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Protest Works

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Congratulations to all the amazing people who went to the airports across the country at a moment’s notice–the lawyers, the translators, and the people just flat out outraged that our country has a fascist government. A federal judge has issued a stay–although not before too many people were immediately deported back to dangerous situations. The overwhelming pressure was already beginning to cause some Republicans to get real shaky about this, with Sasse, Flake, and Collins all coming out against the precise nature of the executive order, although none damning like they should.

This is what the next 4 years are going to be like–enormous challenges, some huge losses. But protest works. Masses of people make a major difference. And these people are going to vote in 2018 and they are going to vote in 2020. I don’t know if they can overcome Republicans rigging the game and committing massive voter fraud, but the left has not been this angry, motivated, and acting on it in a long, long, long time. Republicans–we are coming for you.

We have many protests to come. Go to them. Be part of the resistance. Fight fascism.

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  • Mark Field

    And read the history of opposition to the Fugitive Slave Act.

    • Yep. I’m going to have a post on this soon.

      • dn

        I look forward to this and also hope you have recommendations for further reading on the subject.

        • Mark Field

          I’m sure Eric has his own list, but you might start by reading about the Anthony Burns case. It’s got some strong similarities to current events, and gives you a good background on the whole subject.

          • PhoenixRising

            I haven’t read ‘The Town That Started the Civil War’ in about 5 years but I did pull it for this weekend.

            Spent the time making signs & protesting instead, so next weekend, but it’s a good mix of anecdote local hook with the national context of why, where and what re FSB.

  • Hercules Mulligan

    Some elected Dems have been decent on the airport protests, but man, just astounding to see how unprepared any of them are to capitalize on massive, unprecedented public outrage. It really does feel like they expected people to support compromise and caution. That doesn’t make them all morally bad by any means, but it’s kind of scary that their political instincts could be this wrong.

    • Warren Terra

      John Lewis showed up at a DHS office asking for information. His request was denied. He said he’d be happy to sit down and wait.

      • Hercules Mulligan

        …I’m not saying that John Lewis should necessarily be the 2020 nominee…but our goal should be to make every Democrat think that the only way to keep their job is to be more like John Lewis.

        • If he ran in 2020, I’d enthusiastically support him. I suspect he’s too old to want to run though.

          Agreed with your general point. I’d also say that there is a corollary to my statement about Captain America: If your ethical system is in conflict with what John Lewis would do, your ethical system is probably wrong.

          • Hercules Mulligan

            I mean, it’s not like anyone ever has seen John Lewis and the Cap in the same room at the same time.

      • DamnYankees

        Jesus Christ, that man. Almost larger than life.

        • randy khan

          [In Trump Twitter voice]What has he done? He just sits around like it does something. He’s a nobody.

    • Liz Warren was at Logan.

      • efgoldman

        And Bob Casey showed up at Philly still in white tie and tails from whatever function he was attending.

    • sam

      Let’s also give props to Jerry Nadler and Nydia Velazquez, who, based on what I was following along with in terms of news sources, were actually the first congresspeople to show up at JFK and start demanding the release of detainees (they managed to get one Iraqi translator released pretty early).

      Nadler is my congressman, and I’m very proud of it.

  • DamnYankees

    This is when the actual battle begins. Donald Trump and Steve Bannon are not the kinds who would obey a judges rulings. What happens when we have the inevitable clash between the judiciary and the executive? When the courts say “you can’t”, and the executive says “make me”.

    Does anyone think this confrontation can be avoided?

    • (((Malaclypse)))

      What happens when we have the inevitable clash between the judiciary and the executive?

      “In this time of crisis, I am asking Congress to remove all judges appointed by Obama with a simple majority vote rather than the normal lengthy process.”

      Does anyone think this confrontation can be avoided?

      No.

      • humanoid.panda

        “In this time of crisis, I am asking Congress to remove all judges appointed by Obama with a simple majority vote rather than the normal lengthy process.”

        Is this before or after every Trump’s militias kill every fifth Hillary voter?

        I simply don’t get what is the psychic mechanism that makes you guys come up with thee scenarios.

        • DamnYankees

          I think that scenario is absurd. But a scenario where Trump defies the judiciary is not remotely absurd.

          • humanoid.panda

            No argument on that one. Still, this tendency to invent horror scenarios is perverse.

            • DamnYankees

              At what point is something bad enough to count as a “horror scenario”?

              • humanoid.panda

                Like pornography, its hard to define, but easy to see.

                • DamnYankees

                  I think for a lot of people, they saw something today. Probably not enough, but its something.

          • efgoldman

            But a scenario where Trump defies the judiciary is not remotely absurd.

            The president can only be impeached and removed by congress, but there’s nothing preventing high government officials from being found in contempt and arrested,

    • randy khan

      A judge might not be able to jail the President for contempt, but he sure can jail the Secretary of DHS and the head of CBP, and the CBP supervisors at all of the airports. You can be pretty sure that they would comply.

      • DamnYankees

        And who exactly would jail them? What would stop them from being pardoned?

        • randy khan

          Civil contempt is not a crime for which you can be pardoned. It is intended to have a coercive effect, not to be a punishment.

          And the U.S. Marshalls (who effectively work for the federal court system) would be the ones jailing them.

          Right now, except for Kelly at the top at DHS, all of the people who would have to comply with an order are career civil servants. They won’t be willing to risk going to jail for defying a federal judge.

          • DamnYankees

            But they’ll risk defying the President?

            • randy khan

              The civil servants? Absolutely. One of the stupidest things you can do is to blow off a judge.

              And, frankly, Kelly is a former general, and I wouldn’t bet that he would follow a Presidential order that was found unlawful.

      • shah8

        I did not see this subthread before writing my comment! A good one!

  • billcoop4

    We will have to keep this up.

    We will have to stay ahead of them as crises are created.

    I suspect Bannon have his brownshirty-types ready the next time.

    WMC

    • Davis X. Machina

      He’s got the Army. That should be enough.

      • humanoid.panda

        Or he could import 3 million Russians. Or martians. Or maybe poison the water supplies of major liberal cities.

        • Davis X. Machina

          The most recent version of the Insurrection Act allows the president to use the Army if ‘domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order.”

          Can’t see Trump claiming that? Isn’t that what he was claiming for Chicago already?

          The President determines when that is, although he has to report to Congress every 14 days about what’s happening.

          There are no more norms — the genie is out of the bottle.

          • humanoid.panda

            Fine. I suggest you got to the woods, dig yourself in, and disconnect the internet, because this is how the NSA going to track you down on Trump’s orders.

            • rm

              Maybe it’s okay to let people freak out a little on comment threads, hp. Humans have more volatile emotions than pandas. Freakouts and black humor are part of some people’s process in dealing with shit.

      • osceola

        Davis, I think the people at the highest levels of the military have enough professionalism to reject those orders.

        • Davis X. Machina

          I think so too. But ‘think’ is a slender reed.

    • steve Rodent

      I think the bad-assery of the typical GOPer/Trumpite is vastly overstated. Hard to run people down on a scooter chair.

      • Steve LaBonne

        Just remember the Bundy commandos whining for snacks.

      • Oh, come on, they’ve also got a horde of 4Channers and the like armed with Pepe memes.

      • efgoldman

        Hard to run people down on a scooter chair.

        Not that hard. You ever been to Disneyland?

      • NewishLawyer

        How about the troops?

        Otherwise granted and concured.

        • Redwood Rhiadra

          Not just the troops, but also the police. City, county, state, federal – the cops support Trump and his fascism wholeheartedly.

  • I’m so glad that we started the day after the inauguration with the massive protests of the Women’s Marches. It sets the template and the tempo for what we’ll need going forward.
    Personally I’ve been mulling over drawing up a budget for this year for orgs to give to: ACLU, CAIR, rebuilding of burned mosques funds, MSF at Sea and so on. Gonnna be a rough four years.

    • humanoid.panda

      Might be a silly question, but what’s MSF at Sea?

    • JL

      The Women’s Marches were amazing, but we started before this, with the anti-Trump protests right after the election, the protests in the interstitial couple of months, and the Inauguration Day protests. And arguably we’ve been building this for years with a series of movements (Occupy, Black Lives Matter, NoDAPL, Fight for 15) that have taught large numbers of people the tactics and strategy of protest and direct action, and gotten hundreds of thousands more interested in protest and more willing to believe that protest can get something done.

  • vic rattlehead

    So so so proud of Jerry Nadler. I’m not used to having a great Congressman. I think I’ll call his office Monday and tell him to keep up the great work.

  • Elkinmotion

    I didn’t go to the Dulles protest because I only found out about it when it started, live an hour away, spent my morning at a Dem town hall, and have a mildly sick toddler. But I kind of regret that already. Wondering if I need to cancel my Sunday plans and go protest at the White House, but also reluctant to miss another half a day of the weekend with said sick kid.

    Part of the learning curve here is going to be teaching the “EMERGENCY” part of the brain when to overrule the “hmm, not the most convenient, can we plan ahead more next time?” reflex.

    • Brien Jackson

      I’m kind of in the same boat: Dropping everything to run off to an impromptu protest just isn’t really feasible most of the time. So I gave money to the ACLU. It takes all kinds.

    • sam

      Yeah – it’s hard to make that shift – After last weekend, this was supposed to my my lazy/recovery weekend. Then on Saturday I was THISCLOSE to getting on a train to JFK, but I had longstanding plans with friends from out of town and my “you can’t fight every fight, you have to still have a life” response kicked in. But then at least one friend and I spend half of dinner reading the emergency order from the judge in Brooklyn (friend is an assistant US attorney and let’s just say her office is feeling a little…weird…right now).

      And then on Sunday I went to the protest in Battery Park. So now I’m just exhausted again, and I’m just really glad that I have a big wardrobe because my laundry pile has gotten somewhat obscene.

  • randy khan

    It’s going to be a very strange time. I’m just old enough to remember some of the 1960s protests, and I’m pretty confident the next couple of years will make the 60s look calm.

  • shah8

    This just me on one of my hobbyhorses, but I’d like to note the role of local police authorities–They seem to have had taken the broadest possible view of the authority that the EO gave them and quite proactively so. Thinking of the Port Authority in NYC and those units that prevented lawyer access, etc…

    Something to keep an eye on. The lesson is that these guys will do things effectively on the verbal order of Prez Trump. Not through any sort of proper chain of orders or through any reasonable legal interpretation. It makes the damaging effects of Trumps EO, and potentially other statements-that-could-be-taken-as-orders more severe and less subject to interdiction by any potential adults in the room.

    • Brien Jackson

      This.

      And fuckhead though he may be, Cuomo deserves some hefty praise for stepping up and overruling the Port Authority to facilitate the protests.

      • vic rattlehead

        Yeah. Maybe he is less craven than I thought. Anyway, good to see that Cuomo has some backbone. Much as I grumble, I’m happy he’s my governor instead of some POS like Christie.

        • sam

          Yeah – he’s a technocrat and he does a lot of shit I disagree with, but I also go out of my way to thank him and each of my elected office-holders when they do the right thing.

          When I posted a thank you to him on twitter Saturday for both this and his order directing the AG and the NY office of legal counsel to do everything in their power to fight the EO (following the VA governor’s order doing the same), I got some mad-crazy anti-Cuomo trolls that I had to block – I literally could not tell if they were right wingers or left wingers, they were just completely bent out of shape that someone would compliment Cuomo about anything.

    • Redwood Rhiadra

      This. The pigs in blue will happily be acting as Trump’s Sturmabteilung.

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