*UPDATE* It’s official, Trump is planning a press conference on Jan 6, 2022, the one year anniversary of the Capitol riot and attempted overthrow of American Democracy. A lot of people think Trump will take this opportunity to announce he’s running for President again in 2024. For sure, it is a moment he intends to use to galvanize his forces and expand efforts to allow loyalists to overturn election results, make it harder to vote, obstruct the January 6 commission in Congress, and treat his insurrectionists shock troops like heroes.
We’re joining the effort to support pro-democracy rallies all over the country, and want to scale up our work — especially by supporting Congresswoman Cori Bush to investigate and expel the members of Congress who helped incite the violent insurrection at our Capitol.
But to launch that project (and 197 other ones) next year we need to hit our year-end fundraising goal before the end of the week. If you’re with us in the fight to stop fossil fueled fascists, can you chip in $1.98 or more to power up our action tools before Jan 6, 2022.
This project was started in response to Trump’s election, and the rise of an overtly fascist movement in America – funded by the fossil fuel industry. That’s why we started calling Trump and his movement “Fossil Fueled Fascists.”
As we’ve noted elsewhere, for a long time Very Serious People called us “deranged” or warned us not to exaggerate the threat. But after the insurrection on January 6, 2021, a lot of people changed their tune. Now, almost 12 months after the attempted coup, the fossil fueled fascist party is on the rise again. And elected leaders from the President on down are failing to act. So, once again, we need to take radical, non violent, direct action to keep democracy and each other safe.
I’ll explain more on the how and why below. But if you’re reading the end-of-year news and feel an uneasy sense of urgency – like things are about to go seriously wrong and you need to do something about it – then I need to ask for your help as well. Chip in any amount to support us and we’ll put the donation towards fighting fossil fueled fascists in 2022. We keep us safe, and we’re gonna need to do a lot of peacekeeping in the months ahead.
The way I feel now is a lot like how I felt right before the 2020 election: We can see the coup coming, but there’s a lot of inertia that wants to trust in leaders to protect us or avoid alarming people in case it all turns out alright on its own. Remember, a few weeks before the election 198 methods (and a lot of groups) were warning that Trump would not accept the outcome of the election. We warned that he’d use the period between the election and inauguration to sow doubt and discontent, and try and reverse the results through friendly media sources, through rigged legal processes, and if all else failed through violent mobs. As it turned out, we were spot on – but that’s not because we’re especially smart or good at predicting election results: It’s because we’d been treating Trump line a fascist regime for years.
Immediately after the January 6 insurrection, most people agreed with that analysis – that Trump was a fascist demagogue and that he, and the people in his movement, needed to barred from power. But the movement to impeach Trump and expel his enablers from Congress faltered when the people in power – elected leaders from both parties – started to worry that changing the status quo too much, too quickly would be bad for them, not just Trump. Republicans unified enough to block Trump’s second impeachment, and the movement to expel insurrectionist members of the House of Representatives and US Senate was short lived (though it could make a come-back next year).
So why did the people in power – even those whose lives had literally been threatened by Trump’s mob – decided to turn down the pressure for accountability? In a word: money.
Sixty-five fossil fuel companies gave $8.8 million to more than 100 members of Congress who voted to challenge the electoral college outcome. Twenty nine fossil fuel executives contributed more than $18 million to political groups that worked for Trump and his Congressional allies. The biggest beneficiaries were the same ones we now know were most-closely planning the insurrection with Trump and team.
But faced with the stark reality that the people who tried to overthrow the election and instal an American fascist regime by force had corporate sponsorship, Democratic elected leaders elected to avoid conflict and seek compromise. Consistent action by the Biden administration and their allies shows that they do not think they can fight the fossil fuel industry and win. Even our calls for a fossil free cabinet fell on deaf ears.
All of which has led us to this moment: – Joe Manchin (who we’ve been working to demote, isolate, and exile for years) has declared he will not support the Build Back better Act – our last hope at real climate action this Congress; Nor has he offered anything more than token lip service to voting rights, pandemic relief, or any other so-called priority of the Biden Administration.
Confronted with the rise of a fascist party largely funded and empowered by fossil fuels, our so-called leaders have acted to reject neither fascism not fossil fuels.
Trump and his fascist cronies, meanwhile, have not been idle or interested in compromise. It’s increasingly clear that the insurrection on Jan 6 2021 was not so much a failure as a dress rehearsal. Trump and his allies worked methodically over Dec 2020 and early 2021 to overturn the election results and install their leader. They considered a number of options that didn’t work last time – including overt election-fixing at the state level, and using the military to enforce their will.
All those options, and more, are very much on the table as Trump and his allies consider the future. They’re making good on promises to install loyalists (to Trump or fossil fuel fascism?) at every level of government and especially election administration. They’re targeting black and brown communities, who not-coincidentally are also already targeted by pollution and extraction from the fossil fuel industry, with redistricting so they lose power and their votes matter less.
So, what can we hope to do about it? The same thing we’ve always done – literally, since we start 198 methods. We organize radical, uncompromising, anti-fascist, non-violent campaigns that mix direct action and digital tactics to push back harder, disrupt better, and communicate more widely. We were there at Trump’s inauguration shutting down access and denying him a crowd of supporters. We were still there through all four years – getting key members of his fossil fueled fascist regime fired, demoted or exiled. And we were there as the regime finally fell – warning that they would attempt a coup, and calling for accountability.
All this year we’ve tried to play nice – cajoling elected leaders to Build Back Better with no cuts to climate, care, jobs, or justice and encouraging them to pick a side in the battle between people and fossil fuels. Next year, we need to stop asking, and start making life hard for the people who are killing the planet. If you find yourself at the end of the year with a little to spare – consider making a small donation to fund our expansion – there’s a lot of work to do.