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Indybay Feature

Rights Opponents March Met By Loud Protest

by Leon Kunstenaar
"Get out, get out now, San Francisco is a pro choice town!" among the stream of slogans from protesters.
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Photos: Leon Kunstenaar / Pro Bono Photo

(SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 20) --The counter-protesters assembled in front the library. Well equipped by Robb's powerful sound system, speakers blasted the abortion opponents. One emphasized the point that the anti abortion movement has nothing to do with respect for life but is rather about control, to put women back to, as Hitler said, "kitchen, children, and Church."

Lacking local support, the Catholic Church, notorious for years of child abuse scandals, hired dozens of busses to transport children to San Francisco for an ironically named "walk for life." In spite of their claimed love of human life, no signs of support for Palestinian victims of genocide, people murdered by police, or immigrants drowning in the Rio Grand was detectable among the thousands of marchers.

As in previous years, the "walk for life" attracted hate groups. Last time it was proud boys style thugs, this year, one wore a t-shirt reading "Jews Rape Kids."

Human rights are increasingly under attack in the US. We have a bought Supreme Court and a major political party that no longer accepts the Constitution. The Republican Party has taken over many state legislatures by gerrymandering and voter suppression. Their presidential candidate has announced that he will kill political opponents if elected.

The extreme right flies the flag of the attack on "wokeism." Wokeism encapsulates the human rights progress many of us thought the country had made. The end of segregation, affirmative action, LGTBQ acceptance, Roe v Wade, etc. The forces of repression are unified, strong and active and we must admit that large segments of Americans accept this.

While many Democrats considered Trump uncouth, crass, with regrettable authoritarian tendencies and a purveyor of appalling optics, unsaid is that he that he is not much of a threat to them, and vice versa. Democrats in positions of leadership and power are almost all multi-millionaires. They benefited from Trump's tax cuts for the wealthy, travel in private jets, and enjoy boutique medical care. Don't expect them on the barricades.

A would-be Hitler style dictator is supported by millions. The comparison to Hitler is not far-fetched. Trump takes from that playbook. Witness his statement that immigrants are "poisoning our blood."

There is more. His invention of the "deep state" mirror Hitler's actions. The "deep state" are the institutions what could stand in Trump's way. The Justice Department, the foreign service establishment, the Civil Service, the mainstream media, unions, professional associations, schools and universities, etc. Once he was in power, Hitler took them over. Here at home, the right has already succeeded in banning thousands of books from schools throughout the country.

Hitler was given absolute power to create laws by decree when the Reichstag passed the "enabling" laws in 1933. When the lawmakers met in the opera house (the Reichstag had been burned down), Hitler's thugs informed many that unless they voted "correctly" they would not make it home that night.

When Trump was impeached, we know from George Romney that many in Congress voted against conviction due to physical threats. As we recall January 6th, can we expect Trump to act differently?

See all high resolution photos here.
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