David Iaconangelo for The Christian Science Monitor – FEBRUARY 11, 2017 —A group of prominent Mexican officials, legislators, and other political figures wants Mexico to resist President Trump’s deportation plans by assigning lawyers to fight cases in US immigration court, utilizing tough legal tactics that could jam up the workings of an already backlogged system. Monarca, as the group is named – after the monarch butterfly that travels freely between Mexico and the United States – is meeting with immigrant-rights groups in Phoenix on Saturday to discuss details of the plan. They also hope to meet with the city’s mayor and Sen. Jeff Flake (R) of Arizona, long active in talks for a comprehensive immigration reform, according to the Wall Street Journal. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who hasn’t taken a position on the plan, says his administration will take steps to defend its citizens living in the US, including allocating $50 million to help undocumented immigrants facing deportation.
By Maurice Goldman for The Hill – As U.S. citizens why should we care about the deportation of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos? Guadalupe was the focus of a highly publicized deportation that took place in Phoenix a little over a week ago. Many have heard the humanitarian reasons why someone like Guadalupe should remain: Coming to the U.S. as a minor; living in the U.S. for 21 years; two U.S. citizen children; and her crime was that she wanted to work and make a better life for herself and her family. Several have asked me, “Why didn’t she fix her immigration status?” Realize that most undocumented immigrants cannot simply fix their status and most face a 10-year-bar if they leave the U.S. to try and get lawful permission to re-enter. It’s a disincentive to leave the country. Our immigration laws make no sense.
By Rabbi Arthur Waskow for The Shalom Center – We are facing a government that is beginning the process of shattering democracy and devastating the Earth, elevating what Martin Luther King defined as the deadly triplets of Racism, Militarism, and Materialism into the domineering reality of our lives. That government is trying to make it become the new normal that our lives will be fearful, consumed by fake news and “alternative facts,” struggling to deal with worsening economic pressures and worsening ecological disasters, even life-spans shorter in years. Three different sorts of energy have been stirred into a devil’s brew to fuel this anti-democratic political machine. They have three specific people as their embodiments: First, a Leader – a Bully — with a strong personal streak of narcissism, cruelty, and vindictiveness: Mr. Trump. What he brings to the amalgam is a “populism” that is not about policy but about an emotional connection with people who are angry enough to break the rules of decorum –- and welcome a leader who does break them.
By Deirdre Fulton for Common Dreams – “While we acknowledge that Donald Trump holds the current title, the policies he’s trying to put in place are not the beliefs shared by the majority of the people.” From coast to coast and many places in between, thousands of people are marking the occasion of President’s Day by voicing their opposition to the policies of their current president, Donald Trump. Major “Not My President’s Day” anti-Trump rallies are taking place Monday in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, while at least two dozen offshoot events are planned for other locations around the United States. “Donald Trump stands against the progress we have worked hard to enact,” the organizers of the Los Angeles event wrote in their call-to-action.
By Lindzi Wessel for Science -BOSTON–Hundreds of science supporters gathered here in Copley Square this afternoon at a rally coinciding with the annual meeting of AAAS, which publishes Science. Ralliers chose the meeting—the first major gathering of scientists since Trump took office—as an opportune moment to demonstrate that the science community plans to fight recent policies that many see as dangerous to the role of science in society. “We scientists want to send a message to Mr. Trump, and that’s that America runs on science,” Geoffrey Supran, a postdoctoral fellow studying energy modeling at MIT and science history at Harvard, tells Science. “Neither scientists nor citizens are going to stand idly by while the administration peddles anti-science rhetoric and alternative facts.”
By Staff of Catskill Citizens – President Donald Trump has already made it clear that he intends to trash climate change agreements and give the fossil fuel industry exactly what it wants. But the pipeline projects being pushed by the Trump Administration cannot move forward unless they are first approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission—and FERC can’t operate without a quorum. The five-member commission has been operating with only three members, and today it lost another one. With just two members left, it won’t be able to approve any more infrastructure projects until at least one new commissioner is seated—and the Senate has the ability to block Trump’s FERC appointments. The inability of FERC to do business actually counts as a step forward because for years the commission has been little more than a captive agency of the oil and gas industry, routinely greenlighting infrastructure projects with little regard for public safety.
By Mark Brown for Chicago Sun Times -In neighborhoods across Chicago with large immigrant populations, people are banding together to form rapid response networks to support their neighbors in the event of expected deportation raids by President Donald Trump’s administration. In the 35th Ward on the city’s Northwest Side, Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa has started what he calls the Community Defense Committee. In Rogers Park, home to an extremely diverse immigrant population, volunteer organizers have chosen to dub their effort Protect RP. In Little Village, the Mexican capital of the Midwest, they have picked the name La Villita Se Defiende, which translates to Little Village Defends Itself. As with the different names, each group seems to be charting its own tactical approach, but the overarching goal is the same: to protect undocumented immigrants by resisting efforts to deport them.
By Joe Emersberger for Tele Sur – Based on allegations of drug trafficking, the U.S. government has added Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami to its list of “sanctioned” Venezuelan officials. Unsurprisingly, Westerns journalists uncritically spread the allegations. Borrowing from Einstein, a definition of corporate journalism could be “the practice of uncritically citing the same dishonest sources over and over again no matter how catastrophic the result.” The targeting of El Aissami is part of the United States’ “regime change” policy toward Venezuela that goes back nearly two decades. It began shortly after the late President Hugo Chavez was first elected in 1998. As always, the international media’s collaboration with U.S. government objectives is crucial.
By Andre Damon for WSWS – One day after Donald Trump’s extraordinary news conference, the battle within the American state only grew more intense. The conflict pits the ultra-right president of the United States against powerful sections of the military-intelligence apparatus, with the corporate media, the Democratic Party and a section of the Republicans serving as mouthpieces of the CIA. There is no progressive faction in this dispute, which centers on issues of foreign policy and war. Trump is a noxious representative of the financial oligarchy. He has packed his administration with CEOs and billionaires, alongside ex-generals, social reactionaries and outright fascists. His opponents in the political and media establishment are themselves reactionaries, motivated not by democratic principles, but by concerns that Trump is shifting away from the aggressive, militarist policy toward Russia that is backed by the intelligence establishment and was carried out by the previous administration.
By Michael Goldstein for Huffington Post. Trump’s base should be our base, this CIA stuff entrenches them in his camp. Further, unlike typical fascists, he has not built mass organizations or gangs of thugs to intimidate his opposition, but what is happening now could change that. We may be willing to look the other way while the Deep State tries to do what the Democratic Party could not, but do you think those who favored Trump aren’t noticing? Check out The Breitbart News piece headlined “The Deep State Bumps Off General Flynn. Who’s the Next Target?” Attempts to subvert an election Trump voters feel they won under the longstanding rules of the game can only solidify their sense of being beleaguered by a liberal establishment. Moreover, such attempts give them reason to self-organize and set up their own brutal gangs or militias, since their victory is being threatened by demonstrably undemocratic means. … we don’t get better democracy by letting the agencies so practiced at subverting governments overseas pull us out of a bad situation at home by doing it here.
By Paul Street for Truthdig. Two things are clear going forward. First, progressives hoping to defeat Trump and Trumpism will need to drive a class wedge between the new administration’s big basket of deplorable, super-wealthy plutocrats and the president’s conservative WWC base. Second, Trump is going to provide a lot of ammunition for that wedge-building task with policies that mock his posture as some kind of great white working-class hero. It is distressing that candidate Trump got away with taking that populist pose in the first place. Born to significant real estate wealth, Trump owed his rise to hyper-opulence “to his relentless manipulation of the corporate-controlled media market … to increase the market value of his name, which he then licensed to be sold. … The result,” author Mike Lofgren notes, “was Trump resorts, Trump steaks, even Trump dietary supplements retailed through multilevel marketing, the polite biz school euphemism for a pyramid scheme. As for Trump University, the principal lesson it imparted … was how to avoid being victimized by such scams in the future. … Such is Donald Trump, friend of the working class.”
By Staff for Washington’s Blog. Former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich said Tuesday: “The American people have to know that there’s a game going on inside the intelligence community… at the bottom of all this is the fact that there are those that seek to separate US from Russia to reignite the cold war… that’s what’s at the bottom of all this ….What’s going on in the intelligence community with this new president is unprecedented. They’re making every effort trying to upend him.” And, Glenn Greenwald said “Even if you’re somebody who believes that both the CIA and the deep state, on the one hand, and the Trump presidency, on the other, are extremely dangerous, as I do, there’s a huge difference between the two, which is that Trump was democratically elected and is subject to democratic controls. . . But on the other hand, the CIA was elected by nobody. They’re barely subject to democratic controls at all. ”
By Roger D. Harris for Counterpunch. Resisting the inherent racism, sexism, and reactionary nationalism, which is institutionalized in the capitalist order and personified by its current CEO, is essential. But these defensive actions can and should be carried to a higher political level of not just resisting what we are against but also organizing for what we are for. The ruling elites are in a fight over the commanding positions of power such as the composition of the National Security Council. They are scrapping over how best – not whether – to dominate the world and subjugate working people. These fissures within the ruling circles are opportunities for us to go outside the binary choice of one ruling class faction or the other. Our opportunity is to promote a progressive alternative, which extends beyond just ameliorating the worst excesses of capitalism to one that positively promotes a new order.
By Deirdre Fulton for Common Dreams – Galvanized in response to the Trump administration’s attacks on immigrants, women, the LGBTQ community, and the environment, Friday’s action “amplifies a new chapter of nonviolent resistance ushered in over the last six weeks by calling for strikes that grow in number and power,” the statement reads, pointing to other strike actions planned for March 8 and May 1, as well as “a heightening resistance throughout the summer.” The #F17Strike, as it was being called, also came on the heels of Thursday’s national “Day Without Immigrants,” as well as more localized walk-out actions in Wisconsin and New York. And in a piece published this week at YES! Magazine, senior editor James Trimarco posited that “Feb. 17 is just the beginning.” While “[i]t’s not the American way for workers across industries to stage a one-day walkout to make a statement,” as columnist Shirley Leung wrote in Friday’s Boston Globe, she wondered: “Could that change in the Trump era?”