Self-Defense is Survival

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Unite the Right rally_24_1502579228955_64122720_ver1.0_900_675.jpgEnough of "both sides" rhetoric. American liberals lend cover to violent white supremacists when they disparage the tactics of activists holding ground in the face of fascism, says direct action trainer Kelly Hayes. President Trump's condemnation of counter-protesters to the white supremacist event in Charlottesville earlier this week was rooted in the same need to maintain white order shared by "Respectable Liberals." 

"The stranglehold of oppression cannot be loosened by a plea to the oppressor's conscience." -- Robert F. Williams 

The liberal plan of ignoring fascists until they go away has enabled a resurgence of racism in the United States. "What purpose does this strategy serve, except to maintain our participation in a system of order that does not protect us?" asks Hayes. "Marginalized people have learned, across the course of many oppressions, freedom is not delivered on request."

Accommodationist politics have defined themselves by their inability to accomplish progressive change, observes Op-Ed writer William C. Anderson. "Their neutrality in the face of threatening violence allows the very oppressions they supposedly oppose to thrive." Being better educated and more moral than the far right doesn't stop bullets...

"'Law and order', the court systems and all of the white supremacist institutions that forgive vigilante white supremacist movements are aided by liberal politics. Not only have these institutions been founded, operated and infiltrated by white supremacists since the moment the U.S. existed, they are further empowered by them." 

Those of us who do not depend on the state, liberal idealism or any other unfulfilled promises must be prepared, ready and willing to defend ourselves with whatever means we have to do so, concludes Anderson. "Anyone who defends themselves when they are being attacked is not the one bringing violence into the world...

"We need a firm understanding of self-defense as badly as we need a real political opposition and a true anti-capitalist left movement in the United States." And we need the same to resist the descent of fascistic lunatics on San Francisco and Berkeley next week. Refuse Fascism has initiated protest at both locations, a discussion of which will be included in Saturday's day-long regional conference,

Saturday August 19, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Mission Cultural Center for the Latino Arts
2868 Mission Street (1 block from 24th Street BART station), San Francisco
510-253-5551, norcal@refusefascism.org

Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide

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"You only leave home," writes Kenyan-born Somali poet Warshan Shire, "when home won't let you stay."


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A fraction of the millions of people driven from their homes by political, economic and military forces find temporary asylum within the Western nations that precipitated the mass exodus in the first place. Many others without means to flee are subject to the dictates of Empire: that might-makes-right and winner-takes-all, that "America Comes First," as President Donald Trump would have it.


The number of civilians killed by U.S. air strikes in Syria and Iraq has skyrocketed over the last several months, reports New York Magazine Journalist Benjamin Hart: the watchdog organization Airwars found that the total number of dead since Trump took office is roughly equivalent to all civilian casualties during President Obama's entire tenure. 


We ignore crimes against humanity at our peril. U.S. citizens have a special responsibility to halt the atrocities committed in their name. Occupations, bombs, and secret operations have wreaked havoc in the Middle East for decades. We must forge another path, where humanity and the planet come first.


Stop the Desperation of Refugees, Stop Bombing Their Countries


The pretense of "humanitarian aid" fails to disguise the true motive for armed intervention -- the enforcement of U.S. global hegemony. While Islamic Fundamentalism does not represent anything emancipating or liberating, military incursions by the United States have occasioned ever more suffering to nations that challenge the notion of American exceptionalism. Want to end the humanitarian disaster unfolding before our eyes? Stop U.S.-sponsored bombing of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and Somalia. 

Thanks, But No Thanks Say Koreans

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"Illegal THAAD, back to the U.S." read their signs. On March 18, 5000 people from across South Korea gathered to protest the forced deployment of the U.S.'s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system on a resistant populace.


The THAAD deployment in Seongiu County is not designed to protect South Korean citizens at all, says JJ Suh, professor of Politics and International Affairs at International Christian University in Japan. "This system is designed to work at higher altitudes, higher than 45 kilometers. But most North Korean missiles are short-range missiles that would fly below 45 kilometers." The THAAD system does, however, serve U.S. strategic interests in the region. It is clear from the locations of American missile defense systems all over the world, mainly in Eastern Europe and Asia, that their deployments are aimed at creating a network surrounding China and Russia.


Missile defense systems are dangerous precisely because they enable a preemptive nuclear strike, warn staff writers for ZoominKorea, by removing the enemy's ability to retaliate. Former U.S. President George W Bush walked away from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union in 2002, after thirty years of relative stability guaranteed by mutually assured destruction.


Completion of an environmental impact assessment, "to strengthen public support for the missile system by shoring up its political legitimacy," fails to address the core concern of THAAD opponents: U.S. intervention in the affairs of a sovereign state.


A cease-fire in July 1953 left North and South "in a tense state of armed truce ever since, with open warfare just a hair-trigger away,"notes Colombia University's Charles Armstrong. Despite initial ambivalence about the missile defense system, and longed-for rapprochement with the northern half of an illegitimately partitioned country, South Korean President Moon Jae-In appears to have capitulated to U.S. interests.


Hella Organized Bay Area Koreans (HOBAK) demand that President Moon push for a Korean peace treaty and stop deployment of the THAAD missile defense system. 


Say NO To THAAD & STOP the WAR GAMES!

Rally at South Korea Consulate San Francisco

Thursday July 27, 4 - 5 pm

3500 Clay Street


"The Korean War never ended," say event organizers. "This July 27th marks the 64th anniversary of the Korean Armistice, an agreement that stopped 'hostilities by armed forces'. 64 years later, the people of Korea and the Asia Pacific Region still face U.S. militarism and constant threats to their land and life.


"When Peace Comes, THAAD Goes!!"

https://www.facebook.com/events/331093273979052/?active_tab=about

Trumpcare Is a Death Plan

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The Plan to deny medical care to millions of Affordable Care Act subscribers (17 million would become uninsured next year alone) and reinstitute barriers to the hard-to-insure has collapsed, for now, but the congress behind the genocide of expendable constituents promises to reassemble.

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"The disastrous Trumpcare bill passed last week [May 4, 2017] by the House of Representatives was a vanity project for the billionaire president whose social agenda was no more than a campaign ploy to secure the vote of the Anglo-Saxon poor with populist tribal distractions," charges Fabiola Santiago at el Nuevo Herald.

"Their vote makes pregnancy a pre-existing condition, eliminates funding for birth control and makes access to health care more difficult for women. Their vote makes people suffering from serious conditions such as heart disease, cancer and HIV and AIDS unable to have insurance."

Access to health care is a human right. "Here, in the richest country on earth, this social contract is broken. The right to health is enshrined in international treaties and the constitutions of a large number of countries around the world," says Dr. Joia Mukherjee, Chief Medical Officer, Partners in Health, "but in the United States, basic rights like health care, education, and even the right to vote are under increasingly grave threats. Even as we speak, the federal government is selling each pillar of our social contract and our human rights to the highest bidder. . .

"Enough is enough. Health is a right -- not a commodity, not a privilege."
Climate scientist Ben Santer fights 'alternative facts'. He's not alone. The consequences of global warming denial affect every person on the planet. Santer advises that human actions must be part of the solution:

"You jump through hoops. You do due diligence. You go down every blind alley, every rabbit hole. Over time, the evidence for a discernible human influence on global climate becomes overwhelming. The evidence is internally and physically consistent. It's in climate measurements made from the ground, from weather balloons and from space -- measurements of dozens of different climate variables made by hundreds of different research groups around the world. You write more papers, examine more uncertainties and participate in more scientific assessments. You tell others what you've done, what you've learned and what the climatic "shape of things to come" might look like if we do nothing to reduce emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. You speak not only to your scientific peers but also to a wide variety of audiences, some of which are skeptical about you and everything you do. You enter the public arena and make yourself accountable.

Donald Trump is more hostile to modern science than any previous president, says history of science professor Robert N. Proctor. "We now live in a world where ignorance of a very dangerous sort is being deliberately manufactured, to protect certain kinds of unfettered corporate enterprise." 

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We can't afford to wait years for a change in management. We must create a political situation where the Trump administration's program is repudiated, where Trump and Pence are driven from office.

"The Trump administration has promised vast changes to U.S. science and environmental policy," headlines the National Geographic. "The stakes are enormous." Writers Michael Greshko, Laura Parker, and Brian Clark Howard are tracking them as they happen. Their list is pretty damn comprehensive, and well worth a read.

We'd Like to Hear From You Too!

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"We need to recognize experts more, respect them, and listen to them," argues science writer Chris Mooney. Limited knowledge accommodates false conclusions and, worse, denial. Education is essential for a scientific understanding of reality. Willful ignorance serves the sinister agenda of autocratic rule: xenophobic nationalism and endless war. 

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Blaming liberal condescension toward the red states and the white working class for the election of Trump is a problem, says Katha Pollitt. "Empathy and respect are not about kowtowing to someone's cultural and social preferences. They're about supporting policies that make people's lives better, whether they share your values, or your tastes, or not. . .

"What should matter in politics is what the government does." In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America.
No More Fascist Killings!

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"On Friday May 26, three people were stabbed, two fatally, on a Portland, Oregon commuter train, after defending two young women, one wearing a hijab, who were being harassed and verbally attacked by a white man, who shouted obscene racist and anti-Muslim slurs," reported refusefascism.org.

The killer was identified as Jeremy Christian. The white-supremacist-with-a-baseball-bat has a history of posting Nazi sentiments on social media.  

"The double murders in Portland by a racist Islamophobe are part of a larger trend of radical-right violence stoked by a sustained campaign of 'scripted violence' by right-wing leaders and media against people of color, immigrants and other minorities" wrote Spencer Sunshine, Truthout. "With the demonizing narratives of Trump and his administration, we should brace ourselves for more such violence.

The mood is ugly, but we will not be intimidated, continued Refuse Fascism. "As the fascist Trump/Pence regime moves toward consolidating power in America, a grave danger to humanity and all life on earth, we will meet every outrage they commit with greater and greater resistance, building for the time when millions flood the streets to demand this regime be driven from power. We recognize, and call on others to proclaim, that Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, Ricky John Best and Micah David-Cole Fletcher are heroes."

They Did the Right Thing

Take a Stand. Refuse Fascism. Sign the Call to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime. Repudiate the visions of white supremacy and Christian fundamentalism espoused by the alt-right.

Today the United States joined Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries not signed onto the international deal forged among 195 countries to reduce emissions that cause climate change.

"Saying that we need to rely on coal and oil is like saying that the earth is not round," said Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo. A withdrawal "would not only be a disaster but completely unscientific."



THURSDAY, JUNE 1 
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM 
El Camino Real & Embarcadero Road 
Palo Alto
writes Mark Morford for the San Francisco Chronicle. His call to impeach the President proposes a partisan appeal to a reluctant Congress to act in the public interest. We have little hope, or time, for a change of heart by that august body of opportunists. But Morford gets one thing right: The People are the ultimate arbiters for legitimate government and "have power in unity" to overthrow the Trump/Pence regime.

What can you do?

"You take a deep breath, and keep pushing, reposting, expressing outrage," continues Morford. "Do not get complacent. Do not normalize the orange goblin's behavior. Trump hates negative press, especially when it's accurate and damning and true - which, these days, most all of it is, when coming from the re-galvanized MSM [mainstream media]. . .

"Find those stories - they are plentiful and everywhere - and keep pumping them into the mainstream, as antidote to the cancer Trump is jamming down America's lungs. Talk about them. Call your representatives and demand an independent investigation. Keep the Resistance hot. This is the only way."
Those who remain silent make China's brutal system possible, opines artist Ai Weiwei to The Stone. His comment may be applied more universally, anyplace a state censorship system exists. 

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"Whenever the state controls or blocks information, it not only reasserts its absolute power; it also elicits from the people whom it rules a voluntary submission to the system and an acknowledgment of its dominion," Weiwei writes. But it is the adoption of self-censorship that debases those who accept a passive position toward authority in return for practical benefits. "They smile, bow and nod their heads, and such behavior usually leads to lifestyles that are comfortable, trouble free and even cushy."

But these "ideological slaves" can choose to revolt, offers Weiwei. "In the end, they always do." Our job is to make this sooner than later.
"If you care at all about children starving to death and selling billions of dollars worth of deadly weapons to one of the most brutal and repressive regimes on earth," notes journalist Danielle Ryan, "the only message Trump's visit to Riyadh will send is that barbaric contempt for basic human rights is tolerable so long as you serve Washington's financial and military interests. . . Trump hates radical Islam, except when you can make money from it." 

Norwegian Refugee Council head Jan Egeland is on a five-day visit to the target of US-backed military intervention. "I am shocked to my bones by what I have seen and heard here in war- and hunger-stricken Yemen. The world is letting some 7 million men, women and children slowly but surely be engulfed by unprecedented famine. 

"Men with guns and power inside Yemen as well as in regional and international capitals are undermining every effort to avert an entirely preventable famine," Egeland adds, "as well as the collapse of health and education services for millions of children."

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The threatened assault on the key port of Hodeidah inflames the humanitarian crisis even further, says U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein:

"The fighting in Hodeida has left thousands of civilians trapped - as was the case in Al Mokha in February - and has already compromised badly-needed deliveries of humanitarian assistance. Two years of wanton violence and bloodshed, thousands of deaths and millions of people desperate for their basic rights to food, water, health and security - enough is enough. I urge all parties to the conflict, and those with influence, to work urgently towards a full ceasefire to bring this disastrous conflict to an end, and to facilitate rather than block the delivery of humanitarian assistance." 

"Time is on no-one's side as regards the crisis in Yemen," posts Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence. "As nightmare visions of living skeletons with bloated bellies and pleading eyes once more appear on the planet's TV screens, we in the U.S. will have missed a vital chance to avert a world in which untold millions are to be shocked to their bones."
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"Over 200 artists, musicians, writers and curators have come together to form a coalition named Hands Off Our Revolution, which will put on contemporary art exhibitions to confront right-wing populism," reports Alice Morby for Dezeen.

"The group - which includes leading figures such as Steve McQueen, Laurie Anderson, Ed Ruscha, Cornelia Parker, Wolfgang Tillmans and Anish Kapoor - announced its existence yesterday with the launch of its website.

"On the site, the collective outlines its belief that art can 'help counter the rising rhetoric' of right-wing populism, as well as 'increasingly stark expressions' of xenophobia, racism, sexism and homophobia."

Full list of contributing artists here.
There will be no appeasing Donald Trump or his supporters. The history of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's Munich Pact of 1938, allowing Hitler to annex a large chunk of Czechoslovakian territory in return for a pledge of peace, proves the disastrous consequence of accommodation for war crimes.

"It is useful for Americans to recognize that we are facing something entirely new and different in American history," comments author Peter Dreier. "Certainly none of us in our lifetimes have confronted an American government led by someone like Trump in terms of his sociopathic, demagogic, impulsive, and vindictive personality (not even Nixon came close)." Dreier identifies the one word that best describes President Trump: fascist. "Fascists seek to unite the country behind a smokescreen of patriotism while scapegoating the weak and powerless." 

Dreier anticipates a future in which to translate progressive agenda into actual policies. "But, at the moment, our stance must be one of resistance and opposition."

A lot of energy gets spent on defining "fascism," and the authoritarian disposition can take multiple forms, but would rejection of the attribution make what is transpiring, under Trump, in front of our noses, OK? Clarity on Who and What Trump represents will help to concentrate determination to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime! To that end, World Can't Wait encourages members to participate in the following venues.


Refuse Fascism is calling for everyone to step up and step into the battle for Berkeley.  They are sponsoring a major event to take this on (flyer below), and working intensely to change the terms of things and take the initiative away from the fascists.  Their assault has nothing to do with the supposed denial of "free speech" to low-lifes like Ann Coulter, it has to do with the attempt to consolidate the fascist Trump/Pence regime. We need everyone to join in and step up: 

A Talk and a Challenge to Debate by Sunsara Taylor 

Thursday May 4, 6:00 PM
U.C. Berkeley, Hearst Field Annex
Building D, Room D37 

This is not about "free speech."  Far from being persecuted or suppressed by the state for their ideas, the ideas of these fascists are being imposed on the world by the most powerful state in the history of humanity.  Every day, the fascist Trump/Pence Regime is slamming ahead to implement precisely the kind of genocidal racism, woman-hating cruelty, war-mongering ambitions, planet-destroying lies, and anti-immigrant ethnic-cleansing these "intellectual" hitmen promote.  Every day, the Trump/Pence Regime is working feverishly to consolidate a fascist America.

Sunday May 7, 1:00 - 4:00pm
University of San Francisco
Fromm Hall, Berman room
 
What is fascism?  What brings it on?  Are the economics and politics of Europe in the 1930s relevant?  Would the U.S. history of genocide and slavery make U.S. fascism something new?  How can we get millions to fight fascism?  Who are our friends and allies in fighting fascism?


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Also this coming weekend, we will Honor our Heroes & Martyrs, comrades who never looked the other way:


In San Francisco: Saturday May 6, 7:00pm 
Eric Quesada Political and Cultural Center
518 Valencia Street  (near 16th Street BART)
 
In Oakland: Sunday May 7, 7:00pm
Humanist Hall
390 27th Street (between Broadway & Telegraph)

"For a society so worried about things that can kill us, we've focused very little of our attention on the thing that surely will," observes Tom Engelhardt, author of The United States of Fear. "Warming of the planet -- thanks to the fossil fuel system we live by and the greenhouse gases it deposits in the atmosphere -- is already doing real damage to our world.


"When we speak of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), we usually think of weapons -- nuclear, biological, or chemical -- that are delivered in a measurable moment in time. Consider climate change, then, a WMD on a particularly long fuse, already lit and there for any of us to see."


But fear should never be the primary motivation of our actions, says Eddie S. Glaude Jr., chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton.  "The real danger is that the way we live our lives as Americans, no matter our optimism about the future, is no longer sustainable. We can't continue to live with the current level of income inequality. Hard working people are working longer hours for less pay. And politicians and their benefactors continue to argue for trade policies that have decimated the working class in this country. We can't continue to lock up black and brown people or watch them killed in cold blood by people sworn to protect us or fail to publicly educate all of our children. We can't continue to bomb people around the world into oblivion." 


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War and militarism fuel climate change. "The Pentagon is the single greatest institutional consumer of fossil fuels," notes Environmentalists Against War Gar Smith. . . Oil barrels and gun barrels both pose a threat to our survival. The amount of oil burned -- and the burden of smoke released -- increases whenever the Pentagon goes to war."


We should not cower in fear, counsels Professor of Theology and Culture Mark Lewis Taylor. "Privileged citizens and residents need to bare their rage at the structures of abuse. . . we need to renew our commitments to the political movements on the ground and at work in contesting both the right and the 'lesser evil' of today's corporate and imperial state." But "any fresh vanguard for revolutionary change, must come from the most vulnerable themselves, from the communities long targeted by racist and misogynous power in the history of U.S. capitalism's structural violence. It is these communities' movements that put material pressure on the more privileged and protected to resist the corporate state. 


"Those most vulnerable to a Trump regime are not powerless. They are not primarily -- surely not only -- victims. They are also resisters with powers for throwing off oppression, building movements for justice and to redress wrongs and imagine new political life. All the while they can also extend at times astonishing acts of love and human dignity."

"Science is not a set of facts or even techniques and procedures," says the founder of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society. "Science is a process for understanding the nature of the world. Scientists begin from the assumption that there is an objective reality, independent of our hopes and desires. We try to understand the nature of that reality through observations and experiments. . .

So Much for Democratic Daydreams

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Hil-Don__front_A copy.jpg"There was, during the course of the 2016 campaign, a small but vocal group of antiwar libertarians and conservatives who had convinced themselves that Donald Trump was preferable to Hillary Clinton because he, Trump, had made his (fictitious) opposition to the Iraq War a cornerstone of his candidacy," wrote James W Carden for Consortiumnews.com.  "Trump, it turns out, seems every bit as captive to the bipartisan foreign policy consensus as was his predecessor."

The President has been lavished with praise from leading Congressional Democrats for targeting Syria, notes The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald. (Hillary Clinton offered her categorical support hours before the missiles fell.) Those who fall in line behind Trump's bombings are ensuring that he will keep it up.

FBN_04-13-2017_13.28.44-800x430.jpgOne had to search the NY Times for today's lead story (World News section, subcategory Asia Pacific), U.S. Drops 'Mother of All Bombs' on Afghanistan; White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced the action in his daily briefing:

"The U.S. has dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan." 

President Donald Trump says he is very proud of the U.S. military after what he called a "very, very successful mission." Whether the political establishment elects to bestow gushing praise on the first-time use of the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, as they did for the airstrikes on a town in Syria last week, is as yet unknown. But it is imperative that today's strike on Afghanistan be contested, not "normalized" as just another (albeit bigger) bombing-as-usual in America's war on the world. 

The LA Times hopes to rein in the worst aspects of fascism in America. "[Trump's] contempt for the rule of law and the norms of government are palpable," said the paper. 

We say Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime! One thing's for sure: The Trump Regime Won't Collapse Of Its Own Accord. It's up to us, people living in the United States, to stop the horrific crimes of our government and drive perpetrators from power. Sooner than later.

Think It Can't Happen Here?

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Wed April 5, 7pm
Film Showing of
Prisoner of Paradise
Directed by Malcolm Clarke and Stuart Sender
Nominated for an Academy Award in 2003

Think it can't happen here? This documentary is the true story of Kurt Gerron, a prominent actor, and film director in Germany during the 1930s. Loved and celebrated, Gerron was at the top of his game when the Nazis came to power in Germany. He had worked on films with Marlene Dietrich and Peter Lorre. His trademark cabaret song was "Mack the Knife." 

Gerron at first made fun of Hitler and thought his fascist regime wouldn't last long. But even as Hitler cracked down on society and Jewish people, and committed one horror after another, Gerron continued to conciliate and compromise, trying to work with the Nazis until he could no longer make films in Germany.  

Still he did not leave occupied Europe, but moved to Amsterdam to continue his career, until he was rounded up with others in 1943 and deported to Thereisenstadt, a concentration camp reserved for Jewish artists and intellectuals. 

Even then he continued to conciliate and made a deal with the Nazis to make what would be his last movie, a propaganda piece that depicted the camp as a "paradise." Gerron's tragic life vividly brings home urgent lessons for today as we confront a fascist regime.
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