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"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
––Sinclair Lewis

The Question Isn’t Whether Trump Will Go Full Authoritarian—It’s How We’ll Respond
By Elie Mystal, © The Nation
June 2, 2020

Yesterday evening, President Donald Trump ordered mounted units of the National Guard and US Park Police to march on a peaceful gathering of his fellow citizens. Those units, unprovoked, launched tear gas at the retreating protesters. The assault was carried out live on television. As we learned shortly after, the constitutional rights of the citizens and press were violated so the president could pose for a picture while waving a Bible outside St. John’s Episcopal Church.
Before the photo opportunity (it does not appear that Trump actually opened the Bible), the president gave a speech in the Rose Garden. Trump, who was impeached for abuse of power and has ignored multiple congressional subpoenas, falsely declared himself a “law-and-order president.” He then threatened violence against Americans and protesters—and threatened to deploy the military on American soil to conduct local police actions over the objection of state and local authorities. Instead of trying to heal the country, Trump threatened to use the military against the country. “If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” he said.

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"Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says. Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization. This will happen often: humans seem to have evolved to practice denial when confronted publicly with the unacceptable."
––Masha Gessen (New York Times Review of Books, Nov 26, 2016)

Demands for Trump’s Removal Grow as Fascist Speech Condemned
Jake Johnson, © truthout
June 2, 2020

President Donald Trump’s pledge Monday evening to deploy the full force of the U.S. military against demonstrators protesting the killing of George Floyd — and the president’s authorization of police violence against peaceful protesters to clear the way for a photo-op — amounted in the eyes of lawmakers, rights groups, and commentators to “declaration of war” against the U.S. public that must result in Trump’s removal from office.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) characterized Trump’s remarks from the Rose Garden of the White House as a “fascist speech” that “verged on a declaration of war against American citizens” who have taken to the streets across the nation to condemn police brutality and racial injustice.

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"The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer."
––Henry Kissinger, New York Times, October 28, 1973

Trump and Sessions Released Cops From Federal Oversight. Now We See the Results.
Pema Levy, © MotherJones
June 2, 2020

The civil unrest rocking the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer has many catalysts. Among the more immediate is President Donald Trump and his first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, who freed local police departments from federal oversight and signaled that police brutality was no longer a problem that the federal government had an interest in solving. For police officers and departments with histories of terrorizing people rather than building relationships with communities they are supposed to protect, that message was heard loud and clear.

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"Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state becomes lawless or corrupt."
––Mahatma Gandhi

Militarization Has Fostered a Policing Culture That Sets Up Protesters as ‘The Enemy’
By Tom Nolan, © Consortiumnews
June 2, 2020

The unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd after being pinned to the ground by the knee of a Minneapolis police officer has left parts of U.S. cities looking like a battle zone.
Night after night, angry protesters have taken to the street. So too have police officers dressed in full riot gear and backed by an arsenal that any small military force would be proud of: armored vehicles, military-grade aircraft, rubber and wooden bullets, stun grenades, sound cannons and tear gas canisters.
The militarization of police departments has been a feature of U.S. domestic law enforcement since the 9/11 attacks. What is clear from the latest round of protest and response, is that despite efforts to promote de-escalation as a policy, police culture appears to be stuck in an “us vs. them” mentality.

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