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December 14: #OUTNOW Protests Frontally Challenge Complicity and Collaboration —
The Need to Break Through in Mobilizing Greater Numbers Remains



Across the country, #OUTNOW mobilized small but disruptive and spirited protests in about a dozen cities. These protests brought a defiant and much needed breath of fresh air into a holiday season, boldly delivering the message, “There Is No Santa Claus and He Won't Remove Trump and Pence!” At the same time, these protests fell significantly short of the numbers that #OUTNOW was fighting for and needs (a problem we will return to and which we all must be working to transform together), but rather than throw up their hands at this, protesters stepped up their frontal challenge to the complicity and collaboration that has set in among so many who are anguished by what the Trump/Pence regime is doing. This determination to not just persevere, but to dare to struggle fiercely to break others out of their complicity, is precious and must be built upon. At a time of great peril, the world cries out for this.

Sights and Sounds—and Mood of the People

In Seattle and San Francisco, the protesters staged die-ins in the heart of the busiest holiday shopping and tourist spots. In New York, the protesters snaked through busy holiday markets and the huge crowds in Times Square. In Los Angeles and Chicago, the two places where the turnout was slightly larger, the protests drew people out of their homes and shops, respectively, to dance to the rhythms, pump their fists, speak out, and take literature. Everywhere, the protests challenged people to stop thinking only about themselves and their own families, and to take responsibility for the nightmare Trump/Pence are inflicting on families at the border and all around the world. Another important feature was a breadth of new voices speaking about why they had joined the protests and themselves grappling with the growing problem of complicity.

However, just as striking was the emboldened and truly ugly nature of the Trump supporters. Even in supposed bastions of anti-Trump sentiment, the Trumpsters were loud and bombastic, getting in the face of the protesters, mocking the children in concentration camps, and screaming out, “Trump 2020.” These were not organized counter-protesters; this reflects the broadly puffed up and aggressive mood among the fascists at this time.

Among those opposed to Trump, while handfuls of youth and a few others around the country joined the protests enthusiastically, most were much more passive. Some smiled broadly and even occasionally broke into dancing and chanting along for a moment, but they didn’t seem to feel any compulsion to do more than express passive approval. And a great many more people pointedly ignored the protests, some going as far as to express annoyance at the disruption to their day.

Confronting the Challenges Before Us

In New York City, Andy Zee spoke directly to how to understand—and called on people to work together on reversing—the dynamic where so many who should be standing up are objectively collaborating with the regime. He spoke about the significance of the Democrats’ move to impeach Trump, but also the profound danger of leaving things to the Democrats as they refuse to take on the full fascist program of Trump or really go to the mat to fight for his removal. And he directly challenged the youth who stepped forward in the climate marches, those attracted to the Bernie campaign, and other anti-Trump movements to themselves take up the #OUTNOW demand and why this is necessary for the future that any of us want. It will be important for everyone who wants to see this movement grow to review these remarks (watch them here) and join in putting our heads together about how to go further in breaking people out of their complicity and moving them into the fight to drive Trump/Pence #OUTNOW through mass, nonviolent, sustained protests in the streets.

Bringing #OUTNOW into the Pro-Impeachment Protests This Tuesday

Very immediately, and others involved in #OUTNOW need to mobilize strong contingents to bring this message and challenge into the pro-impeachment protests being called by MoveOn and other organizations for Tuesday night around the country. Those protesting will be taking an important step by coming into the streets, but this is not enough. MoveOn has said these protests aim to pressure Republicans to vote for impeachment, with the implied threat that if they do not they’ll be voted out in 2020. But everybody knows the Republicans will not vote for impeachment unless there is massive upsurge and outpourings from below, and it is unconscionable to wait until the 2020 elections to remove this fascist regime (besides, there is a very good chance that Trump will win the election or refuse to leave office even if he loses). So, people at these protests need to be sharply challenged and warmly invited to go much further by taking up—from their own perspectives and in their own ways—the #OUTNOW demand and being part of mobilizing sustained protest to realize this demand.

Looking Forward to Involving Many More in January

As described in this call posted at, real effort needs to be put—starting now, even as we continue our December Disruptions through the end of the month—into building up truly mass attendance at the nationwide mass organizing meetings being called by on January 4. These need to be real occasions of mass participation in solving the problem of breaking more people out of their complicity and calling forward mass struggle in January—as impeachment unfolds in the Senate, possibly in ways that no one can predict—that builds towards the kind of movement necessary to drive this fascist regime from power. The outlines of a plan have been developed and are available at, but many more people need to be brought into taking this up and working with this basic plan to make the next advances that are needed.




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