1. Look for a word that makes people move & you'll find its definitions contested.
2. Even more than the word 'revolution,' the word 'fascism.'
3. 'Revolution' elastic enough to have been applied to detergents & cell phone payment plans, so no one seems to be taking anyone to court for being called a revolutionary.
4. --but for some reason 'fascism' keeps meaning what it means.
5. March 2014 in Paris, Marine Le Pen: "The term fascist is an insult, a term of contempt, a form of invective, used in this case by Mr Mélenchon who isn't stingy with these kinds of comments."
6. She'd taken a political opponent to court for calling her a fascist.
7. A month before, she'd lost a court case against him & was forced to admit that her campaign had circulated a fake campaign leaflet, pretending it was his.
7a. "There's no future for France without the Arabs & Berbers of North Africa," the leaflet said, "Let's Vote Mélenchon!" with a sentence in Arabic & his picture.
7b. Jean-Luc Mélenchon is a socialist who was born in Tangier in 1951. His mother was born in Spain.
8. How familiar that tone is already: the aggrieved outrage to cover a crime, the tacit appeal to liberal values where all opinions must be equally worthy of respect, the smearing of the accuser.
9. Mélenchon's family came to France in 1962, the year Maurice Papon, Paris Chief of Police, who had worked for the Nazis,
10. ( Jean Améry, tortured by the Gestapo, Auschwitz survivor, on the aftermath: "The only therapy could have been history in practice. I mean the German revolution & with it the homeland's strongly expressed desire for our return. But the revolution did not take place." )
11. --during a demonstration against the French occupation of Algeria had streets blocked off by police, who pursued fleeing demonstrators into the Charonne metro station & bludgeoned 9 of them to death, using those heavy decorative grillworks that protect the roots of city trees.
12. In April 1998 in Bordeaux, Papon was convicted of crimes against humanity, for his role in the arrest & deportation of Jews to the Drancy concentration camp between 1942 & 1944,
13. --the same morning someone he'd tortured with in Algeria was convicted in Versailles of assaulting a socialist opponent during the previous year's elections, a Minister of the European Parliament, Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine's father.
14. The Algerian revolutionaries' party was called the FLN, for Front de Libération Nationale. Jean-Marie Le Pen's party, & now his daughter's, founded in 1972, is called the FN, the Front Nationale, without the liberation.
15. They could be running France in May.
16. French MP Marion Le Pen, Jean-Marie's granddaughter, retweeting a French article, "Quel pays basculera après les #USA? Evidemment la #France, selon Marion Maréchal #LePen"
"Which country will fall after the USA? Obviously France, according to MMLP."
17. Marion Le Pen's tweet 4 days after the US elections: "I answer yes to the invitation of Steve Bannon, CEO of @realdonaldtrump presidential campaign, to work together."
17a. January tweet with a photo of her, the youngest person ever elected to the French parliament, campaigning for her aunt, speaking to a holiday crowd including many old people: "Imagine a Trump-Marine-Putin axis to fight Islamic terrorism! #NewYearsWishes"
17b. & retweeting Ted Cruz, who was "Proud to introduce Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act w @MarioDB. It's time to call the enemy by its name."
18. 'basculer' is sometimes translated as 'to switch,' but then you lose that physical sensation of falling.
19. --as in, "Attention! Des meubles et télévisions peuvent basculer et tomber sur des enfants." Caution! Furniture & televisions may tip over & fall on children.
or this 19a. from Radio Canada's website: "La Nuit de Cristal de 1938, ou comment l'Allemagne bascule dans l'horreur." Kristallnacht 1938, or how Germany fell into horror.
20. Mélenchon: "Is it sufficient to say 'lepénisme' to understand? It's the past that gives meaning. In our eyes you will never cease being fascists, even if you forbid us to say it. Mme Le Pen hides under the skin of a lamb to make us forget that she has the cruel nature of a fascist."
21. She lost her libel case when the French court ruled that the term 'fascist' is "deprived of injurious character when it is used between political opponents on a political subject...in the context of a debate of ideas." "I didn't insult her, I characterized her," Mélenchon said.
22. That sharp little intake of breath when I saw Sam Levine's January 12 photo of her having coffee in the basement of the Tower with Trump consigliere George Guido Lombardi.
23. The ways the body may register violation separately from the mind.
24. DT spokesman Sean Spicer: "It's a public building."
25. Number of times MLP's father ran for president: 5.
26. MLP ran & lost in 2012 ("Aiming to reach the second round, as her father had done in 2002, she also attempted to provide a different image of the party, avoiding the neo-fascist and anti-Semitic statements previously made by her father"), then in 2015 kicked her father out of the party, & now she's trying again.
27. MLP to worried Oxford student interviewing her re what her father taught her: "Droiture." ('Righteousness.' Literally, 'rightness.')
28. MLP advisor who recommended her father be sidelined for more effective re-branding: young gay École Nationale d’Administration graduate Florian Philippot.
28a. Guardian article about him at the end of last month: "The man who could make Marine Le Pen president of France."
28b. How he read in MLP's autobiography that when she was 8 teachers called the Le Pen girls “daughters of a fascist,” & told her when he met her, “I admire what you do, I’d like to be useful to you.”
28c. His tweet from Paris the night of the US elections: “Their world is crumbling. Ours is being built.”
29. MLP in 2012, to Australian SBS TV, as unearthed by courteous furious Christiane Amanpour: "Would you accept 12 illegal immigrants moving into your apartment? On top of that, they start to remove the wallpaper! Some of them would steal your wallet & brutalize your wife."
29a. MLP as retweeted by @TN_GOP : "They kill our children, murder our policemen and slaughter our priests. Wake up!" #MAGA
29b. Her word for illegal immigrants: "clandestins."
29c. George Guido Lombardi to the Corriere della Sera January 14: "Il trumpismo? È nato da noi," "Trumpism? It was born from us."
30. Two days before leaving for Washington I was tweeting about Bikers for Trump, a group organized via Facebook by George Guido Lombardi (along with Citizens for Trump, Veterans for Trump, Latinos for Trump, etc.)
31. --when the news said 5,000 Bikers were planning to arrive at the inauguration & form a "wall of meat" between the president & protesters.
( 31a. I saw about a dozen in Washington, pero bueno. )
( 31b. & then there's this. )
( 31c. My friend Ben Sonnenberg on his father: "Until his death in 1978, my father was one of the best known public relations men in America. He described his business as 'making giant plinths for little men to stand on.'" )
32. I said that Bikers for Trump wasn't a spontaneous upsurge of proletarian affection but a group organized by Trump fixer George Guido Lombardi
33. & tweeted a picture of him with DT & Chris Cox, head Biker, beside Sam Levine's picture of him with Marine Le Pen
34. & mentioned that the bikers reminded me of the baltagiya in Egypt paid to attack the protesters in Tahrir.
35. Me captioning Sam Levine's Thursday photo of Lombardi: "Proud conduit between DT & Fascism Worldwide."
( 35a. Lombardi when Corriere della Sera wanted to know who attended the fiesta he hosted 3 floors down from DT Wednesday night January 11: "I can't name names: there were Israelis, a few UN representatives, people from Wall Street, some Russians & supporters of the person I call the 'French Trump.' The program, her way of doing it, the media's antipathy: it's all familiar." )
( 35b. Libero of Rome on Lombardi's election night victory party: "At the party, which lasted until almost dawn, there were billionaires from around the world: people like the members of the Hinduja family, leader of one of the major groups of the Indian subcontinent, with interests ranging from the auto industry to information technology to the real estate & financial sector. Then Russian tycoons, Austrians, British, Israelis, Italian-Americans, & one Italian politician: MEP & deputy secretary of the Northern League, Lorenzo Fontana. 'It was a moving experience--the Trump staff welcomed us warmly & we have established useful contacts for the future,' he told Libero. 'The Trump victory is a reaction to globalization. A victory of identity over homogenization.'" )
( 35c. "There are 4,000 positions to be redrawn immediately," said Lombardi. "Donald will change everything." )
36. Me: "Here's Lombardi w Bikers, here w French Fascist MLP"
37. Next in my feed: "@georgeglombardi is now following you!"
38. SBS TV, April 2016, at Trump campaign headquarters: "It's 11am, you would think it would be a buzzing hive but there's practically nobody here."
WOMAN: I'll be right down.
MAN: This is where his campaign team works?
GUIDO LOMBARDI: Exactly.
MAN: They plan his program, his strategy?
GUIDO LOMBARDI: There’s no strategy.
MAN: Is provocation his strategy?
GUIDO LOMBARDI: Right now, his strategy is the primaries.
39. MAN: Ten people work here?
GUIDO LOMBARDI: Yes.
MAN: Are they the brains of the campaign?
GUIDO LOMBARDI: It’s a strange campaign, not your traditional campaign. His latest comment was 'I’m going to stop Muslims from entering America. All of them.' And of course everyone went 'Impossible, you can’t do that, it's religious discrimination,' etc. After 2 or 3 days, 9 of the 12 Republican candidates & even a few Democrats said 'Why not?'
[ 39a. Donald Johnson of the London Spectator on why Maurice Papon wasn't found guilty of being an active agent of the Holocaust: "The Bordeaux court believed that he did not know what happened to those who were deported. The curiously hybrid sentence of ten years in prison (when others had asked for life & the official prosecutor had asked for 20 years) was given because he had arranged for the identification, rounding up & transport of the victims. And he had said, in his statement to the jury before they withdrew to consider their verdict, that to condemn him for this would be to condemn those who were today sending illegal immigrants home in official charter planes." ]
40. While the miracle of the Women's March was unfolding, in this country & all over the world, the Fascist International was meeting in Germany, in Koblenz.
40a. ( Le Pen to Amanpour: "Everyone around the world who is opposed to immigration is accused of being on the far right, because people who are for immigration try to discredit them by qualifying them with this pejorative adjective." )
41. --including those pictured above, as well as Florian Philippot & Lorenzo Fontana.
42. MLP in Koblenz: "We are living the end of one world & the beginning of another!"
43. The morning after I got home from DC, I found Birdland messages from Janice Atkinson.
44. Janice Atkinson: "Where were your wimmin against Saudi oppression of women, FGM, rapes of western women in Europe?"
( 44a. Representative William Smith of South Carolina, arguing for the preservation of slavery via the Missouri Compromise, 1820: "I will not apologize for having taken up some of your time. I have raised my feeble voice for the preservation of the Union, & all its happy & glorious results; for the rights of the States; for the rights of the people; for justice, humanity, & domestic tranquility; to preserve our citizens from massacre, our wives & daughters from violation, & our children from being impaled by the most inhuman of savages. Whatever may be the result, I have done my duty." )
45. Me: Those women have fought against every oppression of women there is, while you manipulate for political gain. #Fail
46. JA: I'm an MEP. While you were getting yr knickers in a twist being anti-democracy, we were putting forward positive visions. #MAGA
47. Me: I'm a poet, & nothing gets my knickers in a twist like fascism. They were probably thinking 'positive visions' at Wannsee too.
48. JA: A 'poet' and a snowflake to boot. Are you demonstrating against S Arabia, rapes and FGM, little lady?
49. Me: Sister, come at me when you give a shit about any women except to rally fascists. Snowflakes shut down DC & we will again.
& 49a. if you're an MEP why are you all up #MAGA? How about you wreck one country at a time? #Fascism
50. JA: The sisterhood doesn't exist, even for libtards. Saudi, FGM, migrant rapes?? Go melt somewhere else, I've got work to do.
51. Me: "Fascist catechism, 'Repeat after me: Saudi, FGM, migrant rapes. Saudi, FGM, migrant rapes,' as the billionaires move in."
51a. "What we call your 'positive visions' in NYC:
52. I'm typing after midnight, so it's February 5: a year now since the death of my father.
53. --the man who taught me what fascism is.
54. The detachment of the scholarly definitions & the taste & smell of the intimate ones.
55. Do we have to be able to define love in order to respond to it.
56. Robert Paxton: "A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood & by compensatory cults of unity, energy & purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties & pursues with redemptive violence & without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing & external expansion."
57. Jean Améry on the Gestapo torture center at Breendonk: "Very quickly one was taken into the 'business room,' of which I have already spoken. The business that was conducted here obviously was a flourishing one."
58. Is it only banal if you've been able to keep far from the smell of it.
59. "It was just a matter of survival, of existing from one day to the next. I remember going to sleep as a girl hearing the Klan ride at night & hearing a lynching & being afraid the house would burn down." #Fascisms
60. Happy birthday, Rosa Parks, The house is burning down. Again. Still.
61. How when Medgar Evers was 14 he saw Willie Tingle dragged through the streets of Decatur Mississippi & shot & hanged for 'insulting a white woman.' How every day on his way to school he passed the scraps of the man's bloody clothes flapping in the tree.
62. How 6 years later he was a US soldier at Normandy.
63. George Guido Lombardi to reporters re Marine Le Pen's visit to the Tower: "the Normandy landing."
64. Améry: "But this still does not mean that the evil they inflicted on me was banal. If one insists on it, they were bureaucrats of torture. And yet, they were also much more. I saw it in their serious, tense faces, which were not swelling, let us say, with sexual-sadistic delight, but concentrated in murderous self-realization. With heart & soul they went about their business, & the name of it was power, dominion over spirit & flesh, orgy of unchecked self-expansion."
64a. "I also have not forgotten that there were moments when I felt a kind of wretched admiration for the agonizing sovereignty they exercised over me. For is not the one who can reduce a person so entirely to a body & a whimpering prey of death a god, or at least, a demigod?"
65. Foucault: "The strategic adversary is fascism. And not only historical fascism, the fascism of Hitler and Mussolini--which was able to mobilize & use the desire of the masses so effectively--but also the fascism in us all, in our heads & in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates & exploits us."
66. Gayatri Spivak on post-colonial counter-discourse: a "persistent critique of what you cannot not want."
67. Foucault on the Non-Fascist Life: "Do not fall in love with power."
68. Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism: "And they wait & they hope; & they hide the truth from themselves...that it is Nazism, yes, but that before they were its victims, they were its accomplices; that they tolerated that Nazism before it was inflicted on them, that they absolved it, shut their eyes to it, legitimized it, because, until then, it had been applied only to non-European peoples..."
69. Ara's text at noon last Saturday, January 28th: "people are being blocked at intl airports and detained at JFK." Day 9.
70. Smiling as I waited on the platform for the train, at the ways I wanted not to go, because I had plans to see my family at 5 & a ticket to hear Chucho Valdés that night.
71. From Lorraine Gordon's autobiography, Alive at the Village Vanguard: "On the morning of Chucho's scheduled opening in June 1999, his visa still had not been approved by the State Department. Yes, Chucho was on a plane to New York from Havana. The problem was getting him off that plane."
72. How all along the A train to the airport people kept getting on with blank pieces of cardboard & black markers.
73. & Terminal 4, where I've met Shahnaz more than once, where I've stopped to feast at the Central Diner on the way home from Havana
74. --looked like it always does, until you walked outside & across the road to the parking lot by the parking garage, to see where the police had confined the dozens of people holding signs & flags & yelling, then hundreds, then thousands.
75. How I didn't start weeping until I heard everyone yelling Let them in. Let. them. in.
76. Lorraine Gordon: "It was nearing 9pm when I got word that Chucho was being detained at Kennedy Airport."
77. How Representatives Jerry Nadler & Nydia Velásquez were there in the morning & we the people were still pouring in at dusk & the lawyers with their laptops at the Central Diner stayed all night, maybe they're there still.
78. What places more drenched in post-9.11 racist humiliation & the political manipulation of terror than airports.
79. Sent a Birdland message to Maher Arar & he sent it on to 16,000 more: "We weren't in airports when we should have been, dear @ArarMaher / Happy to be here with thousands tonight"
79a. Maher Arar: "My hat off 2 demonstrators at JFK, an airport I know very well."
79b. --because in September 2002 he was interrogated there for 10 hours on his way home to Canada from a vacation in Tunis
79c. --then shackled & flown to Washington, then to Portland, Maine, then to Rome, then to Amman, then driven to Syria & tortured there for almost a year.
79d. ( Jane Mayer: "During the flight, Arar said, he heard the pilots and crew identify themselves in radio communications as members of 'the Special Removal Unit.'” )
( 79d. John Greenleaf Whittier poem, 1854, re an enslaved man shackled back to Virginia from Boston: "The Rendition" )
( 79e. Andrew Jackson to Congress, 1830: "It gives me pleasure to announce to Congress that the benevolent policy of the Government, steadily pursued for nearly thirty years, in relation to the removal of the Indians beyond the white settlements is approaching to a happy consummation." )
80. "Arar's requests for a lawyer were dismissed on the basis that he was not a US citizen, therefore he did not have the right to receive counsel."
81. How when they tortured Maher in Syria, they asked the same questions he'd been asked in the airport. #Catechisms
82. Gary Shteyngart : "One of my strongest memories is the feeling of safety & warmth upon finally reaching JFK airport in 1979 as a Soviet refugee."
83. Jane Mayer: "The pain was so unbearable, he said, that 'you forget the milk that you have been fed from the breast of your mother.'”
84. Stephen King : "The ugliest first week of a presidency in the history of the American republic."
84a. Svilena @commietantric : "Dude, rethink this. 17 US presidents spent their first week in office enjoying the riches chattel slavery brings."
85. National Security Advisor's son @mflynnJR : "Making America Great Again!" #MuslimBan #saturdaymorning #AmericaFirst
86. Solmaz Sharif, "Drone" : "my father is still on the bus with contraband papers under his seat as uniforms storm down the aisle"
87. & when the police blocked people from the airport train the governor stopped them & opened the turnstiles again
88. & when they decided to admit only people with tickets, someone tweeted a JFK-ORD boarding pass for anyone to use
89. & at quarter of 9pm a Federal judge in Brooklyn, Ann Donnelly, granted a temporary emergency stay blocking parts of the executive order.
90. How happy he would have been that that first suit was called Darweesh v Trump. #Poetry
91. Breitbart headline: Terror-Tied Group CAIR Causing Chaos, Promoting Protests & Lawsuits As Trump Protects Nation
92. Chuck Schumer: "Just off phone w Gen. Kelly. Assures me the court order will be complied with. All those still in airports expected to be admitted."
92a. & the usually reserved Anne Fausto-Sterling: "Hope so. If not there is going to be a civil war."
93. The usually reserved Bill McKibben: "For the time being, it appears that weekends are for fighting fascism."
94. & then on Friday another Federal judge in Washington issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the enforcement of the executive order nationwide, which apparently had more power because DT called him "a so-called judge" & Sean Spicer called the order "outrageous."
95. "And then suddenly people were shouting in the stairwell, 'He's here!' And there came massive, 6'8" Chucho marching down the Vanguard stairs, his arms filled with flowers, bouquets of them."
96. @zeinobia from Cairo: "Dear Americans, welcome to the universe of the third world presidents...even our Egyptian presidents did not dare to say so-called Judge!!"
96a. Me: "Ay querida all snake-slaying suggestions welcome xo #NizamUSA"
96b. @zeinobia : "Defend the Constitution and do not give up protesting too easily."
97. George Guido Lombardi's retweet of the AP video of the Greek fascists' happy torch parade: "Greek extreme right party Golden Dawn holds annual rally in Athens, party praises immigration crackdown in U.S."
98. Usually reserved information security researcher Matt Tait, in Birdland @pwnallthethings : "Republicans in Congress take note: he will come for you next. Stop him now or you will never be able to."
99. How it comforts me to flip through my photos of the airport demonstrations to watch the spaces between the people get smaller & disappear as darkness falls.
100. Rui Tavares, former MEP from Portugal, in Birdland: "I have to say: never really expected institutions could stop Trump, but what common Americans are doing today does fill me with hope."
100a. "The lawyers working pro bono on the floor, the protesters crowding the airports--know that human rights patriots are proud of you."
100b. "('Human rights patriots' is another way of saying citizens of the world, cosmopolitans, and proudly so.)"
100c. "You, dear fellow citizens of the world, are an inspiration for us in Europe in this crucial year for democracy against fascism."
100d. "Your example is being absorbed on this side of the ocean. We will stop Le Pen, Wilders and national-populism in the EU. ¡No pasarán!"
100e. "After what happened w Trump, w Temer, w Duterte, w Erdogan and w Putin, the world needs resistance."
101. The line of murderers & rapists & thieves who passed on the gift of life to my father, then to me. His father who was an undertaker. The psychic who told me he was once a galley slave. His first work years as a New Bedford reporter, then decades in public relations.
102. James Baldwin: "you have the corpse, & you are, thereafter, at the mercy of a fact which missed the truth, which means that the corpse has you."
103. Fascist General José Millán-Astray to writer & philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, during the Spanish Civil War: "¡Muera la inteligencia! ¡Viva la Muerte!" "Death to intelligence! Long live death!"
104. Someone wise said to me once, re the realm of the ancestors: It's not like that there. Who's to say they're not grieving now. Who's to say they're not using us to put it right.
105. The gorgeous voices from the Baltimore-Washington airport yelling, Fuck your walls, Fuck your borders, We won't take your fucking orders. #Antidotes
106. From 18 Short Songs of the Bitter Motherland, by Yannis Ritsos, detained & tortured on the island prison camp of Makronisos during the Greek Civil War:
16. The Building
How is this house to be built? Who will be hanging the doors,
since the hands are very few, and the stones impossible to lift?
Be quiet: at work the hands become strong, and they multiply;
and don't forget that all night long the dead are also helping.
107. The night mist over Manhattan blurring the replacement for the trade center towers & leaving the crescent moon & the evening star clear.
108. Viva la vida.