Blame, divide & build walls

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Divide, blame & build walls

“As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them. They hit you on the head with 60 pounds (27 kg) of stuff? It’s over,” Trump said.

As a recipe for disaster, what better than dividing up the population, blaming certain minorities for all the ills and then building walls. Not only does it throw the world in disarray, but it undermines the natural and very necessary human reaction to disaster: solidarity.

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The Guardian | Trump says Mexico wall doesn’t need to cover the whole border

David Agren, The Guardian | Trump humiliates Mexican president again over border wall

Gail Collins, The New York Times | Let’s Make a Wall Deal

Cora Currier, The Intercept | Emboldened by Trump, US border officials are lying to asylum seekers and turning them away

Democracy Now | U.S. Ramps Up Border Militarism as Trump Appoints DHS Head General John Kelly to Chief of Staff

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Privatise & militarise the police

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Privatise & militarise the police

More and more money is being spent on militarising the police supposedly because of the threat of terrorism and armed crime by migrant populations. But a quick look at some of the articles and links quoted below shows that it is not terrorists who are the major target of police repression and violence, but rather marginalised populations and dissidents. #NotMyPresident.

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Photo source: The Atlantic

Democracy Now | Policy brutality  – links to a series articles and videos.

Sarah Lazare, Debbie Southorn, The Intercept | How do Chicago Police treat mental health? With SWAT raids

William Hartung, TomDispatch.com | The Trillion-Dollar National Security Budget

Mapping Police Violence in the US

Police Brutality UK

Police violence in Barcelona (from YouTube)

Democracy Now | U.S. Ramps Up Border Militarism as Trump Appoints DHS Head General John Kelly to Chief of Staff

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Deny climate change

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Deny climate change

Why deny what the vast majority of scientists say is proven? Why turn a blind eye on the increasing number of extreme weather conditions world-wide? Just take, for example, the latest report published in Science Advances and reported in The Guardian predicting weather by the end of the century that could kill even the healthy in some regions of the world if nothing is done to halt global warming.

So why? First of all because countering climate change requires a concerted effort on the part of governments around the world and that would be contrary to the plans of the small group of very rich people/companies that back Trump and people like him.  The last thing they want is concerted government programmes restricting their activities and lowering their profits. They are pushing for complete deregulation to allow them to garner even more riches at the expense of the rest of the population and at the expense of the planet and its ressources.

Secondly because letting climate change go unchecked leads to catastrophic situations that are used to justify restricting democratic rights and imposing harsh measures that profit only the ultra-rich. Read Naomi Klein on the subject.

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Damian Carrington, The Guardian | Climate change to cause humid heatwaves that will kill even healthy people

Eun-Soon Im1, Jeremy S. Pal, and Elfatih A. B. Eltahir, Science Advances 02 Aug 2017: Vol. 3, no. 8, | Deadly heat waves projected in the densely populated agricultural regions of South Asia

The Guardian | Naomi Klein: how power profits from disaster – podcast

Photo source: The Guardian, Mario Tama, Getty Images

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Kill the pig!

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Encourage police violence

“Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!” was what the stranded boys chanted as they ran rampage on their island in search of one of their number to slaughter. Surely it is unlikely to see such a scene from William Golding’s Lord of the Flies in what is supposed to be one of the most sophisticated societies in the world.  Yet the American president just encouraged police chiefs to take justice into their own hands and wreak violence on the ‘bad guys’. He’s taking down the very structures and limits that make our lives liveable.  And he is doing so purely in the interests of a small group of very rich people who will profit from the chaos he is spreading.. #NotMyPresident.

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Democracy Now | Retired Police Detective: Trump’s Comments Endorsing Police Brutality are “Treasonous”

Chloe Farand, The Independent | From New York to Los Angeles police departments denounce Donald Trump’s endorsement of ‘police brutality’

William Golding, Lord of the Flies, Faber & Faber, 1954

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Undermine the state

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Undermine the state

Irrespective of who his audience is, Trump has to talk about himself and vilify those who are or that he imagines are against him. Here he was addressing 12-16 year-old scouts. His behaviour lastingly  tarnishes the image of the Presidency and his actions wreak havoc on the state.

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The Guardian – Trump’s speech to Boy Scouts: fake news, crowd size and New York’s hottest people

Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian – With Trump it’s time to go beyond mere disgust

David Smith, The Guardian – ‘The president is a pyromaniac’: the week Trump set fire to the White House

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It’s important! Kimberly Crenshaw on Intersectionality

Professor Crenshaw addressing the question of Intersectionality in her keynote speech to WOW – the Women of the World Festival at the Southbank Centre, London, 2016.

What happens at the intersection?

Understanding what is happening in our complex society requires thinking of situations in terms of the interaction between simultaneous factors taking place on multiple levels. But even if we do think in these terms we can still miss gross injustices or patent failings in our well-meaning actions. Why? Because if we consider situations from separate multiple perspectives, many things that happen at the intersection of these perspectives or factors fall through the cracks and we fail to see injustice or violence or disempowerment or disqualification that happen just there.

The blind spot!

Here’s an example given by Professor Crenshaw. A company has a policy to employ women. The same company also has a policy to employ coloured people. As such it is held up as exemplary.  But if you look more closely at the intersection of race and gender, you realise that the company is less willing to employ women of colour. Not only that, but courts disallow cases from coloured women that try to claim discrimination based on a combination of racism and gender arguing that you cannot plead from two perspectives at once. The intersection is a blind spot. We need to train ourselves to look to those intersections because it is there that many well intentioned battles for progress on gender equality or LGBTQ rights or the fight against racism or poverty or police violence fall short or fail completely.

Kimberlé Crenshaw, On Intersectionality: The Essential Writings of Kimberlé Crenshaw, New Press, 2015.

WOW – Women of the World Festival, South Bank Centre, London

Vilify immigrants

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Treat illegal immigrants as animals

Donald Trump vilifies illegal immigrants by treating them as ‘animals’ who ‘slice and dice’ beautiful young girls. #NotMyPresident

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Maya Oppenheim, The Independent | Donald Trump brands illegal immigrants ‘animals’ who ‘slice and dice’ young beautiful girls

Sabrina Siddiqui, The Guardian | Senators to Trump: take a ‘moral’ stand on immigrants

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Ban transgender military

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Recipe for Disaster: Exclude transgender people

In a typical angry blast of early morning tweets, Trump kicked (1) transgender people from the US military. That’s over 15’000 people. Ostensibly a manoeuvre to gain support from certain US Senators for Trump’s budget and his Mexican border  wall who are against the military paying health costs for transgender people. #NotMyPresident.

(1) It is not sure what the status of such an act is. A tweet is not a law nor is it an executive order.

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Democracy Now | The First Openly Transgender Infantry Soldier in U.S. Army Speaks Out on Trump’s Military Ban.

Democracy Now | Dean Spade & Fiona Dawson: What Role Should the Military Play in the Fight for Transgender Rights?

The Guardian | The Guardian view on Trump’s transgender military ban: sad

The Guardian |  Defense Chiefs resist Donald Trump’s ban on transgender troops

German Lopez, Vox | How a few Trump tweets undid one of the biggest transgender rights victories under Obama

Jonathan Capehart, The Washington Post | Let me thank Trump for his tweets about transgender personnel

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Devil’s Bargain

Striking book by Joshua Brown about the relationship between Bannon and Trump and the frightening ideas that underlie and drive Bannon’s action behind the Trump campaign and subsequent presidency. Below are two segments of a discussion on Democracy Now! with the journalist and author Joshua Brown.

Democracy Now | Joshua Green on “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald trump & the storming of the White House”

Democracy Now | A look at how a racial theorist tied to Mussoilini & Hitler influenced Steve Banon.

Assist bombings in Yemen

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Profit before human lives

Thousand’s die every day from cholera in Yemen in an epidemic provoked by bombings by Saudi-led coalition with arms provided by the United Sates. Just another of those ‘success’ of the American president who was proud of signing such an enormous arms deal with the Saudi’s. Enough of profit at the expense of human lives and wide-spread misery and suffering. #NotMyPresident.

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Democracy Now! | “A Forgotten Crisis”: Yemen’s Aid Workers Speak Out About the World’s Worst Humanitarian Disaster.

The Guardian | The Guardian view on arms to Saudi: Yemen needs peace

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