Portland, Oregon:The Portland Alliance needs a poetry editor to research, scan, layout, & edit a presentation of two local poet's work from our archives. (Will also need two pages of breaking poetry, new creative arts,and poetry venues & events for the October Issue) email@example.com or see community meetings page...
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Trump vs. Sophie Scholl: Lessons in Courageous Resistance
by Rivera Sun
US politics are enough to give everyone nightmares of Donald Trump as Hitler minus the mustache. He'd drop a nuke on ISIS. He wants a registry of all Muslims. He decries economic inequality while profiting from, and being the epitome of, the problem. He's white, male, inherited his fortune, and millions of prejudiced, mass media-skewed Americans seem to adore him.
Although the report that "Trump does not mind being compared to Hitler" is rather, well, trumped up, it rang true for many United States citizens after his numerous racist and bigoted remarks. Many people are wondering, what can we do? In Nazi-era Germany, a young student was asking herself the very same question, and her story offers some suggestions for us today.
In 1942, a young German woman, Sophie Scholl, joined the White Rose, a group dedicated to nonviolent resistance of the Nazis, particularly through spreading forbidden literature about nonviolent resistance. As a child, she, like all of her school friends, had joined the girl's wing of the Nazi Party youth movement. However, she grew alarmed at the political views and the dangerous rise of Nazi ideology. Over the next 10 years, she consistently chose to dissent from her peers. In university, she discovered her brother Hans and friends had started the White Rose and quickly joined. On February 18th, 1943, Sophie and Hans were spotted doing a leaflet drop from the top of a university tower, arrested, brutally interrogated by the Gestapo, put on trial without lawyers, and executed by guillotine on February 22nd. Sophie Scholl was 22 years old.
The point of Sophie's story is not her death . . . it is her life of conviction and courage that offers inspiration for our own lives. If we live in a time when one of our presidential candidates does not seem to mind being compared to Hitler, then we must organize in such a way that we can be compared to Sophie Scholl and the White Rose. We must challenge the hatred and bigotry of our day, withdrawing from social clubs and institutions that support xenophobia and racism. We must consciously take the stance of respect and justice even if it runs contrary to the opinions of our peers or neighbors. We should share knowledge of how to nonviolently resist the injustices wrought by our nation. We should write, print, and distribute literature calling upon our shared human values of respect, peace, justice, equality, and kindness. We should use our new online technologies to do so, as well.
We, unlike, Sophie Scholl and her fellow students in Germany, have the Freedom of Speech. Her life, her death, her courage and sacrifice should serve as our reminder to use it, now, not tomorrow or next week, but today.
"Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don't dare express themselves as we did." - Sophie Scholl
Author/Activist Rivera Sun, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is the author of The Dandelion Insurrection, and other books, She is a trainer and social media coordinator for Campaign Nonviolence. (This essay was originally part of a longer essay addressing five stories of nonviolent resistance to the Nazis and the parallels that can be applied to current events in the United States.)
I was much heartened that thousands of people in Portland showed up for the rally and march to protest the killing of Michael Brown, in response to the non-guilty verdict for Darren Wilson, the white policeman who killed 18-year old Michael Brown in Ferguson months ago. People visibly expressed their grief and outrage about this recent murder of yet another African American man by the police. The rally was followed by a peaceful march in downtown Portland. After the "official" march was over, the crowd was urged to "go home peacefully." It was great to see hundreds of young people determined not to disperse but to continue to resist in solidarity with the "movement" for racial and social justice. When the crowd was urged to sing along to "We shall overcome," several young Black men shouted in response, "I could get shot tomorrow! WIll your singing save me?" Soon after, several hundred protestors, mostly young, marched for hours, determined to shut down bridges, or freeways. Several confrontations with an army of riot police, cops on horses, motorbikes and bicycles occurred without any major injuries. 7 people were arrested. The resistance continues! ~ Bette Lee
-When stopped by officers and asked to produce id:
Counter-questions: Do I have to get out of the car? What is the purpose of this stop? What is your probable cause? What is your reasonable suspicion? What is your name? Am I being detained? Do you have probable cause? What is the purpose of this stop? Am I free to go? Are you refusing to allow me to go? Do you have an id?
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