This speech from Refuse Fascism was read at rallies across the country
In the Name of Humanity . . . Driving out a fascist regime is not a small matter. It is not easy. But it is what we must do, going forward from today.
Nuclear War… The devastation of the planet… Immigrants, Muslims, Women, LBGTQ persons, the disabled, the sick, the elderly, Black and Latino people ARE ALL IN DIRECT PERIL… We will pledge today to unite, to stand up, to resist, and to act with courage and conviction and not rest until this regime is driven from power because what is at stake in confronting this fascist regime of Donald Trump and Mike Pence is nothing less than the future of humanity and habitable earth for all.
reading the Refuse Fascism July 15 message in New York
Refuse Fascism salutes all of you here and across the country who have come out today. You are here because you will not sit by and get on with your life when so many live in terror for fear of being locked up or deported. You are here because you see the danger that is the Trump/Pence Regime … You will not be a person who says that “when they came for the Muslims I did nothing because I wasn’t a Muslim… when they came for the immigrants I did nothing because I wasn’t an immigrant…” We stand up today because we must act – when there is still time to stop a catastrophe for the world.
I want to give a special salute to those at the Refuse Fascism protest today in Houston who have come out in defiance of the Orwellian named fascist thugs, The Texas Freedom Force who called on their rabid followers to come with the guns and confederate flags (which they said are not flags of racism) to intimidate people from standing up to demand that Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!
We recognize too the Los Angeles Refuse Fascism Protest that begins at the obscene Donald Trump Hollywood Blvd Star which a group of fascist thugs has vowed to defend. Refuse Fascism has answered: “What you are defending is the Noose and Nukes – a racist fascist regime that is threatens the planet. NO! We will not be moved.”
And a salute as well to Refuse Fascism in NYC who for 100 HOURS of NO! have been out in front of the FOX FASCIST NEWS NETWORK which has since it’s inception by that sexual predator, Roger Ailles, has been the lying voice and organizing propaganda vehicle for cohering the many fascist streams in this country, and which is today the bullhorn for the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime. One hundred hours in the heat, the night, the rain, and the sun, bringing out the reality of what this regime has done and plans to do. Refuse Fascism’s stand, fortitude and commitment foreshadow the kind of determined perseverance that is requited of more and more people and eventually millions to put their lives on hold to reclaim not only our own future but the future of humanity by driving out the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime.
To everyone who is standing up today in defiance of the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime, we salute you.
Today is the beginning of what must be a new stage of our struggle. There must be no illusions about what we face. We must discuss, debate and struggle hard with each other to understand the tremendous necessity we face in confronting a regime in the most powerful country in the world that is hellbent on consolidating fascism. Yes, it is 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.
Going forward from today what we do and what we say must shatter the illusion and the self delusion that what we face is just another in long line of bad administrations, and that “checks and balances” of the system will prevail and rescue us. NO! That would be a turning away from the situation we confront.
The task before us is not just to strengthen our resistance, to find the ways our different struggles can come together. But, we must not fail to sound and then answer the alarm that what is at stake is even whether or not there will be the political, the legal and the civic space for dissent and resistance. Already in state after state and at the Federal level they are moving to raise the stakes for dissent and protest. The rights and dignity of the people have no place in the program and coarsened heart of this regime. NO! We must transform our struggle to be something far more serious, a struggle that can alter the course of history – driving out a regime that imperils us all.
As we gather today there is great anxiety, fear, and trauma, as group after group is demonized and targeted by this regime. Piece by piece, rights are being stripped away, against this group and then that, surrounded and obscured by a dizzying blizzard of lies and buffoonery. All the while setting in motion a slippery and ever steepening slope that will lead to great horrors, if not stopped. This is why we say, and must say again and again, backing up our words with action: In the Name of Humanity, we REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America! Why? Because while fascism has many characteristics – racism, misogyny, xenophobia to name just a few, at its core, it is a form of rule that relies on open terror and violence, trampling on what are supposed to be civil and legal rights, wielding the power of the state, and mobilizing organized groups of fanatical thugs, to commit atrocities against masses of people, particularly groups of people identified as “enemies,” “undesirables,” or “dangers to society.”
The question has been posed: Could it happen here? The answer: YES, it is happening and the responsibility falls to all of us, to stop it before it chokes off the air in society.
Make no mistake, while the media focuses people’s attention on charges of collusion with Russia and Trump’s narcissm, the regime has been steadily moving ahead with their fascist program on every front.
When the media – including so called progressive media like MSNBC – says that Trump is holding a campaign rally to boost his own morale, they obscure the truth that these are fascist rallies. The reality is that Trump gets pumped by whipping up a sense of aggrievement and revenge with calls to take back their country – to cleanse it of multi-culturalism, fueling a bigoted white resentment, and promoting a patriarchal political form of Christian fascism. And, these forces are moving, led from the top, claiming that they are the victims, that their right to free speech to threaten and beat up any and all who stand in their way.
Identifying the nature of the problem you face is the first step to finding its solution. To treat a disease requires an accurate diagnosis. Defeating this fascist regime requires first of all, recognizing what it is, without sugarcoating or wishful thinking. In the very extremeness of Donald Trump, and of Mike Pence – who is one of the most reactionary political figures in modern US history in his complete devotion to bringing into being a theocratic Christian fascist government – also resides the key to the way out. This regime has shocked the conscience of tens of millions of people. People who never gave much thought to politics have been anguished, politically aroused as few times before. This is what must be tapped and given expression to act in ways unprecedented in recent times to DEMAND this regime be removed from power. Nothing less or nothing else will be sufficient to stop it.
Protest and resistance against the many attacks on the people must grow broader, deeper, and more determined. This resistance is righteous and necessary, but it is not sufficient. What it is a matter of life and death is to recognize that the character of fascism is that it can absorb separate acts of resistance while continually throwing the opposition off balance by rapidly moving its agenda forward. The reality is that the Trump/Pence regime will repeatedly launch new highly repressive measures, eventually clamping down on all resistance and remaking the law … IF THEY ARE NOT DRIVEN FROM POWER.
You can not wait out fascism. We must never normalize or accommodate to fascism. If you do, you will very soon find yourself conciliating and collaborating to save your skin or that of a few others you may be able to help escape the maelstrom. The hour is late and we must not speak falsely. With the best of intentions, if you are only working within the terms that are set by this regime – advising and helping individuals, sooner and not later, you will be forced to become part of the machinery of real horrors. Now is the time for massive resistance.
This is the lesson of Nazi Germany and every other fascist state. It can become too late.
But, it is not yet too late. This must be a summer of struggle leading into a Fall where more and more people begin to coalesce around the simple unifying demand: The Trump and Pence Regime Must GO!
This is a moment, when the scandal and turmoil the Trump/Pence regime faces is an opening through which the mass action of the people could burst through and make our demand resound throughout the country, in the halls of power, and around the world.
Over the summer and into the Fall we must ACT, AGITATE and ORGANIZE and build the capacity and the momentum “working with all our creativity and determination toward the time when millions of people can be moved to fill the streets of cities and towns day after day and night after night, declaring this whole regime illegitimate – Demanding, and Not Stopping, Until the Trump/Pence Regime Is Driven from Power.
If this happens, then the whole political landscape would be dramatically transformed, every faction within the established power structure would be forced to respond—and all this could lead to a situation in which this fascist regime is driven from office.
This is both unprecedented, and at the same time, there are models and experience to learn from. Nixon and his Vice President, Spiro Agnew were both driven from power.
More recently in South Korea millions filled the streets night after night, at first starting just on the weekends, and they eventually drove their President from power. The Ukraine, Tahrir Square in Egypt – people in their millions protested day after day night after night creating a political crisis for those in power to remove despised leaders. There were shortcomings for sure, and there are differences, but never, NEVER, underestimate the power of the people when we struggle righteously in the interests of humanity.
WE CAN DO THIS. The people are there. The anger is there. Starting with those of us who stepped out today if we act creatively with determination, confronting the regime and their representatives and institutions and always doing so in ways that puts the truth to the lies of what they represent. Making people feel through what we do that immigrants, Muslims, Women, Blacks, Latinos, LGBTQ, people all over the world are full human beings, showing through word and deed that will not accept the cruel and brutal future of the Trump/Pence Regime … that they must GO! And that they, that we, are the ones to make it happen.
We need to hit the road, sending out vans with people, especially youth, dedicated to making this a summer of struggle to drive out this fascist regime. Donate and raise funds. Volunteer. As the summer progresses: first one night a week, and on weekends growing numbers of people should gather, showing through what they do that there must not be business as usual while this regime is in power. Before you leave today, sign up to be part of protest or distributing literature after work and on weekends. Strategize with your group, your friends, and with Refuse Fascism.
If we organize, if we dare to creatively confront those who are imposing terror, repression, and hardship on the people, doing so with big arms to welcome and draw forward more people into the struggle… this can combine with the growing attacks of the regime and events in the world with the potential to move millions to act. If we don’t organize, if we don’t starting acting with the demand that the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go, the opportunity to mobilize millions to create the kind of political crisis through which the regime could be removed may not happen.
Is there much to figure out? Yes. Was everything figured out when the Freedom Rides against Jim Crow began in the South? No. Was victory guaranteed? Hardly. Were their sacrifices? Yes. Was it worth it? Without question.
The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO! This is a simple and righteous demand. The fight to achieve it will be hard. But it CAN be done. What we don’t yet know how to do, we will chart our course as we struggle together.
This must be a moment in history when we stand together with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty, to resist and say NO! Not just for ourselves, but in the name of humanity. The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO! You, we, can make it so.