San Francisco

More than 100,000 people took to the streets on June 30, in about 750 cities and towns in every state across the country, to protest the separation of immigrant children from their parents seeking asylum and denounce President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy that made this cruel practice possible, writes Barry Sheppard from San Francisco.

In response to huge public outcry against his policy of forcibly separating children from immigrant parents seeking asylum, United States President Donald Trump issued an executive order on July 20 to halt the separations.

A victory? Not so fast, writes Barry Sheppard from San Francisco.

Washington has a long history of using deportations to strike fear among undocumented workers. In recent years, deportations have multiplied — previous president Barack Obama became known as “Deporter in Chief”.

But President Donald Trump has greatly stepped up the drive, mainly against Latinos without papers. He has unleashed Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) to carry out indiscriminate raids where Latinos congregate, deporting the undocumented. These include those without criminal records or who are guilty of only minor offensives, often separating families.

While the May 14 massacre of protesters by Israeli snipers was occurring in Gaza, United States President Donald Trump was symbolically opening the US Embassy in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was there, heaping praise on Trump.

There were also two pastors present, one to give the opening prayer, the other the closing one. Both pastors were from the extreme rightist, white Christian evangelical community and are well known for their outspoken anti-Semitism and support for Israel.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr on April 4, 1968.

The murder of one of the great Black leaders of the time by white racists with the complicity of the US government, most likely the FBI, stunned all African Americans in the country.

An estimated 500,000 people, largely youth, demonstrated in Washington, DC on March 24 against the continued mass shootings at schools across the country.  Hundreds of thousands more mobilised in about 800 cities and towns.

The spark that lit the pent-up tinder of anger against school shootings — of which there have been 18 since January — was the response to the February 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida.

The recent victorious strike by teachers in West Virginia, which was organised bottom up by rank-and-file teachers, 75% women, has demonstrated the truth of what worker militant and songwriter Joe Hill wrote: “There is power in a band of working [people], when they stand hand in hand!”

The most effective way to counter US President Donald Trump’s reactionary policies is through mass action.

The Democratic Party, however, hopes to steer movements and individuals opposed to Trump into support of its candidates. While this trap of “lesser evil” politics has proved to be a failure over and over again, there is another, outright reactionary, content to the Democrat’s current anti-Trump campaign.

In his now infamous statement on immigration last month, Trump expressed his views clearly: He doesn’t want immigrants from “shithole” countries in Africa, Haiti and El Salvador — Black and Latina — to be let into the US.

On the other hand, he wants to encourage immigrants from predominantly white nations like Norway.

Erica Garner, Black Lives Matter activist and daughter of African American victim of police murder Eric Garner, died on December 30 aged 27.

The proximate cause of death was a heart attack, extremely rare in one so young. The underlying cause was the trauma-induced stress (PTSD) she and her family suffered because of Eric’s murder in 2014, the exoneration of the killer cops, and the callous way the Garner family was treated by city authorities, including Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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