A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics
The crowds of protesters turning up “loud and present” outside courthouses Tuesday to protest Supreme Court choice Neil Gorsuch were not the only people fiercely opposing the flood of atrocities issuing from the new regime. Daily, the fire of resistance spreads, often from improbable sources. Now added to all the defiant lawyers and park rangers and environmentalists: The leader of the European Union has for the first time included the Trump Administration as part of an “external threat” together with China, Russia, radical Islam, war and terror, and the longtime former head of the Park Service has slammed the “ridiculousness” of Trump’s efforts to suppress “facts about our nation.”
Almost two million people in the U.K. have signed a petition opposing a proposed state visit by a creep with a “well-documented misogyny and vulgarity,” and U.K. Parliament members brutally, furiously echoed the sentiment. Even Christian evangelicals in this country have had it with a soulless hypocrite so distant from sincere believers in “the Biblical call to love their neighbors.” Thousands of Google employees across the country and globe – more than showed up for the inauguration, one gleefully noted – staged a walkout, declaring, “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”
The most extraordinary denouncement came from Jeffrey Bleich, former Ambassador to Australia and current chair of the William Fulbright Board, who issued a blistering statement as “an American, patriot and human being.” Contradicting the Australian Prime Minister, who declined to condemn the ban, Bleich called it “illegal and cruel…(It) not only breaks the law, it breaks faith with who we are as a people.” Above all, he said, “None of us should be silent.”
“I take no pleasure in condemning our nation’s actions,” he said. “But the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”
First published in Common Dreams.
Resistance in New York. Photo by BBC.