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Facts over feelings: Australians join global march for science

The Guardian | Protest -

Former science minister Barry Jones warns policy is increasingly divorced from evidence, as 12 Australian cities prepare for global march

Barry Jones, a Hawke government minister who held the science portfolio when the high court decided the Tasmanian dam case in 1983, despairs of an Australian government making the same decision in 2017.

Instead of taking a principled opposition on the grounds of science, he said, the Labor party would probably do a photo opportunity pouring the concrete.

Related: Science strikes back: anti-Trump march set to draw thousands to Washington

Related: Why the global March for Science is already a success

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Venezuela opposition launches new protests a day after three deaths

The Guardian | Protest -

Thousands of activists take to the streets in Caracas as opposition lawmakers say security forces have used excessive force to halt the marches

Venezuela’s opposition renewed nationwide protests on Thursday to pressure the government of President Nicolás Maduro to hold elections and improve a collapsing economy, a day after three people were killed in similar demonstrations.

However, crowds were smaller than the hundreds of thousands of people who flooded the streets of Caracas and provincial cities on Wednesday, the latest and largest in several weeks of protests against what Maduro’s opponents condemn as a lurch toward dictatorship.

Related: Deaths and injuries reported amid 'mother of all marches' in Venezuela

Related: 'We are like a bomb': food riots show Venezuela crisis has gone beyond politics

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Gérard Depardieu leads Cannes Directors Fortnight that mixes politics with pop opera

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The French festival strand picks provocative films about Israel, Ukraine and US society alongside a Joan of Arc electro musical, and there’s room for the debut of British director Rungano Nyoni’s film about an African girl accused of witchcraft

Related: Cannes takes on Trump with highly politicised lineup for 2017 film festival

The Cannes film festival has continued its emphasis on politics with the announcement of the lineup for the Directors Fortnight, the separately organised selection that runs parallel to the official festival.

Related: Cannes film festival 2017: full list of films

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Are you attending the global March for Science? Tell us why

The Guardian | Protest -

On 22 April – Earth Day – scientists and champions of their cause around the world will mobilise. We’d like to hear from you if you are taking part

It started as a small Facebook group in Washington DC but has grown to a global movement that will see scientists from around the world take to the streets on 22 April.

Related: Scientists to take to the streets in global march for truth

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Caracas: thousands of Venezuelans take part in ‘mother of all marches’ – video

The Guardian | Protest -

Tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators took to the streets of Caracas in what they are calling the “mother of all marches” against the embattled socialist leader Nicolás Maduro on Wednesday. Venezuelan police launched tear gas in an effort to disperse demonstrators, leading to some violent clashes that left one man dead

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Violence feared as protesters clash at Venezuela 'mother of all marches'

The Guardian | Protest -

Tensions high in Caracas following student’s death after he was shot in the head near a clash between pro- and anti-government groups

Venezuela braced for an outbreak of political violence on Wednesday as hundreds of thousands of anti-government demonstrators flooded on to the streets of Caracas for what the opposition billed the “mother of all marches” against the government.

Tensions – which have built up over several weeks of bloody protests – were ratcheted up after a student died having been shot in the head near a clash between pro- and anti-government groups.

Related: Venezuela on the brink: a journey through a country in crisis

Related: 'We are like a bomb': food riots show Venezuela crisis has gone beyond politics

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Meet the organizers behind the next ‘Day Without an Immigrant’ strike

Waging Nonviolence -

by Sarah Aziza

Activists carry a banner for the strike at a march on February 16 in New York City. (Facebook/Cosecha)

When 26-year-old Catalina Adorno hit the road on March 28, she knew it would be at least six weeks before she’d sleep again in her own bed. Since that day, Adorno, a Mexican-born New Jersey resident with a strong voice and bright laugh, has criss-crossed from Pennsylvania to Maine as part of a regional support team for Movimento Cosecha, a national immigrant rights coalition. Her stops have included major cities and small towns, as she and her three teammates work to mobilize Cosecha’s vast network of “local circles” ahead of a massive day of coordinated action slated for May 1.

On April 3, Adorno’s team stopped off in Washington, D.C. to hear Cosecha spokesperson Maria Fernanda Cabello make the formal call for a May 1 nationwide strike. The planned action, billed as “A Day Without an Immigrant,” is set to be the largest immigrant rights action for at least a decade, with hundreds of thousands already pledging to stay home from work for a day in protest of systemic discrimination towards the immigrant and undocumented communities. At the press conference, Cabello pointed to the massive labor and capital power represented by the immigrant community, including 11 million undocumented residents. The May 1 protest, asserted Cabello, would be the next step in a strategy of harnessing this power to “change the conversation on immigration in the United States.”

It’s a lofty goal for an organization that formed less than two years ago, but Cosecha has a strong track record already. Drawing inspiration from farmworkers and their leaders — Dolores Huerta, Larry Itliong and Cesar Chavez  — as well as “the thousands of African-Americans who stood up to the racist Jim Crow system,” Cosecha is an energetic movement that has grown quickly. Its ranks include a national team and hundreds of part-time volunteers across the country, which enabled Cosecha to play major role in several waves of direct action, including scores of campus walkouts and multiple protests outside Trump Towers.

Denis Solis from the SEIU speaks at the press conference on April 3 in Washington, D.C., announcing the immigrant strike. (Twitter/Cosecha)

Denise Solis also took the stage at the April 3 press conference to represent SEIU United Service Workers West, one of the labor unions joining in the strike. She applauded Cabello’s remarks and added that the overt racism of the Trump administration has made this action more urgent than ever. “The policies of the Trump administration are motivated by cruelty [and] villainize black and brown people,” she said. “We are shutting it down on May 1 to stand up to these policies and show that most Americans don’t support cruelty and racism.”

Listening to the words of Cabello, Solis and others, Adorno reflected on her own life as an undocumented, Mexican-born resident of the United States. “Growing up undocumented, I felt I had a secret that made me less than other people. I lived in constant fear,” she said. It wasn’t until she met organizers at her New Jersey college that she began to think of her status in a new way. “I began to see that documents did not define me as a human being, that all this fear is the result of a system that criminalizes our people.” The election of Trump, she said, has only amplified long-standing anxieties. “He’s so vocal about targeting us, our fear is very real.”

Yet as Adorno criss-crosses the country as part of Cosecha’s support team for local activists, she has discovered a network of grassroots organizers who are channeling their own fears into action. When we spoke on the phone, she had just finished an hours-long training session with a “local circle” of workers and immigrants who are preparing to strike on May 1. The Phoenixville group is one of about 80 such Cosecha-aligned circles across the country, and it is with these groups that the real gravity of the movement rests. United by the goals of winning “permanent protection, dignity and respect” for the immigrant community, each circle is able to tailor its strategy to its own local concerns, said Adorno, while the 27-member national team plays the role of coordinator.

Adorno, who works full-time and for free, will be on the road until at least mid-May, both facilitating trainings and helping communities deal with any post-strike fallout. In each town, Cosecha’s mobile teams rely on the hospitality of local organizers, crashing on couches and enjoying home-cooked meals, coffee and late-night conversation. It’s a grueling but inspiring job, Adorno said, who added that her “support role” often involves as much learning as instructing. “We do a lot of listening to people’s needs and to their plans,” she explained. “One of the principles of our movement is that everything we need is already in the community — and seeing this on the ground is mind-blowing.”

Jose Carlos Berdeja from Rockport, Maine at a meeting in Boston for Cosecha leadership on March 25. (Facebook/Maria Fernanda Cabello‎)

In fact, Cosecha’s national organizers often arrive to play catch-up with local activists. “When people talk about the immigrant community, they don’t always give them the credit they deserve,” Adorno said. “People know what they want and they are ready to let the country know.” So far, Cosecha-aligned groups have organized campus walk outs, formed alliances with local business owners, coordinated banner drops, and, on February 16, launched a spontaneous worker strike that made national news. “That was a moment where self-organizing got ahead of the national team,” she recalled with amusement. “People were ready to strike sooner than we thought!”

Drawing on a history of resistance

Many of these recent actions have come in response to Trump’s aggressive targeting of the immigrant community, but it would be a mistake to view these events solely as a reaction to the new administration. The immigrant community has been threatened by deportation and criminalization for years, under both Republican and Democratic administrations. The choice of May 1 as a strike date is also a call-back to the movement’s history and the first “Day Without an Immigrant,” which took place on May 1, 2006. This first strike came at a similar time of national foment and anti-immigrant legislation. The particular trigger in 2006 was the so-called “Sensenbrenner bill” proposed in the U.S. Senate, which would mandate harsh crackdowns on the undocumented community and criminalize employers and private citizens deemed to be providing “aid” to “illegal immigrants.” Incensed, immigrants and allies demonstrated in over 140 cities, with a half-million marching in Los Angeles and 100,000 in Chicago.

Paul Engler, an Los Angeles-based organizer and founder of Center for the Working Poor, was deeply involved in the 2006 actions. Eleven years later, his voice still rises, rapid and giddy, as he recalls the wave of direct action that swept the country that spring. By 2006, Engler already had a long history of labor organizing, but says he was stunned by the spontaneous response to Sensenbrenner. “I can’t even describe what it was like to see people mobilize on that scale for immigrant rights,” he said, “to see hundreds of thousands of people on the streets … It was incredible. Before that, the largest group we’d been able to mobilize was about 12,000.”

What made the difference, Engler contends, was the overreach of the Sensenbrenner bill. After months of deportations and raids, the bill’s draconian measures served as a “trigger event,” pushing an already-agitated community from terror to determination. “There was a change in the air,” Engler recalled. “It was the beginning of a permanent shift.” Soon, a galvanized front, led by Latino organizers, began mobilizing through community networks, Spanish-language press, radio DJs and unions. Like Adorno today, Engler said he had trouble at times keeping up with the burst of self-organizing. “For a while, the people outpaced the mainstream labor unions,” he explained.

While Sensenbrenner and Donald Trump’s proposals are merely extensions of long-standing discrimination, Engler argues both have served to catalyze mass action. “Trump threw away the dog whistle and catered to the racist wing of the Republican party,” he said, “and Sensenbrenner basically criminalized anyone who wasn’t actively reporting undocumented people.” In such cases, the extreme circumstances push people to act — even those who traditionally avoid political controversy. Among those mobilized by Sensenbrenner was the Archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Mahoney, who called the bill “blameful [and] vicious.” On Ash Wednesday in 2006 he pledged to order a campaign of civil disobedience in his 288-parish archdiocese if the Sensenbrenner bill became law. “He essentially made every single priest [in Los Angeles] into an activist,” said Engler. “It was unbelievable.”

Yet, more than charismatic leadership or sophisticated organizing, it was the individual decisions to resist that ignited the 2006 movement. According to Engler, it was the willingness of organizers to “sacrifice and disrupt” by calling for strikes and campus walk-outs that sets 2006 apart from other moments of political setback. “People were actually putting themselves on the line,” he said, “risking their jobs, their safety.” In these direct actions, the immigrant community forced the American public to grapple with the real implications of anti-immigrant rhetoric, causing many to reconsider. Engler points to Alabama’s anti-immigration legislation, HB 56, which caused a mass exodus of immigrants after it passed in 2011. “People realized that entire business sectors would collapse without immigrants,” he said, “and a lot of Republicans flipped their opinion on the bill. This proves that even racists can shift if you show them the economic impact.” It’s also evidence that strikes like the upcoming May 1 action can work.

Laying the groundwork

Since 2006, Engler has helped train hundreds of local organizers in movement-building through Momentum, a “movement incubator” training program he co-founded with Carlos Saavedra and several others. Saavedra, who grew up undocumented after his family immigrated to Boston from Peru, has been a long-time leader in the fight for immigrant rights. As a young man, Saavedra was lead advocate for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, with United We Dream, and later founded the Ayni Institute, an organization dedicated to training organizers in low-income communities. At Momentum, Engler, Saavedra, and others aim to “give progressive organizers the tools and frameworks to build massive, decentralized social movements.”

Cosecha is comprised of many graduates of Momentum, and its not hard to hear the echoes of Engler’s analysis Adorno describes the logic behind the 2017 strike. “For too long, our community has trusted the system, and we’ve been played by political parties,” she said. “This country depends on the labor and consumption power of immigrants, and we’re going to demonstrate our power by withholding these things.”

At the same time, however, the decision to strike carries grave risks for workers. “People are desperate to strike, but there’s also fear — fear of being fired and not being able to support your family,” Adorno said. “But people feel so devalued, so dehumanized, they know this is what they have to do to fight back.” Many communities are collecting emergency funds and preparing legal teams to help families who may lose a source of income to the strike. “Some people lost their jobs during the February strike,” Cabello told me in a separate phone conversation. “We’re doing our best to keep that from happening this time.”

Yet, despite this caution, labor unions are taking a bolder stance than they did in 2006, when they limited their support to protecting individual members who joined the strike. “This time, there are unions actually endorsing the strike, which is huge,” Engler explained. Cabello says unions make a “natural partner” for the action, but many of them would not have joined without direct pressure from their members. In the case of one branch of the Service Employees International Union in California, members arrived at a meeting bearing signs announcing, “We’re ready to strike on May 1.” Others needed less convincing. “This is why [they] joined unions in the first place — they want to strike and make a difference,” Cabello said.

So far, Cosecha’s partners include the Food Chain Workers Alliance, the SEIU United Service Workers West, and UNITE HERE Tech Cafeteria Workers, which together represent at least 400,000 members ready to join the May 1 strike. Also joining the strike are local business owners and members of the tech industry.

Luis Rojas Rodriguez at a Salsa Shutdown action in an Old Navy store, during the Cosecha National Assembly on February 11 in Boston. Over 350 immigrant leaders came together from across the country to launch the May 1 campaign. (Twitter/Cosecha)

The immigrant and labor communities, of course, have not been idle since 2006. Across the country, activists have continued to protest discriminatory laws through campus walk-outs, civil disobedience, social media campaigns and smaller-scale strikes. One important step came when Barack Obama announced the DACA program in 2012 — after years of deliberate struggle and advocacy led by young, undocumented “Dreamers.” This legislation allowed for undocumented individuals who entered the country as minors to apply for two-year deferrals on deportation and permission to work. Yet, immigrants and allies have been repeatedly let down by mainstream politics, and even the success of DACA is partial. “The ‘Dreamer’ narrative only highlighted part of our community and sacrificed the rest,” Adorno said. “At the time, we were desperate for a win, but our community deserves much better.”

With that in mind, the organizers of the May 1 action aim to transcend the legislation-focused actions of the past by calling explicitly for true, comprehensive reform. “What’s different is that people are looking beyond individual legislation and beyond a single political party,” Cabello said. Rather than simply resisting deportation and criminalization, the immigrant community is asking for “permanent protection, dignity and respect.” May 1 will only be the beginning. After the strike, teams like Adorno’s will spend several weeks checking in with local circles, assessing outcomes and discussing next steps. “We want to build up to a full week of strikes and actions,” she said. This next step may come as soon as the end of 2017, according to Cabello, but it will depend on the needs and initiatives of those on the ground. “We will continue to follow the wisdom of the people.”

Venezuela braces for the 'mother of all protests' as both sides call for rallies

The Guardian | Protest -

As dissatisfaction with the government grows, opposition leader needs no reminder of the risks involved in inflaming an already febrile national mood

As Venezuela braces for the “mother of all protests” on Wednesday, opposition figurehead Henrique Capriles needs no reminder of the risks involved in inflaming an already febrile national mood.

The walls of his office building are still blackened from the fire that blazed here last week after security forces lobbed a gas canister during an anti-government demonstration.

I cannot just sit by and watch a government that is increasingly authoritarian. I feel it is my duty to stand up

Related: Venezuela on the brink: a journey through a country in crisis

Related: 'We are like a bomb': food riots show Venezuela crisis has gone beyond politics

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Why the global March for Science is already a success

The Guardian | Protest -

On 22 April, from Oklahoma to Greenland, scientists and their champions will mobilise, and in many ways, the March for Science is already a success

Science teacher Jackie Scott will be in the streets this Saturday in Little Rock, Arkansas. “I march because my middle school students deserve to have a better world,” she wrote. “They deserve to see what real research looks like and sounds like when it is communicated.”

From Oklahoma to Greenland, scientists and their champions will gather on April 22 for the much anticipated March for Science. And in many ways, the event is already a success: because thousands of scientists are speaking up, millions of people are considering how science actually matters to our lives.

“It’s a poverty of imagination that diminishes our discourse, curtails curiosity, and makes our interactions petty and small. A poverty of imagination that breeds distrust for institutions and, increasingly, for information. A poverty of imagination that breeds distrust of other people who do not look or think like us. A poverty of imagination that shrinks our sense of self and our sense of a lofty and inspiring common purpose, luring us to the extremes rather than leading us towards the extraordinary.”

Related: Rob Newman thinks scientists belittle people. I sympathise: science is unsettling

Related: After April’s March for Science, what next for anti-Trump scientists?

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Greenpeace fined under Lobbying Act in 'act of civil disobedience'

The Guardian | Protest -

Exclusive: Greenpeace says ‘gagging law’ favours big business and refused to register as a campaign group in run-up to 2015 election

Greenpeace has become the first organisation to be fined under the government’s Lobbying Act which critics warned would silence legitimate campaign groups.

Ministers said the legislation, dubbed the “gagging law” by charities, would hold corporate lobbyists to account when it was introduced in 2014.

Related: The truth about lobbying: 10 ways big business controls government

Related: How corporate dark money is taking power on both sides of the Atlantic | George Monbiot

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Scientists to take to the streets in global march for truth

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March for Science on 22 April will see scientists and supporters at more than 500 locations stand up for evidence-based thinking

Scientists and science supporters will take to the streets in a global March for Science on 22 April . What began as a small Facebook group in the US capital, Washington DC has spiralled into a global phenomenon that will now see marches and other events in more than 500 locations around the world, from Seattle to Seoul.

It is great news that so many people are prepared to stand up and defend the need for evidence-based thinking and the scientific method. But it is also a sad comment on our times that a March for Science is needed at all. Post-truth populism has infected democracies around the world, scientific objectivity is under threat from multiple sources and there seems a real danger of falling into a modern dystopian dark age.

Related: Scientists are planning to march on Washington. Here's why

Related: Can the Republican Party solve its science denial problem? | Dana Nuccitelli

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As the ‘alt-right’ breaks from Trump, so goes its moment in the sun

Waging Nonviolence -

by Shane Burley

Embed from Getty Images

Two weeks ago, while Democrats and Republicans were finding common ground on starting a war in Syria — following President Donald Trump’s retaliatory airstrike for a brutal chemical gas attack on civilians — the so-called “alt-right” finally declared its break with the new administration. Richard Spencer, the enigmatic center of the alt-right and their leading “luminary,” took his rage to Twitter.

“The #AltRight is against a war in Syria. Period,” he said to echoes of retweets. “If Trump takes us into war in Syria, I’m done with him.”

Peter Brimelow’s anti-immigration website VDare continued the disappointment with Trump, explaining that the three things voters ended up with after becoming “Trump Republicans” were conflict with Syria, a Paul Ryan healthcare plan and tax cuts for billionaires. Across the blogs, podcasts and message boards, the alt-right is revolting against Trump, declaring his capitulation to military intervention the ultimate betrayal.

For those who have been watching the rise of the far-right in the United States, this response to Trump’s behavior may seem frenetically schizophrenic. This notion comes largely from the belief that white supremacist politics are based in traditional white colonialism, that “America First” means the ability to enact militarized genocide on the developing world at will. The right-wing politics that the alt-right evolved from, however, is one that is isolationist at its core. They believe nationalism means creating strong boundaries between peoples, which would preclude intervention — both humanitarian and mercantile.

Paleoconservatism, an evolutionary stage leading up to the alt-right in the mid-2000s, was a reactionary response to the growth of “compassionate” interventionist neoconservatism that rose to prominence inside of the GOP in the 1980s. The American Conservative, a paleo-leaning publication founded by Pat Buchannan, has been running headlines since this month’s bombing like “This Isn’t the Foreign Policy Trump Campaigned On” and “Bombing Syria Doesn’t Provide Humanitarian Relief.” This is not surprising since the defining principle of The American Conservative in the early 2000s was that it was the only major conservative institution to stand against the invasion of Iraq.

This rejection of Syrian intervention is uniform on the alt-right and signals the first major betrayal of the Trump presidency. Most white nationalist ideologues did not think that Trump would actually carry out a clean interpretation of their politics, but hoped they could mobilize him on their key political issues like foreign policy, refugees and non-white immigration. While he has enacted some of their agenda — including the Muslim travel ban, which was taken largely from Kris Kobach and the anti-immigration Tanton Network — his collaboration with Republican business interests has been disheartening. In that sense, the Syria bombing is only the most recent infidelity to the alt-right, albeit the most significant.

As a prelude to the widening rift, Stephen Bannon was removed from his central role on the National Security Council. The political world was shocked when Trump first brought Bannon into his inner circle — his previous job having been as head of Breitbart, which emerged as a “diet white nationalist” news site under his reign. Bannon’s own civic nationalism is tinged with fascist esotericists like Julius Evola and marked by allegations of open racialism and anti-Semitism. As such, he is deeply tied to a post-paleo world, situated to the right of the GOP and acting as the perfect weigh station between the fringe and the state house. This was as close as Trump could walk to the alt-right, especially when he moved him to his advisory team. As Trump began to capitulate to the negotiations of party politics, Bannon’s hard edge waned, and his removal forced the alt-right to realize that Trump chose party loyalists over his dissident nationalist crew. While the anti-Trump left played a role in making Bannon’s nationalism politically toxic, it is more likely that Trump’s own power plays sunk his status. The hope for Spencer and others was that it was Bannon’s secret opposition to conflict with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that forced him off the council.

This break came after a long sequence of failures, each more significant than the last, which sparked the doubt on the right that then shifted into an anger. The alt-right could correctly be called a “post-libertarian” ideology, as most of their rank-and-file came out of the libertarian movement before abandoning it for ethnic nationalist reasons. Trump’s willingness to flirt with House Speaker Paul Ryan’s anti-worker healthcare policies — which would hit white workers in the Midwest and South especially hard — was a significant point of rupture. The writing was on the wall for months, as his transition team became a glossy episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous — especially from the international financial sector, which the alt-right views through an anti-Semitic conspiracy lens.

As Trump moves further away from the dissident cadre he brought into the halls of power with him, the alt-right is sent floundering, lacking its clear connection to the mainstream. White nationalism is still unpopular to the vast majority of Americans, so they need points of crossover to recruit. The Trump spaces have been that — from the recent “MAGA” rallies to the Students for Trump and Turning Point organizations on college campuses. If the alt-right publicly denounces and organizes against Trump, as Spencer and other major alt-right leaders are calling for, then the movement will lose access to its largest pool of potential converts.

On Sunday, April 9, Spencer led a couple dozen supporters in front of the White House to protest Trump’s war in Syria. They were overwhelmed by counter protesters, who, while also uniformly against the military action, see no place for Spencer in any kind of public anti-war movement. While the alt-right protest itself lacked any crossover appeal to the broader Trump Republicans — a point solidified by the gathering’s anti-Semitic messaging — such a crossover is necessary for the movement to make any material gains.

If the alt-right is forced to divorce itself from Trump, then its members will find themselves in the same boat that white nationalists have always been in when their moderate allies turn on their agenda: completely marginalized. While this would be the worst political move for the movement, without its own “purity politics” it lacks a reason for existing. The only legitimacy it has provided to itself is that its white nationalism is complete and explicit, presenting itself as the revolutionary alternative to the capitulation of what it calls the “cuckservative” establishment. To continue supporting Trump amid this deviation from the program would reveal the movement’s own deal-making, and — without a strong sense of how organizing works — its supporters will instead bank their reputation on loud shows of anger rather than strategic thinking. This does not mean the alt-right will voluntarily walk into obscurity, but as it attempts to reclaim its identity firmly away from the Trump pulpit, its proponents will find they made far less progress than they believed.

In the end, the alt-right stands to become just a fascist movement that found a moment in the sun. That moment faded when its Trojan Horse leader was appropriated by his own business party — thereby sending the movement back to the fringes it desperately wanted to leave behind.

Trump wonders why protesters want to see his tax returns after day of marches

The Guardian | Protest -

President responds to nationwide rallies by claiming they were ‘paid for’ and tweeting about his election win again

A day after thousands marched in cities across the US to demand the president release his tax returns, Donald Trump used Twitter to say “someone should look into who paid” for the rallies.

Related: Arrests at violent Berkeley Trump protests while tax marches stay calm

Related: Donald Trump peddles dangerous fictions. But novelists can challenge him | Amir Ahmadi Arian

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Arrests at violent Berkeley Trump protests while tax marches stay calm

The Guardian | Protest -

On day of protest, police make 13 arrests as pro-Trump crowd clashes with ‘anti-fascists’ in California and thousands call for financial disclosure elsewhere

Hundreds of self-described anti-fascist protesters and supporters of Donald Trump clashed in Berkeley, California, in sporadic brawls on Saturday. Protests in cities around the rest of the country, including a number of “tax marches” in which demonstrators called for Trump to release his tax returns, proceeded more peacefully.

Related: Steve Bannon: is Trump's right-hand man falling from grace?

Related: Tax March: how a law professor sparked a global event to demand Trump's returns

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Women’s leading role in fighting the bomb | Letters

The Guardian | Protest -

Nigel Young (Letters, 14 April) did a fantastic job as the organiser of London region CND, but the primary organiser and recruiter for the Aldermaston marches of the early 1960s was the redoubtable Peggy Duff, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Somehow the prominent role of women at the beginnings of the UK’s Ban the Bomb movement is largely unrecognised. I vividly remember April Carter’s work for the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War (the initiators and organisers of the first Aldermaston march), who in 1958 organised the daily picketing of our nuclear bomb facility by both women and men (I was one of them). I recall too, the decades of publicity and civil disobedience by Pat Arrowsmith. Thankfully Greenham Common’s women carried on the leading role of women in the fight against the bomb. Zoe Williams’ call (10 April) for renewed public protest is a timely continuation of that tradition.
Martin Smith

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Let’s answer Chechan brutality with a global uprising against homophobia | Owen Jones

The Guardian | Protest -

History will damn the thugs persecuting gay citizens in Chechnya. But we must gather to support the victims now – and fight for LGBT rights everywhere

The persecutors of Chechnya’s gay citizens now feel strong, untouchable, invincible. Their victims, who they arrest, beat and torture, are at their mercy. They are protected by many things: by the tinpot tyrants who rule a republic violently subjugated by Vladimir Putin; by the den of reactionary views that is the Moscow regime; and by the acquiescence – support even – of a society soaked in homophobic hatred.

Related: Gay men in Chechnya are being tortured and killed. More will suffer if we don’t act | Syma Tariq

Related: Chechens tell of prison beatings and electric shocks in anti-gay purge: ‘They called us animals’

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