By Farhad Manjoo for The New York Times - In his first week in office, as the president’s aides won’t tire of reminding us, Mr. Trump has already put in motion plans to do much of what he promised to do while campaigning. But it’s not just the politician who is moving fast. It’s the population, too. In a matter of hours on Saturday, thousands rushed to the nation’s airports, beckoned by tweets. The flash protests in response to Mr. Trump’s immigration ban, which continued to grow in many cities on Sunday, were as organized as they were instantaneous. Dispatched online, the protesters knew where to go, and they knew what to do once they arrived: to command the story by making a scene.
By Richard Moser for Counter Punch - Truly massive movements take shape around affirmations of goodness most powerfully represented by the promise of universal values. Our task is to fulfill this promise, recognizing that we doom our efforts to win people’s support and allegiance if we too often rely solely on criticism, resistance, and opposition. It is far, far better thing that we be authors of a new world rather than critics of the old one. If we envision revolution as radical departure or complete discontinuity from the existing world we are likely to both overlook real change and leave the millions behind. A transformative movement works on culture and works with history.
By Deirdre Fulton for Common Dreams - With his order to revive the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline, President Donald Trump "has declared war on Indigenous nations across the country," one Cheyenne River Sioux organizer said Monday. But he'll be met by a fierce native resistance movement that "will not back down," said the organizer, Joye Braun, on a press call organized by the Indigenous Environmental Movement (IEN). Trump signed executive orders last week advancing the controversial KXL and Dakota Access (DAPL) pipelines, prompting widespread outrage and vows of bold resistance from the Indigenous activists, climate campaigners, and countless others who have fought against both projects.
By David Cole for Just Security - According to the Supreme Court, “the clearest command of the Establishment Clause is that one religious denomination cannot be officially preferred over another.” Larson v. Valente, 456 US. 228, 244 (1982). But that command is apparently not clear enough for President Donald Trump. On Friday he signed an Executive Order on refugees that imposes a selective ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, and at the same time establishes preferential treatment for refugees seeking asylum who are identified with “minority religions” in their country of origin. In case there was any doubt about the latter provision’s intent, Trump told Christian Broadcast News that it was intended to give priority to “Christians” seeking asylum over “Muslims.”
By Candice Bernd for Truthout - "It's not a Muslim ban, but we were totally prepared," President Trump told reporters in the Oval Office over the weekend about his executive order barring foreign citizens, including refugees, from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the US while giving Christians from those countries preferential treatment. "You see it at the airports, you see it all over. It's working out very nicely." But with travel for many disrupted over the weekend -- as documented permanent US residents holding authorized green cards and others holding approved visas were barred from boarding flights abroad, and with between 100 to 200 travelers finding themselves detained for hours at US airports -- the exact opposite was true.
By Sarah Harvard for Mic - President Donald Trump has signed an executive order Friday that imposes a 30-day ban on entry to the United States for visa holders from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. After word of Trump's pending executive order spread, the administration faced a lot of pushback — especially the early stages of his Muslim ban. The executive order is widely viewed as the first step to fulfill a campaign promise to ban Muslims from immigrating to the United States. "We are excluding certain countries," Trump said of visa issuances during a Wednesday interview with ABC News.
By Dan Wright for Mint Press News - Today, four State Department senior leaders resigned from their positions. The senior State Department leaders were reportedly asked to leave via letter in what is believed to be an effort to “clean house” at the department. While the officials technically resigned, the real decision was for the Trump Administration to accept what are pro forma resignations at the beginning of any administration. Also among those not asked to return to service was highly controversial Assistant Secretary for Europe Victoria Nuland, who seemed to work tirelessly to damage US relations with Russia.
By Ellen Brown for The Web of Debt Blog - President Donald Trump has promised to rebuild America’s airports, bridges, tunnels, roads and other infrastructure, something both Democrats and Republicans agree should be done. The country needs a full $3 trillion in infrastructure over the next decade. The $1 trillion plan revealed by Trump’s economic advisers relies heavily on public-private partnerships, and private equity firms are lining up for these plumbing investments. In the typical private equity water deal, for example, higher user rates help the firms earn annual returns of anywhere from 8 to 18 percent – more even than a regular for-profit water company might expect. But the price tag can come as a rude surprise for local ratepayers.
By Steve Rushton for Occupy - Universal basic income is emerging as a realistic policy position across Europe. As we reported in late 2015, local authorities across the Netherlands are currently running trials to award every citizen unconditional money from the state. And this year, Finland started an experiment of 2,000 randomly selected people, all of whom currently receive out of work benefits. The first monthly payments of €560 ($590) were paid into those people's accounts within the last week, and the trial will examine the impact of that money on overall employment. Now, sweeping further to the west, plans are underway to establish basic income in the Scottish councils of Glasgow and Fife, revealing a groundswell of interest that is sweeping the continent.
By Staff of Action Network - The U.S. war in Afghanistan is well into its 16th year. In 2014 President Obama declared it over, but it will remain a political, financial, security, legal, and moral problem unless you actually end it. The U.S. military now has approximately 8,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan , plus 6,000 other NATO troops, 1,000 mercenaries, and another 26,000 contractors (of whom about 8,000 are from the United States). That's 41,000 people engaged in a foreign occupation of a country 15 years after the accomplishment of their stated mission to overthrow the Taliban government. During each of the past 15 years, our government in Washington has informed us that success was imminent.
By Glenn Greenwald for The Intercept - IN 2010, President Obama directed the CIA to assassinate an American citizen in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, despite the fact that he had never been charged with (let alone convicted of) any crime, and the agency successfully carried out that order a year later with a September, 2011 drone strike. While that assassination created widespread debate – the once-again-beloved ACLU sued Obama to restrain him from the assassination on the ground of due process and then, when that suit was dismissed, sued Obama again after the killing was carried out – another drone-killing carried out shortly thereafter was perhaps even more significant yet generated relatively little attention.
By Staff of Tele Sur - Not letting up on protesting and showing solidarity with those banned, thousands took to the streets again Sunday to protest Trump's new policy. Protests erupted for a second day in several U.S. cities Sunday as people took to the streets against President Donald Trump's executive order banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, even those with valid visas and permanent residency. Thousands of people gathered in Lower Manhattan in New York protesting Trump’s “Muslim ban” and his earlier decree ordering the construction of a wall along the border with Mexico.
By Mark Hand for DC Media Group. Tens of thousands of protesters converged on the White House on Jan. 29 to denounce President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting residents from seven Muslim-dominant countries from entering the U.S. Thousands marched from the White House to the Capitol to protest Trump’s order restricting entry from Muslim-majority countries./Photo by Ted Majdosz Thousands marched from the White House to the Capitol to protest Trump’s order restricting entry from Muslim-majority countries./Photo by Ted Majdosz The huge rally occurred one day after spontaneous rallies broke out at U.S. airports as U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents began enforcing Trump’s directive. Protests at U.S. airports carried over to Sunday, including rallies at Dulles and Baltimore-Washington International Airports. Trump’s order bars admission of Syrian refugees and suspends travel to the United States by nationals from Iraq, Iran, Sudan and four other countries, even if the residents hold valid visas or permanent residence permits. People subject to the ban include dual nationals born in one of the seven countries who also hold passports from countries not on the list.
By Sofia Ali-Khan for Rabble - We now have a President and Cabinet who almost certainly have no interest in the safety or well-being of their people. Many of us marched in the streets last weekend in an awesome show of solidarity against Trump and all that he promises and stands for. It was, by several accounts, the largest global protest in history. But in the hours and days following the march, we began to size each other up, tear each other down, and occasionally thoughtfully critique each other's politics and intentions. Donald Trump poses an unprecedented threat to all of us. It is true that some of us are more used to being targeted by the government than others of us.
By John Zangas and Anne Meador for DC Media Group - Spontaneous demonstrations popped up at airports across the country after President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning nationals from Muslim-majority countries. Immigration advocacy groups slammed the move as xenophobic and Islamophobic. The sweeping order applies to nationals of seven countries, including, Lybia, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen, whether they have green cards, visas or hold dual citizenship with the U.S. Issued late on Friday afternoon, the executive order caught many travelers by surprise, stranding them at international airports and making those arriving in the U.S. subject to detention and deportation.