Shut Down Immigrant Concentration Camps (Detention Centers)
Defend Sanctuary Cities and Sanctuary Campuses
No Wall, No Militarization of the Border with Mexico
Defend Public Education
Save Roe v. Wade
Stop the Creation of a Trump-led Police State
The people rejected him – Trump must go. The principle of democracy must prevail over the Electoral College
Build a Mass Movement for Democracy and Equality to Stop Trump’s Racist and Misogynist Movement of Hate
Join BAMN. We will not accept the coming to power of a fascist movement in America. No Trump Tyranny!
The warning signs of an international emergency are everywhere—the flashing lights and blaring sirens of a political crisis can be seen and heard around the world. On January 20, 2017, the United States government will confer executive power to Donald Trump, whose ascension to the Presidency has been characterized primarily by the growth of a neo-fascist, anti-immigrant movement in both the United States and Europe. The entire global outlook is becoming overshadowed by desperate questions about the reality and the immediacy of Trump’s program, with his openly brandished threats of human catastrophe: the persecution of millions of immigrants and Muslims, the rise of an authoritarian police state, and the advent of nuclear war.
In America today, it is increasingly evident that the core principles of the nation, “conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” are now in serious danger. The defense of those principles will require defeating Trump’s impending attacks, and removing the tyrant from power. Essential to that defense is the building of a new immigrant rights and civil rights movement, a movement that is fighting to win by any means necessary. That movement will carry an immense responsibility that no other leadership in America is capable of fulfilling: “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
The other official leaderships, who can barely recover from their own bewilderment, are attempting (in vain) to calm the fears of the public. Some have conjectured that Trump’s hateful bombast is nothing more than idle rhetoric, and have promised the emergence of a more “Presidential,” less demagogic version of Trump. But with each passing day, the bombast becomes more of a reality, while the wishful promises of a kinder, gentler Trump prove to be the emptiest rhetoric of all. Other leaders have sought to reassure the public by arguing that Trump cannot possibly accomplish the terrible things he has threatened, that Trump does not have the power to overturn the various checks and balances of American democracy. But the argument of Trump’s futility only raises a much more important and decisive question: who is going to stop him.
That question has become the most urgent crisis in modern history.
Across the United States and around the world, millions of people are mobilizing to protest the Trump inauguration. Among the protesters will be immigrants fighting for their freedom, oppressed people fighting for equality, and American citizens fighting for the democratic principle that their own votes—which defeated Trump by a substantial electoral majority—should carry the real power to decide the future of their nation. These millions of conscientious individuals belong, in large part, to a young and growing generation that is majority non-white and has an international character; they are the people who are ultimately at the very center of the struggle for political power. Their very existence is both the source of the highest hopes for progress towards freedom and equality, as well as the source of the deepest fears of the neo-fascist, reactionary movements in America and Europe. They are both the beacon for a bright, new world, as well as the “spectre” that is haunting the old world—they are everything, but they are treated as nothing.
The future of democracy and human culture, and perhaps even the future existence of human kind, now depends on the leadership of the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
The international immigration crisis
Over the past twenty years, the United States and Europe have experienced the largest migration of people across national borders since the World Wars of the last century. This modern migration has absolutely perplexed the world’s most dominant powers—nations have militarized their borders to combat peaceful and unarmed civilians, and politicians now rise or fall on the basis of their appeal either to a progressive internationalism or to xenophobic hatred.
The immigration crisis emerged as the product of U.S./European exploits in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. This organized profiteering, subsidized by massive finance capital and often enforced by military intervention, created unprecedented levels of unemployment, political turmoil, and violence in the exploited nations. Millions of people fled their homes, many enduring life-threatening journeys, ultimately to seek refuge in the very nations that had ravaged their homelands. The richer nations, having succeeded in their project of economic “globalization,” also unintentionally succeeded in globalizing their own national populations.
Now, these millions of immigrants are caught in a deadly vice, trapped between a richer and a poorer nation, and unable to find freedom anywhere. And as the global economy experiences contraction, the vice tightens as well.
Across Europe (whose economies suffered far worse after 2007 than the United States), the trend of immigrant-bashing hysteria has redrawn the political map. In Britain, the reactionary “Brexit” referendum policy—asserting that the nation would rather leave the European Union than allow any influx of immigrants—continues to be a dramatic performance of political absurdity. Russia’s regime under Putin is now the model of neo-fascist government, and the Russian state has maintained special organizations of repression that mimic the Hitler Youth. France’s leading fascist, Marine Le Pen, is poised to make electoral gains there, and recently visited Trump Tower. Incidentally, the three largest nuclear arsenals in the world are controlled by Russia, the United States, and France, respectively.
The rise to power of Donald Trump can be credited largely to his demagogic campaign of scapegoating immigrants for America’s economic problems—problems that immigrants did not create, and problems that the persecution of immigrants cannot solve. On the contrary, immigration has been a vital source of economic growth. But in spite of the fallacy of anti-immigrant dogma, Trump and his allies genuinely fear the growing minority populations in the U.S. and Europe as a threat to white-majority power. America’s first majority-minority generation was born in 2011. To Trump and other right-wing politicians, this demographic shift has created a political crisis for their ability to win elections and enforce reactionary policies.
Just months prior to Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, political commentators simply presumed that Trump would lose in a landslide—prominent journalists prematurely declared the death of the Republican Party due to Trump’s unwillingness to appeal to Latino voters. Trump himself did not expect to win, as he repeatedly complained that the election would be rigged against him. The “rigging,” from Trump’s standpoint, consisted of the votes of racial minorities. Trump’s program is therefore an expression of political desperation. There is no place for Trump or his politics in a majority-minority America. His power clings precariously upon his ability to persecute immigrants and to disenfranchise minority communities.
That precarious claim to power is precisely what we must attack with all of our strength.
Trump must go. No “business as usual” until Trump is defeated
The first targets of the Trump regime are likely to be immigrants for whom the government already has records: Muslim immigrants with student and work visas, and the 750,000 Latino youth who enrolled in Obama’s program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
The DACA program has offered protection to the many Latino youth who were brought to America as small children, have grown up as Americans, and whose only home is in America. The Latino youth in DACA have broken no laws—a child cannot be held responsible for the decision of their parents to cross the border—but they are now one of the most vulnerable groups of American immigrants simply because they gave their information to the government and trusted President Obama to protect them. As the DACA program is one of Obama’s executive orders, it is now on the chopping block of programs that Trump proposed to end immediately upon taking office.
It is imperative to organize effective defense for the people who are targets of Trump’s attacks. Entire city and state governments must refuse to cooperate, in any way, with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Community defense groups must organize to prevent capture and deportation. The movement must grow strong enough to shut down detention centers (immigrant concentration camps). And the federal immigration courts must not be permitted to continue their current function as an automatic rubber stamp for deportation.
We cannot abide the weakness of the liberal politicians who propose to “challenge, but not obstruct” the agenda of President Trump. It is a completely worthless policy that benefits no one other than the cowardly politician, who wants to be regarded as a friend of the people while avoiding any conflict with the Trump regime. One could imagine opening a fallout shelter many years from now and finding the last words of such a politician: “For the record, I did not agree with the destruction of the world, but I did not find it appropriate to obstruct President Trump.”
But the entire resistance to the Trump regime must be based on the policy of “obstruction” in order to prevent the harm that Trump seeks to implement. The only serious policy for resistance is no “business as usual” until Trump is defeated. A new immigrant rights and civil rights movement must build up its power to conduct massive demonstrations, strikes, and walkouts—actions on a large enough scale to shut down entire cities, industries, and functions of government. We cannot afford to chain ourselves to the feeble electoral tactics of the liberals, tactics that were unable to defeat Trump in 2016 and will be even less viable against a Trump regime that has consolidated its power in government. Without a successful movement to drive Trump out of power, it remains an open question whether there will be any resemblance of democracy in the government four years from now.
By Any Means Necessary
Abraham Lincoln once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” He spoke these words during a crisis in which the nation could no longer sustain the contradiction of being the land of the free and the home of slavery at the same time. One hundred years later, the nation had to resolve the contradiction of whether it represented the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., or the nightmare of Jim Crow. Today’s contradictions are now strained to the breaking point, testing whether we can survive with a Statue of Liberty in the harbor and a militarized wall across the southern border. Both visions for America cannot endure; one must prevail and overthrow the other. And in spite of the cleverest compromises of American politicians, they can never make the house stand half slave and half free.
Our movement is not responsible for holding up a divided house—our task is to build the struggle for freedom, equality, and democracy as the only solid foundation for our future. And to put things another way: this house has a big wall that needs to be knocked down—by any means necessary.
Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, Immigrant Rights & Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN)