Sign, circulate, and act on this statement, inspired by refusefascism.org:
Historically, the university has been the institution where dissent and critical thinking have had the greatest initiative in society. It has helped incubate social movements— like antiwar and civil rights, women’s liberation and environmental. This vital role must be defended from fascist assault— and is needed more than ever.
The weekend of January 21st, millions in the U.S. and around the world marched to register their revulsion at the Trump-Pence regime. That same weekend the Trump-Pence regime pushed aggressively forward with its fascist agenda: an inaugural speech of chauvinistic and war-mongering “America first,” then attacks on the press, followed by ominous declarations that this will be a “law and order” administration. What will come tomorrow?
The Trump-Pence regime threatens to bring catastrophe to humanity. We must expose the truth about the Trump regime, build resistance, and continue to demand its impeachment and removal.
We call on fellow academics and intellectuals to join the millions in the U.S. and around the world who have taken to the streets to oppose hate, racism, sexism, other forms of intolerance, dishonesty, and the authoritarianism of the Trump regime and its allies. Faculty and students must be encouraged to speak freely, in and out of class, about the dangerous character of the Trump regime. We must stand in solidarity with professors “named” and threatened for their progressive or radical views by the rightwing “Professor Watchlist” and other enforcers of the new McCarthyism.
The university must become a zone of resistance— a site of “NO” to fascism in America—and a haven of dissent, critical thinking, and free speech… and for upholding civil and human rights and liberties… and fostering society-wide resistance to this regime.
—Organize teach-ins and walk-ins, inviting students and others to come and speak up. Create new spaces to address this social emergency.
—Classes and curriculum should reflect that we are facing a social emergency. Classes can become forums to discuss everything from what fascism is and the lessons of history, as in Germany… to Trump and the attack on civil liberties, women and LGBTQ, Black lives, immigrants, and the environment… to what this fascist agenda bodes for the university itself. Put “NO!” posters on blackboards and windows— and make them available to colleagues and students.
—Be part of marches, demonstrations, and a visible presence on the streets and other public places.
—Support and join with students who are organizing and engaging in resistance to the Trump regime. Stand with immigrant and Muslim students and professors, as well as outspoken professors, who are targeted and attacked. The movement for “sanctuary campuses” must expand, and pledges by administrations to protect undocumented students must be upheld no matter the pressures and orders.
—The university community must find the ways to make common cause with, and invite into the community, people from all of walks of life who are resisting.
In these dark times, the resistance we mount can contribute to bringing a far better world into being.
Christopher Chase-Dunn, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of California, Riverside*
Fidel Fajardo-Acosta, Professor of English, Creighton University*
David J. Harris, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Harvard University*
Ivan Huber, Professor Emeritus of Biology, Fairleigh Dickinson University*
Raymond Lotta, Political economist, writer for Revolution/revcom.us
Ceasar McDowell, Professor, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT*
Reverend John T. Pawlikowski, Professor of Social Ethics, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago*
Bruce Price, Harvard Medical School*
Phil Rice, Harvard Medical School*
*Institutional affiliations listed for identification purposes onlySigners
Phoenix Alexander, Yale University*
Rafael Angulo, University of Southern California*
Déborah Blocker, University of California, Berkeley*
Dinur Blum, University of California, Riverside*
Kathy Brenner, Harvard Chan School of Public Health*
Michael Bresnahan, Guillemette Middle School*
Cigdem Capan, Washington State University*
Annette Collins, University of Chicago Alum*
Midge Costin, University of Southern California*
Megan Dobro, Hampshire College*
Ramona Dvorak, Harvard University*
Brian Edlin, MD, Weill Cornell Medical College*
Inge-Marie Eigsti, University of Connecticut*
Zillah Eisenstein, Ithaca College*
Deborah Fein, University of Connecticut*
Chelsea Frankel, University of Arizona*
Mneesha Gellman, Emerson College*
Noah Getz, Kalamazoo College*
Faine Greenwood, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative*
Mark Harris, University of Southern California*
Amir Hassanpour, University of Toronto*
Lisa Heller Boragine, Cape Cod Community College*
Perry Hoberman, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California*
Megan Hoorn, Penn State University*
Caitlin Howarth, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative*
Jeremy Kagan, University of Southern California*
Eileen Kramer, Boston University*
Virginia Kuhn, University of Southern California*
Sierra Langford, American University*
Sheri Leafgren, Miami University*
David Lelyveld, William Paterson University*
George Lenard, School District of University City, MO*
Jeff Lengyel, University of Southern California*
John Madill, Retired teacher*
Tom Mayer, University of Colorado*
Alex McDowell, University of Southern California*
Shahrzad Mojab, University of Toronto*
Gary Nash, University of California, Los Angeles*
Stephanie Ngom, Boston University*
Gary Pak, University of Hawaii*
Chip Parker, Seattle Community College Central*
Carol Pineiro, Boston University*
Francois Richard, University of Chicago*
Berengere Riou, New York University*
Valerie Rosenfield, Parnell Institute*
Noah Sandweiss, Indiana University*
Gregory Sechser, Creighton University*
Philip Smith, Eastern Michigan University*
Kathy Smith, University of Southern California*
Cindy Solomon-Klebba, University of Utah*
Denise Starkey, College of St. Scholastica*
John R. Thayer, WLV Public Schools*
L.B. Thompson, The New School*
Belinda Tucker, University of California, Los Angeles*
Sandra Vaughan, University of California, Irvine*
Shelly Wattenbarger, University of Southern California*
Cornel West, Harvard University *
David Wilson, University of Texas at Dallas*
Richard Wright, Joint Commission*
Terry Wunderlich, University of Louisville*
Marjorie Ziefert, Eastern Michigan University*
*Institutional affiliations listed for identification purposes only
“What is Fascism”—From the Call to Action issued by RefuseFascism.org
Fascism foments and relies on xenophobic nationalism, racism, misogyny, and the aggressive re-institution of oppressive “traditional values.” Fascism feeds on and encourages the threat and use of violence to build a movement and come to power. Fascism, once in power, essentially eliminates traditional democratic rights. Fascism attacks, jails, even executes its opponents, and launches violent mob attacks on “minorities.” In Nazi Germany in the 1930s and ’40s, fascism did all these things. This is where this can go. And yes, Hitler himself could “talk graciously” when he felt it would serve his interests and lull his opponents.