This Week In Fascism is a regular Refusefascism.org feature that exposes the rapid unfolding of a fascist USA and the necessity to stop it.
This week of unrelenting horror should cast off any illusions that after Charlottesville the brakes would be pulled on their moves to a fascist America. At the cornerstone of their fascist program is their unrelenting demonization and criminalization of immigrants. In their treatment of immigrants, this regime viciously channels the Nazi targeting of jewish people as “subhuman.” Unless and until the Trump/Pence regime is driven out, this nightmare will not only continue but rain down increasing horror.
Attacking Immigrants and LGBTQ People
- August 21, Nationwide: The New York Times reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will partner with many sheriffs to funnel undocumented immigrants from local jails into federal detention centers and deportation. Any increased cooperation or contracting with local authorities will escalate the already rampant mass arrests of immigrants and terrorize whole communities.
- August 22, Arizona Prior to the frenzied gathering of his fascist social base in Phoenix, Trump visited with Border Patrol agents in Yuma and toured equipment used to monitor/control the border. This should only be seen as an effort to build support for his border wall.
- August 24, Texas: Undocumented immigrants in East Texas are facing a mortal decision: hunker down for Hurricane Harvey, or risk detention and deportation at the Border Patrol checkpoints along the evacuation route. The agency, breaking with prior practice, has announced that they will be actively checking evacuees’ immigration status.
- August 25, Nationwide: The future of as many as one million young immigrants (DREAMers) who came to the U.S. as children are in jeopardy as Trump Regime officials report that steps are being taken to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA was a 2012 executive order issued by Obama. It granted a two-year, renewable protection from deportation, a permit to work legally, and more for undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children. This is part of putting all immigrants on notice that they are to live in perpetual risk of being stopped, locked up, and thrown out of the country.
- August 25, Arizona: Trump’s pardon of the Most Racist Sheriff in America, Joe Arpaio, is a two-fold attack on humanity. First and foremost, Trump has made clear that concentration camps based on perceived race and ethnicity are a key part of his fascist program and the America that he is promising. Secondly, through subverting the normal channels of presidential pardons, he has made clear to his fascist goon squad that their crimes, in the exceedingly rare instances when they get convicted for them, will be washed away. Months ago, Trump asked counsel if he would be able to pardon himself. This is a test-run for that procedure.
- August 25, Nationwide: Trump signed a memoranda officially banning trans people from being able to enlist in the US Military, and effectively starting the process to kick out all trans service members, with potential exceptions. With this move, the fascists in the White House have set into motion the banning of oppressed classes and categories of people from certain employment, a hallmark of fascism.
Expanding Wars for Empire
- August 21, Afghanistan: Trump declared a major escalation in U.S. moves to dominate Southwest Asia. Speaking on a military base, he announced an escalation of the U.S. military occupation of Afghanistan and of the violence the US is inflicting upon the people of Afghanistan. He said that so-called restraints upon the military and its commanders would be removed. Trump is promising to “lift restrictions and expand authorities in the field” – meaning U.S. forces will be given a free hand in inflicting bloodshed, death, and destruction without even the pretense of restraint or oversight. Read more
- August 25, Venezuela: Trump passed crippling financial sanctions against Venezuela. For this regime to claim that any other is choosing to embrace “dictatorship over his own people” is the height of hypocrisy. US sanctions have caused death and destruction around the world, often to the most vulnerable. Trump has brought these to bear on Venezuela in the interests of his “America First” fascist agenda.
Emboldening Shock Troops, Criminalizing Dissent, and Threatening the Press
- August 20, California: At the America Freedom Alliance Conference a gathering of racist xenophobes got together to whine about their delusional victimhood as white christians while celebrating that at least they have a friend in the highest office of the land. Robin Hvidston, executive director of We the People Rising (aka We the Bigots Rising), said at the conference: “…we are so excited because we have our President and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, can I get a yay! With us on this issue. It’s very emboldening. When we go to the podium and speak during public comments and we say that our President and our Attorney General are with us, it’s very empowering.”
- August 23, California: A student group at the University of California Berkeley, Berkeley Patriot, has invited Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Stephen Bannon for a series of events set to take place on the campus in late September. Framing it as a “free speech week” activity honoring the 1964 protests on campus that gave rise to the free speech movement is a slap in the face to all those who participated in speaking out against the Vietnam war. Coulter, Bannon, and Yiannopoulos are “intellectual” hitmen for the Trump/Pence regime: this is about consolidating fascism, not about “free speech.” None of them are victims. In fact their fascist ideas are being imposed from the highest offices.
- August 22, Arizona: At his rally in Phoenix he decried the “lying press” and anyone else who challenges his agenda. For thirty minutes, he railed against the media (with the exception of Fox News). He accused the press not only of dishonesty, but of being bad, sick people who are culpable for Charlottesville because they called out violent white supremacy as the defining character of the protest. He also took the occasion to endorse the glorification of genocide and slavery embodied in statues of Confederate leaders when he said, “They’re trying to take away our culture. They are trying to take away our history.” Thousands who protested his speech endured pepper spray, tear gas, and police brutality. Trump made sure to demonize those within antifa, saying that they come to fight by stating that protesters had clubs. All this, while his fascists snowflakes petition to have Antifa labeled a terrorist group.
Waging War on Science and the Planet
- August 20, Nationwide: Following the leak of a major climate change report sounding the alarm on rising temperatures, the Trump/Pence regime announced the disbanding of the Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment. This Advisory committee was tasked with simplifying climate findings for both those within and outside the federal government. This is a regime with absolute contempt for life on earth that denies the science that doesn’t fit its agenda causing future generations to pay a terrible price.
- August 21, Central Appalachia: The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine informed the public that the Department of the Interior is shutting down all work associated with their study on health risks for people living near mountaintop coal removal sites in Central Appalachia. At a rally in June, Trump declared, “We’ve ended the war on clean, beautiful coal,” he said. “And we’re putting our miners back to work.” This is in total disregard to the health and welfare of those coal workers and Central Appalachia residents.
- August 24, Utah and Oregon: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is proposing that the Trump/Pence regime reduce the size of three national monuments: Bears Ears and Grand Staircase – Escalante in Utah and Cascade – Siskiyou in Oregon. Reducing Bear Ears, which serves as home to thousands of Native American sites, by 88% is unconscionable. This is a regime that is celebrating monuments that reify the confederacy and endangering those of indigenous people.
This week makes clear that there can be no waiting this out if we do not want to be swallowed up by even greater horror for all of humanity. Trump will not be reined in. There will be no pendulum swing where we magically reset to life as normal. This regime through their moves to consolidate fascism are seeking to remake the world and these are not normal times. Normal channels of protest cannot meet the enormity of stopping a fascist juggernaut. That which we do not resist and mobilize to stop, we will learn—or be forced—to accept. There is a way and there is a day to begin to drive out this regime. 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: NO! This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!
Help make this vision a reality: