PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO ANYONE WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED.
"Terry, fascism is here. It's not coming. It's not in the future. It is here."
Said to me by my friend Kendall in Portland.
I am very overwhelmed with what is happening all over the country, although strangely not in San Francisco. Of course, first I am stunned by Trump's using the Homeland Security troops against American protesters. Carolyn reminded me that we KNEW this was going to happen eventually, we knew that it was the REAL reason behind the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. That's why we, as in the rational progressives, were against it and against the Patriot Act.
Those words, "homeland," "patriot." So very suspect. So successfully tugging at the lizard part of our brain that wants us to be eternally totally physically safe. Of course sometimes patriotism makes sense, as when your country is invaded and occupied by the army of another country. But that's not what anyone does to US. That's what WE do to other countries.
When you're the richest, the most militarized, most dominant country in the world --- uh uh. "Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels." That's a famous and ominous saying. We've got scoundrels aplenty now.
Okay. Portland. This from the New York Times:
"One protester standing on a city street outside the federal courthouse was shot in the head with a crowd-control munition, leaving a bloody scene and a serious facial injury that required surgery. In another incident, an officer was seen repeatedly using a baton to whack a Navy veteran who said he had come to speak to the agents. Videos taken by members of the public captured camouflaged personnel pulling protesters into unmarked vans."
OK? JUST ONE FOR SURE. I KNOW, I KNOW, IT'S EASY FOR ME
TO TELL PEOPLE TO DO IT BUT IT'S ANOTHER THING TO DO IT.
I PROMISE TO MAKE ONE PHONE CALL AND WRITE ONE EMAIL TODAY.
Kendall said that the protests were dwindling until the Federal troops arrived. Now they're growing. Even so, the whole action is on five blocks downtown, with the rest of the city unaffected.
Maybe the rest of Portland is unaffected. But the outrage has spread to many other cities. I too would be hard-put to continue my sheltering in place if those troops came to San Francisco.
Quite frankly, I am really concerned that those protesters throwing things lighting fires are really playing into Trump's hands, giving him an EXCUSE to send in troops.
In fact, I wonder if there aren't a few (or more than a few) agents provocateurs mixed in there -- that is, right-wing folks who know that when the protesters get rowdy, it greatly serves Trump's right-wing agenda that the country is spiraling toward chaos, and only Trumpian fascism can save the day.
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO NON-VIOLENT PROTEST?
Everyone's worshipping at the feet of John Lewis, who just died. But nobody is seriously considering the possibility of actually doing what he did -- which is to PROTEST NON-VIOLENTLY!
This is a technique of protest that WORKS. For one thing, it separates the great body of protesters, who are in fact non-violent, from those who, whether because of political beliefs or just to have a good time, want to throw firecrackers, bottles, set things on fire, whatever. AND it completely eliminates the possibility of agents provocateurs.
Non-violent protest lifts you to the moral high ground. But it takes organization, training, leadership. These protests are leaderless and spontaneous.
Of course, there IS a playful, self-mocking stream in Portland culture. We're seeing that so clearly here, and how refreshing it is. I do believe the more IMAGINATION we can bring to protest, the better off we are.
First and foremost are the WALL OF MOMS. Their motto is: "All Mothers were Summoned When He Called Out to His Mama":
The intent of the Wall of Moms is to be THE front line, to be the First Recipients of any violence. This is so exciting and is a fulfillment of the ORIGINAL intention of Mothers' Day, which was founded as Mothers' Day for Peace in the 19th Century. I think John Lewis would approve. Go to their website and READ about the initial group of white Moms transforming into a group led by all women of color:
"We are eager to announce that all White group admins have relinquished their roles. Not one of our group admins struggled with this decision, and all have chosen to stay on in powerful roles in service to the group and movement. Our leadership is entirely composed of Black and Indigenous women from most-impacted communities. In this moment, we ask for you to take time to both read this post, consider what skills you have to give, think about how you can participate without seeking rank or power, and welcome our new leadership. We deeply thank you for your service and for your faith in this movement."
And then there's the leaf-blower-toting Dads, who flip the voluminous and incessant clouds teargas back at the DHS invaders. And the chefs with pizza-box shields.
So some very exciting AND IMAGINATIVE things are happening in Portland!
But still, I wish they'd stop destruction of.... oh well. Maybe I'm being too namby-pamby middle-classy. I don't know. But while I'm invigorated by the Moms, the Dads, the Chefs et al., I am also fearful about where this is game of Whack-a-Mole, between the protesters and the Trump goons, is leading.
And now, let's change to a DIFFERENT but perhaps NO CHEERIER subject; Ye Goode Olde Pandemic! Thanks to Pat Hendricks for sending me the latest wisdom from RANDY RAINBOW on this subject. ENJOY.
Bloggelinis, I'm getting more and more overwhelmed with the world. Hard to choose what to write about, what to include in what I write about. I guess I pride myself on having some kind of overview. But I don't now. As an asthmatic old woman, I've chosen to stay safe in my home. But if the goons come to SF... Well.... Well... Would the Wall of Moms accept a childless white crone? Makes me think of that funny postcard, "Oh no! I forgot to get married and have children!" If I did it, (not get married & have children, silly) I'd be a proud brick, that's for sure. Terry