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After the Apocalypse: Trying to Describe Reality in Unreal Times

February 3, 2017 Sarah Jaffe

Source: Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

Since the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, I’ve seen several photos of chalkboards in front of bookstores, reading something along the lines of, “Dystopian Fiction Has Now Been Moved to Current Events.”

It’s a good joke, and one that gets a lot of clicks and reposts on Facebook and Twitter. For a journalist, it also underscores the struggles of accurately describing current events when they do feel impossible, unreal, dystopian.

This election in particular was marked by debates about media, its biases and “fake”-ness, and even allegations of foreign propaganda. From the primaries to the cabinet selections, debates over the appropriate amount and tone of coverage raged and rage on.

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Forget protest. Trump’s actions warrant a general national strike

January 31, 2017 Francine Prose

Source: The Guardian Unlimited

On the morning after Donald Trump’s so-called Muslim ban went into effect – preventing all Syrians from entering the US, halting refugee admissions for 120 days and banning the citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days – I received an affecting email featuring the photographs and names of Jewish men, women and children who died in Nazi concentration camps because “the US turned me away at the border in 1939”.

Now, America is repeating its mistakes of the past. But our fellow citizens did not stand by idly as this happened. On Saturday, a large crowd of protesters had gathered outside Terminal Four at John F Kennedy international airport, and similar demonstrations were in progress at airports across the country.

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A Radical Expansion of Sanctuary: Steps in Defiance of Trump’s Executive Order

January 31, 2017 Marisa Franco

Source: Truthout

A moment of stinging clarity is now upon us. Today, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to set in motion the process of building a wall along the US-Mexico border, stripping federal funding from sanctuary cities, increasing the size of US Border Patrol forces and increasing deportations. In response, we must plunge even more urgently into the hard local work of building sanctuary.

A year ago, my team at #Not1More Deportation and I drafted this reflection on the nature of sanctuary:

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Naomi Klein: Get Ready for the First Shocks of Trump’s Disaster Capitalism

January 31, 2017 Naomi Klein

Source: The Intercept

We already know that the Trump administration plans to deregulate markets, wage all-out war on “radical Islamic terrorism,” trash climate science and unleash a fossil-fuel frenzy. It’s a vision that can be counted on to generate a tsunami of crises and shocks: economic shocks, as market bubbles burst; security shocks, as blowback from foreign belligerence comes home; weather shocks, as our climate is further destabilized; and industrial shocks, as oil pipelines spill and rigs collapse, which they tend to do, especially when enjoying light-touch regulation.

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Pussy hats, Black Lives Matter and Black Bloc: How to build power to counter Trump — America’s dictator in the making

January 25, 2017 Arun Gupta

Source: Raw Story

The surprise of inauguration weekend was not Donald Trump’s ascension to the presidency. Anyone who thinks he will still pivot from his vision of a degenerate America that only he, the great leader, can redeem must be huffing his orange spray tan.

The surprise of the weekend is the multi-faceted opposition that’s emerged to his presidency. On inauguration day, activists peacefully blocked six of 14 entrances to the parade route and Black Bloc anarchists torched a limousine, smashed windows, and battled riot cops. Saturday witnessed Women’s Marches around the country, and world, that rank as some of the largest demonstrations in U.S. history. This includes one in Washington, D.C., that topped 500,000 people, and which crowd scientists estimated drew three times as many attendees as Trump’s inauguration.

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El Salvador’s New Battlefield

January 25, 2017 Hilary Goodfriend

Source: Jacobin

Twenty-five years after laying down their arms, the FMLN continues its struggle.

On January 16, 1992, representatives of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) and the right-wing, US-backed government of El Salvador signed a historic peace treaty that brought an end to a bloody twelve-year civil war.

The Salvadoran Civil War is notable among the last century’s liberation struggles in several respects: for one, the sheer brutality of the military regime’s response; for another, the negotiated transition to peace that saw an armed leftist insurgency transform into a successful political party. Unlike the Cuban and Nicaraguan revolutions, which initially conquered power through military victories, the FMLN won the presidency at the ballot box nearly twenty years after laying down their weapons. Today, the party, defined by its statutes as “democratic, revolutionary and socialist,” is in the midst of its second consecutive presidential term.

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