David Swanson: Charlottesville still has statues, still won’t ban guns

david swansonBy David Swanson

Charlottesville FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY saying they’ll ban sticks and other potential weapons, just as if this were a nonviolent leftist rally for peace or justice is the right move. If advocates for love and kindness can’t have posters on wooden poles, why should fascists who’ve made their violent intent known get to bring actual weaponry? This should have been done before last year’s event, and only took 362 days after it.

Filling the city with militarized cops and soldiers isn’t the right move. It shows nothing has been learned. Busloads of heavily armed fighters, and possibly-soon-to-crash helicopters, keep good people away, encourage violence, play into the hands of those seeking violence, and reduce the possibility of serious nonviolent action.

At the root of the reliance on violence is the refusal to ban guns. The brave Charlottesville “Resistance” bows before the sociopathic claims of the state legislature that guns cannot be banned from anywhere even if it kills people, even if it fuels violence and hostility that ends up killing people by other means, such as with an automobile.

Similarly, the city has spent the past year bowing before the state decree that no war statue may ever be taken down. As on guns, there are legal experts who say this is not legal. It is, however, easier to go along with. Prior to last year’s event, only two of Charlottesville’s five city council members at the time were willing to take down racist statues. The mayor, one of the three votes for keeping the statues, flipped on the day of the fascist rally. But since then, and with a new mayor, the city has let the statues stand. And none of the advocates for taking them down have been willing to utter one word against the warmongering culture that forbids removing war monuments. The silence is so complete that most people have no idea that the statues remain because of support for warmongering and not because of support for racism.

Charlottesville has also failed to demand the impeachment and removal from office of Donald Trump, whose criminal incitement of violence before and since last year’s tragedy is one of many obvious and non-Russophobic grounds for that urgently needed action. Trump was understood by the mostly-yet-to-be-indicted criminals last year as encouraging them. Similar, smaller scale incidents have increased in number across the United States.

Beyond those particular failures are the general failures in Charlottesville and almost everywhere else to seriously address systemic racism, poverty, environmental destruction, and militarism. This follows from the almost complete failure to build any sort of understanding or reconciliation between those struggling and suffering people who resort to racism and those struggling and suffering people who recognize racism as a major part of the problem.

The racists made themselves look bad, flipped the former mayor’s worthless vote, and fueled efforts to take down racist statues in lots of other cities, and even wise measures to ban weapons from events in many other cities. But a great deal of work remains to be done.


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