(Here’s a list of upcoming Refuse Fascism’s events in the Bay Area.)
More than 300 people rallied and marched in downtown San Francisco Saturday as part of the organization Refuse Fascism’s national protests against the Donald Trump regime.
I participated in the event, which was heavily policed and attended by anti-protestors, also known as Trump trolls, who tried to engage members of the crowd. There was no reported violence, but I did have an anti-protestor take a flyer from my hand and throw it into the street, saying, “Get your s**t out of here.”
Along the march route, from Union Square to the Castro and then ending in the Mission, hundreds of people on the sidewalks cheered on the marchers. The marchers held a “die-in” on Market Street in the Castro, San Francisco’s historic LGBTQ district, as cheering people looked on from the sidewalks, apartments and bars.
People joined the march along the way and some left early on the approximate four-mile route as the protestors made their way to the Mission. You can find more images and videos of the San Francisco event here.
Marches were held as well in other major American cities, such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The Refuse Fascism’s events are designed to kickstart consistent Occupy-liked protests in the public square against the Trump regime throughout the country. The initial Occupy Wall Street protest was held in New York in 2011.
Refuse Fascism believes, as I do, that the Donald Trump administration poses a fascist threat to the country and that it’s following a historic pattern of authoritarian regimes. According to the Refuse Fascism site:
Fascism is not just a gross combination of horrific reactionary policies. It is a qualitative change in how society is governed. Fascism foments and relies on xenophobic nationalism, racism, misogyny, and the aggressive re-institution of oppressive “traditional values.” In Trump’s election campaign he encouraged and fed on the threat and use of violence to build a movement and come to power. In his inaugural address he pledged allegiance only to this movement. What is crucial to understand is that once in power fascism essentially eliminates traditional democratic rights.
History as shown us that a fascist takeover of a government doesn’t happen overnight but is a process with moments that may seem normal. According to Refuse Fascism:
There is method to Trump’s madness that echoes Hitler. Fascism advances in stages through outrage, shock and intimidation, followed by brief periods of normalization where people accommodate to the new situation the regime has imposed.
As a writer and participant in the rally and march Saturday, here’s what struck me about Saturday’s events and the overall movement to remove Trump from office and to expose his regime’s corruption:
(1) Prominent members of the Democratic Party continue to sit on the sidelines as the Trump regime tries to destroy our country, from rejecting the scientific method when it comes to global warming to attempting to deny millions of Americans medical access to proposing new taxation that would give billions of dollars to the country’s oligarchy. The lack of obvious visible and outspoken support for Refuse Fascism’s protest by establishment Democrats means the national Democratic Party leadership is, in a sense, corroborating with the Trump regime. Change is going to happen in the streets, not within the Democratic National Committee.
(2) The media continues to promote a false equivalency between the antifa, or anti-fascism, movement and the thugs of the alt-right, who promote racism and violence. Just because a protestor wears a scarf on her face doesn’t mean she’s promoting violence. Refuse Fascism is outspoken about the point that it’s a peaceful movement. There are a myriad of reasons that people don’t want to get identified. They might lose their jobs for example in the corporate world if they’re spotted or they might not have documentation or legal status even though they have lived in the country for years.
(3) Will there be a tipping point when people will flock in droves to the streets to protest the nightmare of the Trump/Pence regime and its assault on the truth and the American people? Don’t count on it. It’s more likely that by the time it becomes clear to the media-indoctrinated masses that the country has been degraded into a fascist dictatorship the option to protest on American streets will no longer exist. We’ll then be living in a some type military-police state with radical right extremists in positions of power throughout the country.
Refuse Fascism gives us this dire warning:
Fascism has direction and momentum. Dissent is piece by piece criminalized. The truth is bludgeoned. Group after group is demonized and targeted along a trajectory that leads to real horrors. All of this has already begun under the Trump Regime. History has shown that fascism must be stopped before it becomes too late.
Trump is a proven and documented liar, who demonizes minorities and women. His “America First” agenda is nothing more than a call to white supremacists that they can now bring their evil agenda into the open. He’s promoting an immoral taxation plan that will only benefit himself, his family and oligarchs like him while leaving the middle class and poor behind to struggle on their crumbs. His attacks on the mainstream media are attacks on the very essence of free speech. His demented malignant narcissism and bullying tactics threaten what’s left of our democratic structures.
Refuse Fascism is standing up, along with others, to shine the light. It urges, “Don’t Normalize. Don’t Accommodate. Don’t Conciliate. Don’t Collaborate.” But, please, do get involved in the coming consistent protests against the corrupt Trump regime. History is on your side if you do.