in Laoch Onórach

On Wings of Fire and Broken Glass We MUST Rise: #DisruptJ20 2 years later

Burning limo from the #DisruptJ20 protests, has "WE THE PEOPLE" and the Anarchy symbol spray painted on it

Burning limo from the #DisruptJ20 protests, has “WE THE PEOPLE” and the Anarchy symbol spray painted on it

“So here and now, in our rotting nation
the blood, it pours, it’s all on our hands now
we live, in fear, of our own potential
to win, to lose, it’s all on our hands now

And I have an American Dream,
but it involves black masks and gasoline”

Black Masks and Gasoline, Rise Against

Two years ago on this day I wrote On wings of fire and broken glass we shall rise: #DisruptJ20.

It was a war call, a challenge to this regime, in which I said:

On wings of fire and broken glass we shall rise from the ashes of our despair. You can arrest us, beat us, even kill us, but you won’t make us admit defeat and surrender. You may have expected us to just take whatever you throw at us, but if that’s the case you thought wrong. If the hateful will tell us that we shouldn’t exist we shall take pride in what they despise, become living symbols of defiance. We will make our voices heard, make it so people know what you’re doing to us, we will agitate to make it so people never accept your reign and hate.

Here we are, halfway through this hellish regime, and I’m looking at the world and this nation and am thinking that I might have been far too hopeful.

I thought things were dark then and believed that people wouldn’t take it, that as a nation we might feel that was too much. Now, I’m wishing that I was still as innocent thinking that that was bad and that people wouldn’t take it. We live in an era of the deepest inhumanity, with children in concentration camps and an unknown number of them simply lost, a 12 year climate doomsday clock (and no amount of changing how many showers you take or ableist straw bans will do anything when 71% of the pollution comes from 100 companies with no financial interest in changing and the EPA working with climate change deniers), and are in the midst of the longest government shutdown which is leading to vandalism of national parks (some of which won’t recover for decades), harming indigenous people, and having effects on food stamps and WIC because of our President’s obsession with xenophobia and his border wall which won’t even work, meaning that if this does go on for “months or even years” the most vulnerable of us, including babies, will literally starve because they don’t have money to get food.

And my question to this whole nation is:

What the fuck more does it take?

These are the worst of times and they aren’t getting better. I do not know how people can actually just keep going on without feeling like this system is a problem that we need to rise against.

This isn’t something that any type of reform or working within the system will address. We can’t elect away the capitalist system that is built to support and grow the corporations that are destroying this planet and all the people in power on the backs of the oppressed, not with centuries molding it into what it is today. It’s not broken in need of fixing.

It’s working exactly as it’s supposed to and truly breaking it is really the only option we have at this point.

As I’ve already stated in Redefining Revolution: Fighting as a Marginalized Person in a Trump Presidency, I don’t consider the revolution to be some future bloody battle but something happening now (specifically said “It’s not something to be solely fought with guns but also speeches and blogs and thrown bricks and counterprotests and food drives and any action done in the spirit of seeking to bring change to the many intersecting injustices that have harmed people for so long”), but it takes people deciding to actually try to take part. Apathy is not a moral option at this point if it ever has been. Do something even if it’s just using your words to say you won’t take this, get involved with movements around you, get angry because anything else is honestly screwed up.

I used to say that I believe that this time will be in history books and what we do now will be read about for future generations so we need to think about how we want this chapter to read, either of a people who responded to a tyrant with inaction or defiance. Now I’m just wondering how many future generations there will actually be if we don’t address what’s going on now.

Our actions, specifically our inaction, are the cause of all of this being allowed, but we might still have a chance if we decide to actually take it. But we can not keep going the same way we have been if we want hope of actually surviving in our rotting nation, it’s truly in our hands now and we need to decide what we’re going to do about it.

Wake up and fight while there’s still something to actually fight for.

-Laoch Onórach

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  1. I tend to think that great leaps of change occur when societies reach a breaking point. When that happens, people finally do something because they fear chaos more than sacrifice. Visibility is key, but many will go to great lengths to ignore problems to feel comfortable.