While Trump was likely sedated by his advisers, his rhetoric was less harsh than most of us expected yesterday. But this man changes course by the hour. He needs to know we mean business. Protest details for Th, F, Sat.
This is going to be a brief alert, with info on actions today, tomorrow, a brief articulation as to why we should not trust Trump with his sudden desire to make peace with Iran.
Retake Our Democracy on KSFR 101.1 FM, Saturday, January 11 at 8:30am with Ken Mayers, a leader with Veterans for Peace and an activist who has been a persistent mainstay protesting war in all forms at the corner of Cerrillos and St. Francis every Friday at noon. He was arrested last year in Ireland, jailed and unable to leave Ireland until just a few weeks ago. He is one of the organizers of the rally on Saturday. Tune in to find out what real tenacity and commitment look like. A true local hero.
Why We Rally Despite Possible De-Escalation
Likely you were as stunned as I was watching Trump. OK, he stayed true to his modus operandi by essentially making up how Obama negotiated the Iran nuclear agreement. And yes, he claimed our superior readiness and alert systems prevented casualties in Iran’s missile attack, conveniently leaving out how Iran had notified Iraq of the attack and had clearly done all it could do to avoid killing anyone. Clearly, Iran rose to the occasion, as the only adult in the room, and sought to avoid a major conflict, at least for now.
But Trump definitely delivered a surprise, threatening sanctions, while inviting peace. This was not expected.
But let’s not kid ourselves:
- Trump has the mental and emotional stability of a two-year-old, and that is insulting two-year-olds. By Saturday, he could have completely reversed course, maybe even have found new evidence of Iranian plans to blow up the White House;
- His take-away from this event is that I can kill a revered leader of another country with impunity, not a message you want sent to someone who once crowed: “I could shoot someone on 5th Ave. and not lose any voters.” We have to make sure that Santa Fe doesn’t abide by his demented logic.
- A very important part of Trump’s speech is his plan to ratchet up sanctions. Current sanctions have already destroyed Iran’s economy, created runaway inflation, completely undermined their health system, and deprived millions of Iranians access to critically needed pharmaceuticals. These sanctions were the stimulus that triggered Iran’s shooting down a US drone. How likely are they to remain docile in the face of yet another round of increased sanctions?
- We have to begin to form community, a group of activists and their friends who have joined the work; we must engage, educate, organize and activate because this crisis is not over by a long shot and New Mexico has to raise its voice and make it clear that we will not allow our nation to subjugate the rest of the world. Continued or new escalations are likely during this election year. And so, on Saturday, we will:
Meet at the Eastside of the Roundhouse at noon on Saturday, Jan 11. We have a series of speakers with a historic understanding of US hegemony in the middle east and the rest of the world: a young, spoken word poet from Syria whose family has direct experience under the thumb of US imperialism, an immigration attorney who has been representing Iranians from the 70s and youth from the Yucca movement. They will help us connect some dots and will motivate you to sustain your activism.
This morning the group organizing this week’s protest got an email from local activist, Emile Sawyer, who initiated the effort to protest last Saturday. He reminded us that “Democracy is a muscle that must be exercised,” and then went on to point to North Carolina as an example of where weekly protests at the state capitol galvanized a statewide movement.
One of Retake’s ongoing refrains is that each of us must make our activism a habit. The forces that subjugate us and countries throughout the world, do not take days off. They are a formidable force and to counter it, we must exercise our democracy muscles. We are in utterly bizarre times and we need each other. And so, we will protest on Saturday at noon. Let’s exercise our democracy muscles and get ready for the long haul. It is a fool’s game to trust that Donald Trump is a peacemaker and we must send a clear message that we understand this.
If you want to be part of an ongoing discussion about how to develop and sustain a movement while forming community. please join us after the protest at Tumbleroot Brewery where we can share a bit of food, talk more, get to know each other better, and forge the kinds of connections we will need in the coming months and years.
Other Anti-War Actions
TODAY, Thursday, Jan 9. Noon-2pm. MoveOn: No On War With Iran. Cerrillos and St. Francis. “The Trump administration has brought us closer than we have ever been to a catastrophic all-out war with Iran. This Thursday, thousands of Americans will be taking to the streets to protest against further military escalation and to demand Congress take action.” Bring signs and friends.
Friday, Jan. 10, Noon to 1 pm. Veterans for Peace. Cerrillos and St. Francis. Join Ken Mayers and Veterans for Peace for their weekly vigil. Bring signs and friends.
Paul and Roxanne