More Than Memes
“It is better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have” is a favorite aphorism of mine. It may apply well to this upcoming election; Donald Trump winning is a possibility that needs to be considered, and that may mean a radical shift in activist tactics.
As as been shown in places like Sacramento, California, and elsewhere, Trump’s supporters have little fear of violence. Much like what happened after the “Brexit”, I could see a Trump victory emboldening radical rightists; I could see more attacks on Latinos. Muslims, and other people of color.
And, of course, we’d have Trump’s efforts to root out and deport illegals. I could see Immigration and Customs agents conducting sweeps in minority communities, especially Latino and Middle Eastern communities. The hashtags and memes that are the tool of many an activist will not be enough, in my opinion.
Hitting The Books
Francis Bacon once said “Knowledge is Power”. Wars have been won because of superior military intelligence. The battle against Trump will require knowledge of both the opposition and how to fight back.
The Authoritans: Trump, without his followers, would be an arrogant businessman. This book, written in the early part of this century, explains the mindset of the people that Trump is likely drawing much of his support from.
The Beast Reawkens: The rise of Trump may be an extension of the rise of right-wing movements across Europe. This book, written in 1997, is an account of the early stages of this rise.
This Is an Uprising: If one is going to resist, one may wish to study actions of the past. This book looks at such movements as Serbia’s OPTOR, which may be where resistance to Trump may want to take cues.
On The Streets
The first, and largest battleground, against Trump and his allies would be the streets. The types of direct action tactics that “Black Lives Matter” and opponents of the Keystone XL and other pipelines have taken may be what is necessary. What follows are some resources that may assist activists:
- ‘Death to The Klan’ and Armed Antifascist Community Defense in The U.S
- “As fascist groups and the Klan gain new ground through the insurgence of white supremacist organizing amid the Trump campaign umbrella, antifascist and anti-Klan mass mobilizations have drawn more thousands of participants from Seattle, Washington, to Stone Mountain, Georgia, to Sacramento, California. Yet these altercations often turn violent, with unprepared protesters often suffering stabbings and beatings. It is instructive to look back on the recent history of antifascist and anti-Klan movements in the US to better mobilize effectively against the rising tide of white supremacy within local communities, thus pre-empting fascist groups’ ability to build forces. . . .”
- Medics In The Fray:Fighting White Nationalism, Staying Alive
- June 26th, 2016 in Sacramento put the skills of medics at various levels of training to the test. While the white nationalists were not given access to the capital steps for their “anti-antifa” rally, they still claimed that the number of injured antifascists was their victory. We are aware that this is posturing on their side; they would have claimed a victory no matter what happened (they need to protect their fragile white nationalist egos, after all). Still, walking away from this event and its aftermath, it seems unlikely that white nationalists and fascists will not continue to escalate their physical attacks against all anti-fascists and others who put themselves on the front lines against increasingly bold white nationalists. Given this environment, it seems necessary to consider the role of medics in our ongoing struggles. The following was assembled by some of the medics present in Sacramento on June 26th. It constitutes a reflection and hopefully some options on ways to move forward. . . .
- We’re Done ‘Asking Nicely’ Why Disruptive Protests Are Necessary For Justice
- . . . The often hostile criticism that activists receive for taking action is often seeped in privilege and indifference to others’ suffering. And the indifference needs to be called out. . . .
- Simple Knife Precautions for AntiFa Actions
- These are dangerous times for leftists. . . .
- De-Arrests Are Beautiful
- . . . These simple actions show us that the law and the state are not supernatural forces, but relationships enforced at the hands of the police. That’s why we appreciate all the different ways people have figured out how to de-arrest each other. . . .
On The Net
If there’s one area that Trump’s supporters likely lag, it’s cyberspace. With so much of Trump’s base being; older, more rural, and less educated, it’s not a surprise.
I have nothing against using technology, but what activists may need to do is use that technology to facilitate more direct actions.
But those actions may be in a very hostile environment. I could see Trump invoking “National Security” and cracking down on the internet. I could see tools developed to fight repressive regimes overseas being used by activists here in the United States.