is carrying out crimes against humanity right now... with far worse things shaping up for the near future.

Confronting Reality—and Acting on It

To start, let’s be clear on what the reality is, which these arguments are not confronting.

So how is this time for “a national conversation”?

This is the time for people to act themselves in ways that are commensurate to the dangerous situation in order to drive this regime from power, to challenge like-minded people to join them, and to fight like hell with those who are supporting this monstrous regime to wake the fuck up and get on the side of the people of the world.

How Things Actually Change

Second, the “militant protests alienate people” argument is completely wrong about how things change, and even on how to win over supporters of the system and of the fascist regime. When an awake minority acts with moral certitude and determination on what it knows to be true, that sets terms for the kind of “national conversation”—or more accurately, a national knock-down, drag-out argument—that we really need to have.

       

Think about the 1960s. Early on, public opinion overwhelmingly supported the racist status quo for Black people and America’s imperialist war in Vietnam. But a section of the youth, often starting with dozens, or hundreds, refused to accept these injustices and staged determined, often illegal protests. Black and white youths sat in at segregated lunch counters in the South; youths laid siege to military draft boards in Oakland; students at Columbia University seized and shut down five campus buildings to oppose military research and the racist seizure of park land from the Black community; thousands joined the Black Panther Party; people in the ghettos and barrios rebelled; women of all nationalities rebelled in all kinds of ways throughout society against oppression and degradation, including in the streets demanding abortion rights.

In all of these cases—and thousands of others—people acted on the basis of clarity about right and wrong. And in all of these cases, the initial reaction included a lot of “backlash,” people yelling and screaming at them that maybe their cause was just but they shouldn’t break the law, cause other students to miss classes, or damage private property. That backlash in turn gave way to debate as the rebels held firm and came back with powerful arguments—and this debate tore fiercely through families, classes, jobs as old and wrong ideas were sharply challenged and angrily defended.

It was through this process that major oppressive institutions like Jim Crow were dismantled, and all this played a major role in forcing the U.S. to get out of Vietnam. AND, not unimportantly, the polarization in the whole country changed relatively quickly, so that by the end of the decade a large majority of people opposed the war, and there was a broad social verdict that Black people had been subjected to unjust discrimination and that racism was just flat-out wrong.

We saw something similar when Trump tried to institute his ban on people from seven Muslim countries—angry protesters immediately swarmed the airports and held unruly protests that disrupted air travel and street traffic. Lots of people were inconvenienced, and many of them were pissed off. But the overall impact was to shine a bright spotlight on Trump’s outrageous action, and create a situation where at least for the time being he was unable to go forward with it.

Winning over Trump supporters, and white people in particular, and peeling some away from the fascist movement they are caught up in, is an important element of driving out this fascist regime, and of preparing the ground for a liberating revolution against this oppressive system. But first, that has to go on in the course of waging a fierce struggle to defeat and drive out this regime—it is not a precondition for that struggle. And second, these Trump people are not going to be won over to anything good without sharply challenging them on the fact that they have been roped up into a racist, fascist movement and are actively supporting horrendous things.

One thing that should be noted is that a lot of support for Trump in the election came from wealthier whites. He beat out Clinton among people with incomes of more than $100,000 and among people with lower incomes, the Trump supporters were often small business owners and skilled workers.

Do white people have “legitimate grievances”? Actually, NO, not as “white people.” Yes, tens of millions of poor and working class people who are white have been seriously fucked over by this system, particularly in the last few decades. Yes, it is a major crime of this system that coal companies literally worked generations of (mainly) white people to death, never provided them with any education or other skills, and then left them high and dry when they weren’t needed to produce profits. And yes, in this (and other) milieus of hopelessness, big pharmaceutical companies conducted a systematic campaign to convince doctors that their most powerful painkillers weren’t actually addictive, leading to an epidemic of substance abuse that is killing thousands every month. And we could go on, talking about what was done to small farmers or factory workers in rural areas and so on.

But none of this happened because people were white. And certainly none of it happened because of Mexican immigrants or because of anything Black people or Muslim people did. It happened because people live in a capitalist country where profit is the ultimate source and aim of all economic and political decisions, and the lives of the masses of people don’t matter at all. And because this is also a country that was built from its foundation on white supremacy, millions (though by no means all) of white working people have once again gone for the deal that has been offered by the rulers all too many times: stand with the ruling class against oppressed people of color in this country, and against the rest of the world, in return for some petty (and often not-so-petty) material privileges, and the “status” of being able to revel in being a white American.

This needs to be taken on, and not by convincing people that Trump doesn’t really care about them and won’t provide them with jobs. For one thing, he might create some jobs—particularly as war industry gets cranked up, armies expanded, and more and more prisons and detention centers built for Black, Latino, and Muslim people, and for dissidents... there might be an uptick in employment for poor white people. What’s so good about that?! Increasing numbers of white people need to be struggled with and won over RIGHT NOW to stand with the fight against the oppression of Black people and other people of color, of immigrants, and other battles against injustices that are raging.

We need to put it to people that they have a choice to make. They can be part of the forces struggling for a whole different and better world, where social “status” and access to the basics of life don’t depend on degrading and grinding down other people, but where all of society is increasingly working together for the betterment of humanity. Or they can be part of the machinery of murder, degradation, and environmental destruction that Trump and Pence stand at the head of.

History has shown that when this struggle is waged sharply, large sections of white workers and other white people can be wrenched out of the bullshit they are into, and become part of the movements for radical and revolutionary change. That and only that is what we should be going for.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/rev-club-ucla-letter-response-to-heather-macdonald-on-campus-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

The following is an op-ed submitted by the Revolution Club, UCLA to the UCLA newspaper the Daily Bruin, which refused to publish it. Where is the “free speech” in that?! We are publishing it here with permission from the Club.

UCLA hosts a genocide justifier and students allow it! Heather Mac Donald uses a shoddy intellectual veneer to justify a genocide against Black and Brown people.

April 23, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Bruin Republicans are notorious for promoting and encouraging hate speech and violence against minority groups on campus by putting on events such as, “An Illegal Immigrant Killed My Child,” “Feminism Is a Cancer” with Milo Yiannopoulos, and holding anti-trans signs at an anti-trans lecture held at UC Santa Barbara. The event they put on last Wednesday, “Blue Lives Matter with Heather Mac Donald” was no different.

See also:
A Question Sharply Posed: NAT TURNER OR THOMAS JEFFERSON?
by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

Mac Donald is notorious for arguing:

Quotes from: (https://www.city-journal.org/html/jena-dodge-10301.html)

She even goes so far as to say that “there is no government agency more dedicated to the proposition that Black Lives Matter than the police, and that proactive policing has helped reduce serious crime in predominantly black neighborhoods—but that the false Black Lives Matter narrative hurts innocent black lives as police pull back and violent crime rises.” (https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/32050/)

These statements are just bald-faced lies!! There are plenty of studies exposing the criminalization of Black people, racial bias in policing, and the lack of availability of opportunities for Black people in America. Just to cite a few of the hundreds:

Second, when she sheds crocodile tears for victims of “Black on Black” crime, she blames the “criminals” but fails to look at the root cause of crime in Black communities. Even the conservative author, Edward Luttwak, looks at reality for what it is and argues that crime is a rational choice for millions of inner city youth! Mac Donald never mentions the deindustrialization that took the factories from Black neighborhoods to the Third World, or any of the other factors that led Luttwak to his analysis. She doesn’t talk about cutbacks on social services, declining school quality, segregation (and the lack of resources for predominantly Black or Brown neighborhoods), or the origins of the police in slavery. Mac Donald ignores too much of reality to cite in one article. She does not look at the system of capitalism, which is the cause of these conditions, a system which sees Black people as expendable and which has been waging a slow genocide against Black and Brown people for decades (with mass incarceration and murder by police as the leading edges of that).

Should we be shutting events like this down or fostering intellectual debate by “asking pointed questions”?

To be clear, this event was not an act of “Free Speech” but an act of outright hate speech chock-full of anti-Blackness and this dangerously genocidal white supremacist rhetoric is backed up by the state power of the fascists who are now in the White House. Mac Donald’s logic leads to the conclusion that it’s either an inherent quality of Black people to commit crime or it’s just “naturally” a part of Black culture. Unsurprisingly, she said to a student that if Black people raised their kids better, there wouldn’t be as much crime. She is either delusional or she is a rabid white supremacist―either way, the lies she is spreading should not be legitimized or normalized. The most concerning part is that evidence points to her being the latter. She is fighting to undercut the ability of Black people to stand up and fight their oppression as a people. She is fighting to strengthen the police. This is like locking someone in their house and setting it on fire! You take away the ability of people to fight back while you unleash horrors on them.

The university has always been a battleground of ideas, and this takes on increasing importance in the time of Trump/Pence where the truth is being rewritten in a fascist image. In fact, people like Heather Mac Donald, Milo Yiannopoulos, David Horowitz, and other rabid fascist ideologues, are playing an important role in normalizing fascism in the universities. You can’t foster intellectual debate with a white supremacist fascist like Mac Donald who views Black and Brown people as less than human! This was not a presentation of an “intellectual” perspective on police murder, but an act of violence. Mac Donald’s “statistics” are lies! They cover over and justify a bloodthirsty criminal rampage that the pigs are given the green light to unleash on Black and Brown masses. Allowing people like Mac Donald to even step foot on any campus contributes to the normalization of white supremacy and fascism, all of which now holds power under Donald Trump’s regime. To be clear, there is a DIRECT link between Mac Donald’s logic and Trump’s genocidal rhetoric of “stopping the carnage in Chicago” (aka unleashing the pigs to terrorize, brutalize, and murder Black people on an even greater scale), a link which Mac Donald made herself in her speech.

Instead of acting like well-behaved children who play by the rules, students need to stop being so defensive and say NO MORE! We will not tolerate the normalization of fascism on campus, and we will not tolerate the consolidation of fascism in America. Students have to stop this with the fire and determination of those in the Claremont McKenna College who shut down Mac Donald Thursday, of the Berkeley students who shut down Milo, of the Middlebury students who shut down the author of The Bell Curve. Doing so is commensurate with what we are facing right now politically, and is all the more powerful given what is at stake. We need to shut events like this down as part of the fight to drive this regime from power at the soonest possible time!

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/486/chicago-to-the-youth-who-are-caught-up-in-the-violence-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

The Revolution Club says

To the Youth Who Are Caught Up in the Violence—
You Are NOT “Too Far Gone,” But You Need to Get into This Revolution or You Will Be.

April 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

People are saying there's no way out of the gang shit. They say it’s too far gone because too many people have been killed and “we want them to hurt how we hurt.” It’s too far gone because “I’ve already done too much fucked up shit.” It’s too far gone because the young ones have no hopes and dreams, no structure, and are quick to kill.

Bullshit. It’s not too far gone. It’s just fucked up as hell. And it’s a system that has put you and millions like you in this situation, trapped you in it, and is using you to keep it going. The ONLY solution is revolution. You need to change what you are living and fighting for and willing to die for.

This system has set everything up against you and called you a criminal before you could even walk. Its police lock you up, beat you down, and kill you off. And it has trained you to think in its dog-eat-dog logic: that the only meaning your life can have is killing other people in the exact same conditions. Now Trump has plans to bring the hammer down on Black people and speed up what is already a slow genocide. Don’t do what they want you to do! GET OUT OF THIS CRAZY SHIT, AND GET INTO THE REVOLUTION!

You think you’re Tough Tony for doing what this system lets you do? Or are you really afraid of change? Afraid to hope we could get to a radically different situation and afraid to take the step of putting yourself out there to fight for something radically different?

This situation is not too far gone. And you are not too far gone. Whatever heartless fucked up shit you have done in the past is past. And we will stand with you if you step forward to do something different now. Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution, sees something else. 

One of the things that I see, something that I haven’t lost sight of, is this: I see all the strength of the ruling class, but I also see all the way through all this shit, all the contradictions in society—I actually see a force in this society that, if it were developed into a revolutionary people, actually could have a go at it, could have a real chance of making a revolution, or being the backbone force of a revolution, when the conditions were ripe. I see a force of millions and millions and millions—youth and others—for whom this system is a horror: It isn’t going to take some cataclysmic crisis for this system to be fucking over them. The ruling class, ironically, sees them too. It is those who once had but have lost—or those who never had—a revolutionary perspective... it is they who can’t see this. (from the essay “The Revolutionary Potential of the Masses and the Responsibility of the Vanguard,” in BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian)

Get with Bob Avakian and join the Revolution Club. We have the strategy, discipline, organization, and science to have a real chance to win—and the heart for humanity to make it a revolution worth fighting and dying for. Come to the Revolution Club office to learn how we can win a real revolution, what we need to do now to prepare for revolution, and how to start living by and fighting for the Points of Attention for the Revolution.

For the people who are not the ones shooting and dying, but are shaking your heads and throwing up your hands: the youth are there, what are YOU going to do? Wash your hands of it? Preach to them? Or be part of or support the only road that can lead out of this madness, revolution?

Get with the Revolution! Get with the Revolution Club!
1857 E 71st Street (in South Shore, Chicago)
Hours: 3–7 pm every day except Monday
312-804-9121  revclub.chi@gmail.com
www.Facebook.com/RevComChi

 

       

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/486/two-revolution-club-members-arrested-at-good-friday-peace-march-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

Drop All The Charges

Two Revolution Club Members Arrested at Good Friday Peace March

April 15, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Catholic Church’s Cardinal Cupich organized a Good Friday procession through Englewood on Chicago’s south side to pray for an end to the violence among the people.

At the end of the procession, two women from the Revolution Club, Chicago were arrested while Chicago police menaced other members. We demand to know why they were arrested. Did the Catholic Church or sponsors urge the authorities to drag away the revolutionaries on Good Friday? If not, then where is the outrage and the demand that the charges be dropped immediately?

We challenge anyone to tell us what is wrong with what is said in the quote from Bob Avakian (BA) that we carried? Or our other signs challenging people?

Oppressed people who are unable or unwilling, to confront reality as it actually is, are condemned to remain enslaved and oppressed. (BA, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party-RCP)

If praying could stop our youth from killing each other, it would have stopped a long time ago. If you are going to pray—pray for people to get into the revolution—and then support them when they do!

Get out of this insanity of killing each other. Get into the Revolution!

Authorities Say: Praying—OK, Revolution—NO!

In making these highly visible arrests on Good Friday, the state was enforcing the message that you can pray for an end to the violence among the people but you can not call for an end to the system that creates the conditions and the values that is responsible and gives rise to youth killing each other by denying them any future. What does this tell you?

Get With/Join
the Revolution Club

Revolution Club in Baltimore
Photo: Special to revcom.us

These arrests were BS and an outrage. Here is how it went down. Before the start of the Good Friday procession, the revolutionaries marched up to a gathering of a couple of hundred people, holding up their signs and banners for all to see and passing out flyers through the crowd with the message: “From the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party to ALL People: What The Trump/Pence Regime Will Mean For Black People—and What Must Be Done About It, NOW!” and a message from the Revolution Club: “To the Youth Who Are Caught Up in the Violence—You Are NOT ‘Too Far Gone,’ But You Need to Get into This Revolution or You Will Be.” People came over to talk and to find out who these revolutionaries were and one came to help hold the signs. Some other people stood in front of them and prayed as if their message was evil. Police gave them a citation for using amplified sound (even though the Revolution Club members were careful to not be disruptive of the event) but told them that they were welcome to be part of the procession if they didn’t use the sound.

As the procession was ending, the Revolution Club marched up to meet it (without a sound system), and the police immediately vamped on them. The police said that they could not be in the street, even as hundreds filled the blocked off street. One Revolution Club member was grabbed and arrested while others were backed onto the sidewalk. Some people began to chant, “Let her go,” and police grabbed and arrested another club member. Other club members were followed and menaced by police as they tried to leave the area. A priest and a videographer trailed along to protect them. The fact that this was being filmed made the police back off. The two Revolution Club members arrested were held for hours while the police went back and forth about what to charge them with since they had no cause to arrest them in the first place.

Everyone who wants to see our youth get into radically changing the world and becoming emancipators of humanity in the process needs to condemn these arrests and demand that the charges be dropped immediately. Call Edward Siskel, Corporation Counsel at the City of Chicago Law Department 312-744-0220 and tell him to drop the charges.

Come Learn about the Revolution Club

Come to the Revolution Club office in South Shore at 1857 E. 71st Street on Thursday, April 20 at 7pm to meet the Revolution Club and to find out why they were arrested and what the Revolution Club is really all about.

A lot of people ask us if everyone in the Revolution Club doesn’t believe in god. The answer is that people who have religious beliefs can join the Revolution Club as long as they uphold Point #5 of the Club’s Six Points of Attention: “We search for and fight for the truth no matter how unpopular, even as we listen to and learn from the observations, insights and criticisms of others.” The Revolution Club is led by the RCP, which is thoroughly scientific and does not believe in any kind of gods or supernatural beings. The Club and the Party work with many religious people and clergy on the basis of the following principle:

While many people will do positive things in opposing the crimes of this system, we need to approach everything—evaluate every political program and every organized force in society, every kind of culture, values and ways of treating people—according to how it relates to the revolution we need, to end all oppression. We should unite with people whenever we can, and struggle with them whenever we need to, to advance the revolution.

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, May 6th–Come to a Showing of REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight For Emancipation and The Role of Religion, A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN

The Revolution Club Office in South Shore is located at: 1857 E. 71st Street

Its Hours are: 3pm-7pm Every Day but Monday

Contact Information: 312-804-9121, RevClub.chi@gmail.com

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/483/teach-in-the-refuse-fascism-call-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

A RefuseFascism.org Teach-In

What is fascism . . . What it means for humanity that the Trump/Pence Regime is fascist And, Why It Must Be Driven Out.

A talk by Andy Zee

Advisory Board of RefuseFascism.org

 

Updated March 30, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This is a talk given by Andy Zee of the Advisory Board of RefuseFascism.org, at the teach-in in New York City, March 17. It has been slightly edited for publication.

Q&A—RefuseFascism.org Teach-In with Andy Zee, March 17, 2017

Thank you and welcome Live Stream and video audience. Tonight I am going to take some time to get deeply into the Refuse Fascism Call to Action. Then, we will have a discussion and then the local chapter has a plan for some smaller discussions, which will not be livestreamed.

It is my intention that this talk provide a deeper understanding of what we face with the Trump/Pence regime and what we need to do to stop it. This talk should spark other teach-ins, dialogues, salons, forums, short YouTubes as well as provide impetus for planning and organizing to develop the ways and means to drive out the regime. So, let’s begin.

A Call to Action:

NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America! Drive Out the Trump/Pence regime!

The Trump/Pence regime is a Fascist Regime. Not insult or exaggeration, this is what it is. For the future of humanity and the planet, we, the people, must drive this regime out.

Donald Trump and Mike Pence have assembled a vicious cabal that has put forth positions and begun initiatives which demonstrate that they fully intend to shred political and social norms with catastrophic consequence. Because Trump has his finger on the nuclear trigger, the Trump/Pence regime is more dangerous to the world than even Hitler.

So begins the Call to Action of Refuse Fascism. Today we are going to deeply dig into the import and significance of this Call to Action.

After the Call makes the case for how and why the Trump/Pence regime is fascist and what this fascism means including why it poses a grave threat to humanity; it shows the process through which fascism develops; it sharply puts forth why people must not normalize or collaborate with a fascist regime; and, then in conclusion, the Call puts forward four broad objectives and tasks to stop it by driving out the regime. So I am going to break down the Call to discuss the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime; the process through which it unfolds; the danger of normalization, conciliation and collaboration; and the program of Refuse Fascism in the bold strokes of the four objectives at the Call’s conclusion.

The First of these Objectives is that OUR SINGLE UNIFYING MISSION MUST BE TO DRIVE OUT THE Trump/Pence regime.

Today we will answer: Why is this, DRIVING OUT THE REGIME, the unifying mission and objective of Refuse Fascism?

And, why must this become the goal for the millions of people who are agonized over what the Trump/Pence administration is doing... for the millions who took to the streets in the largest protest in U.S. history on January 21, the day after Trump’s inauguration.

And, in that context,

Why is the NO! and why is the Refuse Fascism Call to Action, a key guide to understanding what it is that humanity faces with the Trump/Pence regime and a broad framework of orientation and principles for stopping this fascist regime by getting to and achieving the single objective of ousting Trump/Pence from power. The Call, without mincing words, starkly puts forward what is at stake should we fail to do so.

The short answer to WHY is because they are bringing fascism. This is not hype or exaggeration, but what it is. And fascism when it is fully consolidated leaves little to no recourse for change.

A vignette from the Atlantic Monthly:

Stephanie Delgado-Garcia had volunteered for Clinton in Pennsylvania and went to vote with her formerly undocumented immigrant parents. She took a picture of her mother wearing a Hillary button in the voting booth. “I felt like I lost my country that night,” she said. “Here was a man who essentially told the American public that the America I thought was great was in fact broken for making my story possible,” she said.

Stephanie is not alone in her sense of loss. It’s personal for her, yet its cause and solution is societal. A week after the election I was at a brunch meet-up in Harlem and a older man from the neighborhood said that he couldn’t leave his house for three days after the election and didn’t look or speak to another person for the whole week until that brunch at a local restaurant. Mental health professionals report an increase in people seeking help from the trauma of the elections.

But this is not the worst of it. In Phoenix, Arizona, Guadalupe García de Rayos, who came to the U.S. when she was 14 and has lived here for 22 years and is now a 36-yr old mother of two children was arrested inside the U.S. Immigration office after she had reported to them, just as she had been doing every month for six years.The ICE agents had to bust their way through 100 immigrant rights defenders who had mobilized to defend the immigrants. They used their bodies to block the van, but it got through and Guadalupe was driven to the border and sent back to Mexico.

Millions of families now live in terror. Native Americans defending their tribal lands at Standing Rock, North Dakota—struggling in the cold of winter to prevent the water of the Missouri River from being poisoned by an oil spill—Native peoples who through their heroic and just struggle inspired thousands to join them were shut down by the Trump/Pence regime as the DAPL pipeline was approved.

Then, and this is crucial to understand, feeling unleashed by the new Trump/Pence fascist regime, the North Dakota state government passed a draconian law that basically says it is OK for drivers to run over protesters who are blocking a road in non-violent civil disobedience. Thirteen other states passed similar laws including Arizona, where in February the state senate passed a bill that could have allowed the state to seize your house, car, any assets you have if you take part in a political protest that the police call a riot—before you are convicted of any crime. THIS IS A COMING ATTRACTION OF THE FUTURE THAT LIFE UNDER FASCISM WILL BE. 

Yes, Fascism can happen here. It has begun. A fascist regime is in power. With the Republican Party in control of both houses of Congress, in control of the majority of most state legislatures and governorships, and soon possibly in dominant control of the Supreme Court, the danger is real. And, let’s be clear the Republican Party has been a fascist party for a long time now. And, as we will discuss later as we dig into the Refuse Fascism Call, the Democrats will normalize and collaborate with the regime because keeping the system going is more important to them than what this regime will mean for the masses of people and the future of humanity.

The anguish people feel is just. The actions of millions righteous. But, if people don’t know what they are up against, the nature of the beast we confront, then their actions will fall short of what is necessary.

If you treat a cancer with only painkillers and don’t get rid of the cells that are mutating and destroying your body, it will destroy your body. We face a political cancer. It must be driven from power.

PEOPLE ACT ON WHAT THEY UNDERSTAND. The KEY to opening up the possibility of Driving Out the Trump/Pence regime is how people understand the reality we face. If we understand the necessity we face with this draconian fascist form of rule, then, with leadership, people in their masses can find the will and the way to act to drive this cancer from power.

The Refuse Fascism Call is the sharpest analysis of what has changed with the assumption to power of the Trump/Pence regime. There is nothing else that identifies the problem as fascism so sharply and succinctly, and nothing else that provides a way forward commensurate with what humanity faces.

The Call is controversial. It is not what most people are already thinking and doing—even as we have seen that the Call really resonates with what people do know about the Trump/Pence regime. And, the Call reflects a different approach from how most people conceive of building a movement.

Typical “movement thought and process” is you figure out what most people already want to protest around and call a protest. Then repeat. It doesn’t matter whether your protest is actually addressing the problem people face, or if it will lead people to better understand that problem, or if it will enable them to see more clearly what will redress or solve the problem.

The point I am making is that if you tell people only what they already know, you will leave them, and the terrible situation they are in, right where they already are.

What we are doing with this Call is tapping into the huge reservoir of people who feel, as Eddy Grant once sang, that “deep in my heart, I abhor” what this regime represents, and who have stood up, who continue to protest, and it leads them and millions more to see the nature of the beast we are up against and therefore, what must be done.

Let’s go back to the CALL and see what it says about the Fascist Regime:

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

Drive Out the Trump/Pence regime!

The Trump/Pence regime is a Fascist Regime. Not insult or exaggeration, this is what it is. For the future of humanity and the planet, we, the people, must drive this regime out.

Donald Trump and Mike Pence have assembled a vicious cabal that has put forth positions and begun initiatives which demonstrate that they fully intend to shred political and social norms with catastrophic consequence. Because Trump has his finger on the nuclear trigger, the Trump/Pence regime is more dangerous to the world than even Hitler.

Let’s stop here—TRUMP is even MORE dangerous than Hitler... Trump has said... if we have nuclear weapons, why don’t we use them? He has said, then “let’s have a nuclear arms race”... this at a moment when tensions around the world are extremely tense from the Mideast to North Korea.

His strategic adviser, Stephen Bannon, who Trump has put on the main committee that deals with matters of the national security, the National Security Council, who calls himself an economic nationalist—with his Alt-Right platform, Breitbart... and let’s dispense with euphemisms, he is a FASCIST with a program that echoes very closely the Nazi Party, that he sees a war that could last decades between Judeo Christian Civilization and Islam, which is thinly veiled as a war of the WHITE north.

Yes, Trump is more dangerous. Hitler could only dream of such a weapon.

Continuing from the Call:

Fascism has direction and momentum. Dissent is piece by piece criminalized. The truth is bludgeoned. Group after group is demonized and targeted along a trajectory that leads to real horrors. All of this has already begun under the Trump Regime. History has shown that fascism must be stopped before it becomes too late.

... (I’m going to skip a paragraph)

In the first weeks of the Trump/Pence regime they have begun subverting the separation of powers, the separation of Church and State, called for a new nuclear arms race, demonized the press, dismissed the very concept of truth substituting their own fabricated “alternative facts.” It can already be said of Trump/Pence that “first they came for” the Muslims, then the Mexicans, then all refugees, then women, then Black and Latino people, LGBTQ persons, the environment, and anyone who doesn’t conform or submit to their vision and plan for a nation cohered around white supremacy and a political form of Christian fundamentalism, that should rightly be called Christian Fascism.

Three points:

[1] Fascism has direction and momentum: Dissent is piece by piece criminalized. The truth is bludgeoned. I have spoken some about this but we should be clear that there is a method to this madness—destroy all credibility in what is objectively true, make everything a matter of opinion and narrative, create a narrative of an aggrieved section of the people—the true Americans (read white people who get behind Trump’s America First fascist movement, and those people from other groups who can be compelled to fight and die to defend Trump's vision of America while demonizing and preparing for war against every “OTHER” group of people), and ENFORCE this by [a] criminalizing dissent—including having the state (that is the police) lock people up and worse for what has been, at least formally, a protected right to free speech; and [b] mobilizing his mob to beat people up and “take them out on a stretcher.” Make no mistake: the murder of a man from India at a bar after work in Kansas, is already happening and is a forewarning of what is to come.

[2] The Call says: “First they came for the Muslims, the Mexicans, then all refugees and immigrants...

THIS THEY HAVE BEGUN. Communities are terrorized... Families torn apart. But, this is madness with an objective—to demonize, drive people to live in the margins in constant fear, and more fundamentally to drive millions out, if not actually throw them out... And at the same time, to enlist the whole country in a morality and ethos of complicity to stay silent or to join in.

The groundwork was laid before... “If you see something say something.” Mass deportations—three million deported under Obama... but, the program of Trump/Pence is a leap beyond.

Let’s be clear of yet another method to the madness—so that we can understand the way that the whole society gets re-molded with fascism. Note the step-by-step progression... of “First they came for the Muslims... then they came for the Mexicans.” What happens: First, the “undesirables,” to the fascists that is, get demonized, driven under ground, locked up and thrown out, if not ultimately worse. Then, everyone else who goes along with this becomes part of the problem—complicit and paving the way for a whole society to be a part of fascist order. And, three, all this prepares the people for aggression and war against people all over the world to assert American Empire in a different way than has been the dominant way that the U.S. has gone about this.

[3] That paragraph ends with the vision of a “nation cohered around white supremacy and a political form of Christian fundamentalism, that should rightly be called Christian Fascism.”

Now you might think that Donald Trump, a lifelong vile sexual predator, and the Christian Fundamentalist movement are complete opposites. But, what they share is a thoroughly misogynist view of women—a view and horrific practices that objectify, degrade, control, brutalize, and cost women not only the ability to live full lives as people, but even their very lives.

So, we need to understand the roots of what has coalesced in the Trump/Pence regime.

What we are dealing with is not just another really repressive and reactionary Republican administration, not principally a vile narcissist with a twitter feed with a bunch of racist billionaires surrounding him, but a regime that has brought together what has been developing—fascist movements, white supremacist KKK/militia and Tea Party movements that overlap with a huge Christian Fascist movement—that have been taking root inside of and outside of the power structures for several decades now, which have been brought together under the Trump/Pence regime that will codify—that is cement—into law a fascist America and change life as we have known it in ways that you can’t imagine. Donald Trump has become the vehicle to political power for a whole ugly range of fascist movements that have been growing with their separate media, culture, arms and militia, as well as being infused up into the military and especially various formations of special forces.

Stephen Bannon has said that America is not just a nation with an economy, but at the center core of what “we believe” is that “We are a nation with a culture and reason for being.” And, this culture is white, Christian against all others. This is why immigration is central to the start of the Trump/Pence fascist regime. And, we should be clear that they will work to enlist Black people and immigrants into their fascist America as enforcers here and around the world of this horrific program by making these the only choices to avoid destitution, incarceration, or deportation, or even worse.

Christian Fascism and Donald Trump may not be a perfect fit, but they don’t have to be.

For an in depth understanding of this whole process I recommend that you get into the “The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer” by Bob Avakan, the leader of the RCP who has developed a new synthesis of communism.

All of this comes together in the next paragraph of the Call, which concentrates the most defining features of fascism... and as such ties together what I have been speaking about:

Fascism is not just a gross combination of horrific reactionary policies. It is a qualitative change in how society is governed. Fascism foments and relies on xenophobic nationalism, racism, misogyny, and the aggressive re-institution of oppressive “traditional values.” In Trump’s election campaign he encouraged and fed on the threat and use of violence to build a movement and come to power. In his inaugural address he pledged allegiance only to this movement. What is crucial to understand is that once in power fascism essentially eliminates traditional democratic rights.                                

The Trump/Pence regime has brought together under the banner of “Make America Great” all of these things: racism, xenophobia (fear and hatred of others), hatred of women and differently gendered people, a re-institution of traditional values... but what is essential to understand is that this will create tremendous misery for masses of people here, and around the world, and what is most important to understand is that with fascism’s basic elimination of what have been democratic rights—the right to dissent, not papering over the repression that normally goes on against opposition forces in this society—what fascism discards in traditional rights, will make it immeasurably harder to fight for any kind of better future. In most countries where fascism has been fully consolidated, it has only been removed by an outside force, such as defeat in war.

So I have taken some time to go into the sections of the Call that succinctly describe fascism. To put this another way, fascism is a qualitative change in how a capitalist/imperialist society is governed, including what the societal norms have been—which means what the values, morality, and customary way that people relate to each other and to different groups in society has been. The Trump ethic of bullying and to the victors belong the spoils—whether in how predatory men like him relate to women, or white people relate to everyone else, or his doctrine of war—which is really straight up undisguised colonialism—and I quote Mein Trumpf: “to the victors belong the spoils.”

Fascism means the virtual elimination of basic democratic rights, including the right to dissent. Yes, such rights have been severely limited and curtailed for whole sections of the people from the foundation of this country, and increasingly so (with 2.3 million still incarcerated as of last year, and over 3 million people deported during Obama's administration), but fascism, what Trump/Pence are preparing to bring down on society, is on a whole other level.

Fascism uses violence of the mob and of the state to demonize, attack, destroy and divide people to accomplish these objectives. Fascism makes the whole society complicit in horrific immoral crimes. A whole society of what people have rightly called “Good Germans” referring to the millions of German people who looked the other way as first communists and radicals were hauled away, then gypsies, then people with disabilities, then the Jews were rounded up and slaughtered.

Not only does the Refuse Fascism Call to Act starkly put forth what is the essence of fascism, which we have just gone into, but it goes into what kind of struggle is necessary.

So, I am going to go back to a crucial paragraph that I left out that comes early in the Call:

After it says:

Fascism has direction and momentum. Dissent is piece by piece criminalized. The truth is bludgeoned. Group after group is demonized and targeted along a trajectory that leads to real horrors. All of this has already begun under the Trump Regime. History has shown that fascism must be stopped before it becomes too late.

The next paragraph reads:

Millions of people, outraged by this regime, took to the streets delivering a stinging rebuke to Trump the day after the inauguration. Protest and resistance continues against the many attacks on the people by the Trump/Pence administration. This must grow broader, deeper, and more determined. This resistance is righteous and necessary, but it is not sufficient. We must recognize that the character of fascism is that it can absorb separate acts of resistance while continually throwing the opposition off balance by rapidly moving its agenda forward. The Trump/Pence regime will repeatedly launch new highly repressive measures, eventually clamping down on all resistance and remaking the law... IF THEY ARE NOT DRIVEN FROM POWER.

This is a critical paragraph in this call. I want to highlight Two Points:

[1] Millions took to the streets and millions are still agonizing over what this regime means for the future and want to act. And, there are thousands, who continue to act.

Everyone who has a heart for the people, who recognizes the danger of this regime should welcome and uphold righteous acts of resistance and protest. This resistance must grow broader, deeper, and more determined. Refuse Fascism should unite with such resistance, talk and work with people, as well as at times, call actions itself so that the resistance involves more and more people, so that it reaches into sections of the people who have not as yet been active—this is one of the reasons why the Refuse Fascism Tour that is now in Texas at SXSW is traveling the country and why we need more such tours, and the protest needs to become more determined. If the future depends on what people do now, and it does, our actions should reflect that. Determination is not just tactics employed in a protest, but the serious commitment to resist until victory is won.

The Call next says: This resistance is righteous and necessary, but it is not sufficient.” And goes on to give the reason for this:

... the character of fascism is that it can absorb separate acts of resistance while continually throwing the opposition off balance by rapidly moving its agenda forward. The Trump/Pence regime will repeatedly launch new highly repressive measures, eventually clamping down on all resistance and remaking the law... IF THEY ARE NOT DRIVEN FROM POWER.

This identifies a crucial understanding that even if particular measures are partially rolled back or stymied, even if Trump sends out nice tweets and reads from a teleprompter for an evening... even if there are partial pushbacks on one or another front... as long as the regime has its hands on power, they can move very quickly to change the rules of the game. If we just look at the way they summarily dismissed all of the U.S. Attorneys from the Obama administration on a Friday morning calling for them to be out by the end of the day, whether or not there was a replacement or a crucial case pending; or the way they fired the Acting Attorney General when she defied Trump, gives you a glimpse of why and how they can in an instant change the rules of the game. For now, they are reluctantly and only more or less “obeying” the rulings that have stayed the Travel Ban—but they fully intend to make this the law.

Stephen Miller, Attorney General Sessions’ former staff member and now key adviser to Trump—a person, by the way, who is a protégé of and recommended by David Horowitz, a reactionary fascist who has made it his life’s work to purge the universities of critical thinking and progressive thought—said: “The end result of this, though, is that our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.” (Emphasis added)

If you don’t get that what we are dealing with is not just another really repressive and reactionary Republican administration, but an emerging fascist regime, your fight will be rearguard—your fight will be only in reaction to whatever they do, and misleading people into what will be a disaster.

If you don’t get this nature of what we are up against you will be pulled to other easier solutions other than what it will take for the people to put a stop to this and why stopping this regime requires that the people be mobilized to Drive Out the Regime.

Instead, you will wait it out, or work for the next election, or look to just create a safe space—an enclave to escape and hope against reality to survive; or, you will fight the good fight and even see this as a great opportunity to “build your movement” against one or another or even many abuses... UNTIL ONE DAY THE Trump/Pence regime SLAMS THE DOOR SHUT.

The Trump/Pence regime IS IN POWER. That has real meaning and stakes. They have a riled up social base and they have the Republi-Fascist Party in power in Congress and a majority of State Houses. If that is the case, why do we say that it is still possible to STOP them? That it is Possible to Drive Them Out. Because there is a WINDOW for us to act NOW. That window is open, not wide, but open, and it could slam shut crushing and much more thoroughly closing off the possibility to put a stop to the fascist program.

Let’s go to the next section of the Call:

Don’t Normalize... Don’t Accommodate... Don’t Conciliate...

Don’t Collaborate...

There is method to Trump’s madness that echoes Hitler. Fascism advances in stages through outrage, shock and intimidation, followed by brief periods of normalization where people accommodate to the new situation the regime has imposed.

 After the election, Obama said of Trump: “We are now all rooting for his success.” NO! If Trump succeeds, humanity loses. Bernie Sanders has said that he will work with Trump on jobs or where they agree. NO! If you work with fascists you normalize the road to horror.

This is not just a pendulum swing Democrat to Republican, but a regime that is moving to establish a fascist order under the signboard of “America First.” Acting as if the election in 2018 or 2020 is the way to deal with this regime is folly, betraying a lack of understanding of just how fast, furious, and profoundly this regime will change the rules, cement its rule, destroy lives and crush spirits.

You cannot try to “wait things out.” Those who lived through Nazi Germany and sat on the sidelines, looking on as Hitler demonized, criminalized, and eventually rounded up one group after another, became shameful collaborators with monstrous crimes.

You cannot wait and see with fascists.

Let’s break this down:

» FASCISM HAS A TRAJECTORY—it is a serious restructuring and remaking of society while still within the framework of the system of capitalism and imperialism and for the objective of strengthening that system as seen by one faction, which itself is fractious—divided and fighting amongst themselves even as more fundamentally they move with haste to implement their program—a fractious, fascist faction of a powerful section of the ruling class who now have control of all three branches of the Federal government and the majority of state governments, and, as we saw in the election, they have a huge base in the police forces, the border patrol, and significant influence in the intelligence apparatus and the military.

Yet, it is extremely important to recognize that, even as they have captured the Presidency and established a regime of ghoulish thugs, nonetheless, to hammer their full agenda, to implement their full fascist vision and program, they are not on a clear playing field. It will be a fight that they have to wage... which they are doing—seizing initiative everyday even as they create new problems for themselves as they bulldoze ahead. It is important to learn from history and from what they have said and what they are doing that the regime will unfold their program in steps but with an overall pace and method of unrelenting shock and awe. There is method to the madness. But, most important, we need to understand that this is a fight that the Trump/Pence regimes has to wage in opposition to:            

» Struggle within the ranks of the rulers... They must target their opposites grouped mainly in the Democratic Party, but not only... and, as the section I just read sharply makes clear, for the Democrats, preserving the system is more important than stopping fascism. This struggle is sharp: Think about the chant “Lock her up” or maybe the Second Amendment people will take care of it...

» The fascist regime, even as it attempts to shatter previous world relations and norms, nonetheless does so in a situation of real world events that are beyond their control. There are many other players on the field.

» Even natural disasters can impact (Katrina) but even more, the actions of other forces who aren’t in power e.g., from reactionaries (such as ISIS), to the righteous struggle of people around the world (such as the Arab Spring).

» And, in what is decisive and central for us here in Refuse Fascism but really for all the people who want to see this regime gone, they must implement their full agenda in relation to the people of this country (and the world). And what the people do and don’t do in relationship to the measures they are taking and in response to their regime. What the people are led to do, what we lead them to do, to be able understand what the problem is that they face and how to respond, will have a lot to do about whether or not the regime is able to force people to comply with its edicts and how it distracts, bribes, and divides people.

Every section of society will be “in the field” putting forward different programs and viewpoints and advocating different courses of action.

This is the ground, the field, the terrain, that the Regime must contend with and it is the field that we are acting onworking to lead people to understand in very basic terms the problem and act in a way that can winby driving out this fascist regime.

Back to the CALL:

Fascism advances in stages through outrage, shock and intimidation, followed by brief periods of normalization where people accommodate to the new situation the regime has imposed.

I am going to just read the Bold Face...

If you work with fascists you normalize the road to horror.

This is not just a pendulum swing Democrat to Republican, but a regime that is moving to establish a fascist order under the signboard of “America First.”

You cannot try to “wait things out.

Obama once again led the way in demobilizing and ideologically disarming people. The fact is, for the same underlying reasons that give rise to the move from one faction of the rulers—the Republicans—to embrace a full out fascist program, is also the underlying reason that Obama and the Democrats could not and would not meet the real needs of the people who see them as representing their interests. This is why there are still no jobs for the masses of people, why Obama deported three million people, why mass incarceration stayed at genocidal levels. There are larger forces and imperatives of their system and empire that compel this. Then you have people like Bernie Sanders, and there are others, who want to sit down at the table to work with the fascists once again for bribes and jobs. Was it OK to work on re-building the factories and infrastructure in Germany in the early 1930s? Hitler did put people to work. But at what cost to humanity?

I can’t take the time here to discuss the media in any depth—all the ways and reasons they are under attack from Trump—fundamentally, as indicated earlier, to create a population that can’t think critically, that believes the narrative of its choice, all the while the regime creates a new reality that one day you MUST accept. And, while there is some resistance from the media, including a few real stands of principle, the norm is to treat this just as more partisan politics—with a nut case on one side who can’t resist mouthing off in person or on Twitter, all the while disarming people to understand the real deal.

There must be total non-compliance with this regime. Period. Scientists are now furiously copying scientific data so that a science-denying regime doesn’t destroy years of human knowledge even as they are rapidly moving to reverse even the grossly insufficient measures that have been taken thus far in the last few decades to protect the environment.

Last, on this section warning against normalization that leads to collaboration... be clear that is a slippery slope that gets fast quick, and the longer this regime is in power, the slicker and steeper and the faster and the more difficult it will get to put on the brakes and to get off the track of cooperating with a regime that is illegitimate, immoral and a mortal threat to humanity and the planet.

Once again, from the Call:

Those who lived through Nazi Germany and sat on the sidelines, looking on as Hitler demonized, criminalized, and eventually rounded up one group after another, became shameful collaborators with monstrous crimes.

At this point the CALL to Action says:

All of this is what renders the Trump/Pence regime illegitimate and a grave threat to people all over the world. Therefore, we resolve:

[1] Our single unifying mission must be to Drive Out the Trump/Pence regime.

[2] We must manifest the power of NO! everywhere: on signs, billboards, walls, social media and the news. NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America must resound.

[3] Every outrage committed by this regime must be met with greater and greater resistance.

[4] We must ORGANIZE: working with all our creativity and determination toward the time when millions of people can be moved to fill the streets of cities and towns day after day and night after night, declaring this whole regime illegitimate—Demanding, and Not Stopping, Until the Trump/Pence regime Is Driven from Power.

I have been speaking to the single unifying mission of Driving Out the Regime throughout this talk and will say a few more things when we get to point four on organizing for the kind of situation where the regime can be driven out. First I want to speak to Point 2: We must manifest the power of NO! everywhere: on signs, billboards, walls, social media and the news. NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America must resound. And, also, in this context the importance of getting out this Call to Action.

Through the getting the NO! known everywhere in this country... and through getting this Call wherever people are questioning, agonizing standing up, fighting back, resisting Trump and Pence... having it discussed and debated in and on the media and social media... in forums in the universities, the Town Squares and Town Halls as well as the classrooms and religious institutions... All of this spreading the NO! And Spreading the Call! When COMBINED with organizing, organizing people into Refuse Fascism, including uniting with struggles, as I discussed earlier, including Refuse Fascism itself calling for specific mass resistance and outpourings... all of this contributes to broadly raising consciousness, changing how people think, even if initially by introducing a new, different, and more accurate understanding of the problem and the way out... all of this contributes to that one single unifying mission to DRIVE OUT THE Trump/Pence regime because we Refuse to Accept a Fascist America—not just for people here in the U.S., but in the name of humanity.

All of this... together with things that are beyond our control, things that develop in the world everyday, some that the Trump regime does and the resistance that their actions call forth—as well as things that they or we don’t initiate but which every force has to respond to... all of this is part of the process of change... how people see the problem we face—what they think—and therefore what they see as necessary and possible to do.

Once again, people act on what they understand. Especially so when they face extreme situations. And, they need leadership—they need people who see the problem and the way out and who ACT and Lead on that understanding.

I've given the example of a fire. You know, if you are in a burning building, or you are just outside a building that's on fire, and don't know anything about it, about fire that is, and its properties, you could commit a big mistake. You could just start running around through the building, not knowing that most people die in fires of smoke inhalation.

But if you were a professional firefighter or you had learned something about this, you would understand that the first thing you've got to do is see if you can find some water, wrap it around a cloth and wrap it around your face and nose, and wrap similar pieces around other people's faces who are trapped in the fire, and then crawl out, getting below the level of the smoke since it rises. Because most people die of smoke inhalation and suffocation in that way. And yes, you would have to keep your eye out to be sure that the burning ceiling didn't fall in, or the floor didn't collapse. So those are things that you would have to know. But if you had experience in this you would have a chance to get people out of a desperate situation. But if you don't know what you are facing, you could make a grave error or run in terror when there are people who could be saved.

So that's by analogy. Right now people are acting against what the Trump/Pence regime is doing. They hate his despicable character. But they don't yet, en masse, meaning in their millions, understand the qualitative changes that this regime is going to bring and why only driving it out can bring it to a halt. Which is why they do protest, but why we are in a struggle to get people to understand what they face and therefore why we have to building up to the time when millions do want to act in such a way that they can drive the regime out.

This underscores why we need to get more deeply into the substance of the Call and do so with the kinds of questions that come up. Here I will speak to one of these questions—that it’s beyond the pale to compare Trump to Hitler, that Sunsara Taylor wrote about on revcom.us, “Why It’s Not Just Right, but Highly Illuminating and Very Necessary to Compare Trump to Hitler.” (I recommend the article and going to revcom.us everyday.) She got this from a reactionary, Tucker Carlson, but we hear this all the time from people who do want to resist Trump. What do they say:

» Don’t say that because it turns some people off—never mind if it is an important analogy that clarifies what we face and the stakes. But, why does it turn people off?

» Because it makes them uncomfortable? Why? What is the thinking behind their discomfort and does their thinking correspond to reality—to what the Trump/Pence regime actually is and will do? Does it help a patient if the doctor doesn’t tell them the truth about the disease they have and enlist them in the process of fighting the disease? No, it doesn’t.                                   

» Making the comparison with Hitler forces people to confront the enormity of the horrific future that this could mean... it’s unthinkable, not in their experience, not what the good people on CNN/MSNBC and their Facebook feed are leading them to think about. Denial of reality leads to paralysis and/or complicity.

» And/or some people who begin to see the truth that we face—fascism—don’t want to confront the logic of where this will lead and what they should do in the face of that horror—the changes they should make to their lives and work to stop this. If you wait till it really gets bad to disrupt your life and act, it could well be too late.

» And/or those who know a little, or even a good deal of history, they sometimes get hung up on the surprising fact that this is not Germany, that it is not 1933, and that the development of fascism in the U.S. is taking place here and now and not then and there... In short, they are not able to drill down to the essence of what fascism is and pull back the lens to see the larger picture.

Once you do that, you can see how eerily fitting the parallels between Hitler and Trump/Pence are... and how much there is to learn from the analogy and the history.

Fascism has been developing in the U.S. over decades and is now coalesced in this regime. Yes, fascism comes to America wrapped in the American Flag, America First, and the Bible... (once again I recommend reading “The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer” and The Coming Civil War and Repolarization in the Present Era by BA).

I spoke earlier to the third point of the three-part program at the end of the Call: Every outrage committed by this regime must be met with greater and greater resistance.

Here, just a few comments on the fourth point: once again,

We must ORGANIZE: working with all our creativity and determination toward the time when millions of people can be moved to fill the streets of cities and towns day after day and night after night, declaring this whole regime illegitimate—Demanding, and Not Stopping, Until the Trump/Pence regime Is Driven from Power.

If this happens, then the whole political landscape would be dramatically transformed, every faction within the established power structure would be forced to respond—and all this could lead to a situation in which this fascist regime is driven from office.

This is what we are aiming for. The key to it is understanding the necessity we face and then, on that basis, organizing, organizing, organizing—bringing forward the people who see this, to work and struggle together, to develop the plans that can unite with the many, many people who yearn for this nightmare of the Trump/Pence fascist regime to be gone, to find the pathways and the leaps to building the struggle ultimately of millions who have the determination to not stop until the battle is won, to be in the streets in their millions creating such a political crisis that the ways and means are found to boot this regime out of power.

We must have our sights clearly on this objective—spreading the NO! Uniting with struggles that are going on—helping to make them broader, deeper, and more determined, organizing people and raising the funds so that organizers can be freed up, so that signs and stickers and billboards can be paid for, building the organizational capacity to really reach the millions who need to be reached and brought into a great struggle to oust the regime.

Join with Refuse Fascism, reject the politics of hatred and cruelty, racism and misogyny, xenophobia and war for empire against other peoples around the world, think and reject the no-nothing anti-scientific bullshit of this regime—from Trump’s lies to Mike Pence’s biblical literalist repressive future. Sign and circulate The Call... and as The Refuse Fascism’s Call to Action concludes:

Let it not be said that we did not move heaven and earth to drive out this regime. This must be a moment in history when millions stand together with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty, to resist and say NO! Not just for ourselves, but in the name of humanity.

Drive Out the Trump/Pence regime!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/487/US-war-against-korea-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

A U.S. War Against North Korea Would Be an Utterly UNJUST IMPERIALIST WAR—And Threaten the Whole World!
Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime BEFORE They Incinerate Humanity!

April 19, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

There is a very real threat right now of aggressive U.S. threats against North Korea turning into a horrific U.S. war, including use of nuclear weapons.

In Washington, DC, Trump threatened North Korea in godfather fashion, “They gotta behave.” Meanwhile, in a visit to the “demilitarized” zone between North and South Korea, Mike Pence declared that the “era of strategic patience is over.”

What the fuck does that mean!?!

The U.S. invaded Korea in 1950 and waged a war of mass murder that killed three million people and razed to the ground almost every building in the north. Since then the U.S. has stationed 30,000 troops in South Korea. Trump openly talks about making North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “disappear.” And this fascist imperialist is now warning a small country to “behave”?

The U.S. already has severe sanctions on North Korea and is threatening to tighten the noose. They’ve implied that they’re waging “cyberwarfare” against North Korea, including targeting their missile program. They’re setting up anti-missile “defenses” in South Korea that are provocatively aimed at North Korea and their main backer, China. All this has been fucking “patience”?

And now the U.S., under the fascist Trump/Pence regime, intends to break with its past behavior and “patience” with something more hyper-aggressive, with “all options on the table”? What do threats of “all options” mean from a regime headed by a man who has asked, “If we have them [nuclear weapons], why can’t we use them?”

A sign of how serious all this is: the government of Japan said it is working on plans to “evacuate” 60,000 Japanese now in South Korea in the event the crisis escalates. And China’s foreign minister raised the possibility of “war break[ing] out on the peninsula.”

While exactly where all this is headed can’t be predicted, there is a certain “logic” that is driving things in an extremely dangerous direction. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” call concentrates the aim of those heading the U.S. now to dramatically enforce and strengthen American domination over other powers and the world as a whole. They are moving to profoundly and violently recast the way things have been for decades. They are rewriting the rules on use of military force, including nuclear war—not whether to threaten the use of nukes but how overtly to do so.

This is a regime that cannot allow even a perception of “weakness” and “lack of resolve.” In the face of North Korea’s refusal to cave in to U.S. demands, Trump/Pence may decide on a “preemptive” attack or use a manufactured incident—like the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident justifying U.S. escalation in the Vietnam War.

While Kim Jong-un heads an oppressive regime, as a source of oppression, repression and violence in the world, including as a nuclear threat to humanity, North Korea’s impact is microscopic compared to what the U.S. imperialists have done for decades—and now in a greatly heightened way with the Trump/Pence regime. Given the history of the Korean War and what the U.S. has done up to today, it’s not irrational for the North Korean regime to think the U.S. would initiate an enormously destructive war of aggression. And as they have pointed out, Libya’s Qaddafi made a “deal” with the U.S. and other powers to shut down “weapons of mass destruction” programs, thinking that would keep his power intact—and they still massively bombed the country, overthrew his regime, and had him killed.

In this intense situation, some intended move—or even a miscalculation—by the U.S. or North Korea could quickly spiral out of control and engulf the whole Korean Peninsula in war. The U.S. not only has tens of thousands of troops in South Korea but huge nuclear-armed naval forces in the area and tens of thousands more troops in Japan. North Korea reportedly has some missiles that can reach South Korea and Japan, as well as vast array of artillery trained on the South. In addition, it claims it is close to developing missiles capable of hitting the U.S. mainland. A U.S. war against North Korea could lead to millions of lives lost in the region, and it could spread beyond that. And if the nuclear “genie” is pulled out of the bottle in Korea, what is to prevent its use elsewhere by the U.S., and other nuclear powers?

Whatever the justification claimed by the U.S., such a war would be an utterly unjust IMPERIALIST WAR. And it would threaten all of humanity with nuclear incineration.

As communists, we are working for a world without nuclear weapons. And when the revolution comes to power in the U.S., the new socialist state would dismantle the nukes in the imperialist arsenal and refuse to produce or use such weapons. (For a visionary and concrete blueprint for this socialist society, get into the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian and adopted by the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party.) But in the world today—where the U.S. is armed to the teeth with nukes, has used them, has consistently refused to pledge not to use such weapons first, and now has a president who openly hankers to use them—the U.S. is absolutely in the wrong to demand of anyone else that they must disarm.

The situation is extremely urgent. People everywhere must oppose the U.S. imperialist aggression in Korea. But there is an especially big, historical responsibility for people living in the U.S. A military attack by the U.S. would be a horrible war crime committed in the name of the people in the U.S. The people must begin right now to not just refuse to go along with the Trump/Pence threats but to actively and militantly oppose them. The best possible outcome for humanity would be the prevention of such a war and, in any case, the defeat of the U.S.’s unjust bullying and threats.

The fascists in power cannot be allowed to consolidate their hold on power. DRIVE OUT THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME BEFORE THEY EXTERMINATE HUMANITY!

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/holocaust-remembrance-day-marked-with-a-determined-never-again-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

Drawing Links Between Nazi Germany and What We Face Today:
Holocaust Remembrance Day Marked with a Determined "NEVER AGAIN!"

April 26, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Adolf Eichmann Award presented to John Kelly
Click to enlarge

The Joseph Goebbels Excellence Award presented to Jefferson Beauregard Session III
Click to enlarge

New York. Credit:@SunsaraTaylor


New York. Credit: @RefuseFascism


Chicago. Credit: Ted Sirota/Degenerate Artists Against Fascism


Los Angeles. Credit:@RefuseFascismLA

At a time when the Trump/Pence regime is vilifying and targeting Muslims, refugees, and Latino and other immigrants, protests on April 24 Holocaust Remembrance Day in a number of U.S. cities drew the links between the enormous crimes against humanity committed by Hitler and the Nazis and what is happening in this country today. These actions sounded an urgent alarm about the dangerous course of the Trump/Pence regime and sent out the message: never again must we allow another Holocaust to happen to any group of people.

As part of the protests on this Holocaust Remembrance Day, the “Adolf Eichmann award”—“for leadership in the field of detention and deportation of ‘undesirables’”—was given to John Kelly, the U.S. general now heading the Department of Homeland Security. Eichmann was in charge of deporting Jews to the Nazi concentration camps. And the “Joseph Goebbels award”—“for demonizing and persecuting ‘undersirables’”—went to Jeff Sessions, Trump’s attorney general. Goebbels was minister of propaganda for Hitler. In the days before Holocaust Remembrance Day, Sessions and Kelly went to the U.S.-Mexico border and issued rabid threats against undocumented immigrants. They, and the regime as a whole, are ratcheting up fascist measures and a climate of demonization and marginalization of immigrants that echo how the Nazis targeted Jews as “subhuman,” “undesirables,” and “enemies,” setting the stage for the Holocaust.

The following is based on reports we received on the Holocaust Remembrance Day actions in several cities.

~~~~~~~~~

New York City

About 25 people gathered in front of the Jewish Heritage Museum in Manhattan. Travis Morales opened by speaking directly to the connection between the escalating attacks on immigrants and Muslims by the Trump Regime and the demonization and targeting of the Jewish people by the Nazis. He said this has a logic and momentum that can lead to real horrors. Scott Gilbert, whose parents were Holocaust survivors, and whose mother was a childhood friend of Anne Frank, spoke about the parallels between Germany in the 1930s and Trump’s America. Citing Trump’s senior advisor Stephen Miller, who declared that the president’s authority “will not be questioned,” Gilbert compared it to a similar quote from Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. He said that if “Never Again” is going to mean anything, it has to mean something now—when immigrants, Muslims, and people all over the world are being threatened by the Trump/Pence fascist regime in the most powerfully militarized country on earth.

Statements in support of this action were sent to Refuse Fascism from David Meyerhof, grandson of Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Otto Meyerhof; Creighton University professor Fidel Acosta-Fajardo, who is one of the professors on the right-wing “Professors Watchlist”; Donald W. Shriver, President Emeritus of the Union Theological Seminary; and others.

From the Jewish Heritage Museum, the group, led by people in orange jumpsuits stamped with the words “ICE DETAINEE,” headed to the Federal Building, where the Eichmann and Goebbels “awards” were presented to Kelly and Sessions. As the procession marched for a mile through downtown Manhattan, people’s heads turned and many reached out for Refuse Fascism flyers. One woman said, “I can really see how this could be like another Holocaust, the way they are targeting whole groups of people like that. This is how it starts.”

Chicago

A determined and diverse group gathered in the downtown Loop to loudly and colorfully declare “Never again will we allow another Holocaust to happen to any people!” Carrying signs from Refuse Fascism saying “NO!” in many languages and a banner declaring “From 1933 to 2017, Never Again! Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!” they lined up in front of the Loop Synagogue, which was the target of a fascist attack in February when the building was defaced with swastikas and windows broken.

After an MC from Refuse Fascism made some introductory comments, she introduced a series of powerful speakers. First up to the mic was a soft-spoken representative of the American Muslim Task Force who read a statement from Salman Aftab. The message itself was loud and clear: “If you allow Muslims or immigrants to be demonized, to be called terrorists and rapists by the President of the USA, we have seen where this racism and scapegoating can lead. This can be a first step to a new Holocaust.  We have to resist now!”

The MC read a statement from Father Bob Bossie, SCJ, recalling his visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp: “As I wandered through this place of horror, I realized that the persons who did this were not devils but were like me, ordinary persons who had slowly capitulated to the customs of the day in order to avoid ridicule, keep a job, go along to get along, avoid persecution, keep going to the better school, or who simply thought it wouldn't, couldn't and didn't happen here.”

Ted Sirota, founder of Degenerate Artists Against Fascism, told the story of his great grandfather who was shot and killed by the Nazis in Poland, along with many others of his extended family, even before the concentration camps were in full operation. He said, “And now along with synagogues, Black churches in the South and mosques are under attack—all people of conscience must say NO!”

Brother Michael C. Oboza, speaking as a member of the LGBTQ/Bi community, shared that he had been a Catholic who didn't believe that the Holocaust really happened, but then learned that 15,000 gays and suspected gays were among those killed in the Holocaust, and many more forced to wear the pink triangle.

The Rev. Taigen Dan Leighton, a Soto Zen Buddhist priest, also sent a statement, saying, “All of us who represent true spiritual and ethical values, and the values our country claims to be founded on, must now speak out.”

The MC reminded those gathered and the press that the U.S. has already registered and rounded up a whole group of people and sent them to concentration camps—people of Japanese descent during WWII.

From there, the group marched boldly down a major street several blocks to the ICE Chicago headquarters in Chicago. Chants rang out: “1933 to 2017, Never Again! Drive Out the Trump Regime!”  “In the Name of Humanity, Stop the Insanity, No Ban-No Wall, No Fascist USA!”  “Dump Trump. Dump Pence, The World Can't Wait, Drive out the Fascism Regime before it's too late!”

The day before this action, two Refuse Fascism people went out to the Holocaust Museum in Skokie, outside of Chicago, to attend their Holocaust Day program. The moving program was led by Holocaust survivors who lit candles for the Jews the Nazis killed. The MC, a Holocaust survivor, said the Holocaust Day honors the date for the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, which he called "the most significant armed resistance to the Nazis."

Los Angeles

There was a procession through the downtown streets of people in prison uniforms, representing the victims of the Holocaust. The procession included Jewish activists, members of the Refuse Fascism Los Angeles chapter, and people who had come from a march of 2,000 people earlier in the day marking the genocide of the Armenian people by the Ottoman (Turkish) empire in the early 1900s.

People lined up outside of the LAPD headquarters dressed in prison uniforms representing victims of the Holocaust. They attempted to deliver a hand-written “award” to the head of the L.A. County Sheriffs Department, stating, "You, Sheriff Jim McDonnell, head sheriff of LA County are being presented with the Adolf ICEman Award for collaborating with the Fascist Trump/Pence regime and for your collaboration with ICE in carrying out deportation." The procession then took off. In a single line, the procession, trailed by supporters chanting "Never again to any people," walked through downtown city streets filled with heavy afternoon traffic. They walked through a section of Little Tokyo and stopped in front of the Japanese-American Museum. Connections were made between the horrors of the Holocaust, the concentration camps for people of Japanese descent in the U.S., and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The procession then went to the MDC (Metropolitan Detention Center).

The Holocaust Remembrance Day was also marked by a group of people on the University of California Los Angeles campus.

San Francisco

Several dozen people gathered at the S.F. headquarters of ICE for the Bay Area region. Three members of Holocaust survivor families spoke. 

The first to speak was Steve Rapport, a member of Indivisible, who told the gripping story of his mother’s survival from a German death camp and the brutal murder of his grandfather by Nazi SS thugs. The previous week Rapport had galvanized people at a Senator Dianne Feinstein town hall when, after telling his story there, he demanded to know from Feinstein why the Democrats “haven’t drawn a red line around the fascist White House.”   

Roman Rimer, a member of Refuse Fascism, and the Bay Area Queer Anti-Fascist Network, told of growing up with the stories of his grandfather’s family members who were killed in the Holocaust in Poland. He then turned toward the ICE building and denounced the enforcers in that building for their actions that are tearing families apart and creating great pain and sorrow. 

Bruce Neuburger told of how his father only left Germany in 1938 because he, like many other Germans, didn’t believe until it was almost too late, that the Nazis would take things to such murderous extremes. He said, “People failed to act decisively when they still could. Then the Aryan supremacists, the core of the Nazi social base, got the upper hand. Those who opposed Hitler, who had the potential to stop the march to full out fascism, failed to realize the extent of the danger.” 

A statement was read from a daughter of Guatemalan refugees, who is now an immigrant rights activist. Her statement said in part, “The fear that has been instilled in families without documentation by ICE is unjust and immoral.”  

Following the rally a delegation from the protest attempted to “deliver” to ICE authorities in the building the Joseph Goebbels award to Sessions and the Adolf Eichmann award to Kelley in recognition of their persecution of immigrants, in loyal service to the fascist Trump/Pence regime.

 

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/points-of-orientation-on-berkeley-and-ann-coulter-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

Points of Orientation on Berkeley and Ann Coulter:
The Issue Is NOT "Free Speech"—The Issue Is FASCISM

April 26, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

On April 26, Ann Coulter announced the cancellation of the speech she was planning to make the next day in Berkeley at the University of California campus. The controversy over her speech has created all sorts of confusion, and these points of orientation remain valid. We will be covering this controversy as time goes on.

 

1) Ann Coulter is an outright fascist and advocate of horrific violence against oppressed people, as well as suppression of those she deems to be her opponents in the power structure. She has written 12 books, is constantly on major imperialist TV stations, and is an intellectual arm of the fascist regime in the White House. The poison she spews is not only profoundly not true, but is an extreme expression of the views that the fascist section of the ruling class which has taken power is trying to impose on all society. It is doing this by means of state power, through the use of the media it controls, and by unleashing and allowing its fascist mobs to terrorize oppressed people, through outright encouragement and tacit approval. Ann Coulter has had ample opportunity to spread her dangerous poison, while those who thoroughly oppose her are denied a platform.

2) Ann Coulter is in no way being suppressed by the government, so the entire issue of the First Amendment is a canard here—it has nothing to do with the question and is serving to confuse and disorient people. But Ann Coulter’s leader, Donald Trump, not only advocates the violent suppression of speech with which he disagrees, but has called for the imprisonment and denial of citizenship to those who burn the flag—a form of expression that the Supreme Court has ruled is indeed protected by the First Amendment. “First Amendment” and “free speech” have absolutely nothing to do with Coulter’s attempt to spew her poison and can in no way be made the terms of this battle.

3) Fascists have fixed their sights on Berkeley as a way to intimidate those who oppose Trump and make them bow down. They have unleashed forces who are obviously trained in violence and who intend to become the street militia of the regime if and as the regime encounters further demonstrations and other forms of resistance in the streets. The formation and forging of fascist fighting squads and their targeting of Berkeley is an extremely ominous development.

4) It is absolutely wrong for anyone claiming to recognize the threat posed by the Trump/Pence regime and the real damage that they are doing to equate organized violent fascist forces backed up by the regime in power and the state, and those who are determined to resist them. To be “even-handed” in this period is to profess one’s moral bankruptcy. We must not aid those in power by dividing the movement against Trump into “good protestors” and “bad protestors.”

5) There is a fascist regime in power which is moving quickly to radically remake this society on a fascist foundation: gutting the separation of powers, the separation of church and state, threatening nuclear war on the world, and demonizing and criminalizing whole peoples while changing the laws and norms in this country in a fascist direction. It can already be said that “First they came for the Muslims and immigrants...” Fascist leaders like Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos, David Horowitz, etc. are giving a thin intellectual veneer to this fascist program. And we—in our millions—must stand up clearly and firmly and say NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Live in a Fascist America.

It is imperative that all people who oppose the Trump/Pence fascist regime come out to demonstrate against Ann Coulter and the fascists who are backing her up. The lines must be drawn. What happens in Berkeley in these next few days matters.

 

       

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/Trump-discovers-holocaust.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

 

Adolf Trump “Discovers” the Holocaust... In Service of Hitler-Like Ethnic Cleansing Here and Around the World

April 26, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

After running a campaign that repeatedly—and only a millimeter under the surface—embraced neo-Nazi anti-Semitism... after “forgetting” to mention Jews in a message on the Holocaust... after insulting and humiliating a Jewish reporter who asked him to condemn anti-Semitic violence... and surrounded in the WHITE house by “alt-REICH” neo-Nazi enablers and promoters... Donald Trump “discovered” that “The Holocaust was the state-sponsored systematic persecution and attempted annihilation of European Jewry by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.”

As Trump issued his proclamation, his regime has ripped away all pretense that any of the 11 million undocumented people in the U.S. are safe. And, that this is the case no matter how law abiding they have been, or how long they’ve been here. These millions of people, their parents, children, siblings, loved ones, friends, and co-workers are living under siege today, demonized and marginalized. Many have been driven into hiding in conditions that resemble those of Anne Frank, a teenage Jewish girl who hid in an attic until discovered and shipped to a death camp by the Nazis. And Trump’s message came at a time when his regime has declared war on the world’s Muslims.

With undeniable parallels between what is going on in the U.S., and the initial stages of what was to evolve into the Nazi Holocaust, Trump and/or those in his inner circles seem to have made a call that, at this time, they should put some space between their regime and virulent anti-Semitic Nazis who are part of Trump’s base, and who he has pandered to, and emboldened.

That was all it took for the New York Times to gush that Trump’s statement “sent a powerful message to those who doubt his will to fight anti-Semitism—and to his own supporters in the white nationalist movement.” Not only were the editors of the Times able to blind themselves to what is going on all around them to immigrants, Muslims and others—documented in their own newspaper—but they didn’t even require of Trump a perfunctory condemnation of the vicious escalation in violent racist attacks on Muslims, immigrants, people of color, and yes, Jewish people by “his own supporters.”

Zionists and the mainstream of the U.S. ruling class have used the Holocaust as justification for Israel’s monstrous crimes, including the dispossession and generations-long persecution and confinement in apartheid-like misery of Palestinians, and terror carried out all over the world, especially but not confined to, the Middle East. Trump’s statement did that, as well.

It is important that many Jewish people and organizations have been among the voices opposing the demonization and persecution of immigrants and Muslims. The organization If Not Now rebutted Trump’s statement, saying “For Trump, there are those who are ‘true’ Americans and those who are not. As Jews, we know the danger of such distinctions.”

As for the World Jewish Congress, and other Jewish organizations that embraced Trump’s statement: You have assumed for yourselves the role of those in Nazi Germany who cheered as Hitler sent “the others,” including millions of Jews, to what eventually became death camps.

       

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/from-revolution-club-on-may-1st-2017-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

From the Revolution Club on May 1, 2017

April 26, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

To the angry and impatient youth... to those living in the shadows... to those who are in fear every day of being torn from your loved ones... to all those who are sickened by these endless outrages... to anyone and everyone who is determined to stand up and fight...

It’s time to get organized for an ACTUAL revolution. And this revolution needs you.

A whole different world is possible—a world without borders, a world where no human being is considered “illegal,” a world without the division into a handful of bloodthirsty imperialist powers and the vast majority of humanity locked into the oppressed nations.

The only thing standing in the way is this system of capitalism-imperialism. This system is driven by the anarchic mad-dash competition between these brutal powers for more profitable exploitation of the people and the planet. It forces people to flee their homes from poverty-stricken conditions and imperialist destruction. Then it callously demonizes and persecutes them, tearing families apart for trying to escape the misery this system itself causes.

This system cannot be reformed. And it promises far worse: the consolidation of a fascist America, with that monstrous ghoul Donald Trump threatening nuclear war on the world and even worse environmental devastation of floods, droughts, mass starvation... all still within a system that cannot do anything to stop this preventable suffering and death.

This system needs to be overthrown through an ACTUAL revolution to bring into being a radically different, and far better, world. This revolution is not just necessary, it is possible. And there is a force that is getting organized and working to make this revolution at the earliest possible time. A force you need to link up with and a force you need to join.

Right now, we urgently have to wage the political struggle—uniting people from many different perspectives—to drive this fascist Trump/Pence regime from power. Before fascism is able to fully consolidate, we have to lead millions into the streets with the determination: No! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Live in a Fascist America!

As we do, we need to be on a mission to spread the word, to let people know that we have the leadership, the science, the strategy and program, and the basis for organizing people for an actual, emancipating revolution. We have Bob Avakian (BA), the leader of this revolution and the architect of a new framework for revolution, the new synthesis of communism. We have the Party led by BA, the Revolutionary Communist Party, with this new synthesis as its scientific basis to build for revolution. We have the Revolution Clubs, where people can take part in and powerfully represent for the revolution in an organized way, as they learn more about the revolution and advance toward joining the Party. We have the website of the Party, revcom.us, and its newspaper Revolution, which sharply expose the crimes of this system, scientifically analyze why it cannot be reformed, and give guidance and direction for people to work in a unified way for revolution. We have the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, written by BA and adopted by the Party’s Central Committee, which provides a sweeping and concrete vision and “blueprint” for a radically new and emancipating society. People in the inner cities, and in the prisons, students, scholars, artists, lawyers and other professionals, youth in the suburbs and rural areas—people in all parts of society—need to know about this and seriously take it up.

Go to revcom.us every day and join the Revolution Club.

Contact:

Bay Area:
(510) 253-5551
@revclub_bay
revclub.bayarea@gmail.com

Chicago:
(312) 804-9121
Revclub.chi@gmail.com

Los Angeles:
revclub_la@yahoo.com
@revclub_la

New York City:
NYC Revolution Club
nycrevclub@gmail.com
@nycrevclub
nycrevclub.tumblr.com

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/carl-dix-on-the-25th-anniversary-of-los-angeles-rebellion-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

April 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On the 25th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Rebellion:

It Is Right, and Necessary, To Rebel & To Go from Rebellion to Revolution!

by Carl Dix

Twenty-five years ago, Los Angeles exploded in rebellion after a jury exonerated the Los Angeles cops who were caught on video viciously beating Rodney King. This verdict was the system saying that it didn’t matter even though the world had watched their pigs brutalizing a Black man on TV. They let these pigs walk anyway. And that Black people deserved nothing and would get nothing but a pig’s boot on their necks, a prison cell to be caged in, or an early grave to be thrown into.

But the masses of people in LA said Hell, No, not this time. Black people rose in rebellion, and people of all nationalities joined in. As Bob Avakian (BA) said right after the rebellion, “This rebellion was the most beautiful, the most heroic, and the most powerful action by the masses of people in the U.S. for years and years. It sent shockwaves throughout the U.S. and around the world, striking fear and panic into the oppressors and causing the hearts of oppressed people everywhere to beat faster with joy and hope.”

The U.S. rulers were puffed up off of having rained death and destruction on Iraq in their 1991 war against that country, feeling that they had delivered a message to the world that they were the top dog and couldn’t be challenged. But the LA Rebellion showed the world there were people on the bottom of this society who were in no mood to join the celebration of U.S. world domination. By rising up in rebellion, the masses in LA declared to the world that they refused to accept the brutality and indignity this system enforced on them. And people in cities across the U.S. heard this call and took to the streets in solidarity—rebellions erupted in cities like Las Vegas, Oakland, and Seattle, and there were protests against police brutality in many other cities.

In the midst of rising up in outrage against the outrageous verdict in the Rodney King case, Black youth forged a truce that ended decades of fighting and killing among the street gangs of LA. On the first night of the rebellion, graffiti went up on the walls that said: “Bloods, Crips and Mexicans together tonight.” During and after the rebellion there were many scenes of members of rival gang members, people who had been sworn enemies, hanging out together and embracing each other.

The system had enforced conditions in the inner cities that left these youth facing futures of no hope. It had flooded their neighborhoods with drugs and unleashed its pigs to bust them under the War on Drugs, which was really a war on the people. These young people were left with no way to have meaning in their lives except to form street gangs whose codes of revenge had them fighting and killing other oppressed youth who were just like them.

As BA says in BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, forging this truce was hard. The youth had to reach over years of killings, and the calls for revenge these killings generated, to embrace each other. And they had to try very hard to maintain the truce in the face of attacks by the pigs who would attack them when they gathered to hold picnics to celebrate the truce.

The youth worked heroically to keep the truce in effect, but ultimately they didn’t succeed. On top of the attacks by the system, they were confronted with the reality that this capitalist-imperialist system has no future for millions of youth penned up in the ghettos and barrios across the U.S.

On this 25th anniversary, we should remember the heroic efforts of the youth of LA, and we need to learn three lessons: 1) that people rising in rebellion against injustice was, and is, righteous, necessary, and beautiful. This makes it possible for oppressed people to raise their heads, to begin to see further than the grind of their day-to-day existence and to begin to get organized for revolution, while also opening up space to transform the thinking of all society; 2) that breaking the youth out of the street life and overcoming all the divisions among the masses, not just for a brief period of time after which they slide back into it, can only be done as part of building a movement FOR revolution. This is more urgent than ever, and it’s something our Party has set itself to right now, especially in Chicago in the face of Donald Trump’s threats to send in the feds to “fix” the violence here; and 3) that we need more than just rebellions—we need a revolution, and to make that revolution, people have to be struggled with to transform themselves as they are mobilized to join the struggle to fight the powers. And that there is leadership for this revolution in BA, a leader who has developed the strategy to make such a revolution and brought forward a vision of the world that revolution could bring into being. The most pressing thing facing this new generation of youth caught up in the gang scene, and their revolutionary vanguard, is to actually get them OUT of that, and get into the revolution.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/top-six-reasons-fascist-pig-ann-coulter-has-said-too-much-already-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

Top Six Reasons Fascist Pig Ann Coulter Has Said Too Much Already and Should Shut the Fuck Up

April 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

One: She is a shameless racist who celebrates America’s roots in slavery and mass murder, and its current reality as a white supremacist country, and purveys the ludicrous myth that white people are victims of genocide.

» “This is a country created by white people ... I am a native because I am a descendant from settlers.” (Cited by International Business Times, April 26, 2017)

» Taking down the pro-slavery Confederate flag in South Carolina “strip[s] Americans of their history, and their heritage, this is the political correctness that Trump is going against.” (https://mediamatters.org/video/2016/09/20/ann-coulter-attacks-second-generation-immigrant-nikki-haley-taking-down-confederate-flag-south/213219)

» Claiming that the U.S. immigration system deliberately aims to reduce the percentage of whites in the population, Coulter said: “In 1960 whites were 90 percent of the country. The Census Bureau recently estimated that whites already account for less than two-thirds of the population and will be a minority by 2050 ... One may assume the new majority will not be such compassionate overlords as the white majority has been. ... If this sort of drastic change were legally imposed on any other group than white Americans, it would be called genocide.” (“Bush’s America: Roach Motel,” Ann Coulter column, January 2, 2010)

Two: She advocates for barbaric fascist repression of Black and Latino youth.

» “I have to say I’m all for public flogging. One type of criminal that a public humiliation might work particularly well with are the juvenile delinquents, a lot of whom consider it a badge of honor to be sent to juvenile detention. And it might not be such a cool thing in the ‘hood’ to be flogged publicly.” (“The Wisdom of Ann Coulter” in The Washington Monthly, October 2001)

Three: She hates Muslims and is whipping up a pogromist mentality against them.

» “ISIS is not at our doorstep. Illegal immigrants are not only at our doorstep, but millions of them are already through the door, murdering far more Americans than ISIS ever will.” (https://mediamatters.org/research/2015/05/27/immigrants-are-more-dangerous-than-isis-and-10/203769)

» “Don’t want terrorism in US? Stop importing Muslims!” (http://www.mediaite.com/online/ann-coulter-on-paris-attack-donald-trump-was-elected-president-tonight/)

» Speaking of the widow of the alleged Boston Marathon bomber: “I don’t care if she knew about [the bombing]. She ought to be in prison for wearing a hijab.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/23/ann-coulter-hijab_n_3139513.html)

» “I think our motto should be post-9-11, ‘raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences.’” (Speech to the CPAC conference, as reported by Michelle Malkin, cited in Washington Post column by Howard Kurtz. Other witnesses concur.)

Four: She creates public opinion for mass murder of civilians in present and future U.S. wars.

» “I’m getting a little fed up with hearing about, oh, civilian casualties. I think we ought to nuke North Korea right now just to give the rest of the world a warning.” (Interview with George Gurley, The New York Observer, January 10, 2005)

» “We know who the homicidal maniacs are [referring to Muslims] ... We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity ... That’s war.” (https://townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/2001/09/14/this-is-war-n865496)

» “Perhaps we could put aside our national, ongoing, post-9/11 Muslim butt-kissing contest and get on with the business at hand: Bombing Syria back to the stone age.” (Coulter column: “Muslim Bites Dog,” February 15, 2006)

Five: She promotes virulent contempt for and hatred of women.

» “It would be a much better country if women did not vote. That is simply a fact.” (2003 interview cited in Cornell University Chronicle Online, April 17, 2006)

» “...single women look at the government as their husbands. ‘Please provide for me, please take care of me.’” (www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/12/15/ann-coulter-single-women-wanting-birth-control-look-at-the-government-as-their-husbands/)

Six: She directs heavy fire at bourgeois liberals who still uphold aspects of democracy, and bourgeois institutions, in order to clear a path for a full fascist crackdown on society.

» “My only regret with Timothy McVeigh [right-wing terrorist who bombed the Oklahoma Federal Building in 1995, killing 167 people] is he did not go to the New York Times building.” (Quoted in “Coultergeist” by George Gurley at The Observer, August 25, 2002)

» “Most public schools are, at best, nothing but expensive babysitting arrangements, helpfully keeping hoodlums off the street during daylight hours. At worst, they are criminal training labs, where teachers sexually abuse the children between drinking binges and acts of grand larceny.” (Guest on Hannity & Colmes, June 29, 2006)

» “We need somebody to put rat poisoning in [liberal former Supreme Court] Justice Stevens’ creme brulee. That’s just a joke, for you in the media.” (http://www.foxnews.com/story/2006/01/27/coulter-jokes-about-poisoning-supreme-court-justice.html)

This is really only a small sampling of the poison that Coulter “brings to the conversation.” In reality, inviting her to a campus—or anywhere—makes as much sense as flooding a schoolyard with raw sewage so that the students can then have a reasonable discussion about what shit smells like.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/trump-pence-super-predators-speed-up-danger-of-climate-change-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

Trump/Pence Super-Predators Speed Up Danger of Climate Change
We Need to Drive Out the Fascist Regime... AND We Need a Whole Different World

April 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

No to Fascist Predators

The danger of global environmental disaster due to climate change has become clearer and clearer in recent years. Then came the Trump/Pence regime—and in their first 100 days, they’ve put this rush toward environmental catastrophe into overdrive.

Climate change is already having devastating impact on the natural world and people’s lives. Arctic ice and glaciers are melting at an accelerating pace, contributing to rising sea levels. Coral reefs—home to an incredible variety of sea life—are dying. Extreme weather—record-high temperatures, longer-lasting drought, more powerful storms—is forcing tens of millions out of their homes to become “climate refugees.”

There is overwhelming consensus among the world’s scientists, reached through decades of careful research, that climate change caused by human activity is real—and that increased levels in the atmosphere of greenhouse gases (like carbon dioxide) produced by the burning of fossil fuels are causing rising global temperatures, which in turn have all kinds of effects that threaten life on earth. An environmental emergency looms over humanity and the planet as a whole.

In this situation, a regime of climate change deniers and anti-science lunatics now heads up the world’s top economic and military power—with Trump, who has called climate change a “hoax,” at the lead. While they may uphold science and technology that serve their “America First” agenda, they are undermining science in critical areas like public health and climate change through huge funding cuts and witch hunts against scientists. Scientists and others are frantically trying to preserve scientific data, because of fears that it could be lost to the storehouse of human knowledge through the actions of Trump/Pence.

The executive order signed by Trump on March 28 moves toward eliminating what small measures the U.S. has had in place to limit the emission of greenhouse gases. His order directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to essentially gut Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which promised to cut greenhouse gas emissions by modest amounts. The order also calls for opening up public lands for leasing to coal mining, eliminating regulations that limit emissions from coal-fired power plants, doing away with standards that limit emissions of methane (another key greenhouse gas), and getting rid of other environmental protections.

If the Trump/Pence fascists are able to consolidate their hold on power, it will be a nightmare for humanity. They must not be given the opportunity to wreak years more of irreversible harm on the planet and life on it. This regime of super-predators must be stopped and driven from power, as soon as possible.

Trump has not yet officially pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change. But Trump’s initial actions on the environment have already made clear that his regime has no intention of meeting the U.S. goals for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris accords, as inadequate as those goals were. This could cause other countries, fearful that the U.S. capitalists could gain a competitive advantage, to also abandon the Paris treaty—leading to even more greenhouse gases pouring into the earth’s atmosphere.

Let’s look at the Paris agreement, supposedly the crowning achievement of the U.S. and other powers “leading” the fight against climate change. The dominant forces behind that treaty openly said that they were not even aiming for measures that would keep the global temperatures from rising above 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit)—which is what climate scientists say is needed to keep the global environment from plunging into disaster. Even if all the countries were to meet the voluntary goals for cuts in greenhouse gases—which is highly unlikely—that would still lead to unacceptable global temperature rises. The agreement does not even mention the U.S. military, the largest single institutional emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.

This just scratches the surface of why the Paris accords—even if put fully into practice—can only somewhat slow down the approach of environmental catastrophe, at best. It does not do what is urgently needed to deal with the threat of climate change in a real way.

The Trump/Pence regime must be driven out before they can do even greater harm. The reality is that Trump is an extreme concentration of a system—the system of capitalism-imperialism—that had already been pushing the world toward environmental disaster before Trump. The answer is not to go “back” to the Paris agreement and supposedly more “sensible” and “saner” capitalism-imperialism. Under this system, nothing can be done unless, ultimately, there is profit. It’s a system where different capitalists and blocs of capitalists compete against each other under the ruthless commandment of “expand or die”—compelling them to rapaciously exploit the environment without regard for consequences for humanity and ecosystems, the complex web of life on the planet.

What is needed is an actual revolution that uproots and sweeps away this system. A revolution that brings into being a whole new economic and political system—with a state that has a completely different orientation and ethos than what exists under the current system, including in relation to the environment. There is, in fact, a blueprint for such a society: the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian. We invite all who are agonizing over the state of the world and seeking real solutions to the horrors and dangers facing humanity to get into this inspiring—and viable—vision of a whole different world that is possible.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/revolution-club-chicago-on-immigration-may-1-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

Revcom.us received the following from the Revolution Club, Chicago

April 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

The Revolution Club Says:

If you know how oppression feels: are you going to go along with targeting our immigrant brothers and sisters? Or are you going to join together with them to build a movement to tear this system down?

 

To Black people who say immigrants are taking away your opportunities to get ahead: Stop falling for that bullshit! This system has always gotten one people it oppresses to fight against other people it oppresses, while it sucks the blood of people all over the world.

Trump is rounding up immigrants, calling them dangerous criminals - ICE immigration police are raiding houses and workplaces and dragging people away in handcuffs, children are watching their parents snatched away. Even young children are being put in detention center prisons, sometimes in solitary confinement. People are being deported, sent to countries they risked everything to escape from, in some cases sent to certain death at the hands of gangs or government forces. Some people say, “Now they know how it feels to be Black.” Well if you know how this feels, why the fuck would you want anybody else to go through this? And if you know how this feels: are you going to go along with targeting these brothers and sisters? Or are you going to join together with them to build a movement to tear this system down?

We need a revolution. We need to overthrow this blood-sucking capitalist-imperialist system that forces people to come here and be subjected to all this in the first place. This country that ripped people from Africa, killing, enslaving, torturing, and raping them for hundreds of years to build up America’s wealth – is the same country that waged war on Mexico, stole half of its land, and now dominates Mexico’s farms, forcing peasants to work to produce food for the U.S., no longer able to grow food to feed their own families. It is the same country that is supplying the bombs raining down on Arab people in Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East now facing mass starvation. And the same country that slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Koreans in the 1950s and threatens war on North Korea today with the possibility of nuclear destruction of all humanity.

Humanity can get to a world without borders and nations, without one nation or one people oppressing another. The Revolution Club is getting organized for an actual revolution to bring that world into being, and we have the science, strategy and leadership in Bob Avakian to lead millions with a real chance to win. This revolution needs you. Get with Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution. Join the Revolution Club. On May 1st march with the Revolution Club in the protest for immigrant rights.

 

Contact Revolution Club in Chicago...Phone 312-804-9121...email: revclub.chi@gmail.com Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/revclubchi

1857 E 71st St., Hours 3p – 7p everyday but Monday

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/teach-in-fascism-in-america-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

Teach-In: Fascism in America

April 28, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Fascism in America
Could It Happen Here?
Is It Happening Here?
What Is the Danger that the Trump/Pence Government Poses?

April 27, 2017, United Methodist Church in the Village

Sponsored by RefuseFascism.org

 

 

Speakers:

Humanity faces an extreme emergency with Trump’s rise to power. This nationally live-streamed Teach-In aims to deeply explore, from different perspectives, the essential nature of the Trump/Pence Government, the relevance of the history of fascism, the threat it poses to humanity and the planet itself, and the dangers of normalization.

 

This event is being made into a quality video for distribution, donate and learn more at RefuseFascism.org

info@refusefascism.org / 917-407-1286
Twitter: @refusefascism / Facebook, Instagram: refusefascism
Media Sponsor: WBAI Radio, New York

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/revolution-summer-chicago-fund-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

Revcom.us received this from the Revolution Club, Chicago:

Revolution Summer! Chicago Fund

April 28, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

 

 

Your donation is needed right now to support the work being done this summer in Chicago by the Chicago Revolution Club, out-of-town volunteers, and Carl Dix. The Club is taking out the leadership and the science people need to get free to the people who are currently shooting and murdering each other. The Club is on the front lines, fighting relentlessly to get the youth to stop the insanity and get into the revolution. This situation is more acute than ever as the Trump/Pence regime sets its fascist sights on Chicago.

Everyone with a heart agonizes over this situation. But here is a way for you to actually do something—make a donation that can actually make a difference—because this project is not about putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound.

$20,000 is needed immediately to support this project:

Several times this amount will be needed over the next few months as this project expands. 


WHAT WILL THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MEAN FOR BLACK PEOPLE?

The violent oppression of Black people has been deeply embedded in every aspect of this country for hundreds of years. Due to the workings of the system, now millions of Black people in the inner cities have become expendable in the eyes of this system. The political leadership of this system—Democrat and Republican—has responded with a sharp-edged program of repression. That program’s blade: vicious police brutality and mass incarceration and a legal system that lets killer cops off over and over.

Trump’s program for inner-city Chicago will take this to another level and serve as a model for his nationwide plan: The unleashing of police terror. Prisons and jails swollen with more Black and Latino youths. The gutting of public education, funneling youth into Christian fundamentalist schools that turn the lights out on critical thinking. The enlistment of some in enforcing submission to Trump's fascist America, maybe a place in the army or Border Patrol. The Trump/Pence plan is not to make America safe. Their aim is to extinguish the resistance of Black people against their oppression as a people once and for allChicago is ground zero. This cannot be allowed to go down.


THE REVOLUTION CLUB AND REVOLUTION SUMMER! IN CHICAGO
The Revolution Club lives by the six Points of Attention. It is where youth and others get organized to fight the power today to STOP the horrors of the system, and to transform the people, FOR REVOLUTION. The Revolution Club is where everyone can learn about Bob Avakian, the leadership, the strategy for making and winning a revolution. How to apply the science of communism to solve the challenges of emancipating all of humanity.

The Revolution Club has gotten the statement “From the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party to ALL People: “What the Trump/Pence Regime Will Mean for Black People—and What Must Be Done about It NOW!” out to thousands of people on the south and west sides of Chicago. This statement calls out Trump’s stone cold racist plan. 

When 7 people were shot to death in 12 hours in South Shore, literally blocks from the Revolution Club organizing center, the Revolution Club was out there with Carl Dix’s statement “Get out of this insanity and get into the revolution.” They constantly struggle with the ideas that are pervasive, like, “this is a lost generation.” The Revolution Club replies, “To the youth who are caught up in the violence—you are NOT ‘too far gone,’ but you need to get into this revolution or you will be.

As Trump threatens catastrophic war on North Korea, the Revolution Club fans out to the high schools with big military ROTC programs. They bring a challenge from Carl Dix to debate his position that oppressed people should not fight for their oppressors, but fight to overthrow this system instead. When a teenager was gang raped, the Revolution Club put up posters around her school and neighborhood with “Women are Not Bitches, Ho’s, Incubators, Punching Bags, Sex Objects, or Breeders! WOMEN ARE FULL HUMAN BEINGS.” The Revolution Club was there in the March for Science.

They are bold, they are challenging, and they are fighting for different morals and values all in the service of a revolution to emancipate not only Black people but all of humanity.

 

 

 

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/taking-science-and-revolution-and-new-communism-to-march-for-science-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

Taking Science and Revolution and The New Communism to the March for Science

From a reader:

April 28, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Two volunteers with The Bob Avakian Institute, which is dedicated to making the work of Bob Avakian known throughout society, took the books Science and Revolution: On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, an Interview with Ardea Skybreak and Bob Avakian’s THE NEW COMMUNISM to the March for Science on April 22. We set up a table with banners with big images of the book covers and the words SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION. Throughout the day, there was a steady stream of people stopping to check this out and many who were changed by what they found.

People at the march had a deep appreciation for the scientific method and a sense of what it would mean if people were denied this crucial tool. Many were outraged by the worldview of “alternative truths” and “might makes right” that is being promoted and enforced by the Trump/Pence regime, that this regime is denying scientific evidence about things that clearly affect the very future of humanity and all life on this planet. But most had not thought about the importance of applying science to understand and to change society.

People we spoke with found it challenging and exciting to learn about Bob Avakian. who has dedicated his life’s work to doing just that, and through this has provided answers to the most important question of human emancipation. The fact that science itself has developed and that Avakian has both rescued and qualitatively developed the science of communism, placing it on a thoroughly scientific foundation, was very attractive and was at the heart of the many rich discussions that followed.

And there were so many rich discussions, mainly focused on questions people raised about “why communism.” “Wasn’t that proven to be inherently flawed? Weren’t scientists suppressed in communist societies? What is this new synthesis and how is it different? How does this enable people to change the world? What does this provide for solving what appear to be intractable and horrifying conditions all over the world? Who is Bob Avakian? What is his background and history?”

A couple of university students literally asked all of these questions in rapid fire. They are freshman science students and are forming a kind of in-your-face gay organization that speaks to both the attacks on homosexuality and Islamaphobia. They had adopted the framework of post-modernism because of how they were understanding issues of identity and because that is what is being taught at their university. But at the same time, one of them was straining up against the assertion that truth does not exist except as the “narratives of individuals.” They could see how this relativism stood in opposition to really understanding the world. They were excited about bringing the work of BA to their just-forming organization—and hoped that someone from The BA Institute would meet with them.

A science teacher at a progressive private school talked about growing up with religion. He is Black and said he felt that religion was problematic, holding back the process of really understanding reality. He said his students are incredibly curious and looking for real answers now, and that perhaps his school could purchase the Interview with Ardea Skybreak and he could incorporate it into the classes he teaches. He said to send him the ways that he could order the book, that there was a budget for this, and to email him a manuscript as well.

A youth in his early teens from the neighborhoods where “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,” by the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, had been posted everywhere, said he had read it a number of times and went to revcom.us and read the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America and had watched part of a video of Bob Avakian speaking. He also loves science and had volunteered to help with the march and was excited to meet up with us in this context. His father told him that BA was too extreme, but he said he is finding that, while it is extreme, it is making so much sense. He gave us a way to reach him and said he would check his messages every day and would like to come to a meeting of the Revolution Club.

A physics Ph.D. student agreed that capitalism itself is causing so much human suffering and that it is inherent in the system, but wanted to know “why communism?” He was appreciative when we critiqued the method he used to arrive at the conclusion that communism was no better, in opposition to how BA has gone at this: delving deeply into the original theory as developed by Marx who, like Darwin, made huge breakthroughs in human understanding applying the scientific method to their respective fields. And how BA then has applied this method to learn from the rich history of two massive experiments—in the Soviet Union and China—and also from developments in other spheres of human knowledge, and talked about how Skybreak describes this process, making analogies to any good scientific investigation. He bought the Skybreak Interview and said he would get back to us, that he felt he needed to read her arguments and would do so soon.

There were many similar conversations throughout the day.

We learned a lot that day and this made us want to dig even more deeply into BA’s work and the Skybreak Interview.

Even as we’re up against so many serious attacks and dangers, this was truly a rich and exciting day for science and for the future of humanity.

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/letter-from-reader-holocaust-remembrance-day-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

Letter from a reader:

Holocaust Remembrance Day:
A Story to Share

April 28, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Dear Revolution, a story to share:

100 days of Fascism: Basta ya! Enough!

In my outrage since the election, I have been including people at my workplace when I distribute leaflets, etc., especally from Refuse Fascism. And a few of us took a lunch hour not long ago to watch and talk about the video of Bob Avakian from revcom.us, “BA Through the Years.” There was a definite recognition when BA talked about the prisoners in the Corcoran SHU being played, and I could tell some felt challenged by BA saying that the point is to get together and change all this, with revolution. Among the bigger mix of people there (white, Black, Latin American), there is definite upset about this regime, even while most still don’t see this fascism as the emergency that I do.

This past Monday, Holocaust Remembrance Day, I brought stickers with “NO!” and “Never Again Means Never Again! Drive Out the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime!” and invited people to join others everywhere and wear it for the day. 20 people (most of us) put it on, wearing it til the end of the day (I don’t know what they all did after work). Even people who have felt I’m “over the top” wore the sticker this day. We looked great!

Now I’m going to spread around the revcom.us article about all that happened that day so everyone can see what they were part of.

In our efforts to reach and move millions to act in this urgent moment, here was a form for people to act together and start to see a larger movement they are part of, and that could help them now take it further.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/to-those-who-found-out-about-revcomus-at-peoples-climate-march-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

To Those Who Found Out About Revcom.us/Revolution at the People's Climate March... Welcome

April 29, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Check these out:

» People March in DC, Across the U.S. and Around the World to Demand Action on Climate Change

 

 

» Trump/Pence Super-Predators Speed Up Danger of Climate Change
We Need to Drive Out the Fascist Regime... AND We Need a Whole Different World

The danger of global environmental disaster due to climate change has become clearer and clearer in recent years. Then came the Trump/Pence regime—and in their first 100 days, they’ve put this rush toward environmental catastrophe into overdrive. Read more

 

An Invitation

By Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

Let's go on a crucial journey together—full of unity against oppression and lively struggle about the source of the problem and the solution. Pursue your own convictions—that the outrages that move you are intolerable—to their logical conclusion, and be determined not to stop until those outrages have been eliminated. And if this, as well as learning about other outrages, and ideas about how this all fits together and flows from a common source—and how it could all be ended, and something much better brought into being—leads in the direction of seeing not only the need for bold and determined resistance, but also the need for revolution and ultimately communism, then don't turn away from that because it moves you beyond your comfort zone, challenges what had been your cherished beliefs, or because of prejudices and slanders. Instead, actively seek to learn more about this revolution and its goal of communism and to determine whether it is in fact the necessary, and possible, solution. And then act accordingly.

 

 

Special Issue of Revolution on the Environmental Emergency

This Revolution special issue focuses on the environmental emergency that now faces humanity and Earth's ecosystems. In this issue we show:

  • the dimensions of the emergency...
  • the source of its causes in the capitalist system, and the impossibility of that system solving this crisis...
  • a way out and way forward for humanity—a revolutionary society in which we could actually live as custodians of nature, rather than as its plunderers.

Read online....

Also available in brochure format (downloadable PDF)

 

Science and Revolution book cover

» “A Scientific Approach to Society, and Changing the World” and “A Scientific Outlook, A Boundless Curiosity About the World”—excerpts from interview with award-winning scientist Ardea Skybreak, Science and Revolution, On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian

 

 

No! We refuse to accept a fascist America!

» Refuse Fascism—made up of people coming from a diversity of perspectives who recognize that the Trump/Pence regime is fascist, that it poses a catastrophic danger to all of humanity, and that it is our responsibility to mobilize millions to drive it from power.

We invite you to further explore...

 

Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America

Authored by Bob Avakian, and adopted by the Central Committee of the RCP

To all the people agonizing over climate change and the threat it poses to humanity and other species and ecosystems on the planet:

The fascist regime heading the U.S. is placing the world in even greater danger of environmental catastrophe through climate change. For this—and many other reasons—the Trump/Pence regime must be stopped and driven from power, as soon as possible. But the answer is not a “saner” or “less extreme” form of this same system—the system of capitalism-imperialism. The climate crisis cannot be tackled in any real way as long as this system reigns. It’s a system where the “bottom line” criteria for everything is maximum profits... where capitalists must play by the “rules of the game”—expand or die—no matter the consequences to life on this planet.

The world does not have to be this way. There is a viable vision and strategy for a radically new, and much better, society and world—the new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian (BA). The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA, provides a framework and blueprint for a revolutionary power that, as it gives due emphasis to meeting the material, intellectual, and cultural needs of the people, aims “to contribute all it can to solving this environmental crisis and, to the greatest degree possible, reversing its terrible and manifold effects, and to ushering in a new era in which human beings and their society can truly be fit caretakers of the earth.”

As you fight against the super-predators in power who are accelerating the global environmental emergency, seriously check out the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America and the movement for an actual revolution aiming to bring this new society into being. And if you become convinced of the need for revolution, have the courage of your convictions and get with this.

 

 

Revolution front page

Revcom.us/Revolution newspaper brings alive a scientific analysis of major events in society and the world—why they are happening, how different events and developments relate to each other, how all this relates to the system we live under, where people’s interests lie in relation to all this, how revolution is in fact the solution to all this and what the goals of that revolution are, how different viewpoints and programs relate, positively or negatively, to the revolution that is needed, and how people can move, and are moving, to build toward that revolution. There’s something new here every day. Bookmark us and sign up for a free e-sub.

 

 

Bob Avakian

Bob Avakian (BA) is the architect for a whole new framework for human emancipation, the new synthesis of communism. This new synthesis is based on more than 40 years of revolutionary work critically analyzing and drawing from past revolutionary experience and theory, and a broad range of human activity and thought. It is a continuation of, but also represents a qualitative leap beyond, and in some important ways a break with, communist theory as it had been previously developed. Bob Avakian has been the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA since its founding in 1975. Find out more.

 

Revolutionary Communist Party, USA is the vanguard party for an actual revolution. Find out more.

 

Even as you explore what this revolution is about, find out WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/488/peoples-climate-march-april-29-2017-en.html

Revolution #488 April 24, 2017

As the Planet Burns and Trump Fans the Flames:

People March in DC, Across the U.S. and Around the World to Demand Action on Climate Change

Updated April 30, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

polar bear on ice
(Photo: Twitter/@mmpadellan)

As climate change confronts humanity with the looming danger of global environmental catastrophe, more than 150,000 took part in the April 29 People’s Climate March in Washington, DC. And there were more than 300 “sister marches” across the U.S., from Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York and other larger cities to smaller communities like Kalama, Washington, and Ft. Myers, Florida. People marched in different countries across the globe, from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, to Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Manila in the Philippines and many other countries. This was a week after the March for Science, when tens of thousands demonstrated in defense of science in DC, and hundreds of thousands in over 600 other locations throughout the U.S. and across the world.

On April 29, a broad range of people, of different ages and nationalities, marched in DC—from environmental activists to indigenous groups, unions, scientists, students, and many others. Actor/musician Eric Balfour tweeted: “RT if you are as proud as me of all the people standing up against #Trump and the #GOP. We won’t let them destroy our planet.” People carried all kinds of signs, often home-made—but among the most ubiquitous were “The oceans are rising and so are we!” and “There is no Planet B.”

The threat of climate change was already becoming increasingly clear before the Trump election. In its first 100 days in the White House, his regime has put the foot on the gas pedal, further accelerating the climate crisis. Just in the days before the march, Trump signed an order aiming to expand offshore oil drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, and the regime wiped almost all information about climate change from the Environmental Protection Agency website. The climate crisis is having devastating effects right now, especially in the poorest regions of the world—tens of millions driven from their homes because of extreme drought and other effects of climate change. Coral reefs and other ecosystems have already suffered enormous and even irreversible destruction. Even greater catastrophe, on a planetary level, is in store if the current trends continue. And the Trump/Pence regime is making its attacks on environmental protections and climate scientists one of the key ways they are asserting their power and rallying their fascist social base.

In the face of this, the resistance of the people is righteous and necessary. At the same time, the reality is that we are up against a fascist regime that is moving to consolidate its hold on power, not in a straight line but nevertheless very quickly and with reactionary determination. If they are allowed to consolidate power, it means unimaginable horrors for humanity and the planet we live on. That’s why the message brought to the climate march by people from Refuse Fascism is so crucial: NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America! Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!

There is an urgent need for the struggle of the people as manifested in the People’s Climate March—and in the Women’s March, the protests against the Muslim ban and immigration raids, the March for Science and other actions—to continue... to spread, become more determined, and more sharply targeted at the Trump/Pence fascist regime.

See also:

Trump/Pence Super-Predators Speed Up Danger of Climate Change We Need to Drive Out the Fascist Regime... AND We Need a Whole Different World

The danger of global environmental disaster due to climate change has become clearer and clearer in recent years. Then came the Trump/Pence regime—and in their first 100 days, they’ve put this rush toward environmental catastrophe into overdrive.

Climate change is already having devastating impact on the natural world and people’s lives. Arctic ice and glaciers are melting at an accelerating pace, contributing to rising sea levels. Coral reefs—home to an incredible variety of sea life—are dying. Extreme weather—record-high temperatures, longer-lasting drought, more powerful storms—are forcing tens of millions out of their homes to become “climate refugees.”

There is overwhelming consensus among the world’s scientists, reached through decades of careful research, that climate change caused by human activity is real—and that increased levels in the atmosphere of greenhouse gases (like carbon dioxide) produced by the burning of fossil fuels is causing rising global temperatures, which in turn have all kinds of effects that threaten life on earth. An environmental emergency looms over humanity and the planet as a whole.

In this situation, a regime of climate change deniers and anti-science lunatics now heads up the world’s top economic and military power—with Trump, who has called climate change a “hoax,” at the lead.

Read more

 


A Refuse Fascism contingent of about 150 people joined several thousand demonstrators at the People’s Climate March in Wilmington (South Los Angeles, near Long Beach)—a mostly Latino community facing heavy pollution from the oil refineries. People in the march—retired people, environmentalists, people who were attending their first march ever, and people involved in local struggles around air and water quality—were outraged by the Trump/Pence regime's denial of climate change and disastrous environmental policies and searching for answers. We met students. There were 250 NO! signs in the march, calling for driving out the Trump/Pence regime. The Refuse Fascism contingent included 30 middle school students, part of a student environmental club that represents middle schools throughout LA County, as well as members of nurses unions and others. Their chants included “Danger, Danger, Fascists in the White House—It’s up to us to Drive Them Out!” and “There is no Planet B: Oust the Trump Regime!”


Seattle (Photo: Special to revcom.us)

Boulder, CO Climate March
Boulder, Colorado (Photo: Twitter/@EatTheCrust)

Washington DC Climate March
Washington, DC (Photo: Twitter/@djuancoleon)

Montpelier, VT
Montpelier, Vermont (Photo: Twitter/@NFlourish)

Manila, Philippines
Manila, Philippines (Photo: Twitter/@jennytuazn)

Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva, Switzerland (Photo: Twitter/@as_trujillo)

Washington DC
Washington DC.

Kalama, Washington
Kalama, Washington (Photo: Twitter/@NakMakFeegle)

Washington DC, People's Climate March, April 29, 2017People's Climate March, Washington DC, April 29. (Photo: Twitter/@SierraClub)

Washington DC Climate March
Washington, DC.

Refuse Fascism at the People's Climate March

Los Angeles
Los Angeles (Photo: Twitter/@Fightfor15LA)

Trump Hotel, Washington, DC, Climate March
Trump Hotel, Washington DC. (Photo:Twitter/@TheYoungTurks)

Chicago, Federal Plaza.

Amsterdam
Amsterdam (Photo: Twitter/@Greennewshub)

Chicago
Chicago (Photo:Twitter/ @LanceMSanderson)

3,000 people from Austin and surrounding areas took part in the march in this city. Refuse Fascism Austin reported that many people approached their table to learn more, find out how to get involved, and voice their fears and concerns. Hundreds of marchers put on Refuse Fascism’s NO! stickers and dozens carried NO! signs.

Ft. Myers, Florida, Climate March
Ft. Myers, Florida (Photo: Twitter/@2FLgals)

Rochester, NY Climate march
Rochester, NY (Photo: Allen Grieco)

Honolulu Hundreds gathered near the entrance to the busy tourist district in Honolulu, Hawaii, for the march. Students from Pacific Island nations joined climate activists, many coming from faith communities, to demand action to save the planet. Speakers spoke to the urgency of protecting the planet from consumerism, corporate greed, and capitalism. The World Can't Wait-Hawai`i spokesperson challenged the crowd to join the larger struggle to drive out the Trump/Pence regime. A Hawaiian nationalist challenged the crowd to support justice for indigenous peoples. An 11-year-old said people are being forced to emigrate from his island nation of Tokelau due to the rising sea level. As protesters marched the length of the world-famous Waikiki beach, tourists clapped, photographed and cheered.

Trump Hotel, Washington DC

 

Bend, Oregon
Bend, Oregon (Photo:Instagram/Deb_Leon)

Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh (Photo:Twitter/@RevJanetEdwards

People's Climate March, April 29 Washington DC
Washington, DC (Photo: Twitter/@Truthdig)

Paris
Paris, France (Photo: Twitter/@franifio)