Refuse Fascism

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Refuse Fascism
FormationDecember 2016; 2 years ago (2016-12)
HeadquartersNew York City

Refuse Fascism is a U.S.-based political organization calling for the removal of the Trump administration.[1]


Refuse Fascism placards seen at a rally to protest family separation in Cleveland, Ohio (June, 2018)

Refuse Fascism was formed by a group of leftists, including the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), after the 2016 election.[1] The RCP has said they issued the call to action which launched the group.[2] Refuse Fascism has been described as having "ties" with or "linked to" the RCP.[3][4] Spokespeople for Refuse Fascism include Sunsara Taylor[1][5] and Carl Dix.[6][3][4] The group partially operates out of the RCP's Revolution bookshop on 132nd Street in Harlem[5] and shares a mailing address on West Broadway with The World Can't Wait.[7]


Refuse Fascism organizes around issues affecting groups including Muslims, women, LGBTQ people, black and Latino people, children and the elderly.[8] In August 2017 Refuse Fascism organizers identified themselves as anti-fascists but differentiated themselves from "Antifa".[9] They also distinguished themselves from other groups opposed to Donald Trump such as the Indivisible movement, which engage in electoral politics.[9]

In January 2017, prior to Trump's inauguration, Refuse Fascism member Tedd Sirota argued that Trump exhibited fascist "character traits", and argued that the most dangerous aspect of Trump's presidency would be the alliance "between his unbridled capitalism and the Christian fascism of [Vice President] Mike Pence".[10]

The group advocates Trump's removal from office by constitutional methods (including the Twenty-fifth Amendment) and identifies the Arab Spring and the protests leading to the impeachment of former President of South Korea Park Geun-hye in March 2017 as evidence of the effectiveness of protests.[9] Members share a disbelief in the ability of the Democratic Party's capacity to stop Trump and a commitment to direct action.[9] Refuse Fascism member Raphael Kadaris said in July 2017: "There's a lot of people hoping that Democrats somehow intervene or one of these investigations. The idea we that we can rely on people in the FBI or Democratic party is a dangerous illusion."[8]

Refuse Fascism spokesperson Sunsara Taylor said that the group opposed Trump and Pence because

Trump has openly promoted white supremacy, encouraged police brutality and brought back mandatory sentencing. He has demonized and unleashed terror against immigrants and torn thousands from their families. His Muslim ban is largely in effect. Trump has threatened the courts and the press. The Trump/Pence regime has muzzled scientists, accelerated the destruction of the environment and threatened the world with nuclear annihilation. Pence opposes abortion in all circumstances and would completely deny the rights of LGBTQ people.[11]


January–October 2017[edit]

Refuse Fascism organizes non-violent protests.[1] In January 2017 Refuse Fascism participated in the DisruptJ20 protests on the day of Trump's inauguration and the airport protests against Executive Order 13769, which suspended entry to the U.S. by nationals of seven countries.[5]

In July 2017, Refuse Fascism members were present at the Impeachment March events, which called for the U.S. Congress to begin the process of impeaching Trump.[5] Also in July, Refuse Fascism organized demonstrations in several cities,[8] including Los Angeles[12] and San Francisco.[8] Kadaris expressed hope that these demonstrations would "create a legitimacy crisis" affecting Trump's presidency.[8]

In August 2017, following the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Los Angeles branch of Refuse Fascism organized a march which began at Los Angeles City Hall.[13][14] Refuse Fascism member Michelle Xi said the purpose of the demonstration was "to say, 'No, we're not going to normalize these Nazis and how they feel emboldened.'"[14] Refuse Fascism groups also helped to organize a march to the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago on the same day,[15] and organized a march to Trump Tower in New York City.[16][17] Carl Dix, a member of Refuse Fascism, said the events in Charlottesville were a "direct outgrowth of the Trump/Pence fascist regime" and said "These fascists are serious. And we must wake up and confront them with resistance that is just as serious."[17]

Refuse Fascism was involved in organizing several demonstrations in Berkeley, California in September 2017: a protest against a speech by the conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro at the University of California, Berkeley on September 12;[18] a "March Against White Supremacy", which was addressed by Chelsea Manning, on September 23;[19] and a demonstration against a planned "Free Speech Week" which involved a brief occupation of Wheeler Hall, on September 25.[20] Also in September, Refuse Fascism–Houston was one of several groups involved in organizing a protest in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and in opposition to Trump's rescission of the program.[21]

In October 2017 Refuse Fascism members protested panelists at an event on civil discourse and hate speech at the University of California, Los Angeles. One member criticized panelists for normalizing Trump's presidency by discussing hate speech in the abstract.[22]

November 4, 2017[edit]

Protesters speak at a Refuse Fascism rally in Union Square, San Francisco, November 4, 2017.

News media reported in September 2017 that Refuse Fascism was organizing a series of nonviolent protests against the Trump administration, which began on November 4, 2017.[23] Conferences were held in Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco in August 2017 in preparation for the protests.[9][24]

Protestors carrying signs reading "NOV 4 IT BEGINS" blocked traffic on U.S. Route 101, near Alameda Street in Los Angeles, on September 26, 2017.[25]

The road blockade and the planned protests became the subject of a conspiracy theory alleging that anti-fascist groups were planning to foment a civil war in the United States.[4][26][27][28][29] In September and October 2017 the claims were reported in multiple articles and broadcasts by InfoWars, by the John Birch Society's publication The New American, and by Richard Spencer's website.[26] In October 2017, the conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney and author and activist Trevor Loudon accused Refuse Fascism of inciting, or conspiring to incite, riots across state lines, and called for the federal government to intervene.[30] Later in October, the conservative blog The Gateway Pundit published an article by Lucian Wintrich claiming an "antifa leader" had pledged to "behead white parents" on November 4.[4][31] The article was shared on Facebook more than 40,000 times.[31] Wintrich subsequently distanced himself from the article.[4] Also in October 2017, rumors circulated claiming that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) had scheduled a power outage for November 4; in fact, the DOD intends to conduct a training exercise alongside the American Radio Relay League, an event that has been held quarterly since 2013, in which the electrical grid will not be turned off.[32][33][34][35] As of October 25, 2017, YouTube videos warning of plans for a civil war had been viewed millions of times;[36] and as of November 2 a viral video entitled "Officer Warns: Antifa To Declare Civil War On Whites Before Year End" had been shared over 55,000 times on Facebook.[5] The conspiracy theory has led to threats to attack the demonstrations and to murder anti-fascists.[26]

Taylor said of the claims: "What they're saying is completely false. They're blatant lies, and they're creating and intending to intimidate people who want to stand up to the Trump/Pence regime. It's concerning that these lies are being spread and that they're unleashing threats."[36] Taylor also said that the response "lets us know we've struck a chord, and they recognize the strength of what we are doing."[37] Spencer Sunshine of Political Research Associates argued in October 2017 that "the conspiracy is being used to encourage Far Right activists to harm non-violent Leftist protestors" and that "The organizing function of these 'looming war' narratives serves to motivate the Far Right base, rather than function as actual predictions."[26] Adi Robertson of The Verge wrote on November 3 that "It doesn't necessarily matter how much anyone believes tomorrow's nationwide protest is a civil war—the point is that some people are hoping it will become one."[38]

On November 4, 2017, Refuse Fascism held peaceful demonstrations in New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and other cities.[39][40][41]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Montgomery, Blake (September 7, 2017). "Here's Everything You Need To Know About The Antifa Network That's Trying To Solidify A Nazi-Punching Movement". BuzzFeed. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  2. ^ Why We Have Taken Up the Fight to Build Refuse Fascism and to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime: A Statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, July 24, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |
  4. ^ a b c d e Wilson, Jason (November 1, 2017). "Why the far right believes a US civil war will start on Saturday". The Guardian. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e Smith, Jack IV (November 2, 2017). "The far-right thinks a violent antifa overthrow is coming Nov. 4, but the truth is far stranger". Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  6. ^ Lauren Cook and Rajvi Desai Protest at Trump Building on Wall Street denounces president’s Haiti comments AM New York January 19, 2018
  7. ^ Stephanie Dube Dwilson, November 4, 2017 Protests: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know,, November 2017
  8. ^ a b c d e Garcia, Jay (July 13, 2017). "Refusing Fascism: Q&A with an anti-fascist organizer". El Tecolote. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d e Gee, Taylor (August 23, 2017). "Inside the Left's Plans to Occupy Trump". Politico. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  10. ^ Muhammad, Safiyyah P. (January 18, 2017). "Refuse Fascism views Trump presidency as fascist takeover". Weekly Citizen. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  11. ^ Mascali, Nikki M. (September 5, 2017). "Refuse Fascism mobilizing to demand removal of Trump, Pence". Metro New York. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  12. ^ "Refuse Fascism LA group to protest, march against Trump in Hollywood". Los Angeles Daily News. July 15, 2017. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  13. ^ "Anti-fascism protesters march through streets of Los Angeles". Fox 11. August 13, 2017. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  14. ^ a b Lloyd, Annie (August 13, 2017). "Demonstrators Gather At City Hall To Hold Rally For Charlottesville". LAist. Archived from the original on August 15, 2017. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  15. ^ Rebik, Dana (August 13, 2017). "Hundreds protest in Chicago after violent, deadly white supremacist rally in Virginia". WGN-TV. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  16. ^ Offenhartz, Jake (August 13, 2017). "NYC Vigils & Rallies Planned In Response To Charlottesville White Supremacists". Gothamist. Archived from the original on August 19, 2017. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  17. ^ a b Provenzano, Brianna (August 14, 2017). "Hundreds rally outside Trump Tower to protest white supremacy". Mic. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  18. ^ Levy-Wolins, Aaron (September 15, 2017). "Conservative speaker spurns student protest at Berkeley". El Tecolote. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  19. ^ "Chelsea Manning addresses crowd of anti-fascist, anti-Milo marchers". Berkeleyside. September 24, 2017. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  20. ^ White, Daphne (September 26, 2017). "Coalition holds march and brief UC Berkeley sit-in to protest white supremacy". Berkeleyside. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  21. ^ Rincon, Marialuisa (September 16, 2017). "Activists march in support of young immigrants, DACA". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  22. ^ Kamran, Gabriella (October 24, 2017). "Anti-Fascist Activists Shut Down UCLA Free Speech Panel". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  23. ^ Taylor, Otis R., Jr. (September 29, 2017). "Antifascist explains why she protests Trump fans". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  24. ^ Gabbatt, Adam (August 18, 2017). "The Resistance Now: after Charlottesville, anger and action". The Guardian. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  25. ^ McGahan, Jason (September 29, 2017). "Why Did Protesters Block Traffic on the 101 This Week?". LA Weekly. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  26. ^ a b c d Sunshine, Spencer (October 31, 2017). "Rumors of Civil War: How Anti-Communist Conspiracies Imagine an Antifa Civil War on November 4". Political Research Associates. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  27. ^ Hickey, Cameron; O'Brien, Miles (October 10, 2017). "Google 'Top stories' featured false news about rumored Antifa civil war". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  28. ^ Hayden, Michael Edison (October 11, 2017). "'Antifa' waging civil war on November 4, according to right wing conspiracy". Newsweek. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  29. ^ Swenson, Kyle (November 1, 2017). "The antifa apocalypse is coming this weekend, if you believe the hype". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  30. ^ Holt, Jared (October 23, 2017). "Frank Gaffney: Federal Authorities Need To 'Roll Up' Black Lives Matter And Anti-Fascism Groups". Right Wing Watch. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  31. ^ a b Hayden, Michael Edison (November 1, 2017). "'Antifa Supersoldiers' Are Coming to Kill White People Within Days: Right Wing Conspiracy". Newsweek. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  32. ^ "Conspiracy claims civil war, blackouts planned for November 4". WJBK. November 1, 2017. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  33. ^ LaCapria, Kim (October 31, 2017). "Is the Department of Defense Planning a Communications Drill to Coincide with 'Antifa' Demonstrations?". Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  34. ^ Taube, David (November 1, 2017). "Army-linked radio group responds to concerns about training exercise during protest". WBAL-TV. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  35. ^ Spencer, Saranac Hale (November 2, 2017). "Blackout or Ham Radio Drill?". Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  36. ^ a b Montgomery, Blake. "As Anti-Trump Group Gears Up For a Peaceful Protest, Conservatives Online Warn Of Civil War". BuzzFeed News.
  37. ^ Mascali, Nikki M. (November 3, 2017). "Refuse Fascism on right-wing 'civil war' claims of national Nov. 4 protests". Metro New York. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  38. ^ Robertson, Adi (November 3, 2017). "The 'antifa super-soldier' conspiracy theory is dangerous because people want to believe it". The Verge. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  39. ^ Hayden, Michael Edison (November 4, 2017). "'Antifa Civil War' on November 4 Was Really Just a Few Protests Against Trump". Newsweek. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  40. ^ Swan, Rachel (November 4, 2017). "Peaceful anti-Trump demonstration, march directed at Union Square shoppers". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  41. ^ Bryan, Cleve (November 4, 2017). "Anti-Trump Protesters Gather In Thomas Paine Plaza". CBS Philly. Retrieved November 8, 2017.

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