April 2018 Archives

"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. 

As Friday the 13th -- the day Trump was expected to fire special counsel Robert Mueller or deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein -- goes dark in DC, impeachment sponsors should not despair. There is more than one way to depose a despot.

"Impeachments take time: months, if not longer -- even with an enthusiastic Congress," notes Georgetown University's Rosa Brooks, weighing options to dump Trump. "And when you have a lunatic controlling the nuclear codes, even a few months seems like a perilously long time to wait. How long will it take before Trump decides that 'you're fired' is a phrase that should also apply to nuclear missiles? (Aimed, perhaps, at Mexico?)"

Whether today's US military strike on Syria was launched to distract attention from special prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in Trump's election is a matter of speculation. But it effectively did just that -- for the moment.

Professor Brooks considers other possibilities for regime change; a favorable outcome to the November 2020 presidential election, should any semblance of democracy remain from the trials of intervening years. Or an appeal to Vice President Mike Pence's ambitions, should Trump cabinet members be inclined to oust their boss and replace him with his vice president. An even more unlikely projection: a military coup -- "or at least a refusal by military leaders to obey certain orders."

But she misses a fifth possible course of action, a move exemplified early into the Trump administration by acting attorney general Sally Yates: the refusal of millions of people across this country to follow his command.  

Yates cautions against accepting Trump's presidency as a new normal, saying it's up to the public to ensure that does not happen. "We can't control what President Trump does, but we can control how we respond to it. I get that's it's exhausting, the onslaught on a daily basis of things that are not normal," she said. "It's calling him out, it's making sure that we don't normalize it; we make sure that we plant a flag about who we are as a country and we hold on to that and make sure no one takes that away from us."

It's possible to imagine a new construct of American ethics, freed of the exploitation foundational to capitalist imperialism. To borrow from the new Call to Action by RefuseFascism.org:

Imagine tens of thousands beginning in several cities and towns, with marches, candlelight vigils, rallies - students, religious communities, immigrants, everyone with a heart for humanity in the streets and not backing down - growing from thousands to hundreds of thousands and eventually millions. Our actions will reflect the values of respect for all of humanity and the world we want - in stark contrast to the hate and bigotry of the Trump/Pence fascist regime. The whole world will take heart. 

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

pict0055-thumb-275x366-1504.jpgA California Law Review debate about the treatment of detainees during wartime will likely include discussion of the torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp, where 800 years of Habeas Corpus law -- the right to know why you are being held captive by the State -- came undone.

The Symposium on Habeas Corpus in Wartime will take place at Berkeley Law in Booth Auditorium on April 6, 2018 from 9:00am to 4:00pm with a reception to follow. For speakers and event details, visit bit.ly/habeaswartime#HabeasWartime. 

Should constitutional law be applied to U.S. wars of aggression? What happens when you don't deal with the crime of indefinite detention? University of Texas panelist Stephen Vladeck advocates closing Gitmo (good) but he, and others, are prepared to subject "Forever Prisoners" to Obama-era Periodic Review Boards. True "closure" of the detention camp can only be accomplished with a determination to charge or release all inhabitants. 

"Closing Guantánamo the right way requires ending indefinite detention without charge or trial; transferring detainees who have been cleared for transfer; and trying detainees for whom there is evidence of wrongdoing in our federal criminal courts here in the U.S.," asserts the ACLU. "If a prosecutor cannot put together a case against a detainee, there is no reason that person should continue to be imprisoned."

"The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons," wrote Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky in The House of the Dead. The cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment -- torture -- inflicted on disfranchised subjects, from Pelican Bay in California to Bagram, Afghanistan, must not only end; the presumption of American immunity to international law must be repudiated. Dismantling of U.S. torture camps can't wait. And that is up to us.

UC Berkeley Billboard

press conference, protest, photos, video, reports

Donations via PayPal
are not tax deductible.

Events & Calendars

War Criminals Watch Events

Important Reading

Physicians for Human Rights
Broken Laws, Broken Lives

NLG White Paper

The President's Executioner

Detention and torture in Guantanamo

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2018 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2018 is the previous archive.

May 2018 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.