We live in surreal times. Columbus’ Mayor pronounces our city safe for immigrants and an area of opportunity for all – on the same day Columbus police corral and mace anti-Trump travel ban demonstrators putting protestors, including children, at risk. Ginther pledges to make Columbus a premier middle-class city at his State of the City address – when at the same time giving away $68 million in tax abatements to wealthy Easton developers.
A city-sponsored review of the city charter pays lip service to the fact that Columbus should finally become more democratic and representative through district elections joining every other major city nationwide – but recommend all district-based candidates run citywide.
Ohioans live under an administration that simultaneously demands that Medicare be maintained statewide for all – yet rolls back women’s rights and healthcare access to a primitive patriarchal era. Kasich unexpectedly vetoes the GOP’s renewable energy freeze – while refusing to speak out against fracking beneath the feds plan to Wayne National Forest. Nuclear power plants, Cold War behemoths decrepit and usually offline in Ohio, may now come back online – no matter their age or state of disrepair.
And nationally, Trump’s actions are incomparable to any other president in history. His neo-fascist advisor Steve Bannon recently admitted that they’re appointing extremists to Cabinet positions to destroy the governmental departments they will lead. And although I appreciate the unseasonable warmth and sunshine, another surreal moment was walking in the park in 78-degree weather on February 24th in Columbus, Ohio. Something’s wrong with this, too, and climate change looks to only increase under our new EPA director.
The Free Press sees “One Struggle, Many Fronts” in our society and we want to be the one local newspaper you turn to for resistance news. We aim to be a place for people to unite – to gain facts and knowledge, to promote your events and causes, and to celebrate victories against increasing and absurd new policies and oppression. We recognize that people are angry, depressed and worried about their future and need to know 1) They are not alone; 2) There are groups of people all over the city they can join in their resistance; 3) There is hope when people are united.
I want to stress this point: Please don’t fall for the time-honored fascist propaganda strategy that scapegoats immigrants, minorities and the poor – encouraging us fight amongst ourselves – instead of uniting together in resistance to the real enemies who are benefiting from Trump’s policies.
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