Hymn: A New Poem by Sherman Alexie

Why do we measure people’s capacity
To love by how well they love their progeny?

That kind of love is easy. Encoded.
Any lion can be devoted

To its cubs. Any insect, be it prey
Or predator, worships its own DNA.

Like the wolf, elephant, bear, and bees,
We humans are programmed to love what we conceive.

That’s why it’s so shocking when a neighbor
Drives his car into a pond and slaughter–

Drowns his children. And that’s why we curse
The mother who leaves her kids—her hearth—

And never returns. That kind of betrayal
Rattles our souls. That shit is biblical.

So, yes, we should grieve an ocean
When we encounter a caretaker so broken.

But I’m not going to send you a card
For being a decent parent. It ain’t that hard

To love somebody who resembles you.
If you want an ode then join the endless queue

Of people who are good to their next of kin—
Who somehow love people with the same chin

And skin and religion and accent and eyes.
So you love your sibling? Big fucking surprise.

But how much do you love the strange and stranger?
Hey, Caveman, do you see only danger

When you peer into the night? Are you afraid
Of the country that exists outside of your cave?

Hey, Caveman, when are you going to evolve?
Are you still baffled by the way the earth revolves

Around the sun and not the other way around?
Are you terrified by the ever-shifting ground?

Hey, Trump, I know you weren’t loved enough
By your sandpaper father, who roughed and roughed

And roughed the world. I have some empathy
For the boy you were. But, damn, your incivility,

Your volcanic hostility, your lists
Of enemies, your moral apocalypse—

All of it makes you dumb and dangerous.
You are the Antichrist we need to antitrust.

Or maybe you’re only a minor league
Dictator—temporary, small, and weak.

You’ve wounded our country. It might heal.
And yet, I think of what you’ve revealed

About the millions and millions of people
Who worship beneath your tarnished steeple.

Those folks admire your lack of compassion.
They think it’s honest and wonderfully old-fashioned.

They call you traditional and Christian.
LOL! You’ve given them permission

To be callous. They have been rewarded
For being heavily armed and heavily guarded.

You’ve convinced them that their deadly sins
(Envy, wrath, greed) have transformed into wins.

Of course, I’m also fragile and finite and flawed.
I have yet to fully atone for the pain I’ve caused.

I’m an atheist who believes in grace if not in God.
I’m a humanist who thinks that we’re all not

Humane enough. I think of someone who loves me—
A friend I love back—and how he didn’t believe

How much I grieved the death of Prince and his paisley.
My friend doubted that anyone could grieve so deeply

The death of any stranger, especially a star.
“It doesn’t feel real,” he said. If I could play guitar

And sing, I would have turned purple and roared
One hundred Prince songs—every lick and chord—

But I think my friend would have still doubted me.
And now, in the context of this poem, I can see

That my friend’s love was the kind that only burns
In expectation of a fire in return.

He’s no longer my friend. I mourn that loss.
But, in the Trump aftermath, I’ve measured the costs

And benefits of loving those who don’t love
Strangers. After all, I’m often the odd one—

The strangest stranger—in any field or room.
“He was weird” will be carved into my tomb.

But it’s wrong to measure my family and friends
By where their love for me begins or ends.

It’s too easy to keep a domestic score.
This world demands more love than that. More.

So let me ask demanding questions: Will you be
Eyes for the blind? Will you become the feet

For the wounded? Will you protect the poor?
Will you welcome the lost to your shore?

Will you battle the blood-thieves
And rescue the powerless from their teeth?

Who will you be? Who will I become
As we gather in this terrible kingdom?

My friends, I’m not quite sure what I should do.
I’m as angry and afraid and disillusioned as you.

But I do know this: I will resist hate. I will resist.
I will stand and sing my love. I will use my fist

To drum and drum my love. I will write and read poems
That offer the warmth and shelter of any good home.

I will sing for people who might not sing for me.
I will sing for people who are not my family.

I will sing honor songs for the unfamilar and new.
I will visit a different church and pray in a different pew.

I will silently sit and carefully listen to new stories
About other people’s tragedies and glories.

I will not assume my pain and joy are better.
I will not claim my people invented gravity or weather.

And, oh, I know I will still feel my rage and rage and rage
But I won’t act like I’m the only person onstage.

I am one more citizen marching against hatred.
Alone, we are defenseless. Collected, we are sacred.

We will march by the millions. We will tremble and grieve.
We will praise and weep and laugh. We will believe.

We will be courageous with our love. We will risk danger
As we sing and sing and sing to welcome strangers.

©2017, Sherman Alexie

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OccupyForum presents . . . September 11th, Mass Surveillance, and Edward Snowden’s Revelations

Note: Starts at 6:45 pm

OccupyForum presents…

Monday, September 11th, 2017 from 6:45 – 9 pm at the Black and Brown Social Club

474 Valencia between 15th and 16th Street near 16th Street BART

Information, discussion & community! Monday Night Forum!!

OccupyForum is an opportunity for open and respectful dialogue

on all sides of these critically important issues! 

September 11th, Mass Surveillance,

and Edward Snowden’s Revelations

Join us at OccupyForum for films Citizen4 and/or Snowden

Edward Joseph Snowden is an American computer professional, former Central Intelligence Agency employee, and former contractor for the United States government who copied and leaked classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 without authorization. His disclosures revealed numerous global surveillanceprograms, many run by the NSA and the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments. The massive extent of the NSA’s spying, both foreign and domestic, was revealed to the public in a series of detailed disclosures of internal NSA documents beginning in June 2013. Most of the disclosures were leaked by Snowden.

On May 20, 2013, Snowden flew to Hong Kong after leaving his job at an NSA facility in Hawaii, and revealed thousands of classified NSA documents to journalists Glenn GreenwaldLaura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill. Snowden came to international attention after stories based on the material appeared in The Guardian and The Washington Post. Further disclosures were made by other publications including Der Spiegel and The New York Times. Snowden’s identity was made public by The Guardian at his request on June 9, 2013. He explained: “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong.” He added that by revealing his identity he hoped to protect his colleagues from being subjected to a hunt to determine who had been responsible for the leaks. Snowden has said that in the past, whistleblowers had been “destroyed by the experience,” and that he wanted to “embolden others to step forward” by demonstrating that “they can win.”

Concerning the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the ensuing hyper-surveillance of the American populace, Snowden said,

“What the 9/11 Commission found, in the post-mortem, when they looked at all of the classified intelligence from all of the different intelligence agencies, was that we had all of the information we needed as an intelligence community, as a classified sector, as the national defense of the United States to detect this plot. We actually had records of the phone calls from the United States and out. The CIA knew who these guys were. The problem was not that we weren’t collecting information, it wasn’t that we didn’t have enough dots, it wasn’t that we didn’t have a haystack, it was that we did not understand the haystack that we had.”

It’s disingenuous for the government to …exploit the national trauma that we all suffered together…  to justify programs that have never been shown to keep us safe, but cost us liberties and freedoms that we don’t need to give up and our Constitution says we don’t need to give up.”

A subject of controversy, Snowden has been variously called a hero, a whistleblower, a dissident, a traitor and a patriot. His disclosures have fueled debates over mass surveillancegovernment secrecy, and the balance between national security and information privacy.

Time will be allotted for discussion and announcements.

Donations to Occupy Forum to cover costs are encouraged; no one turned away!

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION… (from Wikipedia) (sorry, unedited at this time! Ruthie)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_surveillance

The U.S. government has aggressively sought to dismiss and challenge Fourth Amendment cases raised against it, and has granted retroactive immunity to ISPs and telecoms participating in domestic surveillance. The U.S. military has acknowledged blocking access to parts of The Guardian website for thousands of defense personnel across the country, and blocking the entire Guardianwebsite for personnel stationed throughout Afghanistan, the Middle East, and South Asia.

An October 2014 United Nations report condemned mass surveillance by the United States and other countries as violating multiple international treaties and conventions, that guarantee core privacy rights.

The next major piece of apparatus coming online soon is the Utah Data Center, also known as The Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Data Center. Estimates on its capacity vary, but it is suspected to be in the yottabyte range. It has the capacity to store forever every bit of signal intelligence, (email, fax, video, voice, chat and more), ever collected, anywhere in the world. It is also to be used for decryption of all enciphered content on the Internet. At least three other large facilities are in the process of being built. Such bulk collection of “metadata” is not limited to call logs; all parcels, postcards, and envelopes of mail have been photographed and the images stored.

The gap in the data on US persons is filled by an intelligence sharing agreement known as the Five Eyes Alliance, consisting of the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Member countries in this agreement pass data to one another. Thereby bypassing the Fourth Amendment as well as any local laws forbidding domestic data collection within the other member countries. The UK’s project Tempora collects data from over 200 fiber-optic communications cables. The entire contents of which (phone calls, email, chat, etc.) are stored for a period of 3 days, and the metadata for another 30. Its capabilities are continuously expanding. To quote Lt. General Alexander of the NSA, “Why can’t we collect all the signals, all the time?” (In addition to the Five Eyes Alliance, treaties and intelligence agreements with other countries and with corporations as well.) The NSA partnered with Brazilian companies to enable bulk spying on the Brazilian citizenry. An investigation has just begun to determine whether the Brazilian government knew about or gave permission for this; it is presumed not.

And these laws do have grave consequences. A person could be placed on a Terror Watch List without having any idea how they got on it, or any ability to challenge it. This places severe limits on a person’s freedom of movement, and even future employment prospects. Beyond the laws we have dangerous policies, indefinite detention without charge, years languishing in jail awaiting trial, “enhanced interrogation”, “extraordinary rendition,” be declared an “enemy combatant,” or even the possibility of being murdered by drone aircraft.

Global surveillance disclosures

Main article: Global surveillance disclosures (2013–present)

“I didn’t want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself. All I wanted was for the public to be able to have a say in how they are governed.”– Edward Snowden

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“Soros Slander Reveals Anti-Semitism at the Heart of the Far Right” by Eric Alterman

A poster with US billionaire George Soros is pictured on July 6, 2017 in Szekesfehervar, Hungary. The Hungarian government announced on July 12, 2017 that it would end its billboard campaign targeting Soros, which is considered by Jewish organizations as likely to fuel anti-Semitic sentiments. (Photo by Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images)

Dinesh D’Souza’s book smearing George Soros is factually false, morally reprehensible and nothing new.

September 8, 2017 (billmoyers.com)

This post first appeared at The Nation.

On Aug. 31, convicted felon and right-wing provocateur Dinesh D’Souza tweeted that he thought it would be “interesting to see” the liberal financier and philanthropist George Soros “extradited to Israel & tried for his complicity in Nazi atrocities against Jews.”

The fact that anti-Semitism has become a key element in exciting the passions of “populist” conservatives both here and abroad explains why so many far-right figures are willing to embrace it, regardless of the degree to which it stirs sleeping hatreds and imperils vulnerable Jewish communities.

As he hawks his most recent book, The Big Lie — ironically, a near-perfect description of its contents, which claim to reveal the Nazi roots of the American left — D’Souza has tweeted countless versions of this particular big lie. With childish faux cleverness, he refers to Soros as “Hitler’s collection boy” and claims that Soros “literally worked for Hitler.” Right-wing talk-radio shows, websites and even a Republican gubernatorial candidate from Pennsylvania have parroted lines from his anti-Soros campaign.

D’Souza told a right-wing talk-show host that he was “delighted to uncover” Soros’s history. But, as with almost every alleged discovery made by pro-Trump partisans, it is not only factually false and morally reprehensible; it is also old news. The charge has already been made by such far-right luminaries as Glenn BeckDavid HorowitzAnn CoulterAlex Jones, and Tony Blankley (who retracted it after I asked him to back it up). Perhaps most shamefully of all, former New Republic owner and editor Marty Peretz smeared Soros, calling him “a young cog in the Hitlerite wheel.”

The microscopic kernel of truth in the accusation lies in the fact that Soros survived the Holocaust as a 14-year-old child in Budapest because he was hidden by a Ministry of Agriculture official who had a Jewish wife. Soros’ father, Tivadar Soros, helped protect her, and in return the official agreed to let George pretend to be his Christian godson. On one occasion, rather than be left alone in Budapest for three days, the young teen accompanied the official, who was sent to inventory the estate of a Jewish family that had fled the country. That’s it. The details of this episode are readily available and were covered in Michael Kaufman’s 2002 book Soros: The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire. (I have also written about it in the past.)

The Soros slander appears to derive from a bizarre 60 Minutes interview conducted by Steve Kroft nearly 20 years ago. In his introduction, Kroft intoned: “While hundreds of thousands of Jews were being shipped off to the death camps, George Soros accompanied his phony godfather on his appointed rounds, confiscating property from the Jews.” The accompanying footage showed masses of Hungarian Jews being led away at gunpoint as Kroft spoke. Then he turned to Soros accusingly: “My understanding is you went out with this protector of yours, who swore you were his adopted godson … went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from Jews.” Clearly flummoxed by the moral and intellectual imbecility of the inquiry, Soros offered a stumbling response that failed to clarify the truth.

Soros, as is well-known, is a billionaire banker and major funder of liberal causes. As such, he represents a near-perfect target for anti-Semites seeking to purvey the same sort of poison that has historically characterized propaganda like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The fact that anti-Semitism has become a key element in exciting the passions of “populist” conservatives both here and abroad explains why so many far-right figures are willing to embrace it, regardless of the degree to which it stirs sleeping hatreds and imperils vulnerable Jewish communities. The most worrisome recent manifestation comes from the Hungarian government, which launched a poster campaign featuring a photograph of a smiling Soros with the warning “Don’t let Soros have the last laugh” beneath the words: 99 percent reject illegal 
immigration.

Aware of Hungary’s history in the Holocaust and the fears of its remaining Jewish community, the Israeli ambassador, Yossi Amrani, complained to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán: “The campaign not only evokes sad memories but also sows hatred and fear…. It’s our moral responsibility to raise a voice and call on the relevant authorities to exert their power and put an end to this cycle.” Incredibly, Amrani’s own government implicitly rebuked him by having his statement “clarified.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a visit to Hungary scheduled, and he shares with Orbán — and, of course, with Donald Trump — a commitment to xenophobic fearmongering as a means of shunting aside accusations of corruption, dishonesty and dysfunction. The Israeli Foreign Ministry immediately issued a statement accusing Soros of “continuously undermining Israel’s democratically elected governments” by funding organizations “that defame the Jewish state and seek to deny it the right to defend itself.” Thus, because Soros is a critic of Israeli policies, the government that claims to represent the Jewish people excused an anti-Semitic campaign against a Holocaust refugee conducted by the leader of a nation that participated in the Holocaust. Let that one sink in for a minute.

As with almost everything in American politics today, the charges against Soros are not really about Soros, much less what a 14-year-old boy did on one day during the German occupation of Hungary. D’Souza thinks that “former Nazi collaborator George Soros should be investigated as a sponsor of domestic terrorism” for his alleged sponsorship of antifa. Neither Soros nor his foundations support antifa in any way, but never mind that: At last count, more than 138,000 idiots had signed a petition at whitehouse.gov demanding that President Trump “declare George Soros a terrorist and seize all of his related organizations’ assets under RICO and NDAA law.” Incredibly, this is where our politics has taken us in 2017, a time when the murderous madness that seized so much of Europe in the 1930s and ’40s appears to be repeating itself — farcically, perhaps, but dangerously nevertheless.

ERIC ALTERMAN

Eric Alterman is CUNY distinguished professor of English and journalism at Brooklyn College, media columnist for The Nation, a senior fellow of the Center for American Progress and the author of nine books, including When Presidents Lie: A History of Official Deception and Its Consequences (2004), Kabuki Democracy: The System vs. Barack Obama (2011) and Inequality and One City: Bill de Blasio and the New York Experiment, Year One (2015). Follow him on Twitter: @Eric_Alterman.

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WELLS FARGO, WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?

TUE, 9/5/2017 – by Lainey Hashorva (Occupy.com)

Remember the things we learned from old movies as kids? Some of the ones I still think of, for some reason, are:

  1. When in quicksand, try to stay still or you will sink deeper into the sucking liquid sand.
  2. When running from flying bullets, always zig zag or move serpentine, throwing the shooter off to avoid getting shot.
  3. If forced to take psych meds to sedate you, hide them under your tongue until the nurse leaves.
  4. If you have terrible stage fright, just close your eyes and imagine the audience in their underwear, or naked.
  5. If you need to rob a bank, make sure the teller can read the note clearly so as to not mistake “I have a gun” with “I have a gub.”

I still keep those important tips in mind to this day, and I must say, I was so afraid of vampires that I always, always slept with my neck covered just in case. Speaking of vampires, it’s time for another walk down the dark basement steps with a candelabra to ask the simple question: “Wells Fargo, Why Are You Still Here?”

By now I’m sure you’ve heard the latest news, though it’s not easy to keep up with this runaway stage coach. We’ve obviously learned that the bank robbers are the bank themselves, and they don’t even need a gub. I mean gun.

Remember when someone needed to be kidnapped or subdued and the bad guy always snuck up behind them with a wadded hanky full of chloroform? This would be a perfectly good thing to do to right now to Wells Fargo by its corporate watchdogs. Wait. Are there corporate watchdogs?

The OCC, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, is in place as a big bank sheriff, so to speak, though you may at this point assume they are also in the business of “waste management,” defined in their role as follows: The OCC is an independent bureau within the Department of Treasury, whose mission is to “ensure that national banks and federal savings associations operate in a safe and sound manner, provide fair access to financial services, treat customers fairly, and comply with applicable laws and regulations.”

I’m wondering if maybe the government workers over at the OCC are poolside this summer sipping Singapore Slings and playing with their pool noodles. I for one have bankster outrage fatigue.

Last week, yet again, we were informed that yet another 1.4 million customers have been added to the “Defrauded R US” pile over at Wells, that still more are coming, that an investigation into bogus mortgage fees have been imposed on millions of customers, that auto insurance was falsely applied to consumer accounts at outlandish rates, that bank employees were forced at cut-throat horse-head-in-your-bed pressure to defraud customers on every level, that veterans and active duty military had their cars and homes repossessed unlawfully and that their DumDum lollipops are half the size of regular suckers. The executives at Wells must be like Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory socking away money to far away banks in Deutschland like fast coming chocolates.

Look, we’ve been over it and over it. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is supposedly fighting for its life, but in reality it is primarily a database for complaints made by consumers about the egregious unlawful endeavors of these big banks. The OCC is in charge of actually reading them their rights, which we all know as well by heart from watching too many detective shows as kids. ”You have the right to remain silent….”

So if individuals move their money from Wells Fargo, the bank will notice, but it’s more like a mosquito in the room at night. On the other hand, if investors move their money it’s like someone robbing the place and knocking over a lamp at 3 a.m. If the powers that be actually stood for consumer protection and legal ethics, rules, laws, enforcement and oversight, we’d be seeing a good old fashioned perp walk like we used to with Stumpf and Sloan in ankle chains and orange jumpsuits.

We’d see the charter or license to practice revoked from this criminal institution crawling with cockroaches like in the old Raid commercials. We’d see flashing cameras and bank executives with brown bags over their heads hiding their faces in shame and preparing for scary communal justice in prison with new roommates that grunt and stare.

One of the definitions of bank regulations regarding a state and national bank states: “U.S. banking regulation addresses privacy, disclosure, fraud prevention, anti-money laundering, anti-terrorism, anti-usury lending, and the promotion of lending to lower-income populations. Some individual cities also enact their own financial regulation laws (for example, defining what constitutes usurious lending).”

Also from the ten commandments “Thou shalt not steal.”

From the medical world, “First do no harm.”

From the all-knowing Wikipedia on business ethics:

“Business ethics (also known as corporate ethics) is a form of applied ethics or professional ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment. It applies to all aspects of business conduct and is relevant to the conduct of individuals and entire organizations.[1] These ethics originate from individuals, organizational statements or from the legal system.”

The post goes on:

“Business ethics refers to contemporary organizational standards, principles, sets of values and norms that govern the actions and behavior of an individual in the business organization. Business ethics has normative and descriptive dimensions…. The range and quantity of business ethical issues reflects the interaction of profit-maximizing behavior with non-economic concerns. Adam Smith said, ‘People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.'[2] Governments use laws and regulations to point business behavior in what they perceive to be beneficial directions. Ethics implicitly regulates areas and details of behavior that lie beyond governmental control. The emergence of large corporations with limited relationships and sensitivity to the communities in which they operate accelerated the development of formal ethics regimes.[3]”

That being said, where are the ethics, regulations and oversight today to reign in the runaway stage coach? Wells Fargo doesn’t even need to zigzag because no one is chasing it, no bullets are flying, and they still remain too big to chloroform, though we can try.

One thing you could usually “bank” on in the old days was that the good guy would win or the movie would flop. Details would tie up neatly, the girl roped to the train track was always always rescued by the handsome hero just in the nick of time. One of the best bank robbers of all time (aside from John Stumpf, the former CEO of Wells Fargo), John Dillinger, said, “My buddies wanted to be firemen, farmers or policemen, something like that. Not me, I just wanted to steal people’s money!”

 

Wells Fargo, Wells Fargo crimes, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, forged accounts, John Stumpf, business ethics, Wells Fargo scandal
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HOW SHOULD WE PROTEST NEO-NAZIS? LESSONS FROM GERMAN HISTORY

THU, 9/7/2017 (Occupy.com)

After the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, many people are asking themselves what they should do if Nazis rally in their city. Should they put their bodies on the line in counterdemonstrations? Some say yes.

History says no. Take it from me: I study the original Nazis.

We have an ethical obligation to stand against fascism and racism. But we also have an ethical obligation to do so in a way that doesn’t help the fascists and racists more than it hurts them.

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF

Charlottesville was right out of the Nazi playbook. In the 1920s, the Nazi Party was just one political party among many in a democratic system, running for seats in Germany’s Parliament. For most of that time, it was a small, marginal group. In 1933, riding a wave of popular support, it seized power and set up a dictatorship. The rest is well-known.

It was in 1927, while still on the political fringes, that the Nazi Party scheduled a rally in a decidedly hostile location – the Berlin district of Wedding. Wedding was so left-of-center that the neighborhood had the nickname “Red Wedding,” red being the color of the Communist Party. The Nazis often held rallies right where their enemies lived, to provoke them.

The people of Wedding were determined to fight back against fascism in their neighborhood. On the day of the rally, hundreds of Nazis descended on Wedding. Hundreds of their opponents showed up too, organized by the local Communist Party. The antifascists tried to disrupt the rally, heckling the speakers. Nazi thugs retaliated. There was a massive brawl. Almost 100 people were injured.

I imagine the people of Wedding felt they had won that day. They had courageously sent a message: Fascism was not welcome.

But historians believe events like the rally in Wedding helped the Nazis build a dictatorship. Yes, the brawl got them media attention. But what was far, far more important was how it fed an escalating spiral of street violence. That violence helped the fascists enormously.

Violent confrontations with antifascists gave the Nazis a chance to paint themselves as the victims of a pugnacious, lawless left. They seized it.

It worked. We know now that many Germans supported the fascists because they were terrified of leftist violence in the streets. Germans opened their morning newspapers and saw reports of clashes like the one in Wedding. It looked like a bloody tide of civil war was rising in their cities. Voters and opposition politicians alike came to believe the government needed special police powers to stop violent leftists. Dictatorship grew attractive. The fact that the Nazis themselves were fomenting the violence didn’t seem to matter.

One of Hitler’s biggest steps to dictatorial power was to gain emergency police powers, which he claimed he needed to suppress leftist violence.

THE LEFT TAKES THE HEAT

In the court of public opinion, accusations of mayhem and chaos in the streets will, as a rule, tend to stick against the left, not the right.

This was true in Germany in the 1920s. It was true even when opponents of fascism acted in self-defense or tried to use relatively mild tactics, such as heckling. It is true in the United States today, where even peaceful rallies against racist violence are branded riots in the making.

Today, right extremists are going around the country staging rallies just like the one in 1927 in Wedding. According to the civil rights advocacy organization the Southern Poverty Law Center, they pick places where they know antifascists are present, like university campuses. They come spoiling for physical confrontation. Then they and their allies spin it to their advantage.

I watched this very thing happen steps from my office on the University of Washington campus. Last year, a right extremist speaker came. He was met by a counterprotest. One of his supporters shot a counterprotester. On stage, in the moments after the shooting, the right extremist speaker claimed that his opponents had sought to stop him from speaking “by killing people.” The fact that it was one of the speaker’s supporters, a right extremist and Trump backer, who engaged in what prosecutors now claim was an unprovoked and premeditated act of violence, has never made national news.

We saw this play out after Charlottesville, too. President Donald Trump said there was violence “on both sides.” It was an incredible claim. Heyer, a peaceful protester, and 19 other people were intentionally hit by a neo-Nazi driving a car. He seemed to portray Charlottesville as another example of what he has referred to elsewhere as “violence in our streets and chaos in our communities,” including, it seems, Black Lives Matter, which is a nonviolent movement against violence. He stirred up fearTrump recently said that police are too constrained by existing law.

President Trump tried it again during the largely peaceful protests in Boston – he called the tens of thousands who gathered there to protest racism and Nazism “anti-police agitators,” though later, in a characteristic about-face, he praised them.

President Trump’s claims are hitting their mark. A CBS News poll found that a majority of Republicans thought his description of who was to blame for the violence in Charlottesville was “accurate.”

This violence, and the rhetoric about it coming from the administration, are echoes – faint but nevertheless frightening echoes – of a well-documented pattern, a pathway by which democracies devolve into dictatorships.

THE ANTIFA

There’s an additional wrinkle: the antifa. When Nazis and white supremacists rally, the antifa are likely to show up, too.

“Antifa” is short for antifascists, though the name by no means includes everyone who opposes fascism. The antifa is a relatively small movement of the far left, with ties to anarchism. It arose in Europe’s punk scene in the 1980s to fight neo-Nazism.

The antifa says that because Nazism and white supremacy are violent, we must use any means necessary to stop them. This includes physical means, like what they did on my campus: forming a crowd to block ticket-holders from entering a venue to hear a right extremist speak.

The antifa’s tactics often backfire, just like those of Germany’s communist opposition to Nazism did in the 1920s. Confrontations escalate. Public opinion often blames the left no matter the circumstances.

WHAT TO DO?

One solution: Hold a counterevent that doesn’t involve physical proximity to the right extremists. The Southern Poverty Law Center has published a helpful guide. Among its recommendations: If the alt-right rallies, “organize a joyful protest” well away from them. Ask people they have targeted to speak. But “as hard as it may be to resist yelling at alt-right speakers, do not confront them.”

This does not mean ignoring Nazis. It means standing up to them in a way that denies them a chance for bloodshed.

The cause Heather Heyer died for is best defended by avoiding the physical confrontation that the people who are responsible for her death want.

Originally published by The Conversation

Fascism, Trump, Political violence, anti-fascism, Nazi, Charlottesville attack, Neo-Nazis
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Updates & Announcements for Friday, Sept. 8 – Tuesday, Sept. 12 (from Adrienne Fong)

See Indybay for additional events: https://www.indybay.org/calendar/?page_id=12

Will be sending info out on two upcoming “community meetings” on TASERS shortly. 

UPDATES:

A.  Check out this powerful video, made by the young folks at 67 Sueños!

 It includes testimony from people who have witnessed and experienced SWAT raids, as well as information on what Urban Shield is and why we all must come out today to STOP URBAN SHIELD. (See item #2) 

https://www.facebook.com/67suenosss/videos/947816928719477/?hc_ref=ARQU9NqhyHfKVP3cPy3xbTmAwacJMAYYXx3WWefCFaLq850CrGp4Y594UKvpV-w1Adw&pnref=story 

B.  What the Media isn’t Telling You About North Korea’s Missile Tests (September 4, 2017)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/04/what-the-media-isnt-telling-you-about-north-koreas-missile-tests/

C.  CPMC CEO Bows to Grassroots Pressure, Announces Two Month Delay in St. Luke’s Patient Eviction(September 6)

http://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/entry/cpmc-ceo-bows-to-pressure-announces-two-month-delay-in-patient-eviction 

Occupy

~ San Francisco ~ 

Occupy San Francisco Bulletin Board

 http://www.occupysf.net

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Friday, September 8 – Tuesday, September 12

Friday, September 8

1.  Friday, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, West Berkeley Shellmound  Press Conference and Prayer Ceremony

1900 4th Street
Berkeley

2-3pm – Press Conference with Chochenyo Ohlone leader Corrina Gould and Winnemem Wintu Chief Caleen Sisk to protect California sacred sites and endangered salmon runs from development.
3-4pm – Prayer Ceremony
·

Join us in protecting over 5000 years of history and culture in the Bay Area. The West Berkeley Shellmound is over 5000 years old. It is a village site, cemetery and sacred site to the Ohlone people. It is currently under threat of being developed into 5 stories of condos and retail!

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1621774291218851/  

2.  Friday, 4:00pm – 7:00pm All Out to Stop Urban Shield!

Alameda County Offices Board of Supervisors
1221 Oak St.
Oakland

The weekend of September 8th, Alameda County will host the controversial SWAT training, war games and weapons expo, Urban Shield. We will gather on September 8th, across communities, to end it & resist police militarization around the world!” 

With the current manifestations of violence under the Trump administration, it is more important than ever to urge the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to end this racist, ableist, and Islamaphobic event and invest in emergency preparedness that benefits the health and wellbeing of our communities.

4PM // Rally at Alameda County Board of Supervisor’s Office, 1221 Oak St., Oakland CA
5PM // Community Fair at South Amphitheater Lake Merritt

Accessibility information: Space is wheelchair accessible and we will provide ASL translation.

Host: Stop Urban Shield

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/115728319054837/

3.  Friday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Jeremy Schaill’s “Dirty Wars”

Niiebyl-Proctor Library
6501 Telegraph (@ 65th St.)
Oakland

“Dirty Wars” (2013) Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill travels to Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and other countries where the United States has conducted military action. It’s the dirty secret of the War on Terror: the rules of engagement have fundamentally changed. Today drone strikes, night raids and U.S. government targeted killings occur in corners across the globe, killing untold numbers of civilians. Film followed by discussion. 

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/08/30/18802400.php

Saturday, September 9

4.  Saturday, 2:00pm, DEFEND DACA! (there will be a march)

Oscar Grant Plaza
1 Frank H. Ogawa Plz. (nr. 12th Street BART)
Oakland

March will begin and End at Oscar Grant Plz.(approximately 30min to 1 hour long)

*** NOTE: This will be a RADICAL space. ICE officers, police, deportation service members, etc. ARE NOT WELCOME. And folks who support them are not welcome either. We are planning on creating a safe and inclusive environment–anyone who supports or is apart of law enforcement or other deportation services will disrupt the space that we are aiming to create. Be cautious and defend those under attack at whatever means necessary. ***

Immigrants have been under attack within Amerikkka for decades, now–it’s nothing new. However, the Trump Administration has recently sent out and initiated threats on our undocumented siblings, and it’s time that we show them solidarity and fight back against the normalization of Trump’s cruelty and bigotry. 

We invite all undocamented folks, families and allies to join us in a rally and march to show love and support for #DACA. We must show those affected that we stand with them, and those making the decision that we’ve already made it for them. We are here to stay! 

Please join us, this will be a peaceful demonstration centered around showing endless support and love for our community members who are under attack by this administration and ICE.  

Let’s show our material support by feeding the people. We will have Medics out there we will have legal support out there but let’s also show that we can feed the people when we provide food its not just feeding our stomach by breaking bread with people it also feeds the mind and heart an opens a form of communication that has a ripple effect that is often unseen and unspoken so bring a dish I and many others will organically be bringing food

If you are able to help provide bottled water/granola bars, OR if you or someone you know would be fit to speak at the rally, please contact 

wassgoodlucy@gmail.com

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/275734229579645/

Sunday, September 10 

5.  Sunday, 2:30pm – 4:30pm, “The Plot to Scapegoat Russia” How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Russia

Eric Quezada Center for Culture & Politics
518 Valencia St. (nr. 16th Street BART)
SF

Daniel Kovalik has been a labor and human rights lawyer since graduating from Columbia Law School in 1993. He received the David W. Mills Mentoring Fellowship from Stanford Law School, has written extensively for the Huf ngton Post and Counterpunch, and has lectured throughout the world.

His book,  “The Plot to Scapegoat Russia” is about the escalating “New Cold War” that could easily turn hot, whether by intention, misunderstanding or accident. 

Free and open to the public, but donations to defray expenses are always welcome! For more information: info@ncalccds.org; (415) 863-6637 

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/08/05/18801243.php 

Monday, September 11

16th Anniversary of 9-11, September 11, 2001

6.  Monday, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, Speak-out-Defend Families / Children of Fukushima & Stop Restarting NUKE Plants!

San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St. (@ California)
SF

Defenders of the survivors of the Fukushima meltdown and contamination will be rallying and speaking out against the effort by the Abe government to reopen other nuclear plants from throughout Japan and also stop compensation for families living outside the area. The Abe government has also made a large number of people who voluntarily fled the Fukushima area after the 2011 nuclear disaster disappear by cutting them from official lists of evacuees. 

The government has said that Fukushima has been “decontaminated” and also that the people can “overcome” radiation.They have raised the limits of radioactive contamination for the people of Fukushima and are seeking to repress anti-nuclear activists and journalists who are exposing the truth about this ongoing disaster.  

They have raised the limits of radioactive contamination for the people of Fukushima and are seeking to repress anti-nuclear activists and journalists who are exposing the truth about this ongoing disaster. 

The government is also seeking to dump 770,000 of tons of contaminated radioactive water into the Pacific ocean despite opposition of Japanese fishermen and the local communities.

Sponsor: No Nukes Action Committee

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/09/07/18802645.php

7.  Monday, 3:00pm – 10:00pm, 9/11 Truth Film Festival – Why 9/11 Truth Still Matters

Grand Lake Theater
3200 Grand Ave.
Oakland

Suggested donation: $15.00

Doors open at 2 pm, Films, Speakers, and Informational Tabling in the Lobby

Keynote speaker Dr. William F. Pepper is a human rights lawyer most known for his defense of James Earl Ray in the trial for the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. Pepper is also the chief attorney for Sirhan Sirhan and has worked for over a decade to get a ruling for a retrial for the murder of Senator Robert Kennedy. Pepper has represented governments and heads of state, and has appeared as an expert witness on international law issues. In his 2016 book “The Plot to Kill King: The Truth Behind the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.”, Pepper reveals dramatic new details of the night of the murder of Martin King, the trial, and why Ray was chosen to take the fall for a government-sanctioned assassination. His findings make the book one of the most important of our time—the uncensored story of the murder of an American hero that contains disturbing revelations about the obscure inner workings of our government and how it continues, even today, to conceal the truth.

Additional speakers include authors Dr. Anthony HallDr. Kevin BarrettDr. Peter PhillipsMickey Huff, Director of Project Censored.

Films:

 “9/11 Inside Out: An Expert’s Guide to the 9/11 Conspiracy”

· “Stand for the Truth: A Government Researcher Speaks Out”

· “Calling OUT Bravo-7: Firefighters’ Perspectives of High-Rise Fires and 9/11”

· Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth answer the question: “Why Revisit 9/11?”

· General Wesley Clark reveals U.S. plans to invade “Seven Countries in Five Years”

· James Corbett’s “9/11 Suspects”

· “The ‘Conspiracy Theory’ Conspiracy”

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/08/31/18802441.php

8.  Monday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Meeting & Potluck: Gear up to show up for Kayla Moore’s family!

Grassroots House
2022 Blake St.
Berkeley

Want to help gear up for the Moore family’s October court dates?

The J4KM Coalition invites you to come gather with us to get organized for the trial. We’ll be planning an action to rally community support for the family and to amplify our demands: It’s time to get the racist, transphobic and ableist Berkeley Police Department out of crisis response and to invest in community alternatives! 

Tuesday, September 12

9.  Tuesday, 5:30pm – 7:30pm, Save City College General Assembly

CCSF Ocean Campus
MUB, Room 370
Phelan Ave. nr. Ocean Ave.
SF

Discussion and strategy planning to oppose building 1100 units of predominantly luxury condos on the Balboa Reservoir, currently used for parking at Ocean Campus and to support the prompt construction of the long planned Performing Arts Education Center. 

Many faculty, students and community members are concerned that this mostly luxury housing development would privatize a large parcel of irreplaceable public land, deepening the gentrification of San Francisco. It would also compromise transportation options for students, creating a new barrier to rebuilding enrollment; make the lives of part-time faculty even more difficult; and aggravate traffic congestion. 

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/08/29/18802358.php

10.  Tuesday, 6:00pm – 7:00pm, Hey, FCC: The Bay Area Demands an Open and Affordable Internet

543 Howard St.
SF

Ajit Pai, the Trump-appointed Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), wants to kill net neutrality and give control of the internet to companies like Comcast and AT&T. This move would threaten economic opportunity, free speech and online dissent for communities of color. 

Now he’s coming to San Francisco for a “fireside chat” with tech executives about expanding access and bridging the digital divide for underserved communities.

Join us in telling Chairman Pai: There can be no conversation about opportunity online without real net neutrality. Our communities depend on a free and open internet to innovate, organize and communicate. Now more than ever, our democracy depends on our ability to connect with one another without censorship or interference. 

We will gather outside Galvanize, the venue where Pai will be speaking

Host: Tech Workers Coalition + 13 more groups

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1346464892118674 

11.  Tuesday, 6:45pm – 9:00pm, Refuse Fascism Bay Area Organizing Meeting for NOV. 4

290 Dolores St.
SF

Come to the organizing and help build for November 4th (and beyond)!

ON NOVEMBER 4, 2017

Take To The Streets And Public Squares in cities and towns across the country continuing day after day and night after night—not stopping—until our DEMAND is met:
This Nightmare Must End:
The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!
In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!

Read the full Call to Action for November 4 https://refusefascism.org/

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1933300730280164/

12.  Tuesday, 6:45pm – 9:00pm, Displacement & Gentrification: How did we get here and how do we stop it?

Sierra Club
2101 Webster St, Suite 1300
Oakland

Ticket info: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3074762  $5-$10

Space limited to 66 people

Gentrification comes up constantly in the Bay Area, but few of us feel equipped to take action against it. Is it inevitable? What can we do now to prevent displacement? 

This SURJ workshop will put gentrification and displacement in a historical context so we understand the racialized political and economic drivers. You’ll hear about past and current struggles led by communities of color to preserve their homes and communities. 

Facilitators from SURJ – Oakland/Bay Area will present analysis based on the work of Causa Justa :: Just Cause

Host: SURJ – Bay Area

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1383084451741104/

13.  Tuesday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, A Healthy Dose of Struggle

First Congregational Church of Oakland
2501 Harrison (enter on Harrison St.)
Oakland

A Healthy Dose of Struggle: Women and trans people on the front lines of the fight for healthcare.

While the recent congressional debates over healthcare have been dominated by white men with state-sponsored health coverage, the impacts of spikes in insurance rates, the erosion of Medicaid, and restrictions on reproductive health access will overwhelmingly be felt by women and transgender people. Join CPE for a discussion about those impacts and to learn about the front lines of the fight for healthcare.

Our conversation will be led by:
Sari Bilick, Public Health Organizer, Human Impact Partners
Liz Derias-Tyehimba, Bridges to Health Manager, The Greenlining Institute
Layidua Salazar, Board Member, ACCESS Women’s Health Justice 

Host: The Center for Political Education

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1547921115270121/

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Clinton Already Working On Follow-Up Book Casting Blame For Failures Of First (theonion.com)

CHAPPAQUA, NY—Saying it would provide a candid account of her experiences writing an unsuccessful tell-all, sources confirmed Thursday that Hillary Clinton is already working on a follow-up book casting blame for the failures of her previous memoir What Happened. “From my agent negotiating that underwhelming deal with Simon & Schuster, to the graphic designer’s lackluster cover art, to my so-called supporters who couldn’t be bothered to drop $17.99 for the hardcover copy—everyone had a hand in undermining my last book’s success,” reads a passage from the introduction to Clinton’s What Also Happened, which repeatedly decries her prior book’s “indecipherable” font and dedicates an entire chapter to lashing out at her copy editor for making her look like “an idiot third-grader.” “I’ll never forget how Amazon buried me and how Barnes & Noble completely sabotaged me by displaying my book way in the back in that no man’s land by the CDs. Frankly, it’s obvious I got screwed on all sides.” Accusing them of stealing her spotlight, the book reportedly concludes with a long list of every other celebrity who published a memoir in the past year.

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New book: “The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives”

by Jesse Eisinger (Author)

From Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Jesse Eisinger, a blistering account of corporate greed and impunity, and the reckless, often anemic response from the Department of Justice.

Why were no bankers put in prison after the financial crisis of 2008? Why do CEOs seem to commit wrongdoing with impunity? The problem goes beyond banks deemed “Too Big to Fail” to almost every large corporation in America—to pharmaceutical companies and auto manufacturers and beyond.

The Chickenshit Club—an inside reference to prosecutors too scared of failure and too daunted by legal impediments to do their jobs—explains why. A character-driven narrative, the book tells the story from inside the Department of Justice. The complex and richly reported story spans the last decade and a half of prosecutorial fiascos, corporate lobbying, trial losses, and culture shifts that have stripped the government of the will and ability to prosecute top corporate executives.

The book begins in the 1970s, when the government pioneered the notion that top corporate executives, not just seedy crooks, could commit heinous crimes and go to prison. The book travels to trading desks on Wall Street, to corporate boardrooms and the offices of prosecutors and F.B.I agents. These revealing looks provide context for the evolution of the Justice Department’s approach to pursuing corporate criminals through the early aughts and into the Justice Department of today.

Exposing one of the most important scandals of our time, The Chickenshit Club provides a clear, detailed explanation as to how our Justice Department has come to avoid, bungle, and mismanage the fight to bring these alleged criminals to justice.

(Amazon.com)

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