Militant Journalism

New York City rally for refugees denounces Trump, racist backers

On Dec. 10, a diverse crowd of over 350 people rallied in front of the Trump Towers to protest Donald Trump, “loud-mouth-in-chief,” and his most recent outrageous attacks on Muslim refugees.  The rally, organized on International Human Rights Day, stood in solidarity with Syrian, Iraqi and all refugees amidst the latest round of Islamophobia.

Manipulating tragedy

The protest came at a crucial moment. The ruling class —taking advantage of people’s grief in the wake of terrorist attacks in Egypt, Beirut, Paris and San Bernardino—have unleashed a fresh campaign of Islamophobia, stereotyping and discriminating against all Muslims.

There has been a deluge of anti-Muslim speech from Western governments who released press statements banning Syrian refugees from entering their countries after the attacks. On Nov. 19, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would make it much harder for refugees to gain entry into the US. Now Trump—the racists’ favorite demagogue— has said if he is president he will close the borders to all Muslims.

This has everyday consequences for Muslim people trying to peacefully go about their lives in the U.S. A man shot a taxi driver in Pittsburgh. Classmates bullied a grade school girl and ripped off her hijab in the Bronx. Assailants attacked a man in Astoria, Queens, at a bodega. These individuals all suffered a similar fate, simply because they are Muslim.

Who is responsible for the refugee crisis?

Not one politician or mainstream media pundit, including Bernie Sanders, has exposed the role the U.S. military and intelligence services played in initially sponsoring ISIS against the government of Bashar al-Assad. Like Salvadorans, Nicaraguans, Angolans and so many others a generation before, millions of Syrian, Iraqi and other families would not be homeless and displaced from their homeland if it were not for open and covert U.S. intervention.

In a classic case of inverting reality, the primary victims of imperialist policy are being cast as a threat to the U.S.!

A front man for fascism

Last night, organizers explicitly condemned, not just the pompous Republican front-runner, but the corporate media that amplifies his demagoguery and makes him the top news story every week.

There are many bigots out there. Why does the power structure give this particular bigot such a massive platform to infect working-class people around the country with these vitriolic ideas?

Trump is the fascists’ front man. He represents a wing of the ruling elite who wants to turn things back “to the good old days.” They want to turn back the clock on workers’ rights, shut down the borders and bomb anyone who opposes American exceptionalism. This is why they invite a mediocre nincompoop on to their shows and give him free reign to spout such odious rhetoric.

United against fascism

The rally marked a moment of unity against all forms of bigotry. Aber Kawas, of the Arab American Association, stated, “This is a night of solidarity and unity for all people under attack.” Mohammed Shaikh, from Muslims Giving Back, expressed his love for all of humanity: “The problem with Trump is he takes a whole group of people—in this case, Muslims—and puts them all in a box. I am a Muslim. I love and pray for all of humanity. My best friend is a Jew. This gathering is awesome. This is how we should live every day.”

To defeat fascism, we need to fight alongside with each other, we need to have love for each other and we need to believe that we can win. Arabs, Latinos, immigrants, Muslims, Jewish people, the undocumented refugees, the LGBT community and others demonstrated that workers will not fall for divisive, scapegoating bigotry.

To cap off the rally, everyone held their fists up and joined in a popular chorus to recite the words of Assata Shakur (African American political exile in Cuba), which have become a rallying call for this generation of revolutionaries: “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

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