Coretta Scott King was active in the Civil Rights Movement as a young college student. King became a member of the NAACP after she was banned from student teaching while pursuing a graduate degree at Antioch College. When one of her supervisors told her that black teachers should not teach white students, she protested, and joined the NAACP on her campus as well as the the Young Progressives and the Civil Liberties Committee.
She was an advocate for human rights. In 1983, Mrs. King helped create the Coalition of Conscience. The organization is a collective of 800 human rights groups dedicated to promoting world peace. It sponsored the 20th and 25th anniversaries of the March on Washington.
She was against apartheid. She was part of several protests against apartheid in South Africa, and lobbied for the release of Nelson Mandela. She traveled several times to the country to meet with anti-apartheid activists and to support black South Africans affected by state-sanctioned oppression. She was a staunch advocate of gun reform. King was against gun violence, and worked closely with gun control activists Sarah and Jim Brady to speak out on the need to reform the way people access and use guns in the United States.
She supported feminist causes. She played a vital role in the founding of the National Organization for Women, and was appointed by President Carter as a commissioner on the National Commission on the Observation of International Women’s Year. She was an LGBT ally. King described homophobia as “a form of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.” Despite her ties to the Baptist church, she worked to raise awareness specifically in the black community about the lives of gay and trans people. At the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic she called for more funding and research and in 1983 she lobbied for an amendment of the Civil Rights Act to include members of the LGBT community in the Protected class, which includes women and people of color.
She kept her husband’s legacy alive through her own activism. After her husband’s death, King founded the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia, and served as its president for more than a decade. She also tirelessly lobbied for a national holiday celebrating her husband’s life after his death. In 1983, she successfully got Congress to pass an act in favor of the holiday, which was first celebrated in 1986. (the above mini-bio was sourced from Huffington Post)
Silenced by the Senate, Elizabeth Warren explains why she opposes Sessions
PBS NewsHour Video: Published on Feb 8, 2017 Partisan tensions came to a head on Tuesday over the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was chastised and officially silenced after reading out loud a decades-old letter by the widow of Martin Luther King Jr. (Coretta Scott King) that called Sessions’ record on race “reprehensible.” Lisa Desjardins reports and Audie Cornish interviews Warren.
Washington (CNN)Rep. Maxine Waters said Monday that President Donald Trump’s actions are “leading himself” to possible impeachment.
The California Democrat tweeted last week that her “greatest desire was to lead @realDonaldTrump right into impeachment” after an interview with Cheddar, a video news network.
“I have not called for the impeachment yet. He’s doing it himself,” Waters said when asked about the statement at a news conference. “Let me just say that the statement I made is a statement in response to questions and pleas that I’m getting from many citizens across this country. What are we going to do? How can a President who is acting in the manner that he’s acting?” Waters said that she’s concerned with Trump’s travel ban executive order, “the way he’s talking about Muslims” and his friendly relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I think that he’s leading himself in that kind of position, where folks are going to ask, ‘What are we going to do?’ and the answer is going to be, ‘Eventually, we’ve got to do something about him,'” she said. “We cannot continue to have a President who’s acting in this manner. It’s dangerous to the United States of America.” She later told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin that Trump is creating “chaos and division.” “This man is questionable,” she said on CNN’s “Newsroom.” “And because we have suspicions — many of us — about who is, where he came from, what his actions are, and all of his conflicts … we have to find out more about him and some of that leads to the possibility of impeachment.”
a Girl Power Academy Thanks YOU Maxine Waters!!!! Let’s IMPEACH TRUMP!
In an exclusive interview with NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., said he does not believe Donald Trump is a “legitimate president,” citing Russian interference in last year’s election.
Asked whether he would try to forge a relationship with the president-elect, Lewis said that he believes in forgiveness, but added, “it’s going to be very difficult. I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president.”
When pressed to explain why, he cited allegations of Russian hacks during the campaign that led to the release of internal documents from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign co-chairman, John Podesta.
“I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” Lewis told NBC News.
Trump appeared to acknowledge this week that Russia did engage in hacking during the campaign, but he has vigorously argued that any foreign interference had no impact on the election’s outcome.
Trump fired back at Lewis questioning his legitimacy as the incoming president in a pair of tweets Saturday morning, saying that the long-serving Georgia Congressman should “spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results.”
Lewis, also a recognized civil rights leader, represents a district that covers most of metropolitan Atlanta as well as historically black schools, including Morehouse College and Spelman College.
Lewis told NBC News that he does not plan on attending President-elect Trump’s swearing-in next Friday.
“It will be the first one that I miss since I’ve been in Congress,” he said. “You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right.”
CNN’s Caroline Kenny contributed to the following report:
Washington (CNN)A growing number of Democratic lawmakers are boycotting President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, particularly after revelations of Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election and his rebuke of civil rights icon John Lewis on Saturday.
Some members of Congress have said they will be protesting in Washington, D.C., and in their districts instead.
Here’s a list of Democrats who have publicly said they won’t be at Friday’s ceremony: Georgia Rep. John Lewis: The civil rights icon declared Friday that he would boycott the event because he doesn’t see Trump as a “legitimate” president in light of Russian interference. “You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong,” Lewis told NBC News.
(Trump harshly responded Saturday, calling Lewis “all talk” and “no action” and saying he should focus more on “fixing and helping” his district rather than “complaining” about the Russia’s role.)
California Rep. Mark Takano: “‘All talk, no action.’ I stand with @repjohnlewis and I will not be attending the inauguration,” Takano tweeted Saturday.
New York Rep. Yvette Clarke: “I will NOT attend the inauguration of @realDonaldTrump. When you insult @repjohnlewis, you insult America.”
California Rep. Ted Lieu: “For me, the personal decision not to attend Inauguration is quite simple: Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis,” Lieu said in a statement released by his office. Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva : “I will not be attending the inauguration of Donald Trump as our next president,” the Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair said Friday on the House floor. “My absence is not motivated by disrespect for the office or motivated by disrespect for the government that we have in this great democracy, but as an individual act, yes, of defiance at the disrespect shown to millions and millions of Americans by this incoming administration, and the actions we are taking in this Congress.” Michigan Rep. John Conyers: The office of Conyers, the dean of the United House of Representatives, confirmed to CNN he won’t be attending the inauguration. California Rep. Mark DeSaulnier: “It is with a heavy heart and deep personal conviction that I have decided not to attend the #TrumpInauguration on January 20, 2017,” the California lawmaker tweeted Friday.
New York Rep. Nydia Velazquez: Velazquez tweeted Friday that she will be participating in a women’s march protesting policies that activists say are harmful to American women. “I will not be attending inauguration of @realDonaldTrump but WILL participate in the @womensmarch on January 21st,” she tweeted.
Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader: “I’m just not a big Trump fan. I’ve met the guy and never been impressed with him,” he told Oregon Public Broadcasting Friday. “I’ll do my best to work with him when I think he’s doing the right thing for the country. But he hasn’t proved himself to me at all yet, so I respectfully decline to freeze my ass out there in the cold for this particular ceremony.” Missouri Rep. William Lacy Clay: The lawmaker’s spokesperson told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that Clay will be in his home state speaking to schoolchildren. California Rep. Barbara Lee: Lee said she’ll spend the day “preparing for resistance.” “Donald Trump has proven that his administration will normalize the most extreme fringes of the Republican Party. On Inauguration Day, I will not be celebrating. I will be organizing and preparing for resistance,” she said Thursday in a statement. New York Rep. Jose Serrano: “I will not attend the #inauguration2017 next week- cannot celebrate the inauguration of a man who has no regard for my constituents. #Bronx,” he tweeted Thursday. California Rep. Judy Chu: “After much thought, I have decided to #StandWithJohnLewis and not attend the inauguration,” Chu tweeted this weekend.. Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez: “I cannot go to (the) inauguration of a man who’s going to appoint people to the Supreme Court and turn back the clock on women and turn back the clock on immigrants and the safety and freedom that we fought for them,” Gutierrez said last month on CNN’s “New Day.” California Rep. Jared Huffman: “I have decided that instead of attending the inaugural ceremonies in Washington this month, I’ll spend time in California with my constituents making a positive difference in our community,” he wrote on Facebook Tuesday. “From helping to build homes for local families to pitching in on cleaning up flood debris to welcoming new US citizens at a naturalization ceremony — it will be an action-packed couple of days. Stay tuned here for more details.” Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark: “I support the peaceful transition of power, but I don’t feel that I need to attend the pageantry associated with and for this president,” she told the Boston Globe earlier this month. Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer: “There is unprecedented concern by my constituents about the many threats posed by a Trump administration seeking to implement the President-elect’s policies on health, environment, nuclear weapons and immigration, to name but a few,” he said on Facebook. New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat: “Many have given their lives and dedicated their lives to working to fulfill Dr. King’s dream and make it a reality, and it is up to us to preserve his legacy and the legacy of President Barack Obama to ensure that we do not go back in time! President-elect Donald Trump is trying to take us back! And the people Trump is appointing– Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions — are trying to take us back! “That’s why I am not attending the presidential inauguration. Donald Trump and the hate-filled rhetoric that plagued his election simply will continue in his administration. THIS is not Dr. King’s Dream!” Espaillat issued the statement on his Facebook page. Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal:
.@realDonaldTrump: @repjohnlewis stands for best of everything in America. If anyone knows about action not words, it’s him. #ImWithJohn Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan:
“After reading classified Russian hacking doc & @realDonaldTrump offensive tweets to @repjohnlewis I will not be attending the Inauguration.” Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge:
“As I told @JoyAnnReid, I will not be attending #Inauguration. I will be at home in Cleveland. #IStandWithJohnLewis.” California Rep. Maxine Waters:
“I never ever contemplated attending the inauguration or any activities associated w/ @realDonaldTrump. I wouldn’t waste my time.”
The Emoluments Clause:
To view the original link and or more essays and teachers lessons about the constitution go to:
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
Article VI of the Articles of Confederation was the source of the Constitution’s prohibition on federal titles of nobility and the so-called Emoluments Clause. The clause sought to shield the republican character of the United States against corrupting foreign influences.
The prohibition on federal titles of nobility—reinforced by the corresponding prohibition on state titles of nobility in Article I, Section 10, and more generally by the republican Guarantee Clause in Article IV, Section 4—was designed to underpin the republican character of the American government. In the ample sense James Madison gave the term in The Federalist No. 39, a republic was “a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during good behavior.”
Republicanism so understood was the ground of the constitutional edifice. The prohibition on titles of nobility buttressed the structure by precluding the possibility of an aristocracy, whether hereditary or personal, whose members would inevitably assert a right to occupy the leading positions in the state.
Further, the prohibition on titles complemented the prohibition in Article III, Section 3, on the “Corruption of Blood” worked by “Attainder[s] of Treason” (i.e., the prohibition on creating a disability in the posterity of an attained person upon claiming an inheritance as his heir, or as heir to his ancestor). Together these prohibitions ruled out the creation of certain caste-specific legal privileges or disabilities arising solely from the accident of birth.
In addition to upholding republicanism in a political sense, the prohibition on titles also pointed to a durable American social ideal. This is the ideal of equality; it is what David Ramsey, the eighteenth-century historian of the American Revolution, called the “life and soul” of republicanism. The particular conception of equality denied a place in American life for hereditary distinctions of caste—slavery being the most glaring exception. At the same time, however, it also allowed free play for the “diversity in the faculties of men,” the protection of which, as Madison insisted in The Federalist No. 10, was “the first object of government.” The republican system established by the Founders, in other words, envisaged a society in which distinctions flowed from the unequal uses that its members made of equal opportunities: a society led by a natural aristocracy based on talent, virtue, and accomplishment, not by an hereditary aristocracy based on birth. “Capacity, Spirit and Zeal in the Cause,” as John Adams said, would “supply the Place of Fortune, Family, and every other Consideration, which used to have Weight with Mankind.” Or as the Jeffersonian St. George Tucker put it in 1803: “A Franklin, or a Washington, need not the pageantry of honours, the glare of titles, nor the pre-eminence of station to distinguish them….Equality of rights…precludes not that distinction which superiority of virtue introduces among the citizens of a republic.”
Similarly, the Framers intended the Emoluments Clause to protect the republican character of American political institutions. “One of the weak sides of republics, among their numerous advantages, is that they afford too easy an inlet to foreign corruption.” The Federalist No. 22 (Alexander Hamilton). The delegates at the Constitutional Convention specifically designed the clause as an antidote to potentially corrupting foreign practices of a kind that the Framers had observed during the period of the Confederation. Louis XVI had the custom of presenting expensive gifts to departing ministers who had signed treaties with France, including American diplomats. In 1780, the King gave Arthur Lee a portrait of the King set in diamonds above a gold snuff box; and in 1785, he gave Benjamin Franklin a similar miniature portrait, also set in diamonds. Likewise, the King of Spain presented John Jay (during negotiations with Spain) with the gift of a horse. All these gifts were reported to Congress, which in each case accorded permission to the recipients to accept them. Wary, however, of the possibility that such gestures might unduly influence American officials in their dealings with foreign states, the Framers institutionalized the practice of requiring the consent of Congress before one could accept “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from…[a] foreign State.”
Like several other provisions of the Constitution, the Emoluments Clause also embodies the memory of the epochal constitutional struggles in seventeenth-century Britain between the forces of Parliament and the Stuart dynasty. St. George Tucker’s explanation of the clause noted that “in the reign of Charles the [S]econd of England, that prince, and almost all his officers of state were either actual pensioners of the court of France, or supposed to be under its influence, directly, or indirectly, from that cause. The reign of that monarch has been, accordingly, proverbially disgraceful to his memory.” As these remarks imply, the clause was directed not merely at American diplomats serving abroad, but more generally at officials throughout the federal government.
The Emoluments Clause has apparently never been litigated, but it has been interpreted and enforced through a long series of opinions of the Attorneys General and by less-frequent opinions of the Comptrollers General. Congress has also exercised its power of “Consent” under the clause by enacting the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act, which authorizes federal employees to accept foreign governmental benefits of various kinds in specific circumstances.
written by Robert J. Delahunty Associate Professor of Law University of St. Thomas School of Law
Last week, these two dozen or so former Democratic congressional staffers released their vision for a similar Democratic resistance to Donald Trump in a 23-page document titled “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.” The document offers “a step-by-step guide for individuals, groups, and organizations looking to replicate the Tea Party’s success in getting Congress to listen to a small, vocal, dedicated group of constituents.”
Jewish American political thinker Hannah Arendt, who escaped Germany in 1933, saw the problem as “not what our enemies did, but what our friends did.”
On election night, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews had a revelation. Matthews, with a pained expression, began to piece together the basis for Hillary Clinton’s pending defeat. She had failed to communicate a tough position on illegal immigration. She had supported bad trade deals. She had not renounced all of the “stupid wars.”
Her presidential rival, Donald Trump, on the other hand, had waged what Matthews called a “legitimate” campaign on these issues, a claim that seemed to stretch the bounds of legitimacy, but Matthews was not alone. In the following days and weeks, others would make similar claims implying a victory that, weeks before, had been impossible was actually inevitable ― and liberalism was largely to blame.
People magazine put Trump on its cover in November, a month after one of its journalists, Natasha Stoynoff, accused him of sexually assaulting her in 2005. The magazine’s editor-in-chief reassured readers that they stood by their journalist and her allegations, but Trump had “made history” and thus earned the cover.
In a New York Times op-ed, “The End of Identity Liberalism,” Mark Lilla argued that “moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity” had “distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing.” Trump’s popularity, Lilla argued, was not a consequence of a white backlash (whitelash) but rather a reaction to “the omnipresent rhetoric of identity or ‘political correctness.’”
Michael Lerner, in another New York Times op-ed, “Stop Shaming Trump Voters,” argued that “the pain and rage of the Trump voter is legitimate” after decades of this constituency being ignored or attacked by the left for cultural and religious reasons. He added that “we need to reach out to Trump voters in a spirit of empathy and contrition” and reassured us that “the racism, sexism and xenophobia used by Mr. Trump to advance his candidacy does not reveal an inherent malice in the majority of Americans.”
These reactions to Trump and his supporters have a way of separating ideas that usually move in tandem. Facts and truth are suddenly unrelated. Power no longer implies responsibility. Legitimacy and decency are now somehow passengers on separate ships. In this dynamic, People magazine can champion both the perpetrator and the victim and see no contradiction or betrayal. Lilla can use the victory of a campaign steeped in identity politics to highlight the ineffectiveness of identity politics. And Lerner can argue that a campaign “advanced” by sexism, racism and xenophobia can tell us much about the targets of that bigotry, i.e. that they need to behave differently, but little about the supporters of that campaign.
So, why the rush to defend Trump’s supporters? Why the self-recriminations? Why the willingness to stretch the bounds of legitimacy to accommodate Trump’s antics? Much has been written about Trump’s demagoguery and its similarity to totalitarian leaders of the past, but what about Trump’s opponents? Are many of us borrowing a page from totalitarianism without realizing it? Are we empowering him? Are we coordinating?
The word Gleichschaltung is often translated from the German as “coordination” and refers to the process of ― politically speaking ― getting in line. It often appears in books about the Nazi era. German Jewish philologist Victor Klemperer and German journalist Joachim Fest wrote about the personal cost of coordinating in their respective memoirs. German author Sebastian Haffner and Americans including journalist William Shirer wrote about the propaganda and politics of coordination.
German-born Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt, in one of her last interviews, explains it best.
“The problem, the personal problem, was not what our enemies did, but what our friends did. Friends ‘coordinated’ or got in line.” And this coordination was not necessarily due to the “pressure of terror,” said Arendt, who escaped Germany in 1933. Intellectuals were particularly vulnerable to this wave of coordination. “The essence of being an intellectual is that one fabricates ideas about everything,” and many intellectuals of her time were “trapped by their own ideas.”
People rejected the uglier aspects of Nazism but gave ground in ways that ultimately made it successful. They conceded premises to faulty arguments. They rejected the “facts” of propaganda, but not the impressions of it. The new paradigm of authoritarianism was so disorienting that they simply could not see it for what it was, let alone confront it.
Outside of Germany people often wonder at the palpable fraudulence of Nazi propaganda, the stupid incredible exaggerations, the ludicrous reticences concerning what is generally known. Who can be convinced by it? They ask. The answer is that it is not meant to convince but to impress.
Sebastian Haffner, in 1940’s“Germany: Jekyll and Hyde”
The faulty premise that empowered Hitler and helped place him in the German mainstream was called the Dolchstoss or the legend of the “stab in the back.” It argued that, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, Germany was winning World War I only to have politicians surrender prematurely.
Hitler, as a political figure, was the embodiment of this hack theory. While many rejected Hitler’s anti-Semitism and bellicosity, his deep sense of having been wronged by Germany’s surrender in World War I ― a war in which he fought ― gave him authenticity. It also created a hole in the German Republic’s legitimacy that he and his followers barreled through.
Before there were the camps and murders ― and the euphemisms to hide all of the camps and all of the murders ― there was this feel-good lie that should have been dismissed ― along with the people telling it, from the beginning.
In today’s United States, the suggestion that illegal immigration is the cause of the economic struggles of working-class whites is an American Dolchstoss. Mechanization, globalization and the decline of unions have affected working-class whites to a far greater extent than illegal immigration ― or immigration of any kind. And this is not an obscure fact or liberal talking point. Yet many who supposedly reject Trump’s scapegoating of illegal immigrants seem willing to concede it.
The debates about how or what, if anything, workers can do to combat this reality are endless, but the claim that immigrants are to blame is the talking point of the demagogue, not a reflection of economic reality.
When the decline of working-class jobs was perceived as a problem for African-Americans primarily, the neoliberal and conservative positions were much less sympathetic. According to William Julius Wilson’s 1996 book, When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor, “Between 1967 and 1987 Philadelphia lost 64% of its manufacturing jobs; Chicago lost 60%; Detroit 51%.” This meant hundreds of thousands of jobs lost, disproportionately affecting African-Americans. The solution from conservatives? “Migrate” was black conservative Shelby Steele’s prescription. “Get new skills,” said others. And even more popular was “behave more like Asians.” Yet whites need an entirely new mythology, even if that mythology hurts prospects. According to a recent Politico article by Dana Goldstein, “America: This Is Your Future,” “Rust Belt cities that are attracting immigrants are in better shape than those, like Dayton, Ohio, with fewer foreign-born residents.” Yet, “the people who are upset about immigration live in areas where immigration has had very little impact. A lot of the upset is symbolic.” The symbolism and the propaganda form a kind of feedback loop, each reinforcing the other, regardless of the underlying truths ― or lack thereof.
In his 1940 book, Germany: Jekyll and Hyde, Haffner explains this relationship between impression and propaganda, even for those opposed to the Reich. He writes, “Outside of Germany people often wonder at the palpable fraudulence of Nazi propaganda, the stupid incredible exaggerations, the ludicrous reticences concerning what is generally known. Who can be convinced by it? They ask. The answer is that it is not meant to convince but to impress. It addresses emotion and fantasy. Nazi propaganda seeks to create in our minds tenacious ideas and fantasies.”
In Haffner’s time, the tenacious ideas and fantasies were the subhuman images of the Reich’s enemies. Many Germans rejected the “facts” of this propaganda: that Czechoslovakia or Poland posed existential threats to Germany and the German people, but the impression of the propaganda remained. “The image,” Haffner wrote, “of the Czechs and Poles as a snub-nosed, unpleasant, dwarfish half-ape brandishing a revolver, whip or rubber truncheon at a number of barely clad women, children, and blond men bound to posts.” Who could trust such a person? Why risk it?
Trump’s propaganda about Mexican rapists and Muslim terrorists operates in a similar way. The informed listener knows that most rapes are committed by perpetrators that are known to the victim. They know that most terrorist attacks in the United States are committed by non-Muslims, but the impression that those groups are not to be trusted ― that to trust them is taking an unnecessary risk ― remains.
The impressions born of the propaganda give birth to discussions that worsen the problem. Commentator Van Jones, for example, debated CNN panelists recently about discrimination against Muslims. To support his argument that Muslims are not the enemy, he cataloged many of the positive attributes of the Muslim community as if Americans that are hostile to Muslims are acting in good faith based on bad information rather than cherry-picking incidents to support their underlying prejudices. Jones reminded viewers and other panelists that Muslims have low crime rates, high educational achievement and high rates of entrepreneurship. The fact that it needs to be said demonstrates the relative power of the people asking the questions to those who must answer. It morphs questions about Muslims into a kind of Muslim Question that exists not to seek answers but to emphasize the otherness of the Muslim community and to limit its rights.
While on the campaign trail in February, Trump urged followers to “knock the hell” out of protesters, promising to pay their legal bills if they were arrested and charged. That same February in Fort Worth, he promised a crowd that he would “open up our libel laws” so that news outlets can be sued for writing “false” or “purposely negative” articles. In July, he urged Russia to interfere in the election on his behalf, later saying he was joking. In September, he urged still other supporters to “monitor” polling stations. In October, he promised when victorious to throw his rival, Hillary Clinton, in jail. And just recently he advocated revoking the citizenship of Americans who burn flags.
So, in the last year, Trump has flirted with or, maybe more his style, groped and pawed at totalitarianism, yet the advice from many is to “give him a chance” ― or to coordinate.
In 1949, Harvard psychologists Jerome Bruner and Leo Postman performed a study that helps explain the contradiction. Bruner and Postman recruited two dozen college students to participate in a study of perception and expectations. The experiment involved playing cards. Participants were shown a series of cards. Most of them were standard playing cards, but included in the series were several trick card: a black four of hearts, a red six of spades, a red six of clubs, to name a few. Each card was presented, and the participant was instructed to identify it correctly.
There were four possible reactions to the trick cards. The first was “recognition,” or describing the trick card accurately. The second was “disruption,” or being confused by the card and as a result be unable to describe it. The third option was “compromise,” which mixes the incongruities in the cards: the black four of hearts is reported as “grayish”; the red six of spades is reported as “purple.”
The fourth and most common reaction by far was “dominance.” The participants expected to view a normal series of cards, so when faced with a trick card their minds approximated, and the trick card became the most similar normal card: a red spade was identified as a red heart or diamond; a black heart was identified as a spade.
The report of the study, “On the Perception of Incongruity: A Paradigm,” said, “Our major conclusion is that perceptual organization is powerfully determined by expectations built upon past commerce with the environment. When such expectations are violated by the environment, the perceiver’s behavior can be described as resistance to the unexpected or incongruous.”
The participants could only see what they expected to see. Their minds coordinated. For many Americans, the expectations of the game are divided government, stability and continuity regardless of what the candidate promises. However, if the new regime has embraced authoritarianism, then there will be trick cards in the deck that have to be identified correctly and challenged.
“Patriotism” became a trick card in Klemperer’s memoir and study of Nazi language, The Language of the Third Reich. Klemperer wrote of a Jewish neighbor, Frau K, who continued to speak with pride about Germany and the “Fuhrer,” despite having been deemed subhuman by the regime. Patriotism and deference to leadership ― respect for the office of the president, as we call it ― might have elevated Frau K in the old paradigm, but in the new one it worsened her condition.
“Divided government” became a trick card in Shirer’s 1960 history, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, when Hitler pushed through the Enabling Act and, “In five brief paragraphs,” took the power to legislate, approve treaties, and initiate constitutional amendments away from Parliament. A divided government essentially “committed suicide,” according to Shirer, and bequeathed its power to a dictator.
There were many others, but “dominance” made them difficult to recognize. Joachim Fest writes in his memoir Not I, “At first, the countless violations of the law by our new rulers still caused a degree of disquiet. But among the incomprehensible features of those months, my father later recalled, was the fact that soon life went on as if such state crimes were the most natural thing in the world.” Those months would turn to years. Not the thousand years that Hitler had predicted, but enough to cause millions of deaths.
We should not waste our time or imaginations trying to reconfigure Trumpism to explain why all of the “good people” supported him. It is more important to see it for what it is and resist. Hopefully, they will join us. If not, it will not be necessary to call them names, they will have named themselves.
WE do NOT agree to shake hands with ANY of Donald Trump’s “entitled” pussy-grabbing sexual predators,
For those of you Deplorable Trump “winners” who will not look back, there can be NO common ground for us as you offer NO way to heal.
Not facing RAPE, and denying the RAPE, and ALLOWING the dehumanization of the RAPE survivors, will never make RAPE go away. There can NOT and will be NO healing between us. Ignoring Rape is inhumane. Saying “let it go” is not a constructive approach to healing trauma. What you are suggesting is suppression and submission, not healing.
This is YOUR fault(s). NOT mine.
For those of you Deplorable Trump “winners” who have had your Carrier Furnace jobs saved, so that Trump is your Santa President, you are SELFISH. You mean, as long as you’ve got yours, you’re happy? This is GREED. This has NOTHING to do with the Spirit of Christmas. Carrier is under United Technologies which is a parent company that feeds the Military Industrial complex. You are essentially selling arms for Christmas. Carrier is still sending jobs to Mexico. Trump didn’t “save” everyone’s jobs. He bribed Carrier to keep the 730 jobs as a tax incentive for Governor Pence’s state and 1,200 are still being outsourced to Mexico, as originally planned. Trump’s business deal benefits the Hosiers of Indiana due to the evangelical Governor Mike Pence’s connections. This is NOT the party of the “working man.” Trump is the party of the working man’s “Bosses.” These are PRIVATE interests and the workers being used in this “masterful” showmanship are cogs in the corporate machine. The President of the United Steel Workers Local 1999, Chuck Jones, (Union leader for Carrier) is actively calling out Donald Trump as a LIAR.
To Bernie Sanders who is agreeing to work with Trump, your revolution is a sham. Have fun selling your tired, old books.
To President Barack Obama who shook the hand of the pussy-grabber and branded him “pragmatic,” for the sake of a “peaceful transition,” your wife has been photographed on her back, without a face, stretched across the steps from part of the white house by a celebrity fashion photographer who helped “shape” female body image since before I was born.
Mr. President, Michelle looks vulnerable and ready to be walked on, as you prepare to leave office. Annie Leibovitz’s Vogue spreads and Vanity Fair fantasies have primarily helped girls and women feel self-shame and competitive. Being reduced to classic poses, draped or featured as ornaments to be gazed at, but not truly considered is Annie Leibovitz’s agenda. What she has helped peddle for the beauty industry is not “girl power.” Leibovitz can not begin to compensate now with her inaccessible women’s empowerment gallery housed in a former women’s prison. We know it’s mostly for Gloria Steinem who says she takes pleasure in how the inmates used sledge hammers to participate in the new construction. Obviously, Gloria is an emancipated woman, and she can not “give” this to the former inmates. She can only show and tell. The Massive Incarceration system is the New Jim Crowe, as Michelle Alexander wrote in her book the about the age of colorblindness. Is it not ironic that as these former inmates who suffered some of the worst sexual harassment and rape in a prison system, are using sledge hammers to elevate a white woman’s art show but still have not gotten their chance to shatter a symbolic glass ceiling?
ADVICE TO those of you who feel Donald Trump is NOT your President:
Don’t EVER make it easy for them. Fight the Power. Fight against the rape legitimizers. History knows who the tyrants are. History remembers who went along with them and lied by calling it peace. The “best revenge” is not living a good life despite “them.” This is NOT about revenge. Trump did NOT understand the working people better. He understood how to manipulate them better. Donald Trump did NOT win the popular vote. Three million more citizens voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton. WE the People have been delivered the very tyrant that the constitution was meant to keep out. The electoral college, designed in the 1700’s was meant to protect slave owners. The electoral college should be purged from our system of governing and recognized for the racists they represent, which do not reflect the American values of Equality and Justice for all.
Donald Trump is a Human Rights Abuser. Do NOT normalize his behavior.
To those of you who feel Donald Trump is NOT your President, YOU are NOT the ones disturbing the peace. Do not allow them to say you are lacking grace. What is required now is NOT grace.
The Public Enemy “Fight the Power” (music video) is being Posted Here for NO COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.
Public Enemy “Fight the Power” Lyrics: 1989 the number another summer, get down Sound of the funky drummer Music hittin? your heart, ’cause I know you got soul Brothers and sisters
Listen if you’re missin? why?all Swingin? while I’m singin? Givin? whatcha gettin? Knowin? what I know and
While the black bands sweatin? And the rhythm rhymes rollin? Got to give us what we want Gotta give us what we need
Our freedom of speech is freedom or death We’ve got to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you say Fight the power
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you say Fight the power
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you say Fight the power We’ve got to fight the powers that be
As the rhythm designed to bounce What counts is that the rhymes designed to fill your mind Now that you’ve realized the prides arrived We got to pump the stuff to make us tough
From the heart, it?s a start, a work of art To revolutionize, make a change, nothin?s strange People, people, we are the same No, we’re not the same, ’cause we don’t know the game
What we need is awareness, we can’t get careless You say what is this? My beloved, let’s get down to business Mental self defensive fitness
Yo, bum rush the show You gotta go for what you know To make everybody see In order to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you Fight the power
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you Fight the power
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you Fight the power
Lemme hear you say Fight the power We’ve got to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you Lemme hear you say Fight the power
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you say Fight the power
Lemme hear you Fight the power Lemme hear you say Fight the power We’ve got to fight the powers that be
Elvis was a hero to most But he never meant shit to me you see Straight up racist that sucker was Simple and plain
Mother fuck him and John Wayne ‘Cause I’m black and I’m proud I’m ready and hyped plus I’m amped Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps
Sample a look back you look and find Nothing but rednecks for four hundred years if you check Don’t worry be happy was a number one jam Damn, if I say it you can slap me right here
Let’s get this party started right Right on, c’mon, what we got to say Power to the people, no delay Make everybody see in order to fight the powers that be
Fight the power Fight the power Fight the power Fight the power We’ve got to fight the powers that be
Lobbyists work against opiate reforms (Geoff Mulvihill, Liz Essley Whyte and Ben Wieder, Associated Press and Center for Public Integrity 9:21 a.m. EDT September 19, 2016)
Makers of prescription painkillers have hundreds of lobbyists and millions in campaign contributions
The makers of prescription painkillers have adopted a 50-state strategy that includes hundreds of lobbyists and millions in campaign contributions to help kill or weaken measures aimed at stemming the tide of prescription opioids, the drugs at the heart of a crisis that has cost 165,000 Americans their lives and pushed countless more to crippling addiction.
The drugmakers vow they’re combatting the addiction epidemic, but the Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that they often employ a statehouse playbook of delay and defend that includes funding advocacy groups that use the veneer of independence to fight limits on their drugs, such as OxyContin; Vicodin; and fentanyl, the narcotic linked to Prince’s death.
The industry and its allies spent more than $880 million nationwide on lobbying and campaign contributions from 2006 through 2015 – more than 200 times what those advocating for stricter policies spent and eight times more than the influential gun lobby recorded for similar activities during that same period, the AP and Center for Public Integrity found. (to read the complete AP Sourced article click on: Delaware Online )
If you don’t like long reads or if you want to defend the right to your short attention span, you should stop reading NOW and just admit you are deplorable. Wear those self-loathing T-shirts that boast of your deplorableness and eagerness to remain so.
During the housing discrimination lawsuit against Donald Trump, where he refused black people into his buildings, he had a mentor and lawyer named Roy Cohn.
During the “Red Scare” when the United States government placed Hollywood actors, writers, homosexuals, Jewish people, and United States citizens on trial as “suspected” communists, leading fear-monger Senator Joe McCarthy had a lawyer named Roy Cohn.
Roy Cohn was a closeted gay Jewish man who put homosexuals and Jews in jail to deflect from his own homosexuality, which he failed to stand up for due to deplorable self-hatred.
Deplorable People Here’s Your President Elect Trump:
It was the fall of 1984, Trump Tower was new, and this was unusual territory for the 38-year-old real estate developer. He was three years away from his first semi-serious dalliance with presidential politics, more than 30 years before the beginning of his current campaign—but he had gotten the idea to bring this up, he said, from his attorney, his good friend and his closest adviser, Roy Cohn. That Roy Cohn. Roy Cohn, the lurking legal hit man for red-baiting Sen. Joe McCarthy, whose reign of televised intimidation in the 1950s has become synonymous withdemagoguery, fear-mongering and character assassination. In the formative years of Donald Trump’s career, when he went from a rich kid working for his real estate-developing father to a top-line dealmaker in his own right, Cohn was one of the most powerful influences and helpful contacts in Trump’s life. Over a 13-year-period, ending shortly before Cohn’s death in 1986, Cohn brought his say-anything, win-at-all-costs style to all of Trump’s most notable legal and business deals. Interviews with people who knew both men at the time say the relationship ran deeper than that—that Cohn’s philosophy shaped the real estate mogul’s worldview and the belligerent public persona visible in Trump’s presidential campaign. “Something Cohn had, Donald liked,” Susan Bell, Cohn’s longtime secretary, said this week when I asked her about the relationship between her old boss and Trump. By the 1970s, when Trump was looking to establish his reputation in Manhattan, the elder Cohn had long before remade himself as the ultimate New York power lawyer, whose clientele included politicians, financiers and mob bosses. Cohn engineered the combative response to the Department of Justice’s suit alleging racial discrimination at the Trumps’ many rental properties in Brooklyn and Queens. He brokered the gargantuan tax abatements and the mob-tied concrete work that made the Grand Hyatt hotel and Trump Tower projects. He wrote the cold-hearted prenuptial agreement before the first of his three marriages and filed the headline-generating antitrust suit against the National Football League. To all of these deals, Cohn brought his political connections, his public posturing and a simple credo: Always attack, never apologize. “Cohn just pushed through things—if he wanted something, he got it. I think Donald had a lot of that in him, but he picked up a lot of that from Cohn,” Bell said.
“Roy was a powerful force, recognized as a person with deep and varied contacts, politically as well as legally,” Michael Rosen, who worked as an attorney in Cohn’s firm for 17 years, told me. “The movers and shakers of New York, he was very tight with these people—they admired him, they sought his advice. His persona, going back to McCarthy … and his battles with the government certainly attracted clients.” It was a long, formidable list that included the executives of media empires, the Archbishop of New York and mafia kingpin Fat Tony Salerno, and there, too, near the top, was budding, grasping Donald John Trump. “He considered Cohn a mentor,” Mike Gentile, the lead prosecutor who got Cohn disbarred for fraud and deceit not long before he died, said in a recent interview. People who knew Cohn and know Trump—people who have watched and studied both men—say they see in Trump today unmistakable signs of the enduring influence of Cohn. The frank belligerence. The undisguised disregard for niceties and convention. The media manipulation clotted with an abiding belief in the potent currency of celebrity.
Trump did not respond to a request from Politico to talk about Cohn. In the past, though, when he has talked about Cohn, Trump has been clear about why he collaborated with him, and admired him. “If you need someone to get vicious toward an opponent, you get Roy,” he told Newsweek in 1979.
A year later, pressed by a reporter from New York magazine to justify his association with Cohn, he was characteristically blunt: “All I can tell you is he’s been vicious to others in his protection of me.” He elaborated in an interview in 2005. “Roy was brutal, but he was a very loyal guy,” Trump told author Tim O’Brien. “He brutalized for you.” Trump, in the end, turned some of that cold calculation on his teacher, severing his professional ties to Cohn when he learned his lawyer was dying of AIDS. *** Cohn and Trump, according to Trump, met in 1973 at Le Club, a members-only East Side hangout for social-scene somebodies and those who weren’t but wanted to be. By then Cohn had been in the public eye for 20 years. As chief counsel to McCarthy, he led secretive investigations of people inside and outside the federal government whom he and McCarthy suspected of Communist sympathies, homosexuality or espionage. Over a period of several years, McCarthy’s crusade destroyed dozens of careers before a final 36-day, televised hearing brought his and Cohn’s often unsubstantiated allegations into the open, leading to McCarthy’s censure in the Senate. Cohn, disgraced by association, retreated to his native New York. There, through the ‘60s and into the ‘70s, Cohn embraced an unabashedly conspicuous lifestyle. He had a Rolls-Royce with his initials on a vanity plate and a yacht called Defiance. He was a singular nexus of New York power, trafficking in influence and reveling in gossip. He hung on the walls of the East 68th Street townhouse, that doubled as the office of his law firm, pictures of himself with politicians, entertainers and other bold-face names. He was a tangle of contradictions, a Jewish anti-Semite and a homosexual homophobe, vehemently closeted but insatiably promiscuous. In 1964, ’69 and ’71, he had been tried and acquitted of federal charges of conspiracy, bribery and fraud, giving him—at least in the eyes of a certain sort—an aura of battle-tested toughness, the perception of invincibility. “If you can get Machiavelli as a lawyer,” he would write in The Autobiography of Roy Cohn, “you’re certainly no fool of a client.”
Trump was 27. He had just moved to Manhattan but was still driving back to his father’s company offices in Brooklyn for work. He hadn’t bought anything. He hadn’t built anything. But he had badgered the owners of Le Club to let him join, precisely to get to know older, connected, power-wielding men like Cohn. He knew who he was. And now he wanted to talk.
He and his father had just been slapped with Department of Justice charges that they weren’t renting to blacks because of racial discrimination. Attorneys had urged them to settle. Trump didn’t want to do that. He quizzed Cohn at Le Club. What should they do? He became Donald’s mentor, his constant adviser on every significant aspect of his business and personal life.”
“Tell them to go to hell,” Cohn told Trump, according to Trump’s account in his book The Art of the Deal, “and fight the thing in court.” That December, representing the Trumps in United States v. Fred C. Trump, Donald Trump and Trump Management, Inc., Cohn filed a $100-million countersuit against the federal government, deriding the charges as “irresponsible” and “baseless.”
The judge dismissed it quickly as “wasting time and paper.” The back-and-forth launched more than a year and a half of bluster and stalling and bullying—and ultimately settling. But in affidavits, motions and hearings in court, Cohn accused the DOJ and the assisting FBI of “Gestapo-like tactics.” He labeled their investigators “undercover agents” and “storm troopers.” Cohn called the head of DOJ down in Washington and attempted to get him to censure one of the lead staffers.
The judge called all of it “totally unfounded.”
By June of 1975, the judge had had it with the Trumps’ attorney. “I must say, Mr. Cohn,” he said in a hearing, “that this case seems to be plagued with unnecessary problems, and I think the time has come when we have to bite the bullet.” They hashed out the details of a consent decree. The Trumps were going to have to rent to more blacks and other minorities and they were going to have to put ads in newspapers—including those targeted specifically to minority communities—saying they were an “equal housing opportunity” company. Trump and his father, emboldened by Cohn, bristled at the implication of wrongdoing—even, too, at the cost of the ads. “It is really onerous,” Trump complained. At one point, flouting the formality of the court, Trump addressed one of the opposing attorneys by her first name: “Will you pay for the expense, Donna?” Trump and Cohn seemed most concerned with managing the media. They squabbled with the government attorneys over the press release about the disposition. First they wanted no release. Impossible, said the government. Then they wanted “a joint release.” A what? A public agency, it was explained to them, had a public information office, on account of the public’s right to know. Cohn didn’t want to hear it. “They will say what they want,” he told the judge, and everybody else in the courtroom, “and we will say what we want.” The government called the consent decree “one of the most far reaching ever negotiated.” Cohn and Trump? They called it a victory. Case 73 C 1529 was over. The relationship between Cohn and Trump had just begun. “Though Cohn had ostensibly been retained by Donald to handle a single piece of litigation,” Wayne Barrett, an investigative journalist for New York’s Village Voice, would write in his 1992 book about Trump, “he began in the mid-‘70s to assume a role in Donald’s life far transcending that of a lawyer. He became Donald’s mentor, his constant adviser on every significant aspect of his business and personal life.”
Are you still confused why you are deplorable? Need more reasons than being anti-semitic, anti-islam, anti-immigrant, homophobic, vicious, brutal, racist, white supremacist, tolerant of rape culture, complacent and GREEDY?
OK . . .
PUTIN can flatter and Puppet a weak, pandering United States, mafia-dealing, PIMP like Donald Trump.
Do you recall when former President George W. Bush held up the plastic turkey for a picture with the troops during a Thanksgiving “visit” where he didn’t even stay to dine with them? Laura Bush defended her husband’s shameless selfie as: but that’s what politicians do, they “present.” It’s “acting.”
Well, Donald Trump is in FACT qualified to be Putin’s “Top Dawg.” He’ll be serving Putin his red meat. At best you will be Putin’s meat packers.
So hey you bitches, stop asking why PUTIN would be interested in hacking the democratic elections of the United States.
When Rudy Guilliani says Trump is best for President, he’s just saying to vote for the NRA. He’s an arms dealer.He’s just saying vote for the gun-packing-super-pac. And you know this does not make you safer. You know the “Law and Order” president is just another word for KKK sponsored Police Brutality. Rudy likes to minimize and dismiss rape-culture because he wants to keep using rape as a form of torture. He knows rape is profitable.
What makes YOU part of the Deplorable Category you ask, fearing your own unredeemable glance into the mirror of truth?
YOU are a bigoted, racist, homophobic, sexist, misogynistic, climate-change denying, greedy, bullying, spin-doctoring, hate-speaking, white supremacist, slandering, dumbed-down and proud of it, hater.
Wait, I don’t sound warm and forgiving enough to the racists? Really? Awww… I’m not being inclusive enough to the bigots? You think deplorable people deserve a chance at redemption?
If you don’t believe you fall into this category or if you don’t want to be Deplorable ANY longer or help play a part in sending the world into worse Hell, get the fuck out of the DEPLORABLE basket and demand that the Emoluments Clause prohibit Donald Trump the tyrant from taking office.
It’s not time to make peace with YOU Deplorables. It’s time to let you know you are corrupt.
The Pussy Riot “Make America Great Again” (music video) is being posted here for NO COMMERCIAL PURPOSES. Oct 27, 2016 #PussyGrabsBack #NastyWoman (!) Because YOU decide elections and if we get together, we could blow this shit up, take action and reverse this erosion of rights. Because fuck it.
– – – – Written passionately by Ricky Reed, Nadya, Tom Peyton
– – – – Music video is directed by Jonas Akerlund Style: B Akerlund Make up : Ozzy Salvatierra Hair : Patricia Morales Special effects make up : Jerry Constantine
– – – -LYRICS- – – – What do you want your world to look like? What do you want it to be? Do you know that a wall has two sides? And nobody is free? Did your mama come from Mexico Papa come from Palestine Sneaking all through Syria Crossing all the border lines
Let other people in Listen to your women Stop killing black children Make America Great Again
Could you imagine a politician calling a woman a dog? Do you wanna stay in the kitchen? Is that where you belong? How do you picture the perfect leader Who do you want him to be Has he promoted the use of torture and killing families
Let other people in Listen to your women Stop killing black children Make America Great Again
The Pussy Riot “I Can’t Breathe” (music video) is being posted here for NO COMMERCIAL PURPOSES. (Feb 18, 2015) Pussy Riot’s first song in English is dedicated to Eric Garner and the words he repeated eleven times before his death. This song is for Eric and for all those from Russia to America and around the globe who suffer from state terror – killed, choked, perished because of war and state sponsored violence of all kinds – for political prisoners and those on the streets fighting for change. We stand in solidarity.
Pussy Riot’s Masha and Nadya are being buried alive in the Russian riot police uniforms that are worn during the violent clashes of police and the protesters fighting for change in Russia. A pack of “Russian Spring” brand cigarettes is on the ground at the beginning. “Russian Spring” is a term used by those who are in love with Russia’s aggressive militant actions in Ukraine, and the cigarettes are a real thing.
“I Can’t Breathe” was recorded in New York in December 2014 during the protests against police brutality together with Pussy Riot, Richard Hell, Nick Zinner, Andrew Wyatt, Shahzad Ismaily (The Ceramic Dog) and Russian bands Jack Wood and Scofferlane.
MUSIC VIDEO: Concept, directed and produced: Pussy Riot Video directors – Gogol Wives Director of Photography and editor: Mikhail Vikhrov.
MUSIC: Concept, produced: Pussy Riot Vocals: Sasha Klokova (Jack Wood), Matt Kulakov (Scofferlane), Richard Hell Lyrics: Matt Kulakov (Scofferlane) Monologe of Eric Garner: Richard Hell Bit: Andrew Wyatt Piano, Bass: Nick Zinner Drums: Shahzad Ismaily Engineered and mixed by Philip Weinrobe at Figure Eight Studios in Brooklyn, NY
– – – – LYRICS- – – – He’s become his death The spark of the riots That’s the way he’s blessed To stay alive.
It never leads to an end It’s never getting quiet If it’s unfair, my friend, Make up your mind
It’s getting dark in New York city It’s getting dark in New York city It’s getting tight in New York city I need to catch my breath
You know this world of hate You know this stubborn light They’re in the prayers you pray Late at night
We’re only half way down Who dares to take a breath? Some fairness might be found From ashes of his death. Eric Garner’s last words (read by Richard Hell):
Get away [garbled] for what? Every time you see me, you want to mess with me. I’m tired of it. It stops today. Why would you…? Everyone standing here will tell you I didn’t do nothing. I did not sell nothing. Because everytime you see me, you want to harass me. You want to stop me [garbled] Selling cigarettes. I’m minding my business, officer, I’m minding my business. Please just leave me alone. I told you the last time, please just leave me alone. please please, don’t touch me. Do not touch me. [garbled] I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.
Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist punk rock protest group based in Moscow. Founded in August 2011, it had a variable membership of approximately 11 women ranging in age from about 20 to 33 (as of 2012). The group staged unauthorised provocative guerrilla performances in public places, which were made into music videos and posted on the Internet. The collective’s lyrical themes included feminism, LGBT rights, and opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the dictator. These themes also encompassed Putin’s links to the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church.
On February 21, 2012, five members of the group staged a performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The group’s actions were eventually stopped by church security officials. The women said their protest was directed at the Orthodox Church leaders’ support for Putin during his election campaign. On March 3, 2012, two of the group members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, were arrested and charged with hooliganism. A third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was arrested on March 16. Denied bail, they were held in custody until their trial began in late July. On August 17, 2012, the three members were convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”, and each was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. On October 10, following an appeal, Samutsevich was freed on probation and her sentence suspended. The sentences of the other two women were upheld.
The trial and sentence attracted considerable criticism, particularly in the West. The case was adopted by human-rights groups, including Amnesty International, which designated the women as prisoners of conscience, and by a number of prominent entertainers. Public opinion in Russia was generally less sympathetic towards the women. Having served 21 months, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were released on December 23, 2013, after the State Duma approved an amnesty.
In February 2014, a statement was made anonymously on behalf of some Pussy Riot members that both Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were no longer members. However, both were among the group that performed as Pussy Riot during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, where group members were attacked with whips and pepper spray by Cossacks who were employed as security guards. On 6 March 2014, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were assaulted and sprayed with green paint by local youths in Nizhny Novgorod. (sourced and paraphrased from wikipedia December 2016)