"We have come to it at last," writes Truthout editor William Rivers Pitt. "The moment too many have been whistling past in the ill-placed hope that everything would fix itself has arrived. The Achilles heel of democracy -- the use of the democratic process to install a government bent on dismantling democracy -- has been pierced with deliberation and intent. It is everywhere now, and all of us are involved.

"It is laying deep roots," he continues. "We must listen beyond the whispered fascism of today to the shouted fascism of tomorrow." Which some observers expect to be unleashed at the conclusion of midterm elections. A cornered Donald Trump after a midterm defeat could do some very dangerous things, fast, suspects New York Magazine columnist Ed Kilgore. But even if Republicans retain control of the House, Trump will return to business as usual, at the helm of a fascist program of white supremacy, misogyny, and xenophobia.

"You know what I am? I am a nationalist, okay?" declared Donald Trump at a Houston rally, October 22. And a 'proud' nationalist at that. We are about to have a national conversation about the word nationalist writes NPR correspondent Ron Elving. "He is spotlighting the word as he presses for his wall on the southern border and provokes fears of foreign invasion by villainizing the caravan of migrants making its way across Mexico." Trumps use of the term should raise warning flags: "It becomes an attitudinal pretext for a more aggressive foreign policy."

Trump understands the voter appeal of national pride and the defense of American interests, adds Elving.

"Trump's 'Make America Great Again' is a 21st century fascist program of Manifest Destiny - 'America First' - wrapped in the flag and Mike Pence's Bible taken literally," reads the RefuseFascism.org flier announcing protests on Wednesday November 7 -- the day after the midterms -- and Saturday November 10, to demand and demonstrate our determination that the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America. Join us:

37118525_1884809541813053_760318496834846720_o.jpgRally to Stop the Nightmare
Wednesday November 7, 5:30 pm
San Francisco Civic Center


Protest to Bring This to a Halt
Saturday November 10, 1:00 pm
San Francisco Embarcadero Plaza,
across from the Ferry Building

We Must Be In the Streets Until Trump/Pence are gone. Help wake and mobilize the one force that can stop a fascist America -- millions of people in the streets saying NO! to the Trump/Pence Regime.

We Pledge that we will not stand aside while there is still a chance to stop a regime that imperils humanity and the earth itself. Join us. Let's stand together with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty, to struggle with all we've got to demand: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go.

To endorse, volunteer, donate, and/or partner in this effort, go to RefuseFascism.org.  

OCTOBER 4 UPDATE: As the sham of FBI "investigation" of sexual assault became abundantly clear today, wishful thinking that government spying institutions can serve a higher purpose came undone. Only persistent, determined protest in the streets will stop the consolidation of a reactionary Supreme Court in service to Christian fundamentalists intent on restructuring society to fascist purpose: subjugation of women, ethnic ceansing, and military aggression against people of the world. Republican Party leaders are ramming their plan forward with a final Senate vote as early as Saturday.

Emergency protest: STOP Kavanaugh Now!
Friday October 5, 5:30pm
Powell & Market Street, San Francisco

This Nightmare Must End:
The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!
In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America! 

Senator Jeff Flake's intervention in last week's Kavanaugh hearings interrupted endorsement of the candidate by misogynist Republicans on the Judiciary Committee -- and moved a floor vote forward. Celebration of anticipated rejection of the nomination is premature at best. Even Flake suspects that after all the hoopla around televised questioning of the judge's accuser, the aftermath of FBI investigation will leave us "in exactly the same place."

If this week's investigation finds no "smoking gun," does that legitimize confirmation of the accused perpetrator? Because prior to professor Christine Blasey Ford's disclosure of sexual assault, the ideology -- and actions -- of President George W. Bush's appointee to the U.S. Court of Appeal, Washington circuit, profoundly disqualifies Brett Kavanaugh to adjudicate impartial justice.  

"There are larger structural effects of a system whose most powerful stewards can impose their hateful assumptions across all the institutions that matter -- immigration policy, employment rules, pay standards," argues Rutgers Law School professor David Dante Troutt. "These institutions are the embodiment of larger ideas like access, control and equality; ideas we Americans like to lecture the world about."

supreme-court-nominee-judge-brett-kavanaugh-testifies-news-photo-1041953750-1538411419.jpgThe assertions of opponents to Donald Trump's nominee to the Court are many and varied; a merely cursory investigation of the Yale Law School alumnus' history reveals a propensity to violence against women, victims of misdirected anger, and a shameless defense of selective immunity:

Even among Trump's short list of reactionary candidates to nominate to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh stood out as holding absolutely extreme positions in favor of presidential power and against presidential accountability. In particular, Kavanaugh has publicly argued repeatedly that presidents should not be subject at all to investigations like the Mueller investigation. For the past year, the Mueller investigation has been the only governmental process aimed at determining the role the Trump campaign may have played in conspiring with Putin's attempt to distort and determine the results of the 2016 presidential elections. Only the Mueller investigation can make possible holding Trump accountable for his numerous efforts to obstruct justice and turn the FBI, the Justice Dept. as a whole, and the nation's intelligence agencies into his own personal state police. Given that there are already four judges on the Court ready to uphold a very expansive view of presidential power, Kavanaugh's confirmation would create a long-term majority prepared to uphold the emergence of a reactionary, authoritarian presidential dictatorship over the next period of American history, beginning with an imminent set of decisions pertaining to the Mueller investigation. --  BAMN (By Any Means Necessary)

But the people who really sustain misogyny and white supremacy are the "quiet endorsers," continues Troutt. "The other reason misogyny and white supremacy lead similar lives is that both rely on 'good people doing nothing.'" That's why people of conscience, in the interests of humanity, have a responsibility to drive the Trump/Pence regime from power through non-violent protests that grow every day until our demand is met.

Take Action Today.

static.politico.jpgSenator John Kennedy's lobby for confirmation of Trump's nominee defies the conscientious objections of millions of Americans who Refuse to Accept a Fascist America.

Calling the confirmation process "an intergalactic freak show," the Louisiana Republican predicted a Judiciary Committee vote to advance Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh would proceed as planned on Thursday, reports POLITICO producer Caitlin Oprysko.

Sexual assault allegations against the nominee have inspired Congressional lawmakers to delay the confirmation process "until, at a very minimum, these serious and credible allegations are thoroughly investigated," says Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.

Palo Alto University professor Christine Ford acknowledged authorship of a confidential letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein this weekend, describing the alleged attack: 

[Ford] alleged that, during an encounter at a party, Kavanaugh held her down, and that he attempted to force himself on her. She claimed in the letter that Kavanaugh and a classmate of his, both of whom had been drinking, turned up music that was playing in the room to conceal the sound of her protests, and that Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand. She was able to free herself. Although the alleged incident took place decades ago and the three individuals involved were minors, the woman said that the memory had been a source of ongoing distress for her, and that she had sought psychological treatment as a result.

We don't need, or want, to disqualify a Supreme Court nominee short of a comprehensive accounting for the candidate's history of assault on human rights -- including the right of a woman to not be raped. "It's not just that Kavanaugh would eviscerate women's fundamental right to decide for themselves whether to bear children -- which alone would be reason enough for millions to rise in massive political revolt," poses RefuseFascism.org. "With Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court would be a rubber stamp to the whole Trump/Pence agenda: shredding the separation of church and state in favor of Christian fascism against women, LGBTQ people, science, and the environment; backing xenophobic ethnic cleansing of immigrants and terror against Black people to 'Make America WHITE Again'; eviscerating civil liberties, the separation of powers, and the rule of law; unleashing even more vicious torture and military aggression against people of the world.

Kavanaugh's confirmation would threaten the protection of fundamental human rights, including the right not to be tortured, says Political Science professor Jamie Mayerfeld. The composition of the Supreme Court may determine whether Donald Trump or a future president could act on Trump's promise to "bring back waterboarding and ... a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding."

The Trump nominee for U.S. Supreme Court believed the author of notorious memos providing legal cover for those torturing human beings would be great as a lifetime pick for Ninth Circuitreports Common Dreams staff writer Julia Conley on confidential emails released by Senator Cory Booker. The exchanges between Kavanaugh and Kyle Sampson occurred one day after the date of one of Yoo's torture memo drafts tweets journalist Mike Sacks: 

Kavanaugh referred to Yoo as his "magic bullet." Interpret that as you will, but I see this exchange as Kavanaugh's wanting to load up the judiciary with originalist, Unitary Executive folk; and as circumstantial evidence that Yoo knew the potential blowback for the torture memo.

"Judge Kavanaugh appears to have participated in a dark chapter of our nation's history during the Bush Admin's use of torture and cruel, inhumane treatment of prisoners - and he misled the Senate about it when he testified UNDER OATH in 2006," concludes Senator Tammy Duckworth. 

0.pngBut the collaboration of Kavanaugh and Yoo (see one such exchange at right) doesn't stop there. In another program of domestic terror -- surveillance of non-citizens visiting the United States -- the Supreme Court nominee holds that "critical national security need outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by this program." Homeland Security agents now search cell phones and other electronic devices of people traveling internationally at a rate four times higher than in 2015. Former DHS Secretary John Kelly went so far as to say visitors to the U.S. should be required to give up their online passwords and submit to social media searches.

People concerned about government surveillance should be skeptical of Brett Kavanaugh urges Washington Examiner commentator Erin Dunne. "Americans who value their privacy and civil liberties should study his paper trail on Fourth Amendment cases. (A 2015 Court of Appeals opinion by Judge Kavanaugh found 'the Government's metadata collection program entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment.') What they will find is a troubling record that points to a judge who is likely to side with vague justifications of security over liberty."

Critics of the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh include at least one Republican Congressman. GOP Representative Justin Amash says Kavanaugh's 2015 concurring opinion creates "a rubber stamp for the executive branch."  

"If Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed, he will cement a conservative majority that is unlikely to restrict the government's unprecedented surveillance capabilities or preserve individuals' First Amendment rights online," says Center for Democracy & Technology strategist Lisa Hayes. "The Senate should reject Judge Kavanaugh's nomination."

Bay Area "Handmaids" assembled in downtown San Francisco Monday, August 13, to protest the Trump/Pence regime's theocratic war on women's reproductive freedom. Aggressive moves to criminalize abortion and assail women's right to birth control are key components of the thoroughly reactionary restructuring of society we are determined to stop -- before it is too late.  

Copy of IMG_2489.JPGSixteen volunteers in blood-red cloaks and white modesty bonnets -- costumes inspired by the popular Hulu TV series The Handmaid's Tale, based on Margaret Atwood's novel of the same title -- rallied at the Powell Street cable car turnaround at Market Street and marched, two by two, through Union Square, a major public square in San Francisco, to the 450 Sutter Street Support Circle anti-abortion clinic.  Two Handmaids went up to the clinic, on the 17th floor, which was closed, and posted a statement from Refuse Fascism on the door.  Three "pro-life" agitators failed to disrupt the demonstration. 

Literally hundreds of people took pictures, videos, etc. of the procession of Handmaids through this high-end shopping and tourism part of San Francisco.  Refuse Fascism passed out copies of a statement about the action, which saluted the Handmaids for standing up against the US Supreme Court decision backing the phony abortion clinics, and for women's rights, and situated this in the larger fight to get rid of the whole fascist regime:

The Handmaids call on everyone to reject the normalization and accommodation of what was once considered unthinkable.  They refuse to stand by in silence while the regime: puts children in cages; wages savage wars and makes gangster threats toward even greater and more devastating wars, even nuclear war;  unleashes brutal white supremacy; demonizes Muslims; rips away rights of LGBTQ people; devastates the environment.  

The Handmaids sound an alarm and a warning - of how far things have already gone, and how far they yet can go, if people do not rise up in their millions, in the name of humanity, to drive out this regime.

After visiting the clinic, the Handmaids returned to Union Square, where marchers shed their costumes for a public Speak Out. The plaza audience was invited to view three of seven Indictment Panels produced by RefuseFascism.org .

Participants in Monday's action plan to repeat their street performance, and proposed August 26 Unite for Justice: Bay Area to #StopKavanaugh for a venue. In conclusion, Handmaids "mic checked" the Refuse Fascism 2018 Call to Action:

"We Pledge that we will not stand aside while there is still a chance to stop a regime that imperils humanity and the earth itself.  Join us.  Let's stand together with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty, to struggle with all we've got to demand:


The Supreme Court is on the verge of a fascist majority for decades
Demonstrate Saturday July 7, 12:00 noon
San Francisco Federal Building
7th Street at Mission

In upholding the Muslim Ban, the Supreme Court ignored international law, writes professor emerita (Thomas Jefferson School of Law) Marjorie Cohn. The Supreme Court's opinion in Trump v. Hawaii violates two U.S.-signed treaties prohibiting government discrimination on the basis of religion or national origin: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

"The Supreme Court appears determined to be complicit in U.S. human rights violations and cannot be relied upon as a check on the Executive Branch," opined Aaron Fellmeth, professor at Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. 

unnamed.pngPresident Trump's third travel ban affects more than 150 million people, roughly 95 percent of them Muslim. His "Proclamation" on September 24, 2017 restricts travel by most citizens of Libya, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia and North Korea; prohibits Syria and North Korea visas; requires additional security checks to those already in place; and forbids Venezuelan government officials and their families from traveling to the United States.

In her dessenting opinion to Trump v. Hawaii, Justice Sonya Sotomayor quoted a Trump adviser who said "When [Donald Trump] first announced it, he said, 'Muslim ban.'" She also listed Trump's declarations that "Islam hates us," "we're having problems with Muslims coming into the country," and "Muslims do not respect us at all." 

"Taking all the relevant evidence together," Sotomayor found "a reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was driven primarily by anti-Muslim animus, rather than by the Government's asserted national security justifications." Whether "the most abhorrent effects of this case" can be mitigated remains to be seen, warns Cohn. 

"Trump/Pence regime's 'Make America Great Again' is a 21st century fascist program of Manifest Destiny - 'America First' - wrapped in the flag and Mike Pence's Bible taken literally, with a program of white supremacy, misogyny, and xenophobia," reads RefuseFascism.org's call to action

On July 7: Join Refuse Fascism, mobilize your organization or your friends and neighbors and take to the streets across the country to raise the demand: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

It will take more than a "moderate" on the Supreme Court Bench to reverse the reactionary direction of American society under Donald Trump's authoritarian rule - not that such appointment is practicable. The ideological chemistry of the court will not change with Justice Kennedy's replacement; Trump's selection is expected to render dissenting opinion null and void. We can't rely on remedy from within the system that codified Islamophobia into law. 

029901-kennedy-062818-1.jpgThe "good old days" of the Reagan administration that fostered a program of white supremacy, misogyny, and xenophobia were anything but; it was the court of public opinion that stymied some of the grossest threats to women's autonomy and gay rights. And we can learn much from civil disobedience tactics employed in the historic struggle for racial justice. But social advancements of the period prove tenuous at best.

Old forms of discrimination have been recast. Barack Obama's election was celebrated as a "triumph over race." President Trump's first Supreme Court appointee (Neil Gorsuch) wasted no time in challenging the benefits associated with same-sex marriage, and joined Justice Kennedy's recent ruling in favor of the Colorado baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a gay couple.

Families seeking asylum from the ravages of U.S. imperialism are torn asunder in the home of The New Colossus ("Give me your tired, your poor / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free"). Asian Americans know instinctively what is at stake, says independent journalist Emil Guillermo, and how Trump's travel ban "went right to the core of the basic freedoms we hold dear in a democracy, like the freedom of speech and religion. The travel ban prejudges groups of innocent people from specific countries and makes them enemies of America.... It's the same way that America justified the incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II."

"Millions of us hate what is being done," writes Revolution Newspaper contributor Sunsara Taylor. "We must stop squandering our power, our voices, and our ability to change history - we must get out of our comfort zones, out of dead-ends of official politics, and into the streets." 

On July 7th: Join with Refuse Fascism, mobilize your organization or your friends and neighbors and take to the streets across the country to raise the demand:  This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

World Can't Wait is happy to forward an important endorsement of RefuseFascism.org by research scientist Curtis Johnson, who can't wait to drive out the Trump/Pence regime: 

"Time is short and fascism is gaining ground. Millions deeply hate what is going on. Many more could be swung to more active opposition if those who do recognize the dangers and refuse to accept them join with each other and generate a movement to force Trump and Pence from power."

IMG_1758.jpgComing off the enthusiastic reception to the "In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America," message in the SF Pride Resistance Contingent yesterday,  we urge all of you to contribute to the campaign (Refuse Fascism) in the forefront of World Can't Wait's mission to Stop the Crimes of Your Government

Sign & spread the 2018 Call to Action from RefuseFascism.org and donate to fund this movement.

Join us for the Day of Action at West County Detention Facility, Tuesday June 26:

5555 Giant Hwy, Richmond. Action begins at 7:00AM. Vigil until 7:00PM. Press conference/rally at 12NOON with members of the Richmond City Council and representatives of local organizations.

Van shuttle from the Richmond BART Station (east side) begins at approximately 8:30AM and will continue throughout the day, twice an hour. Note that AC Transit #71 also runs from BART to the jail about every 30 minutes.

El Cerrito Shows Up to Abolish ICE - End Detention, Thursday June 28:

7000 El Cerrito Plaza, El Cerrito. Action starts at 6:00PM. 

We CAN abolish ICE! say organizers.

Be a part of Bay Area Sister Protests to the Families Belong Together March on Washington DC, Saturday June 30:

Multiple venues include Kids Standing Up for Kids! Rally in OaklandLet Our People Go! in Richmond, and a Rally & March for Immigrant Rights in San Francisco. Refuse Fascism will participate in some or all of these protests. Help us plan for these events tomorrow, Tuesday June 26. Click on links for details.

We find ourselves in a moment ripe with potential to End the Nightmare of the Trump/Pence Regime; we must not dawdle with misapprehension of party agenda. "The Democrats -- who refuse to call out the fascist threat and mainly still advise people to channel their outrage into voting in the midterms -- have neither the will nor the audacity to lead people to stop the direction the U.S. is headed in," warns Johnson. "They are a ruling-class party more fearful of upheaval by millions of people than of fascism." Without "significant and massive mobilization in the streets, this regime would recoup and roll on."

"We Pledge that we will not stand aside while there is still a chance to stop a regime that imperils humanity and the earth itself," says RefuseFascism.org. "Join us. Let's stand together with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty, to struggle with all we've got to demand: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go.

media_0220790eda194c8eab1e645f1e4523d1-DMID1-5f5z6omyi-435x360.jpg"I wanted my story to serve as a cautionary tale of what our country could devolve into if Mr. Trump's immigration policies were fully realized," comments Daniel Olivas.  "But now this is our reality: Sons and daughters are being ripped from their parents' arms -- in some cases, literally -- and detention centers are filled with frightened children. In immigrant communities, the fear is palpable, with parents asking themselves if they should risk taking their children to school, or going to work or reporting a crime, lest they become vulnerable to a sweep by immigration agents."

The President retreated, somewhat, from his "zero-tolerance" policy today due to mass public outrage over family separation blackmail to force funding for his Great Wall. "The thought that any state would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable," said a top UN human rights official. But Trump's executive order to end child kidnapping will do little to alleviate the terror of migrant familes over the last few weeks. Allowing children to suffer in their parents' arms is no antidote to the depraved indifference to human rights asylum seekers face. 

Disdain for human rights is one of the defining characteristics of fascist regimes. But human rights law alone is unlikely to protect democratic institutions from a fascist take-over, says Lecturer in Law Eva Nanopoulos; "we are far from immune from the atrocities of the early twentieth century." She urges the necessity to build alternative strategies of resistance. 

RefuseFascism.org  recognizes that the Trump/Pence Nightmare Must End and invites you to join with thousands of people who have left the confines of their comfort zones to stand together in an unprecedented, sustained resistance to a regime that imperils humanity and the earth itself.

In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!


DfnWRI3UEAEcCQf.jpgThe rapidly growing number of children forcibly separated from their migrant families under U.S. "zero tolerance" border crossing policy includes 1,469 children imprisoned in an old Walmart outside of Brownsville, Texas. The Trump/Pence administration has begun moving them to a tent city in the desert outside El Paso.

Photo of first thing children see entering Casa Padre> 

Targeted kidnapping of children by state agents is nothing short of torture, with potentially long-term consequences. American Academy of Pediatrics president Colleen Kraft says the toxic stress of separation from trusted caregivers or parents inflicts serious damage to children, especially those under 5 years old, disrupting brain development and raising levels of flight-or-fight hormones, and increasing the potential for future health problems like chronic heart disease and substance abuse.

"Every great fascist catastrophe in history has seen a moment on the eve of the final calamity when it could have all been thwarted," writes Truthout columnist William Rivers Pitt. "This is that moment, right now, on Father's Day. Here, now, they must be stopped, or there will be no stopping them." 

Last week's unanimous vote against war with Iran was good news, largely ignored by the press. Many questioned the veracity of the story. It's up to us to substantiate Congressional admonition for peace with demonstrations of resistance to U.S. military intervention. Let's work to create the kind of political situation that forces an end to the Trump/Pence war on humanity. 

50554_2255459890_5654_n.jpgThe House amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 5515) revokes statutory authorization to go to war with Iran, reports Truthout contributor Marjorie Cohn. Passage represents an important move by Congress to reassert its authority to declare war. But it fails to address War Powers Resolution loopholes contained in the 1973 Act; the president can still launch an attack under ambiguous circumstances: "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces," or when there is "specific statutory authorization," like Trump's targeted killing rules for hunting suspected terrorists.

"Although the Ellison amendment states that no statute authorizes the use of U.S. armed forces in Iran, it does not prohibit the expenditure of money to attack Iran," adds Cohn. "Nor does it proscribe the use of sanctions against Iran (Journalist Fariba Pajooh testifies to the human cost here)."  We must remain vigilant against backdoors to war such policies provide, warns National Iranian American Council (NIAC) Action director Jamal Abdi. 

"This amendment sends a powerful message that the American people and Members of Congress do not want a war with Iran. Today, Congress acted to reclaim its authority over the use of military force," said amendment author Keith Ellison in a press release. Whether the message from American people gets heard depends on you

UPDATE: Haspel Confirmed

merlin_137904927_0e01a2e2-20a8-4941-b196-42a0f570db68-jumbo.jpgThe Senate Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 to support Gina Haspel's nomination for CIA director Wednesday. Haspel's defense of torture practices she facilitated at a CIA black site in Thailand in 2002 -- that they were "legal" at the time -- disqualifies her from assuming the role of CIA director, argues professor emerita Marjorie Cohn. Failure to condemn the rescinded opinions of John Yoo invites a repetition of the brutality the professor authorized. Haspel provides little assurance that she wouldn't, like former vice president Dick Cheney says, "do it again."  

"No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for torture," the Convention Against Torture states unequivocally.

Cohn finds Haspel's moral compass "elusive." In her non-responsive replies to whether she would follow presidential orders, in particular to authorize waterboarding, the nominee channeled John Yoo's deflection on the subject of executive entitlement to crush the testicles of detainee children: "I do not believe the president would ask me to do that." 

Congress may elect to find torture "legal," but they can't make it moral. Shame on Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Bill Nelson of Florida, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Mark Warner of Virginia, and their approving constituency.

So much for the Democratic Party's commitment to human rights. 

It's Up to Us to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime. And All Their Sponsors!  

The U.S. "War on Terror" has always been about persecuting Muslims, torture being the modus operandi of a cruel system of institutionalized Islamophobia. The nomination of Gina Haspel to head the Central Intelligence Agency confirmed what we already knew: political impunity thrives in an authoritarian environment. And blaming the subjects of abuse endears you to white supremacists.

images.jpg"Torture haunts U.S. politics like a ghost... hidden, repressed, denied and lied about," says sociology professor Lisa Hajjar. Secrecy, unaccountability, and lies conspire to suppress public protest of its use. President Obama's aversion to prosecution of the officials responsible for ghastly crimes undermined the power of international law -- and enabled the resurrection of torture policy by Donald Trump. Obama's executive order ending the use of John Yoo-approved "enhanced interrogation techniques" failed to abandon the use of extraordinary rendition, whereby suspected terrorists were sent to black sites, including the notorious facility in Thailand ruled with depraved indifference to human life. 

"Because of U.S. exceptionalism, or the idea that we are a country without flaws, any deviation from our idealistic notions of who we are is treated as just that -- a deviation," writes Dr. Maha Hilal, Co-Director of Justice for Muslims. An estimated 3.45 million Muslims in the U.S. are "living in a climate of hostility," reports National Geographic, "their faith distorted by violent extremists on one end and an anti-Muslim movement on the other."    

Don't count on Congress to disqualify CIA director nominee Haspel for her role in the spy agency's torture program. Without sustained nonviolent protests in the streets, creating the kind of political situation in which Trump/Pence appointees are removed from power is met, "Bloody Gina" will be promoted next week with accolades for her "service." In the name of her victims, we say NO to torture and the system that employs its use.   

"The retreat of the US's most infamous white nationalist didn't happen on its own," charges Maximillian Alvarez, co-founder of the Ann Arbor chapter of the Campus Antifascist Network. "It didn't happen because people just ignored the imminent threat of 'alt-right' bile and fascist violence. And it didn't happen because administrators at Michigan State University somehow outsmarted all the white supremacists who showed up to East Lansing on March 5. It happened because, on that day, and for months prior, campus and community organizers resisted."

University administrators' entreaties to just "ignore" the Traditionalist Worker Party -- and hope for the best -- only emboldens the white supremacists and neo-fascists invading American college campuses, says Alvarez. The Michigan universities that chose to "play the sly card" with Spencer's demands endangered communities they're supposed to serve. And catalyzed the necessary response by collective grassroots groups who share commitments to "equality, justice and protecting thy neighbor."

"Perhaps it is because of the threat that these coalitions pose to the top-down administrative power structure at universities that many administrators are rushing to co-opt and pass off community organizing victories as their own," concludes the author, prodding campus communities "to provide for themselves what university and municipal authorities won't."

"If we understand and come to grips with the character of the problem we face, we can find and work on the solution," offers RefuseFascism.org. In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America. 

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