Protest In The Era Of Donald Trump

PORTLAND, Ore. ? The flier, stapled to a telephone pole on North Killingsworth Street, promised training in self-defense against neo-Nazis.

?We will fight them with our every ounce,? it read. ?By working together we can push back white supremacy on the 4th.?

Area activists and strategy game experts, the flier advertised, were scheduled to run a workshop Saturday that would physically and mentally prepare locals for Sunday, when a rally in support of President Donald Trump was coming to town and, along with it, the possibility of violent clashes.

But the training never happened. Word on the street was that white supremacists had caught wind of the event, shared it on social media and threatened to show up and fight.  

A 27-year-old Portland native named William was at the forefront of the preparations. He, like many of his cohorts whom HuffPost spoke with, refused to fully identify himself for safety reasons (neo-Nazis are known for releasing a breadth of personal information online).

William is an organizer for the Pacific Northwest Anti-Fascist Workers Collective, one of many anti-fascist (or ?antifa?) groups across the country. It?s a relatively decentralized force, made up of dozens of groups that often work to confront white supremacists and hate groups, as well as the police and government policies.

They?re recognizable as the masked figures dressed in black who show up to counter-protests and fight white nationalists. They shut down a speech by conservative media personality Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley, in February by throwing rocks; several of them were injured in the fracas. Their violence, like that of the neo-Nazis, is condemned in many circles on the left and right.

The antifa groups don?t have an overarching mission regarding violence. Many groups advertised peace prior to Sunday?s event, but the anti-fascists also noted that they were ready to defend themselves at all costs. Police confiscated dozens of weapons from them at the rally, including bricks, batons and knives.

The antifa groups, along with their far-right counterparts, are among America?s fringe ? emboldened by the current administration, amplified by social media and happy to battle it out in the street.

The United States is at a turning point of protest, with demonstrators deciding in real time whether the peaceful Women?s Marches earlier this year solved anything and whether violence is the next step. Over this weekend, Portland became a flashpoint for that discussion.

Saturday?s event was supposed to prepare the anti-fascists of Portland for a pro-Trump rally Sunday, an event that had been on the calendar before the hate-fueled slashing that left two dead on a MAX train on May 26. The incident gained national attention and emboldened far-right groups to make travel plans for the rally.

The antifa groups were expecting neo-Nazis, white nationalists and well-known figures of the so-called alt-right.

?There?s always violence when they come out,? William told HuffPost outside a labor union hall in southeast Portland, where the training was supposed to take place. ?These guys are trying to come out and suppress activism. We?d really appreciate it if they stopped coming into our city and spreading their hateful message and trying to scare protesters.?

By Sunday morning, hours before the protests were supposed to start, the two sides were squaring off by shouting at one another across the street. Each group had bought a permit for their own section of a downtown park in Chapman Square. SWAT teams created a human barrier between the groups to make sure they didn?t attack each other.  

Because of that barrier, the antifa group ended up sparring with police instead. In the afternoon, police ordered them to disperse and they resisted, at which point police lobbed tear gas canisters at them to drive them away. The alt-right demonstrators and Trump supporters across the street cackled and celebrated as they watched the melee.

At the end of the day, the battle each side had been preparing for all week never actually happened, thanks to a heavy presence of police from several jurisdictions, including the federal Department of Homeland Security and a local SWAT force.

The Fringe Is No Longer The Fringe

While these two groups never really clashed violently, as many expected, they fuel concerns that our short stretch of peaceful protests is coming to an end.

Millions protested peacefully in Women?s Marches across the globe in January. Peace also reigned at the global March for Science protests, as well as at the Climate March in late April. Thousands upon thousands more have taken to the streets in several anti-Trump demonstrations without much incident.

?Many would argue that having hundreds of thousands if not millions show up is a huge success,? said Dana Fisher, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland who?s researched protests for nearly 20 years. ?But some people may very well feel that it?s not working anymore. Depending on the goal, the resistance can be seen as failing.?

She noted that it appears the ?radical flank? of both the left and right have been mobilized; far-leaning groups that aren?t often accepted by popular culture are now becoming more mainstream and recognizable. Enter the antifa groups and the alt-right.

Of course, she said, that doesn?t necessarily mean that violence is inevitable. On the contrary, a relatively peaceful day on Sunday between protesters signals that progressive ideals of activism, in which throngs of people speak their mind without hurting one another, are winning.

However, the growth of violent fringe groups ? especially right-wing extremists and white supremacists ? is explosive, terrifying and requires a reaction, many say.

Indeed, the far-right has been mobilized. Joey Gibson, a Californian who regularly organizes pro-Trump events in progressive, liberal cities like Portland, has reportedly coordinated six similar rallies in this city and nearby Vancouver, Washington, over the past six months, including the event Sunday.

Even when the far right doesn?t attract many bodies to its rallies, it sometimes attracts the worst of the worst: On April 29, slashing suspect Jeremy Joseph Christian was seen throwing up Nazi salutes and screaming racial epithets. On May 26, he stood accused of knifing three men on a MAX train, killing two of them, as they defended two girls from racial and religious insults.

The demonstrations Sunday proved that a small number of voices can mobilize hundreds upon hundreds of people. It leaves a burning question: Which protest are we going to see next: another peaceful Women?s March or a clash between America?s expanding fringe groups?

Fisher says she?s wary of the future ? it?s anybody?s game.

?We have a whole bunch of people who are progressive who are pissed off, and Trump has appealed to the conservative fringe in this country,? she said. ?I don?t know what?s going to happen, and I don?t know how to fix it.?

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This Might Be The Most Sexist Baseball Team Promotion Ever

A minor-league baseball team just announced a majorly sexist promotion ? and on Tuesday it appeared to be benched.

The Ogden (Utah) Raptors on Saturday published a news release on ?Hourglass Appreciation Night,? posting a cartoon of models in bikinis while promising fans the chance to pose for pictures with ?gorgeous women whose curves rival those of any stud pitching prospect!?

The Los Angeles Dodgers? farm club lamely tried to peg Hourglass Appreciation Night to the ?timeless nature? of baseball that ?connects generations.? 

Then came this gem of a transition. ?The home team hosts the Billings Mustangs, but the real thoroughbreds will join Raptors broadcaster A.P. Harreld in the booth. Since August is the eighth month of the calendar year, and an 8 looks tantalizingly similar to an hourglass, be there a better way to remind the world that baseball needs no clock than to feature 18 hourglass-shaped color commentators??

Not surprisingly, the news media attention and social media backlash presumably prompted the team to delete the notice early Tuesday.

Perhaps the team thought it knew its audience.

 

The Huffington Post reached out to the Raptors for comment.

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Keith Olbermann Apologizes to UK: ‘Trump Is Not Of Sound Mind’

A somber Keith Olbermann apologized to Britain for Donald Trump?s insensitive comments attacking the competence of London?s mayor in the wake of Saturday?s attack on London Bridge. ?Donald Trump is not of sound mind,? explained Olbermann in the latest offering of GQ?s ?The Resistance.? ?We are working to correct the problem as soon as possible.?

But it won?t be easy, he added. Unlike most jobs in the nation ? and on Trump?s own former reality program ?The Apprentice? ? it?s extremely difficult to fire a president, no matter how incompetent, Olbermann said.

?Amid all that he creates ? mass confusion, charges of corruption, hints at collusion ? there is a stark reality. In almost any other job in this country, assuredly in any other private sector job … Donald Trump, our national embarrassment, our international disgrace, would have been fired by now,? he said.

?His complete incompetence, his complete failure, and his complete inability to see his incompetence and his failure as anything except personal brilliance would get him fired everywhere from the boardroom at Microsoft to the deep fryer at McDonald?s.?

It?s not only Trump?s startling Twitter comments after the terrorist attack that are worrying, noted Olbermann. The president has also stumped Americans by complaining about the ?watered-down? travel restrictions for citizens of several predominantly Muslim countries (which he has tried to institute through executive orders) that are about to be defended in the Supreme Court by the Department of Justice. He insisted that it absolutely is a ?travel ban? ? which may make it even more difficult to defend.

Then there was his puzzling reference in a tweet last week to the head-scratching ?negative press confefe? ? which Trump perhaps typed as he fell asleep or ?otherwise lost awareness,? said Olbermann. 

?The meaninglessness, the lack of focus, the carelessness, the self-pity, the irresponsible redefinition of the language itself that has symbolized this fifth-rate administration from the moment of Trump?s inaugural address onwards was summarized in five words plus some kind of typographical error.?

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Ivanka Trump Comes Down To Earth In A $35 Dress From Target

For just one day, Ivanka Trump has ditched her designer duds for a more down-to-earth approach.

The 35-year-old special advisor to the President Trump stepped out in a $35 dress from Target on Monday (and it?s actually on sale right now for $17.50). The simple black dress with a ruffled bottom and two lilies is from Victoria Beckham?s line for Target. As of now, the dress is still available on the retailer?s website. 

When first stepping out for the day, Trump paired the dress with a black purse, lace-up black heels and minimal jewelry. To see those exclusive pictures, head over to the Daily Mail. 

Ivanka?s look is a far cry from the typical designer labels the Trumps tend to favor.

During Melania Trump?s first official trip as first lady, she drew ire by wearing a $51,500 Dolce & Gabbana jacket in Italy. The median American family income in 2015 was $55,775. 

We can?t wait to see if Ivanka pulls more Target out of her closet. 

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‘Moonlight’ Fans Have The Best Name For Crayola’s New Blue Crayon

Earlier this year, Crayola tragically announced the retirement of its beloved yellow crayon, Dandelion. Shortly after, it became apparent that the classic 24-pack would never be the same.

Perhaps in an effort to help fans through the grieving process, the company quickly unveiled Dandelion?s replacement ? a nameless blue crayon ? along with an announcement that its official pigment title would be chosen by the public. 

The #NameTheBlue campaign was born.

The campaign officially closed last week, but not before a frontrunner suggestion emerged, thanks to ?Moonlight? playwright and screenplay co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney. 

?Chiron,? he tweeted, with a link to coverage of Crayola?s new blue, referencing the main character of the Oscar-winning film about a young, queer black man coming of age in Miami, Florida.

Barry Jenkins, who also co-wrote and directed the movie, shared the message, and a flood of retweets rolled in. One look at a still from ?Moonlight? ? or a quick reminder of the movie?s defining line, ?In moonlight black boys look blue? ? made it clear to many that ?Chiron? is the perfect choice for Crayola?s deep new pigment.

The blue crayon has been temporarily dubbed ?YInMin,? a mashup of the elements that make up the color ? Yttrium, Indium and Manganese. Researchers in Oregon ?accidentally? discovered the specific shade of blue several years ago

At the moment, ?Chiron? seems to be the fan-favorite name for the Crayola addition. It is, in our humble opinion, much, much better than the alternative: Yes, people have suggested covfefe. 

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‘Terrorism Has No Religion:’ Muslims Across The UK Slam London Attackers

In a rallying cry against religious extremism, Muslims across the United Kingdom are denouncing Saturday night?s deadly attacks in London, calling the violence cowardly acts by people who hide behind a religion that is not theirs.

?Terrorism has no religion,? Imam Abdul Quddus Arif, of the local Ahmadiyya Muslim community, told HuffPost UK on Sunday, slamming the assailants? twisted beliefs. ?Basically, not in my name, not in the name of Islam. I want to make that very clear.?

His stern words of condemnation follow witnesses describing one of the night?s assailants as calling out the name of Allah amid the attacks. The militant group the Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the attack, which follows another attack credited to the group last month at a Manchester arena.

?Islam is not a religion as portrayed by these so-called Muslims. Islam is a religion that says if you kill an innocent soul it?s akin to killing the whole of humanity, and if you save an innocent soul it?s akin to saving the whole of humanity,? he said, amid prayers for the victims and first responders. ?A true Muslim, he only has two purposes. One is fulfilling the rights of God, and second is to fulfill the rights of his fellow beings.?

Arif?s message was echoed by other Muslim organizations across the country, condemning Islamic extremism.

?It shouldn?t even have to be said, but this is not Islam. Their warped view of the world doesn?t belong here in our country. Frankly, it doesn?t belong anywhere in the world. It should die with them,? New Horizons in British Islam charity said in a statement.

Their warped view of the world doesn?t belong here in our country. Frankly, it doesn?t belong anywhere in the world. It should die with them.”
New Horizons in British Islam

The Muslim Association of Britain also expressed heartbreak with determination to stand up to acts of terror.

?As members of British Society, we must continue to condemn all acts of terror, and we must not allow these criminals to spread hatred and fear; and we must foil their attempts to divide us,? they stated.

Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, also expressed his revulsion at the attacks.

?Muslims everywhere are outraged and disgusted at these cowards who once again have destroyed the lives of our fellow Britons,? he said. ?That this should happen in this month of Ramadan, when many Muslims were praying and fasting only goes to show that these people respect neither life nor faith.?

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Trump’s EPA Chief Rebukes Critics As ‘Climate Exaggerators’ After Quitting Paris Accord

WASHINGTON ? Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt said he doesn?t ?know what it means to deny the climate? in a defiant rebuke of his critics one day after President Donald Trump announced the United States? withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.

?People have called me a climate skeptic or climate denier,? Pruitt said at a White House press briefing on Friday. ?I would say that they were climate exaggerators.?

To back up his point, Pruitt read from Bret Stephens? controversial debut column in The New York Times, in which the former Wall Street Journal opinion writer rebuffed environmentalists and climate scientists who took issue with his earlier work defending the conspiracy theory that manmade global warming is either overblown or a hoax.

?I don?t know if you saw this article or not,? Pruitt said. He then read aloud a passage in which Stephens understated the findings of a 2014 United Nations climate report, a mischaracterization that forced the Times to append the article with a correction.

?What the American people deserve is a debate ? objective, transparent discussion ? about this issue,? Pruitt said.

?Global warming is occurring, human activity contributes to it in some manner,? Pruitt said, staking out an argument frequently employed by what The New Republic describes as the ?kinder, gentler climate-change deniers.? ?Measuring with precision, in my perspective, the degree of human contribution is very challenging.?

The nation?s top environmental rulemaker, who is credited with convincing President Donald Trump to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, repeatedly refused to say whether the commander-in-chief believes in the widely accepted science that emissions from burning fossil fuel, deforestation and industrial farming are warming the planet.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer was equally cagey, telling reporters who asked him Friday about the president?s beliefs, ?I have not had the opportunity to have that discussion.?  

On Tuesday, Spicer also dodged questions on what the president thinks about climate change. ?Honestly, I haven?t asked him,? he said. ?I can get back to you. I don?t know. I honestly haven?t asked him that specific question.?

People have called me a climate skeptic or climate denier. I don’t know what it means to deny the climate.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt

Typically, White House press secretaries don?t tell reporters they?ll come back with an answer unless they really plan to, knowing that the reporter who asked the question will bring up their pledge again a few days later.

Countries around the world, including most major U.S. allies, condemned Trump?s decision to pull out of the historic accord to cut planet-warming emissions. Democrats, environmentalists and top executives from big corporations also voiced their concern.

Pruitt also spoke in the White House Rose Garden Thursday after Trump announced his plan to withdraw from the pact. The EPA administrator?s comments were clearly directed at Trump, who was standing a few feet away and apparently enjoying the lavish praise. In his two-minute speech, Pruitt said ?you? 21 times, but ?Paris? just three.

On Friday, Pruitt called the decision a ?courageous? and ?informed, thoughtful decision,? insisting the U.S. has ?nothing to be apologetic for.?

?Paris, truly, Paris at its core was a bunch of words committed to very, very minimal environmental benefits,? he said, but added that the U.S. was willing to rejoin the agreement under renegotiated terms.

Other countries have said they have no plans to reopen negotiations.

Pruitt fueled doubt that the administration is genuinely open to re-entering a global climate pact, saying any deal to cut U.S. emissions would require consent from the Senate. But he said the White House would circumvent Congress in any deal that allowed the U.S. to export technology for coal mining or hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial method for extracting natural gas.

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Scientific Community Rails Against Trump’s Decision To Pull Out Of Paris Accord

As President Donald Trump announced his decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change, some of the nation?s most prominent scientists strongly condemned the move and warned about the dire consequences it carries for the fight against global warming. 

The U.S. will join Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries not signing onto the 2015 accord. It?s not clear how much Trump?s decision will impact the country?s carbon footprint, as many states, cities and companies have vowed to slash emissions on their own, but the move sends a strong message about the administration?s diplomatic and economic priorities.

Here?s how some members of the scientific community reacted to Thursday?s announcement. 

Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz: 

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson:

Retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly:

Climate scientist Michael Mann:

Paleoecologist Jacquelyn Gill:

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy:

It?s a disappointing and embarrassing day for the United States.

This decision makes zero sense from a public health or an economic perspective. It?s contrary to science and his obligation to protect America?s kids and future generations. It?s contrary to investors and CEOs saying we need to lean in on climate action, not bury our heads in the sand, and it?s contrary to the vast majority of Americans calling for our country to do more.

Television personality Bill Nye the Science Guy:

Astrophysicist Catherine Qualtrough:

Union of Concerned Scientists? Yogin Kothari:

The organizers of the March for Science:

Science was ignored today. The decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement stands in stark opposition to the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is a real and active threat to communities around the world and to future generations. In addition, the fact that this decision was made without the input of a Presidential science advisor ? a position that, like most of the key scientific leadership positions in the Administration, remains unfilled ? is deeply troubling to all those who care about the role of science in informing policy.

Scientist David Brin:

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