The following is a letter from the Refuse Fascism National Office to Chapters and Organizers about the nationwide protests on July 15th. It was lightly edited for publication.
To Chapters and Organizers:
1. We have just issued a new statement for July 15 that gives a powerful reason – in the name of humanity – for raising the demand now that the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!, and why people must be in the streets on July 15 in the most powerful way, drawing in all those who have a sense that this regime signals a disaster for humanity if it is not stopped.
This new Statement should be taken to every person, every group – religious, community, service, political organization – all who feel the tremendous threat to humanity posed by the Trump/Pence Regime and who can be won to stand together to show the whole world that people here are determined that this regime must go. This should include – but not be limited to – the groups who mobilized against the June 10th anti-Muslim rallies, forces involved in immigrants rights, religious congregations, student groups, Indivisible chapters, and a great breadth of other local and national organizations and networks – as well as prominent individuals in the arts, music, the sciences, academia, literature, and other realms of public life.
***We are asking prominent individuals and individuals who have played a key role in resisting (or being targeted by) the Trump/Pence Regime’s program to sign this statement – and (where possible, depending both on their schedule as well as the breadth of who else is speaking in each place) to speak at them, as well as to spread the word through their public platforms.
***We are asking organizations to become partners in organizing July 15. This means that they unite with what is described below as “endorsers”, plus they agree to join in the strategizing and planning of the protests, and in facilitating the day of protest itself in various ways. This may take shape through face-to-face meetings and/or through conference calls.
***We are asking organizations to endorse: to agree that this day of mass protest – as described in this new statement – should happen and want to lend their name and support. Their names will be listed on the Refuse Fascism website as endorsers to the July 15 protests. We encourage endorsers to use their platforms and networks to mobilize for this day: to spread the notice on their email lists, to spread the protest on social media platforms, to give a financial donation to the organizing efforts, to come out on July 15 and potentially to provide a speaker.
* Make copies and distribute this statement all over (with local July 15th protest info added).
* Get video of people (diverse groupings of people as well as prominent individuals) reading all or portions of the statement and send it into the office for use by social media team and website.
Every organization and individual who signs on to this statement should be given a concrete way to spread this to all they have contacts and connections to.
2. We want to stress that for those who are involved in Refuse Fascism, including new people who have been drawn forward through Pride and other recent work, our orientation must continue to be to get out to the masses in a mass way – and in a radical, disturbing-the-air kind of way. The recent correspondence from someone who took their mother to protest Trump in Cedar Rapids, Iowa is a good example of going out very broadly and recognizing the potential to draw people in on the spot. In NYC, there has been experience going out to commuters on the subways dressed up as handmaids and soliciting a very powerful response. We want to underscore, as well, the orientation put forward in this piece by Michelango Signorile. Even two people going to an ICE facility, for example (many examples could be given), and challenging employees there as to whether and why they are going along with this regime’s fascist assault on immigrants – filmed and popularized on social media – could have a very powerful impact and unleash more of the same across the country. Every day people should be finding the ways to go out to crowds and gatherings of people – at festivals and markets, public transit, religious congregations, and other places.
3. We urge every chapter to go out to July 4th parades and celebrations with big visuals popularizing the theme that “NOT ‘America First’ – But IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY – we must refuse to accept Trump and Pence’s fascist America!” This can be a positively polarizing, galvanizing, and press-garnering activity – that can divert and mobilize the outrage that exists towards the July 15 outpourings.
We strongly encourage you to send to our office daily reports on developments (positive and negative) with other organized forces and individuals of disproportionate influence, as well as with experience and feedback of response in going out to the masses of people in a mass way. This way we can work together to build off every advance, learn as much as possible from the whole process, and pull together to respond to and overcome obstacles we encounter. Lets do this together – in the name of humanity!
From the Refuse Fascism National Office