War and Peace (which is not very difficult to read, once you understand that it's a couple of bittersweet love stories wrapped around the Napoleonic Wars) is the voice of an invaded land defying a pompous tyrant. No book is more relevant for the USA in 2017.
Protest or politics: it's not an either/or. Sure, we need effective action from our political leaders, but that does NOT mean public protest is a waste of time. For most of us, it's the streets or oblivion. We choose the streets.Main Image:
"... nor would this star have shaken the shackles off,
bursting with light, until there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life."
As pacifists, we stand in absolute opposition to Donald Trump. This is not only because he has pledged to begin Iraq War Three (and has hired a cabinet that will do so) but also simply because we know the American people will not endure a tyrant. This will be a long fight, and we will need to summon for ourselves the wisdom and courage that sustained other great pacifist fighters like Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and Emmeline Pankhurst. This is a fight we cannot lose.Main Image:
I attended a panel discussion yesterday on "A Trump World Order: What To Expect From US Foreign Policy", sponsored by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung at the Asian-American Writers Workshop in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. I found a packed crowd of nearly 100 attendees in a tight physical space. The concerned and defiant expressions on many faces in the room suggested that we believed our planet to be in a tight physical space too.
It's good news that anti-Trump events in New York City are drawing packed standing-room-only crowds (I experienced the same thing a few days earlier in Brooklyn), and often the greatest challenge at these angry gatherings is how to focus our outrage regarding Trump's plans for America. Should we talk about the illegal Russia-hacked election? Or about Steve Bannon's vile racism, or about Mike Pence's antique politics of gender repression, or about Paul Ryan's Ayn-Rand inspired plans to funnel more wealth to the tax-avoiding 1% by stealing from us middle-classers who actually pay taxes? How can we possibly choose which outrage to scream about first?
I was glad to find a panel discussion focusing on foreign policy, as I believe the potential global horrors of a Trump administration influenced by Michael Flynn, John Bolton, Dick Cheney and Erik Prince to be among the most astoundingly urgent dangers we currently face. I was hoping to find a group of panelists as fired up as I've been, and I immediately felt confused and let down when panelist Ingar Solty placidly suggested that Trump might turn out to be an isolationist.
Ingar Solty of Germany's Das Argument is a sharp observer of international events, and it was generally a privilege to hear his well-informed thoughts about the Donald Trump phenomenon. But it was perhaps because Solty had just flown in from Europe for this event that his tone did not seem to reflect the incredible urgency and rage that many Americans feel in the face of Trump's assaults on truth. Trump is masterful at using contradiction and blatant mistruth to obscure his agenda, and his claim to be a near-isolationist who opposed the Iraq War in 2003 is nothing but a classic Trump head-fake. I was sorry to hear even one of this event's panelists taking this falsehood on face value instead of giving it the derision it deserves.Main Image:
How brave are you? Are you willing to get arrested? To be beat up? How much will you risk to protect your fellow Americans, and your loved ones and yourself?Main Image:
No inauguration without investigation! The American people are concerned that Donald Trump is an obvious criminal with intent to govern as a fascist dictator. We demand answers to our urgent questions, and we will use nonviolent resistance and nationwide strikes to prevent him from taking office until our voices are heard. We will fight back with a form of protest that takes great courage and conviction, and those who are protesting need your help today.Main Image:
(Dear readers: just because we're busy fighting the fascist takeover of America doesn't mean we don't need poetry in our lives. Here's a "stream of consciousness prose poem" written shortly after election day by our friend Aaron Lantz from Kansas City, Missouri. —Marc)Main Image:
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary—
I spent today protesting with a large peaceful crowd outside Trump Tower in New York City. My name is Marc Eliot Stein. I'm a 54 year old writer, web developer and father of three. I was born in Queens, New York, just a couple of miles from the birthplace of Donald Trump. I always liked Donald Trump, and used to enjoy his show "The Apprentice".Main Image:
I'm running off to another anti-Trump rally today in Union Square, New York City. The last one I was at was outside Trump Tower on Thursday, November 10 ... and I was proud when a friend texted me this photo of me on Fox News. Can't tell for sure if I'm raising my fist, recording a video or flipping the bird at Trump Tower, but I was doing all three at various times during this inspiring evening.Main Image:
Two days before the end of an election season that has left many Americans (including me) sickened and disgusted, polls show that Hillary Clinton is in a good position to become the next President of the United States. This is fine with me. She has earned it well.
Novelist Katharine Weber reminds us of an earlier American business tycoon, one far more successful than Donald Trump, who also fanned the fire of homegrown fascism in a bid for political power.Main Image: