Trump's 'Shock and Awe' campaign against American democracy is being blocked by mass protests and legal action... but it's only the beginning of a long fight... Be ready for Trump's Reichstag Fire stunt next (based on his model from a previous era of the same stuff)...

One of the thousands of signs utilized during the weekend demonstrations at American airports caught the historical moment accurately, portraying Donald Trump's Nazi roots. A difference worth noting, though, is that Trump's model -- "Make Germany Great Again" in the early 1930s -- had as its leader an actual German World War I hero who had fought and been injured, while the Trump "movement" is being led by a hypocrite and coward who dodged the Vietnam draft before basing his 2016 Presidential election run on a template drafted more than 80 years earlier in Germany. Those who have been ignoring Trump's ideological and historical models are getting closer to the reality the more Trump tries to rule be edict, just as Adolf Hitler did following his appointment as Chancellor in 1933 in Germany. Once again, a draft dodging coward and hypocrite is trying to push the United States into a war against a 1984-style "enemy" while trying to mobilize a faction of the American people into a 1984-style version of "Truth" against reason and fact. The enemy is the second largest religion on Earth, and the attempt is as blatant as the lies that surround it. By the time the weekend of January 28 - 29 2017 had ended, the world was still reeling from the realization that Donald Trump, President of the United States, was doing to continue to ignore U.S. and International law, common decency, and even common sense. Massive protests in the USA and a world-wide outcry are beginning to indicate that Trump may be mistaken, but it is still too early in the struggle to make predictions.

The first nine days of the administration of President Donald Trump has been characterized as a "shock and awe campaign" against democracy (see one of the stories below). Others have warned that Trump is trying to force people into "protest fatigue" by pushing through so many obnoxious policies and orders all at once. Maybe, but from the perspective of the last full-blown tyrant to rule from the White House (and massacre hundreds of thousands of innocent people), Trump has already pushed more Americans into active protest, legal action, and hopefully political action (against Representatives including Paul Ryan) who slavishly follow the Trump party line than were on the streets in 1968 and 1969, when opposition to the Nixon administration and the Vietnam War began escalating (note: That opposition didn't explode nationwide in huge numbers until roughly the "Mobilization" of 1969 and the protests against the invasion of Cambodia in 1970).

As I've told friends: Those of us who were actually on the streets of Chicago while "the whole world was watching" during the Democratic Convention of 1968 could at times count the number of people actually protesting easily from any vantage point. There were often more Democratic Convention protesters safely watching the protests on TV screens across Chicago than were with us at the Hilton and elsewhere during those violent days and nights. Later, selective memory added huge numbers to those of us who were on the streets, beaten (I wasn't) or locked up (I was) in August 1968.

The current mobilizations are unprecedented. But any campaign against someone in the White House (and his enablers in Congress and the Senate) has to begin developing a long-term strategy as well as respond to short term atrocities. The 1970 murders at Kent State, Jackson State and elsewhere of protesting students were on trigger that set off more massive protests. But they had to be followed by other actions, especially the organizing of the General Strike within the U.S. military that ended the war on the ground (and part of the air war) by 1970 - 1971 (I was involved in that; view Sir No Sir for the best video about that part of the "movement"). Others got involved in electoral politics. Others took other kinds of direct action. Combined, we not only ended the Indochina wars of the U.S. Imperialists, but we also ended the draft, pushed forward civil rights and other rights, expanded women's rights, and showed the world a new way for the USA to treat everyone.

(That's part of the reason why the ruling class today is attacking the "Baby Boom generation" so nastily: We fought back, we worked hard, and we won. The last thing any ruling class -- or its media apologists -- want is to admit that by 1972 they had lost control of their own military and were forced into establishing the "Volunteer Army" instead of having a massive draft to draw on for every adventure...).

And so today, on January 30, 2017, we enter a new phase of the Resistance, with new means of communications, new strategies, and new tactics.

I'm hoping that one tactic will be to organize a challenge to dozens of members of the House of Representatives for the 2018 election, focusing first against the hypocrite and Ayn Rand crazy Paul Ryan. But that's some time away, and to win that one we will have to learn from the recall effort against Scott Walker (also Wisconsin). That lesson is that we can't win with a neoliberal "centrist" against these reactionary fanatics. More later.

This afternoon, the news is that Donald Trump and his cabal continue their attempt to attack American democracy with a political version of "Shock and Awe."


Don’t Give In to Donald Trump’s Shock-and-Awe Campaign — Stand Up and Speak Out

Your silence will not protect you., By Laila Lalami, January 29, 2017, 8:29 PM, The Nation

In the two weeks since he raised his right hand and swore to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, Donald Trump has shut down the entire refugee program for 120 days; pledged that Christian refugees would be given priority when the program resumes; blocked visas to visitors from seven Muslim countries; given immigration officials power to deny entry to green-card holders from those Muslim countries; promised to publish a weekly list of crimes committed by immigrants; redefined the category of “criminals subject to deportation” to include people who have been accused of crimes even if they haven’t been charged or convicted; and threatened to withhold federal grant money from sanctuary cities if they don’t comply with his executive orders.

All this is immoral.

There is reason to believe that it is illegal as well.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 abolished the use of national origins in immigration quotas, choosing instead to make skills and family relationships the primary criteria by which an an applicant can be judged. Establishing a religious test for refugees runs counter to the values of a country founded on the idea of religious freedom. As for permanent residents, they’re entitled to the protections guaranteed by the Constitution. A federal judge in New York agrees: A day after the ban went into effect and Muslim travelers were detained at airports, she issued an emergency stay.

Trump’s ban currently affects seven countries: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen. Since 1975, not one fatal terrorist attack inside the United States has been committed by a national from these countries. In fact, with the exception of Iran, the United States has bombed every one of these countries. The administration’s position is clear: We will destroy your homes in our search for terrorists, and if you flee either the bombing or the terrorists, we will close our borders to you. This executive order does not improve the safety of Americans. Quite the opposite: It endangers Americans, because it serves as a recruiting tool for terrorists.

On the day Trump announced his ban, my daughter’s class went on a field trip to the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles. She returned from school deeply affected by the experience. It seemed incomprehensible to her that people stood by while members of a religious group were marched to death camps. At dinner, when our conversation turned to the executive orders, she worried that the president might deport us. “He can’t deport you, you were born here,” I said. “But what about you?” she asked. “He can’t,” I insisted, “I’m a citizen.”

I only said this to comfort her. The truth is that I am not at all confident that my US passport will protect me. Who is say what other countries Trump might target next? Who is to say that the ban might not be expanded to naturalized citizens? Some of my friends tell me the president can’t do anything. It would be unconstitutional, they say. But we have known for many months that Trump’s businesses around the world pose conflicts of interest, which would put him in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. He promised several times to resolve these conflicts, but he hasn’t. In addition, he reportedly continues to use an unsecured Android phone inside the White House, which puts him at risk of surveillance from foreign powers and violates the Presidential Records Acts.

It’s nice to be able to appeal to the Constitution, but if our representatives have done nothing to enforce it so far, why should I believe that they’ll do something if Trump comes after people like me? The executive orders are not a surprise: They’re a fulfillment of promises he made during his campaign. Back then, when Trump was nothing more than a charismatic reality-television star, Mike Pence declared


From The Daily Beast, January 30, 2017...

Feds Blow Off Judge and Congressmen to Enforce Trump’s Orders at Dulles... Congressmen and lawyers — attempting to uphold a federal court order — were strong-armed by officials at Dulles Airport by Betsy Woodruff

Sunday was a day of strength for the Trump administration at Washington Dulles International Airport. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—the federal agency tasked with keeping people from entering the U.S. illegally—successfully deflected a federal judge’s court order and stonewalled three members of congress, in a display of executive branch muscle.

The night before, Judge Leonie Brinkema ordered CBP officials at the airport to let lawyers have access to legal permanent residents of the U.S. who were detained because of Trump’s travel ban.

It was a court order from a federal judge, which meant it was enforceable by federal law enforcement. But immigration lawyers at Dulles said it didn’t get adequately enforced. Instead, CBP kept the Dulles detainees—and it still isn’t public how many lawful American residents were held there, and for how long—from having face-to-face conversations with attorneys.

Instead, probably as a gesture toward compliance, immigration attorneys told The Daily Beast that they had learned detainees were provided with a copy of Judge Brinkema’s order and a paper listing contact information for pro bono immigration attorneys based in Northern Virginia.

It isn’t clear if those attorneys were on call on Sunday. It isn’t clear if all the detainees had access to phones while they were being held. And it isn’t clear why CBP barred the numerous volunteer immigration attorneys at hand on the airport from talking in person with people being held.

And their need for attorneys was urgent. Slate reported that at least two detainees—a 19-year-old and a 21-year-old, both citizens of Yemen—signed away their green cards while they were in detention without access to lawyers.

It was the worst nightmare for the volunteer lawyers at Dulles: that CBP would be able to nab a public relations win by releasing detainees—but without the public realizing that the agency may have bullied some of those detainees into ceding their rights to live in the United States.

Brinkema’s order, which was just a few lines long, directed CBP to “permit lawyers access to all legal permanent residents being detained at Dulles International Airport.”

Lawyers at the airport, who spent hours waiting and hoping to be able to meet with travelers who were held by CBP, said they were deeply distressed that no one forced the agency to comply more fully with Brinkema’s order.

On Sunday morning, the Legal Aid Justice Center and Mayer Brown law firm — who filed the suit — released statement saying they would monitor CBP to be sure it did as Brinkema ordered.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has recently confirmed that it has modified its practices with respect to LPR persons in response to the federal court’s temporary restraining order,” the statement said. “We are monitoring CBP’s new practices to ensure rigid adherence and to determine if they comply with the judicial directive.”

Some immigration attorneys at Dulles want CBP held in contempt of court.

Hassan Ahmad—an immigration attorney who carried a sign that said “See something? Say something! (To me; I’m a lawyer)”—told The Daily Beast he was frustrated that 24 hours after Brinkema released her order, CBP seemed to be defying it.

“We still haven’t talked to a client,” said Ahmad, who is with the HMA Law Firm in McLean, Va. “And that is proving serious Constitutional problems for access to counsel. Rights are being violated.”

He wasn’t satisfied with the phone numbers that CBP gave detainees.

“I think that’s gamesmanship,” he said. “I think that’s semantic play. If that’s their attempt at doing it, I think they would have a lot of explaining to do. I don’t think that’s going to sit well with Judge Brinkema.”

Officials with the agency were quarantined away from the public the entire time I was at Dulles (from about 8 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. on Saturday and then 3:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday). Lawyers and police officers said the CBP officials were squirreled away in a room down a hall blocked off by police. When Sen. Cory Booker visited Dulles on Saturday night, he got past the police and down the hall. But a well-placed source told The Daily Beast that CBP officials refused to see him, instead passing notes back and forth about their understanding of Brinkema’s order.

Three Democratic members of Congress—Gerry Connolly and Don Beyer of Virginia and Jamie Raskin of Maryland—all tried to get police officers to let them go back and talk to the CBP officials (an interchange the Huffington Post caught on video).

“Are people being detained?” Connolly asked.

“Sir, I don’t know that,” the officer replied. “I’m part of the police department.”

Connolly asked the officer why he wouldn’t let the congressmen talk to CBP officials.

“This is a secure area,” the officer replied. “I’m trying to get them to give you authority to come back, permission to come back.”

His efforts failed. The members didn’t talk to anyone from the agency at Dulles, and the lawyers didn’t talk to anyone being detained.

“They have successfully managed to black out legal representation enough with regard to information so that it’s made it very difficult for us to know with certainty whether they are complying,” said Brian Murray, an immigration attorney based in Fairfax, Va. “We can suppose they are not––we don’t know for sure.”

The agency had gone to extraordinary lengths to stiff-arm attorneys, he said. Murray added that attorneys looking to get CBP held in contempt could have trouble making the case in court if the agency blocks them from learning the names of the people being detained—and, thus, being denied their rights to an attorney.

“It’s so fucked up,” he said.

So Sunday was a win for for the agency, he said, and a loss for travelers trying to access attorneys.

“Round one goes to CBP,” Murray said. “We’re still fighting.”


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