In Defense Of Our Lives: On the 2nd Anniversary of Charlottesville


Follow IN DEFENSE OF OUR LIVES: Build a unified movement against white supremacist/fascistic forces, for a Peoples’ Platform and a mass spring mobilization to announce our new unity.



“How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause?”

The above words are part of the final statement given by Sophie Scholl on February 22nd, 1943, before she was executed by the Nazis for distributing anti-Nazi propaganda. She would end in contrasting the brightness of the day with the dark fate that awaited her and her cohorts, including an older brother, before acknowledging the importance of self-sacrifice. A bold and courageous stance and act in face of Nazism; a tragic fate for someone so young, not yet 22; a beautiful self elegy.

However, what value is there in empty memorializing? The German Nazi regime may have been defeated, but the conditions that gave birth to Nazism remain, and, in fact, the political and material reality that exists today present a far greater threat to the planet. And, from whence the Nazis sprang, the current crises too owe their existence.
Two years ago, in Charlottesville, Virginia, ultra right protesters under the slogan Unite the Right led a large contingent of racists through the UVA campus and the next day in Lee Park, one of them driving through a crowd of progressive people marching to quiet the ultra right, really fascistic threat, and in the act, a young woman, Heather Heyer was killed and several people, including DeAndre Harris, severely beaten by Confederate flag waving, Nazi waving thugs.

This was not a lone demonstration. It did not come after years, not days of relative peace, where there existed harmonious equality. The rancor of ultra right wing, white supremacist thought has grown and has more greatly fouled the air, but it has not been in hiding. Those that espouse the reactionary and injurious beliefs have become more vociferous, as they had yet another standard bearer in the White House.

There is power in ideas, and, can come a thing of beauty or wretchedness, freedom or enslavement. So, whence do the prevailing ideas of today come? The wealth of the U.S. and of the western world was begotten by such beliefs as those highlighted above and by the naked aggression of seizing, enslaving and mass murder. One could stand blindfolded before a calendar, press their finger upon it and are likely to land on a day where some dark and tragic event is or should be commemorated—the event due to legal or extralegal violence, the likes of which helped to found the U.S. or to maintain its predominance internationally and the predominance of the White Power structure within.

However, it isn’t inevitable to be stuck in a cycle of violence, racism, crisis, poverty and destruction. It isn’t inevitable that we await another genocide or allow crimes such as the concentration camps of migrants and their families, including small children, the disappearing on indigenous women and the constant police killings of Black and Brown people, and it need not continue the continual disenfranchisement of oppressed people and the poverty that pervades oppressed communities. These things are symptoms of capitalism, just as the destruction of the environment.

There is a power in an idea and the greatest power rests in the hands of people in solidarity with one another, not solely within the confines of the U.S., but extended to the multitude of people on the planet, who suffer the from militaristic and economic violence of the most powerful nations in the western world. Let’s give ourselves to a righteous cause, to a fundamental systemic change, to stand with the oppressed, from El Paso and abroad. It may seem daunting. But, is it any more than the enslaved who dreamed of freedom, more than say enslaved Haitians, at Bois Caiman by the words of Boukman Dutty who ended his prayer calling to the “liberty which speaks in the hearts of all of us.”


Follow IN DEFENSE OF OUR LIVES: Build a unified movement against white supremacist/fascistic forces, for a Peoples’ Platform and a mass spring mobilization to announce our new unity.


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