Usually on Facebook, I see tirades & hatchet-jobs against “the left,” as if it were a monolith of theoretical conformity rather than a cacophony of disparate voices including everything from crazy-pants kooks to war-mongers to the marvelous activists involved in building antiwar protests, Palestinian solidarity, women’s rights, LGBT rights, civil rights, immigrant rights. There just isn’t much cohesion among them—at least not consistently & not nationally & most don’t operate in groups but as freelance activists.

Activists don’t get much respect so those considered the authoritative voices of the left are celebrity academics & journalists who usually don’t have more than forty hours of activism between them & just as often talk through their hats—just because they can & still get honoraria.

There hasn’t been a current on the left for a long time—we’re talking decades–that is rooted in theory, committed to activism, & democratic to the marrow. That’s just a fact which for the present has no resolution. So when I read the damnations of “the left,” I always wonder who the hell from all of the above are they talking about? Usually it’s the one who don’t agree with them.

Overnight, with the election of Trump, commentators from “the left” are taking their revenge with a fury. There’s an overload today of attacks on liberals, inexplicably indicting them without mercy for the presidency of Trump, for having the temerity to be as shocked as the rest of us that Trump won & for protesting yesterday against him. One left commentator called the teen protesters the “Zombie Apocalypse Protesters” & demanded to know where they were in 2008. Eight years ago, most of them were in grade school, that’s where they were.

You kind of give yourself away when you go after liberals like that. Anyone active in the social movements knows that liberals make up the majority of activists. That’s true of civil rights, women’s rights, & all the social movements. Not only do they make up the majority of activists, but they’re the ones who bankroll those movements through donations, large & small. It gets worse. When you organize a demonstration, the majority of those showing up to oppose war or defend human rights are none other than liberals. They’re everywhere in social justice movements. You can’t shake them. They’re determined to change the world. Damn fools!

So while those Zombies were out protesting the social hatreds promoted by Trump, “the left” were denouncing them for all manner of crimes committed before the Zombies were even born.

I think I’m getting it now. I think I want to be a liberal.

Day 124 of the brutal unrelenting siege in Kashmir: protests & resistance continue against extreme repression.

This is also day 56 of the incarceration of Khurram Parvez.

The US election has taken my attention but I will catch up & report on developments in Kashmir. Our solidarity & commitment will not waver.

End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.

Anti-Trump protests across US

Oakland anti-Trump march Nov 9 2016 ( REUTERS:Noah Berger) Nov 10 2016

Berkeley HS Ariana Melton 16 Nov 9 2016 ( REUTERS:Elijah Nouvelage) Nov 10 2016

There were thousands out across the US yesterday protesting the election of Trump. One cannot tell sufficiently from photojournalist accounts, but it appears many, if not most were young, including teenagers, & based on their placards represented those most threatened by Trump’s hateful rhetoric: Blacks, Latinos, women, LGBTs, Muslims, immigrants. These were anti-racist marches, pro-women’s rights, against Muslim-hating, for immigrant rights & against deportations, for LGBT rights.

Twitter, where it seems the most volatile go to vent their wrath, has posts castigating the protesters for not being active except about the election. It’s an odd charge, based solely on uninformed assumptions, since most protesters appear to be very young, were probably little kids during the Occupy movement of 2011, & have every reason to fear the hateful political rhetoric of Trump.

It’s also an odd charge because tens of thousands of young & old of every nationality have repeatedly mobilized in civil rights protests across the US since the vigilante execution of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012. Many among the protesters yesterday may well have participated in those civil rights protests under the banner of Black Lives Matter.

An apparent & significant lack is the absence of international & antiwar sentiment in the protests—judging that only from the placards & banners. But what’s more significant is that the weakened antiwar movement has not provided national leadership & organization because of disunity. The movement is further weakened by divisions about support by some for the Assad dictatorship & Russian military intervention in Syria. Surely young people cannot be faulted for lack of antiwar consciousness when veteran activists are so disoriented as to support Russian bombing of civilians.

It seems apparent to everyone after the election of Trump, that a rightward shift in American politics is brewing. When thousands who will be directly affected come out to protest & express their anxieties about that, it is something to be lauded, encouraged, joined, built, & not something to sniff at as an inferior expression of discontent.

The next time these protests are called, antiwar activists should enthusiastically support & join them in force with antiwar placards tying the racism in the US to the racism of war. It may be time for veteran antiwar activists to follow the inspiration of their youth & not to try to lead or take over what is bigger than them.

(Top photo is Oakland, California march by Noah Berger/Reuters; bottom photo is 16-year-old Ariana Melton at Berkeley High School rally in Berkeley, California by Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters)

As many have unfriended me (apparently) over the US election as over Kashmir & Syria. Odd that my Republican family hasn’t dumped me yet. It didn’t work at family reunions so they must have thought it pointless on Facebook.

The US-Mexican barrier wall Trump doesn’t know about

US-MX barrier wall at Juarez (Jose Luis Gonzalez) Nov 10 2016

This is the section of the US-Mexican border barrier at Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The mostly steel barrier began construction in October 2006 under the Bush regime & now covers over 600 miles (940 km) of the nearly 2,000 mile (3,145 km) border from the Gulf of Mexico through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, & California to the Pacific Ocean.

The barrier is still under construction so it is not a continuous physical structure but where it is virtual fence it is monitored by Border Patrol agents on four-wheelers, horses, with attack dogs; electronic sensors & cameras, radio & mobile surveillance devices; helicopters & drone aircraft. It will never be a continuous physical structure because sufficient porosity has to exist for thousands of undocumented immigrants to cross. US industries, including agribusiness, construction (including dangerous fracking work), meat packing, are completely dependent on underpaid, super-exploited immigrant labor.

There are all sorts of controversies involved in the construction of the wall. Some of it is constructed on Mexican territory; eminent domain was used to cross through private farm land; sovereignty laws were ignored to violate the tribal lands & sacred burial grounds of three American tribal nations; the government waived over 30 environmental protection laws to allow the wall to obstruct a major north-south migration corridor for birds, butterflies, wildcats, ocelots, & other wild life.

The wall is not just an eyesore but a human rights monstrosity which has caused the deaths of hundreds of undocumented immigrants trying to scale or bypass it. Residents on the US side have built cross-marked grave sites near the border for those found dead. Some coroners on the border attempt to identify those who died so their bodies can be returned to their families in Mexico or Central America for burial.

The US-Mexico barrier wall is one of at least 65 built or being built around the world against immigrants & war refugees. Who can forget last year when one European government after another built razor-wire fences against refugees fleeing war? The most prominent barriers include: India to prevent immigration from Bangladesh & another on the border with Pakistan; Israel with the West Bank & Gaza to maintain apartheid; Greece to prevent refugee flight from Turkey; Turkey to prevent refugee flight from Syria; Saudi Arabia against refugees from Iraq & another to stop refugees from Yemen; Spain has two on the Moroccan border against African refugees.

There are many more of these barriers, all of them violations of immigration & human rights. Trump’s rhetoric is not more than a continuation of US immigration policy prevailing before & throughout the Obama administration.

Tear down those walls. Immigration is a human right.

(Photo by Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters)

Lesser evil voting & war apologetics

If your most cogent objections to lesser evil voting is insulting those who reject the two-party shell game as doctrinaires, intellectually inferior, infantile, indiscriminate, it’s only because you use vituperations to obscure support for Clinton as the person you think most likely to lead an effective, all-out war against Assad.

Why be shy about your support for US militarism? That suggests you may have reservations about the efficacy of so-called US humanitarian bombing (indicating you still have some rationality intact) or that you are unwilling to accept the consequences of your war-mongering. Regrettably. it also means you have no idea how the US government is run, what role the POTUS plays, how military policy is formulated, what the US is doing in Syria–& just coincidentally, how militarism works for capitalism.

Figure out those questions before you ask Americans to send their kids to slaughter civilians in Syria or elsewhere & then have the courage to admit your commitment to militarist solutions.

A word to the wise: name calling is always a red alert that ‘there is no there there’ to your political position.

There is no pending Trump Apocalypse & fascism is not just around the corner

It’s truly shocking that a man as vile as Trump could be elected president. That means the rightward shift initiated under Obama is certain to accelerate as it would under either Clinton or Trump. Our new president is a hateful jackass but there is no pending Trump Apocalypse & fascism is not just around the corner. Those who make that claim are just sore losers who take politicians at their word & believed Clinton would militarily go after Assad.

There’s no reason to go all misanthropic about the American people when only about a quarter of them voted & their two options were crap. It’s true some rightwing forces are emboldened by Trump’s election, but for that matter, protests today against Trump were several times the size of the KKK rally.

For perspective on the election take a look around the world: hundreds of thousands of people are being carpet bombed (Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq); people are brutally occupied by shooting armies targeting youth & children (Kashmir, Palestine); people are sustaining ethnic cleansing (Palestine) & genocide (Rohingya in Myanmar); millions of indigenous tribal people on every continent are being violently dispossessed by multinational corporations & forced to relocate to urban slums or other countries; tens of millions of refugees are drowning, refused asylum, living in filthy, overcrowded detention centers & being deported back to war zones.

The regrettable election is a far cry from living in a war zone, being disappeared, or drowning in the sea. Nobody wants things to get worse in the US, especially for the Black, Latino, & Indian communities or for undocumented immigrants; they have it hard enough already. Nobody wants Medicare & Social Security reduced, food stamps cut, Muslims persecuted, the Bill of Rights flouted. All of that would happen if we sat on our asses dreading the Apocalypse instead of organizing opposition but we have a long tradition of protest in this country–including today Black civil rights & Native American sovereignty rights.

Our new president is a hateful dangerous bonehead & not the only one on the planet. If we make like the young people of Kashmir & Palestine who don’t back down under fire, we can reverse the rightwing shift apparently being planned for us & hopefully learn again the imperative of international solidarity in opposing war, genocide, occupation.