Sunday, 19 November 2017
This just goes to show that no matter how much education and training you might have, you can still be a total fucking idiot. And these fucking imbeciles are " defending your freedom ". Fucking dipshits.
The Navy has launched an investigation into the jet that sky-painted a giant penis over western Washington on Thursday.
“The actions of this air crew were wholly unacceptable. These actions were irresponsible, inexcusable, immature and antithetical to the core values of naval aviation and the Navy,” said Cmdr. Ron Flanders, spokesman of the North Island-based Naval Air Forces.
Authorities have not named the crew of the EA-18G Growler crafting the phallic contrails, but Flanders indicated that the pilot was a lieutenant assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 130, the “Zappers” out of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington.
Although the two-seater aircraft often includes a naval flight officer tasked with suppressing enemy radar and communications, the Navy has not said whether two sailors were involved in the incident or just the pilot, who has been grounded.
The Navy’s “Air Boss,” Vice Adm. Mike “Shoe” Shoemaker in Coronado, and Adm. John Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon, have been briefed on the controversy, Flanders said.
Flanders apologized “to anyone who was offended by this” and said any aviators or ground crew found to have engaged in wrongdoing by investigators will be held accountable.
"The American people rightfully expect that those who wear the Wings of Gold exhibit a level of maturity commensurate with the missions and aircraft with which they've been entrusted,” said Shoemaker in a message sent out by Naval Air Forces on social media. “Sophomoric and immature antics of a sexual nature have no place in Naval aviation today. We will investigate this incident to get all the facts and act accordingly. This event clearly stands in stark contrast to the way our aviators and sailors are performing with utmost professionalism, discipline and excellence from our carrier flight decks and expeditionary airfields around the world today."
VAQ-130 returned to Whidbey Island in December, following a seven-month tour aboard the carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower that included air operations over Iraq.
Typically, the Navy will convene a special board to determine the fates of aviators involved in aerial tomfoolery.
A Field Naval Aviator Evaluation Board — pronounced “fee-nab” in the Navy — is an administrative panel designed to evaluate the performance, motivation and future potential for uniformed aviators. Often convened at the wing level, these boards can end the careers of naval pilots and flight officers.
Neither the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Electronic Attack Wing at Whidbey Island nor Carrier Air Wing 3 in Virginia has announced the convening of a board, however, and the decisions often are secret.
The latest incident recalls the massive phallus discovered in early 2014 painted on a trailer at the Blue Angels winter training grounds at Naval Air Facility El Centro. The image was so large, it could be photographed by satellites in space.
Capt. Gregory “Stiffy” McWherter, who commanded the Navy’s aerial acrobatic team in two tours between 2008 and 2012, was fired as the executive officer of Naval Base Coronado and later received a punitive letter of reprimand that ended his career.
Investigators found that the Blue Angels during McWherter’s second tour beginning in 2011 operated more like a boozy frat house than an elite jet squadron, saying they “openly engaged in sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior.”
That included peppering their jokes with homophobia, papering their cockpits with pornography and hazing junior enlisted sailors during the “cresting process” of their orientation to the team, according to a disciplinary report released in 2014.
While the misconduct began as “juvenile and sophomoric” high jinks, it degenerated into a “destructive, toxic and hostile” workplace, investigators found.
Saturday, 18 November 2017
Last night's show at the Subculture Club was a grand success ! Kraxxa, Collagen and Universal Peace ( from Tacoma ) were all fantastic, and the turnout was perfect ! Thanks to Troy for asking us to play, and Steve and Rob for their unceasing efforts to create a viable regular all-ages venue. I am sorry for spilling my energy drink all over the stage, though. Sometimes I stomp around like an out of control ape. Sometimes. Good day.
Friday, 17 November 2017
Wednesday, 15 November 2017
This is the perfect article for everyone who has accepted the dominant narrative in this society, and who don't question all of the garbage that has been piled up inside of our heads by the powers that be and their educational system. Read this, motherfuckers !
Setting the Record Straight on Communism and Socialist Revolution
REFUTING THE BIGGEST LIES AGAINST COMMUNISM
November 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Lie #4: Communism is a form of totalitarianism. Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin sought to impose total domination over society—through repression that invaded every aspect of society and individual life, and mind-manipulative ideology.
The theory of “totalitarianism” equates communism with fascism…the dictatorship of the proletariat with fascist rule…and Stalin with Hitler. This is a grotesque misrepresentation of reality. The Soviet Union when it was socialist (from 1917 until the mid-1950s) and Nazi Germany (1932-45) were polar opposites in all key aspects: in their economic foundations; political and social structures; aims and outlook of leadership; guiding ideologies; in the actual ways these societies functioned…and in the lived experience of the individuals making up these societies.
The theory of totalitarianism traffics in gross lies and distortions of the methods and goals, and the real history and experience, of communist revolution. It detaches Nazi Germany from its capitalist underpinnings. And it pathetically worships at the feet of liberal-democratic imperialism as the highest and furthest human society can and should go—prettifying its monstrous crimes and inhumanity, and the savage exploitation of hundreds of millions at the base of this system.
The most influential “scholarly” work proposing the theory of “totalitarianism” is Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism. The powerful critique of Arendt by Bob Avakian in Democracy: Can’t We Do Better Than That? provides essential understanding for why this theory is unscientific and the agenda it serves.
The main target of “totalitarian” theory is in fact communism. And this theory’s main ideological function is to distort and demonize communist revolution and reconcile people to this world of horrors.
Reality Check #1—Different origins and systems of class rule of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany
*The socialist Soviet Union was the outcome of a mass revolution bound up with the horrific death and destruction of World War 1 and a highly oppressive and repressive society that millions were in revolt against. The October Revolution of 1917, led by the Bolshevik (communist) Party, overthrew the old capitalist-imperialist ruling class/elites; and the ensuing civil war of 1918-20 shattered their remaining political-military power. The revolution created new governing structures—the dictatorship of the proletariat—that empowered the formerly oppressed and exploited, in alliance with the great majority of society, to take ever greater responsibility for the running of society. And the new socialist system spurred radical social-cultural transformation and ferment.
*Hitler and the Nazi vision of a resurgent, revengeful, and “racially pure” imperial Germany emerged out of German defeat in World War 1 in 1918. Hitler built up a mass racist and reactionary social base through the 1920s. His program ultimately gained the backing of sections of the traditional German capitalist-imperialist ruling class. Nazi rule was erected on the foundations of developed German industrial-finance capitalism. And Hitler united the reigning economic-military elites behind a project to make Germany the great and dominant imperial power of the world. Fascist rule deprived people of minimal rights, creating categories of undesirables, and carrying out savage persecution and control—moving first against communists!
Reality Check #2—Two utterly different economic systems
*The revolution in the Soviet Union led to history’s first planned socialist economy. Unlike capitalism, it operated according to the principle of production for social need, not profit in command—providing for the material and cultural needs of the people and bringing workers and peasants into positions of responsibility. Resources were allocated in a conscious and planned way to develop an all-around economy. The Soviet economic system was not driven, nor did it seek, to expand and exploit globally, or to colonize peoples and regions. The new Soviet Union recognized the right of self-determination and aided and supported the struggles of peoples colonized and dominated by imperialism.
*The German economy under Hitler maintained and enforced the system of capitalist ownership and control and exploitation of wage labor—and was transformed into a predatory militarized economy. The German imperialist state sought to gain control of the resources and labor of vast stretches of Europe and beyond: through annexation, war, and plunder.
Reality Check #3—Emancipating humanity vs. tightening the chains of oppression
A. Women in Soviet and Nazi society
*The Nazi program for women was one of total subordination. The Nazis pushed women out of the workforce and sought to turn them into compliant breeders and mothers for the fatherland. “Kitchen, children, church” was the slogan. The Nazi “role model” projected in state propaganda, in the educational system, and culture was the “Aryan” male: the patriarch and racial warrior.
*The Soviet revolution stood for the liberation of women. In the 1920s and early 1930s, Soviet society was challenging traditional gender roles and customs enslaving women, including Sharia law. Abortion was legalized and made widely available—as was the right to divorce. Never before had a society made the uprooting of women’s oppression such a focus. Women joined the labor force in the greatest numbers in history—with childcare and nursery facilities provided. Great efforts were put into improving post-natal care for minority nationalities.
In the mid-1930s, however, the government saw the need to stabilize society as the threat of war grew. Certain radical social measures were reversed and abortion banned. This was a grievous retreat, though women continued to play a major role in political, economic, and cultural life.
B. Racial purity vs. multinational/multi-ethnic equality
*The Nazis aimed to establish the rule of the so-called German “master race” over Europe and the East. Only “racially fit” Germans were deemed suitable to reproduce. Nazi social policy aimed to eliminate “inferior” Germans (the mentally ill and developmentally disabled, homosexuals, and “a-socials”) through sterilization and denial of medical treatment. And the Nazi racial state ultimately embarked on a program of genocidal extermination of the Jewish people in Germany and Europe, along with other ethnic and national groups. Hitler propagated the imaginary conspiracy of Bolshevism/communism and the Jewish people, and sought the elimination of both.
*The socialist Soviet Union was the world’s first multinational state based on equality. It valued and promoted ethnic diversity. It waged campaigns against “great-Russian chauvinism.” It created autonomous regions where minority nationalities previously forbidden from using their own languages in schools and official political life could now do so—and local, indigenous leadership was fostered. Minority cultures flourished. Soviet scientists and educators worked to explode the myth of “backward” and “superior” races. Nowhere else in the world was this going on—least of all the U.S., where segregation and white supremacy were the law of the land and lynching against Blacks rampant; and Jews were subjected to discrimination.
The Soviet Union put an end to the persecution of the Jewish people. And, please Mr./Ms. Totalitarian, the Soviet Union was the only fucking country in World War 2 that actively sought to save the lives of massive numbers of Jewish people. In Eastern Europe, where the Red Army in World War 2 marched, Jews were protected; where the Nazi military marched, Jews faced genocide. Fact: 200,000 Polish Jews escaped the German Holocaust when they came under the control of the Soviet Union in 1940.
Reality Check #4: There were no “death camps” in the Soviet Union.
In 1936-38, as the threat of massive imperialist attack on the Soviet Union was growing, the socialist state launched police operations to prevent counterrevolution. The target of these campaigns became too broad, rights were violated, and many innocent people were arrested and executed. (We will have more to say about the reasons and lessons in a separate installment on Stalin.) But there were no “death” or “extermination” camps in the Soviet Union. The claim that “millions” were executed by Stalin is pure myth. No ethnic group was targeted for elimination. And no nationality was singled out for mass imprisonment (as is the case for African-Americans in the U.S. today).
Reality Check #5: And who in fact played the decisive role in defeating Hitler?
One rather glaring problem with totalitarian theory’s equating of Hitler and Stalin is that it cannot really account for the fact that the socialist Soviet Union and capitalist-imperialistNazi Germany were locked in mortal antagonism. Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, in a war of conquest and destruction on a scale unseen before in human history—with Hitler making it clear to his troops that they were to discard every principle of humanity for a war of total annihilation. The Soviet Union bore the brunt of the Nazi war machine. And under Stalin’s leadership, the Soviet Red Army and the Soviet people not only courageously beat back this onslaught but played the decisive role in defeating Hitler in World War 2—at a cost of some 26 million Soviet lives, including 11 million soldiers.
Reality Check #6: Two different modes of thinking
Communism is a science. It is internationalist. It requires the rational-scientific investigation and understanding of reality. It aims to transform reality, to bring a world free of exploitation and all oppression into being—based on the real-world potential to forge such a world and the conscious struggle of oppressed humanity and all who aspire to such a world. Whereas…
The Nazi outlook was based on concepts of German “blood and soil,” racial purity, male supremacy, hatred and contempt for critical thinking, and out-and-out irrationalism.
The theory of totalitarianism is intellectually hollow and empirically impoverished. It is influential bullshit that does great harm. The charge of “totalitarianism” leveled against communism—that communism is a “utopian ideal turned madness”—is a critical element in the bourgeois ideological arsenal that declares: Stay away from communist revolution, don’t aspire to a radically different and better world, don’t try to change people’s values and thinking for the better. It will only make things nightmarishly worse. Long live the status quo.
*Democracy: Can t’t We Do Better Than That? by Bob Avakian, 1986. Especially Chapter 6, section: “The Theory of Totalitarianism and Its Political Role.”
*Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, and What It’s All About, Session 3 “Is Communism Totalitarianism?” A film of talk by Bob Avakian, 2003, www.revolutiontalk.net
*You Don’t Know What You Think You “Know” About… The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future, an interview with Raymond Lotta, 2014, www.revcom.us and www.thisiscommunism.org
*Three Alternative Worlds, by Bob Avakian, December 3, 2006, www.revcom.us
Tuesday, 14 November 2017
I'm sure the mainstream media didn't give Nov.11th the attention it so rightfully deserved. Read ALL of this, assholes.....
Sights and Sounds from November 11 Across the Country:
Sights and Sounds from November 11 Across the Country:
Standing Up Against Trump/Pence Threats of "Fire & Fury" Against North Korea and Iran
Updated November 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Sights and Sounds of November 11 From Around the Country
(Except where noted, photos on this page are Special to www.revcom.us)
Carl Dix, Columbus Circle, 11/11: "It is very real that Trump is threatening war with North Korea.".
U.S Veteran who went to Iraq, powerfully calls on Past, Present and Future Members of the Military to join this movement to DRIVE OUT THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME!
NYC: Marching from Columbus Circle to Trump Tower.
New York: Voice from Nov. 11
Q: So tell us something about yourself and why you came out today.
A: I’m a corporate lobbyist and an attorney for a multibillion-dollar multinational, I can’t say which one. I’ve been involved pretty much my whole life in politics. I think it’s really important to come out every day, especially as a Jewish person ... I’ve always been against Trump, but especially after Charlottesville and the Nazis were marching, and especially after Trump had the audacity to say that there were good people on both sides—and that’s about as obnoxious as you can get. I was a big Bernie Sanders supporter during the whole election. I was really disappointed that he lost. But, I mean, Trump the entire time... every time you think he can’t go any lower, whether it’s repealing, or trying to repeal, the Obamacare for those who really need it, or trying to repeal gay rights for gay people and trans people. Pretty much everything he’s done... every time I think he can’t say something more stupid, or attacking those in need, for example the recent tax cuts, giving more money to people who don’t need it. I mean, [I’m] in one of the high tax brackets—I would technically benefit under his tax plan. What am I gonna do... I’ve looked at it... what am I going to do with the extra money? Nothing good is going to come of it for me. The people who actually need those tax cuts... he just keeps taking money from people who actually need it. I think it’s a total disgrace. I think it’s absolutely horrible, and I don’t understand what he’s thinking. I mean, the entire Reaganomics has been disproven time and time again, by even the inventor. Even the guy who initially came up with the idea of Reaganomics has said it’s a farce, but yet again it’s still propagated by those in power like Trump. And even, he gave a recent phone call yesterday saying that he needs the estate tax to be passed—he has to give something to his base. He openly said that.
Q: I mean, you went through a lot of things there. What is it that most infuriates you about the Trump/Pence regime?
A: That he’s so willing to pander to these right-wing extremists. It’s all these right-wing Nazis. They hate everyone. There’s no room for hate in a modern day country and we’re really the only place in the world where we still tolerate it under this false sense of liberty, the only place that still thinks it’s okay. It’s great that there’s maybe a hundred people here—but there should be a million people here. Hate has no place in America: We’re the only place that tolerates it, the only place that tolerates shootings in schools, the only place that still allows this... that type of hatred. It still happens other places, but this is the only place that tolerates it. To me, that’s the reason he has to go. He’s normalizing the type of hatred that hasn’t existed since the 1950s. And that has to go.
Q: Today’s focus especially is on the fire and fury, the threats he’s been making against Korea and elsewhere. Carl [Dix] spoke rather eloquently to his experiences. What do you think about that: his threats on Iran, his threats on North Korea, revelations about U.S. forces in Niger?
A: I mean, that’s really just an extension of the American policy for the past 60 years. I mean, Trump... to an extent he’s a little more firebrand than Obama or Bush was, but Obama started more wars that Bush ever did. I mean, in my opinion, Obama was no better when it comes to starting wars than any other president; he was just as bad. Obama gets a lot of credit he doesn’t deserve on those matters. Obama was quite the warmonger, to be quite honest. But Trump’s absolutely horrible, Trump’s the first one who’s actually threatening nuclear war, which is absolutely horrifying. And it’s horrifying that there’s really nobody to stop him, he has no checks and balances, he’s surrounded himself with his team of staff who are warmongers in general. And if we don’t do something soon, there’s a good chance it could happen.
Q: There is us to stop it. That’s what this whole thing is about...
A: [T]o get him out. The problem is, we have to get more people to come out. It’s getting Americans to actually care. The problem is Americans are apathetic, for the large part. The people that are coming out now are people that do care, people who have protested their whole lives. It’s up to us to get our friends out, that’s the trick, that’s the hard part.
March begins in Chicago
In Chicago a wedding party saw the rally from across the street. The groom came running over when he saw the Trump and Pence puppets. The rest of the wedding party followed and they all started flipping off the the puppets and taking pictures of themselves doing it. Note the joy on their faces. Credit: Ted Sirota.
Los Angeles: 100 people rallied and marched in Hollywood, CA on Saturday night, as Refuse Fascism took to the streets saying "NO to Nuclear War! NO to America 1st!
The lead contingent in the march wore hazmat suits.
Members of La Colectiva de Mujeres participated in march.
Statement from Kathy Najimy in Support of November 11
Hello dear people who care about the state of humanity.
I wish I was there to speak in person, but more selfishly—I wish I was with you because being in a group of folks who actually care—who actually give a shit about SOMETHING—is the only placeI feel whole and in my skin these days. Rallies, Protests, Marches, or even pussy hat knitting circles... are our salve, or relief.
SO thank you for UNITING and giving your soul the honor of this rally today.
We march, we vote, we scream, and we demand our basic human rights. For ourselves, our families and the lives and rights of the citizens of the world. RESIST SPEAK UP REFUSE FASCISM.
It isn’t hard to point out why we need to meet and demand. To have our hearts and voices heard. THIS IS REAL RIGHT NOW. It’s not a passing Republican in office. It’s not the result of a wave or whim or backlash. It’s an assault on democracy, safety, rights, our bodies and our lives.
Trump and Pence are representatives of the darkest most reprehensible of the swell of RACISM, FASCISM, HOMOPHOBIA, MISOGYNY, ISLAMAPHOBIA, White supremacy, Sexism and disregard for humanity.
That gun violence and death are now barely even news anymore. An expected order of the day. As disregarded as bad weather. RESIST REFUSE SPEAK UP!
And speaking of weather, that our animals, daughters and sons have a decreasing chance of a safe walk in the mountains or swim in the ocean or even a full healthy BREATH IN! RESIST SPEAK UP REFUSE FASCISM!
Our LGBTQ sisters and brothers, our families of multi-cultured sisters and our brothers, our girls and women raped, harassed, trafficked. No more. RESIST REFUSE SPEAK OUT!
It’s groups like REFUSE FASCISM and YOU here today who will NOT TAKE another breath until this administration is driven out and we find our way back to peace. Peace and equality. Yep, I’m using all my bumper stickers sayings from the ’70s—but we had it right. LOVE IS ALL THERE IS.
This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! Let’s restore peace, respect, compassion, democracy, equality and... LOVE
THANK YOU ALLL!!!
On November 11, people in cities across the country responded to the call from Refuse Fascism and went into the streets to rally and march in opposition to the Trump/Pence fascist regime’s threats of war against North Korea and Iran and aggression in the Middle East. This was a week after thousands stepped out on November 4 in a real beginning to what Refuse Fascism has urgently called for in the name of humanity: mass, sustained, non-violent protests, in the streets day after day, with a unified demand of “The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!”
The numbers of people out on November 11 were relatively small—but they were acting, passionately and with determination, on an understanding of the real and intensifying war dangers under the Trump/Pence regime, and the intolerable horrors those wars can bring down on tens of millions of people and, indeed, humanity a whole. It was very important that these protesters were calling out this immense and immediate danger, and calling on many, many others to act. And it was important that they were doing this as part of what was begun on November 4.
In a message to the protesters, University of Illinois Law School law professor Francis Boyle sharply pointed out how the Trump/Pence threats against North Korea (DPRK) were clear violations of international law, and then brought out the big stakes involved:
It is an extremely dangerous situation. It is really up to the United States to take the first step down the Ladder of Escalation that it has constructed here. Instead it appears that the Trump administration is going to escalate up the Ladder of Escalation in the hope and expectation that DPRK will capitulate. This is what International Political Scientists call a Game of Chicken—with cosmic consequences. Who will blink first? Anything can go wrong. Thank you so much for being here today to prevent World War III.
November 11 was Veteran’s Day—when the U.S. wars for conquest and empire around the world, and the troops that carry out the crime in the interests of the imperialist rulers, are celebrated. In the New York City protest, Carl Dix, from the Revolutionary Communist Party and an initiator of Refuse Fascism, spoke about how in the 1960s, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and then refused to go to Vietnam when he learned about the horrors the U.S. was committing in Vietnam and around the world. Dix said the rulers try to rally support for their wars by saying people should back the troops. But, as Dix said, the GIs and veterans that actually deserve our support are those who “refuse to fight in their imperialist wars...who refuse to carry out war crimes.” Going into November 11, a powerful video clip showed a vet who had been in Iraq call on past, present, and future members of the military to join the movement to drive out the Trump/Pence regime.
Dix also hit at the dangerous illusion that Trump’s generals, like Mattis and Kelly, were somehow the “adults in the room” that will keep Trump in check. Dix spoke to the truth of the situation:
What’s gonna stop the threat of war is us and people like us—people who recognize this threat for what it is. And we have to go out and wake others up to this threat and get them to join us in acting to stop it. That’s what’s gonna stop this threat of war.
And it is only the people—in their millions, in the streets continuously with courage and determination—that can bring about a situation where the whole Trump/Pence fascist regime is stopped in their tracks and driven from power. November 18 will be a day of national mobilization: Break the Silence—Bring the Noise!, sounding the alarm to break through the deadly silence of normalization of fascism. Check at www.revcom.us and at RefuseFascism.org every day for news of what is going on and alerts about actions being called for.
Here are some highlights from November 11 from some of the cities:
New York City
Broadway and other Manhattan streets were teeming with military personnel Saturday morning: veterans of wars going back to World War 2, people on active duty, high school and college youth in ROTC programs. A small crowd gathered to watch them march in New York’s Veterans’ Day parade—an ugly tribute to participants in this country’s war crimes. A celebration of the occupations, invasions, bombings, and outright genocide the U.S. has perpetrated and continues to inflict on the people of the world.
A short distance uptown at Columbus Circle, a powerfully different scene took shape. About 65 people gathered for a rally called by Refuse Fascism. Its specific focus: “No ‘Fire & Fury’ Against North Korea or Iran, No U.S. Aggression in the Middle East! This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go.” Sunsara Taylor, a co-initiator of Refuse Fascism and writer for Revolution, introduced the co-MCs Travis Morales and Eva Sahana. Speakers included Diane Beeny of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Remembrance Committee; Carl Dix, also a co-initiator of Refuse Fascism and from the Revolutionary Communist Party. Messages were read from actor Kathy Najimy, known as the voice of Peggy Hill on the animated TV series King of the Hill, and peace activist and veteran Tarak Kauff.
After the rally, spirited and determined marchers headed past a glittering array of luxury hotels towards Trump Tower. Chants denouncing the fascist Trump/Pence regime, and calls to bystanders to break with their routine and join the fight to drive them out pierced the normalcy of Saturday afternoon on Fifth Avenue. Reaction from pedestrians here and elsewhere was mixed, but mostly favorable, indicating both the potential and urgency of bringing many more into this fight, soon. Most people were receptive to the message that the Trump/Pence nightmare must end; some were enthusiastic, raising their fists and joining in chants (and several people joined along the march route). A small number of Trumpites clustered at a certain point and unsuccessfully tried to disrupt the march. Their chants of “USA, USA” were drowned out by enthusiastic marchers raising their fists and chanting “Humanity First! Humanity First!” and “Trump says America First, Hell No, Humanity First!”
The march proceeded to a military recruiting center in Times Square for a final, brief rally. Travis Morales from Refuse Fascism outlined plans for the coming week: for more deeply consolidating those who had participated in the November 11 events, but even more importantly doing that as part of reaching out to bring thousands and millions more people who hate everything the Trump/Pence regime is about into the fray, and organizing bigger events on November 18.
In freezing temperatures, a crowd, initially about 50 people, gathered for the 2 pm rally in the downtown south Loop. The rally was MCed by jazz and reggae musician drummer Ted Sirota; speakers included blues harmonica player Matthew Skoller; Rosalie Riegle from the War Resister’s League; a Vietnam Era vet from Refuse Fascism speaking about the war threats against Korea; and Lena from Refuse Fascism.
A small band of fascists with a Trump banner, American and “blue lives matter” flags gathered across the street playing the American anthem, which was drowned out by the rally.
In the middle of Lena’s speech, a wedding party came running over from the across the street, and all joyously flipped off the Trump and Pence puppets as a sea of cameras was clicking. Lena said, “The fact that a wedding party joined in a protest today gives you a sense of just how many people there are who hate this fascist regime. These are the people that we are mobilizing, that we are not going to stop until everyone in this society has to take a stand. Are you for or against this fascist Trump regime? There is no standing to the side.”
The march took off heading north to Trump Tower in a raucous way. Skoller played his harmonica along with the chants and at one point, outside a department store, he joined in with street musicians in an anti-Trump song. People from the streets joined with the protest. Among them was a young Black man who had never protested before who was jumping up and down in excitement. An art student said, “I was going to do homework and I actually met somebody who just approached me—and this chant was incredibly captivating and I said, of course, this is what I need to be doing, screw the homework... I’ve been waiting for this for a year.”
As the march approached Trump Tower, a white man and woman and their three small children joined. They had come in from the suburbs to visit downtown and had gone to Trump Tower in hopes of finding a protest. The man said he was a union member who had stopped speaking to friends of 30 years over their support for Trump. He said, “When you start listening to the things they are saying by standing behind their Bible, well the Bible taught to treat your neighbor well and to help your fellow man with a leg up. And all they are doing left and right is stepping on their fellow man and oppressing them down.”
The ranks of protesters increased to 100 or so as the march approached Trump Tower. Many protesters were older people who understood the threat of nukes and feared the prospect of war, but the crowd was diverse and most who joined along the way were young people. The rally at the tower was kicked off by an actor, who portrays Mark Twain on stage, delivering Twain’s piece “War Prayer,” followed by a high school student who said we must not become complacent and let this regime start to become normalized.
The people then took off marching again, in the same raucous way with harmonica and drums, this time up the Michigan Avenue “Magnificent Mile” filled with shoppers. Many stopped to film or clapped to the chants and some joined, many of them youths. A final brief rally was held at the Water Tower plaza. As people dispersed, a revcom correspondent noticed a crowd of around 50 youths, some holding up the Refuse Fascism signs, in the plaza. They turned out to be a tour group of 15-years-olds from South Bend, Indiana. They continued to carry the signs as they walked down Michigan Avenue for half a mile to catch their train. Their chaperone said she would help organize them into an action in South Bend on November 18. They were gathered in a large group outside the train station, still holding some signs when three young women, who had joined the march earlier, started leading them and the crowd around them to chant “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Donald Trump has got to go!”
A high school student who was part of the day reflected people’s sense of the heavy stakes involved: “It’s fucking scary. Like the threat of nuclear war, we probably haven’t been this close since Reagan to our president pushing the red button. It is a crime against humanity waiting to happen.”
Chicago: Voices from Nov. 11
I know what’s going happen, like none of this is going to pass. That’s what the Supreme Court’s for—like none of this can happen, right? But it started happening. We’ve all watched it start happening—there’s been travel bans, there’s been the slow degradation we have for trans people. It’s just been going downhill. And it’s been horrifying. And I think what we need to do is—we have to be out here, we have to be doing something to try to change it. Because as scary as it is, it’s not going to get any better if you sit home. You have to be out and all of us are but we need to get more of us out here. Because even if your friends and your family aren’t convinced—they’re like maybe this isn’t the right way to do it—okay, are you doing anything?
Young Black Man and Woman
What brought you out here?
Man: We’re both into photography and she’s been looking up these different protests and what-not. Honestly, I’m completely against Pence and Trump. What they’re doing isn’t right, it’s not right for humanity, not right for America. You can make America First and you don’t need to make other countries feel inferior. And that’s what Trump and Pence are doing. They’re bullies. This isn’t the school ground any more—this is humanity. People’s lives are at stake here. I just wanted to show my support towards that.
Today is Veterans Day and there’s the question of danger of nuclear war. Anything to say around that?
I come from a big military family, so for me it’s kind of personal. I just had my youngest first cousin sign up for the Air Force and it’s just kind of scary. So for me, his parents, both of his parents, both of my parents, all five of my aunts, both of my grandfathers were in law enforcement or in some kind of service, whether Coast Guard or doing something here in the States. Still—you don’t want to see them in that position that they have to fight for something that they may not want to. And I know they signed up for it but personally for them to have fought for something, it should mean something to them and it should mean something to us, and we should be doing it for the right reasons.
Woman: I agree 100% with what he’s saying.
Refuse Fascism Los Angeles held a march and rally on Veterans Day on Hollywood and Highland beginning at Trump’s star. We gathered under the slogan, “Say NO! To nuclear war! NO! To America 1st!” We started out with around 50 or so people. The makeup of the crowd at the rally at the beginning was middle-aged people, older people, and some young people. At the rally, an organizer with the National Student Task Force of Refuse Fascism spoke on the importance of students and called for walkouts on the 15th, like some Mendez High School students did on November 8 in response to the one-year anniversary of Trump’s election. A veteran spoke about how he had committed war crimes in Iraq, but now is against wars for empire and stands with the people of the world. A woman from Military Families Speak Out, an anti-Iraq War group, spoke against wars and people’s responsibility to act right now, in the streets and calling their congresspeople. A person on the Steering Committee of Refuse Fascism read the Refuse Fascism speech, and a member of the Revolution Club Los Angeles spoke about the new talk by Bob Avakian (The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America. A New World IS Possible/ and the role revolutionaries are playing in driving out the regime.
The march took off with Aztec dancers performing and uniting with everyone there. It was contentious at the beginning with a small number of fascists yelling at us with bullhorns and saying vile shit. They were very rabid and vicious, one of them saying “nuke them all!” when the speakers were doing agitation around the threat of nuclear war which could kill 25 million people in North Korea. One of the fascists yelled to a Refuse Fascism organizer who is trans that “we’re gonna hang you and rape you!” when she was speaking. There was a heavy police presence and they created a line around us that was blocking and preventing people from coming into the rally. However, most people were ignoring the fascists and paying attention to the speakers on the stage.
The march grew because a good amount of people joined in on the spot from the sidewalks as we went down the Hollywood Blvd. A lot of them were Black people, and young. We called on people to join us from the stage, and when they did we gave them signs to hold, and some of the people took up carrying the banners. A lot of people came into the protest in a joyful way. People not only put their fists up when we were marching, but came in dancing. There was a contagious joy in the march—there were young skateboarders and couples joining us while we were marching. People left with materials about Refuse Fascism and signed up at the table we had. There were some middle strata people, and Latino families were really into the Spanish chants. There were women that we met who joined in the march spontaneously and told us that they are part of the San Francisco chapter of Refuse Fascism. We plan to organize all these people in a telescoped way and to have the energy that was out there be the energy we have in an even bigger way on November 18.
About 100 people rallied and then marched through the city. The message of the march reached thousands, loud, determined, and clear: this was a group on a mission to end the nightmare and drive out the Trump/Pence regime. Throughout the rally, and all along the march, the protesters called on and challenged the people along the route to join in.
The march, headed up by 30 people in hazmat suits with the “danger, radiation” symbol painted on the back, presented a powerful image of the stakes for humanity—sounding the alarm about the threat of war, including nuclear war. The march ended in a mass die-in at Union Square, jammed with tourists and shoppers, including people from around the world.
The speakers at the rally at the Civic Center, across the street from City Hall, were: a crew from La Colectiva de Mujeres, holding their banner; another activist from the Mission District; Alex U Inn, Grand Marshal of the 2017 SF Pride Parade; and a representative from the local chapter of Refuse Fascism.
A crew of perhaps 10 fascists came to the rally at Civic Center, seeking to disrupt the rally. They were not allowed to get away with this and eventually left.
Through the course of the day, thousands received flyers, many excited and glad to see a march like this. For most it was the first time hearing of Refuse Fascism and the audacious plan to drive out the regime through drawing forward millions in to mass nonviolent political struggle. Some were very glad to hear about this, and joined in or signed up. Others spoke with passion about how glad they were to see the march. One woman said that she was married to a Latino and said, in tears, that racist comments that would not have been acceptable two years ago are now commonplace. New people who had not even heard of Refuse Fascism before the day made commitments to come to the Sunday organizing meeting and to take up the battle to make November 18 a powerful demonstration.
Thirty people rallied and took to the streets against the threats of nuclear war and genocide from the Trump/Pence regime and demanded they be ousted from power now. They marched through the downtown core and stopped traffic with a die-in in the middle of the busiest shopping area. The street theater featured a giant, gesticulating Trump “bobble head” (donated for use by the Backbone Campaign), and an activist reading the terrifying but real quotes by Trump threatening the use of nukes and the total destruction of North Korea. An air raid siren went off and protesters lay down in the street with a banner of a mushroom cloud as the backdrop. Two protesters wearing hazmat suits and gas masks drew chalk outlines around the bodies. All of this was watched by crowds of people on every corner, most of them supportive, and many of them taking photos and video on their phones.
The rally began with a Lakota blessing from longtime freedom fighter Fennette Blackbear, who prayed for the lives of the people, animals, and Earth hanging in the balance under threat of nuclear war. Singer-songwriter Susan Harper did a rendition of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” (with the words “Think it’s time we stop Trump, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down...”). Rev. Jim VanderWeele, interim minister at the Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church, spoke about the need to see and heed the fascist warning signs and stand up before it’s too late. A Refuse Fascism organizer spoke about Refuse Fascism’s unity and objectives, and the need to bring forward the millions of people capable of driving out the regime. November 18 was announced as the day to Break the Silence and Bring the Noise! and there was discussion about reaching out to marching bands, artists, and “Honk Fest” people that some folks know.
Some new people who found the movement this week: a student from Arlington, a couple who said they saw a poster in Capitol Hill, a young woman who joined in as the march passed who was in town from Kent and had been a part of Occupy Houston, and a prominent nonviolent activist who consciously broke the U.S. sanctions against Iraq (responsible for the deaths of over half a million children) in 1997 to deliver medicine. Several people came back from the previous weekend of November 4. It goes without saying that all of the organizers wanted more people, but it was also quite notable that everyone who came felt really uplifted by what we had done together and there is a clarity of purpose and deepening commitment finding its hold.
In front of the U.S. Army Museum at Wakiki’s Fort DeRussy, 15 people held up signs opposing the Trump/Pence regime and attacks on North Korea. Hundreds of pedestrians, people on tour trolleys, and in cars passing by saw the protest. Many thanked the protesters, took leaflets, or otherwise showed their support. Several U.S. war veterans joined the protest. The author of Brothers Under a Same Sky, a historical novel based on the U.S. war on Korea, and a Korean-American activist for the reunification of North & South Korea made statements at the short rally after the protest. There was a heavy police presence but no interference. Five members of the fascist Proud Boys, sporting their rooster polo shirts and a big American flag, showed up across the street from the protest.
(Posted at RefuseFascism.org) Texas Refuse Fascism activists rallied briefly at the Capitol, to protest the regime’s threats and moves toward war against N. Korea and the Middle East. We regrouped at a busy touristy intersection. Channeling Ray Charles, we sang our message, challenging people to break out of complacency and complicity—the “normalizing” of fascism. Some passersby joined in, and our stand, and our flyers, got spread to near and far-flung parts of Texas.
Statements to Rallies for November 11
Statement from Law Professor Francis A. Boyle to the November 11 Protests
The following statement was sent by Francis A. Boyle, professor of law at the University of Illinois College of Law, to the November 11 protests called by Refuse Fascism.
1. The US government threats of “preventive warfare” against DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)] are illegal and criminal. The Nuremberg Tribunal in their Judgment of 1946, which the US helped organize, condemned “preventive war” when the lawyers for the Nazis made the argument on their behalf. This is an illegal and criminal threat in violation of international law. According to the World Court in its Advisory Opinion (1996) on the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, the legality vel non of a threat stands or falls on the same legal grounds as if the threat were carried out.
2. The repeated US government threats to “destroy” or “annihilate” DPRK are an international crime under the 1948 Genocide Convention to which the United States is a party. These genocidal threats are also illegal and criminal under the rationale of the 1996 World Court Advisory Opinion mentioned above.
3. The United States has an absolute obligation under UN Charter article 2(3) and article 33 to open “negotiation” with DPRK in good faith in order to produce a peace resolution of this dispute. Instead, the US government has repeatedly rejected these obligations under the UN Charter.
4. The proposal by Russia and China for a “dual-freeze” is an excellent basis to produce good faith and direct negotiations between USA and DPRK as required by the UN Charter.
5. The United States is deliberately provoking DPRK, ratcheting up these provocations in the hope that they will provoke the DPRK to commit an act of aggression against the United States that the USA can then use as a pretext for war. Pursuant to the terms of their mutual self-defense treaty, China has stated that if the US attacks first it will defend DPRK, but that if DPRK strikes first, China will remain out of any war. So the United States is trying to provoke DPRK into striking first.
6. It is an extremely dangerous situation. It is really up to the United States to take the first step down the Ladder of Escalation that it has constructed here. Instead it appears that the Trump administration is going to escalate up the Ladder of Escalation in the hope and expectation that DPRK will capitulate. This is what International Political Scientists call a Game of Chicken—with cosmic consequences. Who will blink first? Anything can go wrong. Thank you so much for being here today to prevent World War III.
Francis A. Boyle
Professor of Law
University of Illinois College of Law
Professor of Law
University of Illinois College of Law
Statement from Tarak Kauff in Support of November 11
Tarak Kauff is a peace activist and veteran.
The chickens may be coming home to roost. America committed genocidal wars against the indigenous people living on this continent, built the country largely on the backs of slave labor, has depended on wars and conquest for most of its history, none of which are sane or peaceful societal behaviors, and now we have an expression of that very insane, racist, misogynistic, proclivity to use violence, or threats of violence running around loose in the White House. Add to that the personal demons of extreme narcissism and insecurity that so make up the Trump persona and we have a deadly mix.
Of course this is nothing new for America, except that a loose cannon like Trump not only has his little fingers within reach of nuclear Armageddon but has been threatening in so many words that he is willing, if not eager to engage in this most dangerous and powerful form of killing. One wonders if this lunatic even realizes that nuclear demons of this magnitude once loosed could mean not only the end of millions of lives but potentially the end of all life?
There is an added insanity in not only Trump but others of the current corporate/political elite, in that they seem to believe that they and their riches and power will somehow be miraculously immune to the effects of nuclear war and the following nuclear winter. We are witnessing the madness of someone sawing off the branch they (and many others) sit upon. They think that their plushly equipped subterranean shelters will save them, not realizing that the demons inside them are as bad as the ones they will have unleashed upon the world. Those demons will cause them to self-destruct sooner than they could even imagine. There is no safety and little chance of surviving a nuclear war. Only the insane would even dream of survival in the aftermath of such terror.
Trump and all he represents are madness running out of control, rampant. The only way to stop this, and it must be stopped, is by a massive uprising of the people. It may be our last chance.