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New PEN America Report Warns Surge of Anti-Protest Laws in Trump Era Is 'Danger to Expressive Rights of All'

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/27/new-pen-america-report-warns-surge-anti-protest-laws-trump-era-danger-expressive

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Sadly, corporate media aid this process by censoring coverage of many significant protests, which are truly newsworthy by any authentic journalistic measure. The Orwellian bubble in which we find ourselves is only pierced by a few needles of truth like this very forum. When I was still working I had little time to dig fo the truth as I do now. I constantly remind myself that most people are in that bind and do my best to gently nudge them toward facts when opportunities emerge.


A psychotic break is when you’re psychotic all the livelong day and you take a coffee break. Coffee’s good. You see God. With profound tenderness, God says that you’ll spend much of your life regretting your part in the deaths of your own children. Insert swear words here. Back to work.

A world without protest is probably a seriously crazy world.


Next law; You can only protest if you are carrying an AK 47 and wearing an American Flag.


Reading this piece made me think about how fascism (or totalitarianism) is related to capitalism. I then recalled a piece written last November by Umair Haque:

Not sure if this link will work but I’ll give it a try, it’s a great article, imo:

Excerpt from article:

This (Dystopia) is What a Capitalist Society is.

Americans Keep Asking How Their Society Became a Gruesome Dystopia. The Answer’s Simple. This is What a Capitalist Society is.

The rest of the world, from Europe to Africa to Asia, knows all too well why America’s imploding. It wonders why America doesn’t. It wonders why Americans don’t really even know that…Americans are asking the same question, over and over again, in a thousand different ways. But it’s just one question. And it has one answer, too. One simple and straightforward answer.

“why is this dystopian thing happening!!” Are really the same question. The answer to all those questions is the same, and it goes like this.

This is what capitalism is. This is what a capitalist society is. All of it. All the weird, gruesome, bizarre headlines that you read every day, day after day. All. Of. It. This is what a capitalist society is. This dystopia.

So . . .are we moving from just basic capitalism to authoritarian (or totalitarian?) capitalism?

“Authoritarian capitalism is an economic system in which a capitalist market economy exists alongside an authoritarian government.
Authoritarian capitalism combines private property and the functioning of market forces with repression of dissent, restrictions on freedom of speech and either a lack of elections or an electoral system with a single dominant political party.”


Yes, and military armaments to the police and National Guard are increasing and Posse Comitatus having disappeared years ago, we are looking at serious repression. A National Strike, on the other hand, combined with nonviolent civil disobedience cannot be crushed by truncheons and guns.


Our challenge is realizing that once a tactic has been used, the ruling class is ready for it. Marching around empty buildings surrounded by police is no longer efficacious. We must be creative and one step ahead realizing that the only thing protests can provide is outreach and education with the goal of attracting support and identification around an issue. Doing it wrong has the opposite effect and getting any coverage requires a fresh approach that hopefully catches fire. Occupy was a good example but even that has now been done.


Hi Jaded Prole,

I appreciate your responses that suggest actions such as a National Strike as was called for in February 2017: (h)ttps://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-general-strike-us-president-day-when-activists-national-facebook-twitter-a7558851.html
“Activists call for national general strike in the US to bring down Donald Trump”

2 years later we have people filling the streets to get back to work! I just can’t see a way for this to end in a way that is not collapse—whatever that will look like, don’t even want to think about on this lovely day in May. I wish I was wrong.

Every morning a “feel good quote” from some sort of “gratitude web sight” that a friend sent me years ago (and I’ve not deleted) arrives in my inbox. I must say, sometimes there are decent quotes ---- lately they’ve focused more on coping in difficult times vs. all full stop hopium and magical thinking.

Today’s quote is from Jon Kabat -Zin:

"We take care of the future best by taking care of the present now."


The problem with this quote is no one has a clue what to do now to stop what seems to be a clear march into totalitarianism and most likely a nightmare scenario with u.s. “elections” in November (not to mention the covid and human induced climate chaos)

Given that people are protesting to go back to work, I can’t imagine a National Strike at this point. What else will stop this madness?

I think taking care of the present now is trying to find peace and some moments of joy amidst (the possible out of our control) chaos and suffering.


to delegitimize public protest and paint demonstrators as dangerous or even criminal."

I do not mean to be blowing my own horn, but I posted a similar thing many years ago, when millions of us protested the SHOCKING, ILLEGAL AND AWFUL ATTACK ON IRAQ! “Amerika is now a fully Fascist Nation just a matter of time until dissent will not be allowed”.

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I hear you but what we must keep in mind, as Studs Terkel wrote in the Great Depression, that is isn’t just us, but all of us that are going through this. Unless we break from alienated individualism and dis-empowering pychobabble and think socially, knowing that our security and futures are tied to each other as a class, we are done. We must have each others’ backs. We can build community, neighborhood committees where possible, organize the unemployed and together make demands with the real power off collective will. On our own we are truly powerless and lost.


" The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information".
Henry A. Wallace. 33rd Vice President of the U.S.


I completely agree and am sorry if I conveyed that we must assume rugged individualism! I could go on and on about the break up of extended families and communities due to capitalism and how that is literally killing people and the planet but I’ll spare you! Loneliness is epidemic in this country and growing worse.

All this works well for capitalism.

That is why I was enthusiastic about and contributed time/money to Bernie’s campaign (twice) and believed for a time that we would move in the direction of having each other’s backs. “Not me us” and all that.

I don’t see that happening in this country. I don’t see the Joe Biden campaign as one of unity and bringing people together. Certainly not one that will have each other’s backs given his stance on M4All among other issues including his coziness with corporations and the 1%.

People need to watch Joe Biden’s live streams.
I had some time to kill this morning and watched the whole damn thing:

“A Conversation on the Impact of COVID-19 in States Featuring Governor Tom Wolf”

His behavior, the content, his use of words (or attempt) is truly unbelievable given he is the chosen candidate.
Vapid, nonsensical, can’t string together thoughts, touches his face/nose constantly, mumbles incoherently and of course speaks nothing to the roots of the problems in this country.

The people I know don’t want to watch him ----they basically are saying just shut up and vote for him. Most have not even seen his livestreams nor do they care to.

Does anyone even know who the dems are voting for?

This is not a bringing of people together or having each other’s backs when we don’t even know who we are voting for. Who are the people writing Biden’s scripts and propping him up?

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Henry was a genuine American hero!


Yes, the presstitutes did exactly what he said they would do…to him!

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Prohibition of free expression of thought has been one of the main targets of the corporate elites since at least the 1960’s. If we the people continue to swallow their bait and continue not recognizing our common enemy, namely the elite classes, we will end up being treated like stray dogs or worse.

I disagree, once the elites completely establish their rule those rifles will be confiscated. Although some of the craziest of rifle “brandishers” will get hired into the police forces to protect the very crooks who will in time run them through the meat grinder when old. I guess that’s Orwellian.

Probably the same ones writing dump’s scripts. Both dreadful gobblydegook.