On March 30, a group of Refuse Fascism supporters went to Times Square, wearing masks and standing at a distance from each other, and held signs raising 5 demands in response to the Trump/Pence regime’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The demands were:
- Provide aid and protection for humanity globally, not just for Americans, based on international co-operation, not competition.
- Provide ventilators and hospital beds for those needing intensive care; and mass testing to provide information needed to slow the spread of the virus.
- Provide Personal Protective Equipment for all health workers.
- Ensure health and safety from the virus of all those in jail, prison, or ICE detention camps; immediate release of everyone not convicted of a violent crime, and of asylum seekers and families.
- Most importantly, the immediate removal of Trump & Pence.
At the time of this Times Square action, we were just beginning to see how the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime was both informing its catastrophic response to the pandemic while giving them opportunities to seize on this crisis to further advance their science-hating, immigrant-bashing, planet-destroying program – and that only scratches the surface of how dangerous this fascism is. Since then, we know even more about how much blood this regime has on its hands. Nationwide, Refuse Fascism has gone out with more bold actions to demand in the name of humanity that the Trump/Pence regime must go NOW.
Like all fascist regimes, this regime has not rolled out its entire program at once, but with every outrage that becomes normalized, more of the fascist program becomes the accepted law of the land. These 5 demands were necessary to respond to the immediate situation in which millions of lives are on the line because of the actions of this regime.
But Refuse Fascism did not suddenly change its mission to become a COVID-19 resistance group. Our mission remains the same – to drive out this fascist regime with sustained, non-violent protest that creates a political crisis. At moments when one aspect of the fascism is escalating and the boot of the regime and its enforcers is coming down particularly hard on a demonized group, then we have the responsibility to speak to those particular dangers.
At the same time, these outrages often cause jolts throughout society, shaking millions to become emotionally activated and lose, even temporarily, their adjustment to the horrors of this regime. It is our responsibility to seize on those moments and help people see that there is a way to act and there is a movement that is helping people confront the reality of what we face and what we must do about it.
So, there are good reasons why each one of the 5 demands was pulled out and highlighted at the start of this pandemic.
And yet, one thing remains true. We cannot outrun this regime or rescue enough people from it. The only way to stop this is to drive out the regime that will not back down even in the face of a global pandemic. In the name of humanity, the Trump/Pence regime must go now. This is our central, unskippable, first-order demand.
Refuse Fascism will continue to expose and oppose every outrage when it happens, while we recognize the stark reality that it is the Trump/Pence fascist regime itself which poses the existential threat to humanity and must be, and can only be, removed from power by the action of millions of people through sustained, mass, non-violent protest united under the demand that the Trump/Pence regime must go.
We are actively working on reaching the millions of people who must join us in raising this demand and creating a political crisis that drives this regime out of power, but at minimum, we have to create the greater public consciousness that at this moment, the Trump/Pence regime is a connecting factor of all of our travails. And we have to get people to understand that it is actually a FASCIST regime that is the connecting factor. The sub-issues don’t need to necessarily lead to that greater understanding for every single person in the movement but there has to be a certain quorum of the folks in it who get why there has to be solidarity across the 5 demands and across all the groups suffering under this regime and those who just care about humanity. This underscores the importance of continuing to spread the Statement of Conscience/Call to Act.
Lastly, people need to understand that this demand is not an “ask.” We’re not circulating a petition hoping someone in power will sit down with Trump and Pence and get them to see the error of their ways. We are not waiting for people at the top to resolve this on their terms (the terms that keep hurdling us into a fascist nightmare) and we are not waiting for November. We are calling on people to act now with courage and conviction and refuse to stop until our demand for humanity is met. We cannot lose sight of how important the demand Trump/Pence Out Now is. Let it grow into a clamor so loud, no one can ignore it.