While protesters around the nation assembled at state capitals hoping to pressure members of the Electoral College to dump Trump, a more radical contingent gathered at Cooper Union Monday to voice their objection to the incoming Trump administration.
“No! In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America!” was the evening’s mantra and one the participants, led by the Revolutionary Communist Party, will exclaim throughout the month in a series of rallies and demonstrations.
Speaker after speaker insisted that Trump’s incipient fascism must be stopped before it begins. “Tonight we begin a month of resistance,” said Atta, who uses only one name, and her call was echoed most fervently by Sunsara Taylor, who served as the event’s moderator.
The auditorium came alive with a symphony of clicks when she asked the audience to hit the social networks via their phones and transmit “refuse fascism.”
“Donald Trump,” said PZ Myers, an evolutionary development biologist at the University of Minnesota Morris, “is the antithesis of everything we stand for. … He is bad for the planet … and we have no choice but to refuse fascism.” He was proud that his name was among those on the Professors’ Watchlist, issued by the right-wing operation, Turning Point, USA, a latter day surveillance of activists.
Fran Luck, producer of the “Joy of Resistance” on WBAI, was equally outspoken and passionate about protecting the rights of women, particularly after Trump’s statement “that women should be punished for having an abortion.” She announced her support for the massive march of women Jan. 21 in the nation’s capital.
There was a Skype broadcast from Chase Iron Eyes, one of the activists involved in the recent successful protest at Standing Rock to stop the Dakota Access pipeline. He said they were able to overcome the combined attacks from the media, the local law enforcement agencies and the National Guard. “This was part of an ongoing erosion of our civil and democratic rights,” he said. “And we are in this together,” when it comes to stopping Trump.
But the longest and most thorough excoriation of the prospects of a fascist Trump administration came from Jeremy Scahill, who is perhaps best known for his book, “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.” He began his speech by referring to his research from “Blackwater,” noting that Erik Prince, the former Navy Seal who founded the organization, is the brother of Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee to be secretary of education.
Scahill said the Prince and DeVos families were enemies of education and he repeated much of what he has written on Intercept, a website he co-founded. “The Princes consistently poured money into criminalizing abortion, privatizing education, blocking gay rights and other right-wing causes centered around their interpretation of Christianity,” he wrote. In his speech he also assailed Vice-President-elect Mike Pence, who he defined as a “Christian jihadist.” And his indictment did not spare the Democrats, particularly taking Bill Clinton to task.
“We must shatter the two-party system,” he said to loud approval.
RCP stalwarts, Carl Dix and Andy Zee, stressed the importance of the monthlong plan for resistance to fascism, which will culminate on Dr. King’s birthday weekend in the nation’s capital. “Imagine if people, in the tens of millions, filled the streets, powerfully declaring that this regime is illegitimate and demanding that it not be allowed to rule!” Dix read from a statement. This part of the plan for the massive mobilization was underscored by the remaining speakers, including California activist Isabel Cardenas (via video); Imam Ayub Abdul-Baki of the Islamic Leadership Council; Pastor Doris Johnson of the Holy Ghost Upper Room Filling Station of Faith Tabernacle; and hip-hop artist Immortal Technique, who gave his anti-fascism a compelling beat and an inventive rhyme.
“No! In the name of humanity. We refuse to accept a fascist America!” said Taylor, at the conclusion of the event, leading the audience in the chant while images of the words flashed from three screens.