Chapters & organizers,
Plans are coming together for tour events beginning next week, January 5 -17.
Chicago & San Francisco: January 5-10
Los Angeles & NYC: January 11-17
In addition to this guidance, we’re also attaching a letter to organizations which all chapters can adapt to do outreach with organizations.
Please report back to us on how you use it, and what response you receive.
December 20, 2017
To: RefuseFascism Chapter Steering Committees & Leaders,
We are writing today with orientation and guidance for the January Refuse Fascism Tour.
The speeches presented to the December 10 Refuse Fascism Meetings prioritized the following among the three prongs of our December-January Plan:
The first part of our plan for this next period is a program of outreach, active investigation with many different kinds of people and organizations. This includes ideological struggle over the necessity humanity faces with the Trump/Pence Regime and what is the way forward. And this includes polemics on social media and our website comparing and contrasting different analyses and solutions.
The key part of this is a tour that will go to Chicago and the Bay Area in California from January 5 through January 9 or 10; and then be in NYC and Los Angeles from January 11 through January 16 or 17.
The main purpose of this tour is outreach, “active investigation,” and on that basis forging working relations and unity towards the objective of driving the regime from power.Active investigation is a way of engaging and struggling with, and uniting with people and organizations about what is the problem that humanity confronts with Trump/Pence Regime and what must be done to stop its drive to consolidate fascism in this country which would have potentially existential stakes for humanity. This is what is meant by “ideological struggle” referred to above. On the basis of serious discussion that digs into the reality we face, we have an objective of forging working unity – including for some next steps.
The tour will also be an opportunity to forge and train wider rungs of leadership of Refuse Fascism, including strengthening the chapter leading groups. Secondarily, the tour will be an opportunity for the chapters to invite people broadly to a mass meeting to find out about Refuse Fascism, to join it, and to take up its program including joining the protests to mark the January 20 protest on the anniversary of the Trump/Pence inauguration.
Why is this outreach and active investigation the central mission of the tour? Because we recognize that we will not be able to drive out the whole regime without the active participation of a critical mass of people who have disproportionate influence in different sectors of society and without our partnering with diverse organizations. We recognize that Refuse Fascism has not broken through on this front, nor have we devoted the persistent attention to initiating and struggling for these strategic relationships. The tour will be a serious effort to do so – through a process of leading and learning: putting forward our understanding of the problem we face with the Trump/Pence fascist regime and our program for struggle through massive and sustained political mobilization of people taking to the streets as the way to bring about the regime’s removal from power, and drawing people out and learning from peopleon that basis. The local chapter leadership and core activists will need to focus their main attention to this aspect of the tour – reaching out and securing the necessary meetings and engagements.
We should be inviting people to dialogue and engage with Refuse Fascism on this basis – struggling in a good way with people and organizations who do want this nightmare to end, including organizations and communities who are fighting on different fronts against the attacks of the regime. We will put forth our understanding and struggle for what we understand to be true. We will seek to learn – not just from people’s objections (and we should really hear and address these); but most of all from people’s ideas insights as to the ways and means for how they, and many other diverse forces, can contribute to a process whereby eventually millions of people are moved to take to the streets. We will enter into this engagement understanding that there are many different ways that people can and will contribute to a whole process that feeds into the millions in the streets and all that will be involved in creating the mass movement from below to drive out the regime. We seek to lead and learn to forge unity towards that goal.
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Here we want to back up, and briefly state the bedrock principles and analysis we are standing on which provides the basis for many people to engage and join in this great endeavor. This is our point of departure for inviting to and guiding the meetings we need to have through the course of the tour.
From its founding, Refuse Fascism has put forward an analysis that the Trump/Pence Regime as a whole is a fascist regime that is relentlessly pursuing and advancing in consolidating fascism in this country. We have put forward a clear and accurate picture of what fascism is – how it transforms all of society; how it changes the rules of governance; how it essentially eliminates democratic rights, suppressing the truth and all opposition; how it relies on a virulent thuggish movement; how fascism has direction and momentum, even as it sequences its program; and, very importantly, how accommodating and normalizing fascism leads to great horrors.
Refuse Fascism has supported resistance to the many fascist attacks on the people and the environment sharply pointing out two things:  that this resistance needs to become broader, deeper and more determined; and most important,  that this resistance is necessary but not sufficient to stop the advance of fascism, but that a movement must be built with the objective of driving the fascist regime from power. And, that this can only happen through the mass action of ultimately millions of people in the streets creating the kind of political crisis that will compel all factions within the established power structure to respond to our demand that the whole regime be removed from power.
This analysis and this solution are borne out by events of the past year. This is so even as we have not yet been able to succeed in rousing and rallying the necessary masses of people who abhor the Trump/Regime to break with politics and life as they have known it to undertake the type of “out of the framework” sustained massive mobilization that is required.
The first of the three talks presented to Refuse Fascism on 12/10 (which is now on the website) puts forth that we have been, and still are, working on the contradiction between the profound outrage and turmoil that is deeply felt among many millions in this country and the relative (even when precarious) comfort and stability of their lives and their reliance on the official channels of politics in this country (elections, reliance on the Democratic Party, “faith” in the checks and balances of what has been “normal” governance of this country). Thus far, people in their masses have not stepped out of these bounds to throw in with the kind of struggle that is demanded if we are to drive out a fascist regime. They have been led by the Democratic Party and those who follow it (even with some “criticism”) to believe that the only the path to ending the horror of Trump/Pence is the electoral road, which also can include a “protest politics” aimed only at pressuring and petitioning the government. The problem with this is twofold:  what has been the “normal” mode of life and normal way of thinking about and even “working” for change is coming to an end; and , if people really understand that we are facing fascism, with all that means, in the most powerful country armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons which are in the sole hands of the President, then politics-as-usual is way wide of the mark and endangers all of humanity, not to mention the suffering and terror Trump/Pence are inflicting on huge sections of people even now.
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To summarize the tour’s objectives and components:
 To deepen engagement with and involvement of individuals with disproportionate influence (thought leaders, prominent individuals, major donors)
—Meetings and salons need to be set up in advance
 To forge and deepen strategic partnerships and relationships with other organized forces
—There should an invitational meeting to organizations, to people with disproportionate influence who are part of organization (eg: a religious leader, or union official who may be coming initially representing only themselves.) [A letter to adapt and use to invite to these meetings is attached.]
—Where possible the Faith Task Force and Student Task Force should each hold a meeting that the Tour attends.
 To strengthen the chapters and their leadership
—There should be a by-invitation meeting with the chapter core and key active members
 To expand and deepen the commitment of the broader active base of these chapters
—There should be one public mass meeting to come hear representatives of the National Tour and to take up the fight to and the nightmare and drive out the regime
 A key overall theme and objective will be for RefuseFascism.org to learn much more deeply about the political terrain we are acting on, what it will take to break through in bringing forward the millions to drive out the Trump/Pence Regime, and to forge greater capacity to do so.
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The schedule will have to be set in each city in consultation with the Tour.
But the idea would be for:
- A meeting with Chapter leadership when the tour arrives to discuss, and if necessary adjust, the plans the tour.
- A meeting to which representatives of different organizations are invited engage with the national Refuse Fascism national tour and to strategize about how to work together to stop a fascist America. It would be best if this were on a weekday (so that religious leaders and representatives of organizations can attend). [A letter to adapt and use to invite to these meetings is attached.]
- One-on-one meetings set up with individuals who have disproportionate influence in their communities, fields, etc; thought leaders; and potential donors. Because there will be several people on the Tour, more than one meeting can be set up at the same time.
- A mass meeting to hear and discuss presentations from the National Tour (this should be on either Saturday or Sunday).
- A meeting with students and youth, which should include the Student Task-Force where possible.
- A meeting with members (and potential members) of the Faith Task Force.
- A by-invitation meeting with the core of the chapter – this should be expanded beyond the steering committees to involve others who have taken responsibility for the mission of RF.
In making these plans, it is extremely important to proceed from what it will take to drive out the regime in deciding which organizations and individuals to focus on. This is in contrast to proceeding only from the forces that we know and have worked with up-til-now.
For example, who are the religious leaders or writers or academics or artists in your area who have spoken out and made deep critiques of the Regime, even if you have never met with them before? It is likely that there will be religious leaders, academics, and people in arts and social service organizations who would be interested in attending but will not be able to do so in an official capacity by the time of the meeting. That is fine, these meetings are the beginning of a process. It might bring more people to the table if the invitation to the open meeting, or to a task force meeting, was issued by Refuse Fascism together with broader forces. Perhaps a well known person would even host the meeting at their religious, cultural, academic, etc., institution.
Who are the people – and what are the scenes – that include potential high-level donors to RefuseFascism.org, even if they don’t currently know about this movement? How to work with the students who have been involved but also reach out much, much more broadly to many who have not yet taken up this movement to come together and seriously consider and get involved in their effort?
Everyone who has participated in RefuseFascism.org has made a vital contribution and should be reached back to and involved and especially those who have stepped up to take responsibility for leading this organization are extremely precious! Strengthening all of this is a critical aim of this Tour and will have a lot to do with whether we succeed in doing what humanity truly needs us to do. But, just as critical for the tour will be our ability to reach out far beyond our current circles of participation – both to people very broadly who are not currently organized, but also very importantly to those who have disproportionate influence of various kinds who can help reach out on a much greater scale.
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We will send info on logistics separately. But, recognize that there will be housing, transportation, and meeting place needs. Providing for all these needs are an excellent way to involve new people, even as attention must be paid to the safety and well being of the tour and Refuse Fascism leaders, and that requires knowing and vetting people who are providing these needs.
We will speak with you directly about the particulars of housing needs.
A last point of orientation and organization:
The tour – especially what we have focused on in this guidance: outreach and active investigation, work with organizations and key individuals should be the central focus of the chapter steering committees.
But recall that there are two other prongs the plan for now through January 21stlaid out in the 12/10 talk about plans for the next six weeks. These are:  mass political protest that confronts the regime (including possibly the firing of Mueller) as well as “ACT-UP” type actions Refuse Fascism initiates and participating in inaugural anniversary protests on January 20th; and  promotion of and engagement with the talk from Bob Avakian, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America – A Better World Is Possible. The holidays are a great time for people to dig into watching and discussing the talk and Q&A.
One person from chapter leadership should liaison with and give some guidance to other people in the chapters who should be given responsibility for these aspects of work over the next period – including for the mass meeting during the tour. In the immediate situation, we hope that Refuse Fascism chapters are out relating to the actions of the Dreamers who are occupying offices this week.
Last, a new Call will be ready by the time of the National Tour – by January 4.
We will be calling and talking with you before Christmas about the content of this letter.
The Refuse Fascism National Office Team
PS – Also enclosed in this email is a letter that can be adapted as needed and sent out as an invite to the mass meeting that we are inviting other organized forces and leaders to during the tour.