Watch and share Andy Zee’s speech to mass meetings of Refuse Fascism to consider and plan for sustained nonviolent mass protest beginning this October, taking to the streets in non-violent protest, week-after-week, becoming day-after-day, not stopping until the single unifying demand is met: THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO – NOW!
Join in organizing sustained nonviolent mass protest beginning this October. We must take to the streets in non-violent protest, week-after-week, becoming day-after-day, not stopping until the single unifying demand is met: THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO – NOW!
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Transcript of the presentation
The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go–NOW!
The decision this past week by the Democratic Party leadership to pursue impeachment hearings tremendously sharpens the fight over the Trump/Pence regime’s forging of a thoroughly fascist America. The escalation of the fight at the pinnacles of political power holds profound consequence for the future. This opens up possibility for increased struggle by masses of people taking to the streets and public squares, and at the same time it requires such struggle if there is to be a positive outcome to the even more tumultuous time we have now entered. I will return to discussing this move to impeach in more depth shortly.
Less than a week ago, Refuse Fascism announced that we had determined that the political situation had developed to where we needed to call for sustained non-violent mass protests in late October. Events over this summer, where there were mass murders against immigrants in California and then El Paso, following mass murders of Jewish people in Pittsburgh, on top of the revelation that the Trump/Pence regime was still separating refugee and asylum-seeking children from their parents in defiance of a court order, shocked the consciences of millions. People who had refrained from struggle and relied on the Democratic Party were becoming disillusioned as the Democrats funded border security, and collaborated with the Trump/Pence regime in different ways facilitating a highway to hell. Then came the electrifying images of Puerto Rico where millions took to the streets day after day and drove out their Governor, and Hong Kong where weekly protests of millions braving and thwarting repression won the first of their demands and their struggle continues now with the people becoming more emboldened in their demand.
All of this led us to call for these meetings to say that it is on us to set in motion and lead this kind of mass sustained non-violent protest that does not stop until the whole fascist Trump and Pence regime is removed from power through our unleashing and leading a different power – the power of the people.
If it was pressing on us last weekend to call for launching this different kind of protest beginning in October, it has become all the more necessary and possible since impeachment hearings have begun. We have important discussion and work to do today. It’s on each of and all of us to struggle to bring forward the potential power of a people who will stand up and be unrelenting in their demand.
Our proposal is this: on October 19 in Los Angeles and New York City we will call protests that will essentially announce to the world that a movement of sustained non-violent protests has begun. These first actions should involve as many people as we can mobilize in this short time while their defining character will be a bold declaration – a call out to the people to start amassing in cities and towns across the country the next Saturday, October 26 and do so for four consecutive Saturdays – through November 16th. Every week should dramatize the need for this to grow and broaden.
The protests and the days in between should challenge and involve more and more people …growing so that thousands grow quickly – hopefully within a few weeks to tens of thousands and we should not rule out, but instead be oriented towards bringing forth hundreds of thousands and ultimately millions.
This must become a movement that has the potential to win – by amassing significant numbers in the streets and by the momentum it gathers, including by as it develops going to daily continuing non-violent mass protests, and by its determination to not stop until the single unifying demand: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go NOW! is met. These three things – numbers, momentum and resolve around a single demand, can create a political crisis for the rulers of this country that reverberates around the world – a crisis of such scale that it cannot be ignored or repressed without further unraveling the image and legitimacy of the whole power structure as the government fears losing the allegiance of an even more massive section of the people – and as these images go around the world the image of their invincibility is shaken.
As we have seen in other countries, a situation like this, brought about by the sustained protest by masses of people could compel a significant section of those in power to finally act to remove the Trump/Pence regime, and that, combined with an even more intensified effort from us, the people, could actually win. Some whose vision is constrained by what is today will say that it is inconceivable that the fascist Republican-controlled Senate would convict Trump of impeachment. NO. We must drive out the regime, no matter what it takes. With the kind of massive sustained protest we are proposing today, many things that are inconceivable now can become possible.
The decision by the Democratic Party leadership to impeach now after almost three years of refusing to do so is both a reflection of, and heightens, the contention at the top of the ruling class. As this process is just beginning, today I can only offer some initial thoughts and ask for everyone to contribute theirs over the next weeks as this unfolds.
There are many forces in motion with different programs and agendas among those with real power, in congress, the courts, military and those captains of finance and industry who they serve. Yet, in broad strokes, there is a basic fight between a section of those in power who are committed to shattering the rules of the game concentrated in the Republican Party of Trump and Pence who are fighting for an American Fascism. Arrayed against this is the ruling class consensus that has prevailed since WW 2, now principally grouped around the Democratic Party with, as well, others who the media calls “mainstream” Republicans – who are reactionaries in their own right. Impeachment has now sharpened the struggle between these two forces even as there are many actors within each of these camps.
Trump and Pence and their whole regime will not give up. Their hardcore base is gearing up for battle, with Fox News and a whole array of white supremacist fascist media whipped up for a serious fight. The regime has their people in the courts and even if the courts should rule against them, they may well defy the courts. If Trump IS able to withstand impeachment (or other moves by those in power to remove him should we not succeed in creating a situation where he is removed before the election, or if he wins or steals the election, or if he refuses to leave office should he lose in 2020) there is real and serious risk that he could make a further huge leap toward all-out fascism either to stay in power or to solidify power if he prevails with no small amount of revenge.
The Democrats want to limit the impeachment inquiry to Trump’s actions endangering national security and his self-serving corruption in his attempt to win the 2020 election, without touching on the far deeper crimes of his fascist agenda – outrages that run the gamut from concentration camps on the border, to dangerously accelerating the devastation of the environment. The Democratic Party leadership will not even mention the word fascism. The top Democrats want to remove Trump without going after the whole regime and without calling out the fascism at its core. And this would leave the cancer in place to grow even more dangerously.
There is ample evidence of countless examples of the shattering of the rule of law, precedents, and real devastating crimes against humanity as well as the unleashing of virulent murderous white supremacy and misogyny that this regime has perpetrated. There is no lack of evidence to impeach on these grounds. The Democratic Party who are themselves targets of this regime, are nonetheless more beholden to, and are representatives of, the system that has given rise to Donald Trump than they are to humanity here and around the world. But, as the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian has pointed out: one, they are afraid of Trump and what he might unleash against them; and two, they are afraid of what his rabid fascist base might do.
And, three, they are “afraid of the people on the other side of the divide… the people who tend to vote for the Democrats, especially the basic masses of oppressed people. … They’re afraid of the people who are angry about what’s represented by Trump and Pence. They don’t want those people out in the street, unless it is contained within the narrow confines of what the Democratic Party, and the system it serves, can allow. And they don’t want the confrontation between those people and the fascists who have rallied behind Trump.” The Democratic Party leadership will not mobilize you to act to stop this regime, except to corral you – to domesticate your righteous outrage into the elections and voting for them in 2020. And, as for impeachment, the most they will tolerate is limited mass actions in support of, and within the parameters of how they want to prosecute this impeachment. If we allow the terms upon which we fight, including the terms upon which impeachment is fought, to be focused solely on national security and corruption it will narrow people’s sights and undermine the fight to stop fascism, and even impeachment. It will leave Pence and the whole regime and fascist movement intact, and that, to say the least, will not be favorable for interests of humanity.
The most important thing for us to grab hold of regarding impeachment is that there must not be only two forces in the field – there needs to be a third force – the people struggling for what is in the interests of humanity. Our battle must not be confined to impeachment. But today we should recognize that this is our moment to launch the struggle to drive out this fascist regime for the full array of crimes they have committed and the far worse that they are aiming for. If we do this, we can win this battle, drive the regime out, and open up space for everyone who cares about saving the planet and humanity and bringing about a just world.
As a revolutionary advocate of the new communism developed by Bob Avakian and organizer for an actual revolution to emancipate humanity, I am boldly putting forth an invitation to people to check out BA and the new communism, and to become a part of the movement for what really could be a liberating third future other than the two represented by the Republicans and the Democrats. At the same time, the movement for mass sustained protest involving hundreds of thousands and millions to demand the removal of the regime will only succeed if it involves, inspires and unleashes people who believe that this system and America could be a force for good in the world as well as those who have different views of what it will take to achieve more fundamental change.
What we are calling for has been done all over the world, from the Arab Spring to Puerto Rico to Hong Kong, and we can learn from those struggles. If and when this struggle catches and grows, then the impeachment process can play a role; but if we sit passively, waiting for impeachment to solve the problem, we may well end up in an even worse spot than we are in today.
We are calling for a different kind of non-violent sustained protest movement which uncorks the now suppressed feelings of millions against this regime, tapping into the outrage at this vile bullying white supremacist, misogynist, anti-immigrant, war mongering, anti-LGBTQ, fascist regime that is hell-bent on letting the planet burn.
The demand, Trump/Pence Regime Must Go—NOW! – is simple, direct, and invites the broadest unity — it expresses the actual interests of people of the world, and it concentrates the deeply felt desire of millions of people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs living in this country who are living in dread and anger at what the Trump/Pence regime is doing. Yes, right now most people are going along with great crimes – such that it often feels like we are living through the night of the living dead. We are here today to Wake People the Fuck Up. And to do so by taking the responsibility to struggle with everything we’ve got to move masses of people out of their stupor and into the streets. There are millions who feel, as the Refuse Fascism slogan captures: “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Live in a Fascist America!” We need to shake people from avoiding what’s happening, living with their heads buried in the mirror of their iPhones, as the world careens into the horror of fascist regimes.
Look at the students around the world striking to save the planet, look at the faces from Puerto Rico to Hong Kong and you see something different – joyous determined people inspired to act with conscience. Then, dread can give way to hope. The fruitless fretting over “my” life can transform into the exhilaration and sense of purpose that comes when we stand up with others fighting for the future. The “WE” must grow as we sharply struggle with one and all about what we face and what we need to do… making the case to stop being complicit and to join in what is surely one of the great challenges of recent history to drive this fascist regime from power.
This can be done. As I said, such struggle has been and is being waged around the world where the people took matters into their own hands – refused to wait for more promises to be betrayed, with no patience for stacked courts and “talk shop” do nothing legislatures, where they felt that to wait for elections that are too far off and/or rigged was intolerable. While the struggle in this country will not be exactly the same, it is a more complex place, there is the simple: get in the streets and stay… and there is inspiration as well as rich positive and negative lessons to learn and heed.
We face a fascist regime. They are bringing fascism. Those who say it can’t happen here are wrong. It is. Those who say it’s “sorta” fascism, but then find a reason to say it’s not yet fascism, are making excuses and finding reason to back away from, to not do what needs to be done. So, we need to get into this fascism, because people act on what they understand to be necessary.
We face an extraordinary situation – a regime and a Republican party that is fascist and hell-bent on consolidating a qualitatively more draconian form of rule over this country with grave impact on the world. Indeed, the survival of humanity hangs in the balance as this regime denies science, ridicules climate change, and has torn up every environmental protection they can.
The continuing outpouring of students around the world this past week is a beautiful thing and harbinger of what could be. They see the stakes for their future – they are organizing and getting to work because they recognize the existential crisis for humanity. The students have shown a determination to face facts and get others to do so, and their spirit and their desire to fight for a scientific approach needs to also be brought to the battle to drive out the Trump/Pence regime. This regime is not only on overdrive to accelerate global warming, but when faced with hundreds of thousands of migrants fleeing countries devastated in part by climate change today, a number that will grow to be millions and hundreds of millions worldwide – it meets them with walls, concentration camps and worse while it doubles down on accelerating carbon emissions.
Saving the planet is not the only question that threatens the fate of humanity. We are balanced on the hair trigger of whether or not the Trump/Pence regime will unleash a war against Iran. Do not underestimate the conflagration that could ensue from that. Trump has said that if we have nuclear weapons why can’t we use them?
A year ago, that dark ages Christian fascist, Mike Pence, gave a speech threatening China that extolled Trump’s beefing up the most powerful military in history highlighting Trump’s modernizing the US nuclear arsenal… Pence ended his speech invoking a Chinese proverb that “heaven sees the future” that was straight up gangsta: delivered deadpan with menace asserting America’s right to dominate and threaten the world while cloaked in the garb of fulfilling a mission from God.
Refuse Fascism’s current Call to Act – sharply puts it that Trump’s “Make America Great Again” is a 21st Century program of Manifest Destiny, “America First” wrapped in the flag and Mike Pence’s bible taken literally, with a program of white supremacy, misogyny, and xenophobia.
This underscores the import of the Refuse Fascism slogan: In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America.
Bob Avakian, has said that “American Lives Are NOT More Important Than Other People’s Lives.” When it is U.S. bombs and satellites guiding the death and devastation of the country of Yemen by Saudi Arabia resulting in mass starvation and an epidemic of cholera – and you avert your eyes, you blind yourself and become complicit.
Powerful forces in the ruling class of this country got behind Trump and Pence because they determined that ruling norms and social compact since WW 2 were no longer tenable for the future of America domestically and for its domination of the world. They see that the only way to cohere the country is as a white fundamentalist Christian patriarchal society – that the liberalization since the 1960’s would destroy that reactionary cohesion, and they believe that the international alliances that have maintained their system since WW 2 were undermining the U.S. position as the top dog in the world– thus their current shredding of agreements and treaties.
There is a very important discussion in the talk by Bob Avakian, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! where he argues that the belief that America is a force for good in the world, that we are “the good guys” is one of the main ways that people here think about the world that demobilizes them from standing up against this regime, the system as a whole, as well as standing with humanity all over the world.
There exists a whole web of global economic relations that feeds the American “way of life” – the ability to consume, consume, consume. The clothes we wear, food we eat, the precious metals in our cell phones, all these are the end result of ruthless global economic and political relations of brutal exploitation of people and millions of children around the world enforced at the point of gun by the 600+ military bases around the world. This belief that anything the US does is justified because we are the good guys and the lifestyle that undergirds this myth is a major source of the political passivity and, frankly, complicity with great crimes.
Many in Refuse Fascism, and probably most of the people who need to flood into the movement to drive out the regime, will not share this systemic critique of capitalism/imperialism and the role of the US in the world, but will hold views that America is, or could be, a force for good in the world, even as we all recognize and unite that the Trump/Pence fascist America is a danger to humanity.
The kind of unity and the tremendous spirit of cooperation that this struggle requires should unleash an atmosphere of critical thinking, dialogue and debate over not only strategy and tactics for the moment, but over everything, including reform and revolution.
There are people who have raised that the participation of communists could cause some to hesitate being a part of this. Here, I can only briefly say the following.
- I refer you to the poem from Pastor Niemöller that was read at the beginning of this program. “First they came for the Communists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist, Then they came for the Socialists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a socialist, Then they came for the Jews … and on and on until: Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
- And, there is a related a more general point that the distancing that has gone on too often between “good and bad protesters” has only benefited the powers that be to divide and repress. Even as we are determined that the protests we are calling for will be non-violent on the part of those protesting.
- For the new generations who are in the streets to save the planet who are saying the system IS the problem: don’t they need to be a part of a robust debates over the varying views of reform and revolution?
- For my part, and those others who follow the new communism of Bob Avakian, we invite you to check it out. It is worth noting that along with his breakthrough in re-synthesizing communism, he has been working on and warning of the development of this fascist movement in the US for decades. He identified the fascist direction of this regime upon the election of Trump/Pence in 2016 and this led to a diverse group to form the broad based Refuse Fascism. And, we think that his speech, now a film, The Trump-Pence Regime Must Go!; In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America; A Better World IS Possible is invaluable for understanding and uniting broadly to drive out this regime.
The fascism of Trump/Pence is not just “America First” in relation to the rest of the world, but its programmatic core is a triad of white supremacy, misogyny and xenophobia (the hatred and fear of people from other countries) which spews from the twitter finger and loud mouth of Mein Trumpf. Calling the KKK and Nazi’s “very fine people,” he’s a fascist pig who brags of grabbing women by their genitals. Slandering refugees and asylum seekers from countries devastated by the U.S. as rapists and murderers – vicious lies that incited mass murder in El Paso, California and Pittsburgh. Shattering political norms and throwing away the dog whistle of racism he glories and gloats in rallies throwing out racist tropes like telling the “squad” of congresswomen of color to “go back where they came from” thrilling the rabid racist mob that is his base who shriek back: “throw them out.” He called Baltimore, a largely black city, “disgusting, rat and rodent infested.”
This rhetoric of fascist demonization rallies and hardens a rabid fascist base fueling and legitimizing a killing program. Concentration camps with tens of thousands of refugees on the border… Children continue to be separated from their parents.
Now, immigrant child separation is a crucial object lesson for why only sustained mass struggle aimed at the removal of the whole regime can stop this. Millions were outraged when the child separation first came to light, people protested and civil liberties lawyers filed lawsuits in court. The protests died down. And, the case was, at first, won in the courts. But the regime ignored the courts – creating new facts on the ground and the longer their regime goes on, the more they will be able to pack the courts with fascists. The Travel Ban on Muslims: was righteously protested and at first was blocked by the courts. he protests waned yet the Trump/Pence regime kept going back into courts until on the third try they got a very slightly modified ban approved.
Fascism comes by degrees, not all at once, but it does advance and that is happening here. And it can come to pass, where the avenues of redress are no more. The Fuhrer’s words become “fact” and law even as they should be neither. The Trump/Pence fascist regime has made some of their most dangerous and potentially enduring gains in stacking the courts with fascist judges.
A core part of this fascist regime is the alliance with an extensive Christian fascist movement that has been decades in the making, which sees in Trump, with Pence and the Christian fascist movement locked to his side, a leader who will break all the rules to get their program written into law. A central element of this: The right of women to be full human beings– to control their own destinies – is now on the verge of being wiped out as the right to abortion hangs by a thread. Do not say fascism can’t happen here.
Bob Avakian has said:
There is a direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today, and a direct connection between their white supremacy, their open disgust and hatred for LGBT people as well as women, their willful rejection of science and the scientific method, their raw “America First” jingoism and trumpeting of “the superiority of western civilization” and their bellicose wielding of military power, including their expressed willingness and blatant threats to use nuclear weapons, to destroy countries.
The Refuse Fascism Call to Act cuts to the heart of fascism:
Fascism rules by organized repression and terror by the government: civil liberties are stripped away, law rewritten, dissent criminalized, the courts packed with fascists, and the separation of powers and of church and state ultimately eviscerated. As part of radically remaking society, the Trump/Pence regime must sharply attack those in positions of power who oppose them. Fascism also mobilizes mobs of vicious thugs as we’ve seen with Nazis marching and murdering in Charlottesville, Virginia.
I could take the whole afternoon to illustrate this, I will just add one more example:
Let’s look at Trump’s insistence that Hurricane Dorian was going to hit Alabama with his magic marker scrawl on a weather map to illustrate his point which then the Birmingham, Alabama weather bureau corrected. While Democrats and liberal pundits trivialized this by joking about it for days, distracting the people with Trump’s buffoonery, Trump doubled down: defending his assertion and ordering the governing agency to reprimand the Birmingham weather bureau, threatening reprisals. This matters. Why? For one, lives are at stake – preparation, evacuation and rescue depend on accurate objective data. And two, and critical for understanding fascism, the denial of truth and objective evidence are always essential to its advance.
Going after the truth, proffering lies, and shredding what is supposed to be a basic civil liberty and governing norm where there is a media free from direct order and control by the state, Trump consistently attacks the press branding them as an “enemy of the people” and even “traitors.” The relentless attack on what is true, on objective reality, on science, is a key and dangerous component of fascism. This forges a base of people who will believe and follow the truth of the fascist leader, whatever he says, without question. Truth is eroded and everything becomes seen as just an opinion – where what you believe is determined by who is saying it and what you already want to believe. Once the notion of objective truth is erased from society – even outlawed (after all, what is the logical conclusion of what happens to people who are branded as “enemies” and “traitors”) – then people cannot be free to change the world. For to change the world, to overcome all the divisions and forms of oppression that are in the world today, requires knowing the world as it actually is.
Here it must be said, that identity politics and its standpoint epistemology – the notion that truth is determined by who is saying it, by their direct lived experience as a member of a social group and that truth varies from person to person… this parallels and thus leaves the door wide open to Trumpian epistemology.
We say this is fascism not as an insult or to be badder than everyone else opposed to the regime, but because that is what an objective evaluation shows. Too many – even some of those who write books warning of fascism – prefer to say it’s authoritarian, proto-fascism, neo-fascism, anything but squarely confront that the Trump/Pence regime is fascist. Yes, it has not – as yet – consolidated a full out fascist form of rule. If it had already done so, it would be immeasurably more difficult to do what we are planning for. But history shows that it can become too late to stop it without tremendous cost.
And, yes it is an American Fascism – reasserting and recreating the founding myth of this country as a shining city on a hill – a mythology wrapped in the flag and the bible taken literally, white supremacy with the male at the head of the traditional family with the nation blessed with a divine right to rule over everything. Robert Paxton writes in his book, Anatomy of Fascism: “the language and symbols of an authentic American fascism would […] have to be as familiar and reassuring to loyal Americans as the language and symbols of the original fascisms were familiar and reassuring to many Italians and Germans…”
Here too is why the Democrats and their mouthpieces in the mainstream media have no answer but mumbles. CNN or MSNBC prattle on and on about how “He can’t do” what Trump does: “that’s not normal… not Presidential… not how it’s done…” when that is precisely the point: Trump and Pence are breaking the norms to bring a different form of rule to this country – which they and the forces behind them see as the way to save their vision of America and its capitalist/imperialist foundation. And, then the Democratic Party works to confine resistance to the very norms that the fascists – by definition and purpose – seek to tear up.
I will conclude this discussion of fascism with this, also from Bob Avakian, who has been identifying, analyzing and putting forward how to deal with the development of fascism in the US over the last three decades. In a speech in October 2017 he said:
The truth—another terrible truth that must be faced— is that, in the context of profound and acute contradictions that are asserting, or re-asserting, themselves in ways that are tearing at the very fabric and deepening cracks in the foundation of this country, at the same time as the American empire is facing serious challenges internationally, fascism is one possible resolution of this, on the terms of this system and its ruling class, even as this is a horror for humanity.
What is one of the most important insights of the Refuse Fascism Call to action is this:
We must confront the reality that the world as we have known it is being torn asunder. This requires getting out of our comfort zones and not allowing our differences to stand in the way of rising together in an unprecedented, unrelenting mass struggle to confront the danger of a Trump/Pence fascist America.
Now, with impeachment underway – with the sharpened contention between the ruling parties underway, and before the 2020 primaries and election go into full throttle – is when the struggle we are calling for is most favorable, though not easy, but is possible because many can grasp how necessary it is now. It will not fall into anyone’s lap, it will involve a tremendous struggle among the people who desire the regime to go, over why and how it needs to be done. I am going to come to a conclusion of this talk discussing some of what we have already and will run into.
An activist wrote to me and declined to participate – for now – because we have to respect the struggles that people are already involved in, (as if Refuse Fascism does not) and that we should not say that this program of removing the Trump/Pence regime is the only thing that can stop this regime. Well, the sincere question is what else will?
Many fighters for social justice will say that they are overwhelmed with what’s already on their plate. We really get that, yet we ask, “What will come of every struggle for social justice when fascism is consolidated. When dissent is practically outlawed?” We have pointed out before that fascism can absorb separate acts of resistance against different fronts of their attacks, they will pull back and throw opposition off balance moving their agenda forward now here, and now there. This is important because many of those who are resisting have not sharply understood this and it is holding them back, so I will repeat it: fascism can absorb separate acts of resistance against different fronts of their attacks, they will pull back and throw opposition off balance moving their agenda forward now here, and now there.
As we go out to struggle with people over why we need to do this it should also be an invitation to one and all to contribute their thinking, their questions and criticisms, their creativity, and their energy. And, that invitation does not stop when we launch, it just begins, then it needs to be replicated thousands of times over by people we haven’t even met yet.
To drive out the regime it must not be protest as usual… you know the drill: assemble. speeches. march. speeches. go home. NO. What we are calling for is what you see in Hong Kong … it is portrayed in the movie The Square about Egypt. It was the students and youth who took to the streets last Friday and will be in the streets next week.
People have raised to us as a matter of morality that if I think this plan might not work, I am not responsible to undertake it. Really? Never, ever, has serious social change come with a guarantee. And, if one is offered, it is not a real solution. What is irresponsible is not to try. History will not judge us harshly if we try with all we’ve got to stop fascism and save the planet and humanity, and we don’t succeed. But, we do, and we should, judge those who did not stand up in fascist Germany and in other countries when they could have and chose instead not to resist. We will not escape that judgment should we fail to act. This meeting began with a reading of the poem of Martin Niemöller that captures the horrors that happen from just looking out for and saving yourself because you are not directly affected.
In the same vein, people have raised Refuse Fascism tried this before and didn’t succeed, so what will be different this time? For one, people have now experienced almost three years of this, and while many have accommodated to this regime, they have also seen what it has wrought and what it can bring. The murder of Heather Heyer by fascists in Charlottesville in the summer of 2017 has been followed by several horrific mass murders of Jews and Latino immigrants. Two, people have been through the Blue Wave, the Mueller investigation, told to wait, had their hopes raised and dashed over and over…. and three, we, in RefuseFascism, have learned some things.
It’s been raised that if we do this then maybe Trump will declare martial law – we shouldn’t provoke the beast, let’s ride it out. The writer George Prochnik in his biography of Stephan Zweig one of the most famous authors in Europe in the 1930’s wrote:
The excruciating power of Zweig’s memoir lies in the pain of looking back and seeing that there was a small window in which it was possible to act, and then discovering how suddenly and irrevocably that window can be slammed shut.
But what about fear? It has been said that the greater fear should be that people will not act to stop this unfolding horror. I have spoken already about the allure, illusion and delusion of painless progress, of relying on the elections to stop what they will not. People will raise to you concern about their job, their family and repulsively about not tarnishing their “brand.” First off, fuck your brand. But yes, this regime is serious – they have said repeatedly that they see in Trump their last and best chance to bring about the fascist agenda that they have worked on for decades. They have, as Trump has said, “many tough people on their side.” They have been open about wanting a new civil war rather than giving up.
The matter is and the questions are:
- Do you want to live in their white supremacist, misogynist, Christian fascist world?
- Do you want to inflict that on the billions of people who the US demonizes and dominates?
- Do you want to live in a gated world where huge sections of humanity are locked out and left to drown or starve or live indefinitely in camps?
Then the question of the hour is, are you going to act now when there is a chance to do something about it? The way to break fear is to act together for what’s right. That, we are setting out to do.
There is a tremendous liberating positive in what we envision. Think about what would it mean for the people of the world to see people in this country acting in their millions to say: In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Live in a Fascist America.
When people act together and begin to throw off the chains of all the oppressive relations and thinking that keeps us caged in the petty competitive bullshit of this society… working with people like you and many not like you, all striving together to drive out a horrific fascist regime as we defy convention and endure good and bad weather… we can create a situation where not only can the nightmare of the Trump/Pence regime be over, but we can create a movement where dreams can soar, another world becomes possible, creativity is unleashed and the impossible becomes possible.