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Lots of people at rally arguing

Photos by Raul Arias

During the first weeks of July, the intensity of the protests resulting from the murder of George Floyd, had gradually faded. This has been a matter of reflection for many people, who see the need to have and understand a goal beyond what is immediate when going out and protesting.

To understand that goal, it is necessary to take into account phenomena that are happening daily, and are reinforced by events such as the Stand for America 2020 rally at the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, July 18. It is incredible and unthinkable that civilians carry automatic guns in a public protest under the pretext of fighting for freedom. It is unthinkable that the fight for freedom be limited to the "right" not to wear a mask to protect others or to bear arms without any kind of control. It is incredible how this supremacist, macho and racist society has degraded the word Freedom.

If democracy and its political discussion in this country is understood from such a low perspective, we are in serious trouble. Political power, especially the current White House, has been spreading, amplifying and exploiting all possible fears caused by disinformation, hatred and racism. This country usually has a hard time accepting and learning from “the differences” and “from the other,” from what is not a standard, and now that feeling has been intentionally exacerbated in the most vulnerable to messages of fear and hate. I say vulnerable, because we speak of fearful ignorant people, unable to understand and work their anxiety for the future. They appear to be sheltered in arms to protect themselves from their abstract and absurd enemies, but these vulnerable people are also very dangerous. For some reason fascists have always been created from social outcasts, people with a cowardly spirit and unable to transcend their prejudices.

In the Stand for America 2020 protest this Saturday I found myself looking for Nazi symbolism, symbolism linked to contemporary fascist movements, to try to establish intellectual and organizational ties and also for reasons of documentation, but the truth is that I came to realize something very frightening. Those symbols are no longer necessary to those people because they have been replaced by pro-Donald Trump flags, confederate flags, militia insignia and Hawaiian shirts – but above all, sadly, by the flag of the United States of America – which together with the word Freedom in certain hands and in certain mouths are equivalent to the most abject fascist symbols. Sad but real.

It is also disturbing to know that people who believe that breaking Chinese flags in public or who fear something as abstract as ANTIFA are allowed to use weapons, form militias, and are also protected by political power. How can someone with a little decency be against something that symbolizes Anti Fascism? It is a shame.

The United States of America in the year 2020 feels as explosive and repugnant as a Nazi Germany in 1938. The danger of an awakening of a civil war that was not properly finished in more than a century is obvious. It is sad to know that leadership is in the hands in which it is, and that its acolytes and followers are small, cowardly and without the ability to understand today's world.

The ultimate goal of all this movement and protest in the aftermath of the murder of a black unarmed person must be reinforced and bonded into our society. The goal must be to overcome this naturalization of hatred and fascist crime that is taking to the streets of this country thanks to the political class that is in power.