Revolution #517, November 13, 2017 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/512/see-and-share-this-talk-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Watch this talk and Q&A's. Share widely.

Updated October 25, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian:
The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!

The film of Bob Avakian's new speech addresses the most urgent question of the day: how to understand, and what to do about, the threat to humanity itself posed by the Trump/Pence regime. This talk—from the most radical revolutionary on the planet—makes the case for massive, sustained nonviolent outpourings to begin on November 4 in a compelling way. It traces the roots of the regime—the deeper and more immediate causes of its rise to power. This hour-long speech is full of substance, and heart.

What people are saying about this film...

To view the full speech, click 'Play' above. The film and all video clips are also available for download HERE

Read more

To view, download, and share the trailer and other clips from this film, scroll down or click HERE

To view, download, and share video of Q&A with Bob Avakian, scroll down or click HERE

How to download and share videos HERE.

 

 

The daily, almost hourly, headlines cry out with urgency. See—and share—this talk.

In addition:

  • Be part of the getting the trailer for the film—available early next week—out far and wide on the internet.
  • Show the film in classes, religious congregations, with friends, and more.
  • Do a short video about the talk, or video others. Post your videos on the www.revcom.us social media or email to: revolution.reports@yahoo.com
  • Go to film showings taking place across the country, or schedule your own.
  • Generously contribute funds to advertise this in a major way on social media. We are aiming to raise at least $5,000 right away. Donate here, earmarked for “social media promotion.”
  • Call people you know NOW to invite them to any screening in your area, or talk with them about the urgency of them seeing this.

Questions and Answers:

Q&A: Part 1

Q&A: Part 2

Q&A: Part 3

Q&A: Part 4

Part 1 of Q&A session

  • 0:00: What do you say to the late night comedians, the Stephen Colberts etc, who do some powerful exposure and ridicule but also run the risk of becoming like court jesters and, in this case, contributing to the normalization of fascism?
  • 11:10: If successful in driving out, or forcing Trump to resign, who will step in to take the reins?  What happens next?  And are these replacements prepared to lead this entire diverse country and its military?
  • 27:13: How is it possible to maintain a movement of that scale for a long period of time?

Part 2 of Q&A session

  • 00:00: We have this multi-national corporate news media that's fractured into a thousand pieces and even so, Refuse Fascism can barely get on air. What sort of strategies do you think we can come up with to get through this?
  • 11:30: Minorities have been in not a very favorable situation in this country to fight against everything that is going against them... because they're not in the land where they originally come from. How can we protect those who need to be on the streets fighting with us, how can we protect the ones that are being targeted directly? How can we get them to be on the streets?
  • 23:03: Could you speak to the role of students, including that there have been vicious attacks on critical thinking at known liberal or historically radical places, ie Berkeley, and how should we approach bringing students forward to the call of Refuse Fascism as well as unleashing them in that process?

Part 3 of Q&A session

  • 00:00: Unfortunately, as a Democrat it has long been determined that you vote for the lesser of two evils, right?  Either the Dems or the Republicans.  But it has gotten to the point where both of them are just as worse – one is cancer and one is HIV.  So you don't want to vote for either one of them... I know the system sucks, but what are you supposed to do in the interim?
  • My other question is as a revolutionary Christian, I acknowledge that Christian fundamentalists have been around spewing their venom for many hundreds of years... I believe that we do need this revolution.  I embrace it. But what I need to hear is how can you have other people of any religion so that they would want to embrace it also and not feel alienated because they are “Christians.”
  • 25:33: On fighting fascism and making revolution.  Can you talk about the difference and similarity between the situation we face in driving out the Trump/Pence Regime and a situation open to and makes possible for revolution.  Can one lead to the other?  What should revolutionaries do in the face of this?

Part 4 of Q&A session

  • 00:00: What do you think November 4 should look like and how do you envision the days following? Also, how we can overcome our own obstacles in reaching out broadly including to people that don't agree with the need for a revolution?
  • 14:46: I've been out, trying to tell millions of people that we need to drive out this regime before it becomes too late... and I know millions feel the way we do, but if they don't act, does that matter? We say we still have time but how do we know that we still have time before fascism fully consolidates? How do we know much time we have left?
  • 33:17: Do you think that we need to struggle for the liberation of all sentient animals that are being enslaved, raped, tortured and murdered by the billions each year as part of the animal agriculture, animal testing, leather, fur, and down-based clothes under this system? Do you think that liberation is possible under this system or does that require a concurrent struggle for animal liberation along with a broader revolution to get out of the system?

Trailer

Clip: "Free Yourself from the GTF!"

Clip: "What are we facing?"

Clip: "Order or Justice?"

Clip: "What Can We Do?"

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/516/how-to-download-new-film-by-bob-avakian-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Download and share the new film by Bob Avakian…
Here’s how:

November 11, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

To DOWNLOAD the Full Speech, Trailer, Q&A or Clips from the Vimeo page (HERE):

  1. Look for a number at the bottom right of each video that starts with “#vimeo.com/”. For the video you want to download, click on that number.
  2. On the new page that opens, below the video on the right is a button “Download”. Click that button.
  3. A menu will pop up. Click on your choice of size of file to download.

4. Repeat this process for each file (Full Speech, Trailer, Clips, Q&A) that you want to download from the Vimeo page (HERE).

 

To SHARE the Full Speech, Trailer, Q&A or Clips from the Vimeo page (HERE):

  1. For each video (Full Speech, Trailer, etc.) that you want to share, click on the “Share” button—the little paper airplane near the upper right corner.
  2. The Pop-Up Menu will give you many choices for how to share.

Share widely!

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/517/nov-18-break-the-silence-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

This Nightmare Must End!

The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

November 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From RefuseFascism.org:

On November 18, 2017

Break the Silence and
BRING THE NOISE! 

Pots and Pans... Drums...
and Marching Bands

Bring the joyful and insistent noise that Trump and Pence Must Go. 

Sound the alarm and break through the silence of normalization. 

March to a beat with determination that this regime will not destroy humanity and the planet.

On November 18 we will bring the joyful and insistent noise that Trump and Pence Must Go. We will sound the alarm and break through the silence of normalization. We will march to a beat with determination that this regime will not destroy humanity and the planet. All ages. Be creative. There is joy in resistance...

For information about a location near you, or to initiate a location near you, visit RefuseFascism.org

 

Everyone who wants to see this Nightmare of Trump/Pence Be Gone, everyone who refuses to live under the threat of nuclear war with Trump's "America First" finger on the nuclear button, everyone who can not stomach what those in power are doing to the people here and around the world, step out to join with others who are determined not to accept this.

Everyone who sees the danger of the Trump/Pence regime and wants to be with others who feel the same—bring your family, your friends, your drums, pots and pans and any way you want to make some noise, be creative and defiant — we are going to go against and break the silence of normalization with this nightmare, we are going to disturb the air and serve notice that the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go and we will not be quiet, we will not back down, we will not stop until the people in our millions come into the streets and our demand is met.

Students—make contingents from many schools representing—the people of the world need to see you in the streets.

Artists, dancers and musicians you can make a difference. People of all countries bring the noise! And many drums to wake people up and call on them to join us!

If there is a march or gathering planned in your city already, get with the organizers and help build for it, let everyone know they are welcome and need to be there.

If there is not a protest planned in your city, get with all the friends and like-minded people you can gather and break the silence, bring the noise and send pictures so everyone will know about it.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/516/november-4--a-day-of-courage-and-conviction-a-real-beginning-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

From RefuseFascism.org

November 4—A Day of Courage and Conviction, a Real Beginning

November 8, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the face of the lies, distortions, and outright threats of a relentless fascist social media campaign, headed in part by the acknowledged Trump operative, Alex Jones...

In the face of armed fascist militias in at least three cities, and aggressive cores of fascists in most others...

Often in the face of extremely heavy-handed police presence...

In the face of snark, rumor-mongering and plain old-fashioned McCarthyism, as well as caving to McCarthyism by many who know better...

And in the face of a media whiteout until the last few days beforehand—they came anyway.  Sometimes in the hundreds and more, sometimes with just a handful of spirited people, four thousand people in over two dozen cities stepped up as a force determined to STOP Trump/Pence fascism on November 4.

Four thousand people participated in the activities of the day—from 1,500 in New York and a thousand in Los Angeles, to 250 in Honolulu and another 300+ in Chicago, to the hearty two dozen in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the ten in Indianapolis and the seven in Akron.  In Austin, Texas 45 Refuse Fascism marchers stood up to over 200 armed and taunting fascists, as well as an intimidating police presence that prevented people from entering the march.  Philadelphia was marked by colorful floats and displays and, there too, determined and focused courage in the face of armed and threatening counter-demonstrators.  Boston saw members of Veterans for Peace and Antifa work together with Refuse Fascism to keep things focused on getting out the message in the face of fascist provocateurs. 

And in Chicago, a drum corps formed on the spot and beat out a rhythm of defiant joy that made you want to dance.

They came for many reasons and for one.  They came because they could not tolerate the demonization of whole sections of people and the retrenchment of white supremacy to a level not seen in several generations with yet worse to come.  They came because they wanted their children to inherit a planet on which people could still live and breathe.  They came because they value the truth.  They came because they will not tolerate “pussy-grabbers” anywhere, least of all the White House.  They came because they refuse to live under a religious government.  They came because they do not want a world where the American president not only threatens but seems to yearn to use nuclear weapons, where the doors are slammed shut on desperate refugees, where suspicion and racism and fear set the terms and make the rules, where the snarl and the sneer are the fixed face of power.  They came because they think that people need to be able to dissent, to stand up or to “take a knee,” as they see fit—without threat and insult from the highest levels, and from a whole fascist movement.  They came because of Charlottesville.  They came because they remember the lessons of history, and because they want a future.  They came because in the name of humanity, they refuse to accept a fascist America.

Together they began to puncture a season of normalization.  Together they began to forge an ethos and culture of determined resistance, of clarity and courage and solidarity in the face of distortion and threat.  Together they forged a path.

A Broad Cross Section

Those who spoke or sent messages represented the embryo of what is needed to amass the millions in the streets.  This included an ecumenical range of clergy, including Muslims; it included Black, Native American, and Latino activists in a number of cities; there were veterans, Cindy Sheehan (the mother of a Gulf War soldier killed in combat who famously confronted George W. Bush) and, in Hawaii, an activist visiting from Korea; statements from activists and artists like Eve Ensler, Arturo O’Farrill and Gloria Steinem were read from the stage; there were environmentalists, members of LGBTQ rights movements, lawyers, and activists from the handicapped rights movement sharing the platform; and there were members of Indivisible or other Democratic Party-affiliated organizations and revolutionary communists.  Musicians and poets graced the stages in many of the cities.

The marchers themselves included parents with children in tow, clusters of students, people from the suburbs and people from the inner cities and projects.  Many were those who have been demonized by Trump, with an especially strong and important showing of immigrants.  Many were from smaller cities, coming together to sometimes even stand against their own families to say NO!, we will not go along with this, we will NOT normalize, we will NOT accommodate.

Students came in ones and twos and sometimes larger clusters: from Boston University, from Wellesley, Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA, University of Southern California, DePaul and Columbia in Chicago, Columbia University and City University of New York in New York, and many others.  No one knows how many held back in the face of the full-volume rumor and smear campaigns.  A student in Chicago who works at an NGO said the office debated coming, but people “feared violence”; she came anyway (and there was no violence).  There was more than one case where a group of people had planned to come but in the end only one or two showed up.  But because enough people were willing to be first, to step into the unknown, others can now follow ... in the numbers that are so urgently needed.

Refuse Fascism refused to cower or be silent in the face of the slander campaign on the one hand and the whiteout on the other.  They combated lies with truth, and aggressively sought out the avenues to tell the real story.  They struggled with reporters, and they raised the money to put an ad in the New York Times.  Too much was and is at stake to let either slander or silence go unchallenged.  By the end, they were able to pierce the fog in a few places and get out the story.

The challenges

The events of November 4 pose big challenges. 

To those who are not fascist and say you oppose Trump, but nevertheless saw fit to attack Refuse Fascism: where is your conscience?  Particularly those of you who sank to McCarthyism and redbaited Refuse Fascism for the presence of members of the Revolutionary Communist Party within it—have you learned nothing from Martin Niemöller, the German minister who, after much delay and dithering, resisted Hitler?  Niemöller, who ended up in a concentration camp, said, “First they came for the communists, but I said nothing because I was not a communist; then they came for the Jews, but I said nothing because I was not a Jew; then they came for me, and there was nobody left to speak up for me.” 

To those who considered and then stood aside, taking the measure of November 4: there is a place for you here.  A path has now been forged; but the times are urgent and the hour is late, and the time is now to begin walking that path.  Whatever the work you are doing now, worthy and important as it is, without massive action in the streets, nonviolent and sustained, demanding the end of this nightmare of a regime, the narrow window now open in which we can prevent the full imposition of fascism will close—clamping down on all resistance, basic rights, and remaking the law. Now is the time to unite broadly, recognizing the grave danger of nuclear war and of catastrophic environmental devastation, that humanity cannot wait. It is only ultimately through the actions of millions of people in the streets in waves of continuing protest, that a great calamity can be averted by the Trump/Pence regime being removed from office.  Now, we must join together with creativity and determination to build up to that point so that thousands become hundreds of thousands and then millions. 

Finally, to those who came out: we must, all of us, learn how to do many things we’ve never done.  We must reach out and bring in others.  We must support each other when we falter, when we fear, when we get discouraged ... as inevitably we will and do. We must remind ourselves of the great stakes, and rise to them, with conviction and courage. We must, most of all, constantly remind ourselves and each other and the people we meet and reach out to of the huge stakes before us, and work together to rise to that.  We can, and we will.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/516/scenes-from-nov-4-across-the-country-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Some Scenes from November 4 Across the Country

Updated November 8, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

We are still learning about all that happened across the country on November 4. The highlights here from a few of the cities give a sense of the day.

New York City

Fifteen hundred people of all ages and nationalities converged on Times Square in Manhattan on Saturday afternoon to declare their determination to “Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!” You could feel the sense of seriousness, as well as the spirit and excitement of being among such a large and diverse group of people who were taking the same pledge not to stop until this fascist regime is driven out of power! Refuse Fascism’s striking white on black signs were everywhere, held up by young and old—”This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime MUST GO!”

The people acting with a real sense of community and purpose included those who had only recently learned about Refuse Fascism and November 4. A college-age woman first learned about the demonstrations from Facebook. She said the Refuse Fascism slogan resonated personally for her because she is a part of the LGBT community: “I can’t stand what this regime represents.” She said she’d been talking with others around her about Refuse Fascism and November 4. What message was she going to take back to the people who must become a part of driving out this regime? “If you’re not a part of this, no one’s going to be here to defend you if you don’t come and defend us.”

A recent college graduate said he agreed strongly—“100 percent”—with Refuse Fascism’s overall slogan. “We’ve seen it before. History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes, as they say... There’s a lot of things going on right now that should worry you. And I’ve read enough to know that something has to be done. This is a start, and the endgame for me, obviously, is the removal of the Trump regime from power. If reality is on our side, and the truth resonates with people, then it will be successful.”

The rally that kicked off the day’s events gave a glimpse of the breadth of people coming forward, as well as a strong orientation for everyone who had come. Sunsara Taylor and Jam No Peanut were co-MCs, and Jay W. Walker, a member of Refuse Fascism’s steering committee and an initiator of Gays Against Guns, spoke for Refuse Fascism NYC. Moving statements of solidarity were read from Eve Ensler, Gloria Steinem, and the Grammy Award-winning composer and musician Arturo O’Farrill. Iman Souleimane Konate spoke for the Muslim community. Andy Zee, a co-initiator of Refuse Fascism, delivered the keynote speech, and the rap artist Immortal Technique spoke briefly and performed a rhyme. Father Luis Barrios, Holyrood Church/Iglesia Santa Cruz and John Jay College, City University of New York, spoke. And there were statements from college and high school students. The leadership from the stage projected the seriousness of this moment and what the people there, and across the country were setting out to do, why this is what had to be done to drive this regime out, and the determination and confidence that it can be achieved.

As the protesters set out on their 50-block march through lower Manhattan—the signs aloft almost as far as you could see, and the chants echoing continuously—the announcement in the streets that a new phase of the struggle to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime had begun reached tens of thousands of New Yorkers, and international tourists. And at the same time, the marchers were sending pictures, videos, and messages everywhere through social media.

Over the next two weeks, there will be continuing protests in New York—and on November 11 and 18, days of national demonstrations called by Refuse Fascism. What began on November 4 needs to go to a new level, and open the way for the thousands to grow to hundreds of thousands and to millions, acting on a unifying demand: the Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!

Austin, Texas: Courage in the Face of Armed Fascist Thugs

About 45 people gathered on the steps of City Hall, rallied, and marched for about a mile through the streets of downtown—in the face of over 200 threatening fascist thugs, many of them openly armed with semi-automatic weapons, knives, machetes, clubs, and shields. Many others boasted of carrying concealed weapons. Some were on rooftops of surrounding buildings. Police prevented an unknown number of people from entering both the rally and march.

The entire event was an intense face-off. But march organizers, MCs, and participants were able to maintain focus on the day’s goal—beginning a process that can turn the thousands who turned out nationwide today into tens of thousands, and ultimately millions, staying in the streets until the nightmare is ended. Several speakers contributed to the rally, among them: a minister, a youth from Austin, a middle-class woman at her first protest, a man who led the crowd in a powerful anti-fascist sing-along, a school teacher who condemned the fascist attacks on public education, another young teacher who passionately and viscerally focused everyone’s attention on people across the planet who already have been killed and victimized by the Trump/Pence regime. All this in the face of a seething mob of fascists and walls of police.

Every time the fascists tried to disrupt the rally and march with their “USA” chants and other provocations, they were drowned out by chants of “humanity first.” This was taken up enthusiastically and energetically by all the protesters. A young Black woman said later that day, “Our actions were righteous, our collectivity, our activities were more powerful than theirs. We’re not afraid of their flags, weapons, president, any of that. They want to create a whole new way of life. We’re saying no, we’re not going to let this country become fascist.”

Afterward, several of the protesters gathered. An immigrant from a Middle Eastern country raised his glass of tea in a toast and said, “Here’s to all the brave ones.” A young Black woman from Houston said, “I was feeling a lot of nervousness this morning, but when I got out there, I felt the nerves went away. We didn’t back down, we kept humanity in our hearts. And I felt the nervousness that had been eating at me went out.”

The march ended with discipline. As the last group of protesters gathered to leave, a knot of dozens of fascists faced off at them, with a double line of police in between. The fascists began reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The protesters still there took a knee, raised a fist, and people concluded the day by drowning out the fascists one more time: “Humanity First, Humanity First.”

Chicago: Marching to the Beat of Anti-Fascist Drummers

At least 300 people, possibly more, participated—a Black man in his 50s said, “It felt like we were thousands.” It was incredibly spirited with a bunch of drummers from Degenerate Artists Against Fascism—the Chicago Tribune described them as the protest’s “percussion section”—keeping the beat. Despite hundreds of bike police lining the march, many people joined in as the march went to Trump Tower.

A diverse mix of rally speakers included Minister Edward Ward, who became notorious in 2016 while a student at DePaul University for shouting down Milo Yiannopoulos; a white high school student; Bishop Gregg Greer; Salman Aftab of the American Muslim Task Force on Civil Rights and Elections; Catholic priest and long-time activist Bob Bossie; a spokesperson from Two Spirits indigenous LGBTQ movement; and Noche Diaz of the Revolution Club.

Among the protesters were at least three groupings of high school students, one from a suburban Catholic school, another from a suburb of Milwaukee. College students came, often in ones or twos, from many different schools, including Columbia College and the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). There were also students from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and Dominican University.

There were also middle-aged and older people there, including a woman who said that she had considered herself a socialist for years but now had to act on her convictions. This was the first time she had been to a protest in many, many years. There were a number of people in Bernie shirts and people who had been active in his campaign.

San Francisco: Hundreds in the Streets Defy City’s Permit Denial

Leading up to November 4, there was an intense battle with the city authorities over the permit for the protest, which, outrageously, was denied. In the face of this, there were at least 300 people at the rally in Union Square in the heart of the downtown shopping area, and over 400 at the high point of the four-mile march that went through the Castro area and the Mission district. Among the speakers at the rally were a representative of La Colectiva; Steve Rapport, member of SF Indivisible and impeachment activist; a student from UC Berkeley; Christina DiEdoardo, civil rights activist and reporter for Bay Area Reporter.

There were small groups of students from Stanford, Berkeley City College, UC Berkeley, SF State University (where students are planning an event on Monday), and others, including high schools. A woman came from Reno, Nevada. There were immigrants, tourists from places like Japan and Italy who joined the protest, and a range of local activists including from Code Pink and Veterans for Peace.

Los Angeles: Religious People, Latino Youth, and Others in Defiant, Spirited Action

About 1,000 people rallied and hundreds marched in downtown. The march was defiant and very spirited with a large grouping of young Latinos. People marched with fists raised and chanted all the way, calling on those on the sidewalks with the chant, “Trump and Pence MUST go, march with us.”

There was a strong presence of religious people—those making statements included Rev. Frank Alton of St. Athanasius Episcopal Church and Father Richard Estrada and Rev. Tom Carey of the Church of the Epiphany. Others speaking at the rally included Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq; Graywolf, Director of AIMSoCal (American Indian Movement Southern California); and Isabel Cardenas, Salvadoran-American activist and an initiator of Refuse Fascism.

A contingent of about two dozen Trump supporters were across the street from the rally, with a few coming across the street and trying to disrupt the protest, to no avail.

Philadelphia: The “Trump Rat” and Giant Nightmare Puppet

The creative ways to bring out the serious message of November 4 included a “Trump Rat,” a 15-food inflatable caricature, with Confederate-flag cufflinks; a giant “Trump/Pence Nightmare” puppet, which people knocked down at one point; a Trump-masked person in an “Alt-White House” that looked like a jail cell; banners and signs contributed by artists; and powerful poems and songs at the rally. A march of 250 people at its height went through the downtown streets, calling on others to join. A group of pro-Trump reactionaries, some armed, followed the march, but as one marcher noted, “We made clear that the people of the world were depending on us, that [the Trumpites] were just another reason why we must get these fascists out of the White House, and people refused to be intimidated.”

Honolulu, Hawaii: An Incredibly Diverse Mix

About 250 people took to the streets of Honolulu in a spirited march through some of the city's busiest streets. They were an incredibly diverse mix. Small kids proudly chanted "No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA" alongside protesters in their 80s. They were of all ethnicities and races—and a few were visitors from other countries. Most brought their own creative handmade signs reflecting the nightmares listed in the Call for November 4th. Others brought flags. Rainbow flags flew beside flags from Korea, Puerto Rico, and Hawai`i, and there wasn't a U.S. flag amongst them.

The march ended at historic Thomas Square, a park of great historical importance for native Hawaiian people, and also the site of Hawai`i's Occupy movement. As marchers entered the park, a band on the stage welcomed them in. People listened raptly as the Refuse Fascism spokesperson delivered the keynote speech. Throughout the afternoon people remarked on its strength and clarity. A visitor from the Philippines asked for a copy so that he could quote it on his blog back home, and another from Myanmar said she had never expected an American to speak so boldly. 

Community activists from a number of organizations spoke to each of the nightmares. Speakers were strong, passionate, and determined. An immigration attorney spoke movingly about the fear of her clients; the executive director of the Sierra Club denounced Trump's environmental policies; and an agricultural specialist from Guatemala addressed the effects of Trump's policies on the world's people. An internationally recognized Korean activist, who has herself visited North Korea seven times, choked up as she talked about the threat of a nuclear attack on North Korea and the effect the attack would have on millions throughout Korea, Guam, and Hawai`i. Col. Ann Wright (ret.) joined her in calling on everyone to stand up against Trump's cries for war. A Hawaiian independence activist denounced the militarization of Hawai`i and the ongoing and increasing attacks on Hawaiian lands and peoples.

Emotion-filled calls for people to fight together, to protect each other, and to have the courage to resist, was one of the real strengths of the rally.

Everyone listened intently as poets spoke to their "souls," spitting out rhymes about everything from Colin Kaepernick to critical thinking in the schools.

Going into November 4th, organizers had received a lot of threats from reactionary trolls saying they were going to shut down the march, disrupt the rally, run protesters over, and the like. When people gathered at the park on the 4th, there were a number of Trumpites hovering nearby, some with their MAGA (Make America Great Again) caps and video cameras. About 6-8 Proud Boys showed up to "interview" protesters for their incendiary community TV show, but when the MC exposed them the crowd treated them with disgust and they backed away.

Boston

Between 125 and150 people came together at the Parkman Bandstand in the Boston Commons to add their voices to those around the country demanding "This Nightmare Must End! The Trump Pence Regime Must Go!" People traveled from as far away as Providence, Rhode Island and Vermont to be part of the day. There was tremendous breadth in the crowd—which included longtime peace activists to first-time participants. There were students from local campuses including Boston University, Wellesley Colllege, and Massachusetts College of the Arts, high school students from a suburban community, and others. People had heard about November 4th from a wide range of sources—including articles that had appeared in the Boston Metro and the Boston Globe in the days leading up to the 4th, as well as various social media sites and from posters they had seen on their campuses. Others came off the Refuse Fascism email blasts or simply by going to the RF website. A number commented that this was the first time they had come to a demonstration. Others spoke to the personal inner struggle to make the decision to step into the streets but of being proud to be there.

In response to heightened concerns of disruptions by fascist thugs, young Antifa activists along with members of Veterans for Peace came both to participate in the event and to work with organizers to prevent the rally from being derailed in any way. When right-wing provocateurs did attempt to disrupt the rally, the vets and the Antifa activists came together with Refuse Fascism marshals to prevent it from occurring.

In addition to Refuse Fascism, there were statements from the Boston May Day Coalition and the Revolutionary Communist Party. There were also statements from Academics Against Fascism, Manny Lusardi, City of Cambridge Immigrant Liaison Office, and a young Salvadoran woman, among others, who spoke with deep passion to the personal experience of her family immigrating to the U.S. The rally was kicked off with a local folk singer doing a rendition of "Deportee." 

As the sun went down and the temperature dropped, a boisterous march of 50 people took off into the busy streets of downtown Boston, periodically stopping and fanning out as the Refuse Fascism light show was projected off the walls of the buildings.

Atlanta

The demo and march of about 175 people was very spirited, in pouring rain. About 30 or so fascists, some armed, tried to disrupt but did not succeed. Many people came despite knowing about threats from fascists, and others joined on the spot. It was a very diverse crowd in age and nationality. As organizers went around the crowd with a microphone for people to speak out, one homeless man said, “My nightmare is that this nightmare won’t end.” Others talked about Trump’s bragging of sexual assault and attacks on LGBTQ people. The aunt of Jamarion Robinson, who was shot 76 times by police, spoke.

Cleveland

About 65 people marched and rallied with great determination and high spirits in the face of armed fascist militias and assorted other fascists trying, and failing, to disrupt. There were people of a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and political perspectives. Many had only recently learned of this movement—from a flier on the street, at their church, or on social media. Others have been following Refuse Fascism from the email list or through the RF website. The spirit of unity, determination, and that we CAN drive them out was projected by the rally MCs and speakers. Several protesters said they had heard the threats of fascist violence against the protest, seriously considered if they should come and decided to because the people have to end this nightmare.

One rally speaker, who identified herself as an organizer in her housing project, said, “We need organization. I’m going to take this to every group I’m part of. It will take different groups to unite and stop Trump. He has to go—cuts in Medicaid, in Medicare, more mass incarceration, he has to go! His cabinet is racist, got to go. We need to have more protest like this. I’m going back and bring many more!” A gay college student spoke with passion on the need to drive out the regime. A gospel singer came to the mic on the spur of the moment and performed Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On” and “Choice of Colors,” a capella. A Black youth who just learned about this movement at his church spoke about how Trump is the worst president he knows of and we need to get him out.

Seattle

A local TV news station reported that about 100 people marched through downtown—“demanding an end to what they called ‘our national nightmare.’” The station quoted one protester saying, “I’m sick of the way things are going in this administration. They’re putting us on the brink of nuclear war. This has to stop.”

An activist with Indivisible was one of the co-MCs at the rally, and among the speakers was Weldon Nisly, a retired Mennonite pastor and a member of the Christian Peacemaker Team who was in Baghdad when George W. Bush launched the “shock and awe” bombing and invasion of Iraq in 2003; and Tae Phoenix, an international recording artist and activist. Jenn Wallen, a Native American scholar, poet, humanitarian, activist, musician, and artist, opened the rally with a convocation and blessing.

 

In a number of cities: Small Groups Acting with Tremendous Resolve and Sense of Community

In some areas, handfuls of people courageously stepped out, defying the fascist threats of violence—with a determined sense of purpose and of being part of a community, a movement across the country that was beginning on that day acting in the name of humanity to call on others to step forward. Among them were:

Indianapolis, Indiana: About a dozen people rallied—opposed by a similar number of pro-Trumpites.

Akron, Ohio: Seven people came out, including Rev. John Beaty—co-convener of Embracing Justice and Peace, member of Akron Interfaith Immigration Advocates, retired United Methodist clergy active in Grace United Church of Christ of Loyal Oak in Norton, Ohio—who made a statement saying in part, “They are talking like fascists, looking like fascists, entertaining white nationalist neo-Nazis in the highest echelons of government. Do you think they just might be fascists? This Nightmare Must End! The Trump/Pence regime MUST GO!”

Pittsfield, Massachusetts: The local newspaper, Berkshire Eagle, reported in part: “Shortly after 1 p.m., about two dozen people had gathered at Park Square, holding signs and waving at passing motorists. Indivisible Pittsfield organized the small rally in solidarity with a national push against what organizers say is a shift toward political fascism.”

Falmouth, Massachusetts:


 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/516/voices-from-november-4-it-begins-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Voices from November 4: It Begins

November 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Revcom.us was out in the midst of November 4: It Begins, talking with a wide variety of people across the country. We spoke with people who have been organizing for Refuse Fascism and with people who just heard of Nov 4 and took up the demand: This Nightmare Must End! The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! People protesting came from a wide range of views, perspectives, and perceptions of the problem and the solution. But they were united in their commitment to ending this nightmare for humanity, advancing in the face of fascist thugs and a heavy police presence. We are publishing here both full interviews in some instances and excerpts of others done in a number of the cities where there were protests on November 4. Our readers will find that they get a picture of many different people who stepped out on November 4, why they did step out, and how they look at the battle ahead to drive out the Trump/Pence regime. This is a glimpse of both the potential forces who can come together to make the vision of millions of people in the streets in continuing protest a reality, and of the challenges we face.

Also read the November 4 Keynote speech from Refuse Fascism:
"Who will end this nightmare? WE WILL"

Click for interviews from:

New York City

Chicago

Austin, Texas

Los Angeles

San Francisco

~~~~~~~~~

New York City

New York City, November 4

Interview #1

Q: Are you part of Refuse Fascism?

A: I just signed up today. Internet murmuring let me know about the event.

I’ve been engaging in civil disobedience and protesting since Trump’s election every chance I get. I think it is the most reliable and effective way of showing opposition at this point. And it’s important for me to do something so that nothing is done to me or my friends by people who are in power.

We’ve seen it before. History doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes, as they say. If you’ve read enough books, there’s a lot of things going on right now that should worry you. And I’ve read enough while I still can that, yeah, something has to be done. This is a step, a start, and the end for me is obviously seeing the removal of the Trump regime from power and moving the United States towards more of a social democracy. To unfold socialist policies in the U.S. that help working people and poor people instead of propping up a rotten oligarchy that only works for those in power, only helps maintain them.

Q: The orientation has been “November 4: It Begins.” What message do we send from here to people that should be here?

A: Well, I think you have a range of people. You get it instantly, you get people who need something that personally infringes upon their day-to-day in order to get involved, and you get people that need to have it explained to them... or need an offer to get out. I think it starts small, people in your life, friends and family, and people close to you and trying to bring them into it. I think it’s all causes, ‘cause some have some more personal attachment to LGBTQ rights, some people have more attachment to race issues in the United States. Some people have more attachment to economic issues. All of them at this time are allied against the same enemy. And that is something that I think in more modern history, the targets have been more diverse, they have been more spread out, they have been more obscured behind organizations and more indirect language. And now it’s pretty direct, and it’s pretty obvious, and it’s pretty in your face. And if you can build that network of allies, then I think it’s an opportunity to save the country before it’s too late.

Q: What you said is very important, and it’s also a hurdle we have to get over. There have been very powerful demonstrations, but in and of themselves, this regime can deal with them. So what this is very clear about, is they have to be driven out. Nothing short of that.

A: Yeah, definitely, definitely. I think the reality is on the side of the people working against Trump. And it starts small and it needs to grow. If reality is on our side, and the truth resonates with people, then it will be successful.

Q: When you leave here, do you have groups of people you are gonna go to?

A: I have very politically active friends, no specific organizations. On social media, I have people who I’ve been Instagramming about whole thing. I mean every single individual just has to organically start to be an impetus to move forward the cause.

New York City, November 4

I just graduated from the university with a degree in economics and philosophy. And I live in New York, so I’ll be at all these events. I just signed Refuse Fascism card. I’m excited.

Interview #2

Q: When did you hear about Refuse Fascism?

A: Well, I just went out to protest the day the elections happened, and I have been going to protests ever since, and you guys have always been around, ever since elections I assume. I think I ran into you guys in some Black Lives Matter.

Q: So what made you decide to come today?

A: I’ve been trying to get out and protest whenever I can because the regime is unacceptable and dangerous for the planet. It’s everyone’s problem. So that’s why I’m out

Q: The slogan of Refuse Fascism is “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America! This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!”...

A: Yes. Exactly... well I’m a socialist, and I come from a country that is founded on socialism, but also on racism.

Q: Where...

A: Israel... and I tried to stand up for the oppressed there and I’ll try to do the same here. So I think the slogan is great. It is very universal. It is a problem for humanity and for humanity’s future. And having fascism and fossil fuels are one and the same at the end of the day. So ... wanting a future for future generations is I guess why we’re all here.

Q: What message do we take out of here in mobilizing more and more people to become part of a movement to drive them out?

A: I would like for people to feel empowered as individuals to change, on account of the fact that in this sad corporate country individuals have been feeling stripped of their agency and their voice and their basic rights, and their civil rights, and hopefully.... Well, we do have our bodies and we can put our bodies on the street, and hopefully we will inspire each other to do more of that. And I also think to do that you do want to remain you.

Interview #3

Q: Tell me where you’re from, what country.

A: I’m from France and I’m here with my daughter.

Q: You heard about it two days ago. Is that right?

A: Yeah, we were walking in Harlem, we got the flyer, and then we went to a bookstore in Harlem, a revolutionary bookstore. We just passed by it and I went in and we talked to a woman there and she told us about it. Today, we just went by and we came down with them.

Q: What made you decide to come here?

A: Well, I’m against Trump, like most people in France, but I was also curious. We wanted to know what is going on in the States, really, rather than just being a regular tourist, in Times Square, and demonstrating, and walking around. So that was interesting talking to people, you know.

Q: What did you learn?

A: That there were communists in America... I mean, I knew a little bit, but I never talked to anyone, like that. And other things they told me I had already heard. Other people share these opinions, not only against Trump, but how Trump happened. They told me their point of view about Obama. I don’t have really an opinion on that because I’m not qualified for it since I’m from France. But this isn’t just here, you know. You read things like that in France, you know. In France, I guess, we get more left-wing point of views from abroad than right-wing point of views at least from what I am reading. It’s always interesting to talk to people and to meet them. It was nice to see also, we were like 10 maybe in the subway all together, and multi-racial, we had like Black people, white people, Latino people, it was 10 people, and so that was nice.

Interview #4, with an ex-prisoner

Q: Which of the nightmares most compelled you to come out here?

A: I know that if it can happen to you it can happen to me. I mean I understand that this man is nuts, not right. I want to be a part of what’s right. I done did wrong in my life too many times. I want to stand up for what’s right, and if I have to be wherever you are I want to be here.

Q: You know that call has gone out: November 4: It Begins! What do you think it will take from here and do you see your role in it from today?

A: From today I just see us speaking up, standing up and seriously walking the walk. Whatever it is that I have to do I’m going to do it.

Q: In going out to bring more people to this movement, what message do you think we should bring to them?

A: Real simple. First of all, stop with color stuff. If you’re right, you’re right. If you’re wrong, you’re wrong. Because right comes in so many beautiful colors. And negative come in the same thing. But we must stand up for what’s right. Don’t talk about it, be about it. That’s what I’m saying. I don’t care what color you are, come and be a part of what’s right. That’s all. What happens to you is going to happen to him. But if we stand up, then these people know that we do care about what’s going on.

Interview #5

Q: Tell me your role in this whole movement.

A: I basically participate in helping set up. I’m passing out flyers right now. I’m here representing my organization and I’m also going to march with everyone else to basically refuse fascism.

Q: The slogan of Refuse Fascism is In The Name of Humanity We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America. This Nightmare Must End. The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

A: I think it’s great. And specifically awesome for the national role of this country. Me, I believe that in order to truly provide a peace and loving world we need to expand beyond America. We need to be able to expand into the entire world and instead of being very divisive by nationalism we instead could be able to gain leeway and break the boundary of race, religion, ideology, gender and how much we make, in terms of economically.

Q: What message do we take back to people to actually bring more and more people into this movement?

A: Instead of focusing on who’s suffering more, we should just focus on being able to come together as one group, unite in solidarity in order to be able to succeed in destroying fascism for what it is. And then after we could be able to resolve each other’s problems peacefully without the hate, without the division, without people trying to get us to go against each other.

Return to top

 

~~~~~~~~~

CHICAGO

Chicago, November 4

A Black woman

Q: So the idea here for November 4 is This Nightmare Must End! Which part of the nightmare brought you here today?

A: The whole injustice of this whole administration. They are so blatant with their thoughts and actions that they think that they can get away with it. They now think they’re in power. When we had Barack Obama as president that’s where we wanted America to be. But what Trump has showed us is really where some parts of America still is. We’ve come a long way but we still have a long way to go. So, whenever we can come together and to show that we are against this, that’s what I’m supporting.

Q: Where do you see it going from here? Refuse Fascism is talking about massive and sustained demonstrations until they’re driven out.

A: Well, I think that we’re going to have to do the same thing we did in the ’60s. No one event changed. It was many events that brought about the change. So we have to continue to have events, and even though, small or large, we have to continue to do this. I think that the masses are the makers of history, so with that I know that wherever we come together against injustice we will win.

Q: Well, that might be the answer to my next question. What would you like to say to other people to get them involved in this?

A: Oh, you gotta do something. You can’t stand on the sidelines. You have to be involved. You can be involved, maybe you’re not the one to be out here on the front lines of protest, maybe you the one to help make the signs, help making the banners, making the phone calls, and also making sure that other people hear about. But you have to do something. We cannot just not do nothing.

Q: Anything else you want to add?

A: Getting ready for the revolution!

A DACA student

Q: Refuse Fascism says this is a nightmare for humanity and it has to end. Are there particular pieces of this nightmare that brought you out here?

A: Um, basically the thing that tore me apart is Trump took my DACA, the DACA of all the students that were here. And I am basically afraid to walk to school or even being taken away from ... my parents who worked so hard for it. Why would you do that? To people who basically worked so hard for this country and you’re just doing that and it’s pissing me off, I need my voice to be spoken. Don’t just be quiet for this.

Q: What do you think it’s going to take for the thousands today to turn into millions?

A: We need to build. What we really need is to stop fighting and really start putting your hands together because if you start seeing that the country and the economy is going down you really need to open your eyes to know that your child and your son is in danger. This is basically repeating history all over again. We don’t want history to repeat again. We want it to be much better than what it was before.

Q: Is there something you especially want to say to people?

A: What I personally want to say to people is: people, please stop being blind, stop having your eyes closed for so long, say something, open up, walk yourself and make this happen. Get him out of here!

Woman and her grandson, a high school student

Q: A slogan for Refuse Fascism is This Is a Nightmare—We Owe It To Humanity to End It. Is there a piece of this nightmare from Trump/Pence that you are most concerned about?

Grandma: I think I’m most concerned about the division I see taking place in the country. I think that’s the part that’s most concerning for me. It’s just widening the division of races, of people, period. That’s the part that I don’t like. It’s the confusion, it’s the anger, the rage that I see amongst the people. That’s the part that troubles me.

HS Student: Well, I’d say that it’s this, in my case... it’s not really about America at all to him [Trump], it’s more about what’s best for his rep and his life and he’s not really focusing on America’s unity anymore. It’s more about him, I think. And that’s really worrying me because he’s kind of using and manipulating his people, all the people in the United States with his words that are false, and it’s kind of, again, supporting the division of races. Priorities of things that actually really matter, he’s really bringing down and shading over that shouldn’t be shaded over.

Q: The plan behind this today is that this is the beginning and in the following days thousands of people will grow to tens of thousands, there’ll be demonstrations big and small until we get to the point where there’s millions of people in the streets saying this regime has to end. Here’s my question: What would have to happen for things to grow from thousands to millions? For millions of people to be in the streets, what would have to change?

HS Student: People would have to know the result of it, and I think if they find their reasoning for being out in the street is worth it and that there will be a change then the number of people that are willing to be supportive of it will increase. So they’ll know what they’re doing is really going to spark a change in the U.S.

Q: How old are you?

HS Student: I’m 14.

Q: What would you personally like to say to all the people that are starting to wake up to this?

HS Student: Oh, I’d probably say that you have to really look at the things that Trump isn’t really saying and look at the people that are going against him and listen to what they’re saying because that’s really the truth. Because he’s really saying things that aren’t true about what he’s trying to promote, in order for people to get on his side again, because he’s really focused on supporting himself. And that you should probably really listen to the people that are going against him, that have some intellectual evidence about it, because that’s really what matters, and most of it is the right thing to listen to. Because his words are really false.

Q: Grandma, I want you to answer that too: What do you have to say to the people... you know some stuff, you’ve been around... what do you have to say to the people today to make this grow into the movement it needs to be?

Grandma: I think that one of the things that’s going to cause it to grow is awareness, just like you shared with us today, just a little bit of what’s going on. I think awareness is really important and helping people to see how this is impacting not just our nation but them on an individual level. I think when things begin to touch people on an individual level, they move to action much quicker than they may on a corporate level. I think that’s important that they understand what some of the legislation... how it’s going to affect them, not just short term, but long term, how it’s going to affect them on a personal level.

Q: Thank you very much.

Tio Hardiman, Violence Interrupters

Q: What part of the nightmare brought you out here today?

A: I’m out here because Donald Trump is racist. Pence is a racist. We’re tired of racism, discrimination and privilege, white privilege in particular. Trump has set the country back, as far as the healing process. Because he’s brought policies and his racist agenda to change a few of the things from the past and then if we don’t stand up to guys like Donald Trump, racism will consume the United States. And we got a lot of good white people, a lot of good Black people, a lot of good Hispanic people. And we’re all human beings. Asian people, African people. There’s no time for racism. There’s no way in the world that a president of the United States should be in that office if he’s a known racist. It’s unacceptable. That’s why I’m out here—speaking truth to power.

Chicago, November 4

Q: It begins today. How do you see... what’s it going to take to get them out of power?

A: Well, that’s a good question. It’s going to take millions and millions of people that are fed up with these billionaires out here trying to gain more power by running for elected office, especially the president, even the billionaires running for governor of Illinois. We got to say no to these billionaires. But what is going to happen is this: as long as we organize millions and millions of brothers and sisters, working class, poor people, middle class people, people that are really concerned about change, we can get Donald Trump out of there and get him impeached. We have to put pressure on the congressmen, pressure on the U.S. senators and make sure they’re doing their jobs to impeach this hypocrite. A lot of information is coming out now about the Russian involvement in the election, a lot of information coming out about some of his own staff are being... you know, like they had to step down. He keeps changing staff every other day, like playing a piano, a different chord on the piano. We gotta get rid of this racist bastard as president. That’s the reality. That’s why I’m out here. That’s my contribution to the movement.

A cisgender straight woman and a transgender woman

Q: How did you hear about this demonstration?

A1: We actually just heard about it yesterday on social media and we wanted to join in because we obviously do not agree with anything that Trump is doing. This is kind of a last-minute thing but we still wanted to participate.

Q: This is a nightmare for humanity. That’s what the unifying thing is. Is there a particular part of this nightmare that drew you to be here?

A1: I think for me, personally, it was everything that’s been going on with transgender people in the military because I support the military very much, and then I also have so many good friends who are transgender who want to join the military but they are facing so many difficulties and issues. And so I wanted to be here to kind of support them in that mission.

A2: I think his sexism and racism that’s happening right now have become very strong recently, and the homophobia. I’m a transgender woman and I’m like really scared to leave my house because I’ve had bad death threats. I’m also an immigrant, so it’s like a lot of things. It’s just like one after the other. It’s just like the fear of losing my rights in this country.

Q: What do you think it will take for the thousands to turn into the millions it’s gonna take to drive out this regime?

A1: I think it’s going to take continued work and it’s gonna take continued sharing of correct information and exposing of the Trump/Pence regime.

A2: I agree. I think if we all get together and we have more protests and we make it known that we’re not happy about this....

Q: Is there some personal message you’d like to send to people about why you’re here?

A2: I’m here because I’m a transgender woman in America and I don’t want my rights taken away from me. And I want other transgender women not to be scared.

A1: And I’m here because I’m an ally. I don’t experience... as a cisgender straight woman, I don’t experience everything that minorities go through but I want people to know that I’m an ally and that I’m here to support you and that there are plenty of allies out there who may not understand completely what you’re going through but who still back you up and still want equality.

Chicago high school student who spoke at the rally

Q: So here we are with one of the speakers. She’s a student at Lane Tech High School. What part of the nightmare brought you into this movement and how did you get involved?

A: Well, I’m LGBT, so that obviously made me aware of the problem for those people, but essentially I’m not here for myself. I am a white student. I’m someone with tremendous privilege and I came out because I see the policies that are happening, especially I started coming out here after seeing the Nazis organizing in Charlottesville and seeing them murder Heather Heyer. And it’s just... the evil... we have to all do something to stop it. Nobody can be a bystander, nobody can just sit back and let evil take over the country.

Q: You’ve been involved for how long?

A: Specifically with Refuse Fascism for about two or three months. I mean, I came out to protests on Inauguration Day, but I wasn’t with Refuse Fascism then and I kind of dropped off during the school year. I saw the event they organized after what happened at Charlottesville. I just saw the rally downtown and I saw the event on Facebook and then after the rally I just started talking to a member of Refuse Fascism.

Q: What do you think we need to do going forward to bring about our goal?

A: I think the best thing we can do is keep getting the message out there that this is fascism and that nobody can be a bystander, we all have to do our part to act. And I think that includes getting in the streets. I think that includes reaching out to our friends and our family and educating them and trying to get them to come out here too. So, the whole one-body-becomes-ten kind of thing. And so we can organize this movement so eventually there’s enough people that the government’s going to have to listen to us.

Q: What would you say to other people to get them involved?

A: I would say to look at what Trump and Pence’s policies are doing, really look at them. Even if you aren’t personally affected by any of them you have to know somebody who is, you have to have a friend or family member who is gay or Black or Latino, an immigrant, disabled. No one except a very, very, very few are unaffected, and injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere. And there’s no freedom if there’s someone who’s enslaved. There’s no freedom for anyone if there are people who are enslaved in this world. So we all... to ensure freedom for every human being we all have to... goddamn, tell these fascists that we’re not going to stand for this. We’re not going to stand for these policies that rob people of their humanity.

Q: In your speech you said something about how you came to understand something about history that helped you understand Trump.

A: I’m someone who always liked history and has always studied history. I mean, I’ve done... I’ve learned about the rise of fascism in Italy and Germany in the 1920s and 1930s through class, taking European history and things like that. We have to memorize the cause, like what caused this? Learning those, it’s easy to see how the same sort of causes, the same things that were happening in 1931 and 1932 are happening now. And I think, yes, knowing history has made me more aware of the warning signs, yes. I encourage others to do the same. I mean, open a book. History is out there, it’s free to read about.

Two women who went to Standing Rock

Q: Refuse Fascism says that we gotta drive out the Trump/Pence regime and this nightmare must end. What part of the nightmare brought you guys out here today? How did you find out about it, as well?

A1: We look for people, things like this. We started at Standing Rock and it changed our lives. And we know that we have to clean up our act. That’s why we came. We heard about you guys on Facebook, I think.

Q: What do you think it’s actually going to take to drive out this regime?

A1: I think it’s going to take a lot of people and the more people the better.

Q: Do you see yourselves having a role in making that happen?

A2: Oh yes, we’re doing everything we can, we go to different places. We’re here for everybody, we put our energy out there every day.

Q: One last question. If there’s a message you wanted to put to other people who aren’t here today but should have been—what would you want to tell them?

A1: You should be here. It’s important.

A2: We’re trying to save this planet; we’re trying to get rid of this government.

A1: We need something new, that’s what we need.

Q: How did the situation at Standing Rock change your lives?

A2: Well, one thing, we’ve seen the spirit of people. It woke us up on what’s going on and what the military force there was doing and what kind of power they’re trying to push on us. Things they’ll do to unarmed people that were peaceful in their own lands, and grabbing.... We pay attention to a lot of things that are happening now.

Flint, Michigan, has no water for three years, going on the fourth year. No water for three years, poisoned, the lead poisoning, all kinds of bacteria poisonings. They’re corrupt. The local government’s corrupt, right down to their mayor, right down to their governor. They’re starting to get some indictments now for manslaughter. We go there frequently.

Four high school women

Q: What part of the nightmare brought you guys here today?

A: Just all the encompassing events that Trump has navigated, I guess, just like... I don’t want to name specifics. Do you guys want to jump in?

A: The part of the nightmare that called me here and into action and stuff is that me myself feeling powerless and the people I care about, people that I don’t know, and people that are just people feeling powerless because of systems put against us. And I honestly believe that the entire system needs to be fucking overthrown and that this is one of the steps to doing so and protesting is one of the steps to doing that. So, getting power in other ways, like it all needs to happen at once. And you can participate as much as you can and, like, and it’s just your responsibility if you want to have empathy for other people and you want to take action, you just do it how you can and however you’re able to and what resources and stuff. These for today are my resources to come here and be out here, so, yeah.

A: Actually as a collective society, like I don’t know how we’ve allowed ourselves to put a man into power who is not for us as a whole, like at all, like he doesn’t... he has no moral compass, really. I mean, he does, but just like it doesn’t navigate him to a point where everyone is going to be satisfied and taken care of. And just like I think it’s our responsibility now to reverse that, but what we have done. So that’s what’s brought me here. We have to correct our own society’s actions. And that might be something that’s hard to do because we did it. Like I was not a part of that, but others were very much a part of that. We have to be bigger than that, do you know what I mean?

Q: How did you find out about this?

A: I’m here on behalf of Fempowerment, which is an intersectional feminist youth-led organization that’s been around for about a year. And we come to protests as a group, and so part of what the organizers do is we look up and check our resources online, newspapers, upcoming protests, and then we go on all the networks and get people together. And so, yeah.

Q: How do you see your role in helping to actually take this regime down?

A: Well, especially with teenagers, we can’t vote, so this is one of the only times that we get a say. And not even a say, I guess that’s the wrong word—but just like a voice, which I don’t know....

A: His [Trump’s] job is so much bigger than who he is and that’s something he doesn’t understand. And also, like, he’s driven by spite a lot of the time, like with his policies, they come from reversing whatever Obama had done. Like it’s not even like he has his own independent ideas, it’s just like: fuck you, Obama, this is what I’m gonna do. So, like, you’re not like... you don’t even have the capability to be a thoughtful individual and so just like...

A: Make a better choice...

A: Make a better choice. It’s really about making a better choice. Because I don’t want to be somewhere like... it’s 2017... that doesn’t mean anything, you know. It’s like there’s the 1950s, but it is 2017. There’s been hellalong and we’re still talking about the same thing, and it’s time to find something new to talk about. We shouldn’t have to fight for fundamental rights. You know, Black Lives Matter—that shouldn’t have to be a movement. People should just know that. Like everybody should just know that lives matter, like if you’re... and not even human lives. Like the planet, the Earth—that is a fucking life. But we just took over this shit and people disrespect it constantly. And putting Trump in office is one of the biggest offenses. Yeah, because like who are we to decide the fate of something that was before us? I don’t know, I have more to say, but.... I also have a really big headache from all of us.

Q: There is a system that’s behind all these horrors—it isn’t going to stop unless we deal with that. Getting rid of the Trump/Pence regime is something we have to go through because if they consolidate this fascist power it’s going to be a lot harder to ever make a revolution.

A: Oh yeah.

A: I love how we call it a regime, just because that’s what it is. Like with Columbus Day, let’s not call it Columbus Day, let’s call it the Killing of Indigenous People Day. Just like once you identify what it is people automatically become more aware and more keen to wanting to fix the thing. Like I think that’s why people still have barbecues on Columbus, because it’s like: oh, this dude who colonized America you probably wouldn’t have a happy meal with your family if you knew what it is actually about. We need to do more of that.

A new member of the Revolution Club, Chicago

Revolution Club, Chicago

Q: Refuse Fascism put out the stance that in the name of humanity we must end this nightmare.

A: The nightmare for human lives brought me out here to be amongst the people to fight for a cause that’s... it’s insane. I mean, people are dying everywhere. All lives matter, Black lives matter, LGBT matters. And as far as Trump’s concerned, we all don’t matter. We’re like nothing—minorities, he wants to put walls up, people’s not getting relief—it’s tragic. And if we all love each other I feel we all need to come together in the name of humanity to get him and Pence out of the office. And anyone who follows.

Q: How’d you find out about this?

A: Refuse Fascism. So, I became a part of the revolution.

Q: We’re talking about we have to drive this fascist regime out. How do you see what it’s going to take to do that?

A: Continue doing what we doing, coming into the streets, spreading the word and we won’t stop, we won’t lay down for fascism. Just won’t, we can’t.

Q: What do you think your role is in that?

A: To be out here, help out. I don’t know... you kind of put me on the spot. Help out wherever I can, to enlighten people about what’s going on. If I can go out to help those who need help, I plan on traveling to wherever I can to help out. I’m not young anymore. I’m out of school. I have children, and if my children have to grow up in this country I want to make it the best country that it can be. And it starts with me just going out to the street and bringing everybody else with me, explaining to my children. It starts with the family first.

Q: What message do you have to people who need to be out here?

A: In the name of humanity, come out. Come to the streets, don’t stand for somebody who wants to walk up to a woman, grab her pussy or do whatever he feels he can just because he’s the president or just because he has money. Our lives matter. Somebody who’s dying, someone who’s sick—just because it’s the color of our skin we do NOT not matter. We matter. We’re not minor, there’s nothing minor about us. No minority.

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Austin, Texas

Interview #1

Q: You were part of organizing for the November 4 event—why was that important to you?

A: Knowing what I know of the history of Nazi Germany, and what Donald Trump has done and said they want to do since they took office, pretty much they’re going the same route as the Nazis did in Germany, with the only difference they have their finger on nuclear weapons. But I’ve seen also in the past rallies in Houston and Austin, these groups coming out, Texas Freedom Force, whatever, there are several groups. And they want to come to the streets and scare people off so they get their foothold on the ground, and establish pretty much what Trump is trying to do, and establish a fascist society, a fascist environment so people won’t be able to speak up and they’ll be scared to speak up. So if we don’t stand against this right now, and back off and go to our homes and get scared, for sure what we’ll have to face is what Jews and others, communists and others faced in Nazi Germany.

Q: What troubles you most about Trump and Pence and their whole regime?

A: Well, number one, they’re threatening to attack North Korea, and that’s 25 million people. I mean, these are human beings on the other side of the world. I don’t know any single one of them, but they’re people like us. So, if they’re threatening to drop bombs and kill 25 million people, what’s to stop them from doing it in other places, from doing it here?

Q: What did you think of the rally and march yesterday?

A: I think even though we were outnumbered, we were very powerful, we stood our ground, we got our message out there. They (the fascists) were the ones who were frustrated, and they couldn’t stand what we were doing and saying. We stuck to our message pretty much, and we showed them we’re not gonna back off, we’re not scared of them.

Q: What was that message, when you say we stuck to our message?

A: That the Trump and Pence regime has to go. It’s a fascist regime, and people in their millions need to come out in the streets to make this happen--for humanity.

Interview #2

Q: Why did you think it was important for you to be part of November 4?

A: It was important for me, because I believe when people see an injustice, we should stand up, and we need to challenge ourselves to stand up, refuse to accept injustices happening in America. We should all challenge ourselves, and have courage, so that’s why I went, because I felt my courage had to outweigh my fear.

Q: What troubles you most about the Trump/Pence regime?

A: What troubles me most about the Trump Pence Regime is that I believe there’s gonna come a time when we’re not allowed to stand up and oppose the wrongs that we see happening around us. That’s what troubles me the most, the fact that I see people supposed to be the opposition, not standing up and saying something is wrong, they’re being silenced in many ways. And I feel like there’s gonna come a time when we’re not gonna be able to speak, strictly because of what type of regime this is, and how they feel about the opposition. For instance, the Black Identity Extremism, the protesters who were arrested at the inauguration, and are facing charges with many years. That’s what I fear the most about this regime.

Q: What did you think about the rally and march?

A: I think we were very powerful. Our message was very clear, it shows a very stark contrast between the people who were standing for humanity, and the people who are supporters of Trump. They reflected what Trump represents, they reflected Trump’s words. Violence, misogyny, right wing extremism, white supremacy. And we represented humanity, we had a clear focus, a clear message. And ours was way more powerful, though we were outnumbered.

It’s important for people to come out, and support this movement to get rid of the Trump/Pence Regime. Everybody I’ve talked to even at Texas Southern University, my family, everybody sees that there’s a problem, but people have to overcome the fear they have. Right now, we can’t ignore there’s a problem. The real question is, what will people do. Are people going to overcome their fear and stand up instead of cowering? We need more people that’s gonna have courage and stand up against this, instead of so-called leaving it up to Congress. We have to get rid of this administration.

A young woman from Austin suburb

Q: Why did you participate and organize for the November 4 demonstration in Austin?

A: Well, I got involved through a protest for health care, and I met some people there from Refuse Fascism who were there as well. And I started listening to their message, and doing some research on it, and decided to get involved. I went to a meeting they were having, got to hear more about it, got some more information, and started hearing about this march. And through talking to other organizers, just got more and more upset about what’s going on, and wanted to be a part of that. Even though towards the end it was apparent there was going to be a lot of opposition to what we were doing with the march.

I felt it was really a moral duty for myself to not let the fear and the fear mongering and the threats and all that get over…I felt it was probably, for me anyway, kind of an empty threat since I felt so strongly about being there and getting our message through. I’ve had a lot of good response in the outreach we did. I know in my heart there are a lot of people who feel this way as well, although I think those people were probably scared by the rhetoric from the other side. I still feel it’s a very important message to get through.

Q: You said you had done some research into the meaning of fascism?

A: Growing up, going to high school, you learn about history, you learn about dictators, I don’t remember the word fascism being really defined for me. Maybe that’s my fault, maybe the education system. But when that was being used, when I first started reading the literature, I thought, wow, that seems a little inflammatory, what is that? And how does it relate to what’s going on. I really had to do my research, and looked up exactly what it is, and the history on all that. And how it pertains to what’s happening now. And I saw a lot of similarities.

And when I went to that first meeting, there was a lady there talking about her country was occupied by the Hitler regime way back when. She grew up in this country, and knew what fascism is, what nationalism is, here in this country, we’ve never been occupied, never experienced those things. For me, this was kind of a wake up, these things have happened and they are happening, and they’re things Trump and Pence and this whole regime are really going by the playbook of how to turn this country into a fascist country. I’m just amazed that they’re really doing it, that’s really their goal. I’m shocked that its happening here in America. And I can’t let it happen.

Q: What did you think of the rally and march yesterday?

A: I knew it... I hoped it would be something like the Women’s march, where everyone gets behind it…but with the rhetoric and the threats out there, I kind of understand where people were coming from. Not everyone has the conviction to go up against hate. But I thought it was very important and thought it went off really well. Austin police were serious, but in turn they made such a barrier that even people who wanted to participate were discouraged, kept away from crossing that line. It could have been better if that other element wasn’t there. But the ones there were really determined.

I appreciate all that everyone has done. I know there are so many people out there. I feel like we have to keep trying to reach them. One other thing—I was so glad to learn about Eve Ensler. I’d heard the name but didn’t know what she had done, and I’ve been reading about her since I got home after the march!

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Los Angeles Interviews:

Black man, early 30s, part-time worker in marketing department of an HMO

I had to come out today because the Trump/Pence agenda is killing America. It is killing America! And I’ve been watching this madness without doing anything active and Connie (his partner) said that we have to get out, we have to do something. I got involved with this because of the Refuse Fascism outreach. Listen, it’s really important. It’s really important. This is all over Nazi Germany coming again. I’m sorry but when you have people that are picking off the freedom of the press, they’re picking off minority groups, their picking off immigrants, they’re picking off homosexuals. They’re picking off lesbian, gay, bi and transsexuals. They’re asking law enforcement to do things that law enforcement should never do, which is to apply the law unequally. And the president, of all people, wouldn’t show his damn taxes. What the hell is that? And he wants to reform taxes. Come on, how you gonna reform taxes when you won’t show your own tax returns? And this man is the leader of our country. He is an embarrassment, he is a total embarrassment when he speaks, when he tweets and it makes us sick just to see him being the president of these United States. He’s a divider and not a uniter.

Responding to question about staying in the streets day after day until the regime is driven out.
I think it’s a great goal! Fascism is where we’re looking at now. All we have to do is look back in history, and we don’t have to look back that far. I look at the South American fascist regimes, I look at the fascist regimes in the 1930s and ’40s and if you just look at the grassroots, if you just look at how things started, this is how they start. This is how it starts! So we have to say No More. We have to say No More! And this is grassroots, this is how it begins. We don’t have a tidal wave, a swell, yet but I’m believing that it will swell.

It’s a goal and a very high and lofty goal to reach. But let me say this: if we don’t do something, if we don’t do something, it will happen to us just like they said. First they came for the trade unionists, then they came for the disabled, then they came for the homosexuals, then they came for the Jews. And then there was no one left when they come for you. So I say this, step out now! I don’t know if we will make it happen the way we think it should happen, but I know that we have to do something. Our conscience, as patriotic Americans, should not allow us to just stand and do nothing, or sit and do nothing. And listening to the lies from the White House, listening to the lies from the fake news at Fox that more Americans listen to and watch than anyone else, it’s just sickening. We’re just getting used to lies, we’re getting used to disinformation and it’s just being twisted so that the truth will be hardly recognizable when they are done with it.

Roger, teacher in San Bernardino

What brought him to this movement.
Having a perspective on what’s happened in the past and being able to see trends and the road we’re on and how we’re very close to a very dangerous situation of a fascist state. We’ve been on this road for a while, but the election of Trump and the movement that got him into power has activated a sleeping monster. If you see this alt-right, it has all the characteristics of fascism—rabid nationalism that makes anything that is not their conception is un-American, less valuable. It’s dehumanizing to the rest of the world. There’s a racist character to it. There’s just so many aspects of it that are really terrifying and I just feel that it is so important that we drive them out as a part of anything that we can do to make the world better has to involve this.

Responding to a question about the threat posed by the regime to the continued existence of humanity.
I think it is possible. I mean we’ve got enough nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal to basically wipe our all human life on this Earth. And he has shown a terrifying willingness, even eagerness, to use those. I mean he has made statements saying “why can’t we use our nuclear weapons?” And he has made comments about trying to go to war with North Korea and threatened to completely obliterate them and wipe them off of the face of the Earth. And that is a terrifying statement. That could very easily spread into something that would be catastrophic for all of humanity―not just for the United States, not just for the people of North Korea who he plans to use them on, but something like that could very quickly escalate into something catastrophic for all life everywhere on the planet.

Responding to the point that movement is calling for removal of Trump and Pence.
Yes! Because Trump is almost like the last piece of the puzzle as far as creating a fascist dictatorship that we’re on the verge of here. And Mike Pence is part of an older and more deeply rooted fascistic tradition in America which is that of the Christian fascists. This has been revived in Dominionism and we’ve had threads of this going out for quite a long time. We’ve seen in Mike Pence... I mean he has advocated conversion therapy to basically electrocute gay people to “turn them straight.” And he has advocated using Christian values as an excuse for stripping rights from women and LGBT people. This kind of biblical literalism can lead down some very dark roads that can impact everyone, not just our LGBT communities and not even just women—as if that was not enough on its own, with women making up half of this world. That should be enough on its own. But even without that, if you follow this biblical literalist tradition to its extreme, you can have people, children killed for rebelling against their parents, for acting up against their parents. If you followed this to its logical conclusion this is the kind of society that they would be willing to implement in order to maintain their control. Ultimately, I see this fascist movement is a deeply flawed and deeply dangerous attempt to resolve the contradictions of capitalism that have failed. And I think that the people who have been drawn to it, some of them are absolutely true believers but others have been suckered into accepting a kind of populist demagoguery that has promised them a fix for some very real problems. But this kind of Orwellian fascism that we’re headed towards only resolves the contradictions of capitalism for those at the very top. And it uses brute force destruction to continue the cycle of permanent growth that is unsustainable. And so they are trying to force it to continue by destroying so that they can then build on the rubble.

Responding to the movement being in the streets day after day, week after week until this regime is driven out.
I think it’s important that we actually occupy space that demands action because a mistake of so many soon, after mere hours, we all go home. This is not something that can actually expect to affect real change. This is not putting pressure on the system in the way that it needs to and so in order to actually cause something to happen, we need to occupy important spaces. We need to stop the system. We need to shut things down and basically take over and assert our power as the masses because it has been that the people have too long given up their power and their will and their influence by giving it up to a simple vote on things that have already been chosen by the ruling class, options that have been handed down to us. So we need to make these decisions for ourselves, the people.

Harold, Black man, 60

Responding to what brought him out to the demonstration.
The Trump/Pence regime. They’re bought off by the Koch brothers and all the billionaires in the United States and my personal opinion is that the United States should not be sold to the billionaires of this country.

Responding to question re whether he has been involved in other demonstrations around this.
All my life!

Responding to the point that people need to be in the streets, today and every day after this until the Trump/Pence regime is driven out.
Correct! The citizens of the United States have to stand up against this regime or it won’t change. We have to convince our Democrats to keep pushing, keep pushing to expose the Trump regime.

Responding to how he heard about the demo.
I followed it on Facebook, television... love the movement.

Responding to aim being to get the whole Trump and Pence regime out.
Definitely! The GOP ideology is bizarre! It’s white supremacist. They always have been that way and always will be. I’m a longshoreman, have been for 35 years. This hand has shook Harry Bridges’ [Founder of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union] hand.

Responding to have you taken this campaign out to people you work with?
Oh yeah! We definitely stand against the GOP, we definitely don’t want that.

Responding to the longshore workers having a history of standing against all kinds of oppression over the years. This effort relies on people coming out week after week, month after month until the regime is driven out. Do you think the Longshore Union would get behind that?
Well, our constitution stands for creating jobs for our community. We will not survive without the community. So I understand that. Sooner or later we are going to have to, we’re under attack—automation, the billionaires want to squeeze us out, take all our benefits away. So, we have no choice. We discuss this amongst ourselves very much. We need to get more of us out here and I believe the longer people stay out, sooner or later we will be out here.

74-year-old Black man

Responding to what brought you out here today?
Well, I came to protest because Trump is out of control. You know, he’s against all the minorities. You know, frankly I’m afraid that this is the beginning of the end. You know what I’m talking about? Yeah, absolutely! I know it’s hard to impeach him because of Amendment 25, that’s difficult. The regular impeachment process is difficult because they in charge. You know, the only way to get him out legally is to wait until we take over the Congress and the Senate. That’s the only way. So I’m here to just do my thing and let people know that everybody is welcome in America and do the right thing.

Los Angeles, November 4

Responding to point about the march and movement to drive the Trump/Pence regime out, not just Trump.
Well of course, all the cabinet. You know, especially the attorney general, you know, Sessions. I mean he is a racist son of a gun! You know what I’m talking about? You know Obama tried to put in to have less prison sentences for drugs and Sessions want to make it as hard as it could be. And most people who is convicted of drugs and in prison for it is people of color. Absolutely!

Responding to this movement being about people being out in the streets, day after day, week after week until the whole regime is driven out. What do you think about that?
Well, you got to sustain this thing. You can’t just do it one time and then sit down. It’s got to be continuously and sustained and get more people because the people will be heard. The people’s thing! You know, that’s it! So let’s keep this going day and night. Talk to your relatives, talk to your friends, you know and let’s do it endlessly! I worked for government for about 50 years and when I see inequities, prejudice, racism and so forth... man I don’t care who you are. Most Black people, of course, is good. But to see that Trump [got elected] it was a shock, you know that, how he got in there. And of course, Mrs. Clinton, she did her best, you know and so forth. But you know, that electoral college... I want the popular vote to come back. You know, we lost twice. We lost with Clinton’s running mate several years ago and now and now Mrs. Clinton. You know, if you think about it, he [Trump] got in legally. Now like I said before, it gonna be tough. It gonna be tough. I mean he getting foreign money, you know, this guy is corrupt.

Responding to this movement is about you look at this crowd today, this is the beginning. This movement is talking about day after day, week after week, month after month and building until there’s millions, tens of millions in the streets.
Exactly! Exactly! All over the country. Matter of fact, even in the territories! Look at what they doing to Puerto Rico. They treat them like non-Americans, non-citizens. You know, treating them like non-humans. I mean those people are there suffering. You know, I could go on and on but you know what’s happening. It’s nice talking to you.

Man who works in film industry

Responding to what brought you here today.
Actually, this is my first protest. I work in the film industry and I didn’t know about this until it blocked my production from being able to schedule some scouts and actually put us a little bit behind. When I read about it in the newspaper, it actually said that there were 10,000 people planning to come down here and that this was going to be the antifa apocalypse. I’ve really not liked Donald Trump since he’s been elected. I’ve always found myself as sort of a centrist or a moderate and through this event I’ve met a lot of other people who are a little left of me but I think what we can try and do is bring it all together and get some of the groups who maybe would be on the fence to look at some of the extreme things that he’s done, some of the things that would be far beyond, you know, maybe the Watergate scandal and things that other presidents have resigned for in the past. I mean we’re looking at this massive list of injustices and what’s happening is that the press is just running over it, steamrolling over it for the next one. I think the administration and Donald Trump note that and through the normalcy of the press cycle can allow peoples’ conscience and psyche to relax a little bit and through that they’re able to come up with another injustice.

Producer of non-fiction television

This is not normal. This is not normal! This is not my America. How far do we have to go before people stand up and say this is not normal and enough is enough. I value the fact that I live in a country where I can come out and protest on the streets and not fear being arrested.

Where do I start? The corruption, the nepotism, the abandonment of our role around the world, the dismantling of the State Department, the waste of money so he can golf every weekend. The forcing through of his buddies, his billionaire buddies, we have the richest cabinet in the history of this country, not a single one is worth less than a billion dollars and all they are doing is passing rules and regulations to make themselves richer.

Responding to: Going beyond that, this regime, with all of its talk of wars and nukes, could spell the end of human civilization.
Oh, absolutely. You know, when there are this many nuclear weapons in the world and this many irresponsible people with access to them and when one of them is the president of the United States, we should all be terrified. This is the first time in my life that I honestly do not know how this is going to end. And I know this could end very badly for a lot of people, and that’s scary. I’m scared, you should be scared. And if you’re not scared, you’re not paying attention.

Pence is scary because he is an extreme fundamentalist and he supports everything I don’t—he’s anti-gay, he’s anti-women, he’s anti-choice and he was one of the most conservative homophobic, anti-woman governors we have ever had in this country in modern times. However, under Pence at least we’re not gonna die in a nuclear holocaust. You never know, but as much as I appreciate that Trump is so incompetent that they are not actually able to accomplish anything although they are doing a pretty good job of dismantling everything, at least under Pence—though I am fearful of what they may accomplish under him, we would be less likely to go off in a nuclear holocaust because of a misunderstood tweet at North Korea.

Responding to: Look Trump is a fascist, Pence is a fundamentalist Christian fascist and he is just as wedded to U.S. domination of the world, including through a nuclear holocaust as Trump. He believes that he is doing his god’s work.
OK, this is 1936 Germany. How do you think Nazis came to power in Germany—they take over the government, you have good people unwilling to stand up and confront their leaders and you put your judges in place and your judges start rubber-stamping your regulations. It starts with ICE raids in the night that are not covered by the media and where does it end? You know, people who say that it can’t happen here are people who are not paying attention and haven’t studied history.

Responding to: this movement is calling for people to be out in the streets all over the county, day after day, week after week, month after month until this regime is forced out. What do you think of that?
Oh, I think it’s the only way! As much as I appreciate our Democratic leaders, they are not doing enough. You know, when there is this much blatant corruption and injustice and lies and twisting of fact and reason and they are standing back and letting it just happen, where’s the outrage, where’s the opposition party? And if they’re not going to do it, we have to.

A massage therapist who, when she heard the chants from the march, grabbed her friend and ran out to join the march

Just to get him out, you know, to fight for the future. It can’t stay like this. We got mixed babies. We got brothers and sisters that are different, that like different stuff, and we’re being subjected to people who are so closed minded. You know, it’s gotta change now, this is our future. You know, I didn’t even know this was happening. I live right here and we came out of our house and we were like “YES!!!!” Yes, let’s get in this. You gotta be part of the change if you want the change.

We live right here. We’re planning on coming down every day. So, let’s do this!

C, a young Black man, just recently out of high school; and I, a young Black woman, just out of high school who works at a nursing home and is taking courses to be able to do more for people with Alzheimer’s

C: I wanted to come. I always liked protests. This is my first protest. We saw it chalked on the ground, it said November 4 so we found the information and came. I want to make a sit-in. I’m interested in fighting against white supremacy because if that took over then I wouldn’t be able to live my normal life anyway. I’d be forced to fight.

I: I found out about this on Facebook, someone shared it to me and I shared it with others on public social media. I just think it’s important for everyone, especially our generation. If we want to have a future we don’t need wars because America is headed to nuclear destruction I believe. And I’m just afraid of my future. We need to stop this. We need to stop all this stuff happening to the planet. We can’t just sit and do nothing. If we ignore it, it’s gonna get worse.

Responding to: What do you think about what’s involved here, not just Trump but Pence too, the Trump/Regime and it’s got to go.
C: If Trump was gone and Pence took over, it would be the same thing, we gotta get rid of the whole operation.

I: I want to get rid of all this. We have to find another way, you know. I’m not against white people, I’m not against Hispanic. We have to find a better way to run our country because everyone is looking at us like we are idiots. People look at America like we’re idiots because we have diversity issues and we’re causing war in other countries. We need to stop all this or we are all gonna die. I believe we are all gonna die if this continues.

Responding to: This isn’t just today but coming out day after day, week after week, month after month until this Trump/Pence regime is removed

C: We got to do what we got to do!

I: We have to do this. It’s our lives. Our lives are at stake! We cannot allow the government to try and kill us—through food, pollution, nuclear war. To me it sounds like they want to kill mankind, humankind, all of us. None of us―white, Black, Hispanic—none of us are exempt from all this. They want to exterminate us all and we have to stop this. We Have To Stop This!

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San Francisco interviews

Interview #1

Q: You came all the way from Reno, Nevada?

A: Yes. I just moved there. But, in my job I took care of people. So I knew we are experiencing the beginnings of fascism. People these days, they don’t really know. They don’t realize it. We have a chance, because a lot of us know what fascism is and we are protesting. Okay, because in Germany, before Hitler came to power and even during when Hitler came to power there was no resistance. There was some minor resistance underground, but there wasn’t. We have a chance. And that’s why I’m here.

Q: What drew you here?

A: OK, I’m against all the manifestations of fascism that we are seeing by the Trump administration. I am against what they are doing to the environment and how he is giving a go-ahead to the Alt-Right and to all these killings that are happening now because of him. I want him out.

Interview #2

Q: Why did you come out to the protest today?

A: To completely eliminate, or you know, end this nightmare. And it is gonna take a lot of grass roots coalition building. It’s gonna require Americans from all walks of life, from all different political beliefs, on all ends of the spectrum to come together and agree that this regime is unacceptable, and that fascism is unacceptable, and completely contrary to American values. I mean, I think we’re all Americans, and proud to be Americans because of our freedoms and our liberties, and the fact that this regime is trying to curtail our liberties in a variety of ways, whether it’s policing our bodies by eliminating birth control, or by telling us that we shouldn’t be here, whether you’re a Mexican undocumented immigrant brought here when you were five months old, or whether you’re a PhD student from Saudi Arabia, I’ll give a better example, from Yemen which is on the ban list, like it’s just fucked up and I think we all need to stand together and call that out, and not only to say with our words that it’s wrong, but also to demonstrate with our actions that we believe it’s wrong.

Interview #3

Q: Why did you come out to the protest today?

A: As a Muslim-American who was born in America, the daughter of an American citizen, I am here because in the name of humanity, I find it unacceptable to have a Muslim ban categorically denying millions of the people looking for a better life and barring them entry from entering America. And I think my friends here are with me because they agree and they stand with me and my classmates. I wouldn’t be here today if Trump had his way. And it’s that simple.

Interview #4

A: Why did you come out to the protest today?

Q: You know, it’s all good to be disgusted with Trump. Many, many, many people in this country are disgusted with Trump, but that’s not enough. If you really wanna change things, you have to do more than be disgusted. You have to translate your disgust into action... you have to get out and try to do something to mobilize people. And that’s why I’m here today, and I hope a lot of other people are gonna do the same.

Interview #5

Q: How did you hear about today and what made you join?

A: I think we heard about this thing from Facebook. We’re part of Indivisible SF and Indivisible CA-14 so we kinda know what’s going on. That’s one of the reasons we’re down here to support our brothers and sisters in the city.

I wanna make sure that we get a change in Congress in the next election. I wanna make sure that next spring, summer, these protests only become better, or become greater such that next November, in a year from now, that we elect a democratic representative Congress and take back from what I believe was an illegal grab of power, bring it back to a democratic approach (with a small “d” not a big “D”) to really give voice to the people. Cause right now it’s a voice to the corporations, a voice to the billionaires.

Interview #6

San Francisco, November 4

Q: Why did you come out to the protest today?

A: What brought me out here was the constant fear that people are living in, and that I’m personally worried that my rights as a woman are being taken away, and I don’t want to see that happen, and I don’t believe a lot of the things that Trump supports, and I think maybe not fascism is what’s happening, but I do believe that our voices need to be heard that we don’t support this president and this vice president, and that next year... or not next year…  next election there should be a change.

Well, I guess the fact that the word fascism was in there was a lot of it, because very soon after Trump began his run, I began noticing as somebody who had done a lot of study of for instance, World War 2 and Hitler’s Nazi Germany, I realized that he was lining up with the encyclopedic definition of fascism. And you don’t wanna believe that a fascist is gaining currency for the U.S. presidency, but when it jumps in your face you can’t ignore it. So I said, alright, he’s a fascist. That means he absolutely has to be stopped. And that’s what I’ve been spending the last two years trying to do.

Interview #7

Q: What brought you out here today?

A: This is one of the few organizations that is trying to do what I think is needed which is sustained protests. The Women’s March, the March for Science... all those things were wonderful, but then they were over and there wasn’t any official follow-up. There were little groups that atomized and split and there’s lots of groups that formed up until the election, and then went their separate ways. What we need is a broad-based coalition that is united around what we are united around, which is that this regime has to go. And I don’t think that we can afford to be... we can’t afford to be distracted by our partisan disagreements. We can have those disagreements but we need to not be distracted, and we need to be persistent because they’re counting on us to get fatigued or give up. So those are the two things we have to defeat. We have to defeat destroying each other, and we have to defeat fatigue.

Interview #8

A: This is not a movie. The one man, the savior, the hero… whoever it is that they’re hoping will come and be the savior or the obvious person to rally around... that’s not happening. We’ve had a few people that tried to make that and it didn’t work. I think eventually you have to sit down with yourself and realize that we’re the ones we’ve been waiting for, as they say. That’s ... this is a collective action problem. Nobody’s going to jump up and be the obvious savior. We have to jump up ... either one of us will become a great leader, several of us will be a great leader... hundreds of us will be great leaders, or maybe we’ll just all be awesome together. But one way or the other, the more of us that jump in, the more chance we have to reverse this before it’s too late.

Interview #9

A: So I think the phrase, a nightmare is quite indicative of what is going on. It’s a constant state of fear in which we live under cause of the unknown, and potential catastrophic consequences that we can suffer underneath this presidency. I think that alone is enough to bring me to the streets, but it’s the consistent undermining of constitutional norms, situational norms, that we’ve seen him institute with the Travel Ban, undermining with Betsy DeVos, disability rights, and transgender rights in our schools, I think that is the first signs of a fascist regime, which is why I’m here.

Interview #10

A: I heard about it through my daughter, who is here beside me. She heard about it through Facebook.  And then passed the word on to me. I think the thing that I worry the most about is the environment because he is basically sabotaging the whole Environmental Protection Agency, and putting really a watch-dog on there who really is hand-in-glove with the oil companies, and hand-in-glove with all of the major industries that are polluting our earth. And I feel that it’s really really worrying to think what’s gonna happen, you know, the environment and the fact that he really doesn’t care about it...

I’m just really worried about the future of not only our nation but the world, and America’s impact on it. We’re just a horrible example for the world. There’s no peace, there’s no freedom any more. Everyone’s saying “Make America Great Again” when was America great? When we were enslaved? When we had no rights? We still don’t have rights? There’s still enslavement in the prisons all over. So I mean we need somebody who actually cares about the well-being of the people, and can stand for America, and not stand for fascism and hate.

Interview #11, with two gay men

A: I think people should put down their Facebook and get out of the house and come and see that a protest in person makes a difference, it actually really makes a big difference. And to see, and be with other people that feel the same way and are alarmed about our current political situation, it’s important to do that in real life and not in your digital...

I think it’s gonna take... my role is to talk to people, especially people that don’t agree with me, friends and family that don’t agree with me and talk to them about my feelings and how the current government impacts me directly, and what I see it taking is just a lot of people in the middle changing their perspective to force him out.

Interview #12

A: I started going to demonstrations in January, going to the Women’s March, the whole situation seems really, really, we’re on the brink of some sort of totalitarian massive takeover and oppression, and so we have to come out and say something because otherwise the situation can become dire.

Q: What do you think the next steps are?

A: I think the people in Washington have to grow a set of balls. Those guys in the Republican Party... Both sides.... Both sides are sucking... the Democrats should have stopped this. They have to go outside the box when it’s not working inside the box.

Q: Let me amend the question... what are the next steps we in the movement have to take?

A: We just have to be out in the streets like they do in Europe until it falls.

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/516/why-the-democrats-victories-do-NOT-spell-the-end-of-trumpian-fascism-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Why the Democrats' Victories Do NOT Spell The End of Trumpian Fascism...

and How They Could Potentially Make The Situation With The Regime All The More Dangerous

by Toby O’Ryan

Updated November 12, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Last night I watched the MSNBC response to the election of a number of Democrats in off-year elections around the country progress from giddy to rapturous to delirious. I’m always glad to see a stone racist like the Republican pig who ran in Virginia repudiated, but listen: investing our hopes now in a “Democratic tidal wave” in the elections of 2018 would be a deadly illusion. And here are three reasons why:

One, neither these elections nor the ones in 2018—nor the Democrats more generally—will do anything to reverse or even put the brakes on the Trump/Pence regime’s vicious and insanely risky foreign policy. If anything, any sense that he is losing political ground within the U.S. will make it more, not less, likely that he will go to war. Such a war would enable the regime to carry out severe repression within the U.S. and gain support on a “rally ’round the flag” basis. Right now, there is not a single major Democrat offering any substantial or consistent criticism of this. Indeed, the “we are more patriotic than he is” logic of what the Democrats are doing would lead them to support Trump in such lunacy—as they did with George W. Bush in 2002-2003.

Two, the leading Democrats have not only held back from calling for Trump’s removal, they have made it a policy to oppose raising even the question of impeachment. Hence, the regime, which has already done incalculable damage in just 10 months, will have more than three more years to work its lunacy. The Dems are repeating the “strategy” they used during the Bush years: become more like the Republicans in what they will say is an effort to win more voters and supposedly “isolate” Trump, and then do nothing to oppose him (which they couldn’t even if they wanted to, as they will have gotten elected on a basis that does not oppose America’s “right” to dictate to other countries). People in the United States of Amnesia may not remember that when this strategy “worked” for the Democrats in 2006, this meant that they did NOT oppose Bush’s escalation of the war in Iraq right after that election (the “surge”) nor did they roll back the highly repressive Patriot Act or any other of Bush’s extraordinarily repressive measures, all of which were fascistic in their own right.1

Three, on the idea of focusing efforts on elections in 2018 and 2020. First, there is nothing guaranteeing that the Republicans will not use racist gerrymanders and ballot disqualifications to feed into the advantage already given to them by the Constitution.2 So while people are drawn off into the electoral processes of 2018 and 2020, there will be nothing to stop the horrors against all the people and groups under the gun of the Trump/Pence regime from not just continuing but almost certainly intensifying. The regime will be compelled by its own logic, the logic of fascism, to double down on their triad of white supremacy, male supremacy and America First chauvinism. The breakneck destruction of the environment and the violence being done to the rule of law—not to mention the culture—will continue as it has now. Indeed, the very dynamic we see today—where Trump, unable to pass legislation, uses the vast executive powers already available to the president to launch offensives on these fronts as part of feeding red meat to the fascist hordes he’s cultivated and unleashed—will very likely intensify.

This does not mean that Trump has it all sewn up, nor that the divisions that do exist at the top cannot become part of what ends up removing this regime. But this will not happen unless millions take the streets in a sustained, nonviolent movement. This makes it more, not less, urgent to demand that the nightmare end NOW, and that the regime be driven from power; more, not less, important for people to take up and get into or unite with Refuse Fascism.

Why Democrats Are a Flypaper Trap for Anyone Who Hates This Regime

“If you try to make the Democrats be what they are not and never will be, you will end up being more like what the Democrats actually are.”
Bob Avakian, BAsics 3:12

Ask yourself—at a time when people who are outright fascists themselves like W. and Corker are criticizing Trump’s foreign policy as reckless, what prominent or even not-so-prominent Democratic politician has done anything close to that?  If you said none, you’d be right. We are talking about someone threatening World War 3, and they are saying nothing!!

And let’s look at WHO they have and will have you supporting. Take this guy Northam, who won the Virginia election. Northam voted for George W. Bush twice—that is, not just in 2000, when it was plain that Bush was running as a standard-bearer for the Christian fascism which had already revealed itself as an extremely malignant force, but in 2004 after Bush’s outrageous war against Iraq, after Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib, after Afghanistan, after Bush’s administration had begun its threats to go to war with Iran, and after the Patriot Act, probably the most repressive piece of legislation in U.S. history. Northam, now hailed as the new great standard-bearer of diversity, could not bring himself to stammer out an endorsement of the removal of monuments to the southern Civil War murderers—to those who carried out slaughter in upholding slavery—nor would he call out his opponent’s incredibly vicious and racist campaign for what it was: a vicious, racist, fascist campaign. And this is the kind of person you’re going to put your hopes in? Yet this is clearly where Pelosi and Schumer want to go—and this is the whole logic of the Dems.

The Democrats are one of the two ruling parties of the imperialist system. They differ with Trump on how best to serve that system, and this sets the parameters of what they will—and will NOT—criticize him for. Right now, they are moving to siphon the resistance to Trump off into strengthening their party, to put some constraints on Trump with the various investigations being launched, and to confine the terms to certain domestic issues. If there is a massive movement in the streets, some of the contradictions that they do in fact have with Trump may come into play... but they would even then try to constrain things. Without a massive movement clear on its goal, this will go nowhere... and worse.

I won’t here try to go further into this. I will say that the “why” of all this is deeply covered in Bob Avakian’s new talk, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America—A Better World IS Possible, as well as in the films REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, and the essay “Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces For Revolution.”

The point of all this is that, as Refuse Fascism has reiterated, the people in their millions must end the nightmare.

 


1. These measures included the government’s “right” to try those they deemed terrorists in military trials where defendants are afforded fewer rights; the indefinite isolation of prisoners without charges in the torture chamber of Guantánamo; the use of torture, vastly expanded government powers to legally spy on people, right down to the library books they took out, as well as the right to legally forbid people from even saying that they had been spied upon or were enlisted in spying upon others. [back]

2. The Constitution, as a document originally written to protect the power of the slaveholders, gave extra political weight to rural areas and sparsely populated states in determining representation in a concession to those slave-holders, and that legacy lives on today—which is why not only did Trump get elected while losing the popular vote, but Democrats in many states as well as the country as a whole can and do consistently outpoll the Republicans but end up with fewer seats and less power. [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/517/thousands-of-students-in-dc-and-across-the-country-walk-out-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Thousands of Students in DC and Across the Country Walk Out to Demand:
A New Dream Act Must Be Passed Now!

November 12, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Students from high schools and colleges in cities across the country walked out of their schools November 9, two months after Trump killed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, demanding that Congress pass a new Dream Act before the end of the year. The focus of the walkouts was Washington, DC, where over a thousand students walked out of school, marched to the Capitol, and stormed the Hart Senate Office Building. In addition to DC, there were walkouts in cities in at least 10 states, including: 250 students who walked out in Salem, Oregon, and hundreds more in Minneapolis, Minnesota; 17 activist organizations at New York University joined the campus “Dream Team” and marched to Union Square; students from four college campuses walked out in San Diego, California; as well as actions in Texas, Florida, Connecticut, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Virginia.

DACA, an Executive Order that President Obama signed in 2012, provided work permits and two years of temporary protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants—now known as “Dreamers”—who had been brought to the U.S. as children. The program allowed Dreamers to renew their DACA status every two years. There are about 800,000 Dreamers, and an estimated 8,000 or more of these young people have already lost their DACA status, and can now be deported at any time.

In DC, undocumented Dreamers and their supporters poured into the Senate Office Building, taking over the indoor courtyard and six floors of balconies overlooking it! They came in silence at first, with fists raised. And then suddenly they filled the building with chants—”Dream Act Now! Dream Act Now!” And “¡Sí se puede! ¡Sí se puede!”

One group of students carried a huge banner into the center of the plaza: “Congress—We Demand a Clean Dream Act Now.” At the same time students, unfurled 20-foot long banners over the balconies reading “Clean Dream Act Now.” The demand for a clean Dream Act means restoring the DACA provisions without linking DACA to passage of border enforcement measures, like funding a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, or refusing to allow refugees escaping from Central American countries to enter the U.S.

After Paul Ryan announced that morning that the Republicans would not consider the urgent situation facing these 800,000 immigrants before the end of the year, the crowd immediately marched on his office, shouting “show your face, we need a clean Dream Act now!”

A common sentiment was expressed by a young woman from Bolivia. “I’m here to stay; we’re not going anywhere, this is my home. I really don’t remember much about Bolivia; I’m not going anywhere.” Police arrested 15 protesters, claiming the students refused their order to stop the chants.

The GW Hatchet, an independent student newspaper at George Washington University in DC, reported that at least eight progressive GW student organizations had come together and organized about 100 students to take part in the walkout and protest. One student told the Hatchet that he had just told his peers that he was an undocumented student. “There are undocumented youth at GW. That’s the most important thing for me. This is not just a Hispanic issue. This is an immigrants issue.” Another student said, “Actively resisting and getting exposure is how to create real change. I’m proud of people who engaged in civil disobedience today.” As the students marched out of the Senate Office Building they chanted:“Undocumented, unafraid!”

This regime has unleashed an unprecedented, fascist war on immigrants, which is intensifying day by day. Two of the top enforcers of the Trump/Pence fascist regime, Sessions and Kelly, are opposed to continuing DACA in any form.

These young Dreamers and hundreds of other people are waging an extremely important movement, at no small risk, to fight against the end ing of DACA, and against attacks on all immigrants. Their actions and their demand for a clean Dream Act must be supported by people everywhere, as well as their example of refusing to wait, or rely on the Democrats to come to their aid. When Schumer and Piglosi, top leaders of the Democratic Party, announced their deal with Trump to support a bill to restore DACA in some way, in return for agreeing to pour billions of dollars into “securing the border,” Dreamers confronted Piglosi in public saying, “We refuse to be used as a bargaining chip.”

Only the movement to end this nightmare by taking to the streets until this fascist regime is driven from power will end the terror that has been unleashed against millions and millions in this country, who have been criminalized solely for being driven to come to this country by the crimes of U.S. imperialism.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/516/november-11-no-nuclear-war-trump-pence-must-go-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Chicago march begins with lead banner

Sights and Sounds from November 11 Across the Country:
Standing Up Against Trump/Pence Threats of "Fire & Fury" Against North Korea and Iran

Updated November 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Watch and share this film:

Sights and Sounds of November 11 From Around the Country

(Except where noted, photos on this page are Special to www.revcom.us)

Carl Dix, Columbus Circle, 11/11: "It is very real that Trump is threatening war with North Korea.".

U.S Veteran who went to Iraq, powerfully calls on Past, Present and Future Members of the Military to join this movement to DRIVE OUT THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME!

New York

NYC: Marching from Columbus Circle to Trump Tower.

 

New York at Columbus Circle 'WARmerica'

 

New York: Voice from Nov. 11

Q: So tell us something about yourself and why you came out today.

A: I’m a corporate lobbyist and an attorney for a multibillion-dollar multinational, I can’t say which one. I’ve been involved pretty much my whole life in politics. I think it’s really important to come out every day, especially as a Jewish person ... I’ve always been against Trump, but especially after Charlottesville and the Nazis were marching, and especially after Trump had the audacity to say that there were good people on both sides—and that’s about as obnoxious as you can get. I was a big Bernie Sanders supporter during the whole election. I was really disappointed that he lost. But, I mean, Trump the entire time... every time you think he can’t go any lower, whether it’s repealing, or trying to repeal, the Obamacare for those who really need it, or trying to repeal gay rights for gay people and trans people. Pretty much everything he’s done... every time I think he can’t say something more stupid, or attacking those in need, for example the recent tax cuts, giving more money to people who don’t need it. I mean, [I’m] in one of the high tax brackets—I would technically benefit under his tax plan. What am I gonna do... I’ve looked at it... what am I going to do with the extra money? Nothing good is going to come of it for me. The people who actually need those tax cuts... he just keeps taking money from people who actually need it. I think it’s a total disgrace. I think it’s absolutely horrible, and I don’t understand what he’s thinking. I mean, the entire Reaganomics has been disproven time and time again, by even the inventor. Even the guy who initially came up with the idea of Reaganomics has said it’s a farce, but yet again it’s still propagated by those in power like Trump. And even, he gave a recent phone call yesterday saying that he needs the estate tax to be passed—he has to give something to his base. He openly said that.

Q: I mean, you went through a lot of things there. What is it that most infuriates you about the Trump/Pence regime?

A: That he’s so willing to pander to these right-wing extremists. It’s all these right-wing Nazis. They hate everyone. There’s no room for hate in a modern day country and we’re really the only place in the world where we still tolerate it under this false sense of liberty, the only place that still thinks it’s okay. It’s great that there’s maybe a hundred people here—but there should be a million people here. Hate has no place in America: We’re the only place that tolerates it, the only place that tolerates shootings in schools, the only place that still allows this... that type of hatred. It still happens other places, but this is the only place that tolerates it. To me, that’s the reason he has to go. He’s normalizing the type of hatred that hasn’t existed since the 1950s. And that has to go.

Q: Today’s focus especially is on the fire and fury, the threats he’s been making against Korea and elsewhere. Carl [Dix] spoke rather eloquently to his experiences. What do you think about that: his threats on Iran, his threats on North Korea, revelations about U.S. forces in Niger?

A: I mean, that’s really just an extension of the American policy for the past 60 years. I mean, Trump... to an extent he’s a little more firebrand than Obama or Bush was, but Obama started more wars that Bush ever did. I mean, in my opinion, Obama was no better when it comes to starting wars than any other president; he was just as bad. Obama gets a lot of credit he doesn’t deserve on those matters. Obama was quite the warmonger, to be quite honest. But Trump’s absolutely horrible, Trump’s the first one who’s actually threatening nuclear war, which is absolutely horrifying. And it’s horrifying that there’s really nobody to stop him, he has no checks and balances, he’s surrounded himself with his team of staff who are warmongers in general. And if we don’t do something soon, there’s a good chance it could happen.

Q: There is us to stop it. That’s what this whole thing is about...

A: [T]o get him out. The problem is, we have to get more people to come out. It’s getting Americans to actually care. The problem is Americans are apathetic, for the large part. The people that are coming out now are people that do care, people who have protested their whole lives. It’s up to us to get our friends out, that’s the trick, that’s the hard part.

Chicago

March begins in Chicago

 

Chicago Wedding Party joins November 11 protest against Trump/Pence

In Chicago a wedding party saw the rally from across the street. The groom came running over when he saw the Trump and Pence puppets. The rest of the wedding party followed and they all started flipping off the the puppets and taking pictures of themselves doing it. Note the joy on their faces. Credit: Ted Sirota.

 

Los Angeles

Los Angeles: 100 people rallied and marched in Hollywood, CA on Saturday night, as Refuse Fascism took to the streets saying "NO to Nuclear War! NO to America 1st!

 

San Francisco

The lead contingent in the march wore hazmat suits.

 

 

Members of La Colectiva de Mujeres participated in march.

 

Hawai'i

 

Atlanta

 

Cleveland

 

 

 

Statement from Kathy Najimy in Support of November 11

Hello dear people who care about the state of humanity.

I wish I was there to speak in person, but more selfishly—I wish I was with you because being in a group of folks who actually care—who actually give a shit about SOMETHING—is the only placeI feel whole and in my skin these days. Rallies, Protests, Marches, or even pussy hat knitting circles... are our salve, or relief.

SO thank you for UNITING and giving your soul the honor of this rally today.

We march, we vote, we scream, and we demand our basic human rights. For ourselves, our families and the lives and rights of the citizens of the world. RESIST SPEAK UP REFUSE FASCISM.

It isn’t hard to point out why we need to meet and demand. To have our hearts and voices heard. THIS IS REAL RIGHT NOW. It’s not a passing Republican in office. It’s not the result of a wave or whim or backlash. It’s an assault on democracy, safety, rights, our bodies and our lives.

Trump and Pence are representatives of the darkest most reprehensible of the swell of RACISM, FASCISM, HOMOPHOBIA, MISOGYNY, ISLAMAPHOBIA, White supremacy, Sexism and disregard for humanity.

That gun violence and death are now barely even news anymore. An expected order of the day. As disregarded as bad weather. RESIST REFUSE SPEAK UP!

And speaking of weather, that our animals, daughters and sons have a decreasing chance of a safe walk in the mountains or swim in the ocean or even a full healthy BREATH IN! RESIST SPEAK UP REFUSE FASCISM!

Our LGBTQ sisters and brothers, our families of multi-cultured sisters and our brothers, our girls and women raped, harassed, trafficked. No more. RESIST REFUSE SPEAK OUT!

It’s groups like REFUSE FASCISM and YOU here today who will NOT TAKE another breath until this administration is driven out and we find our way back to peace. Peace and equality. Yep, I’m using all my bumper stickers sayings from the ’70s—but we had it right. LOVE IS ALL THERE IS.

This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! Let’s restore peace, respect, compassion, democracy, equality and... LOVE

THANK YOU ALLL!!!

On November 11, people in cities across the country responded to the call from Refuse Fascism and went into the streets to rally and march in opposition to the Trump/Pence fascist regime’s threats of war against North Korea and Iran and aggression in the Middle East. This was a week after thousands stepped out on November 4 in a real beginning to what Refuse Fascism has urgently called for in the name of humanity: mass, sustained, non-violent protests, in the streets day after day, with a unified demand of “The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!”

The numbers of people out on November 11 were relatively small—but they were acting, passionately and with determination, on an understanding of the real and intensifying war dangers under the Trump/Pence regime, and the intolerable horrors those wars can bring down on tens of millions of people and, indeed, humanity a whole. It was very important that these protesters were calling out this immense and immediate danger, and calling on many, many others to act. And it was important that they were doing this as part of what was begun on November 4.

In a message to the protesters, University of Illinois Law School law professor Francis Boyle sharply pointed out how the Trump/Pence threats against North Korea (DPRK) were clear violations of international law, and then brought out the big stakes involved:

It is an extremely dangerous situation. It is really up to the United States to take the first step down the Ladder of Escalation that it has constructed here. Instead it appears that the Trump administration is going to escalate up the Ladder of Escalation in the hope and expectation that DPRK will capitulate. This is what International Political Scientists call a Game of Chicken—with cosmic consequences. Who will blink first? Anything can go wrong. Thank you so much for being here today to prevent World War III.

November 11 was Veteran’s Day—when the U.S. wars for conquest and empire around the world, and the troops that carry out the crime in the interests of the imperialist rulers, are celebrated. In the New York City protest, Carl Dix, from the Revolutionary Communist Party and an initiator of Refuse Fascism, spoke about how in the 1960s, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and then refused to go to Vietnam when he learned about the horrors the U.S. was committing in Vietnam and around the world. Dix said the rulers try to rally support for their wars by saying people should back the troops. But, as Dix said, the GIs and veterans that actually deserve our support are those who “refuse to fight in their imperialist wars...who refuse to carry out war crimes.” Going into November 11, a powerful video clip showed a vet who had been in Iraq call on past, present, and future members of the military to join the movement to drive out the Trump/Pence regime.

Dix also hit at the dangerous illusion that Trump’s generals, like Mattis and Kelly, were somehow the “adults in the room” that will keep Trump in check. Dix spoke to the truth of the situation:

What’s gonna stop the threat of war is us and people like us—people who recognize this threat for what it is. And we have to go out and wake others up to this threat and get them to join us in acting to stop it. That’s what’s gonna stop this threat of war.

And it is only the people—in their millions, in the streets continuously with courage and determination—that can bring about a situation where the whole Trump/Pence fascist regime is stopped in their tracks and driven from power. November 18 will be a day of national mobilization: Break the Silence—Bring the Noise!, sounding the alarm to break through the deadly silence of normalization of fascism. Check at www.revcom.us and at RefuseFascism.org every day for news of what is going on and alerts about actions being called for.

Here are some highlights from November 11 from some of the cities:

New York City

Broadway and other Manhattan streets were teeming with military personnel Saturday morning: veterans of wars going back to World War 2, people on active duty, high school and college youth in ROTC programs. A small crowd gathered to watch them march in New York’s Veterans’ Day parade—an ugly tribute to participants in this country’s war crimes. A celebration of the occupations, invasions, bombings, and outright genocide the U.S. has perpetrated and continues to inflict on the people of the world.

A short distance uptown at Columbus Circle, a powerfully different scene took shape. About 65 people gathered for a rally called by Refuse Fascism. Its specific focus: “No ‘Fire & Fury’ Against North Korea or Iran, No U.S. Aggression in the Middle East! This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go.” Sunsara Taylor, a co-initiator of Refuse Fascism and writer for Revolution, introduced the co-MCs Travis Morales and Eva Sahana. Speakers included Diane Beeny of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Remembrance Committee; Carl Dix, also a co-initiator of Refuse Fascism and from the Revolutionary Communist Party. Messages were read from actor Kathy Najimy, known as the voice of Peggy Hill on the animated TV series King of the Hill, and peace activist and veteran Tarak Kauff.

After the rally, spirited and determined marchers headed past a glittering array of luxury hotels towards Trump Tower. Chants denouncing the fascist Trump/Pence regime, and calls to bystanders to break with their routine and join the fight to drive them out pierced the normalcy of Saturday afternoon on Fifth Avenue. Reaction from pedestrians here and elsewhere was mixed, but mostly favorable, indicating both the potential and urgency of bringing many more into this fight, soon. Most people were receptive to the message that the Trump/Pence nightmare must end; some were enthusiastic, raising their fists and joining in chants (and several people joined along the march route). A small number of Trumpites clustered at a certain point and unsuccessfully tried to disrupt the march. Their chants of “USA, USA” were drowned out by enthusiastic marchers raising their fists and chanting “Humanity First! Humanity First!” and “Trump says America First, Hell No, Humanity First!”

The march proceeded to a military recruiting center in Times Square for a final, brief rally. Travis Morales from Refuse Fascism outlined plans for the coming week: for more deeply consolidating those who had participated in the November 11 events, but even more importantly doing that as part of reaching out to bring thousands and millions more people who hate everything the Trump/Pence regime is about into the fray, and organizing bigger events on November 18.

Chicago

In freezing temperatures, a crowd, initially about 50 people, gathered for the 2 pm rally in the downtown south Loop. The rally was MCed by jazz and reggae musician drummer Ted Sirota; speakers included blues harmonica player Matthew Skoller; Rosalie Riegle from the War Resister’s League; a Vietnam Era vet from Refuse Fascism speaking about the war threats against Korea; and Lena from Refuse Fascism.

A small band of fascists with a Trump banner, American and “blue lives matter” flags gathered across the street playing the American anthem, which was drowned out by the rally.

In the middle of Lena’s speech, a wedding party came running over from the across the street, and all joyously flipped off the Trump and Pence puppets as a sea of cameras was clicking. Lena said, “The fact that a wedding party joined in a protest today gives you a sense of just how many people there are who hate this fascist regime. These are the people that we are mobilizing, that we are not going to stop until everyone in this society has to take a stand. Are you for or against this fascist Trump regime? There is no standing to the side.”

The march took off heading north to Trump Tower in a raucous way. Skoller played his harmonica along with the chants and at one point, outside a department store, he joined in with street musicians in an anti-Trump song. People from the streets joined with the protest. Among them was a young Black man who had never protested before who was jumping up and down in excitement. An art student said, “I was going to do homework and I actually met somebody who just approached me—and this chant was incredibly captivating and I said, of course, this is what I need to be doing, screw the homework... I’ve been waiting for this for a year.”

As the march approached Trump Tower, a white man and woman and their three small children joined. They had come in from the suburbs to visit downtown and had gone to Trump Tower in hopes of finding a protest. The man said he was a union member who had stopped speaking to friends of 30 years over their support for Trump. He said, “When you start listening to the things they are saying by standing behind their Bible, well the Bible taught to treat your neighbor well and to help your fellow man with a leg up. And all they are doing left and right is stepping on their fellow man and oppressing them down.”

The ranks of protesters increased to 100 or so as the march approached Trump Tower. Many protesters were older people who understood the threat of nukes and feared the prospect of war, but the crowd was diverse and most who joined along the way were young people. The rally at the tower was kicked off by an actor, who portrays Mark Twain on stage, delivering Twain’s piece “War Prayer,” followed by a high school student who said we must not become complacent and let this regime start to become normalized.

The people then took off marching again, in the same raucous way with harmonica and drums, this time up the Michigan Avenue “Magnificent Mile” filled with shoppers. Many stopped to film or clapped to the chants and some joined, many of them youths. A final brief rally was held at the Water Tower plaza. As people dispersed, a revcom correspondent noticed a crowd of around 50 youths, some holding up the Refuse Fascism signs, in the plaza. They turned out to be a tour group of 15-years-olds from South Bend, Indiana. They continued to carry the signs as they walked down Michigan Avenue for half a mile to catch their train. Their chaperone said she would help organize them into an action in South Bend on November 18. They were gathered in a large group outside the train station, still holding some signs when three young women, who had joined the march earlier, started leading them and the crowd around them to chant “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Donald Trump has got to go!”

A high school student who was part of the day reflected people’s sense of the heavy stakes involved: “It’s fucking scary. Like the threat of nuclear war, we probably haven’t been this close since Reagan to our president pushing the red button. It is a crime against humanity waiting to happen.”

Chicago: Voices from Nov. 11

Young Woman

I know what’s going happen, like none of this is going to pass. That’s what the Supreme Court’s for—like none of this can happen, right? But it started happening. We’ve all watched it start happening—there’s been travel bans, there’s been the slow degradation we have for trans people. It’s just been going downhill. And it’s been horrifying. And I think what we need to do is—we have to be out here, we have to be doing something to try to change it. Because as scary as it is, it’s not going to get any better if you sit home. You have to be out and all of us are but we need to get more of us out here. Because even if your friends and your family aren’t convinced—they’re like maybe this isn’t the right way to do it—okay, are you doing anything? 

Young Black Man and Woman

What brought you out here?

Man: We’re both into photography and she’s been looking up these different protests and what-not. Honestly, I’m completely against Pence and Trump. What they’re doing isn’t right, it’s not right for humanity, not right for America. You can make America First and you don’t need to make other countries feel inferior. And that’s what Trump and Pence are doing. They’re bullies. This isn’t the school ground any more—this is humanity. People’s lives are at stake here. I just wanted to show my support towards that. 

Today is Veterans Day and there’s the question of danger of nuclear war. Anything to say around that?

I come from a big military family, so for me it’s kind of personal. I just had my youngest first cousin sign up for the Air Force and it’s just kind of scary. So for me, his parents, both of his parents, both of my parents, all five of my aunts, both of my grandfathers were in law enforcement or in some kind of service, whether Coast Guard or doing something here in the States. Still—you don’t want to see them in that position that they have to fight for something that they may not want to. And I know they signed up for it but personally for them to have fought for something, it should mean something to them and it should mean something to us, and we should be doing it for the right reasons. 

Woman: I agree 100% with what he’s saying. 

Los Angeles

Refuse Fascism Los Angeles held a march and rally on Veterans Day on Hollywood and Highland beginning at Trump’s star. We gathered under the slogan, “Say NO! To nuclear war! NO! To America 1st!” We started out with around 50 or so people. The makeup of the crowd at the rally at the beginning was middle-aged people, older people, and some young people. At the rally, an organizer with the National Student Task Force of Refuse Fascism spoke on the importance of students and called for walkouts on the 15th, like some Mendez High School students did on November 8 in response to the one-year anniversary of Trump’s election. A veteran spoke about how was part of bringing death and destruction on innocent people in Iraq, but now is against wars for empire and stands with the people of the world. A woman from Military Families Speak Out, an anti-Iraq War group, spoke against wars and people’s responsibility to act right now, in the streets and calling their congresspeople. A person on the Steering Committee of Refuse Fascism read the Refuse Fascism speech, and a member of the Revolution Club Los Angeles spoke about the new talk by Bob Avakian (The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America. A New World IS Possible/ and the role revolutionaries are playing in driving out the regime.

The march took off with Aztec dancers performing and uniting with everyone there. It was contentious at the beginning with a small number of fascists yelling at us with bullhorns and saying vile shit. They were very rabid and vicious, one of them saying “nuke them all!” when the speakers were doing agitation around the threat of nuclear war which could kill 25 million people in North Korea. One of the fascists yelled to a Refuse Fascism organizer who is trans that “we’re gonna hang you and rape you!” when she was speaking. There was a heavy police presence and they created a line around us that was blocking and preventing people from coming into the rally. However, most people were ignoring the fascists and paying attention to the speakers on the stage.

The march grew because a good amount of people joined in on the spot from the sidewalks as we went down the Hollywood Blvd. A lot of them were Black people, and young. We called on people to join us from the stage, and when they did we gave them signs to hold, and some of the people took up carrying the banners. A lot of people came into the protest in a joyful way. People not only put their fists up when we were marching, but came in dancing. There was a contagious joy in the march—there were young skateboarders and couples joining us while we were marching. People left with materials about Refuse Fascism and signed up at the table we had. There were some middle strata people, and Latino families were really into the Spanish chants. There were women that we met who joined in the march spontaneously and told us that they are part of the San Francisco chapter of Refuse Fascism. We plan to organize all these people in a telescoped way and to have the energy that was out there be the energy we have in an even bigger way on November 18.

San Francisco

About 100 people rallied and then marched through the city. The message of the march reached thousands, loud, determined, and clear: this was a group on a mission to end the nightmare and drive out the Trump/Pence regime. Throughout the rally, and all along the march, the protesters called on and challenged the people along the route to join in.

The march, headed up by 30 people in hazmat suits with the “danger, radiation” symbol painted on the back, presented a powerful image of the stakes for humanity—sounding the alarm about the threat of war, including nuclear war. The march ended in a mass die-in at Union Square, jammed with tourists and shoppers, including people from around the world.

The speakers at the rally at the Civic Center, across the street from City Hall, were: a crew from La Colectiva de Mujeres, holding their banner; another activist from the Mission District; Alex U Inn, Grand Marshal of the 2017 SF Pride Parade; and a representative from the local chapter of Refuse Fascism.

A crew of perhaps 10 fascists came to the rally at Civic Center, seeking to disrupt the rally. They were not allowed to get away with this and eventually left.

Through the course of the day, thousands received flyers, many excited and glad to see a march like this. For most it was the first time hearing of Refuse Fascism and the audacious plan to drive out the regime through drawing forward millions in to mass nonviolent political struggle. Some were very glad to hear about this, and joined in or signed up. Others spoke with passion about how glad they were to see the march. One woman said that she was married to a Latino and said, in tears, that racist comments that would not have been acceptable two years ago are now commonplace. New people who had not even heard of Refuse Fascism before the day made commitments to come to the Sunday organizing meeting and to take up the battle to make November 18 a powerful demonstration.

Seattle

Thirty people rallied and took to the streets against the threats of nuclear war and genocide from the Trump/Pence regime and demanded they be ousted from power now. They marched through the downtown core and stopped traffic with a die-in in the middle of the busiest shopping area. The street theater featured a giant, gesticulating Trump “bobble head” (donated for use by the Backbone Campaign), and an activist reading the terrifying but real quotes by Trump threatening the use of nukes and the total destruction of North Korea. An air raid siren went off and protesters lay down in the street with a banner of a mushroom cloud as the backdrop. Two protesters wearing hazmat suits and gas masks drew chalk outlines around the bodies. All of this was watched by crowds of people on every corner, most of them supportive, and many of them taking photos and video on their phones.

The rally began with a Lakota blessing from longtime freedom fighter Fennette Blackbear, who prayed for the lives of the people, animals, and Earth hanging in the balance under threat of nuclear war. Singer-songwriter Susan Harper did a rendition of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” (with the words “Think it’s time we stop Trump, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down...”). Rev. Jim VanderWeele, interim minister at the Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church, spoke about the need to see and heed the fascist warning signs and stand up before it’s too late. A Refuse Fascism organizer spoke about Refuse Fascism’s unity and objectives, and the need to bring forward the millions of people capable of driving out the regime. November 18 was announced as the day to Break the Silence and Bring the Noise! and there was discussion about reaching out to marching bands, artists, and “Honk Fest” people that some folks know.

Some new people who found the movement this week: a student from Arlington, a couple who said they saw a poster in Capitol Hill, a young woman who joined in as the march passed who was in town from Kent and had been a part of Occupy Houston, and a prominent nonviolent activist who consciously broke the U.S. sanctions against Iraq (responsible for the deaths of over half a million children) in 1997 to deliver medicine. Several people came back from the previous weekend of November 4. It goes without saying that all of the organizers wanted more people, but it was also quite notable that everyone who came felt really uplifted by what we had done together and there is a clarity of purpose and deepening commitment finding its hold.

Hawai‵i

In front of the U.S. Army Museum at Wakiki’s Fort DeRussy, 15 people held up signs opposing the Trump/Pence regime and attacks on North Korea. Hundreds of pedestrians, people on tour trolleys, and in cars passing by saw the protest. Many thanked the protesters, took leaflets, or otherwise showed their support. Several U.S. war veterans joined the protest. The author of Brothers Under a Same Sky, a historical novel based on the U.S. war on Korea, and a Korean-American activist for the reunification of North & South Korea made statements at the short rally after the protest. There was a heavy police presence but no interference. Five members of the fascist Proud Boys, sporting their rooster polo shirts and a big American flag, showed up across the street from the protest.

Austin, Texas

(Posted at RefuseFascism.org) Texas Refuse Fascism activists rallied briefly at the Capitol, to protest the regime’s threats and moves toward war against N. Korea and the Middle East. We regrouped at a busy touristy intersection. Channeling Ray Charles, we sang our message, challenging people to break out of complacency and complicity—the “normalizing” of fascism. Some passersby joined in, and our stand, and our flyers, got spread to near and far-flung parts of Texas.

 

 

Statements to Rallies for November 11

Statement from Law Professor Francis A. Boyle to the November 11 Protests

The following statement was sent by Francis A. Boyle, professor of law at the University of Illinois College of Law, to the November 11 protests called by Refuse Fascism.

1. The US government threats of “preventive warfare” against DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)] are illegal and criminal. The Nuremberg Tribunal in their Judgment of 1946, which the US helped organize, condemned “preventive war” when the lawyers for the Nazis made the argument on their behalf. This is an illegal and criminal threat in violation of international law. According to the World Court in its Advisory Opinion (1996) on the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, the legality vel non of a threat stands or falls on the same legal grounds as if the threat were carried out.

2. The repeated US government threats to “destroy” or “annihilate” DPRK are an international crime under the 1948 Genocide Convention to which the United States is a party. These genocidal threats are also illegal and criminal under the rationale of the 1996 World Court Advisory Opinion mentioned above.

3. The United States has an absolute obligation under UN Charter article 2(3) and article 33 to open “negotiation” with DPRK in good faith in order to produce a peace resolution of this dispute. Instead, the US government has repeatedly rejected these obligations under the UN Charter.

4. The proposal by Russia and China for a “dual-freeze” is an excellent basis to produce good faith and direct negotiations between USA and DPRK as required by the UN Charter.

5. The United States is deliberately provoking DPRK, ratcheting up these provocations in the hope that they will provoke the DPRK to commit an act of aggression against the United States that the USA can then use as a pretext for war. Pursuant to the terms of their mutual self-defense treaty, China has stated that if the US attacks first it will defend DPRK, but that if DPRK strikes first, China will remain out of any war. So the United States is trying to provoke DPRK into striking first.

6. It is an extremely dangerous situation. It is really up to the United States to take the first step down the Ladder of Escalation that it has constructed here. Instead it appears that the Trump administration is going to escalate up the Ladder of Escalation in the hope and expectation that DPRK will capitulate. This is what International Political Scientists call a Game of Chicken—with cosmic consequences. Who will blink first? Anything can go wrong. Thank you so much for being here today to prevent World War III.

Francis A. Boyle
Professor of Law
University of Illinois College of Law
Native Chicagoan

Statement from Tarak Kauff in Support of November 11

Tarak Kauff is a peace activist and veteran.

The chickens may be coming home to roost. America committed genocidal wars against the indigenous people living on this continent, built the country largely on the backs of slave labor, has depended on wars and conquest for most of its history, none of which are sane or peaceful societal behaviors, and now we have an expression of that very insane, racist, misogynistic, proclivity to use violence, or threats of violence running around loose in the White House. Add to that the personal demons of extreme narcissism and insecurity that so make up the Trump persona and we have a deadly mix.

Of course this is nothing new for America, except that a loose cannon like Trump not only has his little fingers within reach of nuclear Armageddon but has been threatening in so many words that he is willing, if not eager to engage in this most dangerous and powerful form of killing. One wonders if this lunatic even realizes that nuclear demons of this magnitude once loosed could mean not only the end of millions of lives but potentially the end of all life?

There is an added insanity in not only Trump but others of the current corporate/political elite, in that they seem to believe that they and their riches and power will somehow be miraculously immune to the effects of nuclear war and the following nuclear winter. We are witnessing the madness of someone sawing off the branch they (and many others) sit upon. They think that their plushly equipped subterranean shelters will save them, not realizing that the demons inside them are as bad as the ones they will have unleashed upon the world. Those demons will cause them to self-destruct sooner than they could even imagine. There is no safety and little chance of surviving a nuclear war. Only the insane would even dream of survival in the aftermath of such terror.

Trump and all he represents are madness running out of control, rampant. The only way to stop this, and it must be stopped, is by a massive uprising of the people. It may be our last chance.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/avakian/bob_avakian_official_biography/Bob_Avakian_(BA)_Official_Biography-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian (BA)—Official Biography

This Bob Avakian (BA) Official Biography is published here with the permission of The Bob Avakian Institute.

Introduction

Bob Avakian

"If you don't have a poetic spirit—or at least a poetic side—it is very dangerous for you to lead a Marxist movement or be the leader of a socialist state."
– Bob Avakian

Bob Avakian (BA) is the architect of a whole new framework of human emancipation, the new synthesis of communism, which is popularly referred to as the "new communism." Read more

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/517/roy-moore-biblical-morality-and-fascist-male-rage-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Roy Moore, Biblical Morality, and Fascist Male Rage

November 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Last week, the Washington Post detailed allegations that Roy Moore—the Republican Party’s candidate for the U.S. Senate seat in Alabama—sexually molested Leigh Corfman when she was 14 years old in 1979. According to the Post, Corfman, now 53, said that Moore, then 32 years old, drove her to his home and “took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants ... and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.” She says she remembers thinking, “I wanted it over with—I wanted out.” The Post also reported that three other women—all of whom went on the record—said Moore “pursued” them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18, around the same time that the alleged sexual assault on the 14-year-old girl took place. Later, a woman who worked in the DA’s office at the time, said that it was common knowledge that Roy Moore sought relationships with teenage girls—and she too went on the record.

Please note that if Moore did molest Corfman, he committed a felony; in fact, even if this were consensual because she was under age, it would be criminal. The fact that Moore was an assistant district attorney at the time of the alleged incidents would make this even worse—this was a man in his 30s who was sexually approaching teenage girls and who did so as a figure invested with the power and aura of the state.

After first seeming to admit to Sean Hannity on Fox News that he did seek out dates while in his 30s with teenage girls,1 Moore has now attacked the women who accused him. One of his supporters in the legislature called them liars, but then said if they were telling the truth, they should be prosecuted for "cover[ing] up" Moore's crimes. Meanwhile, Trump—himself the subject of numerous accusations and someone who openly bragged on tape of molesting women—has remained non-committal thus far.

Three big things here are on ugly display:

First, there is the kind of disgusting, oppressive shit that has been dragged into the light of day in the last month or so about powerful men all over, in every sphere, using their power to dominate and subordinate adult women. The main torrent of allegations has thus far focused on abuse, harassment, and rape connected to the workplace: men using sexual violence and coercion, or the implied threat of that, as well as verbal harassment, to demean women, keep them subordinate, and/or drive them out. What Moore is accused of is predation on children, using his stature as an officer of the law to facilitate that. But there are two similarities to the current important outpouring and the Moore case. First, there is the same assertion of male privilege and power against women and girls who lack power; and second, there is the brave speaking up of women who have been victimized and up to now rendered voiceless by these abusers.

Second, there is the Biblical justification that some of Moore’s supporters have put on this. The Republican state auditor of Alabama, Jim Zeigler, claimed that even if true, these accusations were “much ado about nothing.” After all, he said, the allegations are that a 32-year-old man “dated” teenage girls, and stopped short of sexual intercourse. (Never mind that the allegation isn’t that Moore “dated” a 14-year-old but that he removed her clothes, touched her, and guided her hand to touch his penis—which would be clearly illegal acts.) Then Zeigler went further, turning to scripture to defend Moore: “Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist.... Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.... There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.”

Let that one sit for a minute. In Zeigler’s worldview, Biblical morality “trumps” secular law on rape and the age of consent. This is theocracy: rule by religion, where the rules of a particular religion determine the laws. Moore himself was twice removed from the Alabama state Supreme Court for overriding secular law with religious edicts: once in 2003 for refusing to follow a federal court order to remove a 5,200-pound monument of the Ten Commandments from a judicial building in the state capital; and then in 2016 for directing lower-court judges to continue to enforce the Alabama ban on same-sex marriages even though the ban had been ruled unconstitutional. Now, as we write, he is still on course to be elected senator. This same theocratic worldview is not only shared by Pence, which we and many others have documented, it forms a foundational element of the whole fascist movement being led by Trump.

This whole episode also bears out the point from Bob Avakian (BA) that the Bible taken literally is a horror. Besides the taking of child brides, the Bible also upholds slavery and other forms of ruthless exploitation; mass rape as a tactic of war and the forcing of the women of conquered peoples into sexual slavery; the killing of women who are not virgins when they are married; the execution of women deemed to be “witches”; the condemnation of homosexuality as not just a sin, but an “abomination” subject to the death penalty; and, among other outrages too numerous to list, the condemnation to eternal damnation and unbearable suffering in hell for all those who do not accept “the one true God”—and, in the case of Christianity, Jesus as the son of God who was crucified but then raised from the dead.

As BA notes in Away With All Gods!, “All of this, along with many other atrocities and outrages, is upheld and promoted in the Bible. If you believe in the Bible—and especially if you believe and insist that it is the divinely-dictated, or divinely-inspired word of God and all of it must be taken literally—then all of these atrocities and outrages are things that you must say are right and good because the Bible says they are right and good. And that is precisely the case with the right-wing Christian fundamentalists who can be very accurately characterized as Christian Fascists.” Now these Christian fascists hold the reins of power—in particular dominating the education, housing, and environmental departments, and even more ominously remaking the judiciary at a record pace.

Whether the Trump/Pence regime officially backs away from Moore or not—and at this point, they have refused to do so—the point is that Moore shares the same theocratic justification for the oppression of women as the rest of this regime. This is the same regime that, among other crimes, recently tortured a pregnant 17-year-old girl in detention who wanted an abortion, using the full force and resources of the executive branch of the state to attempt to prevent her from getting an abortion—an attempt which, fortunately, was defeated... a defeat which, as Linda Greenhouse exposed in the New York Times, the regime has far from accepted. (“The Worrisome Future of Abortion Rights,” November 12, 2017)

Finally, there is the pro-Moore backlash and what that says about the movement supporting this fascist regime. The howls of self-righteous rage against the accusers coming from the crowd at Roy Moore’s aggressive Veteran’s Day defense of himself are at one with the hatred unleashed against women on the internet for “daring” to do such things as act in a remake of Ghostbusters, which featured female lead characters. Moore is doing as Trump did when the Access Hollywood tapes came out; both denying it and at the same time using it to go back on the offensive, to double down on the aggressive male supremacy. What the “mainstream” Republican politicians who at first distanced themselves from Trump didn’t understand then, and what some of them seemingly don’t understand now, is that the putrid demeaning of women represented by behaviors like those of Trump and Moore deeply resonates with the social base for the whole fascist initiative. The restoration of untrammeled male right and power forms part of the triad of the fascist movement backing the Trump/Pence regime, along with white supremacy and extreme American chauvinism backing up a program of aggression and war. The toxin of aggrieved male resentment at the attempts of women to live full lives runs throughout society, as made clear by the long-suppressed outpouring of outrage against sexual abuse over the past month; the Trumps, Pences, and Moores of the world have weaponized this to be one of the spear points of an attempt to implant fascism.

The fact that a fanatic like Moore has gotten this far even before these accusations... that he is still running and still favored to win... and that the administration itself has not even made a show of disowning him... says a lot about how far we’ve gone down that path already, and how urgent it is to defeat it, now.

 


1. When asked by Hannity whether he had ever “dated” 16-, 17- or 18-year-olds, Moore answered, did not outright deny it, saying, “not generally, no” and that dating teenage girls “would have been out of my customary behavior.” He also said, “I don’t remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother.” [back]

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/bob_avakian-a-question-of-basic-stand-and-orientation-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

October 18, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A Question of Basic Stand and Orientation

By Bob Avakian

 

SUPPORT AND SPREAD THE FURY
AGAINST SEXUAL ABUSE

The phenomenon of sexual harassment and sexual assault—including (but not limited to) the sexual abuse of women by men who hold positions of power over them—is long-standing and widespread throughout this male supremacist society and is reinforced by the putrid culture it has spawned. The outpouring of outrage against this sexual abuse and the all too commonplace institutional cover-ups and complicity with it, and the demand for a radical change in the culture—which has made a major leap in relation to the accusations against Harvey Weinstein and has now spread far beyond that, involving millions of women, in sphere after sphere throughout this country and in other countries as well—is right, righteous, and long overdue, and should be supported, encouraged, spread, and defended against counter-attack. 

In the context of such a long-suppressed outpouring of outrage, there are bound to be some negative aspects, including some excesses, where false or exaggerated accusations are made in particular cases; but these have been (and will almost certainly remain) a very secondary aspect of the phenomenon. If and when it may be necessary to point to some of these shortcomings, this must be done very judiciously, in a way that does not undermine the overwhelmingly positive character of this upsurge, and in fact helps to strengthen it.

This long-suppressed and thoroughly just outpouring of outrage is not the same as any particular accusation. Such particular accusations do have to be approached on the basis of scientifically evaluating the evidence, and this is especially important where the accusations not only allege misconduct but actual criminal action, such as rape or other sexual assault. But this distinction, between particular accusations and the overall phenomenon, should not be allowed to obscure or diminish the righteousness and importance of the massive upsurge against this widespread and deeply-rooted abuse and the tremendous injury it does to women and to humanity as a whole.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/517/atwood-stop-the-insanity-and-negotiate-peace-in-korea-before-it-Is-too-late-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Stop the Insanity and Negotiate Peace in Korea Before It Is Too Late!

by Paul Atwood

November 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Revolution/revcom.us is posting “Stop the Insanity and Negotiate Peace in Korea Before It Is Too Late!” by Paul Atwood, senior lecturer in American history at the University of Massachusetts Boston, which was given as a speech at a November 11 antiwar demonstration in Boston and originally published on Counterpunch.org, as it provides valuable information on the background to the U.S. threats against North Korea and the danger of war. Atwood makes this important point:

If war breaks out in Korea it is certain to become a nuclear war and since Korea sits on the borders of both China and Russia the likelihood they would remain neutral is nil. All out global nuclear war is an extremely probable consequence should the U.S. strike North Korea. Pay no attention to Trump’s twaddle that the dire consequences will only be felt “over there.” Given that the future of the human species is always at stake in the nuclear age we should be shouting from our rooftops to stop this madness before it is too late. (emphasis added)

We also urge readers to read the article on the 1950 U.S. Invasion of Korea in the Revolution/revcom.us series American Crime.

~~~~~~~~

I doubt that there are many within range of my voice who are not aware of the ongoing crisis with North Korea. Yet few seem to be taking it as the most serious threat of global war since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, when utter destruction was averted by the refusals of a Soviet admiral and President Kennedy to allow the warmongers to have the Third World War. Are you confident that President Trump and his inner circle of power will act sanely today?

A recent poll indicated that 58% of Americans believe if North Korea conducts a strike against the United States an all-out response would be warranted.

This is madness and irrationality of the first magnitude. First, the regime in Pyongyang understands that it will be wiped off the map should it attack so it will not attack first unless of course it believes an American attack upon it is imminent. Yet North Korea will not allow itself to be ravaged as it was during the Korean War more than 50 years ago. If war breaks out in Korea it is certain to become a nuclear war and since Korea sits on the borders of both China and Russia the likelihood they would remain neutral is nil. All out global nuclear war is an extremely probable consequence should the U.S. strike North Korea. Pay no attention to Trump’s twaddle that the dire consequences will only be felt “over there.” Given that the future of the human species is always at stake in the nuclear age we should be shouting from our rooftops to stop this madness before it is too late.

The primary fault line is the illogic and downright falsehood that the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, is like a jihadist plotting just the right time to launch a strike against us. The media trumpet this deceit all the time precisely to work up hysteria on the part of the public yet even the CIA reports that Kim Jong Un is a rational actor concerned primarily with defense of his regime. North Korea understands that an attack against South Korea or the U.S. would result in its utter destruction, effectively wiping the tiny country off the map. Why then would North Koreans arm themselves with nuclear weapons and declare they would use them should the U.S. attack?

The answer is quite simple. The United States was the first to threaten North Korea with nuclear destruction going all the way back to the Korean War of 1950-1953 and our government has threatened this implicitly again and again. Having recently witnessed the U.S ravage much weaker nations like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, Pyongyang believes that nukes are its only deterrent to the same fate. Our media conditions us to believe that North Korea is straining at the bit to attack but this is absurd.

#7: Mass murdered 3 million during Korean War (1950-53), today threatens to "destroy" North Korea with nuclear "fire and fury." Read more HERE

North Korea is no worker’s paradise and Kim Jong Un is surely a dictator and American propaganda asserts constantly that the regime commits human rights abuses against its own population. Yet our own nation did worse, killing millions of ordinary Korean civilians wantonly and it constantly threatens to do so again. North Korea has 25 million people the U.S. nearly 350 million. Since 1958 when North Korea was ravaged and profoundly weakened by the earlier war the U.S has encircled the tiny nation with nuclear weapons, either by stationing them in the south or deploying them on submarines and aircraft carriers, or by overflights of B-52 or B-1 bombers. If the U.S. was surrounded by a hostile power with such weapons what measures would we take?

Public ignorance about the real background of U.S. North Korean relations is a big part of the crisis. The corporate media assert endlessly the usual platitudes that the United States went to war in Korea to promote the freedom of South Koreans and to build a democracy. Yet the truthful and ugly reality is that after World War II Washington imposed on South Korea nothing less than a vicious and murderous dictatorship that in terms of shedding the blood of its own civilians was far worse than the North Korean totalitarian regime.

We all know that the U.S. fought Japan in World War II. So did the Soviets. The U.S. fought in the Pacific while the Red Army fought in China and Korea. The Soviets defeated the Japanese in Korea and could have occupied it entirely and kept the U.S. out. At the Yalta Conference of 1945 FDR and Stalin agreed that Korea should be liberated entirely but the Soviets agreed to a temporary division. The U.S. arbitrarily drew the new borders. The overwhelming majority of Koreans were adamantly against this division.

Korea had been a unified nation with a unique culture for more than a thousand years until the Japanese invaded in 1910 and established a virtual slave state. Koreans virulently resisted the Japanese with armed struggle led by Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of North Korea’s leader today, who accepted Soviet aid but was not their puppet. In fact the Soviets withdrew their troops in 1948 but the Americans did not. Most Koreans appreciated Kim’s armed resistance to the Japanese and on a largely nationalist basis they wanted independence on Korean terms. In other words, and this is a crucial point, at the outset of war, the vast majority of Koreans preferred Kim il Sung over the U.S. appointed leader, Syngman Rhee, precisely because Kim had fought the Japanese. Therefore real American actions even before the outbreak of war in 1950 depict anything but a commitment to democracy and freedom of choice. Washington repudiated the desires of most Koreans, just as it later opposed the majority in Vietnam, and the result was a humanitarian catastrophe.

We Americans have to understand that one of the deeper reasons our country went to war with Japan was over which nation would get to exploit and profit from the resources, markets and cheap labor of East Asia. Japan was sealing the territory off from American access. The U.S. won the war against Japan and then lost China to the Chinese. Of course they were the wrong Chinese from Washington’s perspective and the U.S. was not about to lose the rest of East Asia. That is why Washington established its primary base of operations on the mainland of Asia in Korea, and that is a major reason the U.S. also went to war in Indochina later. Quite apart from the threat that North Korea feels, China sees the American nuclear weapons on its borders as deeply menacing, as they are intended to be.

The government the U.S. set up in South Korea in 1945 was, in the words of the American commander General John Hodge, an “essentially fascist” and “murderous regime.” Let me repeat. It was the American commanding general who stated that South Korea’s government was Nazi-like and yet he was there to promote that very regime.

From 1945 until the outbreak of war the South Korean government, with American approval and aid, executed, murdered and massacred hundreds of thousands of South Koreans opposed to what they viewed as an American puppet regime. On the island of Cheju over 33,000 civilians, including women and children, were massacred by the Rhee government, which was able to do this with American weapons in the hands of South Korean soldiers who had previously served the Japanese and aided them to rule over their fellow Koreans and who then did the same for the U.S. The US imposed conditions in South Korea were not very different than they had been under the Japanese.

It was on the basis of reunifying Korea and ridding the peninsula finally of all foreign occupation and the atrocities associated with it that the North Koreans moved their forces south. Our media said then and continually repeat now that they were “invading” the south. Ask yourself, How could Koreans invade their own nation? The United States fostered civil war in Korea, as it would do later in Vietnam, and intervened directly with massive destructive and atrocious consequences

Once the war began and American troops entered the new commander General Douglas MacArthur ordered a scorched earth policy. Although his orders were only to restore the borders that the U.S. had drawn in 1945, he disobeyed them and marched into North Korea with the intention of unifying all of Korea entirely on American terms. China had issued clear forewarnings that it would not tolerate American armed forces so close to its own borders but MacArthur mocked the Chinese and declared that they would not dare to intervene. In December 1950, with hundreds of thousands of American troops on their borders China did enter the war and very nearly drove the Americans off the Korean peninsula entirely. The Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, bewailed the fact that American forces had suffered the “worst defeat since Bull Run.” The primary reason that the U.S. did not suffer total defeat was Washington’s threat to employ nuclear bombs.

MacArthur was first to threaten but he was overruled and fired by President Truman for fear of initiating World War III but then Truman himself threatened their use. MacArthur’s words were chilling.

I would have dropped between thirty and fifty atomic bombs...strung across the neck of Manchuria...and spread behind us—from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea―a belt of radioactive cobalt. It has an active life of between 60 and 120 years.

As terrible as nukes would have been in 1951 their use today would be immensely worse.

Meanwhile the U.S. systematically devastated Korea, but especially the north, with “conventional” weapons, especially napalm and high energy explosives. MacArthur also requested chemical weapons. The Air Force commander, General Curtis Lemay, who later said of Vietnam that we should “bomb them back into the stone age,” bragged that he had “burned down every town in North Korea and South Korea too.” Pilots returning to their bases reported that there were no targets left to bomb so utterly ravaged was the entirety of Korea. American bombers also systematically destroyed the damns along the Yalu River, the border between China and Korea, killing tens of thousands in the resulting floods, and destroying essential crops for many more civilians. When Nazis did exactly the same in the Netherlands in 1944 their commanders were tried and executed as the war criminals they were.

By the end of the war at least three million Koreans had been killed though many analysts believe this figure is conservative.

It was only the fear of initiating World War III that prevented the use of nuclear weapons. Thus in 1953 an armistice was signed. But this was no peace treaty, simply a cease fire. A technical state of war still exists to this day. One of the most important stipulations of the Armistice which was agreed between the U.S., China and North Korea, but not South Korea, was Article 13(D) which expressly forbade the introduction by the U.S. of any new weapons to be stationed in the south. As noted North Korea was utterly devastated by the war and would remain so for many years so was thus no threat to the south or to the American troops that remained there. Nevertheless the U.S. stationed nuclear weapons on South Korean soil in 1958 in violation of the armistice terms. Since North Korea was no menace to anyone at that time the only logical conclusion is that the nukes were based in South Korea as a measure against, and implicit threat to China, and a clear statement to all that the U.S. base in East Asia was there to stay.

From the 1950s on, Washington poured billions of taxpayer dollars into the South Korean military and in the process financed the growth of major South Korean industries like Hyundai, Samsung, and Daewoo which were organized originally to serve military requirements. The South Korean government remained a dictatorship and police state and its military organization severely disciplined South Korea’s work force to accommodate these industries. By the 1970s when American private investors realized that both the U.S. steel and automotive industries were outmoded and obsolete they disinvested from American companies and poured their dollars into South Korea in search of profits made more certain by cheap Korean labor. This was one major factor in the de-industrialization of America, massive de-employment of millions of Americans, the birth of the “Rust Belt,” and the betrayal of America’s industrial working class.

In 1978 Jimmy Carter announced plans to withdraw all U.S. ground troops from Korea. The War Complex (usually called the Military-Industrial complex) led by Carter’s own National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, set up howls of protest and Carter dropped the plan the next year. Upon Carter’s subsequent defeat in 1980 the Reagan Administration increased troop levels and initiated the military maneuvers that enrage and worry North Korea to this day. In the 1980s over 200,000 American and Korean troops conducted war games on the North Korean border once a year. Today they are conducted two or three times a year though in truth Washington understands that North Korea has no intention to attack. North Koreans, however, believe these war games are the prelude to a U.S. attack upon them.

In 1987 North Korea started its first nuclear reactor. In short order a drumbeat of stories in the major media claimed, with no evidence, that North Korea was building a bomb. In fact the northern regime signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect its facilities to ensure the intention was peaceful. The reactor’s purpose was to generate power to replace the oil and coal upon which the country depended. Pyongyang even shut its reactor down in a signal it wished to negotiate. Yet anti-North Korean hostility mounted and thousands more American troops poured in for intensified maneuvers along with B-1B and B-52 bombers and nuclear capable naval vessels. At this point in 1993 North Korea announced its intention to withdraw from the NPT. As tensions mounted former President Carter inserted himself and won agreement with Kim Il Sung to remain in the NPT, keep IAEA inspectors, and accept American nuclear reactors for the production of electric energy. In the final year of the Clinton Administration initial plans existed between both Koreas for eventual re-unification. Then the new administration of George W. Bush undid the agreed framework by labelling North Korea as part of the “axis of evil.”

Last year the regime of Kim Jong Un decrypted a secret message from the South Korean military, which takes its orders from the U.S. military command, exposing a plot to assassinate him. This has only intensified North Korea’s nuclear aims. Pyongyang has stated that it will not desist from its nuclear program unless and until the U.S. withdraws from the south.

On October 26 of this year Secretary of Defense, and former General, James Mattis declared that he wanted Korea “de-nuclearized” yet clearly he means only to strip the north of its nukes. On October 29 he avowed that the U.S. would “not tolerate” a nuclear armed Korea. By what means does he intend to solve the problem?

I tell anyone who will listen that the very existence of nuclear weapons is like leaving loaded guns in a child care center. Sooner or later there will be a tragic outcome. My students sometimes counter that the responsible adults in a child care center will remove the threat. Are we ruled by responsible adults? The only sane solution is the denuclearization of planet Earth before these infernal weapons abolish us. Recently the overwhelming majority of the United Nations voted to abolish nuclear weapons. The only nations to oppose are those with nukes. That means that the only way the desire of most humans on this planet can be attained is by collective action to demand and force governments to abolish nuclear weapons. The first place to begin is on the Korean peninsula. The U.S. should withdraw all forces from that country, halt all economic sanctions and thereby enable both North and South Korea to reunify, something peoples on both sides wish. China is in the best position to broker such a reunification and the US must also do the sane thing and acknowledge China’s growing role in East Asia. As long as the U.S. intervenes and militarily occupies the south there is no chance that denuclearization can be accomplished and the apocalyptic danger of actions by a deranged individual or by accident increase by the day.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/516/this-week-trumps-maniacal-foreign-policy-gets-more-momentum-not-less-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

This Week Trump's Maniacal Foreign Policy Gets More Momentum, Not Less

Updated November 12, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Two developments this very week underscore the dangers of Trump’s finger on the nuclear trigger.

First, while Trump did not repeat either his genocidal “fire and fury” and “we will destroy North Korea” rhetoric or his moronic but highly dangerous insults to Kim Jong-un, a) his speech to the South Korean parliament continued to threaten war, if in more measured tone, and b) he informally continued to act every bit the thug, bragging about U.S. military power and how “it doesn’t turn out well” for anyone who challenges it.1 He did it in more measured tones and he read it from a teleprompter—but that is hardly something to take comfort in. Moreover, Trump was constrained by the reality that the currently dominant section of the South Korean ruling class disagrees with him on his approach and has been extremely worried that he will drag them into a war that could mean millions of deaths for that country. So, as the New York Times noted in explaining Trump’s more measured tones:

[T]o let that difference [with South Korea] in approach spill out into the open would have played right into North Korea’s hands. It has tried, over nearly seven decades, to break the alliance. So the two leaders decided to stick to common, long-range goals.

Mr. Trump’s change in tone notwithstanding, his advisers have been making the case that North Korea’s ambition is to reunify the Korean peninsula by force, and that traditional deterrence cannot stop the North once it has a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States.

That Trumpian premise—is basically untrue, and they know it. The North Korean rulers correctly understand that without their having nuclear weapons the U.S. will face much less constraint in knocking out their regime, as the U.S. did in making war on Libya after it had given up its nukes based on U.S. assurance. The Trumpian premise forms the underpinning of the highly aggressive policy that Republican Senator Corker has said puts the U.S. on course to launch World War 3. Trump’s actual policy—and yes, he is backed up in this and will be backed up in this by Kelly, McMaster, and Mattis who are not “adults” but war criminals—is a very aggressive U.S. foreign policy which requires “victories” to keep the momentum going. Trump can now say, “Look, I went to Asia and talked with people and tried to be reasonable and peaceful, and North Korea still did not give up their nukes.” Then he can seize on anything—most recently, the rumor has been floated that they will launch a first strike on North Korea if it tests another intercontinental ballistic missile—to pose as the victim and go to war and the Democrats will, almost to a person, “rally ’round the flag”—and Trump’s approval ratings will soar. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The other big thing this week ratcheting up the danger level has been the internal coup in Saudi Arabia and its subsequent provocations against Iran. Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman arrested over 500 people in the Saudi ruling class on vague charges of corruption (this coming from someone who used government funds to buy a personal yacht worth more than half a billion dollars), and centralized power in his own hands. In a highly unusual move, Trump raced to his Twitter account to hail the action. At the same time, the now-unchallenged Saudi strongman accused Iran of launching a missile into Saudi territory from Yemen, calling it an “act of war” (the Iranians denied doing this and the Saudis have given no evidence to any international observers of this supposed deed). Just before the arrests the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Harari, popped up on Saudi TV to resign his office, claiming that the Saudi enemy Hezbollah (a powerful Lebanese political party with its own army and an ally of Iran, currently fighting in Syria and Iraq) had driven him into exile. Not only did Hezbollah deny this, there were many who speculated that Harari had been forced to make this move by the Saudis. In writing of this explosive stew, Times columnist Thomas Friedman voiced the worry that those who have been “urging [the Saudis] to be more aggressive in confronting Iran... like the [United Arab Emirates], Trump, Jared Kushner and Bibi Netanyahu [head of Israel]—will push [the Saudis] into a war abroad and at home at the same time, and we could see Saudi Arabia and the whole region spin out of control at the same time. Be afraid.” [emphasis in original]

 


1. Here it does have to be said for the record that while the U.S. has been able to wreak horrible amounts of destruction and murder on people all over the Middle East, their much vaunted military has not been able to actually win a solid, lasting victory in some time; this is actually part of what led to Trump’s ascension, why he now feels compelled to demonstrate U.S. might in a convincing “victory” somewhere, and what makes the danger of war—which is built into any imperialist system like the U.S.—much more heightened with a fascist regime in power. [back]

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/515/keynote-speech-by-refuse-fascism-on-nov-4-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Keynote Speech by Refuse Fascism at Rallies and Marches on Nov 4:

Who will end this nightmare? WE WILL

November 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Today it can and must be said that there ARE people in this country who REFUSE TO BE SILENT, WHO HAVE STOOD UP with courage and conviction, braving the lies and even threats of violence and death by fascist trolls. Today, we, and people just like us in cities and towns across the country, are overcoming fear and uncertainty, recognizing the grave danger that the Trump/Pence regime poses to all of humanity, TO STAND TOGETHER AND SAY:

THIS NIGHTMARE MUST END: THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!

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

We rally and march today to BEGIN a new phase of the struggle to bring about what millions of people ache to see: the end of a regime that imperils the lives of millions of people, a regime that denies their basic rights, their humanity and even their very health, and yet its danger is even greater than that. Without exaggeration, the future for humanity and the planet hangs in the balance from the Trump/Pence regime. This regime is playing roulette with nuclear weapons and is denying science and climate change while discarding environmental protection laws. Millions know and feel this horror.

Who will end this nightmare? WE WILL. Only the determined struggle of millions of people acting together with courage and conviction can drive this regime from power. Today we begin a process of continuing protests demanding this whole illegitimate regime be ousted from power. We will reach out to all sections of the people, spreading everywhere, growing week by week and month by month with the movement increasing in size and determination. We will not be deterred by naysayers, cynics, by those who normalize, accommodate or conciliate with a regime such as this. We are right to do this and the hour is late. Our actions today across the country reflect the values and respect for all humanity and the world we want—in stark contrast to the hate and the bigotry of the Trump/Pence regime.

Nov 4 NYC March through Midtown

We have what we need to begin:

[1] An understanding of what we are fighting. This is not a normal presidency. This is a regime working every day to bring about an American Fascism—Manifest Destiny and American exceptionalism—a fascism wrapped in the Bible taken literally and the American flag, saturated with racism, misogyny and xenophobia.
[2] We have a plan to bring forward the hundreds of thousands and eventually the millions of people to create a situation where this regime is driven from power.
[3] We have a plan for the next two weeks that will be a springboard, so that we can work to change the calculus from what may seem impossible now to become a movement that shakes the political ground.

For 11 months there has been one outrage after another from the Trump/Pence regime that assaults the conscience, threatens the world and in its very extremeness fills people with anguish and anger. This is the basis for millions to act on our demand.

Can anyone seriously deny that the Trump/Pence regime is working to radically eviscerate the rule of law, bludgeon the truth, demonize and terrorize immigrants, refugees, Muslims? Deny that this is a regime that stigmatizes LBGTQ and disabled peoples; tramples Native people’s rights, threatens Black and Latino youth with more police brutality and mass incarceration, that threatens the environment and more wars including with nukes? That this is a regime that despises women—from the sexual predator-in-chief to a vice president and much of the cabinet who would return women to the Middle Ages without rights to control their own destinies?

Chicago Nov 4: "No Trump/Pence; No WWIII"

We act now because fascism gets normalized as it gathers momentum. While group after group gets demonized, others “get by” and go about their daily lives. The unthinkable becomes routine and the abnormal becomes normal. And, then it might only take a single incident—intentional or not—to drop the hammer. History has shown that fascism must be stopped before it becomes too late.

For those who thought that letting Trump's generals run the show would bring “adult supervision into the room”—now you see that you have a president and a chief of staff who deny the horror of slavery and the necessity of a civil war to end it.

Today, November 4, as Trump stomps into Asia, seven billion people hold their breath for fear of what he might unleash, or put in place, while he’s there... All this makes painfully clear that we cannot wait. We cannot stand by. We must fight from where we are now. We must unite and struggle together to drive out this monstrous regime.

Nov 4 Seattle

Some will tell you that we cannot do this. They are wrong. This IS possible. Last year, the South Korean people took to the streets, in demonstrations that took place every week at first, and then mushroomed over a few months to politically engulf the entire country and force the removal of their president. They created a crisis of legitimacy and, on that basis, all kinds of previously hidden truths began to pour out. Cracks that had existed in the ruling apparatus turned into fissures through which the truth and outrage of the people erupted. The legitimacy of the regime began to unravel. Faced with that situation, the powers that be somehow found the mechanism to remove the duly elected president, replace her, and call new elections.

Some people will tell you that the U.S. is not South Korea. Duh. In fact, the horrific danger and horror of the Trump/Pence regime far exceeds that of the former president of South Korea, with therefore far greater potential to arouse broad and determined struggle.

Our objective is nothing less than creating the movement from below that forces the removal of the Trump/Pence regime. Starting today—we are calling on every person, every group, to be a part of beginning a movement of protests that gathers momentum. Where people are out every day—reaching out and protesting in waves.

Every day there are new outrages from the regime, and new divisions and conflicts among the powers that be. Republican senators are forced out of their party and then speak some truth of the danger of Trump. Indictments. Scandals. Infighting. Our Call to Action, which everyone should circulate and sign, says that:

“Our determination to persist and not back down will compel the whole world to take note. Every force and faction in the power structure would be forced to respond to our demand. The cracks and divisions among the powers already evident today will sharpen and widen. As we draw more and more people forward to stand up, all of this could lead to a situation where this illegitimate regime is removed from power.”

Nov 4 San Francisco

How do we get where we need to go? We start with a two-week plan to springboard forward from today.

We start today with our march showing people that there IS a force now daring to demand that this regime GO NOW, chanting, saying and signifying in every way to the people we meet: JOIN US JOIN US JOIN US.

Then, there are plans for different protests, speak-outs, outreach and rallies most every day in most cities. Across the country we are calling for three nationally coordinated protests.

First, on the anniversary of Trump's election—Wednesday 11/08—Take to the streets! This is no time to reminisce over our shock last year. Go to high schools. Join protests at night and march. Let's move people from “Not My President” buttons to joining us so that this dangerous buffoon really is NOT PRESIDENT. Everywhere we go reach out and bring more and more people into the streets.

Second, NEXT SATURDAY, November 11, Veterans Day; at the end of Trump’s Asia trip: Come out for major protests against the unconscionable way this madman and his generals have put all of humanity at direct risk of extermination. Take to the streets next Saturday with the lives of our sisters and brothers around the world in our hearts, letting them know that this narcissistic madman will not take the world down in our name.

Third, two weeks from today, November 18: Hit the streets and multiply the size of today's march... more cities, more people, more organizations all saying together: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

All week leading into November 18 there will be different protests, rallies and ways to organize. Most important, what each of us must do is reach out and spread the word—flyering, marching, speaking to groups. This is new and out of the ordinary for most of you. But, there is nothing ordinary about this regime. It is time for ordinary people to do the extraordinary.

On November 18 we must have thousands more people getting to a situation where every time some new outrage of Trump comes up—which is every day—people think of the “THEY MUST GO” movement... And, they think: “I really do need to be a part of that.”

There are also those who tell us that we should not do this. Who look at this regime and their determination to vilify and repress opponents... who see the bloodlust and coarseness and bigotry at the very heart of it... and who say out of honest concern that this regime is too vicious and we have no choice but to wait for elections or to fight the attacks as they come and hope for the best. Our answer: every great struggle everywhere has demanded courage and has often demanded sacrifice. But we cannot shrink from that. We will not be provoked into foolish and alienating actions. Nor will we be cowed by the slander and vilification this regime wallows in, or attempts to divide us against each other. There is too much at stake.

We remember the words of Martin Niemöller, the German clergyman who ended up in Hitler’s concentration camps. Niemöller said: “First they came for the communists, but I was not a communist so I said nothing. Then they came for the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist so I said nothing. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I said nothing. Then they came for me... and there was nobody left to speak.” Many people here have heard that quote, and over these next two weeks we will be called upon at times to remember and apply that lesson anew.

Niemöller also said that had they stood up to Hitler at the very beginning, at a time when the direction and logic of the Nazis was clear but the carnage had not yet fully begun, that even though there would have been tremendous sacrifice, it would have been worth it. It might have worked, he said, and think of what we would have avoided if it had. We surely face a situation no less grave.

We honor the memory of those who stood against the Nazis, and of all those who stood for justice throughout history against heavy odds. We do not seek unnecessary sacrifice; on the contrary, we will do everything we can to prevent anyone in this movement from coming to harm, to protect each other. But we know that sacrifices are necessary in any great cause against entrenched power, and we know this: that we are not acting in isolation but together with many others who recognize this great danger and are part of this great fight, and that we represent the interests of humanity as a whole.

The people and the planet are depending on us. This nightmare must end. There is a way to do this, beginning here and beginning now, and beginning with each of you to make a crucial beginning in these next two weeks and then go on from there.

Join me in pledging: In the Name of Humanity, I REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America. The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/515/november-4-around-the-country-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

New York City, November 4


November 4: Thousands March in Two Dozen Cities to Demand “This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!”

Updated November 6, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

Also see “Some Scenes from November 4 Across the Country

 

 

Watch and share this film:

Sights and Sounds of November 4 From Around the Country

(Except where noted, photos on this page are Special to www.revcom.us)

New York City

Photo: Credit: @EinoSierpe

 

San Francisco

 

Chicago

 

Chicago Takes a Knee - Refuse Fascism Nov 4

Taking a Knee

Los Angeles

 

 

Revolution Club in Los Angeles

 

Seattle

Austin, Texas

Photo: @cass_ingles

Hawaii

Hawaii

Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon Refuse Fascism November 4

Cleveland

Austin, Texas: People in TX came out today despite being surrounded by fascists.

Austin, Texas

 

Austin, Texas

Detroit

Atlanta

Several thousand people in two dozen or more cities marched today in demonstrations called by Refuse Fascism around the slogan This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO! From a high of 1,500 in New York at its peak, to the 45 people who marched defiantly in the face of over 200 armed fascists in Austin, Texas, to the several hundred in Chicago who marched to drums in the cold November rain...to hundreds on a defiant and spirited march in Los Angeles... hundreds in San Francisco who, defying the city's denial of permit for the protest, rallied in the middle of busy downtown and then marched for miles through neighborhoods... a core of people, a critical mass, emerged who want to see this regime go—NOW. People who are acting, with a real sense of community and purpose, as the Trump/Pence regime continues forward with one fascist outrage after another—including the heightened danger of nuclear war, highlighted by Trump’s trip to Asia and continuing threats against North Korea. And they went up against the unconscionable attempts by the media to minimize and white out the movement to drive out the regime--and the vile, violent threats by fascists leading up to and on the day of the November 4 protests.

Also important were the people from the arts, from the clergy, from political movements who spoke or sent messages to the rallies. These include: Eve Ensler, playwright, The Vagina Monologues; Dorothy Reik, president, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains; Perry Hoberman, media artist, associate research professor, USC School of Cinematic Arts; Rev. Gregg Greer, Chicago; Father Lawrence Lucas, Black liberation theologian, longtime Harlem activist; Father Richard Estrada, Church of the Epiphany, LA; Rev. Tom Carey, Church of the Epiphany, LA; Immortal Technique, hip hop artist; Salman Aftab, American Muslim Task Force on Civil Rights & Elections, Chicago; Arturo O’Farrill, musician; Rev. Frank Alton, St. Athanasius Episcopal Church, LA; Cindy Sheehan; Graywolf, director AIMSoCal (American Indian Movement, Southern California); Isabel Cardenas, Salvadoran-American activist and an initiator of Refuse Fascism; Father Luis Barrios, Holyrood Church/Iglesia Santa Cruz and John Jay College, City University of New York; Bob Bossie, Catholic priest and long-time activist; Rev. John Beaty, Akron Interfaith Immigration Advocates.

Now all this must mushroom, and quickly. As the fundraising email sent out the night of November 4 by Refuse Fascism said, “Trump is on his way to Asia as we write you and the whole world is holding its breath. Nobody knows exactly what new outrage will greet us tomorrow or the day after... but we do know there will be one, be it to women, the rule of law, the rights and dignity of Black people and historically oppressed peoples, the environment, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ, or the very notion of the truth... or all of those. There remains a real urgency to this moment.”

Over the next two weeks, there will be continuing protests in different cities—and on November 11 and 18, days of national demonstrations called by Refuse Fascism. What began on November 4 needs to go to a whole new level, opening the way for the thousands to grow to hundreds of thousands and to millions, acting on a unifying demand: the Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!

Stay tuned to revcom.us every day for news on this movement. And go now to watch, and spread, both the video speech by Bob Avakian, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible, and the question/answer session from that speech, which provide the best single grounding in the importance of this movement... and how to tackle the key questions before it.

Statements to Rallies for November 4

Andy Zee delivered in NYC the November 4 Keynote speech, “Who will end this nightmare? WE WILL”. Andy Zee is an initiator of RefuseFascism.org, and the spokesperson for Revolution Books in New York City.

Father Lawrence Lucas, author, lecturer, Black liberation theologian, chaplain at Rikers Island prison, longtime Harlem activist:

Congratulations to the leaders and all involved in the November 4th beginning to end the Trump/Pence nightmare. Hope it wakes up millions of Americans including many sleeping and/or duped clergy. With You

Salman Aftab at Refuse Fascism rally in Chicago

Dorothy Reik—President, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains:

In the name of humanity, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains will not accept a Fascist America!

Decades ago the United States fought and helped defeat the Nazis in Europe. But even then there was support for Nazis and for Fascism in the United States. Anti-Semites like Henry Ford and Walt Disney thrived and the companies they built still prosper. And under the radar the Nazi movement made its plans, infiltrating the Republican Party on the local level, funding fascism-loving think tanks, and working under the radar until they could assume the reins of power. Now they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They have taken over most of our states, elected their followers to federal office in the House and Senate and gotten their judges appointed on all levels and now even to the Supreme Court! One of their own now sits in the Oval Office and another sits next door as Vice President! And they will fight to protect their power. They are turning us against one another and their militarized police increase our anger instead of tamping it down. J20 inauguration protestors are facing 70 year prison sentences while the White Nationalist Nazi thugs who beat a Black anti- fascist protestors have not even been charged—but their victim has! WE MUST FIGHT BACK. ON THE STREETS, IN THE STATE HOUSES AND IN THE HALLS OF CONGRESS. WE MUST TAKE BACK OUR STOLEN ELECTORAL SYSTEM! WE MUST END VOTER SUPPESSION AND GERRYMANDERING. WE MUST VOTE IN 2018 AND 2020―THE YEAR THE NEW ELECTORAL DISTRICT LINES WILL BE DRAWN AND A NEW PRESIDENT WILL BE ELECTED! WE MUST PROTEST THE MAN WHO SITS IN THE WHITE HOUSE NOW WHEREVER HE GOES. TODAY IS THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF THE TRUMP/PENCE FASCIST/RACIST REGIME. POWER TO THE PEOPLE.

Rev. Gregg Greer, President, Freedom First International, At Chicago Refuse Fascism Rally

Eve Ensler Message of Support Read in NYC

Video: @RefuseFascism

Perry Hoberman of Refuse Fascism explains how today will "start the process of driving out" the Donald Trump regime in Los Angeles

Video: @JournoWes

Sunsara Taylor, one of the MCs of the New York protest, a co-initiator of Refuse Fascism, and writer for www.revcom.us

Photo: @EinoSierpe

U.S Veteran who went to Iraq, powerfully calls on Past, Present and Future Members of the Military to join this movement to DRIVE OUT THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME!

@ImmortalTech says "Human rights are at an all-time low because people can't seem to even decide who is human & who is not."

Video: @RefuseFascism

Noche Diaz at Refuse Fascism rally in Chicago

Rev. John Beaty, Co-convener of Embracing Justice and Peace; Member of Akron Interfaith Immigration Advocates; Retired United Methodist Clergy active in Grace United Church of Christ of Loyal Oak in Norton, Ohio:

My Fellow Americans,

This is why I believe that both Trump and Pence are not fit to be President and Vice President of the United States of America:

They have lied to the American people. They claim to be for the American worker, but have done everything they can to withhold fair wages, and not to honor our right to protect ourselves by collectively bargaining with our employers. They have claimed to represent the forgotten citizen, when they have tried to take away our right to healthcare, our right to breathe clean air, to drink clean water, to eat food that is not poisoned with pesticides and cancer producing additives, to know what they are doing in collusion with megabillionaires, mega corporations, megabanks, and mega polluters.

They have promised to make America Great Again, but they are destroying the America that is struggling to be a beacon of freedom, prosperity, inclusiveness, kindness, fairness, and equal justice for all.

They prey upon people’s fear, anxieties, and prejudices to divide us from one another and to provoke us to violent conflict.

They are utterly corrupt with secret deals with shady foreign and domestic influences that enrich the favored few at the expense of the unfortunate many.

They seem hellbent on destroying our climate, our environment, our wildlife, our national parks and monuments.

They are enhancing a system of taking from the many poor and giving to the richest few of our citizens.

They are criminalizing and incarcerating blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, the poor.

They are encouraging the most zenophobic, racist, misogynistic, homophobic elements of our society.

They are taking money from needed programs and spending it on unnecessary walls, prisons, weapons.

They are threatening the Constitution of the United States in a lust for power, privilege, and partisanship.

They are talking like fascists, looking like fascists, acting like fascists, entertaining white nationalist neo-Nazis in the highest echelons of government.

Do you think they just might be fascists?

This Nightmare Must End! The Trump/Pence Regime MUST GO!

This is my belief!

Philadelphia

Video: @jpegjoshua

 

 

Photo: @yomitgmb

 

Photo: Refuse Fascism Philly

 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Over 30 Students Walk Out from East L.A. High School on Anniversary of Trump Election

November 9, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a member of the Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

Over 30 students from Mendez High School in East Los Angeles marked November 8, the anniversary of the fascist Trump getting elected, by walking out of school and taking to the streets with banners and signs. Coming off of November 4, early Monday morning, we stood outside Roosevelt High School in East L.A. calling on students to walk out on November 8. We had a large-screen TV set up to show the film of Bob Avakian’s talk, “THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America: Another World IS Possible.” One student who watched the trailer for the film went to a different high school, Mendez, about a 25-minute walk from Roosevelt. She said she wasn’t good at talking to people, and we told her she could spread the word on social media.

On November 8 we went back out to Roosevelt early in the morning and passed out fliers that called on students to meet outside the school. We heard an announcement over the loud speaker telling students and faculty that the school was “on lockdown” because of a “dangerous situation outside.” We then saw over a dozen students walking toward the meet-up spot—but they weren’t Roosevelt students, they were coming from Mendez High. They picked up the “Trump/Pence Regime Must Go” signs and banners and marched around Roosevelt. One of them then called on others to go back to Mendez before the break was over, so we jumped on a train back to Mendez with a bunch of rowdy students chanting, “No Trump! No KKK! No Fascist USA!”

We got to Mendez as students were being called back into class and starting chanting “Walkout! Walkout! Walkout!” We then started doing agitation on why they should walk out and told them that doing the right thing right now meant breaking the rules. Security tried to stop them, but kids started hitting the gate anyway and yelled back, “fuck you...” to the security guard while others made it to a side door to get out. The students were taking a lot of initiative on deciding where they should go to call out students and led us to another entrance that was being guarded by school police and staff. One student walked right over a police car as we made it to the guarded entrance and gathered right in front of the authorities that were trying to keep these young people locked inside the school. They defiantly called on other students to find another way around to get out.

Then we headed toward downtown and took the street as we chanted “Trump and Pence Must Go! Trump and Pence Must Go!” The people in cars that went by honked their horns in approval and raised their thumbs as they rolled by.

We stopped for a break and took the opportunity to ask the students why they walked out. One young woman started talking about how she hated Trump and everything that he was doing, and how he was so sexist. A couple of other students said how they were afraid that their parents were going to get rounded up and deported. These groups of students weren’t going to just sit by and be afraid, not today—they started discussing where they should go next and started texting their friends who were still in school calling on them to walk out as well.

They decided to march back to Roosevelt, where we found pigs parked outside in an effort to intimidate these students. Some of the youth started yelling insults at the police and later spoke bitterness about how the police always mess with people, how they kill people and always get away with it. We talked to them about how Trump made a speech where he told cops “please don’t be too nice” and how the genocidal thrust of that statement further highlights the need to drive out the whole regime.

Throughout the day we made sure to emphasize the fact that we needed to rise above petty squabbles and be really on a mission to drive out this whole regime. We’re going up against a fascist regime and its storm troopers, who would rather the students be well-behaved children in the face of the catastrophic danger that this all poses to all of humanity. And there’s the shit that the masses of people are caught up in themselves. A Revolution Club member had to pull back a couple of youth from getting caught up in gang bullshit and struggled with them to see that this is about something much bigger. At another point an older gang member complained about how these youth were “going to make the spot hot” and that they needed to get out of his hood. The Revolution Club member told him to think about what it would mean if this fascist regime consolidates power and how instead of complaining about these youth he needed to join them.

Before people dispersed, we let the students know what we started on November 4 and how they were now part of this movement to drive out this fascist regime. They plan to walkout again next Wednesday and really build for the next one so that this keeps growing.

 

 


 

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Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

September 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A QUESTION, A CHALLENGE FOR PAUL KRUGMAN,
AND ALL THOSE CONCERNED ABOUT THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY

by Bob Avakian

 

 

Paul Krugman, a Nobel prize winning economist who regularly publishes commentary in the New York Times, recently wrote (in a September 11, 2017 column “Conspiracies, Corruption and Climate”) that with Donald Trump in the White House, “know-nothing, anti-science conservatives are now running the U.S. government.” And here is the very sobering statement with which he concluded this column:

The bottom line is that we are now ruled by people who are completely alienated not just from the scientific community, but from the scientific idea—the notion that objective assessment of evidence is the way to understand the world. And this willful ignorance is deeply frightening. Indeed, it may end up destroying civilization. [emphasis added]

This brings into sharp relief the question: If, indeed, the people in power may end up destroying civilization (and this could come about not only through what they do in relation to the climate but through their wantonly unleashing nuclear war), does this not require everyone concerned with the fundamental interests of humanity, with its very fate and future, to act in ways that are actually commensurate with this profound existential threat?

In fact, there are people who are doing so. People who have recognized the grave threat posed by those now ruling us, and the urgency of the situation, and who are therefore determined to act now to not just oppose but remove from power this regime of nightmares. People who have refused to simply hope that the “normal workings” of a process that has brought these people to their ruling position will somehow prevent them from acting in accordance with their “willful ignorance,” and worse. People coming together on the basis of a Call from the organization RefuseFascism with its forthright stand:

“This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!
In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!”  

They are working tirelessly to create the political and organizational basis for massive and sustained mobilization throughout the country, beginning on November 4 this year, whose unifying stand is the insistence that this whole regime now in power must be removed from power. As the special pamphlet from RefuseFascism.org: “The Crimes of the Trump/Pence Regime and How to Be a Part of Driving Them from Power” explains:  

RefuseFascism.org is a movement of people coming from diverse perspectives, united in our recognition that the Trump/Pence Regime poses a catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power. This means working and organizing with all our creativity and determination toward Nov. 4 when many thousands of people will fill the streets of cities and towns, beginning a struggle that must continue day after day and night after night, eventually involving millions of people, demanding: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

We extend a welcome invitation to individuals and organizations from many different points of view who share our determination to refuse to accept a fascist America to join and/or partner with us in this great cause.

So, that is the crucial point of orientation and the challenge: People who hold many divergent points of view must come together and act politically, in what is really a meaningful and powerful way, to deal with the looming—in fact the ongoing—disaster embodied in this Trump/Pence regime, because of its willful opposition to the scientific method and its utter disregard for and repeated trampling on the truth, because of its overt white supremacy and misogyny, its xenophobic and bigoted attacks on immigrants, Muslims and LGBT people, its raw “America First” jingoism and the grave danger it poses to human existence through its predatory approach to the environment and bellicose wielding of military power, including its expressed willingness and brazen threats to use nuclear weapons.

In “Conspiracies, Corruption and Climate,” Paul Krugman refers to those now in power as “know-nothing, anti-science conservatives”; RefuseFascism agrees that they are “know-nothing,” and “anti-science” but goes further in identifying them not merely as “conservatives” but actual fascists. Krugman is a proponent of capitalism, whereas I am an advocate of communism, a new communism, who is convinced that what is ultimately and fundamentally required to deal with the current horrors facing the masses of humanity, and the looming threat to the very existence of humanity, is a truly radical and emancipating revolution. But that is not the immediate question and challenge before all of us at this present moment. Rather, it is to deal with the grave danger posed by those now in power, through nonviolent but massive and sustained political action—the mobilization of first thousands, growing into millions, determined to get and remain in the streets until this regime is removed from power. Does not the common recognition that this regime “may end up destroying civilization,” demand of us—of all those, of many divergent viewpoints, who can recognize that these are the stakes for humanity—that we act together, and do everything in our power, to bring about the massive political manifestation that is urgently needed to drive out this regime?

It is in this spirit and with this understanding that it is crucial for everyone—those, like Paul Krugman, with a prominent platform from which to influence public opinion, as well as those without such a platform—who do recognize and agonize over what is at stake for humanity to act, from their own perspective, to give meaningful support to, and indeed to become actively involved in, the critical work building toward November 4: publicly endorsing and promoting the Call from RefuseFascism, helping to break through what is effectively a white-out of this by the mainstream media, donating and raising funds, directing people to the RefuseFascism.org website, and in countless other ways helping to develop the necessary political and organizational basis for what RefuseFascism very rightly calls “this great cause.” For it is the massive and sustained political mobilization called for by RefuseFascism that truly represents the prospect of forging a positive path through and beyond this extremely dangerous and potentially disastrous situation.

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

September 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A Country Ruled By White Supremacists—Since When Is That Acceptable?

by Bob Avakian

 

 

Jemele Hill, a commentator at ESPN, tweeted that Donald Trump is a white supremacist, whereupon White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders called for Hill to be fired. (She has not been fired but had to issue an apology, saying she should not have implicated ESPN in her comments.) And then there is the comprehensive and compelling case made by Ta-Nehisi Coates, in the current issue of the Atlantic, that Trump’s defining ideology is white supremacy. Here it must be sharply raised:

What does it mean, and what does it require people to do, if an overt white supremacist is sitting in the White House, if this whole administration (regime) is based on white supremacy, if not only Jemele Hill’s comments, but Ta-Nehisi Coates’ argument in his Atlantic article, is accurate—which is the case? Is this something people just have to accept—that overt white supremacists are now ruling the country? Is it something that can, or should, wait until some future election (2018 or 2020) to see if it gets “worked out”? And who will cause this to “work out” in a good way, if their moral and political standard is that it is alright, or something people just have to accept, that the country is being openly ruled now by white supremacists?!

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Setting the Record Straight on Communism and Socialist Revolution

REFUTING THE BIGGEST LIES AGAINST COMMUNISM

November 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Lie #4: Communism is a form of totalitarianism. Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin sought to impose total domination over society—through repression that invaded every aspect of society and individual life, and mind-manipulative ideology.

The theory of “totalitarianism” equates communism with fascism…the dictatorship of the proletariat with fascist rule…and Stalin with Hitler. This is a grotesque misrepresentation of reality. The Soviet Union when it was socialist (from 1917 until the mid-1950s) and Nazi Germany (1932-45) were polar opposites in all key aspects: in their economic foundations; political and social structures; aims and outlook of leadership; guiding ideologies; in the actual ways these societies functioned…and in the lived experience of the individuals making up these societies.

The theory of totalitarianism traffics in gross lies and distortions of the methods and goals, and the real history and experience, of communist revolution. It detaches Nazi Germany from its capitalist underpinnings. And it pathetically worships at the feet of liberal-democratic imperialism as the highest and furthest human society can and should go—prettifying its monstrous crimes and inhumanity, and the savage exploitation of hundreds of millions at the base of this system.

The most influential “scholarly” work proposing the theory of “totalitarianism” is Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism. The powerful critique of Arendt by Bob Avakian in Democracy: Can’t We Do Better Than That? provides essential understanding for why this theory is unscientific and the agenda it serves.

The main target of “totalitarian” theory is in fact communism. And this theory’s main ideological function is to distort and demonize communist revolution and reconcile people to this world of horrors.

Reality Check #1—Different origins and systems of class rule of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany

*The socialist Soviet Union was the outcome of a mass revolution bound up with the horrific death and destruction of World War 1 and a highly oppressive and repressive society that millions were in revolt against. The October Revolution of 1917, led by the Bolshevik (communist) Party, overthrew the old capitalist-imperialist ruling class/elites; and the ensuing civil war of 1918-20 shattered their remaining political-military power. The revolution created new governing structures—the dictatorship of the proletariat—that empowered the formerly oppressed and exploited, in alliance with the great majority of society, to take ever greater responsibility for the running of society. And the new socialist system spurred radical social-cultural transformation and ferment.   

*Hitler and the Nazi vision of a resurgent, revengeful, and “racially pure” imperial Germany emerged out of German defeat in World War 1 in 1918. Hitler built up a mass racist and reactionary social base through the 1920s. His program ultimately gained the backing of sections of the traditional German capitalist-imperialist ruling class. Nazi rule was erected on the foundations of developed German industrial-finance capitalism. And Hitler united the reigning economic-military elites behind a project to make Germany the great and dominant imperial power of the world. Fascist rule deprived people of minimal rights, creating categories of undesirables, and carrying out savage persecution and control—moving first against communists!

Reality Check #2—Two utterly different economic systems

*The revolution in the Soviet Union led to history’s first planned socialist economy. Unlike capitalism, it operated according to the principle of production for social need, not profit in command—providing for the material and cultural needs of the people and bringing workers and peasants into positions of responsibility. Resources were allocated in a conscious and planned way to develop an all-around economy. The Soviet economic system was not driven, nor did it seek, to expand and exploit globally, or to colonize peoples and regions. The new Soviet Union recognized the right of self-determination and aided and supported the struggles of peoples colonized and dominated by imperialism.

*The German economy under Hitler maintained and enforced the system of capitalist ownership and control and exploitation of wage labor—and was transformed into a predatory militarized economy. The German imperialist state sought to gain control of the resources and labor of vast stretches of Europe and beyond: through annexation, war, and plunder.   

Reality Check #3—Emancipating humanity vs. tightening the chains of oppression

A. Women in Soviet and Nazi society

*The Nazi program for women was one of total subordination. The Nazis pushed women out of the workforce and sought to turn them into compliant breeders and mothers for the fatherland. “Kitchen, children, church” was the slogan. The Nazi “role model” projected in state propaganda, in the educational system, and culture was the “Aryan” male: the patriarch and racial warrior.   

*The Soviet revolution stood for the liberation of women. In the 1920s and early 1930s, Soviet society was challenging traditional gender roles and customs enslaving women, including Sharia law. Abortion was legalized and made widely available—as was the right to divorce. Never before had a society made the uprooting of women’s oppression such a focus. Women joined the labor force in the greatest numbers in history—with childcare and nursery facilities provided. Great efforts were put into improving post-natal care for minority nationalities.

In the mid-1930s, however, the government saw the need to stabilize society as the threat of war grew. Certain radical social measures were reversed and abortion banned. This was a grievous retreat, though women continued to play a major role in political, economic, and cultural life.

B. Racial purity vs. multinational/multi-ethnic equality

*The Nazis aimed to establish the rule of the so-called German “master race” over Europe and the East. Only “racially fit” Germans were deemed suitable to reproduce. Nazi social policy aimed to eliminate “inferior” Germans (the mentally ill and developmentally disabled, homosexuals, and “a-socials”) through sterilization and denial of medical treatment. And the Nazi racial state ultimately embarked on a program of genocidal extermination of the Jewish people in Germany and Europe, along with other ethnic and national groups. Hitler propagated the imaginary conspiracy of Bolshevism/communism and the Jewish people, and sought the elimination of both.

*The socialist Soviet Union was the world’s first multinational state based on equality. It valued and promoted ethnic diversity. It waged campaigns against “great-Russian chauvinism.” It created autonomous regions where minority nationalities previously forbidden from using their own languages in schools and official political life could now do so—and local, indigenous leadership was fostered. Minority cultures flourished. Soviet scientists and educators worked to explode the myth of “backward” and “superior” races. Nowhere else in the world was this going on—least of all the U.S., where segregation and white supremacy were the law of the land and lynching against Blacks rampant; and Jews were subjected to discrimination.

The Soviet Union put an end to the persecution of the Jewish people. And, please Mr./Ms. Totalitarian, the Soviet Union was the only fucking country in World War 2 that actively sought to save the lives of massive numbers of Jewish people. In Eastern Europe, where the Red Army in World War 2 marched, Jews were protected; where the Nazi military marched, Jews faced genocide. Fact: 200,000 Polish Jews escaped the German Holocaust when they came under the control of the Soviet Union in 1940.

Reality Check #4: There were no “death camps” in the Soviet Union.

In 1936-38, as the threat of massive imperialist attack on the Soviet Union was growing, the socialist state launched police operations to prevent counterrevolution. The target of these campaigns became too broad, rights were violated, and many innocent people were arrested and executed. (We will have more to say about the reasons and lessons in a separate installment on Stalin.) But there were no “death” or “extermination” camps in the Soviet Union. The claim that “millions” were executed by Stalin is pure myth. No ethnic group was targeted for elimination. And no nationality was singled out for mass imprisonment (as is the case for African-Americans in the U.S. today).    

Reality Check #5: And who in fact played the decisive role in defeating Hitler?

One rather glaring problem with totalitarian theory’s equating of Hitler and Stalin is that it cannot really account for the fact that the socialist Soviet Union and capitalist-imperialist Nazi Germany were locked in mortal antagonism. Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, in a war of conquest and destruction on a scale unseen before in human history—with Hitler making it clear to his troops that they were to discard every principle of humanity for a war of total annihilation. The Soviet Union bore the brunt of the Nazi war machine. And under Stalin’s leadership, the Soviet Red Army and the Soviet people not only courageously beat back this onslaught but played the decisive role in defeating Hitler in World War 2—at a cost of some 26 million Soviet lives, including 11 million soldiers.

Reality Check #6: Two different modes of thinking

Communism is a science. It is internationalist. It requires the rational-scientific investigation and understanding of reality. It aims to transform reality, to bring a world free of exploitation and all oppression into being—based on the real-world potential to forge such a world and the conscious struggle of oppressed humanity and all who aspire to such a world. Whereas…

The Nazi outlook was based on concepts of German “blood and soil,” racial purity, male supremacy, hatred and contempt for critical thinking, and out-and-out irrationalism.

To conclude…

The theory of totalitarianism is intellectually hollow and empirically impoverished. It is influential bullshit that does great harm. The charge of “totalitarianism” leveled against communism—that communism is a “utopian ideal turned madness”—is a critical element in the bourgeois ideological arsenal that declares: Stay away from communist revolution, don’t aspire to a radically different and better world, don’t  try to change people’s values and thinking for the better. It will only make things nightmarishly worse. Long live the status quo.

Recommended Readings

*Democracy: Can’t We Do Better Than That? by Bob Avakian, 1986. Especially Chapter 6, section: “The Theory of Totalitarianism and Its Political Role.”

*Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, and What It’s All About, Session 3 Is Communism Totalitarianism?” A film of talk by Bob Avakian, 2003, www.revolutiontalk.net

*You Don’t Know What You Think You “Know” About… The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future, an interview with Raymond Lotta, 2014, www.revcom.us and www.thisiscommunism.org

*Three Alternative Worlds, by Bob Avakian, December 3, 2006, www.revcom.us

 

 


 

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Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

EDITORS’ NOTE: The Trump/Pence regime has attacked NAFTA as a “job killer” and a “bad deal” for America. This demagoguery covers up the real truth about NAFTA, including whose lives it has actually devastated. Trump’s attacks on NAFTA are part of his campaign to target immigrants, whip up “America First” xenophobia, and make U.S. imperialism’s domination of Mexico and other countries even more ruthless and predatory. We encourage readers to share this installment of American Crime widely. It is essential reading in this time of Trump/Pence fascism.

American Crime

Case # 55: The 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement—NAFTA (Part 1)

November 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

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

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

 

 


A “free trade” agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico known as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) was implemented in 1994 with much fanfare. In reality, NAFTA was a predatory treaty whose effect was to ratchet up the cruel and reckless plunder of Mexico and its people.  But the most damaging effects of NAFTA in Mexico lay in the changes it brought to Mexico’s countryside. There it inflicted vulture-like destruction to millions of small and medium peasant farmers, especially its corn farmers.  Here, Mexican farmers protest the end of import protections for their country's corn and bean crops in Mexico City, 2008. (Photo: AP)

 

The Crime: A “free trade” agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, known as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), was implemented in 1994 with much fanfare. The secretly negotiated 2,000-page treaty was touted as a measure to bring increased prosperity to the people of the three countries. In fact, NAFTA was a predatory treaty whose effect was to ratchet up the cruel and reckless plunder of Mexico and its people.

Under NAFTA, maquiladora factory “sweatshops” along the U.S.-Mexico border expanded dramatically. Within a short time after NAFTA’s ratification, more than 1,000 maquila factories employed a million workers, 75 percent of them women, in oppressive conditions producing cheap goods for U.S. manufacturers at a fraction of the wages paid to U.S. workers.

But the most damaging effects of NAFTA in Mexico lay in the changes it brought to Mexico’s countryside. There it inflicted vulture-like destruction to millions of small and medium peasant farmers, especially its corn farmers.

Corn is not only Mexico’s chief crop, it is almost synonymous with Mexico itself, part of an agricultural food system going back to the time long before the European invasion. Mexican farmers are highly skilled agriculturalists who, over time, and through careful selection methods, developed hundreds of varieties of nutritious corn adapted to the soils, climate, and other growing conditions in different parts of the country. These mainly small- and medium-size farms used the resources at hand to maintain soil fertility and healthy crops without resorting to artificial fertilizers or industrial poisons—herbicides and pesticides—common in modern capitalist farms. They were “organic” farmers before the term ever came into use. But in the eyes of NAFTA’s crafters in the U.S. and Mexico, Mexican farmers were backward and an impediment to “progress.”

Prior to NAFTA, and as prelude to it, the government of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari altered Mexico’s revolutionary-era constitution, which had protected peasant communal land known as ejidos. The change allowed these peasant farmlands to be sold, putting them at the mercy of market conditions.

Before NAFTA, Mexican farmers were an exploited population, but there were government subsidies for farmers and tariffs to maintain some price stability and protect farmers’ livelihoods. NAFTA eliminated these tariffs. As originally written and promoted, these tariffs were to be phased out over a 15-year period. But this did not happen. Instead tariffs were eliminated in the span of a few years, opening Mexico’s markets to a flood of cheap U.S. corn. As U.S. corn and other staples poured into Mexico, producer prices dropped as much as 70 percent and small farmers found themselves unable to make a living.

NAFTA’s promoters claimed that subsistence farmers would not be hurt by lowered corn prices since they did not depend on the market. This reflected a total—likely willful—ignorance. Even farmers able to subsist on their own production relied on the sale of corn to purchase products and services they themselves could not produce, like health care. These farmers’ lives were devastated.

At the same time, despite the influx of cheap U.S. corn, consumer food prices actually rose, including the cost of the crucial food staple of the Mexican diet, the tortilla. For example, in 1994 Mexico’s minimum wage (about $4.20 per day) bought 44.9 pounds of tortillas. By 2003 the minimum wage bought only 18.6 pounds.

Since NAFTA, U.S. and other corporations have gobbled up human and natural resources in Mexico on an almost unbelievable scale. Livestock production has moved from small farms for local markets to corporate producers like Tyson, Smithfield, and Pilgrim’s Pride.

Once NAFTA became the law of the land, millions of Mexicans joined the ranks of the hungry. Malnutrition is highest among the country’s farm families, who used to produce enough food to feed the nation. In post-NAFTA Mexico, 42 percent of the food consumed comes from abroad.

Before NAFTA, Mexico spent $1.8 billion on food imports. By 2011, that rose to $24 billion, as Mexico became dependent on imports of rice (80 percent), soybeans (95 percent), beans (33 percent), and wheat (56 percent). Mexico’s thriving dairy sector was devastated under NAFTA, and Mexico became the world’s number one importer of powdered milk, a factor that is linked to a crisis in infant malnutrition.

NAFTA increased the percentage of the population without access to basic food, and the number of Mexican children suffering from malnutrition rose to 20 percent.

In the first years of NAFTA, some 1.3 million Mexicans were forced off their land. The flood of workers into the cities caused a 10 percent fall in industrial wages. Female-headed households saw their poverty rate increase by 50 percent.

Suicide rates in agricultural states soared as a direct result of NAFTA’s destruction of farm life and the rise in poverty and hunger. The states of Campeche and Tabasco had suicides rates of 9.14 and 9.85 per 100,000 in 2005—almost three times the national average.

With the experience of hunger and malnutrition as an everyday reality and starvation a realistic possibility for themselves and their families, many farmers felt that they had little choice but to leave their farming lifestyle and head north to the U.S.

“Before NAFTA, everybody here grew corn. People didn’t make much money, but nobody went hungry,” according to Griselda Mendoza, 23, sharing common lore from her region of Oaxaca. She was born just after NAFTA was signed. As cheap American corn poured in, it had devastating effects on her family. Her father, Benancio, couldn’t compete. He had to give up and move to the United States for a job. He took up a job as a cook in Tennessee, saving up money to send home so his kids could attend school. “He went north looking for a job and I didn’t see him again for 18 years,” says Mendoza.

The architects of NAFTA actually foresaw the ruinous effects it would have on millions of Mexicans. Testifying before Congress in 1993, before the passage of NAFTA, INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) commissioner Doris Meissner stated: “Responding to the likely short-to-medium-term impacts of NAFTA, will require strengthening our enforcement efforts along the border both at and between ports of entry.”

“Strengthening enforcement” meant a dramatic increase in militarization of the border, the building of a border wall, and laws criminalizing immigrants that came in measures passed during the administration of Bill Clinton. Deadly conditions created by these repressive laws have lead to thousands of deaths and have kept millions of immigrants from being able to return for visits, effectively cutting them off from their homes and families indefinitely.

The Criminals:

President George H.W. Bush (1989-1993): Began negotiations to include Mexico in the recently signed “free trade” agreement between the U.S. and Canada.

President Bill Clinton (1993-2001): Pushed through the 1994 ratification of NAFTA with the active backing of the U.S. Business Round Table and major corporations and financial groups. Clinton claimed that the treaty would lift people in all countries. But starting in 1994, anticipating an increase in immigrants fleeing from the effects of NAFTA, Clinton’s administration passed several deadly and oppressive measures, Operation Gatekeeper (1994) and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. Together these measures greatly increased the danger of crossing the Mexico-U.S. border and have led to thousands of deaths, massive deportations, and criminal treatment for millions of immigrants coming north from Mexico and Central America.

Mexico’s President Carlos Salinas de Gortari: Presided over Mexico’s NAFTA negotiations. Under Salinas, a member of the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) which had ruled Mexico since the late 1920s, the government altered Article 27 of the Mexican constitution to end protections of indigenous communal lands. This change allowed transnational agribusiness “to buy, rent, or enter into association” with communal landholders. This was a stepping stone to NAFTA. Salinas oversaw the privatization of Mexico’s telephone company and banks among a thousand other public entities, some at fire sale prices and to personal friends, and foreign—especially U.S.―capital. Salinas promoted NAFTA with the help of powerful Mexican business interests, claiming it would lift Mexico into the ranks of prosperous “first world” countries. But as his term ended in 1994, Mexico’s economy crashed and Salinas fled the country into exile in a fashion that reminded people of Porfirio Diaz, the infamous Mexican autocrat whose rule gave rise to the Mexican revolution.

The Alibi:

Largely negotiated under George H.W. Bush and passed during the presidency of Bill Clinton (after a trade agreement had been negotiated between the U.S. and Canada), NAFTA was touted as a great boon, to the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, benefiting ordinary people in all three countries through more and better jobs and greater prosperity. It was claimed that lifting of trade tariffs would create “a level playing field” allowing wages and living conditions to become more even over time.

The Real Motive:

Creating “a level playing field” and equalizing wages and living conditions was never NAFTA’s intent (nor was it possible under capitalism-imperialism).

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, George H.W. Bush used the phrase “the new world order” to signal U.S.'s intention to reinforce its military, economic, and political dominance in the world. NAFTA can be seen as a key component of this “new world order.”

NAFTA was designed to create a “free trade zone” to meet the challenges of global rivalry from the European Union, Japan, and rising economies in East Asia. The U.S. goal was to combine its financial and technical strength, along with Canada’s, with Mexico’s imperialist-dominated economy and government, and its large population of low-wage workers and poor peasant farmers. By lowering tariffs on imported and exported goods within the North American free trade zone, NAFTA sought to boost the U.S. economy by relocating some U.S. manufacturing to Mexico, where low wages, nonexistent environmental laws, and paltry worker protections gave these companies an advantage in the global game of profit accumulation. Ending tariffs allowed U.S. car manufacturers, for example, to off-shore their parts production and reduce the costs of their cars.

Corn farming in the U.S., unlike in Mexico, is the domain of huge agribusiness conglomerates employing highly capitalized and mechanized industrial farming methods. Under the guiding hand of agricultural monopolies like Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), U.S. corn is grown on huge tracts of land using advanced technical methods to bring the cost of corn per unit down. Corn seeds are selected or genetically engineered, not for nutrition or local adaptation but for maximum yield at the lowest cost.

On top of this, U.S. government farm subsidies in 2000 were 10 times greater than the total agricultural budget of Mexico, and the U.S. corn sector is the largest single recipient of U.S. government payments. Thus, huge U.S. agribusinesses had access to U.S. corn surpluses at artificially depressed prices.

All this meant that U.S. corn could be sold at prices well below those possible from Mexico’s small farms. In the words of an Oxfam report on NAFTA: “Far from operating on a ‘level playing field’, small farmers in Chiapas and elsewhere in Mexico are at the wrong end of a steeply sloping playing field which runs downhill from the US Mid-West. They are competing not against US farmers, but against US taxpayers and the world’s most powerful treasury. It is difficult to think of a starker illustration of unfair trade in practice.”

So lowering Mexico’s tariffs on food opened it to more cheaply produced and subsidized U.S. farm products like corn, as well as other U.S. agricultural goods. And this meant potentially huge profits for corporate U.S. growers, eventual control of the food market in Mexico, and the devastation of over a million Mexican farmers just in NAFTA’s first years.

In addition to the destruction of corn farmers, NAFTA opened the floodgates to investment in other areas of Mexican farm production. Much of the investment that arrived went to buying up existing productive capacity, including livestock operations and storage facilities. The absorption of Mexican chicken production by Tyson and Pilgrim’s Pride is an example.

Net exports from the northern part of Mexico grew after NAFTA, but that expansion paled in comparison with new imports of grain, oilseeds, and meat from the United States. After 10 years under NAFTA, Mexico was dependent on the United States for much of its food.

Under NAFTA the millions of small farmers and their families driven off the land were foreseen to become cheap labor in U.S.-owned factories in Mexico and in the fields and other work places in the U.S.

At an AFL-CIO convention in 1997, U.S. President Clinton, citing the challenge to U.S. economic hegemony posed by economic rivals, acknowledged that free trade was “about how 4 percent of the world’s people [the U.S] can continue to hold 20 percent of the world’s wealth.”

Sources:

Cockcroft, James, Mexico’s Hope. Monthly Review Press 1998

Fanjul, G. and Fraser, A, “Dumping without Borders: How US Agricultural Policies are Destroying the livelihoods of Mexican Corn Farmers.” Oxfam Briefing Paper. Oxfam International, Washington, DC, 2003

Krooth, Richard, Mexico, NAFTA and the Hardships of Progress. McFarland and Co., Inc. No. Carolina, London, 1995

Lopez, Ann, The Farmworkers’ Journey. UC Press, 2007

Nadal, Alejandro, The Environmental & Social Impacts of Economic Liberalization on Corn Production in Mexico. Oxfam, September 2000

Nevins, Joseph, Operation Gatekeeper and Beyond: The War On “Illegals” and the Remaking of the U.S. ‒ Mexico Boundary, 2002, second edition 2010

The World Post, “Nafta is Starving Mexico,” Lauren Carlsen, director of the Americas Program for the Center for International Policy in Mexico City

Patel, Raj, Stuffed and Starved. Melville House, 2012

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/517/what-else-happened-during-elections-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

What Else Happened While All Eyes Were Fixed on the “Great Election Victory”?

November 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Tuesday, November 7, the Republifascists were thrashed in elections in a number of states, particularly Virginia. Ed Gillespie, their candidate for governor, had gone all out with the poisonous Trump agenda—upholding monuments to slavery, denouncing NFL players who protest police murders of Black people, equating Latino immigrants with the MS-13 gang. Gillespie ended up losing.

These results are another indication that tens of millions of people in this country are repulsed by Trump and what he stands for. This is the underlying basis for mobilizing millions of people in sustained nonviolent struggle to drive out the Trump/Pence regime, as Refuse Fascism has called for and is organizing to bring about.

Democratic Party spokespeople, along with a host of liberal and progressive commentators, cheered these electoral victories—which did NOTHING to curb Trump’s actual power—as proof that elections were not just the main, but the only form of meaningful “resistance.” Meanwhile, the Trump regime was aggressively pushing forward its fascist agenda and endangering the world! And the Democrats either downplayed, normalized, or outright supported these power moves.

This intoxication with elections is a dangerous illusion, because it ignores the basic reality that the Trump/Pence regime is a fascist regime on a mission, and it does not respect, nor feel bound by, the “rule of law” or by elections either. Remember how during the Republican presidential primary campaign, when the possibility of an open convention came up, Trump and his supporters openly hinted that there would be riots if that happened? Then remember how, as the election approached and it looked like Trump might lose, he refused to say he would accept that result—again, implicitly threatening violence if he was not installed as president?

These fascists are playing by a different rulebook, and this becomes clearer every day. Just look at some of the things that went down in the seven days around the elections:

What all this shows is a regime that is forging ahead with its program by using the tremendous powers of the executive branch (including the “bully pulpit” to arouse and unleash fascist mobs). It is a regime that is preparing to unleash wars for empire in Korea or Iran—wars that would also serve as justification for suppression of dissent and civil liberties, and further concentration of power in the hands of the executive branch. It is entrenching its people in key positions, and it is working systematically to weaken and crush its opponents, by both open and subtle means.

The regime is positioning itself to be able to go forward in the face of indictments, falling poll numbers or electoral defeats.

It is a regime that will not quietly give up the power it has seized nor the fascist transformation it is carrying out.

It has to be driven from power.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/516/experts-say-trump-threatens-nuclear-war-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Trump’s Asia Trip Targets North Korea:

Experts Say Trump Threatens Nuclear War
WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?

November 6, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The danger of a major—perhaps nuclear—war between the U.S. and North Korea looms larger every day. According to experts, as well as major figures in both political parties, cited by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof (November 4, 2017), the odds of war breaking out soon range from “20 percent” to “50/50.”

Speaking at the UN in September, Donald Trump said the United States would “totally destroy” North Korea—a country of 25 million people—if its government refuses to bow to U.S. demands. Later, U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham approvingly described Trump’s position: “There is a military option: to destroy North Korea’s program and North Korea itself. If thousands die, they’re going to die over there. They’re not going to die here—and he’s told me that to my face.” Graham told Kristof that if Korea continues to test intercontinental missiles—test, mind you, not use—“war is inevitable.” Republican senator Bob Corker—a former Trump ally—has warned now repeatedly that Trump has put the U.S. on a course toward World War 3.

On the same day as Kristof’s article, an admiral speaking for the Joint Chiefs of Staff sent a report to a dozen U.S. congressmen in which the Pentagon stated that the only certain way to wipe out North Korean nuclear capability was through a massive land invasion by U.S. forces.

Now Trump has embarked on a nearly two-week tour of Asia which is again targeting North Korea. On the eve of the trip, national security adviser H.R. McMaster warned that “Our president has been really clear on this. He is not going to permit this rogue regime, Kim Jong-un, to threaten the United States with a nuclear weapon. And so he is willing to do anything necessary to prevent that from happening.” Pause on that for a minute: “do anything.”

At the U.S. military base at Yokota, Japan, Trump told assembled troops: “We dominate the sky, we dominate the sea, we dominate the land and space.... Each of you embodies the warrior creed. Your devotion, prowess and expertise make you the most fearsome fighting force in the history of our world.” He promised the troops “a lot more” advanced weaponry, and urged them to “use it well.”

Everybody understood that this speech was a threat against North Korea.

Pro-imperialist pundits claim that Trump’s threats are self-defense, because North Korea’s oppressive Kim Jong-un regime has developed a handful of nuclear weapons, and perhaps an ability to hit the U.S. with them. And for popular consumption, the U.S. paints a picture of Kim as a “lunatic” who would nuke the U.S. just for the hell of it. The U.S. media goes along with this, promoting hysterical fears of North Korean nukes suddenly slamming into Los Angeles.

But in reality the U.S. knows full well that this is bullshit. Speaking of Kim Jong-un at the Aspen Security Conference this past July, Trump’s national intelligence director, Dan Coates, said:

“[O]ur assessment [is that] he’s not crazy. And there is some rationale backing his actions which are survival, survival for his regime, survival for his country, and he has watched I think what has happened around the world relative to nations that possess nuclear capabilities and the leverage they have, and seen that having the nuclear card in your pocket results in a lot of deterrence capability. The lessons that [they] learned out of Libya giving up its nukes and Ukraine giving up [their] nukes is unfortunately if you had nukes, never give them up. If you don’t have them, get them, and we see a lot of nations now thinking about how do we get them and none more persistent than North Korea....” (Emphasis ours)

Again, this is Trump’s own director of national intelligence just matter-of-factly admitting that North Korea has nukes in order to deter a U.S. attack on them, and to be able to stand up to U.S. nuclear bullying and blackmail. And it is exactly that ability to reject complete U.S. domination of the economically and strategically vital Asian region that the U.S. finds “threatening,” NOT the made-up danger of a North Korean first strike.

The “America First” fascists find this unacceptable, and the deaths of millions of Korean people count for NOTHING as long as U.S. interests are advanced. Nor are they deterred by the fact that a war between the U.S. superpower and small and weak North Korea could end up drawing in larger powers with big nuclear arsenals of their own, and threatening the very existence of humanity.

It is highly possible that such a war would start with the U.S. delivering a non-nuclear hit against some element of North Korea’s defense structure and provoke a response. The U.S. would then pose as the victim, and move in to do what Trump so baldly threatened at the UN—the wiping out of an entire country and its people.

If such a horror should happen—and if the rest of humanity should even survive it—what will we answer when future generations demand of us, “What were you doing when Trump’s own people made clear to the world what he was planning? How could you not do everything in your power to prevent it?”

How indeed.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/516/thousands-in-south-korea-protest-trump-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Thousands in South Korea Protest Trump and His War Threats

November 5, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Watch video of students taking their message to steps of Korea's National Assembly

On Saturday, November 4, at least 5,000 people in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, protested Trump’s visit to South Korea that is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, as part of his 12-day Asia trip. Trump’s plans during his trip include visiting a large U.S. military base—the U.S. has 24,000 troops stationed in South Korea.

Trump and the whole regime—including his generals—continue to ratchet up war threats against North Korea. The whole Korean Peninsula would be ground zero for any outbreak of war, potentially causing hundreds of thousands of deaths in a few days, and even millions if nuclear weapons are used.

In the Saturday protest in Seoul, demonstrators carried banners and posters depicting Trump and saying “No Trump! No war!” Police dragged away students sitting down in protest with signs reading “Dump Trump” in English and Korean. A speaker at the rally said that “South Koreans are trembling with fear of war.” A woman whose son was drafted into the South Korean army said, “My heart stirs at every single word Trump says about North Korea.” A worker said, “I came here to protest because I’m afraid of a war. And if a war breaks out, we all die.” One of the songs sung at the protest had the words “We hate Trump. We love peace. We love equality.”

There were lots of creatively designed protest materials, including big masks of Trump with his mouth wide open, a giant fist with the words “Shut Up” in English, and balloons with pictures of Trump attached. In front of the U.S. embassy, people walked on top of an enlarged American flag on which Trump’s actual threats against North Korea were written: “Fire and Fury,” “Totally Destroy” and “Locked and Loaded.”

A teacher who brought students to the rally had a message for people in the U.S.: “I hope that American citizens pay attention to what’s happening here.”

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/516/delrawn-small-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

November 6, 2017, Not Guilty Verdict

And Again... Murdering Pig Acquitted! Justice for Delrawn Small!!

November 6, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Early on Monday, July 4, 2016, Delrawn Small, a 37-year-old unarmed Black man, was murdered by an off-duty NYPD pig during a traffic incident on a Brooklyn, New York City street. Today, November 6, 2017, the pig who murdered him was acquitted in a New York trial.

Delrawn Small was driving with his girlfriend and two children when his car reportedly almost crashed with a car driven by an off-duty cop, Wayne Isaacs. At an intersection, Small got out of his car and approached Isaacs’s car. A video (at right) that surfaced a few days later shows Delrawn Small was almost immediately shot, staggered to the side of the street, and died.

The cop who shot Small said Small came over and punched him in the head repeatedly, and that he (the cop) “feared for his life.”

This murder happened just days before of the murders by police of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota. Because of outrage and protest, and the damning evidence of the video, charges were filed against this cop. Today, November 6, 2017, despite the video showing a straight-up cold-blooded murder, this cop was acquitted of all charges. The cop fired his gun barely a second after Small—who, to repeat, was unarmed—reached his car. After shooting Small, the pig gets out of his car, tucking his gun under his shirt as he looks down on the man he just shot down—making no effort to give any aid.

Victor Dempsey, Delrawn Small’s brother, said, “The video is clear as day that shows that everything they told us from the very beginning is a lie. It was a lie, every single thing. And, I don’t know how to feel right now, all I know is that my brother was murdered.”

Once again, “justifiable homicide” when a Black man is killed by police. And now under a white supremacist, genocidal, fascist regime that tells police to stop being “nice” and strives to unleash Nazis and racists.

Enough. Humanity is capable of a much better world than this.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/516/saudi-arabia-accuses-iran-of-act-of-war-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Saudi Arabia Accuses Iran of “Act of War,” U.S. Rulers Jump on Board…
How Are We Being Trained to See the World?

November 9, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Saudi Arabia claims that this past weekend a missile was fired from Yemen at its capital, Riyadh. The Saudi rulers accused Iran of supplying it for the express purpose of attacking Saudi Arabia, and declared this constituted an “act of war” and a “war crime” by Iran. 

Now the Trump/Pence regime has jumped in to back the Saudi story and fuel the fires of anti-Iran outrage. On Tuesday, Ambassador Nikki Haley went before the United Nations, declared the missile in question “may be of Iranian origin,” accused Iran of “perpetuating the war in Yemen,” and called for international action against Iran.

Never mind that neither the U.S. nor the Saudis have provided any proof. Never mind Iran denies it was involved. Never mind that the missile was reportedly of Yemeni design, or that Yemen’s military claims they fired the missile. 

But leaving aside for a moment whether or not Saudi Arabia’s charges are true or not, what if Iran had supplied the missile that was fired?

Why should we all get whipped up into a frenzy of outrage about this one alleged Iranian missile … when Saudi Arabia has been dropping hundreds, if not thousands, of U.S.-supplied bombs on markets, churches, apartment buildings, food plants, hospitals, and many other civilian targets in Yemen for over two years? 

Why should we focus our outrage on Iran because it may have supplied weapons to the Houthi movement in Yemen fighting the Saudis … when the U.S. imperialists have supplied Saudi Arabia with more than a hundred billion dollars worth of weapons of mass slaughter in the last decade alone—including one $1.3 billion deal for 22,000 bombs and other munitions of murder? 

The Saudis and the U.S. denounce Iran for “aggression” and “war crimes”…. as they are carrying out what is unarguably one of the most cruel, barbaric, and murderous wars being waged anywhere on the planet. 

This ruthless Saudi bombing campaign—using U.S. bombs, aided by U.S. intelligence, and made possible by U.S. mid-air refueling—and its naval blockade could serve as an encyclopedia of war crimes. It has plunged one of the world’s poorest countries even deeper into humanitarian hell. Today, over 17 million people in Yemen need food aid to survive, seven million face starvation, including more than two million malnourished children—including 385,000 who require aid and treatment just to stay alive. As if this weren’t horrific enough, 900,000 people—including tens of thousands of children—are infected with cholera. This totally preventable epidemic has been brought on by Saudi Arabia’s destruction of Yemen’s water, sewage, health systems, and food production and imports.  

And now, after this incident, Saudi Arabia has tightened its embargo, blocked all entry points to Yemen, shutting off even desperately needed humanitarian aid from reaching its millions of hungry, sick, and starving people. Some 15 humanitarian agencies warned of a “nightmare scenario”—the largest famine the world has seen for decades “with millions of victims”—if the blockade wasn’t immediately lifted. 

When is a genocidal slaughter by missiles, bombs, and blockades a “good thing”?

When is a genocidal slaughter by missiles, bombs, and blockades a “good thing”?  According to the U.S. rulers and the dominant media, when the U.S. or an ally is carrying it out. When is a single missile cause to ramp up war threats and danger of war? When it supposedly comes from a country the U.S. and its allies see as a threat ...

This is how people are being trained (not) to think: to see “U.S. interests”—the interests of America’s global empire of exploitation and oppression—as their own interests. At the core of this, the U.S. rulers are training people to stay in the grip of the GTF—the “Great Tautological Fallacy”—which Bob Avakian breaks down in his new, one-hour talk The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible.

Free yourself from the GTF! The Great Tautological Fallacy. A fallacy: an idea, or way of thinking that is false, wrong. A tautology: a round-in-a-circle way of reasoning that asserts something and then claims to prove it by merely asserting the same thing again.  

So, the Great Tautological Fallacy to which I am referring is the notion that America is a force for good in the world and therefore whatever it does is good (or at least done with “good intentions”) even if the same thing when done by other forces, especially by forces opposed to “us,” is bad, is evil. Because … because America is a force for good in the world. 

This is very harmful and dangerous because our interests actually lie in opposing the interests and actions of America’s global empire of exploitation and oppression, and those of its allies like Saudi Arabia. 

Stop Thinking Like Americans, Start Thinking About Humanity!

Watch the full speech by Bob Avakian. The film and video clips are also available for download HERE

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/517/philly-rally-dance-party-to-support-J20-protestors-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Philadelphia: Rally and Dance Party to Support the J20 Inauguration Protestors

November 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following are edited excerpts from a report we received from Philadelphia.

On November 11 over 50 people gathered in front of Philadelphia’s Art Museum to hold a rally and dance party to draw support for the J20 protestors—over 200 people ensnared in legal battles due to their righteous resistance that took place at Trump’s inauguration last January. At the time of writing, 194 of those protestors will begin their trials in November and December. Each is facing an average of 75 years in federal prison.

The rally included a march with huge puppets depicting Trump, a riot cop, and an older woman to symbolize the infamous incident where police attacked protestors. The Trump puppet was holding a hooded Klansmen with “Very Fine People” written on it—referring to Trump’s despicable comments in the wake of the fascist rally at Charlottesville and the murder of Heather Heyer—where he exposed his clear support for the bloodthirsty fascist foot soldiers.

A huge line of police forced protestors to remain on the sidewalk at first. The protestors remained defiant and set up speakers, drums, and a long procession of banners and signs calling for J20 solidarity. The dance party began, with many onlookers taking in the display of a joyous yet determined rally facing off against a line of bike patrol pigs trying to shield people from seeing what was going on. Their signs and banners read “Stand with J20,” “Drop the Charges,” “Smash Fascism,” “Color Coordination is Not a Crime” (a reference to particular antifascist black bloc tactics of wearing all-black at actions to protect their identities), “Fight Political Repression” and “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA.”

A speak-out began once the energy was up. One man spoke to the very real implications of the severity of the charges that the J20 protestors face—to “chill” and “criminalize dissent.” This speaks to the road to normalization of fascism that RefuseFascism.org has consistently sounded the alarm about and the importance of Point #3 of what Refuse Fascism has resolved to do (“Every outrage committed by this regime must be met with greater and greater resistance.”) in its Call to Action.

A young woman then spoke of how 194 of those facing charges are defiantly choosing to go to trial rather than take a plea deal, against all fear and repression. This bold decision will in turn put a mirror to the fascists in power and indict their very system.

Rally participants then held a powerfully moving reenactment of the kettling incident (where riot police encircle and compress a protest) using their massive puppets. Through this street theater they recounted the vicious police assault and roundup of over 200 protestors at the inauguration, where they were beaten and doused with pepper spray by the rioting pigs.

Onlookers watching the rally were receptive and many readily took up palm cards about upcoming protests from Refuse Fascism. Some did not know what had happened at the inauguration, but many others (lots of tourists) nodded in approval once the #J20 hashtag was explained.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/517/call-to-walk-out-of-school-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

A Call to WALK OUT of School!
Break the SILENCE!
Trump/Pence MUST GO! 

November 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

from a young Latina, from an East LA High School.

I'm a student who is currently attending Mendez High School in East LA. 

I am calling on people all over the country to join Mendez High School in the streets, to be heard, to WALK OUT!

We have decided to walk out for the second time, on Wednesday, November 15th, because we want to be heard! We want people to know that we are fighting for our rights and other people's rights!

One of the reasons we are walking out is because Trump and Pence think they are higher and better than us, they are changing the thinking of other white people to make them think they are higher than us, and making us think that we are nothing. But the truth is, without Mexicans, Immigrants and people from other countries, this country would really be nothing! And I think Trump shouldn't even be talking so much trash about Immigrants or anyone, because Trump himself has done so many messed up things in the past and have said so many messed up things about people! 

We decided to walk out the first time because we wanted people to notice that our school, is not going to let him continue to talk about how "bad" we are and how he's going to wipe us all out! And we are Walking out again, so people can see we won't be silent! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/517/metoo-march-against-sexual-assault-on-hollywood-boulevard-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

#MeToo March on Hollywood Boulevard Against Sexual Assault

November 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

from a reader

Sunday morning, Hollywood Boulevard, saw a unique and welcome sight: hundreds of people, mainly but not only women, marching in a #MeToo solidarity march which joined with a “Take Back the Workplace” march.  There were a diverse range of people and organizations there in a defiant spirit: “we’ve had enough!”

This was exposing sexual assault in the workplace, with a large representation from the Hollywood industry and against sexual assault and violence against women everywhere. 

When asked what brought them out into the streets, most women told their own stories of sexual assault: “I was raped when I was a teenager,” “I’ve been sexually assaulted too,” “I just can’t take it any more.” 

The march was made up of several prominent actors, people in the film industry, in addition to high school students, long time activists, and people who were marching for the first time.  Many women carried signs testifying to their experiences of sexual assault: “I was 7 #MeToo” and “Me Too. You know who you are.”  A group of high school students carried a powerful trio of signs: “Slut is attacking women for their right to say yes,” “Friend zone is attacking women for their right to say no,” “Bitch is attacking women for their right to call you on it.” Another woman had cut-out felt hands on all the parts of her body she’d been grabbed or assaulted “Josh, actor, 1993,” “Larry, director of production, 2015” and more.  A man held a sign, “I’m here for my mother and stepmother #ThemToo.”

One woman told me she’d been silent about it her whole life, but now feels like it’s ok to speak out, that she’s not alone.  One of the mothers of the high school students with the trio of signs said they really worked on them, and discussed together what they wanted to say.  Several people commented on the sexual predator in the White House and how deeply embedded patriarchy is in this society. 

There was anger, energy and togetherness.  Significantly, a group of women farmworkers from Alianza Nacional de Campesinas read from their open letter of support to women in Hollywood, connecting their experience of sexual assault by men who hold control over your jobs and lives. 

Like a breath of fresh air, there was defiance.  In one conversation, a woman told me about how hard it’s been to see how many women are impacted—just the sheer magnitude is staggering.  She started to talk about how many women have been “made victims” and then stopped herself.  “No” she said, “that gives them too much power.  This won’t break us.” 

There were different answers about where this is all coming from, with some people putting forward the need for a change in policy and others talking about the need to change the culture.  People were open to learning more about revolution and everyone wanted to connect it up to the struggle to drive out this regime.  There was a visceral anger for Trump. 

The Revolution Club, Los Angeles led people in chants and had all kinds of discussion with people, distributing Revolution newspaper, palm cards for Bob Avakian’s new talk, and materials about Refuse Fascism

As I was leaving the rally, I saw a woman who had a sign pinned to her baby’s carrier: “Hopefully #MeNever”

That’s on all of us to make real.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/517/thousands-of-scientists-issue-second-climate-warning-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

As Thousands of Scientists Issue “Warning to Humanity” of Looming Ecological Disaster... Trump/Pence Regime Gives a Big "Fuck You" to the World

November 15, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

A just-published statement signed by over 15,000 scientists around the world raises an urgent “warning to humanity”: if climate change and other severe harm now being inflicted on the environment are not stopped or significantly slowed very quickly, the consequences will be extremely dire. They warn, “Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory and time is running out.”

The scientists call their statement “A Second Notice.” The first was issued 25 years ago by more than 1,700 scientists, including the majority of living Nobel laureates, who said environmental destruction by human society was pushing ecosystems beyond their capacity to sustain the web of life on the planet, and that major changes were needed “if vast human misery is to be avoided.”

Now, 25 years later—the new statement says that in terms of the key ecological damages, “alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse.” The scientists say, “Especially troubling is the current trajectory of potentially catastrophic climate change”—caused by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (produced by the burning of oil, gas, and coal) as well as deforestation and industrialized agriculture. Indeed, also in the news recently were reports by scientific organizations that the levels of carbon dioxide—the main greenhouse gas in Earth’s atmosphere—was up 50 percent in 2016 from the average of the last ten years.

Just in the recent months, we’ve see horrific effects that climate change is already having on human and other life: “monster storms”—fed by warmer air and seas—destroying the lives and homes of millions in South Asia, the Caribbean and Mexico's Gulf Coast... vast wildfires in the western U.S.... continuing flow of millions of refugees, many forced out of where they lived in Africa and Middle East by effects of climate change... worsening irreversible destruction of coral reefs and other sea life... All this and more will get much, much worse if climate change keeps on its current course.

As thousands of scientists issued their warning for the future of humanity, the American fascist regime carried out yet another criminal act. At the international conference on climate change being held in Germany, with delegates from nearly 200 countries, the only official appearance by the U.S. was at a panel on energy where Trump/Pence representatives made a big pitch for the use of fossil fuels, in particular coal—a major producer of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. This conference in Germany was part of moving on the 2016 Paris climate accords—and, as Revolution/revcom.us has analyzed, the goals for greenhouse gas emission cuts in the Paris agreement fell far short of what scientists say is actually needed to deal with climate change in a real way. And the fact is that even those insufficient goals are not on target to be met (“Here’s How Far the World Is From Meeting Its Climate Goals,” NY Times, 11/6/17).

But for the Trump/Pence regime to go to an international climate conference in order to promote coal is a cold-blooded “FUCK YOU” to humanity and all life on the planet. It’s a message that what they deem to be good for the American empire trumps whatever harm that unfettered burning of oil and coal may cause to people and ecosystems around the world.

If further accelerating global climate change was the only nightmare that the Trump/Pence regime was responsible for—and, in fact, there are many more—that alone should be reason enough for millions upon millions of people to pour into the streets and town squares to say “Enough!” and act on the demand: In the Name of Humanity, the Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/517/exhibit-in-chicago--then-they-came-for-me-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Check it Out:

“Then They Came For Me” Exhibit in Chicago

Letter from a Reader

November 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

I recently had a chance to see an exhibit at the Alphawood Gallery in Chicago that really hit me hard. The exhibit is called “Then They Came For Me.” and also features a powerful film called And Then They Came for Us. Both are about the forced incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans, first in “war relocation centers” and then in internment camps in the spring of 1942, just a few months after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawai’i. If you are in Chicago, hurry to see it since it closes November 19.

I thought I knew a lot about this, but the exhibit made me realize how seldom this story is told in its full horror and outrageousness. You can also learn about this in the American Crime Series at revcom.us.  (See case #89).

One reason the exhibit is so powerful is that it gives you a gut-level feeling for what it was like to be one of the people in the “removal” and how brutal it was. This is revealed through personal accounts and mementos of those who experienced it, plus very powerful photos that are enlarged and displayed with great impact so you feel like you are there.

One wall at the beginning has a timeline for 1942, which is astonishing: Executive Order 9066 was signed in February; in mid-April the first “removal” was carried out in San Francisco; in mid-May most other Japanese-Americans were given notice to immediately register their family, and a week later they were given six days to pack only what they could carry, and to sell homes and businesses at rock-bottom prices. Then they were loaded onto trains and trucks and taken hundreds of miles away without knowing their destination until they got there. A quote from internee James M. Omura is highlighted: “Has the Gestapo come to America? Have we not risen in righteous anger at Hitler’s mistreatment of Jews? Then, is it not incongruous that citizen Americans of Japanese descent should be similarly mistreated and persecuted?”

Dorothea Lange was one of several photographers hired by the War Relocation Authority to photograph the removal and show how “humane” and “orderly” it was. She was outraged by what she saw and resolved to resist by documenting every anguish and abuse of the people incarcerated. Initially they were not supposed to photograph the barbed wire and guard towers that surrounded the camps, but these things were so prominent that they ended up in the photos. Many of the pictures are so disturbing and revealing that they were hidden away for years by the government.

Prior to the Japanese-American “removal” the press began to paint them as villains and supporters of Imperial Japan, in order to turn public opinion against them, as part of creating popular support for the U.S. entry into the war. The exhibit has a postcard that was circulated at the time, depicting two white Americans stabbing a caricature of a soldier in Japan’s army. Looking closer, you see that this is painted on a board with holes cut out for the two faces, so grinning fools could have their picture taken as the attackers! This is the “great American tradition” that Trump and his supporters uphold! 

People attending the exhibit were studying every photo carefully; some older folks were talking together about their own experience in the “camps.” In a comments book, several Muslim-Americans and a Mexican-American noted how much it felt like what they experience every day, right now.

And that’s another reason this exhibit is powerful: its relevance to what is going on now in an America under a fascist administration. From this exhibit you can draw the clear lesson that the resistance against the internment of Japanese-Americans needed to be much broader and more immediate, in order to prevent it. And millions today need to oppose similar measures against Muslims, Latinos, and others and even more drive this fascist regime from power.

The film And Then They Came for Us by award-winning documentary film makers Abby Ginzberg and Ken Schneider is important in its own right. There are interviews with internees; and with Muslims in the U.S. today who are getting support from some of these former internees. The film indicts Trump, has people reading the Niemöller quote in a very artistic way, and interviews three Japanese-Americans who, as young men, resisted their removal to the “camps.” They were imprisoned, but this helped spark resistance among the internees in the camps (see also the revcom article mentioned above). The film is being shown around the country—look online for the schedule. It will be shown in Seattle on November 20, Los Angeles on November 27, and San Francisco on December 10.

I hope that this beautifully-presented exhibit travels to other cities—look for it! The exhibit in Chicago is FREE, which is remarkable in itself. Go to alphawoodgallery.org for hours and location.

 

Editors’ note: This exhibit moves to the ICP Museum at 250 Bowery St. in New York City January 26, 2018 through May 6, 2018.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/517/preservation-award-presented-to-dick-durbin-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Preservation Award Presented to Illinois Senator Dick Durbin

"For Outstanding Silence, Normalization, and Conciliation with the Fascist Regime"

November 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Today (November 16) at noon we marched into the office office of Illinois Senator Dick Durbin on the 38th floor of the Federal Building in Chicago. Stunned receptionists watched "Donald Trump" present Durbin with an award for "Silence, Normalization and Conciliation with the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime." By the time security arrived to escort us out, we had completed the "ceremony" and the receptionists had accepted the large scroll. As we left, security personnel scurried about, their walkie talkies abuzz with "How did protesters get into the building?"

 

Presenting Senator Dick Durbin with the

Preservation award that was presented to Dick Durbin

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/517/aurora-roja-november-4-mexico-city-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

Taken from the blog of Aurora Roja, voice of the Organización Comunista Revolucionaria, Mexico:

Against the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime:
November 4 in Front of the Yankee Embassy in Mexico City

November 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On November 4 a speakout and protest rally was held against the Trump/Pence fascist regime, in front of the main building of the Yankee Embassy in Mexico City.

It was held on November 4 to support and show solidarity with the thousands who at that moment were also mobilizing on the streets of two dozen cities in the United States, acting and joining the call of the Refuse Fascism initiative (see more information at refusefascism.org), with the demand, “This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!”

Yes, this has to stop, the Trump/Pence fascist regime has to go.

The people walking along the sidewalk heard the agitation on the bullhorn. Some also received the flyers that were distributed and listened to what the compañeros were telling them as they put the flyer in their hands. It was a warm afternoon in which hundreds of people were walking by, or driving by in their cars, hearing and learning about the danger humanity is facing due to the advances and threats that the Trump/Pence fascist regime has been making. And that it’s urgent that the peoples of the world act in unity with the people of the United States and the Refuse Fascism initiative and the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, who have been mobilizing in a great effort to drive out the whole Trump/Pence regime.

A large banner with the slogan “NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!” attracted people’s attention, along with large posters exposing the attacks by the Trump/Pence regime during these months in the government. The visual form of these posters shows people the dimensions of the danger in which we find ourselves, if this fascist regime is able to consolidate, and at the same time poses the urgent need to unite and act in the name of humanity so that this nightmare ends.

On the bullhorn, the compañeros of the Movimiento Popular Revolucionario, and others who spoke, exposed, among other things, that what Trump/Pence are trying to consolidate is fascism, a drastic change in the bourgeois form of government to an open dictatorship that is exercised by terror, which crushes so-called rights and mobilizes its fascist forces to attack and commit atrocities against opponents, Muslims, immigrants, women, Black people, and others. We called out the recent statement by the U.S. Air Force that they made a “surprise raid, simulating a nuclear attack” on the North Korean peninsula, which is the escalation of the danger of a nuclear war that could cause thousands of deaths in the first instant that it happens. Also the criminal and ruthless persecution against immigrants and the recent case of the girl with cerebral palsy who was intercepted by ICE (Department of Immigration and Customs) on the way to be operated on, in order to arrest her for deportation after her operation. Or the escalation of attacks on the NFL (National Football League) players taking a knee when the U.S. national anthem is played in repudiation of the murder of Black people by racist white police. Trump attacked these players as “sons of bitches” who should be fired immediately. And the attacks and degradation against women, with an order not to give funds to clinics around the world, not even to give information about abortion. There was also talk of global warming and how the actions of the fascist regime accelerate it, endangering the survival of humanity. A migrant from Honduras denounced his recent deportation and the harassment being suffered by immigrants in the United States. And we called on people to be following the development of events of the people that have taken to the streets in the United States with the purpose of bringing forward more and more people and disrupting the life as usual in U.S. society until the Trump/Pence fascist regime leaves.

The Trump/Pence fascist regime has to go!

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/517/east-LA-Mendez-students-walk-out-again-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

East L.A. Mendez High Students Walk Out—Again!—to Demand "Trump/Pence Regime Must GO"

November 17, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

From a member of the Revolution Club, LA

Over 40 students from Mendez High School in East Los Angeles walked out from school and took to the streets in protest for the second time since the one-year anniversary of the election of the fascist Donald Chump. These students have courageously stepped out in righteous indignation to the horrors that the fascist regime in the White House has already unleashed. At a time when far too many people who hate what Trump is doing are learning to remain silent, are beginning to accommodate, or just accept as inevitable the horrors to come, even when that could be a nuclear war, these students said, “Fuck NO!, Trump and Pence Must Go!”

The week before students spread the word on Snapchat after one student heard the Revolution Club calling on students to walk out at a different high school and watched the trailer of Bob Avakian’s latest talk, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America: Another World IS Possible. Mendez HS students walked out on the 8th, took to the streets and marched around different campuses calling on others to walk out. The Revolution Club joined them and let them know about the mission we were on along with many others of diverse viewpoints to drive out the Trump/Pence Regime because of its fascist nature and the consequences this will mean for all of humanity if they aren’t driven out through massive protests. We let them know what we started on Nov. 4 and the urgent need for these protests to continue and keep growing, they said they could organize another walkout for the following week. One student made a call to students all across the country to get involved. When the Revolution Club went to Mendez to pass out fliers and talk to students about the walk out, several of them already knew about it.

On Wednesday morning, Nov. 15, Mendez students started texting us asking if we would come to their school to help them walkout, when we responded, “Hell yes!” they told us to bring the bullhorn.

A student organizer with Refuse Fascism joined one of the Revolution Club members at Mendez and we waited outside for the students. They planned on walking out right at the front and asked us to meet them there. However, word had got out to the school administration and the principal started telling students that they better not walk out. And when the time students had planned to walk out came, the exits were guarded by staff and school police. We stood out front agitating on the bullhorn as students gathered feet away from the guarded gate. They texted us to let us know that all the exits were being blocked by staff. We kept agitating about the stakes involved right now and spoke directly to the teachers blocking the exits letting them know that whatever their intentions, they were doing something wrong by preventing the students from walking out.

The crowd began to thin out until only a few students remained, including a couple of hecklers who tried making fun of the fact that we weren’t being successful at calling the students out. We repeated the ignorant comments made by these students and spoke to the heartlessness captured in making those remarks as children are crying from having their families ripped apart right around them and others in North Korea younger than them are having safety drills in school because the very real threat of them being incinerated by a nuclear bomb looms over them. This had an impact on the students who were laughing at the foolishness coming from their fellow schoolmates—they stopped laughing, the hecklers walked away, and other students signaled to us that they were going to make it out the side of the school.

The crowd had almost completely dispersed, when we saw a couple of students running across the street away from the school. We walked around the school and met with a couple of other members of the Revolution Club who had just arrived when all of a sudden about 40 more students poured out the side. They told us that there were more students who wanted to get out but couldn’t find a way. One student later told us that he made a map on his phone that led to the exit they were able to escape through and sent it to his friends still trapped inside.

The students picked up signs and marched around the school chanting, “Trump and Pence Must Go!” along with “Join Us! Join Us! Join Us!” One buffoon of a teacher angrily yelled at these students that they were stupid for doing this, but the students remained undeterred and continued to chant while the person on the bullhorn let people know that this idiot was the one who was wrong and the students were the ones who were courageous by doing the right thing.

We took the streets as we marched over 1st Street bridge heading toward downtown Los Angeles getting an overwhelmingly positive response from people outside all the small shops and businesses. Cars honked their horns and raised their fists in approval, even the ones who were being slowed down by these youth taking up the street lanes. We also came across the occasional Trump supporters, and the students defiantly yelled at them to fuck off. We marched into Pershing Square triumphantly, and after a few minutes rest some students stood on the corner distributing fliers to passersby letting them know about the next protest on Nov. 18 letting people know that this is a fight so that “Trump will no longer be the president.”

While we hung out at Pershing Square, I started asking some of the students why they decided to walk out. One student just said because he “don’t like Trump” and “fuck Trump.” But when I asked another student nearby why he walked out and this student responded that he didn’t like school and didn’t really care about what was going on, the students who were around immediately got on his case, saying, “fuck you!” and “asshole.” And the first student, who had only said he didn’t like Trump, challenged him by asking, “You mean to tell me that if ICE comes to your house, kicks down your door and snatches your family away that you wouldn’t care?” A student told me later that that kid wasn’t serious, that he did care but he was trying to act cool. Another student said she did it because other people can’t speak up and that they are afraid—that all they did was come here to the U.S. give their kids a better life, and that standing up right now was a way that the youth could give back to their parents who made those sacrifices.

One of the main student organizers saw a video from high school students in New York City giving Mendez High students support for their actions, and she was VERY impacted by it—she couldn't stop saying "WOW!”

The students had a lot of discussion with people there and talked about how they could get further organized and organize others so that this movement could grow among students. They went back home telling us that we would see them again on the 18th.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/517/we-demand-en.html

Revolution #517 November 13, 2017

WE DEMAND

November 18, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Hurricane Maria triggered a crisis in Puerto Rico. Public health crises are cascading; mass impoverishment and loss of jobs are driving millions to desperation; much of the island's power grid, water purification and delivery system, hospitals, schools, housing, roads, bridges, and other elements of its infrastructure have been damaged or destroyed. All this has been heightened immeasurably by the willful, racist neglect inflicted by the Trump/Pence regime. An epic natural disaster has been deliberately transformed into a catastrophe with genocidal implications. Circulate and discuss these demands among people on Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland; make them a focus of protest and struggle.

WE DEMAND

  1. The full resources of the U.S. government must be utilized immediately to provide and distribute, at government expense, all needed food and clothing to the people of the entire island. There must be continued and ongoing emergency and longer-term medical care, and measures provided to people to prevent massive epidemics and needless deaths as well as to treat post-traumatic stress disorders and other mental health problems. Special attention must be paid to ensure that aid is reaching the many remote areas of Puerto Rico.
  2. The U.S. government must immediately undertake a massive effort to restore reliable electrical power throughout Puerto Rico, without which the lives and well-being of millions are in daily jeopardy.
  3. Safe water must be available to everyone in ample quantities. There must be free communication for people to contact relatives, wherever they live. Under no circumstances must those who take resources necessary for survival be shot, arrested, or punished in any way. All basic needs must be provided FREE OF CHARGE.
  4. High priority must be given to providing everyone with safe and decent shelter—utilizing existing government and privately owned structures, or building new ones when necessary—until adequate housing for all can be built. Damaged homes must be rebuilt where possible. New housing in urban and rural areas must be constructed to maximize its ability to withstand future storms.
  5. The situation of the people and their views on the situation must be fully covered in the news, giving the people themselves access to the media and the chance to tell their own stories.
  6. People who want to leave Puerto Rico and go to the U.S. mainland must be provided with transportation costs by the U.S. government. Conversely, people on the mainland who want to go to the island to assist in its rebuilding or to assist their family members must be provided with transportation to Puerto Rico and housing while there.
  7.  There must be no profiteering and speculation off people’s misery by the sharks of energy companies, insurance companies, oil monopolies, real estate developers, etc.
  8. The Jones Act, a century-old law that requires U.S. ships to be used on all commercial shipments between U.S. ports and Puerto Rico and substantially raises the costs of virtually everything on the island, must be eliminated. Puerto Rico’s debt—the result of 120 years of ruthless exploitation of the people and enormous damage to the environment of this beautiful island by the United States—must be dismissed outright. The educational system, from elementary to university level, must be completely rebuilt. Decent jobs must be provided to all adults who want them.

These measures must be continued throughout the duration of this crisis.