“It can’t happen here”? Sorry—It IS Happening Here

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“It can’t happen here”? Sorry—It IS Happening Here

In One Year, the Trump/Pence Regime Has Made Huge Leaps in Forging the Repressive Machinery of a Fully Fascist Society

Reprinted from Revolution 

INTRODUCTION

Since the Trump/Pence regime came to power, we have been hit by shock after shock, day after day, leaving millions reeling and fearful. Many worry aloud that “this is not the country I thought it was,” and ordinary people as well as writers and intellectuals point with alarm to not only the close relationships, but also to the similarities, between Trump/Pence and “authoritarian” regimes like Erdoğan in Turkey, Putin in Russia, Duterte in the Philippines. Millions agonize about where things are heading and what to do about it, and at different points, thousands, tens of thousands, and even millions have taken to the streets in protest.

Yet even as these fears persist and deepen, and the word “fascism” and the image of Hitler come to mind and even pop up in the public discourse, people hold, and cling, to the belief that “It can’t happen here!” “Not in the USA,” not with its long history of democratic rule, entrenched institutions, its system of checks and balances. People hope—and are encouraged by Democrats and others of influence and authority to believe—that there are mechanisms within the normal workings of the system that will either constrain or remove this regime before it has done irreversible damage.

This line of thinking is a way of reconstructing a “comfort zone” within the mounting horror—things are bad, but surely “the worst” won’t come to pass.

But… a sober survey of the past 11 months shows that it is “happening here”! Trump and Pence are erecting the legal, political, and ideological architecture of a fascist society, carrying out real atrocities today, but even worse, laying the groundwork for dramatic and catastrophic leaps. They have made enormous strides in suppressing political protest; undermining freedom of speech, assembly, and the press; attacking science and critical thinking; galvanizing a mindless and hateful fascist movement; and in these and many other ways, moving towards consolidating power in their hands, in preparation for a full fascist clampdown on society as a whole that will be extremely difficult to reverse or undo.

What they are doing in fact is carrying out a profound transformation in the form of capitalist-imperialist rule in the U.S., from bourgeois democracy1 to bourgeois fascism.

The Trump/Pence regime has not “shut the door” yet in terms of implementing fascism. But there is direction and momentum in what they have accomplished.

In this article we will focus on some key examples (and by no means all) of the regime’s multipronged fascistic attacks:

  1. On progressive, radical and revolutionary individuals, movements, and organizations;
  2. On institutions that to any degree promote critical thinking, and/or which contradict the official mythology of the regime; and
  3. On fundamental democratic rights and civil liberties, like freedom of speech and assembly.

PART 1:
The Fascist Forces, Led by the Trump/Pence Regime, Are Targeting Social Movements That Could Become Centers of Mass Resistance to Their Program

A central feature of fascism is the criminalization of all political protest, and the outright crushing of radical and revolutionary opponents. That is exactly what the Trump/Pence regime has been moving toward for the last 11 months.

  • Inauguration Day ushered in a qualitative leap in repression; 230 protesters were swept up (“kettled”) by DC police, many beaten and/or doused with pepper spray, denied medical aid, water, or access to bathrooms for nine hours, and then arrested. That in itself was not unusual; modern U.S. history has dozens of examples—at least—of such repressive assaults on protesters. But instead of the misdemeanor charges that typically follow such arrests, 194 people were ultimately hit by serious charges; most face multiple felonies carrying up to 60 years in prison.2

    In the first of a series of federal court trials of these defendants, the government openly stated it had no evidence that those on trial injured anyone or damaged property, but held them responsible for all damage that allegedly occurred that day because they were part of the protest and “made a choice … [not] to walk away” when others allegedly committed illegal acts.

    These first six defendants were acquitted by a jury of all charges—an important victory. But in the course of the trial the judge made a number of comments that essentially supported the prosecution’s theory of collective guilt, and at this point the government plans to go forward with the trials of the remaining 188 defendants under this same fascist theory. If these prosecutions succeed, it will raise the stakes enormously for anyone considering joining a public protest.

  • Four days into his term, Trump green-lighted the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a dangerous threat to Native people’s water supply and cultural sites, and to the environment of the Dakotas region. Thousands of Native Americans and supporters formed encampments of nonviolent protest. Over many months they withstood brutal attacks and hundreds of arrests by state police. But with Trump in office, the federal government—the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force—turned its sights on opponents of the pipeline. The implication that even nonviolent resistance to oppression is “terrorism” is characteristic of fascist states, and paves the way for them to deny protesters any legal and human rights.

    The next move came on February 18, as six activists were indicted on federal charges carrying up to 15 years in jail. Then on February 21, North Dakota police coordinated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to attack a Standing Rock encampment, evicting hundreds. An activist tweeted: “Knifing tipis and pointing loaded rifles at the occupants. It’s the 1800s all over again.”

    All this amounted to a concerted effort to crush these protests once and for all. And this did not end with the violent eviction of the protest encampments. On August 22, 2017, Energy Transfer Partners LP (co-owner of the pipeline) filed a $300 million RICO (i.e., criminal conspiracy) lawsuit against Greenpeace, StandEarth, and other environmental groups that fought against DAPL, alleging that the protests were “eco-terrorism” in violation of the U.S. Patriot Act and caused “negative publicity” that cost them billions of dollars.

    The suit is being handled by Kasowitz, Benson, Torres LLP, a firm led by Trump’s personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz. It is part of a wave of “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation” (“SLAPPs”) being filed by large corporations that essentially argue that publicizing and opposing the threats posed and damage done by corporations is unlawful.

    A victory in this suit would have devastating implications for public protest. But even if it is defeated, fighting such a lawsuit can cost millions of dollars—petty cash for large corporations, but a crushing burden for activist groups.

  • Highly repressive laws have been introduced in at least 19 states since Trump took office. These include laws to: protect from prosecution drivers who run over protesters in the street; impose sentences of up to 10 years in prison for “impeding” or “damaging” an energy facility; make it illegal to wear a robe, mask, or hoodie to a protest; and allow police to arrest and seize the assets of any participant in a protest. While most have not been enacted (yet), these bills clearly reveal the fascist “vision” of crushing all political protest.

The Trump regime has targeted movements of opposition to police murder of Black and Brown people.

  • He has whipped up crowds of screaming racist supporters with virulent attacks on Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who protest during the national anthem. Trump calls them “sons of bitches,” denounces them as “ungrateful” (echoing the centuries-old racist trope of “the ungrateful Negro who doesn’t appreciate all that his masters have done for him”), and tries to bully NFL owners into firing them.
  • In August 2017, the FBI issued an internal document—“Black Identity Extremists Likely Motivated to Target Law Enforcement Officers”—for circulation among police and intelligence forces around the U.S. The FBI made up the term “Black Identity Extremists” and then applied it to any Black person who identifies with their African heritage and opposes police brutality—plainly attempting to evoke the Black Lives Matter movement and the larger movement against police murder and terror that has surged in recent years, to brand it as violent “terrorists,” and target it for suppression. And this goes right along with Trump’s Long Island speech in July to cops in which he supported their use of military equipment and weaponry against peaceful protest, and urged them “don’t be too nice” when dealing with suspects.

Trump has gone after anti-fascist groups—starting when he was a candidate inciting his supporters to “knock the crap out of” protesters.

  • A key element of this has been unleashing and empowering the white supremacist, misogynist, and neo-Nazi forces of the so-called “alt-right,” along with the Christian fascist movement. Responding to the leadership of Trump and Pence, as well as fanatical Trumpistas like Steve Bannon, Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones, and others, these forces are increasingly in the streets and online, trolling and swarming anyone who speaks up against the regime, threatening, bullying, and sometimes killing people, striving to cast a suffocating pall of intimidation over society. While these mob attacks do not have the official endorsement of the regime, it is more than obvious who these thugs support and whose spirit animates them.

In August, torch-bearing Nazis and white supremacists stormed through Charlottesville, Virginia, beating and even shooting at anti-racist demonstrators while police stood by and did nothing. One fascist drove a car into protesters, killing a young woman and injuring many others. Trump belligerently declared that there were “many fine people” on the Nazi side.

  • Since then Trump has railed against “antifa”—a broad movement of people who refuse to stand by while fascists target, attack, and murder Black, Brown, and LGBTQ people, and others. Trump said: “[E]specially in light of the advent of antifa, if you look at what’s going on there, you have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also,” and “because of what’s happened since then with antifa, when you look at really what’s happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying … ‘Gee, Trump may have a point.’” Trump’s “point” is to equate violent fascists with those who resist them, and then to say that really, it is the antifascists who are “provoking” violence. This prepares the ground for criminalizing anti-fascist forces, leading to police and court suppression, and/or for violent attacks by fascist thugs.
  • Fascist forces have been unleashed against Refuse Fascism (RF).
    • Internet fascists doxed (published the personal contact info) of signatories of RF’s Call to Action, opening them up to online or physical attack.
    • When RF called for a movement of nonviolent mass demonstrations starting on November 4 and aimed at driving out the regime, Alex Jones’ Info Wars site distorted this as a call for “riots,” and linked this ridiculous claim to footage that purported to be of antifa (a separate movement from RF) activists explaining how to use weapons. (This same attack also targeted Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party—see below.)
      This in turn unleashed a massive trolling assault against RF on the Internet, including thousands of vile threats, including death threats. It was common for fascist trolls to pledge and call on others to come to the protests armed; and many raised, in response to the RF slogan, “November 4: It begins,” the ominous threat that “November 5, it ends.”
    • On November 4 itself, armed fascist militia stalked at least three protests, including 200 of them in Austin, Texas, threatening marchers, with the tacit collaboration of the police.
  • The fascists have specifically targeted Bob Avakian (BA), the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, as well as institutions associated with the Party.
    • The Alex Jones/Info Wars post cited above included images of the cover of BA’s important 2005 work, The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era, which were pasted together with violent imagery to imply that Avakian and the RCP were calling for violent demonstrations on November 4 aimed at initiating a civil war. This kind of slander has historically been used to demonize revolutionary leaders and set them up for prosecution, persecution and even assassination.
    • Fanatical Trump supporters have mobbed Revolution Books in Berkeley, California, nine times in the last two months, screaming taunts and threats, sometimes attacking store supporters.

PART 2
The Fascist Forces, Led by the Trump/Pence Regime, Seek to Shut Down Institutions and Centers of Critical Thinking, Foreclose Open Criticism of the Regime Even From Other Ruling Class Leaders and Institutions, and Clamp Down on the Free Flow of Ideas on the Internet

  • The regime and the fascist movement with which it is closely connected are moving against colleges and universities. As a whole, these institutions do mainly reflect the outlook, values and needs of the capitalist-imperialist system, and prepare youth to serve it. And most schools are outright controlled by the ruling class through various means. Nonetheless, colleges remain one of the last places in the U.S. where critical thinking is at least tolerated and sometimes even encouraged, and they have historically been centers of powerful radical and revolutionary student movements. These two features determine the policy of the fascist regime: to weaken these institutions as a whole, including financially; and to impose McCarthyite fear and outright repression on campuses.
    • Fascist speaking tours,” featuring people like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter, have descended on major universities with a history of progressive thought and action, like UC Berkeley and Harvard, aiming to build up a fascist force on campuses and intimidate everyone else. Students protesting these events have been subjected to high levels of repression, confined to tiny “islands of protest,” and in some cases suspended from school, while heavily armed cops gave fascists the run of the campus. And at least six states are considering laws to prosecute or expel students who stand up against these fascists.
    • Attacks on progressive professors: In the first six months of Trump, at least eight professors were targets of death threats and harassment from pro-Trump forces. These attacks are coordinated by groups like Campus Reform, which spy on and comb through professors’ work and social media for comments that can be manipulated to discredit them as scholars, and to whip up fascist trolls to attack them. Fox News, Breitbart, and other fascist media play a key role, producing distorted hit pieces off of snippets from people’s life work. And there is a long “queue” of people the right aims to target—the “Professor Watchlist” website. Started just after Trump’s election, it lists over 200 professors who allegedly “discriminate against conservative students, promote anti-American values and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.”
    • Financial attacks: The new tax bill mandates major cuts to higher education. Atlantic magazine describes “GOP economic policy” as “a massive, coordinated and multi-level attack on higher education in the U.S.”
  • The regime is also carrying out a broad, multipronged attack on science and critical thinking, stripping government sites of references to global climate change, gutting environmental regulations and even going so far as to ban the words “evidence-based” and “science-based” from documents of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention! This is an extremely powerful regime hell-bent on destroying any barriers to the implementation of “might makes right” on all of society—meaning that what the fascists and religious fanatics say is “true,”—facts, and the interests of humanity, be damned.

The fascists are rapidly moving to transform as much news media as they can into fawning mouthpieces for the regime, while restricting and repressing media that do not go along with this. Their targets include major capitalist media that are not fully in line with the fascist transformation, as well as independent, progressive, radical, and revolutionary media.

  • Fox News, and other fascist outlets like Breitbart, have virtually merged with the Trump regime, each echoing and amplifying the others’ lies. Trump and the fascist media constantly praise each other, while denouncing other journalists as “enemies of the people” who produce “fake news.” Fascist media which aren’t remotely about depicting reality, like Breitbart and Info Wars, are treated as respected journalists, and insane conspiracy theories like “Pizza-gate” (that supposedly Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring out of a DC pizza restaurant) are treated as reality, so much so that a “consumer” of these media actually traveled to DC and shot up the pizza restaurant in order to “save the children.”
  • Trump openly bullies CNN, the largest non-fascist TV news outlet. On July 2 he retweeted a GIF of himself punching someone with the CNN logo for a head; on December 23 he retweeted a photo of “CNN” as a bloody splotch on the sole of Trump’s shoe. This bullying has been followed up with action:
  • Trump’s Justice Department moved to block a merger between AT&T and Time Warner unless AT&T sells off CNN. This sent a message to all corporate owners of major media—“displease the regime and we will bring the full power of the government down on you.”

    At the same time, right-wing Sinclair Broadcasting was given approval for a national expansion that will give it access to 72 percent of all households—almost double the 39 percent level previously set as the limit by Congress.

  • Trump’s public attacks—including calling reporters “the lowest form of humanity”—are a dog whistle to fascist mobs and individuals.
    • According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, “Crowds at [Trump] rallies frequently booed journalists, and in a particularly disturbing image … a supporter wears a T-shirt emblazoned with the words: ‘Rope. Tree. Journalist. SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED,’ bringing to mind the notorious lynchings of the civil rights period.” Journalists covering Trump regularly reported threats and an atmosphere of real menace from his supporters.
    • In May 2017, a pro-Trump congressional candidate, Greg Gianforte in Montana, physically attacked Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, knocking him to the ground and breaking his glasses.
    • In the first seven months of 2017, 32 journalists were arrested and charged in the U.S. (this does not include numerous journalists arrested at protests but released without charges—still highly intimidating.) Many arrests occur at demonstrations—10 in St. Louis alone during protests against police murders of Black men. Others occurred when reporters try to question fascist leaders.
  • Independent and progressive journalists are targeted.
    • At the Inauguration Day protests, DC police initially swept up nine reporters, though many identified themselves as journalists. Those from more mainstream outlets were released without charges. Six others, who either were independent journalists or worked for small outlets, faced felony charges. Charges were dropped against four of them, but Alexei Wood and Aaron Cantú were charged even though the government does not claim they did anything other than film or photograph the protest. The government’s argument is that their presence at an event—even as reporters—where crimes were allegedly committed, makes them guilty of those crimes. In addition, the government entered Wood’s livestreamed comments as evidence of criminality, because they say he showed sympathy for the protesters. (Wood was just acquitted; Cantú is awaiting trial.)
    • Huffington Post reported that at Wood’s trial, the U.S. Attorney “said in her opening that anyone can be a photographer in this day and age because of technology.” In other words, independent journalists are not journalists at all and are not entitled to any of the press protections promised by the U.S. Constitution.
  • The Trump/Pence regime is clamping down on the Internet, the main medium, up until now, through which dissident and radical ideas and organizations that don’t have millions of dollars can rapidly reach a broad audience.
    • On December 15, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), headed by a Trump appointee, overturned regulations protecting net neutrality. (Under net neutrality, the internet service providers (ISPs)—major corporations that control access to the Internet—were supposed to treat all traffic on the web equally, no matter the source, as long as that content was not illegal.)
      The end of net neutrality will heighten and reinforce the control over the Internet by big capital, and opens the door wider for political censorship on the Internet by ISPs and by the government. As a Wired magazine writer notes, such moves “create the conditions that allow a regime, whether it’s headed by Trump or another administration down the line, to squelch dissent.”
    • Even before this, the Trump/Pence regime made outrageous repressive moves related to the Internet, like demanding information on 1.3 million visitors to a site that organized protests against Trump’s inauguration.

PART 3:
The Fascist Forces, Led by the Trump/Pence Regime, Are Laying Siege to Basic Democratic Rights and Core Principles of Bourgeois-Democratic Rule, Laying the Foundations for “Führer-Style” Fascist Rule—A “Leader” With Unchecked Power, a People With No Rights

  • Trump and his gang made clear from the beginning that they do not respect even the minimal (and oft-violated) “right to free speech” previously recognized, at least in words, in the U.S. Among many examples:
    • During his campaign Trump repeatedly called for peaceful protesters to be beaten, “carried out on stretchers,” and so on.
    • Shortly after his election he tweeted that “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” (Flag-burning is constitutionally protected free speech, according to the Supreme Court.) And then this threat was echoed with even more violent overtones in a video produced by the National Rifle Association (NRA).
    • In May 2017, comedian Kathy Griffin came under fire from Trump’s family and Fox News after posting a joke photo of herself holding a severed head wearing a Trump mask. The Secret Service launched an investigation, and CNN fired her from her annual New Year’s Eve gig. Griffin said: “I didn’t just lose one night on CNN. My entire tour was canceled within 24 hours because every single theater got all these death threats. These Trump fans, they’re hardcore.”
    • In June, a Public Theater production of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Julius Caesar (in which Caesar is assassinated), featured an actor made to resemble Trump as Caesar. Breitbart and other fascist media went on the attack; Trump’s son tweeted that the Public should lose federal funding; there were repeated attempts to attack actors on stage during performance; and major corporate sponsors like Bank of America withdrew support for the production.
    • In September, ESPN sportscaster Jemele Hill tweeted the well-documented fact that Trump is “a white supremacist.” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called for ESPN to fire Hill. The next month Hill was suspended after tweeting a call to support NFL players who protest during the national anthem. And on December 9, Trump demanded that a Washington Post reporter who briefly tweeted (then deleted) pictures of empty seats before a Trump rally “should be fired.”
  • Federal prosecutions—like those of the Inauguration Day protesters and those resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline—are not only attacks on those particular movements, but fundamentally deny the right to assemble and protest, which is supposed to be guaranteed by the First Amendment. In particular, the legal argument of the Inauguration Day prosecution—that every single member of a protest is fully responsible for any alleged illegal act by any participant—would make all protest potentially illegal. The government would just need to provoke a conflict with police, or have an “agent provocateur” in the crowd break a window, and the entire event would become illegal, and every participant subject to heavy charges. This is an extremely ominous development.
  • Like Hitler (yes, like Hitler), Trump aims to concentrate all executive power in his own hands, and to have the executive branch lord supreme over other branches of government, and over the electoral process itself.
    • Prior to the 2016 election, Trump repeatedly refused to say that he would accept the results if he lost, raising the specter of violence by his rabid social base should he lose.
    • When Trump did lose the popular vote, he blamed “massive voter fraud,” and initiated a voter suppression commission to find new ways to deprive Black and Brown, poor, and young people of the vote. And on the state level, voter suppression and gerrymandering are being implemented to the point where it is very difficult for the Republi-fascists to lose control of the Congress or the White House, even when they only get a minority of the votes cast (to say nothing of the people who are prevented from voting).
    • The courts in the U.S. are supposed to be a co-equal branch of government that can exert constraints on power of the executive branch. But Trump telegraphs his insistence that the judiciary must in fact dance to his tune. Trump insults judges that rule against him, threatens to break up court districts that deliver unfavorable rulings, and denounced a jury as “disgraceful” for failing to convict a Mexican immigrant who Trump had already declared “guilty.”
    • In August, Trump pardoned Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted of contempt of court for carrying out blatant racial profiling in defiance of a court order. In addition to strongly endorsing Arpaio’s white supremacist reign of terror, Trump was sending a message that the courts are subordinate to his power as president.
    • And, chillingly, Trump is packing the federal courts with extreme right-wing judges—with the aid of the Republican Congress, he has already confirmed 12 appointees (Obama appointed three in his first year). And according to Linda Greenhouse, a journalist of legal affairs, the right-wing Federalist Society (with whom Trump works closely on judicial matters) has developed a proposal “to double or triple the number of authorized judgeships on the federal Court of Appeals” so that Trump can quickly appoint majorities on every court, which would stamp the judiciary with a fascist character for decades to come.
    • In order to pass key legislation like the recent “tax reform,” the Republi-fascists have simply stopped holding hearings on bills, or even allowing Democrats to see them ahead of time, forcing a vote on a bill filled with handwritten edits and additions. This makes a mockery of Congress being a “deliberative body,” even on the level of resolving disputes between different ruling class forces (which is all it ever was) and aims to turn it into a rubber stamp for the fascist regime.
    • At the same time, he and his cabinet are using executive power to purge government departments of non-fascist leaders, managers, scientists, etc., and rewriting the rules of many agencies to conform to fascist goals like abolishing abortion rights, deporting millions of immigrants, subjecting Black people to even more extreme police control and opening up the environment to unrestrained capitalist exploitation and degradation. All of this can and is going on without any legislation being passed and most of it receives little attention in the media.
  • Making the goal of an all-powerful leader all but explicit, in the face of the Mueller investigation and increasing evidence that Trump attempted to obstruct lawful investigations, a Trump lawyer declared that, because he is the head of the executive branch, by definition the “president cannot obstruct justice.” This is like President Richard Nixon’s claim that “If the president does it, it’s not illegal,” and to the statement attributed to Louis XIV, the absolute monarch of 17th-18th century France that “L’état, c’est moi”—“I am the State”!

CONCLUSION:

The totality of all these measures is a powerful effort to:

Criminalize protest and suppress all opposition political movements and organizations through legal means, as well as the fostering of mobs, online and off;

Make institutions like colleges and universities that can nourish dissent “inhospitable” to critical thinking, radical ideas, and movements of protest and resistance and severely cut down on their resources;

Create a national “information environment” where large-scale providers who have access to an audience of tens or hundreds of millions are systematically cowed or legislated into towing the fascist line, smaller-scale providers are pushed to the furthest margins and denied an audience, or are outright arrested, beaten, or otherwise repressed, and the Internet is under increased control of the government and huge corporations;

Concentrate overwhelming and unchecked power in the hands of the Trump/Pence regime, and deprive the masses of people of all previously acknowledged, minimal democratic rights.

In other words, it is a program for a political and intellectual lockdown of U.S. society… and it is well along the path to full implementation.

 


1. The reality of democracy in the U.S. is that it was from the beginning built on the slavery of Black people, the genocide of Native Americans, and then the conquest and theft of much of Mexico, the exploitation of immigrants and other working people, and the bloody and brutal conquest and domination of much of the rest of the world, and that it is still fully stamped with this oppressive character. It is in its essence a DICTATORSHIP—one in which the instruments of coercion are in the hands of the capitalist-imperialist class—with a democracy that corresponds to the interests of that ruling class. This essential character—as well as the revolutionary path to a vastly more liberating society—is gone into extensively at revcom.us, particularly in the works of Bob Avakian (BA). (See Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy; The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! and The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America—all by BA—as well as the American Crime series.) Further exploring that is beyond the scope of this article—our purpose here is to bring out the fact that under the Trump/Pence regime, U.S. society is rapidly plunging to a qualitatively worse form of rulefascism—with potentially catastrophic implications for humanity, if we do not act decisively and in our millions to prevent it.

2. Extreme charges like this are not, however, unique in dealing with protest, especially by revolutionary forces. In fact, in 1979, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, Bob Avakian and a dozen or so other people faced multiple charges potentially carrying 241 years in prison, in the wake of a police attack on a protest against the Chinese counter-revolutionary, Deng Xiaoping, who was visiting and being celebrated in Washington, DC. For more on this, see the BA Timeline, “1979.”

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