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Friday, February 24, 2017

Fascism, Dissent and the Outlawing of Protest

The Arizona Senate has just passed legislation to include protestors exercising First Amendment freedom of speech and association to be arrested and prosecuted under RICO laws--for protesting.

Authorities are destroying the camps at Standing Rock that were used as staging areas for the Anerican Native opposition to the North Dakota pipeline.

Trump continues his war against Muslims and immigrants.

The founders honored dissent. They were all guilty of dissent.

America was born of dissent.

Slavery in America was only abolished after a century of dissent by African-Americans, Quakers, Congregationalists and other people of faith.

Some of us have expected that Trump and his followers would bring down the Iron Heel on dissent. Now his followers in Arizona have.

Do you still doubt that we are in a dire struggle against fascism?

The ongoing assault against Muslims and immigrants is torn from the Nazi play book. Pick a minority (Jews in Germany) to blame for the woes of the majority.

We've experienced 40 years of stagnant wages and declining benefits and living standards because of unfettered and unrestrained predatory capitalism-- not because of immigrants.

One reason the predators have been able to hold us down is the dangerous weakening of the American labor movement.

I was greatly saddened to hear yesterday that the afl-cio is laying off staff in the wake of membership losses and the 2016 election debacle.

And the labor federation appears to have no strategy for growth.

Growth is possible, but it requires a strategy , resources and re-thinking.

We grew the American labor movement significantly in. 2007 and 2008 when I was the organizing director because we focused on growth.

We cannot grow without focus and without seriously engaging workers who want a better life.

Unfortunately for all of us, a vibrant democracy requires a vibrant workers movement. If the leaders of the afl- cio aren't prepared to step up to the Struggle before us, they should step aside.

Sent from my iPhone