Freshly painted mural art, on side of building next to new hipster-gentrifying club in SW Detroit, November 28, 2016. Photo by Cindy Milstein.
Rainy, gray-gloomy day. News across Turtle Island of white supremacist attacks and even murder as well as white supremacist infrastructure readying its brutal, annihilationist power. Politicians on all sides, from “moderates” to Michigan’s already-cruel governor Rick Snyder, urge support for Trump or to at least give him a chance; liberals and progressives, too, mouth similar sentiments, coded as “it’ll be better in four years.” People hang onto the already-torn thread of “rights” and “rule of law”; they cling to safety pins, electoral counts and electoral college, or greeting-card platitudes of “love not hate.”
Fascism doesn’t slow down for such niceties. It tramples forward, boots crushing all in its way, boldly declaring egregious intentions as test to see what resistance appears—and when some, but not nearly enough, people become “antifa,” fascistic forces smile in the knowledge that far more egregious acts will be possible.
To remain resistance fighter, one can’t rely on hope or slogan. One has to look harder for and also engage in rebel gestures—community and rapid response teams; grassroots self-defense classes for those most targeted; DIY trainings in cyber security, direct action, and medic skills; sanctuary that will completely evade all police, ICE and fed/state/local; and so many subterranean, imaginative means toward the end of saving lives and protecting the earth.
Everyone who fears and decries the coming storm that is already here has to invent, self-organize, and throw themselves into such gestures—the fabric of a solidarity that can, if widespread, contest all that neofascist white supremacy has in store for the majority of humanity. We are more, in numbers and heart, but only if we act collectively for freedom.
Today, with less faith in that than I’d like, I saw this new #ArtOfResistance in SW Detroit. It’s not enough on its own, and not radical enough in its message (for most of us are or will soon be illegal, and need to proudly stick by each other, glad that we are misfits to the unjustness of the regime’s laws), but a bright spot in a thoroughly bleak time nonetheless.