Saturday, August 19, 2017

Memories of Charlottesville

Memories of Charlottesville, 
Palmer Foley

In 2016, things fell apart. The center lost its hold, and the worst of the far Right, full of passionate intensity, seemed poised to loose their blood-dimmed tide upon the world. With cracks suddenly appearing in the free-markets-and-phony-multiculturalism orthodoxy, Luxemburg’s old question was suddenly, shockingly, back on the table: socialism or barbarism? And it appeared barbarism had a considerable head start.
Four years ago, I was a groom’s maid in my dear friends’ wedding in a little chapel in Charlottesville. I’d spent many happy, moon-shining nights talking and walking the streets of the college town, 45 minutes from my home in Richmond, VA. When I learned armed fascists, confederates, white nationalists, and sundry other scum, emboldened by the pandering faux-Bonapartist businessman in the White House, were descending en masse on the community, I was no longer thinking about long-game Left strategy. I only knew we all had a duty.
The morning of Saturday, August 12th was drizzling and miserable when our crew from the Richmond DSA chapter set out. By the time we met up with other DSA chapters in Charlottesville, the storm clouds had cleared. After precautions, plans, and red armbands were shared, we set out for Emancipation Park. A comrade handed me a button that read, “No Race But Human.”
Emancipation Park – teargas? Cops or Nazis? Hard to tell.
            Unlawful assembly declared –
            Better move to McGuffey Park.
Pass the darkened windows of twee little shops, their handpainted sandwichboard signs folded up like sleeping birds.
Anti-capitalista! Anti-fascista!
Everyone’s offering water bottles,
but everyone has to pee.
Several people lie on stretchers in medic tents.
            Now down the block, at the corner of Market Street –
                        They pass by:
Doughy boys in white polos with floppy Nazi haircuts sweated to foreheads
            Colonel Sanders klansmen in bulletproof vests
                        White knight LARPers with Celtic cross shields
                                    Olde Europa-fetishists shouting slurs at immigrants
(I wonder how many of their ancestors were spat at, dragging through Ellis Island, not yet considered white.)
            There are some grizzled old bigots, but mostly, they’re startlingly young,
the glaring sun revealing on their faces the sallow stamp of 4chan and closed circuits of hate.
August Bebel once called the proto-fascist anti-Semitism of his day “the socialism of fools,” and rarely have I seen such fools as on that street.
            They looked like little puffed-up cowards – fractured consciousnesses adrift in this viciously competitive, alienating, spiritually barren capitalist society that gambled away our future on speculative markets, leaving us stuck with a present in foreclosure.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Tell Trump: Don't Pardon Racist Arpaio

Former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio


Joe Arpaio is a criminal. A few weeks ago, he was found guilty by a federal court for repeatedly violating a court order to stop illegally detaining Latinos.
Yet President Donald Trump is “seriously considering” pardoning Joe Arpaio, saying: “He’s a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him.”
As Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, Arpaio and his deputies systematically terrorized communities of color with unlawful detentions.
Federal prosecutors secured a criminal contempt conviction against Arpaio after it was proven his office profiled and illegally detained Latinos, violating their constitutional rights.
A pardon by Trump would absolve Arpaio’s flagrant violation of federal court orders and his racism and bigotry.
Tell President Trump’s counsel Don McGahn: Do NOT pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Charlottesville: Race and Terror – VICE News Tonight

Hundreds of white supremacists marched with torches in an American city Friday night. They arrived the next day brandishing weapons and armor. One white supremacist allegedly murdered an anti-racist protester in the street with his car and injured several others. This is what really happened when you peel back all the rhetoric flying in the aftermath, and after you tune out the first reprehensible response from the President of the United States, and his subsequent update to it that was two days late and a dollar short.
Vice News, to the outlet's immense credit, was on the ground to document the events in Charlottesville this weekend. Reporter Elle Reeve even embedded, for a time, with white supremacist leader Chris Cantwell. What she found speaks for itself, but keep an eye out for the little things. Like, say, how many guns these white supremacists have.

DACA at 5 Years

Five years ago, we won DACA by taking direct action— we marched, we organized, we came out of the shadows. We made it impossible for the American public and politicians to ignore our voices. Since then, DACA has provided temporary protection for hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth. It was a major victory for the immigrant rights movement— a victory that is now under threat.
We know that DACA was never enough. It is conditional and discretionary protection for only a small part of the immigrant community. Because it is not permanent protection, 800,000 undocumented youth are at risk of losing their protection. 
Now more than ever, our community is under attack by white nationalists and a Republican administration that is sympathetic to violent, racist, and xenophobic actions that demand our detention and deportation. 
That's why we need to fight for permanent protection for all of us. We won’t back down until all 11 million undocumented workers, parents, and children have permanent protection from deportation and the dignity and respect we deserve for the labor we give to this country. 
Check out our guides to learn how to organize a creative, disruptive actionor a high risk, high sacrifice action in your local community. 
See you in the streets,

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Promotion of Racial Violence and White Supremacy

One dead after car plows into anti-racist demonstration
photo by   Ryan M. Kelly/ the Daily Progress

No, Mr. Trump, It’s Not About Bigotry On All Sides: It’s About White Supremacists

 Bill Fletcher
August 12, 2017

I sat here listening to Trump’s remarks in connection with the violence carried out by neofascists in Charlottesville this afternoon, violence which has resulted in the death of at least one anti-fascist.  He condemned bigotry on what he called all sides.
Once again Trump obscures reality.  He either ignores the violence and terrorism carried out against traditionally oppressed groups, e.g., attacks on mosques, or he uses evasive language in order to avoid pointing the finger at the real perpetrators of racist violence.
Some will act as if this is a sign of incompetence on the part of Trump.  While Trump clearly lacks competence in so many aspects of his life and presidency–as we are witnessing in the sabre-rattling with North Korea–Trump’s attitude towards race is not about incompetence.  This represents a long-standing feature of who he is and the politics that he represents.  This is someone who spearheaded the Birther attack on President Obama’s legitimacy, raising unsubstantiated suggestions regarding Obama’s citizenship.  This is someone who led the charge against the Central Park 5.  This is someone who has been quite comfortable aligning himself with right-wing populists and neofascists.
We should not expect anything better or clearer from Trump.  What we must do is rip the cover off of every effort that he undertakes to obscure white supremacist and xenophobic violence and hatred.  Progressives should stop using the term “alt-Right” and recognize that what we are witnessing are neofascist movements, movements that are interested in provoking violence and are, in many cases well-armed.
Trump is prepared to remain silent about such movements.  Many liberals are hoping that the neofascists will simply go home and shut up.  What we must understand is that they will not go home and shut up.  They must be defeated.  They cannot be tolerated.  They are a cancer in the system of democracy.  They seek not to create a more conservative system but to radically eliminate democracy and with it many populations that they believe to be antithetical to the openly white republic that they believe that the USA must return to being.
They shall not pass!

Bill Fletcher
Activist and writer Bill Fletcher, Jr. served as a senior staff person in the AFL-CIO and as former president of TransAfrica Forum. He is an editorial board member of

Reposted from Portside and