(Also see the opening talk to mass meetings on December 10)
This is the second speech prepared by the National Office of Refuse Fascism for the mass meetings the week of December 10.
Earlier, the speaker spoke about how it is true that we are confronting a fascist regime and that the only way to stop it before it becomes too late is for the people in their millions to go into the streets and stay in the streets until this single unifying demand is met: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!
What I want to speak to now is: What is to be done? I am going to lay out a basic plan for the next weeks or so, from now until January 20, the anniversary of the inauguration. This is going to be a period of transition, learning and developing a plan for the next phase.
The National Office has proposed three main things that Refuse Fascism should be doing.
(1) First, we need to spread the word about this movement everywhere to friends, family, community groups, and others. We need to be doing active social investigation and outreach.
All this will overlap with the National Tour being planned in January, but also needs to go on throughout the next six weeks and should involve all of us in different ways.
Active social investigation means reaching out to many different people and organizations. This should include people we have worked with before and others we have not yet been able to talk with.
We need to be talking to people, sharing with them the understanding that this is a fascist regime and only the people mobilized in mass, sustained, nonviolent protest eventually involving millions demanding “The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!” can drive out this regime and end this nightmare—and exploring how others see this. As we do, we need to struggle with people over the differences that truly matter and wherever possible to strengthen our unity to rise to what is demanded of us. This will involve calling on them to join with us, strategizing with those who do see the dangers to actually get with the only program that can end this, and struggling with others who are stuck in a path that can only lead to conciliation and accommodation.
There are many levels and ways of doing this, from getting up signs/posters in storefronts, on lawns or house windows, broad distribution of our Call in the public square, at meetings of social and political organizations, cultural events. There is sharing this with family and friends over the holidays. There is spreading this message on social media: @RefuseFascism, and many other creative ways.
Raising funds is an urgent necessity but also an important form of political work and active social investigation.
It is still the case that most people do not know about Refuse Fascism even after November 4, they are not yet aware that there is an organization that has clarity of what we are confronting and has the plan to fight against it.
(2) The second thing our National Office has put forward is that we need to be taking action in ways that challenge the complacency and normalization of fascism in this society.
Protests and actions that break the silence and bring the noise, that “disturb the air,” draw sharp dividing lines for what people need to confront and act on, and that break people out of complacency. No one associated with the Trump/Pence regime ought to be allowed to appear in public without being challenged and politically confronted over the crimes they are committing. People need to be standing up against the ICE raids, even when they happen in the predawn hours. People need to be sitting-in at the offices of the officials who are packing fascists onto the federal courts. People need to be hounding every agency and public person associated with throwing away the lives of the Puerto Rican people, with ripping up women’s reproductive rights, with spreading fascist propaganda like Trump’s anti-Muslim tweets. (And, by the way, protesting places like Twitter for keeping Trump’s account open even when he violates their policy by directly threatening to murder 25 million North Koreans.)
Why is this so important? First of all, if we understand that people have to take to the streets day after day with determination and courage, we have to model that. Actions that break out of the constraints of “acceptable protest and usual channels” and that say, over and over again, not only with our words but with our daring and our bodies and by putting something on the line: THIS IS NOT NORMAL. Don’t sit back, don’t try to wait it out, join in fighting to prevent a fascist America NOW, before it is too late!
Very important: Everyone here should come out and we need to make a big deal and bring out many others to join the protests this Tuesday, December 12, on the day of the Alabama election to say NO to everything Roy Moore represents—all the white supremacy, bigoted Christian fascist theocracy, all the hatred of LGBTQ people and women, anti-science lunacy and more—which is a major part of this Trump/Pence regime and the danger it poses to the whole country and world.
At the same time, we need to take actions against those institutions and “leaders” that concentrate what is standing in the way and opposing people taking this road. That means identifying political forces and institutions like the leaders of the Democratic Party, the liberal major media like MSNBC, the New York Times, who are obscuring the truth and pushing people into the jaws of fascism with their insistence that, “You can’t have fascism in America,” by its very nature, and that the paths for preventing that are open and effective.
Why is it important to expose the leadership of the Democrats? Because they are aggressively channeling people’s desire to act into roads that only strengthen the regime and derail the opposition—telling people that working for 2018 elections or getting more women to run for office will solve the problem when it won’t. Some people think that because these Democrats and liberal media outlets are often targeted by the Trump/Pence regime (think of the chant: Lock Her Up aimed at Hillary, or the way Trump calls the media the “enemy of the people”) that we should not raise criticisms of these institutions or risk appearing like we are joining the fascists by calling them out. But the reality is that people have to be led to reject those paths, to step outside of those channels or else humanity will pay the price. People also have to be led to call out the efforts to “white out” and bury news of the only real path and organization that has any hope of challenging this regime—RefuseFascism.org and the people acting in the streets demanding that this regime must go.
Stepping up all of these kinds of actions will be crucial in drawing forward the people who do see the need to act, who want to put something on the line to fight against a fascist America, and feel stymied and discouraged by what they see unfolding and the way that others around them are turning a blind eye. These kinds of actions are also a key way of jolting those people who have come to accept that this is what we are going to have to live with, to provoke their moral courage and inspire them to become part of the solution. If people don’t see any force that is leading people to call out an emergency and give people a way to act on that, then that reinforces the pull to close their eyes, just hope that they and those close to them will escape the horrors, and all the ways that people are choosing to play it safe.
We have called on our chapters to be creative in finding the ways to take actions that learn from the Act Up orientation of the late 1980s, the way that Larry Kramer roused the people in response to the plague of AIDs affecting huge numbers of gay men and others at that time. There are other examples from history that should be learned from as well. But the point to grasp is that these actions are not gimmicks just to get publicity (though publicity is important), these actions confront society in dramatic ways that concentrate the urgent need to act. Some of these actions will involve nonviolent civil disobedience, risking arrest, like the actions taken in Los Angeles blocking the freeways with our message, not once but twice! and others will be like the actions taken by DACA recipients and those supporting them who sat-in in the U.S. Capitol, or at Nancy Pelosi’s offices when a bunch of DREAMERs took over her press conference and shouted her down, refusing to stop or relent despite all her political maneuvering, demanding that Pelosi and the Democrats not collaborate with Trump by trading away the safety and lives of their parents, families, and other immigrants in the name of getting a DREAM Act passed. This was selfless, courageous, and much, much more like this is needed!
The more this is going on in different and creative ways, the more many people will be both challenged and inspired to join with us.
In addition to planning mobilizations of our own, we need to be joining with actions others are calling. In particular, we need to build contingents for and join with the organizing for major demonstrations that are being called for the January 20 inauguration anniversary, either the women’s march or others opposing the regime. We should endorse and join in coalition with others, seeking to be part of and have influence on them. And we might want to organize feeder marches in some places. It is not just important to be in unity with those who are stepping out into the streets, it is also a way that we can engage with those who feel compelled to act, giving them leadership and a way to act more effectively with a better understanding of what we are up against.
Last, we need to be tense to the possibility that there are changes that spontaneously cause tens and hundreds of thousands to take to the streets around an outrage. We should be prepared to push such openings as far as they can go.
(3) The third proposal from the National Office is a strong suggestion that we make a lot of use of the recent talk from Bob Avakian (BA), The Trump Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America—A Better World IS Possible!
We should find ways to make this broadly available and encourage engagement with this talk by all those who need to hear a comprehensive argument for why we are in the situation we are in, and what can be done about it.
This talk, given from the revolutionary communist perspective of Bob Avakian, provides a clear scientific understanding of how this fascist regime has emerged onto the political terrain and into the halls of power in the U.S. today. Everyone, no matter what perspective you are coming from, will benefit from hearing and engaging this presentation and discussion, including in the Q&A where people working on the problem of the Trump/Pence fascist regime are able to pose their questions and frustrations, and get profound answers to them. It can make a huge difference if people who are determined and dedicated to the mission of Refuse Fascism themselves take the time to get into this, and it is also crucial that a much broader audience have the opportunity to hear and learn from this talk. We need to figure out all the ways, via social media and by word of mouth, for many more thousands to be led to this crucial talk that was provided to us at this crucial juncture.
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As a key part of everything we are doing, we have to be raising major funds. This is not a distraction from the other important work that we have to do; it is essential for raising our capacity to build the organization that is needed, to reach the millions and bring an end to this regime. And it is a way that many people can make a contribution. The outreach and struggle with people to donate is no different from the political struggle we have identified that has to inform our work overall. There is no other source of funds—we can only rely on the millions who hate this nightmare and want to be part of bringing it to an end. RefuseFascism.org has a donate page where people can find the materials and the Call for people to donate. Go there and spread this on social media and email to everyone you know. We have set ambitious goals, but they are attainable if we reach out and involve many thousands now.
In everything we do, we should seek to involve as many people as possible, finding the different ways that people can take this up, spread it and act to organize people to do everything in their power to drive out this regime before it becomes too late.
Everyone everywhere who is part of Refuse Fascism and unites with the mission of Refuse Fascism can take up any or all of these three main tasks for this next period in different ways depending on their conditions. Let’s organize them to be part of this great cause.