Anti-Trump demonstrations in the US - write a report if you're attending

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Craftwork's picture
Craftwork
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Jan 24 2017 18:54
RadBlackLove wrote:
P.S. nobody I knew even wanted to fuck with the women's march after it was rumored to be pro-cop and anti-trans and there was no militant queer bloc. Yet another road map of what is to be done for gender equity....

The anti-trans-ness is almost certainly related to the prevalence of biological determinist views of gender at these marches ‒ centering being a woman/womanhood on the possession of certain sexual organs, etc.

As for the cop-friendlieness:

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Jan 24 2017 20:48
Craftwork wrote:
The anti-trans-ness is almost certainly related to the prevalence of biological determinist views of gender at these marches ‒ centering being a woman/womanhood on the possession of certain sexual organs, etc.

Sorry comrade, this is another Kellyanne Conway "alternative fact" moment. Craftwork, where did you see or experience this? Please give details.

And when you say "these marches, " are you referring to ones in the U.K.? The U.S.? Or elsewhere?

Generalizations like this can only come from a position of ignorance.

Case in point: San Francisco's first Gay Pride Celebration was in 1970 with attendance in the tens of thousands. Although it had only 30 participants, transsexual "hair fairies" preceded it with a march down Polk Street, which was the main gay district at the time. In 2004, on the Friday before the main Pride March (which is always held on a Sunday), the first Trans March was inaugurated, becoming the largest trans-specific event in the world. The first year had 2,000 marchers, it doubled the next, and has grown to about 20,000 in the last few years. The main Gay Pride Festival and Parade recently reached a peak, at around 1,800,000 attending.

So to say that events in other places, that you are completely ignorant about, have elements of "anti-trans-ness" is a straight up lie.

Not only that, in 1966 (3 years before Stonewall in New York) transgender insurgents sparked a multi-day riot in San Francisco's Tenderloin District, the first riot of its kind in the world. See the 2005 documentary Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria to inform yourself about this history.

And please don't generalize about things you know nothing about. At most political events in San Francisco -- and the Bay Area more generally -- not only are transgender comrades present, but at times they're front and center (not that transgender oppression has ended, but at least there are conscious attempts to fight against it).

teh
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Jan 24 2017 21:04
Hieronymous wrote:
mikail firtinaci wrote:
The problem here is not whether radicals should attend or not attend these anti-trump demonstrations. The problem is turning a blind eye to the emerging nationalist undertone in these anti-Trump actions.

My city has a significant Russian immigrant population and I saw some of these people at the marches with signs in Cyrillic. In previous conversations with my neighbors, they are terrified by Putin's ruthlessness and make it clear it's why they come to the U.S. This is widely know around these parts and most of the signs I saw equated Trump with Putin.

At the marches I went to there were also a couple signs with Trump being equated to a hammer and sickle symbol. When engaged, these people were simply foolish liberals who supported the PC laundry list of issues: immigrant rights, sanctuary cities, pro-choice, anti-war/anti-nuke, clean energy, etc. Hardly cold warriors.

Saying Russians "are terrified by Putin's ruthlessness and make it clear it's why they come to the U.S" is the equivalent of saying American blacks are "terrified of Obama's ruthlessness and his police death squads that terrify their neighborhoods" because you talked to some black nationalist. Its utter nutty. Like Kropotkin's support of World War 1 in the 16 Manifesto, only at least he want deluded enough to think that German workers were pro-Ally.

And I dont know what to tell you but these "foolish liberals" have been exporting fascism abroad since the late 1940's; began the land invasion of Indochina and Korea; set up the Latin American death sqauds in the early 60's that ended up committing several genocides in the next 30 years; & currently employ fascist death squads as shock troops in Ukraine to keep the social peace in the IMF's "last great investment opportunity" in the former socialist block. But I'm sure they make fun of Tom Clancy for being a stupid white so theyre not cold warriors.

Hieronymous wrote:
I didn't see a single reference to Russia among hundreds of thousands of signs. In addition, there were many calls for defending ACA (Obamacare) and expanding health care to all.....

While I saw a couple signs equating Trump with hammers and sickles at the inauguration day protests, these were vastly outnumbered by ones likening Trump to Putin.

Putin and hammer & sickles are not a reference to Russia? What is it referencing then?

Most Democrats, probably the majority by the end of this year, think Trump was installed by Russia

That said "bad signs" at shitty big tent protest shouldn't be reflective of the general participants. Cause you can see objectionable things at any protest of that nature.

teh
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Jan 24 2017 22:02
Hieronymous wrote:
mikail firtinaci wrote:
And the American media was totally anti-Trump from the beginning, I mean that is as far as I could observe.

Your observations could be qualified as "alternative facts." Fox News and nationally syndicated AM talk radio anti-Trump? This seems to conflict with what most of us observe.

The press was obviously vehemently anti-Trump - why is this an issue that has a political need to be debated? Fox News & Talk Radio is Barack Obama's refrain when he complains about not getting a fair chance in office. Nobody is denying that the Republican party has its own party press, they're talking about the general media. And the general media was open about its views- crap like this https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/08/business/balance-fairness-and-a-proudly-provocative-presidential-candidate.html "Trump Is Testing the Norms of Objectivity in Journalism" or this http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/a-note-about-our-coverage-of-donald-trumps-campaign_us_55a8fc9ce4b0896514d0fd66 "Trump in Entertainment Section". http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/304606-final-newspaper-endorsement-count-clinton-57-trump-2 "Final newspaper endorsement count: Clinton 57, Trump 2."

But even for Fox and Talk Radio isnt entirely true. When the Murdoch family purged Roger Ailes they had a series of hit pieces commissioned on him in New York Magazine about how bad at good capitalism he was. And there it said that Ailes was gave orders from on top to finish off Trump during the primary. That why the whole "Megan Kelly" circus happened as these attacks were deflected into a sideshow. News section didn't like Trump & for the shows only his irl friend Hannity and also Jeanine Pirro were rooting for him. Bush was supposed to win. I remember shortly before the election I turned on Fox News Sunday on my old Roku player and for some reason an episode from a month or two before played. And it was completely surreal because they were all sitting there discussing prospects of Trump immanently dropping out of the presidential race in all earnestness, as if that was a in any way a plausible possibility.

Their loyalty is to the company then party and its money, though now that Trump delivers the goods I expect them to get in line more or less.

Talk Radio hosts more so preferred "real conservatives" like Cruz or Rubio (sans Hannity & Savage) but they were less adversarial than the rest as they generally felt they could live with Trump. Even here though on the in-between-commercial news update they used hostile tone and framing that was pretty extreme & libelous by expected standards. At least it stuck out in my mind and I dont see why it should have. Once heard something along the lines of "Trump calls The Troops cowards" in a angry newsreader tone because some nonstory about him talking about PTSD. Story disappeared from the press the next day.

But Fox and Talk radio preach to the choir and dont penetrate broadly into the general population in any case.

S. Artesian
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Jan 24 2017 23:05

As for being friendly to cops-- of course that occurred-- as demonstrated by some individuals who wanted to demonstrate that. So what? What is driving the protests? Showing cops some love? Of course not. Trump as a "Manchurian candidate"? Not hardly, these protests were planned well before all the Putin junk was floated. How about the fact that Trump "normalizes" assaulting women? Violence against immigrants? attacks on Muslims? the continued and increased incarceration of African-Americans?

Perhaps I am completely mistaken regarding the general tone of the marches, but from the people I spoke with at the march, and those attending marches in other locations, the above four reasons seemed to dominate discussions. I think that's reason enough to participate.

Of course the Dems want to control, channel the movement into the "safe" harbor of Democrat politics. That's what they do, isn't it? Did it with civil rights struggles. Did it with the anti-Vietnam War movement; did that with Reagan, Bush, etc. etc. Before that they did it with organized labor.

So what?

The marches were not marches of "liberals." They were mass demonstrations with liberals attending. They were mass demonstrations that portend the possibility of a movement emerging; like the mass demonstrations at the onset of the Iraq war indicated that possibility. Didn't think abstention was a viable strategy then; don't think it's any more viable now.

As for the media:

Two newspapers in the USA endorsed Trump; one owned by Adelson, the other owned by Trump's son-in-law.

Again, so what?

At one and the same time, apparently, the media is massively anti-Trump, and can generate massive demonstrations, but wasn't powerful enough to prevent Trump's election.

CNN made Trump. They broadcast Trump 24 hours a day during the campaign. The hired his former campaign manager as a "commentator," while the guy was still on Trump's payroll. He doesn't "like" CNN? BFD. They give him air time. CNN doesn't "like" Trump? They don't care. He gives them ratings, and the ability to charge higher advert rates. That's entertainment!

And Fox News and talk radio and religious radio in rural areas have penetrated broadly and deeply and extensively added by Murdoch's press, and by the RNC, and the Koch Bros and the hedge fund scumbags.

.

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Jan 24 2017 23:18

um fox news and talk radio are wildly popular

teh
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Jan 24 2017 23:33
gram negative wrote:
um fox news and talk radio are wildly popular

Among Republicans...who are 20-25% of the population. Which is a lot for the US but not the general population, which tends to be hostile towards the party.

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Jan 25 2017 00:22
teh wrote:
But Fox and Talk radio preach to the choir and dont penetrate broadly into the general population in any case.

This is patently false. I've encountered many white working class people who only watch and listen to these outlets.

Adweek wrote:
Fox News Channel ranked No. 1 across all of cable for the week of Jan.16, both in total day and in total prime time viewership. Fox News also posted its highest-rated and most-watched week since the 2016 election

Fox News had 3,918,000 viewers, while #2 CNN had only 1,771,000. This is "the general population."

And I agree with Artesian: the 24/7 coverage from all media got Trump elected. That amount of exposure is priceless.

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Jan 25 2017 01:37
teh wrote:
Saying Russians "are terrified by Putin's ruthlessness and make it clear it's why they come to the U.S" is the equivalent of saying American blacks are "terrified of Obama's ruthlessness and his police death squads that terrify their neighborhoods" because you talked to some black nationalist. Its utter nutty. Like Kropotkin's support of World War 1 in the 16 Manifesto, only at least he want deluded enough to think that German workers were pro-Ally.

I live in a neighborhood in which Russian were one of the major ethnic groups for the first half of the 20th century. Some stayed, others suburbanized, but they made the place a welcome destination for a new wave of Russian Jews who started immigrating in the late 1960s, when it became one of the main locations in North America for escapees from antisemitism. They came in two great waves, the first from 1970 until 1981 when the USSR prevented them from leaving, then again during Perestroika from 1987 to 1991. There are Russian immigrants and U.S.-born children of immigrants in my apartment building and throughout my district. One of my good comrades was born here to immigrant parents. Although they seem pretty evenly divided between Jews and Orthodox Christians, they often unite for cultural celebrations.

But the example I used about someone being "terrified by Putin" was a guy who first arrived in 2014. He was trying to enter a university in the U.S. We started talking about living conditions in Russian and I flippantly mentioned the repression of Pussy Riot. He scoffed and said "That's the least of it." He went on to say that he came first, as part of a chain migration based on his connections in San Francisco, and wanted to get his parents and siblings out soon too. When I asked why, he sternly told me that saying anything critical of Putin could get you locked up or disappeared. He went on to say that anyone LBGT is "unsafe" in Russia. It was pretty chilling, and I understood his desire to find a safer place to live (the U.S. wasn't his first choice as he preferred Switzerland, but since he wasn't actually a refugee it was near impossible to become a resident there). Other recent immigrants have confirmed that this is their experience as well.

Teh, if you have counter-examples, please post them here before misrepresenting what I'm saying.

teh wrote:
And I dont know what to tell you but these "foolish liberals" have been exporting fascism abroad since the late 1940's; began the land invasion of Indochina and Korea; set up the Latin American death sqauds in the early 60's that ended up committing several genocides in the next 30 years; & currently employ fascist death squads as shock troops in Ukraine to keep the social peace in the IMF's "last great investment opportunity" in the former socialist block. But I'm sure they make fun of Tom Clancy for being a stupid white so theyre not cold warriors.

Here you're playing a little too fast and loose with historical facts. Korea was occupied by Japan, starting in 1910 and ending at the conclusion of World War II in 1945. The Japanese were the fascists here, so I don't understand why you mention them "exporting" it. Japan built their Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere in that period too, which colonized and occupied "Indochina." Again, what's your point?

And these "foolish liberals" are people who read Arundoti Roy, Thích Nhất Hạnh, Noam Chomsky, and Naomi Klein, so I don't think they'd even have an opinion of Tom Clancy. So again, what's your point? (by the way, I don't have an opinion of Clancy as I've never read him nor wanted to read him) These are the types of liberals who sing hymns with the choir at their Unitarian Church or Quaker Friendship Hall and who are inspired by the example of Óscar Romero and go to the gates of the School of the Americas at Ft. Benning, Georgia to get arrested doing non-violent civil disobedience. Or do plowshares actions and smash the nosecones of ICBMs and do serious time for their deeds. These are the kind of liberals who have framed posters of the Berrigan Brothers mounted on the walls of their apartments. I'm not one of these liberals, but what's so wrong about them? I respect many of them.

teh wrote:
Hieronymous wrote:
I didn't see a single reference to Russia among hundreds of thousands of signs. In addition, there were many calls for defending ACA (Obamacare) and expanding health care to all.....

While I saw a couple signs equating Trump with hammers and sickles at the inauguration day protests, these were vastly outnumbered by ones likening Trump to Putin.

Putin and hammer & sickles are not a reference to Russia? What is it referencing then?

Comrade, you need to read more carefully. The quotes you use above are about the inauguration day protest and the 2 Women's Marches I attended the next day. These were 3 different events.

And I have to correct myself. At the inauguration day protest, I saw dozens and dozens of hammers and sickles if you count all the posters, stickers and newspaper of all the alphabet soup Stalinist, Maoist, and Trotskyist groups in the rally and march organized by ANSWER (who have nutty pro-North Korea politics themselves).

Today at my workplace, we once again talked a lot again about the Women's March on Saturday. We also shared cellphone photos of the best signs. Call me a sissy or wimp if you will (since the photo is the anti-thesis of riot porn), but I received this by text and it's now my favorite (and was taken in Charlotte, North Carolina):

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Jan 25 2017 01:24

Sort of lost here in what people are talking about, but it seems like this discussion is now about whether the mainstream media (MSM) was biased against and/or anti-Trump.

Seems an established fact that most of the MSM was against Trump. I'm not sure, but I don't think he received many endorsements from the media during the primaries. During the election, only 2 out of the 100 major newspapers in the country endorsed him. Some right-leaning publications went for Hillary, or in the case of the Chicago Tribune, Gary Johnson. I think editorial decisions, which includes endorsements, determines coverage. I know people from these publications and outlets would try to refute that, but nobody besides them actually believes that.

On the TV side, almost no outlets took him seriously, and for a period during the primaries, Fox News was pretty obviously slanted against him and for Cruz. I'm assuming that has changed, although I haven't watched Fox News in a while.

The MSM both gave Trump free coverage due to their ratings concerns and went hard at him. He has broken quite a few unwritten rules when it comes to the relationship between the press and a Presidential candidate. That is probably the primary reason. The press seemed exasperated that it couldn't get a "gotcha" moment that ruined him. While previous politicians have had their careers ended by far tamer things, Trump still barrelled through, even as the MSM desperately tried to get a scandal that would stick to him and result in political costs. It never really happened.

S. Artesian
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Jan 25 2017 05:01

The issue is the demonstrations, what's driving them. Is it "weeping liberals" or something else. I'm going with the something else.

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Jan 25 2017 05:23
S. Artesian wrote:
The issue is the demonstrations, what's driving them. Is it "weeping liberals" or something else. I'm going with the something else.

Agreed.

If others want to talk about the media's role in the election or what they saw on social media about these protests, perhaps they should split off and start a new thread.

I'd rather we follow the opening post to the letter, which suggested this thread for "first-hand reports/pictures" and "general observations" of what people experienced. It's kinda hard to have a discussion based on rumors, speculation, or unsubstantiated assertions.

Rachel
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Feb 1 2017 17:39

I went to the London Women’s March but also heard a lot from family and friends in the states. Here are my comments on some of the things people have said here and some of my impressions of the day.

These were absolutely enormous demos so would have contained sorts of elements and politics - this is unsurprising, isn’t it? I can't remember when I was last on something so big in London.

Police - there was certainly pro police elements in some places in the US - in Portland some police wore the pink pussy hats in solidarity - ew. Portland also that had anti-cop black black action - see other post (I don’t find black block very exciting but I know others do). What else would you expect with something big and broad? The women’s movement / feminist movement has always been broad and made up of different elements expressing different class and other positions. I don’t see that changing any time soon - you find your space and try to influence others if it seems possible.

Trans/Queer - the demos were filled with people who don't usually demonstrate and maybe were on a march for the first time. Many are not involved in radical or student circles and had touchingly old fashioned signs about women and uteruses. It was noticeable to me, felt a bit 80s in places. You can decide these people are scum or unevolved, or maybe think that they might be open to learning and changing, especially if someone explains things rather than berating them.

‘Russia-phobia’ - there were some signs about the Trump/Putin links but from my perspective many lefties esp. in America have the opposite problem which is a lack of awareness of Russian imperialism i.e. the destruction of Syria. Some people I had respect for turned into raving Assad supporters over the past few years, partly because of the media they consume (left/right crossover stuff like wikileaks and RT, American Green Party) and partly because of their belief that there’s only one baddie in the world - the west. Stop the War Coalition (in the UK) are on the record saying it’s wrong to protest Russian bombing of Syria because we can only influence our own government, but they were there in London with their anti Trump signs of course.

Refreshingly, there wasn’t much anti-Americanism to be seen in the (mostly homemade) signs. People perceive that across the world we are facing the same struggles with rising far right nationalist movements and resurgent religious fundamentalism.

Composition - the London demo seemed mostly white, liberal and middle class or studenty, but in something so huge there will be tens of thousands people who don’t fit that description. I have read three articles by women of colour in US describing their frustration at the whiteness and lack of solidarity with Black Lives Matter, indigenous struggles and so forth.

EDIT - I took out sentences which would I want to unpack in more detail which will take me time - as it stood it wasn't what I want to say.

On the extreme polarisation in the US - my niece posted pictures of her march on social media and tagged in her grandparents who are Trump supporters. This was the only way they heard about the demos, since they were hardly reported on Fox or other other pro Trump media. People are inhabiting different worlds.

Overall, my daughter and I had a wonderful time on the demo and felt hopeful for a couple of days, which in these times is no small thing.

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Jan 25 2017 12:15

Thanks for that report, Rachel.

In terms of the white women voting for Trump, I've seen that figure, the lot in social media posts during the demos. However I think it's worth mentioning that it wasn't 53% of white women who voted for Trump, because turnout was so low. If white women turned out at the same rate as average, then probably only around 22% of white females in the US voted for Trump.

This doesn't mean of course that it is not true that a significant number of white women put white supremacy before their gender (not to mention their class). But worth putting into context I feel.

I must admit I was also a bit bemused by the touting of that figure, as while it is true of Trump voters, I think it's also pretty certainly true that none of the white women on any of the demonstrations voted for Trump, so it seems strange for them to be attacked for it (n.b. not saying this is what you are doing, Rachel, but this is what some social media posts have done). As a man who has been lots of demos in my life I have never been slagged off for what other white men have done.

Spikymike
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Jan 25 2017 13:43

I thought this was of some interest in relation to my previous post No57 - a UK liberal journalism's support for Trump on one narrow issue. Not part of the main argument so far on this thread but since I've already raised it ...... Could make a separate discussion on global capitalism and the turn to
right-wing (as opposed to left-wing) nationalism/protectionism maybe?
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/24/the-guardian-view-on-the-trans-pacific-partnership-not-a-good-deal/

Nymphalis Antiopa
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Jan 25 2017 14:53

Do people here think quantity equals quality? In 2003 millions in the UK alone demonstrated against the imminent war on Iraq and we all know where that got us. Far more interesting would be to consider what new connections are being made, what new innovations and tactics and whether people recognize how much is at stake and what they are prepared to risk in the face of the increasing terrorism of the state. Is a more intelligent form of Van de Lubbe tactics on the cards? Or what?
Likewise, what tactics Trump and co are likely to use in pursuit of their agenda, crushing resistance, etcetera. As far as I can see, only Artesian has significantly addressed the latter - eg by suggesting that Trump might permit a coup attempt against him in order to consolidate his power, like Erdogan did.

S. Artesian
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Jan 25 2017 23:23

I think it plays out like this--

a) the economy is still in the grips of such overproduction that trade agreements, alliances, are just not able to provide the returns necessary to keep protectionism at bay, so...
(b) trade wars ensue; exports tumble (as do imports obviously, on the global platform
(c) profits decline (after 2-3 quarters of increases following the 5 straight quarters of decline0
(d) Trump, worried about nothing so much as his ratings, pulls out the old stand-bys-- and starts targeting immigrants for summary, extra-judicial deportation
(e) "sanctuary cities" attempt some sort of legal opposition; but the Republicans know how to handle that-- cut aid to, not social welfare programs in those cities, but to law enforcement, making it clear to all the cop organizations why they are suddenly losing funds-- let the cops take care of the "sanctuarists"

(f)in the ensuing chaos and confusion (every hedge fund manager's delight), rule by Emergency Orders and decrees-- probably after Congress has awarded him that authority, but if not, so what?

And we're almost there Donald J. Trumpaparte's Empire/Magic Kingdom.

Euro-Disney, anyone?

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Jan 26 2017 04:23

Unicorn Riot has updates on the ongoing protest at Boulder University.

https://twitter.com/UR_Ninja

teh
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Jan 27 2017 23:18
Hieronymous wrote:
teh wrote:
But Fox and Talk radio preach to the choir and dont penetrate broadly into the general population in any case.

This is patently false. I've encountered many white working class people who only watch and listen to these outlets.

This doesn't contradict what I said, just repeats it. Most non-partisan media leans Democratic and casual consumers of news will get their information there. That theres also party publications like Vox or Drudge is complementary and is for party partisans.

Quote:
Adweek wrote:
Fox News Channel ranked No. 1 across all of cable for the week of Jan.16, both in total day and in total prime time viewership. Fox News also posted its highest-rated and most-watched week since the 2016 election

Fox News had 3,918,000 viewers, while #2 CNN had only 1,771,000. This is "the general population."

4 million (primetime) viewers out of a population of 320 million is 1% percent. Out of a country where 20-25% of the population identify as Republicans. And this is during a presidential campaign/transition of power too. Also apart from a more concentrated viewer base Fox provides much better and professional infotainment than CNN & the other one.

Quote:
And I agree with Artesian: the 24/7 coverage from all media got Trump elected. That amount of exposure is priceless.

Media started by saying Trump was the leader of the KKK (even digging up David Duke from somewhere in the 90's), went on to say he raped a child, and ended with saying he committed treason (which means he should face the death penalty). They also concluded he lost the election and couldnt win before it even took place even though switcharoos between the two parties are normal after 8 years & there was no reason to think otherwise this time either. All of this media stuff certainly helped get him elected but I think main reasons were rather more mundane.

EDIT: Didnt see the follow up posts in the thread that mentioned this more/less. Whatevs, leaving this anyway.

teh
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Jan 27 2017 23:15
Hieronymous wrote:
teh wrote:
Saying Russians "are terrified by Putin's ruthlessness and make it clear it's why they come to the U.S" is the equivalent of saying American blacks are "terrified of Obama's ruthlessness and his police death squads that terrify their neighborhoods" because you talked to some black nationalist. Its utter nutty. Like Kropotkin's support of World War 1 in the 16 Manifesto, only at least he want deluded enough to think that German workers were pro-Ally.

I live in a neighborhood in which Russian were one of the major ethnic groups for the first half of the 20th century. Some stayed, others suburbanized, but they made the place a welcome destination for a new wave of Russian Jews who started immigrating in the late 1960s, when it became one of the main locations in North America for escapees from antisemitism. They came in two great waves, the first from 1970 until 1981 when the USSR prevented them from leaving, then again during Perestroika from 1987 to 1991. There are Russian immigrants and U.S.-born children of immigrants in my apartment building and throughout my district. One of my good comrades was born here to immigrant parents. Although they seem pretty evenly divided between Jews and Orthodox Christians, they often unite for cultural celebrations.

I dont see how this is related to "In previous conversations with my neighbors, they are terrified by Putin's ruthlessness" unless they are all racialists who equate specific administrations of the USSR with the USSR state and then equate that with the virulently anti-Soviet state that the Gaidar gang set up and then that with the Putin/Medvedev administration. It doesnt sound like they have any current connection with country beyond a shared communal past.

Quote:
But the example I used about someone being "terrified by Putin" was a guy who first arrived in 2014. He was trying to enter a university in the U.S. We started talking about living conditions in Russian and I flippantly mentioned the repression of Pussy Riot. He scoffed and said "That's the least of it." He went on to say that he came first, as part of a chain migration based on his connections in San Francisco, and wanted to get his parents and siblings out soon too. When I asked why, he sternly told me that saying anything critical of Putin could get you locked up or disappeared. He went on to say that anyone LBGT is "unsafe" in Russia. It was pretty chilling, and I understood his desire to find a safer place to live (the U.S. wasn't his first choice as he preferred Switzerland, but since he wasn't actually a refugee it was near impossible to become a resident there). Other recent immigrants have confirmed that this is their experience as well.

Teh, if you have counter-examples, please post them here before misrepresenting what I'm saying.

Sounds like the rhetoric and political opinions of a voter for Yabloko, Parnas, Progress party,etc or from adjacent social circles. They usually get the cumulative vote of ~3 percent in elections. Represent the material needs of the professional and other high income classes in two or three of the top cities in the country. Their status is usually tied somehow to economic relations with the EU/US. Since the opening of the Russian market to the outside this is the urban layer that benefits from such relations, as is true in metropolises in most semi-colonial third world countries. But most industrial and agricultural production in Russia is done for the internal market. US and Russian economic relations is small and mostly oil/gas and the space program. For EU its export of Russian raw resources. Crucially EU is the most important investor in Russia, with that comes cultural, social, and political ties. But again given the structure of the economy its on a very limited social basis. Furthermore unlike, say Yugoslavia, Russia has WMDs and lots of them so Russian capital has no material need and interest to become a satrap. Theres no mass basis for a cross-class politics of this kind as there is an unbridgeable ocean between this layer and a general population that doesn't want even more stolen from them.

2014 would be a year of war mobilization vis a vis a much stronger opponent. Such sentiments would be unusual even for this politics.
Counter-examples I would look at public opinion polls: approval ratings, country going in right/wrong direction, voting intentions, etc.

teh wrote:
And I dont know what to tell you but these "foolish liberals" have been exporting fascism abroad since the late 1940's; began the land invasion of Indochina and Korea; set up the Latin American death sqauds in the early 60's that ended up committing several genocides in the next 30 years; & currently employ fascist death squads as shock troops in Ukraine to keep the social peace in the IMF's "last great investment opportunity" in the former socialist block. But I'm sure they make fun of Tom Clancy for being a stupid white so theyre not cold warriors.

Here you're playing a little too fast and loose with historical facts. Korea was occupied by Japan, starting in 1910 and ending at the conclusion of World War II in 1945. The Japanese were the fascists here, so I don't understand why you mention them "exporting" it. Japan built their Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere in that period too, which colonized and occupied "Indochina."

I'm talking about the Korean War of Truman.

Quote:
And these "foolish liberals" are people who read Arundoti Roy, Thích Nhất Hạnh, Noam Chomsky, and Naomi Klein, so I don't think they'd even have an opinion of Tom Clancy. So again, what's your point? (by the way, I don't have an opinion of Clancy as I've never read him nor wanted to read him) These are the types of liberals who sing hymns with the choir at their Unitarian Church or Quaker Friendship Hall and who are inspired by the example of Óscar Romero and go to the gates of the School of the Americas at Ft. Benning, Georgia to get arrested doing non-violent civil disobedience. Or do plowshares actions and smash the nosecones of ICBMs and do serious time for their deeds. These are the kind of liberals who have framed posters of the Berrigan Brothers mounted on the walls of their apartments. I'm not one of these liberals, but what's so wrong about them? I respect many of them.

I think most protesters were the Democrats liberals not the left-wing of Democrats. Protest was started by one Teresa Shook who was upset that Clinton lost. But I think even the left-wing anti-war/nukes satellites of the the Democrats are part of it because their political platform is to form a popular front with it or more it to the "left" (even when they rhetorically distance themselves from this) and not destroy it. They dont treat the party as the toxic entity that it is as they would some self-styled "far-right" group.

Quote:
teh wrote:
Hieronymous wrote:
I didn't see a single reference to Russia among hundreds of thousands of signs. In addition, there were many calls for defending ACA (Obamacare) and expanding health care to all.....

While I saw a couple signs equating Trump with hammers and sickles at the inauguration day protests, these were vastly outnumbered by ones likening Trump to Putin.

Putin and hammer & sickles are not a reference to Russia? What is it referencing then?

Comrade, you need to read more carefully. The quotes you use above are about the inauguration day protest and the 2 Women's Marches I attended the next day. These were 3 different events.

I see. My bad.

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Hieronymous
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Jan 28 2017 14:33

Comrades around the U.S. sent the following brief first-hand accounts of the Women's March on Saturday, January 21, 2016:

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA:

transportation worker wrote:
[T]he women's march was the biggest protest in Lincoln's history. Haven't heard any firm numbers but it was at least 5,000. Usually the only big demos are the fucking right to life Catholics from the ultra conservative diocese here, yet there's usually 100,000 people in the downtown on Husker game days in a city of 270,000, but people aren't used to demonstrating here. It was exciting and I think the best part was that everyone was just in awe of the turnout and I think it made a lot of non-political people feel like opposition to Trump has legitimacy.

BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON:

education worker wrote:
. . . so many people showed up that the front of the march got to the end of the route loop (back at the start) before everyone [else] had started. . . estimate [of] crowd size was 5,000. Population of Bellingham is listed at 85,0000

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA:

education worker wrote:
While waiting in line to take the Gold Line Metro to the downtown Los Angeles march, which took around 90 minutes, people treated it like a celebration, and many commented that rather than the stress of commuting to work, it was more like waiting to go on a ride at Disneyland. The wait and the train ride were like a mobile street party.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA:

public sector worker wrote:
The lines to buy Metro tickets [since hardly any Angelenos are regular commuters] and get on the train were so long and chaotic that some stations shut down. Some had been waiting as long as 2 hours and instead of giving up, protestors spontaneously started demonstrations right there, next to the stations.

Below is a map of locations of Women's Marches in California and a list of the numbers (from the Sacramento Bee). The column with the "High" numbers are probably low-ball estimates. Los Angeles had over 1 million and San Francisco's numbers were probably triple the amount given. Many were not only the largest protests ever in these locales, but some were the first time there's ever been a political demonstration of any significance.

The low-ball estimate puts the participation statewide at "1 in 45 California Residents" (which would be 2.2% of the population, but in reality was probably double or triple that -- which is pretty amazing!).

Rachel wrote:
Overall, my daughter and I had a wonderful time on the demo and felt hopeful for a couple of days, which in these times is no small thing.

Nearly everyone I've talked to who went to one of these protests felt the same way as Rachel. Like her, I still do; it was euphoric to be in solidarity with millions worldwide who collectively, in a single voice, sent a giant "FUCK YOU!" to Donald Trump.

It was very visceral and if you weren't there, it's hard to put words to the experience. But to give a flavor of it, Democracy Now! does a decent job of depicting the Women's March in San Francisco:

Rather that debating the what ifs?, it would be more fruitful to critique the strengths and weaknesses of what actually happened on these marches -- and compare their regional differences -- and strategize ways to go beyond their limitations.

A DAPL demo at San Francisco's Federal Building last night had thousands of protestors and blocked surrounding streets, which showed that numbers in these actions are increasing and Trump's election seems to be having a multiplier effect. But radical change won't come from protests alone. How can we intervene to root this opposition in class struggle and resistance to capital, rather than just to Trump?

Trump's attack on sanctuary cities, like Artesian points out, might starve cops of funds and push a division where people are pushed to decide if they're on the side of the state and its armed monopoly of violence or on the side of insurgents fighting to overthrow the social relations of capital, where we need to have the backs of all our working class sisters and brothers (especially immigrants, who are the first targets of Trump's attacks).

FACT CHECK EDIT:

To refute the rumor that Women's March events everywhere were "anti-trans and there was no militant queer bloc," it should be pointed out that the main Washington DC rally had transgender activist Raquel Willis as one the key speakers, one of the eight speakers at the San Francisco pre-march rally was transgender activist Julia Serano, and there were at least half a dozen radical blocs of queers here too. It's unfortunate that this didn't happen in the Twin Cities, but you can't generalize that to everywhere else.

Nymphalis Antiopa
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Jan 29 2017 06:27

Numbers numbers numbers. If I copied that out "numbers numbers numbers" a million times would that contribute to confronting Trump and the new forms of capitalist misery he is inflicting? As I said above:

Quote:
"Do people here think quantity equals quality? In 2003 millions in the UK alone demonstrated against the imminent war on Iraq and we all know where that got us."

But there have been no answers to that: instead Hieronymous endlessly showing numbers numbers numbers.

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Hieronymous
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Jan 29 2017 06:38
Nymphalis Antiopa wrote:
"Do people here think quantity equals quality?"

No.

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Jan 29 2017 07:33
Nymphalis Antiopa wrote:
"In 2003 millions in the UK alone demonstrated against the imminent war on Iraq and we all know where that got us."

I think we share the same criticism of those toothless actions back then, devoid of agency and mostly staged for TV cameras.

Yet there were some inspiring moments of opposition to both the First Gulf War and the current one that began in 2003, that if generalized would have been more powerful. Sadly, even the ones with potential were short-lived.

These are some that inspired me:

    ● Prior to the First Gulf War, in August 1990, 4000 maintenance workers on U.S. bases in Turkey went on strike for higher pay, hampering the war effort.
    ● In 2003 protestors in Italy blockaded the Malpanese airport, near Milan, to try to prevent it from being used to refuel B-52s en route to bombing raids in Iraq.
    ● In 2003 disruption of military transportation and supply chains was used in France, the Netherlands and Germany—trains carrying troops were repeatedly sabotaged and derailed; military depots and barracks were blockaded to prevent mobilizations for the war.
    ● During the war on Afghanistan, 200 dock workers in Nagasaki, Japan refused to load military supplies onto naval vessels headed to assist the U.S.-led war, disrupting the entire Japanese state’s contribution to the war effort.
    ● On January 9, 2003, British train drivers refused to move a freight train carrying ammunition for the British forces being deployed in the Gulf.

Today, January 28, 2017, taxi drivers in New York organized a work stoppage at JFK Airport to protest detentions under Trump's new executive order on immigration. It was just an hour, but set an example of what other workers could do.

On Inauguration day, dockers at the Port of Oakland refused work, and shut down one of four terminals, at the 5th busiest container port in the U.S., for a day.

The examples from 1990 and 2003 are types of actions that have resonance with the transportation and supply chain disruptions against Trump. They could be emulated and extended.

Nymphalis Antiopa
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Jan 29 2017 06:58

It was not a yes/no question, as you almost certainly know. The question implied a desire to know what was interesting in the various demonstrations. Apart from some high school walk-outs, the brief "strike" in the Oakland docks, and the black bloc in Washington DC, there seemed to be nothing but a celebration of quantity over quality. It would be nice to hear more about qualitative opposition, but maybe there is little to hear about.

Nymphalis Antiopa
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Jan 29 2017 07:02

Your second reply (post 85) crossed with my post 86, which I would not have sent if I had first seen this second reply.

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Jan 29 2017 07:17
Nymphalis Antiopa wrote:
It would be nice to hear more about qualitative opposition, but maybe there is little to hear about.

Perhaps you're answering your own question.

Did you see the posts by S. Artesian, jesuithitsquad, and Rachel? What do you think? (not a trick question either, because you were asking a loaded question since no one had the pretense to attribute "qualitative opposition," when these are such inchoate forms of resistance -- at best).

Nymphalis Antiopa
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Jan 29 2017 09:24

Hieronymous: I will probably regret trying to debate on this site as I will probably get a lot of shit coming my way since this site is so utterly compromised and - or so I have been told - you specifically have trivialised taking any stance over important contradictions on this site and have even, apparently, defended the Black Panther Party and its Stalinist politics. But that is probably besides the point on this particular thread. So...

Hieronymous:

Quote:
Did you see the posts by S. Artesian, jesuithitsquad, and Rachel? What do you think? (not a trick question either, because you were asking a loaded question since no one had the pretense to attribute "qualitative opposition," when these are such inchoate forms of resistance -- at best).

My question was not "loaded" since there does seem to be a tendency to grasp at straws, counting the numbers of straws being grasped and saying "look at how many straws there are!" For example, your long lists of numbers, jesuithitsquads:

Quote:
it sure as hell is better to see people going out together rather than bitching about how terrible things are on social media.

and Rachels

Quote:
my daughter and I had a wonderful time on the demo and felt hopeful for a couple of days, which in these times is no small thing.

Bitching about how terrible things are on a demo is not much better than bitching about how terrible things are on social media. Likewise, one might as well say "my daughter and I had a wonderful time on holiday and felt refreshed for a couple of days, which in these times is no small thing". I would say that this is some form of

Quote:
pretense to attribute "qualitative opposition"

Someone said "hope is the leash of submission". Fuck hope - desperate times call for desperate acts, which is why I asked

Quote:
"Is a more intelligent form of Van de Lubbe tactics on the cards?"

Action combined with the ideas that reinforce it is the only way forward and the reality is we are seriously facing as great a horror as Van der Lubbe desperately tried to challenge.

As for S.Artesian, he is generally the most interesting poster on this site, and I would guess that this is by him: http://anti-capital21stcentury.blogspot.com.es/p/his-is-how-it-starts.html

Rachel
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Jan 29 2017 12:45

Thanks H for your posts esp no. 85 with the list of direct actions against the war that I didn’t know or forgot about about. There was more than marching going on, though nowhere near enough of course.

NA, I assumed most people would easily understand that our posts were giving impressions, not making claims that big numbers indicate the beginning of a revolutionary movement. On the day, the 2003 antiwar march in London was on my mind as well, that’s exactly why I didn’t make any claims for potential of this march. It is what it is, in the first week of the new administration. For me it’s too early to start making predictions.

potrokin
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Jan 29 2017 13:19

As an anarchist what is disappointing to me about these anti-Trump protests ( and, at the same time I think they are good and am glad they are happening) is that they are just that- protests. I'd like to see more action being taken. That however, then makes me consider wether any actions would get support from the wider population and wether they could go beyond just having a different president or government. Interestingly though, I noticed that the black bloc did get some support on a certain left/liberal youtube channel that I watch which I won't name, which was nice to see. I do think it's nice to see people coming together though and objecting to what Trump is doing, which is fucking hideous.