Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Resistance’ Category

When I found this article this morning about Venezuelans fleeing to the U.S., I was reminded of a warning I posted not long ago.  The post I was looking for was this one from almost a month ago with an embedded article in which Dr. Vanessa Neumann warned that the next refugee flood would be from Venezuela. Looks like she was right.

What I found in the process, however, was something that had not popped up in my previous searches for archival material documenting Putin’s animus toward Hillary Clinton.

Lo’ and behold this!

With an embedded article from VOA (Voice of America) reporting on the post-parliamentary election demonstrations of December, 2011, this post deserves another look.

Putin: Let Them Wear Tin-Foil Hats!

December 26, 2011

What is striking here is the nature of the demonstrations as described by VOA.

Traditionally, opposition movements march under one banner. They wave similar signs, chant the same slogans and follow a recognized leader. For a ruler, it is easy to negotiate with an organized adversary.

But the key to understanding what happened on Sakharov Avenue Saturday was the proliferation of handmade signs. A myriad of individuals across Moscow dreamed up their own messages, and then fashioned them on kitchen tables, on office computers, or in copy centers.

Putin is not facing an organized opposition movement. He faces something worse: an atomized, but spreading mood of disrespect and rejection.

SNIP

In another Kremlin blooper, the President’s twitter account erroneously released a tweet that described protesters as sheep that provide sex.

In an initial reaction, a large bearded man attended the Dec. 10 protest holding a homemade sign. A big red X was painted over a reasonable depiction of a woolly lamb. The caption: “I am Not a Sheep.”

By Saturday, this theme had evolved into a group of five young women and men holding an even bigger sign, reading: “We are Not Sheep.” They were dressed, head to toe, as rabbits.

SNIP

Other protesters took aim at Mr. Putin’s charge that the protesters were paid by foreign governments and activated by a secret signal from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Signs demanded: “Hillary, Where is My Money?” “Hillary, I am waiting for my money,” “Let’s bankrupt the State Department.”

One man held a sign announcing: “I am Here For Free.”

Read more >>>>

Well, wow!  This raises a few questions.

Does any of this seem familiar?  Yes.

  1. The Kremlin was tweeting insults against Putin’s adversaries.
  2. The protestors were creative and made their own signs, some about the tweets and others about the alleged source of the protests.
  3. The protests allegedly originated from Hillary Clinton’s, and therefore U.S. government, interference.
  4. Putin accused her of paying the demonstrators who struck back by asking for their pay or stating they were there demonstrating for free.

This all happened five-and-a-half years ago. Where are we now?

  1. In spite of it all, Putin was elected amid accusations of vote-rigging and followed by opposition protests and counter-demonstrations of support which some reported they were forced by employers to attend. Others claimed they were paid.
  2. The entire Gestalt has the appearance of a playbook.
  3. Somebody gave the playbook to Donald Trump.

There are differences. It does seem that Trump is aware of how Putin played the game.

There are constitutional differences. Putin had previously served two presidential terms ending in 2008. The Russian constitution permitted another run after a hiatus of sorts. Medvedev had stepped in as president for four years while Putin retained leadership of the party. American presidents may not run again after serving two terms. The Russians knew very well whom they were getting in 2012.

While the Russian demonstrations were characterized as “atomized,” implying, to some extent, spontaneous on diverse issues, our marches have been organized around issues by groups with permits. We have, however, like the Russians, been accused of being paid for demonstrating. Some signs in our marches have stipulated that we do this for free in own own free time.

Our next march, the March for Truth, is scheduled for June 3. Again the main march will be in D.C. with large marches in other major cities. From the look of the map on this page, many sister-marches have been organized in every state and also in Europe.  If you cannot get to a major city, you can find one near you or even organize your own in your area.

We are left, finally, with one last question. Will we end up, as Russia did, under the thumb of the guy we protest?

Since the 2011 protests were against parliamentary elections the people perceived as rigged, Putin was working with a legislature sympathetic to him.  We, currently, are in the same boat. We do have the opportunity, with special elections and the mid-terms in 2018, of overturning the majority party in the Senate and the House.

If we do not do everything we can to flip the necessary seats, we can indeed end up with a Congress that will do little if anything to oppose draconian measures the Trump administration proposes.

One of the many issues the Russians protested in 2011 was this, also according to the VOA article.

Others protesters noted that the Kremlin sent condolences to Pyongyang after the death of Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s “Supreme Leader,” but neglected to send condolences to Prague after the death of Vaclav Havel, the anti-Soviet activist and elected President of the Czech Republic.
On Sakharov Avenue, named after the Soviet-era dissident, elderly protesters carried black and white photographss of the late Czech President, with the inscription: “Havel Would Be With us!”

Hillary Clinton, of course, attended Havel’s funeral with former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Hillary wore a headpiece Havel had an artist friend make for her.

As I said at the time of publication:

As far as we know, it does not transmit secret signals.  Neither does the State Department have a budget sufficient to pay off all of Russia.  It is not known whether Putin’s treasury is large enough to provide tin-foil hats for the populace, but given their mood, we doubt they would wear them.  More likely, if that guy with the Picasso display is any barometer,  they would find some artful way to use the tin foil to fire back at Putin.

Right, but they ended up with the dude anyway.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

One way for ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) to ensure that proposed multi-state, anti-protest bills receive publicity and are perceived as necessary is to set a stage that will draw protestors.

Late last week, news of the United Nations warning the G.O.P. on pending state laws criminalizing protests brought out attention to ALEC , and their “free speech” agenda that focuses on the right of alt-right speakers to float their messages on university campuses.

Public and most private U.S. universities tend to lean liberal. We have seen incidents of alt-right speakers being invited, mysteriously, to universities where the scheduled speeches were protested.

Milo Yiannopoulos, notably, canceled an early February appearance at Berkeley due to protests. Late last month, Ann Coulter similarly canceled an appearance on the same campus recognized as the birthplace of the free speech movement of the 60s. The protests against Yiannopoulos turned ugly, destructive, riotous. Resistance protesters eschew violence leaving us with a second mystery. Who were the violent protesters?

Today’s story from the New York Times provides an answer to one question: Who invites these speakers?

So these appearances are arranged and financed, not by the schools, but by an organization, Young America’s Foundation. The speeches are bait. Hearing that an alt-right speaker is scheduled to speak at a school, students are certain to protest. We know that protests potentially draw troublemakers.

Resistance protests are peaceful. We do not know who the troublemakers were at Berkeley but they certainly were not part of the Resistance. The marches in cities, so far, have been peaceful. So why this marked difference on campus?

At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, I would suggest that these Berkeley incidents were intentionally set on that campus because its history guaranteed protest  – that much is obvious. I would suggest further, that the rioters were part of the staging.

Protest organizers, going forward, must remain mindful that these alt-right speakers are bait.  Protest behavior is the prey. Suppressing alt-right speakers inhibits their 1st Amendment rights. If we do that, we give the G.O.P. exactly the excuse they are looking for to push these laws that are intended to criminalize our own protests.

I will not pretend to have answers, but sometimes silence can be deafening. Silence and signs, shirts, and banners. We can predict that where these folks come in to speak, the riot goons will also appear. For that, we must be prepared and also plan to be distinct, separate, and present marked, non-violent contrast.

Read Full Post »

At the Women for Women event yesterday, Hillary Clinton again raised the James Comey letter.   At the time that letter was released, 11 days before Election Day, many of us were intentionally avoiding watching or citing polls. When Hillary brought that letter up again in the interview with Christiane Amanpour, some pointed out that she had since consulted polls and particularly Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.  So, for clarification, here is Nate’s analysis of the effect of that letter on the polls from two days before Election Day.

Nov. 6, 2016

How Much Did Comey Hurt Clinton’s Chances?

And is it too late for his second letter to help her?

Edited May 3 to add this.

This is the tenth article in a series that reviews news coverage of the 2016 general election, explores how Donald Trump won and why his chances were underrated by most of the American media.

Hillary Clinton would probably be president if FBI Director James Comey had not sent a letter to Congress on Oct. 28. The letter, which said the FBI had “learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” into the private email server that Clinton used as secretary of state, upended the news cycle and soon halved Clinton’s lead in the polls, imperiling her position in the Electoral College.

The letter isn’t the only reason that Clinton lost. It does not excuse every decision the Clinton campaign made. Other factors may have played a larger role in her defeat, and it’s up to Democrats to examine those as they choose their strategy for 2018 and 2020.

But the effect of those factors — say, Clinton’s decision to give paid speeches to investment banks, or her messaging on pocket-book issues, or the role that her gender played in the campaign — is hard to measure. The impact of Comey’s letter is comparatively easy to quantify, by contrast. At a maximum, it might have shifted the race by 3 or 4 percentage points toward Donald Trump, swinging Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida to him, perhaps along with North Carolina and Arizona. At a minimum, its impact might have been only a percentage point or so. Still, because Clinton lost Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by less than 1 point, the letter was probably enough to change the outcome of the Electoral College.

Read more >>>>

Yesterday, Hillary Clinton declared herself a private citizen and part of the Resistance.  #StillWithHer?  I sure am! Let’s go!  ¡Vamos! En allez!  I would follow Hillary Clinton anywhere.  I have that much faith in her.  If she is a ReSister, I am too.  In 2008, when people asked me why I was so dedicated to Hillary, my short answer was “Because she is scary smart, and I need scary smart.”  Well, things are scary now, and she is smart. That’s my leader.

 


Edited to add this bulletin from The Boston Globe.

Comey says he doesn’t regret disclosing Clinton probe

FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that he doesn’t regret his decision to disclose the reopening of the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation in the days before the 2016 election.

He told the panel that while the notion that he affected the election made him “mildly nauseous,” concealing that information would have been “catastrophic.”

To read more, visit: www.BostonGlobe.com.

Can anyone help me understand why concealing the Trump/Russia investigation was OK but not disclosing this would have been “catastrophic?”

 

 

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: