"There are few people more likely than Mr. Bolton is to lead the country into war. His selection is a decision that is as alarming as any Mr. Trump has made so far," asserts The New York Times Editorial Board. "Coupled with his nomination of the hard-line C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, as secretary of state, Mr. Trump is indulging his worst nationalistic instincts." 

w460.jpgIt's Time to Panic Now 

While the appointment of Mr. Pompeo, former president of Sentry International, an oilfield equipment company partnered with Koch Industries, must be deliberated by an frighteningly acquiescent Congress, John Bolton faces no such vote of approval. The national security adviser job doesn't require confirmation.

National Security Advisor-designate (his term commences on April 9) John Bolton crusades for the launch of U.S. pre-emptive war against North Korea. He laid out "The Legal Case for Striking North Korea First" for The Wall Street Journal on February 28, positing that "it is perfectly legitimate for the United States to respond to the current 'necessity' posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons by striking first." Bolton disparages diplomatic channels, including the President's planned summit with Kim Jong-un in May, suggesting such talks would be worthless.

And, if Trump fails to sign the sanctions waiver on Iran in mid-May, in violation of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, he could trigger a second crisis in the Gulf. Despite the State Department's admission that Iran is "in technical compliance to their commitments," the President seems determined to withdraw from the arms deal, in sync with prescriptions for war by his most belicose admirer. 

"A close look shows [Bolton's] genuinely one of the most extreme, irresponsible, and dangerous voices in the country," said Adam Mount, weapons expert at the Federation of American Scientists. 

A Hawk Among Hawks

As a senior adviser to George W Bush on issues of arms control and international security, Bolton championed the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. He advocates an "aggressive military interventionist program around the world, coupled with staunch anti-immigration rhetoric," wrote Jamiles Lartey at The Guardian.

The new National Security Advisor feels no humanitarian obligation to accept Syrian Refugees: "The U.S. can refuse to allow Syrian refugees entry 'without in any way violating our humanitarian obligations'" Bolton told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in 2015, as millions were fleeing the American-sponsored war. What gets lost in this exchange is the reality that people are fleeing in large part because of American foreign-policy decisions. And the the myth of American exceptionalism, that the U.S. wages war in the interests of humanity, that what's good for the U.S.A. is good for the world.

The Trump/Pence Regime Won't Collapse of its Own Accord

There's still time to drive out the Trump/Pence regime. But not a lot of time.

There will be no appeasing Donald Trump or his supporters. "It is useful for Americans to recognize that we are facing something entirely new and different in American history," comments professor 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). . .

"Our stance must be one of resistance and opposition."

Students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School are vocal about the need for gun control. Never Again has amassed more than 61,000 followers. Some members of the movement are refusing to go back to school until gun legislation is passed. Students and young people have always played a critical role in every major movement for justice and positive change. This is needed now more than ever, says refusefascism.org:

When those in power tried to write the Parkland massacre off as just another mass shooting, students answered NO. Students drew a line and made clear that we are not going to allow shootings to be "normal" anymore. Now we need to do the same thing in challenging the legitimacy of the Trump/Pence regime because we can't and we won't allow ourselves to become normalized to fascism. The future is a true nightmare if this regime is not stopped and ONLY the people, rising up in mass sustained nonviolent protest, can stop this nightmare by driving this regime from power.  

Walkout_1200.jpgPost-inauguration of Donald Trump, an abundance of political and social issues have become topics of everyday conversation. From Muslim travel bans to his proposed armament of teachers, the President has inspired a wave of fresh protest against massive exploitation (and destruction; this week marks the 15th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War) of human life. Students of all ages have contributed hugely to visible resistance to authoritarian regimes around the world.

"Student activism catalyzes societal change," argues Sarah Simon at The Hullabaloo. "The true meaning of the anti-Trump protests is to display that we the people do not consent to this government, and we value the marginalized groups in this nation who will not feel valued under the Trump administration." 

We must not allow, we must be determined to stop, the advance of white nationalist agenda in our name.

March Against Gun Violence In Our Schools


Bay Area Solidarity Rallies

Frank H Ogawa Plaza, Oakland 

Saturday March 24, 10:00 am

Civic Center, San Francisco

Saturday March 24, 1:00 pm 

Note from organizers: The Oakland event will 

just be a rally leading up to the San Francisco 

march. At the end of the Oakland rally, we will 

all BART to San Francisco to join forces. At 

the end of their program (around 2:45), we will 

all march together. For the Oakland rally, we 

will hear from our students, advocacy groups, 

and our representatives.  

We stand in solidarity with 700+ events 

around the country. We have scheduled our 

event at this time on purpose so the entire 

Bay Area can march together.

The French term for targeted arrest of wartime Jews was rafle; in Denmark and the Netherlands, the practice was called razzia. The Polish lapanka can be translated as "to catch." By any name, the German tactic of enforced deportation was illegal and immoral, condemned as a war crime under international law. 

2018_0228scotus.jpgThe Holocaust did not begin with the gassing of "undesireables"--the Final Solution was not approved by senior Nazi leadership until January 20, 1942 at the Wannsee Conference outside Berlin--but evolved over time, "beginning with systematic persecution aimed in part at encouraging Jewish emigration from Germany to other countries." And death of "illegal aliens," while too often the consequence of US government border policy, is not necessarily coincident to President Trump's expulsion orders. What is common to ICE's mission and the history of Hitler's genocide is the phenomenon of ethnic cleansing.

"ICE's deportation zeal stands in contrast to a particularly shameful chapter in its history," reminds historian Jared McBride. When it was known as the US Immigration and Naturalization Service, from 1945 to 1979, "it repeatedly failed to investigate and remove European war criminals from the US. And that included Holocaust perpetrators." 

Disappeared by the State  

The Supreme Court recently ruled that US immigration officials can detain immigrants within the US indefinitely reports Kelly Hayes for truth-out.org, without offering periodic bond hearings. Immigrants with permanent legal status and those seeking asylum would not be exempt from this policy: 

Being "disappeared" by the state is hardly a new concept amongst undocumented people. Alejandro Rodriguez, the lead plaintiff in Tuesday's case, is a legal permanent resident who lingered in detention for three years, without access to a bond hearing, due to a misdemeanor drug offense. The ACLU ultimately took up Rodriguez's case, scoring a victory in the circuit court, wherein the court ruled that immigrant detainees were entitled to bond hearings every six months. The Obama administration appealed that ruling, arguing that the United States government has the right to detain "criminal and terrorist aliens," and the Trump administration predictably opted to continue the case. But while the case and controversy predate the Trump administration, this decision comes at a particularly frightening time for undocumented immigrants, who are already living in the crosshairs of the Trump administration.

Choose a Side

Holocaust survivor Ervin Staub believes that bystanders play a far more critical role in society than people realize: "Bystanders, people who witness but are not directly affected by the actions of perpetrators, help shape society by their reactions.... Bystanders can exert powerful influences." 

Primo Levi challenges the notion that "Good Germans" were not aware of the horrible atrocities being committed by the Nazis:

In spite of the varied possibilities for information, most Germans didn't know because they didn't want to know. Because, indeed, they wanted not to know....In Hitler's Germany a particular code was widespread: those who knew did not talk; those who did not know did not ask questions; those who did ask questions received no answers. In this way the typical German citizen won and defended his ignorance, which seemed to him sufficient justification of his adherence to Nazism. Shutting his mouth, his eyes and his ears, he built for himself the illusion of not knowing, hence not being an accomplice to the things taking place in front of his very door.

The very future of humanity demands we not make the same mistake. RefuseFascism.org offers a vehicle to stop the nightmare of the Trump/Pence Regime: If we understand and come to grips with the character of the problem we face, we can find and work on the solution. We will have our differences, which we should acknowledge and engage; such differences, however, can NOT prevent us from uniting and acting together in the larger interests of humanity.

Beware the Evolving Nature of Genocide

Social ostracism, abrogation of legal rights, and organized physical violence advance in stages towards the "ultimate war crime,"  defined by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg as an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation. US Senator Jim Risch warns that war on North Korea would be "one of the worst catastrophic events in the history of our civilization." Trump now has his finger on the nuclear trigger. During his campaign, he asked a foreign policy expert three times: If we have nukes, why can't we use them? National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster announced Trump has ordered the military to "prepare all options because the President has made clear to us that he will not accept a nuclear power in North Korea."

Revolution Newspaper has called out the real aggressor: "The US has been--for 70 years--and remains the real aggressor here, starting with the Korean War of 1950-53, and ever afterward. And it must not be forgotten that during the Korean War, the US carpet-bombed and eventually burned down every town in North Korea, and that an estimated three million Korean civilians, the great majority in the North, were killed in this war...

"It is a fundamental outrage that we live in a world where the survival of humanity rests in the hands of someone like Donald Trump; that the people of the Korean peninsula, and humanity, are held hostage to his acts and speech."

Now is the time for everyone to come to the defense of those first and most viciously under attack and strengthen the movement to drive the fascist Trump/Pence regime from power.  

Youth Reject a Lockdown Future


Children are in the crosshairs. UNICEF identifies the most dangerous places for children--schools in war-torn areas of the globe--with stories of brutality incomprehensible to most Americans. In the scarce schools available, those students face exploitation as human shields and cannon fodder. And while US schools are relatively free of bloody confrontation, an appalling new threat is emerging: teachers trained to shoot students.

Students are 'fed up' going to school scared for their lives and demand a ban on domestic military grade weapons. The AR-15 rifle used to spray bullets inside and outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in last week's massacre has no legitimate use in any community, said junior Ashley Santoro: "There's no real reason for anybody to own these."  

4e0 copy.jpg

"He [Nikolas Cruz] was a very good shot," said Aaron Diener, member of the same Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) marksmanship team as the gunman in the Parkland, Florida, shooting, supported by a grant from the National Rifle Association (NRA). "He had an AR-15 he talked about... He would tell us, 'Oh, it was so fun to shoot this rifle' or 'It was so fun to shoot that.' It seemed almost therapeutic to him, the way he spoke." 

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation fund offers so-called "Faster" programs, three-day training sessions for teachers from around the country. In addition to target practice, one day of the training is devoted to "mindset development." Trainees are asked to "close their eyes and imagine the student entering the classroom with a gun" and then are taught how to find the necessary "grit" to kill that student.

"If this isn't the end of civilization, I don't know what is," wrote The Nation columnist Patricia Williams. "Unless we wrap our bodies perpetually in Kevlar and travel in bomb-resistant tanks," the problem remains: there are simply too many guns in circulation.                   

"Gun reform is no substitute for real justice and the necessary abolition of a death-dealing and cruel economic and political system that is the antithesis of democracy," says McMaster University professor Henry Giroux. "There is no defense for putting the policies of the NRA ahead of the lives of children." 

"We are still in the early stages of an authoritarian regime change," warns Salon writer Chauncey Devega. "We still have an aspiring authoritarian leader. Many people have gotten to the point where I was a year ago, which is recognizing that this situation is uncertain and the outcome depends upon us. Matters are not hopeless but they are dire. The stakes are very high."

23130615_383701095403270_6232484761537580188_n.jpgIn his 2017 book On Tyranny, Yale historian Timothy Snyder gave the American people one year to stop Donald Trump from shredding traditional democratic rights. Without speculating on a national emergency (like Nazi Germany's "Reichstag fire") staged in order to consolidate power, we can safely predict an upsurge in governmental repression and control in response to the resistance we've mustered to date. "I think what people have done in the last year has made a tremendous difference," says Snyder. "Things are bad and they're going to get worse before they get better, but if it weren't for the marches, local activists, lawyers defending people's civil rights, citizens calling their representatives and investigative journalists doing their jobs, things could be a lot worse than they are." But "if we all get tired and say we can't do it anymore, then things will go south very quickly."

Chauncey DeVega concludes that Americans must react better than the Germans did in 1933. He is surprised at the lack of realization that a mainstream (Republican) party "is allowing something extraordinary to happen in America. But after a while there will not be mainstream parties anymore. The analogies are clearly there."

There was enough of a base for Hitler to stay in power, roughly the same size of Trump's following, roughly a third of the population. But "it's not a situation where if Donald Trump has 25 percent of the public, we are safe, and if he has 35 percent, we are doomed," adds DeVega. "The ways Americans interact with each other as members of a shared community" will demonstrate our determination to refuse to accept a fascist America.  

The Changing Nature of Tyranny


Whether Trump/Pence is a direct replica of the Nazi regime has little relevance compared to the serious challenges he poses, argues Henry Giroux at Truthout. When people with power and influence remain silent in the face of "lies and ruthless polices" of the Trump administration, they sanction state violence characteristic of authoritarian regimes: racial cleansing, unchecked militarism and class warfare. "The first casualty of the Trump era is truth, the second is moral responsibility, the third is any vestige of justice, and the fourth is a massive increase in human misery and suffering for millions."

Trump is an ominous threat to democracy and lives, observes Masha Gessen, staff writer at The New Yorker. "Merely mitigating the damage done by the endlessly ascendant anti-immigrant right" just doesn't cut it. She frames the issue of immigration in moral rather than economic terms (that immigrants are good people who benefit the economy). Gessen's approach would address "American responsibility in a world in which tens of millions of people have been displaced by war, famine, and violence...

"This would mean talking not only about the Haitian or Salvadoran refugees who are being deported from the United States but also about the hundreds of thousands of Syrian and Yemeni refugees who have no hope of entering the one country in the world best situated to give them shelter. It may address the future of a planet that is slowly becoming unsuitable for human habitation, and the American responsibility to those who lose their homes as a result. It may even question the premise that the dumb luck of having been born in the United States gives a group of people the right to decide who may enter the premises."

British historian Richard Evans notes that there is more than one way to destroy a democracy (sending troops into the streets, storming radio stations, and arresting politicians). "Even if Hitler wasn't directly elected to power, his appointment as Reich chancellor was legal and constitutional." Donald Trump's intent to shred political and social norms  was clear from the start -- "In the first weeks of the Trump/Pence regime they have begun subverting the separation of powers, the separation of Church and State," reads the RefuseFascism.org Call to Action:

"..[they] called for a new nuclear arms race, demonized the press, dismissed the very concept of truth substituting their own fabricated 'alternative facts'.  It can already be said of Trump/Pence that 'first they came for' the Muslims, then the Mexicans, then all refugees, then women, then Black and Latino people, LGBTQ persons, the environment, and anyone who doesn't conform or submit to their vision and plan for a nation cohered around white supremacy and a political form of Christian fundamentalism, that should rightly be called Christian Fascism."

z.jpgToday fascist and neo-fascist movements are on the upswing, warns social studies educator Alan Singer. To those who profess fascism "can't happen here," he reminds us that the domestic threat to the United States prior to World War II was all too real: on February 20, 1939, an estimated 22,000 American fascists held a "pro-German, pro-Nazi rally" in New York City's Madison Square Garden. Photographer John Gutmann recorded an even earlier assembly at San Francisco City Hall in 1935 (photo). Similar rallies occurred across the country.

During World War II the United States War Department issued a memorandum called "Fascism!" which declared "Fascism is not the easiest thing to identify and analyze; nor, once in power, is it easy to destroy. It is important for our future and that of the world that as many of us as possible understand the causes and practices of fascism, in order to combat it."

"What makes it possible for someone like Trump to attain power and hold it is the acquiescence of people, both voters and politicians, who aren't white supremacists, who sort-of kind-of believe in the rule of law, but are willing to go along with racists and lawbreakers if it seems to serve their interests," wrote New York Times columnist Paul Krugman in an opinion piece on the conviction (and subsequent pardon by the President) of white supremacist sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The authoritarian policies we currently suffer aren't static; Fascism advances in stages. Accommodation, conciliation, even collaboration serve to normalize the crimes against humanity perpetrated in our name. "Even as the Trump/Pence Regime is moving fast, they have not yet fully consolidated their regime, or, as yet, been able to implement their full program," says RefuseFascism.org. "But, this is their objective and it is very possible. It might only take a single serious crisis -- international or domestic -- for this regime to drop the hammer. We do not have much time."

Donate here to strengthen the movement to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime! 

No, It's Not You


Things really are as bad as they seem. Donald Trump's "lock-down" disposition infects everybody with terrors real and imagined. In the name of "safety" his regime dismantles political and social norms with catastrophic consequence to humanity and the planet. 

Americans are being trained to be afraid, blogs W.J. Astore. "We're told 'to shelter in place', to huddle scared like so many rabbits, until the proper 'locked and loaded' authorities are deployed with their SWAT teams and armored cars."

From Kabul to Edgerton, Ohio, children are in the crosshairs. Unicef identifies the most dangerous places for children--schools in war-torn areas of the globe--with stories of brutality incomprehensible to most Americans. Even where schools are available (a third of Afghan students--3.7 million-- lack that opportunity), students face exploitation as human shields and cannon fodder. And while U.S. schools are relatively free of bloody confrontation, an appalling new threat is emerging that contradicts the inalienable right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness": teachers are being trained to shoot their students. "If this isn't the end of civilization, I don't know what is," says the author of that report.    

"Guantanamo represents the final failure of the American dream," notes psychologist Jeffrey Kaye. "The U.S. government has no intention of shutting down that facility. Indeed, it expects that it will drive even more prisoners insane. The construction of a padded cell could be interpreted as a humane gesture to protect seriously mentally ill prisoners intent on self-harm. Or it could be understood as yet another element of a wide-spread and deeply thought-out torture apparatus. The history of Guantanamo argues strongly for the latter."

The Miami Herald video journalist José Iglesias takes us inside a communal cell block for low-value detainees just days after President Trump signed an executive order formally rescinding his predecessor's closure order. 

U.S. immigrants are the first to suffer a "show me your papers" society.  Donald Trump's attempt to "ferret out and cleanse the country of illegal immigrants" with warrantless search and interrogation defies longstanding constitutional safeguards and must be stopped in its tracks.  

Rutherford Institute president John W. Whitehead warns that "such tactics quickly lead one down a slippery slope that ends with government agents empowered to subject anyone--citizen and noncitizen alike--to increasingly intrusive demands."

"We are witnessing the racialization and assertion of naked white supremacy by this anti-immigrant program, referring to Black and Brown nations as 'shitholes'," conclude RefuseFascism organizers. "What are we going to do about it?" Join them this coming Sunday for a panel discussion of the necessity and possibilties for resistance. Community forum: Stop the attacks on immigrants!  

This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

"It really is happening," writes artist Noah Fischer about genocidal attacks on immigrant communities. One of the initiating members of Occupy Museums, Fischer attributes today's banal response to ICE deportations to the fractious power of daily aggressions by a fascist regime, crimes that must never be normalized. The robust response to Donald Trump's "chilling" inaugural speech a year ago has dissipated. Activist tactics have shifted. The identity politics in play today generate public debate but also serve to demobilize large-scale protest.  

j20-reflections-1200230-720x540.jpgPolitical moments are short-lived, says Fischer. J20 stands as a moment more than a movement. "The endorphin-fueled moments around Trump's inauguration and the talk of widespread, sustained, creative resistance, and commitment to shielding threatened communities has not materialized." But the promise of coalition-building among aggrieved groups continues to inspire. 

"I hope to see it develop this year as people tire of the mental distraction and reactivity that has become our everyday under Trump. We need space for a long-term political vision to come into focus that bridges art with organizing and reimagines institutions. I hope to witness the unifying of voices not only because that's the only thing that sends terror into the heart of those who currently hold power, but because when we do that, we create worlds. That is how we can create our own institutions and economies." 

IMG_1630.JPG"This whole idea of putting our hopes and energies into 'leaders' who tell us to seek common ground with fascists and religious fanatics is proving every day to be a disaster, and actually serves to demobilize people," reads the original World Can't Wait Call to Action. While Democratic Party promoters frame Power to the Polls events around 'get out the vote' initiatives this weekend, RefuseFascism.org prescribes a different course: mass visible resistance to patriarchal business as usual, independent of traditional party politics. 

This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! 

World Can't Wait will join Refuse Fascism contingents at marches in the Bay Area on the one-year anniversary of the historic Women's March on Washington -- also the one-year anniversary of the inauguration of the fascist Trump/Pence regime:


San Francisco Women's March
Saturday January 20, 11:30am
SF Civic Center (meet near Grove & Polk)


Oakland Women's March
Saturday January 20, 10:00am
Lake Merritt Amphitheater (meet near 12th Street)

plus, mark your calendars

The Rally for Reproductive Rights (updated January 18)
Saturday January 27, 11:30am
Federal Building, 90 7th Street, San Francisco

Refuse Fascism in San Francisco


Continuing a process of active investigation - of leading, learning, and forging greater unity - Refuse Fascism is embarking on a National Organizing Tour to key cities this January:

Thumbnail image for 2017_1227students-1.jpgSaturday January 6 RefuseFascism Statewide Student Conference  
12:00 pm - 6:00 pm 1590 Bryant Street, San Francisco

Sunday January 7 RefuseFascism Mass Organizing Meeting
3:00 pm 1590 Bryant Street, San Francisco

World Can't Wait members have a special opportunity this month to mobilize friends, family, neighbors, even perfect strangers, to resist the fascist policies we've been decrying for over a decade. Thanks to RefuseFascism.org, we have the vehicle to do just that: a subscription to what activists call "the only organization acting on and raising the alarm to get rid of this fascist regime." In its entirety; Trump, Pence and the whole enchilada.

It would be a crime, literally, against humanity to ignore the invitation of a lifetime to write a better future. The brutal protagonists of an already corrupt system have resurrected that monster of racist nationalism condemned in the last World War, freshly cultivated by the Trump/Pence Regime. Reformulated with help from the Republican Party, yes, but accommodated in large part by would-be leaders who know better and choose to look away. 

Human rights are long in the making but too easily quashed by authoritarian government. The dismemberment of law and custom we are witnessing on a daily basis can be stopped. We must reclaim the moral ground squandered to failed "representatives" of the people. A better world is possible. But it's up to us.

Donate here to support the National Organizing Tour

Systemic Change or Bust


The work of saving the planet is political, not technical, argues The Stone contributor Benjamin Fong. "It should be stated plainly: It's capitalism that is at fault."

Widespread ignorance is often blamed for climate change. But the progressive view that intelligence will save us -- by replacing dumb people with smart ones -- is a "spectacular delusion", he continues. "Every time we pick out bumbling morons to lament or fresh-faced geniuses to praise is a missed opportunity to see plainly the necessity of structural change...

"The intelligence of the brightest people around is no match for the rampant stupidity of capitalism." 

Attorney Marjorie Cohn reminds us that despite the American Service-Members Protection Act, U.S. officials are not immune from investigation for war crimes in Afghanistan:

The doctrine of universal jurisdiction permits any country to try foreign nationals for the most egregious crimes, even without any direct relationship to the prosecuting country. That means other nations can bring U.S. leaders to justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

If a full investigation of U.S. officials proceeds, adds Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU's Human Rights Program, it "would send a clear signal to the Trump administration and other countries around the world that torture is categorically prohibited, even in times of war, and there will be consequences for authorizing and committing acts of torture."

"The long overdue message that no one is above the law is particularly important now, as the Trump administration ramps up military machinations in Afghanistan and embraces the endless war with no plan in sight," Katherine Gallagher, a senior lawyer at the Center for Constitutional Rights, said in a statement.

Chief ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda notes the alleged crimes by the CIA and U.S. armed forces "were not the abuses of a few isolated individuals," but rather were "part of approved interrogation techniques in an attempt to extract 'actionable intelligence' from detainees." She added there was "reason to believe" that crimes were "committed in the furtherance of a policy or policies ... which would support U.S. objectives in the conflict of Afghanistan."

Trump & Pence Must Go! 
We take to the streets again November 18

Break the Silence and Bring the Noise
Pots and Pans, Drums and Marching Bands
2 pm, Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco

Hosted by Refuse Fascism and Refuse Fascism Bay Area

Defy Trump

In his youth, Raymond Pretzel countered the rise of Nazism in Germany with a refusal to "calm down" about capitulation by his compatriots. Neither hero nor martyr, he remained "stubbornly antagonistic" to the brutal menace of the state, like thousands of other individuals determined to resist Hitler's consolidation of power. Pretzel's memoir about refusing fascism reminds us that the best time to fight normalization of white nationalism is NOW.  

Too many otherwise good Germans passively waited it out, only to get swallowed up by a horror beyond what they ever imagined. Today's nightmare -- the resurgence of hate and bigotry sponsored by authoritarian regimes -- behooves us to learn from the failure of "silent grumblers" to stop the crimes of their government.

Set an Example 

23434930_386351641804882_230801458282592685_n.jpg"Everyone who wants to end the nightmare of the Trump/Pence regime, everyone who refuses to live under the threat of nuclear war with Trump's 'America First' finger on the nuclear trigger, everyone who cannot stomach what those in power are doing to people here and all over the world: step out to join with others who refuse to accept this," urges the Stop Mass Incarceration Network.

"To all who see the danger of the Trump/Pence regime and wants to be with others who feel the same: bring your family, your friends, your drums, pots and pans and any way you want to make some noise, be creative and defiant. We are going to go against and break the silence of normalization of this nightmare, we are going to disturb the air and serve notice that the Trump/Pence Regime must go and we will not be quiet, we will not back down, we will not stop until the people in our millions come into the streets and our demand is met."

Stay in the Streets

November 4, 2017 It Began - Sights and Sounds from the day here

4000 people in over two dozen cities, from New York to Honolulu, participated in the activities of the day. "They came for many reasons and for one," reported protesters. "They came because they could not tolerate the demonization of whole sections of people and the retrenchment of white supremacy to a level not seen in several generations with yet worse to come. They came because they wanted their children to inherit a planet on which people could still live and breathe. They came because they value the truth. They came because they will not tolerate "pussy-grabbers" anywhere, least of all the White House. They became because they refuse to live under a religious government. They came because they do not want a world where the American president not only threatens but seems to yearn to use nuclear weapons, where the doors are slammed shut on desperate refugees, where suspicion and racism and fear set the terms and make the rules, where the snarl and the sneer are the fixed face of power...  

"They came because they think that people need to be able to dissent, to stand up or to "take a knee," as they see fit - without threat and insult from the highest levels, and from a whole fascist movement. They came because of Charlottesville. They came because they remember the lessons of history, and because they want a future. They came because in the name of humanity, they refuse to accept a fascist America."

23415531_386344045138975_3663810091077704841_o.jpgShow the American public that there are people standing up to Donald Trump and his followers, that there is a vehicle in place to do so -- we don't need to reinvent the wheel. Refuse Fascism's action on November 11 inspired observers to join a dramatic No Nuclear War! die-in with hazmat-suited demonstrators in San Francisco's Union Square (photo). With Trump's finger on the black box (nuclear) button, the Trump/Pence regime is more dangerous to the world than even Hitler.

To those of you standing on the sidelines, there is a place for you in the campaign to drive fascist thugs from the White House. Enlist family and friends, students and teachers to this singular mission: In the Name of Humanity, Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!

AP_17062067229114.jpgThere is no First Amendment right to speak on a college campus, notes Robert C. Post at Vox. The special academic freedom that members of the university community enjoy requires judgment on the merit of ideas, independent of a public discourse where everybody's opinion is equal (actually, they're not). "There are in fact many areas of our social life where we expect persons to act with competence, and where the law properly defers to accepted bodies of knowledge" says Post. "Universities can and must engage in content discrimination all the time.

"Universities exist to serve the twin missions of education and the creation of knowledge," he continues. "Universities hire and tenure faculty based on the quality of their ideas. Universities grade and evaluate students based on the quality of their ideas. The purpose of universities is to teach students how to discriminate between better and worse ideas, as well as to determine what we know on the basis of our best possible ideas... Although the First Amendment makes no such distinction, it is important for any university that seeks to encourage both rational dialogue and the mastery of ideas, however strange and off-putting [does]."

"I am slowly slipping away and no one notices," writes hunger striker Khalid Qassim. Falsely imprisoned for 15 years, the Guantanamo prisoner has been reduced to pleading for his life:  

Some will say I brought the pain on myself. But how can that be? I did not ask to be brought here. I did not do anything that justified being kidnapped and hauled half way around the world. It is true that there have been times when I thought I would be better off dead. This was the only peaceful way I thought I could protest. What I really want, for me and for the other men here, is justice. Certainly, I never wanted to die in the pain I'm now in.

#FastForJustice: Hunger strike on behalf of prisoners 

Reprieve founder Clive Stafford Smith hopes to persuade strikers "to eat a bit of food while we take over from them -- just so we can keep them alive until a federal judge can end this madness:

"Five detainees at Guantanamo Bay are starving to death. Under an arbitrary new practice brought in by the Trump administration, hunger strikers are reportedly being denied access to basic medical care and left to starve. Two of our clients, Ahmed and Khalid, are hunger striking with a simple demand - give us fair trials, or release us. They have not eaten since September 20th, and the authorities are withholding medical treatment.

"If Ahmed, Khalid and the other detainees continue their hunger strike under these conditions, they are at serious risk of organ failure or death. We need to raise the alarm about what's happening and demand urgent medical help for the hunger strikers, so that they don't waste away in vain. If the world won't pay attention to their hunger strike, maybe they'll pay attention to ours.

"We're asking our supporters to join in a solidarity hunger strike with the detainees. This isn't the first time we've organized a hunger strike - in 2013, hundreds joined our hunger strike to support Shaker Aamer and helped give him the strength to continue until his eventual release. It only takes a small number of dedicated people to make enough noise and make a difference. We've done it before and we can do it again.

"If we take up their cause, we can their save lives. We hope that by hunger striking on their behalf, we can convince Ahmed and Khalid to pause their own strike while keeping their principles intact.

"If you'd like to pledge to fast for 24 hours in solidarity with the detainees, just fill in this form and choose a day that's convenient for you. Your name will then be added to our calendar of fasters."

This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

"Torture works," insists Trump. Guantanamo stays open. Illegal torture including waterboarding is being re-approved. Trump plans to bring back the CIA "black sites."

It's been said that you can judge a society by how it treats its prisoners

Investigative journalist David Neiwert has been documenting the emergence of the United States as a bona fide torture state for over a decade. "The appearance of legal torture as part of the American landscape is a profound change, and certainly signals the approach of the totalitarian state, though it may not herald its actual arrival," he wrote back in 2006. "And considering that a right-wing regime is involved, discussing the specter of fascism is not only appropriate but necessary."

Torture is a key component of fascist pathology, and a clear warning sign of a governmental, even constitutional, crisis. Which the Trump/Pence regime seems determined to spark, if we let it. 

"Fascism, if it returns, will do so not simply because of a rousing leader, but because of his timid accomplices," warned Samantha Power in a book review of Anatomy of Fascism by Robert Paxton. It is up to us, people with conscience, to deny accommodation to a fascist America.  

So Much for the 25th Amendment

"Unless Trump leaves office voluntarily, the only mechanism for his lawful removal is found in section 4 of that amendment. It's a doozy," writes Truthout columnist William Rivers Pitt.

"To make use of it, the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet must tell Congress the president is unable to perform the duties of his office. The president can challenge this and immediately retain his powers, but if the vice president and the Cabinet reaffirm their claim of presidential incapacity, the matter goes to Congress for what amounts to a trial. For removal, both the House and the Senate have to agree with the vice president and the Cabinet by a two-thirds majority in each chamber."

We cannot try to 'wait things out' for the next election. We must seize this moment in history to create a political situation in which the illegitimate leaders of a fascist administration are driven from office.

Citing activist Mario Savio's 1964 Sit-in Address on the Steps of Sproul Hall, Pitt summons us to end the nightmare of the Trump/Pense regime: "We are stopping the machine until this is fixed."

Join Refuse Fascism in the streets on November 4 and beyond. In San Francisco, gather 3pm, Union Square. In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!

U.S. Out of Afghanistan


16 years, thousands dead and no clear end in sight

"The United States' war against the people of Afghanistan is now the longest foreign war in this country's history," notes Cassia Laham of People's Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism (POWIR). "U.S. bombs do not bring peace or justice, only death and destruction. Our troops have no place in Afghanistan." Donald Trump appeared to agree with that assessment during his campaign for president, twittering "Let's get out!" But his "new" war strategy calls for a surge of thousands more troops to Afghanistan, with additional pressure on Pakistan.


"The Pentagon's record in Afghanistan provides iron-clad evidence that war does not work," says Gar Smith of Environmentalists Against War. "Nor does provocation and endless escalation. It's all a con to maintain the profits of the U.S. munitions and weapons industries."  

"Trump also emboldens the war machine here in the U.S. against Black and Brown people and immigrants," adds No to War Call to Action, "by fanning white supremacy and xenophobia and continuing the militarization of the police and ICE to incite racially-motivated violence and justify repression, including mass incarceration and mass deportations. U.S. wars of aggression and militarism abroad go hand-in-hand with increased state repression and militarization of the police state here at home.

"Trump's new escalation comes at a time when there is no end in sight to the continuous wars, including drone and mercenary warfare, throughout the region and when he is threatening military action against Venezuela, North Korea, Russia, Iran and other countries."

Tell Donald Trump: End the Wars, Close Overseas Military Bases, and Ground the Drones. TROOPS OUT NOW!

Thousands more Marines are being deployed to "reinforce advisory activities" (we know what that means; think Vietnam) in Afghanistan 

Before he sends up to 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wants to know how many troops are currently on the ground. Whatever that number (how can he not know?), the human toll on Afghan civilians increases daily. Women and children casualties saw a sharp increase in the first six months of 2017, reports Aria Bendix to The Atlantic. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) cites a total of 1,662 civilian deaths between January 1 and June 30, a two percent increase over last year's record high.

President Trump's "new" Afghanistan war strategy does not define what victory would look like, or how his path would be different from the strategy of previous presidents: a mix of conventional military force and diplomatic pressure on Pakistan. "More boots on the ground is serving the long-term global strategy of the U.S. by victimizing and marginalizing the Afghan ordinary people," reads a dispatch from onebillionrising.org. "[U.S.] presence in Afghanistan is not for human rights and liberation, rather to use the geo-strategic position of Afghanistan against its global and regional rivals." 


Boundaries of the Kabul Green Zone redrawn to encompass Western embassies, government ministries, and NATO headquarters 

The Pentagon's Kabul Security Zone (map) confirms U.S. plans to stay put, long term; the huge public works project is likely to keep the military in place well into the 2020s, even by the most conservative estimates.

Resisting a Lockdown Culture

The Trump/Pence Regime won't collapse of its own accord. "That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn - or be forced - to accept," reads the original World Can't Wait call to action. "History is full of examples where people who had right on their side fought against tremendous odds and were victorious. And it is also full of examples of people passively hoping to wait it out, only to get swallowed up by a horror beyond what they ever imagined."  

Sheltering in place shouldn't be the American way, op-eds William J. Astore at TomDispatch. "Nor should we lock ourselves down for life. It would be so much better to lockdown instead what should be truly unthinkable: doomsday itself, the mass murder of ourselves and the destruction of our planet."

"Since 9/11 we have witnessed the rise of a national-security-surveillance state and the expansion of a lockdown mode of existence in a range of institutions that extend from schools and airports to the space of the city itself. The meaning of lockdown in this context has to be understood in broader terms as the use of military solutions to problems for which such approaches are not only unnecessary but further produce authoritarian and anti-democratic policies and practices. Under such circumstances, not only have civil liberties been violated in the name of national security, but the promise of national security has given rise to policies which are punitive, steeped in the logic of revenge, and support the rise of a punishing state whose echoes of authoritarianism are often lost in the moral comas that accompany the country's infatuation with war and the militarization of everyday life." -- Henry A. Giroux, Truthout

There will be no appeasing Donald Trump or his supporters. "It is useful for Americans to recognize that we are facing something entirely new and different in American history," comments professor 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). . .

"Our stance must be one of resistance and opposition."


Self-Defense is Survival

Unite the Right rally_24_1502579228955_64122720_ver1.0_900_675.jpgUPDATED September 2, 2017

Enough 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 Berkeley later this month.

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