January 18, 2017
To all the fighters, artists, scientists, teachers, students… to everyone who has signed the Call to Action and taken up the fight to Stop the Trump/Pence Regime from taking power:
First, much appreciation to the over 6,000 who have signed The Call; to all who have donated; to all who have spread the word on social media; to the musicians and artists against fascism; to all who have taken to the streets in cities across the country, including those camping out in front of City Hall in Los Angeles; and most of all, to those who are braving the cold and rain in Washington, DC to fight night after night to rouse millions of people to say NO! to a Fascist America.
Here we can not list all of what you and we have done. Know this: RefuseFascism.org has already put the truth before millions of people – the truth that many would not speak: that the Trump/Pence regime is fascist by any definition, that you can’t wait fascism out, you can’t conciliate with fascists, and you can’t work with or collaborate with fascism. We have rightly said that if we do not prevent the Trump/Pence regime from consolidating its hold on power, we will all be standing on different dangerous ground with a qualitatively more difficult fight to overcome what this regime is intent on doing.
We stand on the cusp of a historic moment – when what we do is impacting millions of people, and still has the potential to move them to take unprecedented action. Yet, developments in the struggle have not turned out as was needed. It now seems much more likely than not that masses of people in their millions are not going to flood into the streets in the day and half before the inauguration to create the kind of political crisis that could prevent the inauguration. At the end of this letter, we are making an important adjustment to our plans that essentially call for adjusting and intensifying our work over the next several days.
To understand this juncture, and what to do, we need to step back and confront again the situation humanity faces.
We wrote in the Call to Action: “Fascism is a strong word. It is a very serious thing. It has direction and momentum that must be stopped before it becomes too late. Fascism foments and relies on xenophobic nationalism, racism, misogyny, and the aggressive re-institution of oppressive ‘traditional values.’ Fascism feeds on and encourages the threat and use of violence to build a movement and come to power. Fascism, once in power, essentially eliminates traditional democratic rights.” Is this not what we have seen emerging every day since the election?
In the face of this, we have spoken truthfully that the people’s only recourse was and remains mass action of millions of people acting together outside the normal political processes to force every faction of the political power structure to respond to our actions and our demand.
Today, two days out from the scheduled inauguration of Donald Trump and his government of reactionary fascists, the situation is perilous and in tremendous flux. Representative John Lewis has made Trump’s illegitimacy a mass question. Trump’s venomous racist twitter response to Lewis has opened up the potential for many people to take a more resolute stand against the regime. We are calling for people to wear an “I” along with the “NO!” starting on Wednesday 1/18 and continuing.
Currently over 60 Congress people are boycotting the inauguration revealing the even larger cracks in the power structure, even as, for now, the center is holding. There is scandal and dissension roiling among those who wield power. And yet, Trump/Pence looms.
In the midst of this fraught situation Refuse Fascism is in the mix – disrupting the Jeff Session’s Hearing in an action seen around the world, marching in the streets of DC with hundreds joining the marches on the Trump International Hotel over the weekend and shutting it down for a period of time, with pictures and video spreading on the web, and on local news in DC. Everywhere the volunteers have gone, the response has been positive from many sections of the people. There is a simmering depth to the anxiety and outrage that people feel about what is looming. But, the masses of people in their thousands and millions have not yet stepped out of business as usual to get in the streets and stay in the streets the way people in South Korea or Tahrir Square in Egypt did several years ago.
The reasons for this are many and we are not going to attempt an analysis here … certainly President Obama, VP Biden, and Bernie Sanders all telling people that “it’s over,” that Trump won and that people should work with him where “we can” and wait and see what he does has lulled people into not seeing the urgency of acting before these fascists have their hands on the repressive apparatus of the government, have the full power of the state to intimidate and suppress the dissent and the truth.
But, the important and urgent point is this: the situation is very much “in play.” We are in an extreme situation and dissension in all strata of society is sharp. There are all kinds of protests by many different forces that are going to unfold over the next several days. Refuse Fascism is going to keep pushing with our basic message and our actions in DC and around the country. The NO! needs to spread like never before. There are many factors that could come into play to push things over the edge where people feel that enough is enough, that they must act, they must disrupt their lives to prevent a great catastrophe. This could be a new damning revelation about Trump, a tweet from Trump that is the last straw, an act of repression or violence from his fascist followers… any of these or other factors could kick things onto a whole other level of struggle on all levels of society. This is a historical moment when what seems impossible on the surface could be possible, but only if there are people with the vision and determination to lead.
Even if this doesn’t happen before the inauguration, the struggle around and in the wake of the inauguration could become more intense. There are many groups and sections of the people planning significant protests and cultural outpourings and events from NY to California over the next 2 days. Here in DC, a group called “Disrupt J20” plans to act on inauguration day. The next day hundreds of thousands are expected for “The Women’s March On Washington.” Depending on how all of this plays out and interacts and interpenetrates with other developments, including the things that Trump will do on “day one,” the situation continues to hold the potential to develop into a more sustained resistance. In sum, there are many different factors that could still come together to give rise to the kind of political crisis that is needed to prevent the Trump-Pence Regime from gaining power, or to prevent it from consolidating its hold on power, and then to drive it from power in the days immediately after the inauguration.
In sum, it is our assessment that we need to go all out and intensify all our efforts over the next days before the inauguration to inspire and move masses of people into active resistance to stop this regime, even as we recognize that the battle may continue for several days after the inauguration if not prevented to stop the Trump-Pence regime from consolidating its power. We are proposing and calling for a change in our plans – to continue to call people to get into and stay the streets on Friday and beyond, calling for resistance and no business as usual next Monday and Tuesday.
The following from Refuse Fascism’s Mission and Plan is as true and urgent as when put forth 6 weeks ago:
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! The whole political landscape would be dramatically transformed, every faction within the established power structure would be forced to respond—and all this could well lead to a situation in which this fascist regime is actually prevented from ruling. This is not some idle dream but something which could be made a reality if all those who hate what is represented by this fascist regime translate their outrage into firm determination and massive mobilization to create the conditions which make this possible.
Let’s rise to this moment and fight with all we’ve got. We have brought forth an incredible, diverse and determined group of people who recognize the danger, who have sounded the alarm, and are prepared to lead millions of people to defeat this fascist regime. We do this not for ourselves alone, but in the Name of Humanity.
This letter was prepared by Andy Zee in consultation with and on behalf of
The Initiators of RefuseFascism.org