Resist: Refuse Fascism takes to the streets
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The weeks between the Fourth of July and Up Your Alley can often seem like a slow time in the city. However, Refuse Fascism Bay Area shattered that conventional wisdom July 15, when it drew about 250 to 300 people to Civic Center for a rally and march demanding the removal of the Trump-Pence regime.
"The Trump-Pence regime must go," Rafael Kadaris, one of the organizers of the event in San Francisco, told the crowd, before asking rhetorically "You want to have four years of this?"
The rally featured a host of speakers from community groups and individual activists, from El/La Para Trans Latinas and Collectiva De Mujeres and the Revolutionary Communist Party to criminal defense attorney Tony Serra and San Francisco Pride grand marshal Alex U. Inn. Anti-Fascist (Antifa) and members of the newly organized Red Guards Bay Area, an anti-Nazi Marxist-Leninist-Maoist collective, were also in attendance.
Despite a threat from a group calling itself Bay Area Alt-Right to "counterprotest" the event, Deplorables, or self-described Trump supporters, were mostly conspicuous by their absence. Two men, one carrying an ID from the Oathkeepers, a right-wing organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as "one of the largest radical anti-government groups in the U.S.," attempted to videotape the marchers, especially those from the Red Guards and Antifa who covered their faces, after being repeatedly asked by those marchers to stop.
As many activists are aware, there's an ongoing effort by several Deplorable organizations and individuals to gather as much information as they can on anti-Trump protesters for purposes of intimidation and harassment, including but not limited to "doxxing," which is the act of publishing personal information about a person. This is one of the reasons some attendees choose to cover their faces and hair at demonstrations and why it's considered good etiquette to avoid taking photos of anyone who is masked up.
Of course, the "identification" game works both ways â€" and the Resistance now has new photos of said Oathkeeper and his sidekick if they appear at future events, which have been publicly distributed.
After leaving Civic Center, marchers performed a "die-in" at 18th and Mission streets to represent the casualties that would result if the Affordable Care Act was repealed, before ending the march at 24th and Mission streets.
Take a bite out of bigotry
Sometimes, one can make a positive difference just by having a meal. Reem Assil has long been a popular vendor at the Old Oakland Farmers Market and the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco, where she serves up traditional Arab street food with a California twist. Recently, she opened a brick and mortar location â€" Reem's â€" at 3301 E. 12th Street in Oakland near the Fruitvale BART station and shortly thereafter ended up on the Deplorables' radar.
On June 20, Breitbart.com, one of the right-wing's favorite sources for bigoted propaganda, slammed Reem's for having a mural of Rasmea Odeh, one of the organizers of the "Day Without a Woman" strike earlier this year (and whom Breitbart describes as a "convicted Palestinian terrorist") on its wall. Of course, Breitbart conveniently forgets to mention that Odeh was tortured by Israeli authorities for over 40 days before they obtained what she and her supporters describe as a false confession.
Sadly, Breitbart's dog-whistles of racism and Islamophobia have already had an effect. According to a July 17 story in Mundo Obrero Worker's World, the newspaper of the Worker's World Party, on July 8 Reem's was attacked by several individuals who unsuccessfully tried to keep customers out and shut it down. The restaurant has also been repeatedly targeted by trolls on Yelp.
One of the best ways to help Reem's â€" which, by the way, sources and hires locally â€" fight back against the Breitbart bigots is to patronize it. It's open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Proceed to the building up of socialism
At 6:30 p.m. on July 28, at the Women's Building, 3543 18th Street, the Democratic Socialists of America: San Francisco and several other groups will host a talk on "Municipalism: Building a Socialist Movement to Create People Power." The focus will be on using lessons learned in Richmond, California and Jackson, Mississippi for more effective organizing and activism in San Francisco. Admission is free.
Don't just be a bystander â€" act
The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, is offering a free training on how bystanders can best protect targets of hate crimes at 2 p.m. July 30, at the Muslim Community Association. 3003 Scott Boulevard in Santa Clara. Admission is free and all are welcome.
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