What Is ‘The Resistance’ Anyway?

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By Danny Haiphong for Black Agenda Report. The 2017 Left Forum made “resistance” the central theme of the annual gathering of left thinkers, activists, and organizers. The term has become increasingly relevant in the midst of the instability surrounding the Trump Administration. “Resistance” has become the catch-all phrase for any force that opposes Trump. Only a small segment of those who attended the Left Forum attempted to spell out the dangers of such “resistance.” Yet an important task of any self-proclaimed “left” movement is to define what the word resistance actually means in this period of confusion and crisis.” Any conversation about “resistance” must start with the state. The state, better known as the interconnected institutions of governance, is the central force that manages oppression in society.

Afghanistan: From Soviet Occupation To American ‘Liberation’

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By Nauman Sadiq. The borders between Iraq and Syria are poorly guarded and highly porous. The Obama Administration’s policy of nurturing militants against the Assad regime in Syria for the first three years of the Syrian civil war from 2011 to 2014 was bound to backfire sooner or later. More to the point, however, when President Obama decided to withdraw American troops from the unjust war in Iraq, at the same time, he pledged that he would commit additional American troops and resources into the purportedly “just war” in Afghanistan. And consequently, the number of US troops in Afghanistan jumped from 30,000 during the Bush Administration to more than 100,000 during the supposedly “pacifist” Obama Administration. And now, the “steady hands” of the American deep state, the Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, have advised the Trump Administration to further escalate the conflict in Afghanistan by deploying 3,000 to 5,000 additional troops to a contingent of 8,500 US troops already stationed in Afghanistan as “trainers and advisors.”

Tell The USTR We Want Trade For People And Planet

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By Trade for People and Planet. Please take a few moments to submit your comments to the Office of the US Trade Representative now. The clock is ticking on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The window for public comments closes Monday, June 12 at 5 pm Eastern. The Trump administration is going against its campaign promises by pushing for a new NAFTA that includes some of the provisions we fought to stop in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. We must make it clear that people will not tolerate the current failed model of trade that exploits people and the planet. Trade can be organized in a way that improves working conditions, raises wages, protects the planet and makes voluntary agreements like the Paris Climate Treaty enforceable.

Lessons From Portland’s Clashes With Fascists

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By Shamus Cooke for CounterPunch. Portland, Oregon had its collective mind blown in recent weeks. A Nazi murdered two people on public transit and a week later, on June 4th, Portland police were ‘protecting and serving’ a rally of 300+ ‘Alt-Right’ white supremacists from a counter-protest of over 3,000. A crushing tension gripped Portland as the protests neared; people were understandably scared that more deaths would occur during the confrontation. The far-right rally organizer– local demagogue Joey Gibson– announced that a local far-right militia would provide security, while alt-right ‘celebrities’ from around the country descended onto Portland, many of them decked out in protective gear for street fighting. One of these celebrity fascists who goes by ‘Based Stick Man’ (real name Kyle Chapman) tweeted: “I declare open season on Antifa [anti-fascists], squash on sight”.

Protester: ‘Is This My Last Free Birthday?’

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By Patrick Strickland for Al Jazeera. Washington, DC – When Olivia Alsip travelled to the capital to protest against the inauguration of right-wing US President Donald Trump, she didn’t imagine she would end the day behind bars and later face up to 80 years in prison. Thousands of people journeyed from across the US to Washington, DC, to protest on the first day of Trump’s presidency, January 20. During the swearing-in, Alsip was among the more than 230 protesters arrested when officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) blocked off a large area and hauled off nearly everyone. “I am wondering if my 24th birthday next week will be my last as a free person,” she says by telephone from Chicago. “I’ve never in my life had such a painful and stressful experience. There are no words to convey the severity of this.”

After US Bombs Syrian Government, Media Ask Few Questions

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By Ben Norton for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. The United States has bombed Syrian government–allied forces three times in just eight months. Major media outlets have overwhelmingly failed to ask critical questions about these incidents, preferring instead to echo the Pentagon. For years, media have consistently downplayed the extent of US military intervention in Syria, and repeatedly propagated the long-debunked myth that Washington never pursued regime change there in the first place. The distorted reporting on these US attacks reflects this longer trend. On May 18, the US military launched an air raid against forces allied with the Syrian government, killing several soldiers.

World Leaders To Trump: You’re On Your Own

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By Lauren McCauley of CommonDreams. Following Trump’s Thursday announcement, world leaders from China to Germany to the Marshall Islands and beyond promised to uphold the climate accord while citizens and civil society from across the globe vowed to “harness public outrage into meaningful on-the-ground action” to combat the crisis of climate change. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters on Friday that European leaders “will band together to take more decisive action than ever to confront and successfully surmount major challenges to humanity such as climate change.” Merkel called Trump’s withdrawal “highly regrettable, to put it very mildly,” but added: “This decision cannot and will not stop those of us who feel obligated to protect our earth.”

Newsletter - The People's Memorial Day

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. War culture runs deep in the United States. You can see the glorification of war consistently once you are aware of it – it is expressed in entertainment, the war memorials that are in every town, and the deference we are expected to show to people in the military, e.g. special treatment at airports. This war culture equates patriotism with worship of the military. And it is on broad display every Memorial Day. Now that we are sixteen years into the “war on terror”, even though a war against a tactic is nonsense – especially given that terrorism grows as the US bombs more countries and kills more civilians – this Memorial Day is a good time to question who benefits from war and who pays the price. Highly decorated Marine, Smedley Butler, answered these questions this way: “War is a racket. It always has been.”

Why Were the Saudi Streets So Quiet?

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By Medea Benjamin. With the world’s media focused on President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, it’s curious that the streets of Riyadh were so empty. Unlike most of Trump’s public appearances, there was not a protester in sight. While Mexicans pour out on the streets to protest Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, bashing Trump piñatas and burning U.S. flags, there was nary a Saudi protester chanting “Trump: Go home.” In this very religious country, no one seemed interested in demonstrating opposition to Trump’s derogatory comments about Islam nor his attempts to impose a Muslim ban back home. Saudi women could have used the occasion to push for their rights. They could have put out a national call saying that as soon as Trump began to speak, women should walk out of their homes with their heads uncovered and dressed as they pleased, just like Melania and Ivanka Trump.

Trump And Cabinet Members 'Bust A Move' In Saudi Arabia

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By Press TV. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – US President Donald Trump joins a sword dance held in his honor in Saudi Arabia after signing Washington’s largest-ever single arms deal with Riyadh. He was accompanied at the Saturday jubilation by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Trump arrived in the Saudi capital earlier in the day on the first leg of a nine-day overseas tour. Upon arrival and official reception, he proceeded to sign the $110-billion deal and other agreements amounting to $250 billion before joining the party. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir put the volume of the collective bilateral deals higher, saying they were worth more than $380 billion. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Twitter that the “defense agreement” was the “largest single arms deal in US history.”

Trump’s First One Hundred Days Of War Crimes

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By Charles Pierson for Counter Punch. President Donald J. Trump closed out his first hundred days in office on April 29. Not marked by any notable achievements, Trump’s first hundred days did yield an impressive and ever-lengthening list of scandals. And war crimes. During his short time in office, Trump has racked up an impressive list of war crimes. Congratulations, Mr. President! Where to begin? Nine days after Trump’s Inauguration, US Navy SEALs together with elite troops from the United Arab Emirates descended on the village of Yaklaa in the Yemeni governorate of Bayda. At the time, the White House said that the mission’s objective was to enter a compound controlled by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and gather intelligence by grabbing computers and cell phones. It was not until a week later that US military officials stated that the prime objective of the raid was to capture or kill AQAP emir Qassim al-Rimi.

Military Veterans March on D.C. May 30, Memorial Day

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By Nick Motten for Veterans for Peace. WASHINGTON D.C. – In response to President Trump’s “outrageous” $54 billion defense-spending increase, military veterans are being called to the nation’s capital May 30/Memorial Day to demand “Peace at Home and Peace Abroad.” And they’re using television commercials in D.C. to spread the call for peace. “Wherever you are, your presence is respectfully and urgently requested in Washington, DC, on May 30 at the Lincoln Memorial. At this historic site—95 years after its inauguration on May 30, 1922—at 11 a.m., nationally and internationally known speakers and musicians will convey our adamant determination to achieve Peace at Home and Peace Abroad,” is the message of Veterans for Peace and other vet groups.

Trump Nominates New FERC Commissioners

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Washington, DC – The Hill reports that the Trump administration announced on Monday its two Republican nominees, Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson, f0r the vacant seats in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). If confirmed, the FERC would once again have a quorum and would be able to resume rubber stamping its backlog of fossil fuel project permits. A coalition of around 160 local, state, regional and national organizations is calling upon the Senate to reject both nominations announced yesterday by President Donald Trump to be Commissioners of FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. “FERC has been abusing communities for decades, abusing their power and authority in ways that undermines the rights of both people and the states. While biased FERC Commissioners with industry ties is nothing new, Donald Trump’s picks, if confirmed by the Senate, would take us to a whole new and dangerous level of conflict and bias.

Enviro Groups Stage Massive People’s Climate March On Washington

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By John Zangas of DC Media Group. Washington, DC – Hundreds of grassroots environmental groups from around the country rallied Saturday at the U.S. Capitol in a mass march against administration plans to deregulate environmental protections. Among their demands: respect the environment, stop denying climate change exists, continue policies to protect the water and air, and don’t strip EPA regulations. The broad-based coalition linked climate change to fossil energy extraction as not only the cause of the present period of massive ice melt and species extinction, but also as a nexus to the oppression of minorities and indigenous people. There were over 350 sister marches held in many major cities across the U.S. Tens of thousands walked down Pennsylvania Avenue, with indigenous people leading the way, past a barricaded Trump International Hotel.

Urgent: Stop The United States From Attacking North Korea

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The United States has been escalating conflict with North Korea recently. Of concern is that President Trump announced today that he plans to meet with all 100 senators on Wednesday, April 26, without their staffers, at the White House. We must send a strong message to the senators that we will not tolerate a US attack on North Korea. The time to do that is now. Use the Capitol Switchboard at 202 224 3121 to call your senators today and tell them that we want peace with North Korea. Negotiate with President Kim Jong-un. Stop US military exercises on the North Korean border. Join us at the White House on Wednesday at 2 pm. See this Facebook page for details. If you can’t come to DC, then hold an action locally.