Republishing this today, the original in Greek – can be found here,
It arrived via my friend David Fenton, who has known Stathis for more years than he is prepared to share. It is a rough google translate – so apologies for some of the patchy phrasing. If I find a better translation, I will replace it.
An interview by Stathis Gourgouris, Professor of Classical, English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University by Peter Short.
PS: One of the major effects of Trump in the first days of his presidency is the presidential decree suspends refugee admission program and prohibits US citizens from entering Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and Libya. What are the practical implications of the implementation of the Ordinance for US Muslims?
SG: Direct consequences include family separations, exclusions doctors, scientists, researchers, translators and even the army, from their obligations because they happened to be abroad, and of course cancellation faits accomplish refugee admission procedures. Certainly, it mobilized immediately the mechanism of federal judges who cancelled the application of the decree in their regions as they are entitled, and filed lawsuits against the state of damaged holders green labor card or proprietary visa, which won at an unprecedented speed in the courts. On the other hand, does not issue new visas and stays longer subject to rule unconstitutional the Supreme Court. But without the continuous mass activism of citizens there is no hope.
PS: On September 11 after Muslims were targeted by the US security policy in the name of war against terrorism. In your opinion is the decree was a qualitative change in the address of the US Muslim liberties? Carries heavy ideological load.
SG: The decree is a derivative of the standing Islamophobia that followed the September 11. The big difference, however, is precisely that of institutionalization, which ultimately not only achieves security, but instead promotes and disseminates insecurity. The decree is butter on bread Islamic terrorism, especially since the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is on the brink of complete defeat. Fortunately, the constitutional illegality of the decree has helped to create an unprecedented solidarity with American Muslims by people who previously nowhere will not be expressed in this way.
PS: Have there been racist violence against Muslims after the implementation of the decree?
SG: It is interesting that the first outbreak of racist violence against Muslims, immediately after the decree was made in Canada, and this because Truedeau, reacting to Trump decree, announced that Canada will undertake to accommodate the refugees who were excluded from the US. Also on the same day they torched a mosque in Texas. Note, however, that racist violence against Muslims has been occurring daily in recent years. So, comparatively (given the importance of the Ordinance), the reverse seems to be happening. The decree caused a huge rally in favor of the Muslims, and non-citizens.
Battle at multiple levels
PS: The world’s reaction was immediate and even from the first day of his presidency Trump. Widening social availability appeared with the Occupy movements and Black Lives Matter, and what dynamic displays? How was the Muslim community involved?
SG: Undoubtedly, the movement of the squares and the anti-racist movement have played a huge role in the direct mass mobilization. Also amazing was the self-organization of women’s movements, which brought the grand demonstrations million the day after the inauguration of the new president. The Muslim community apparently took place. I note here the leading figure of the American-Palestinian activist Linda Sansour, which has filed and named lawsuit against Trump in New York federal court for the decree. The most important thing now is to see how the movement will evolve into new forms of self-organization, which will operate and electoral and extra-parliamentary, why wait serious violent repressive reactions from the system.
PS: Reactions are and institutional level. From advocates and Senators both Democratic and GOP, until Obama and the lukewarm reaction of Clinton. How effective it can be and that may lead to that the presidency Trump? Also communicate somehow these movements with these institutional responses
SG: Institutional reactions, mainly legal, are of enormous importance. Federal judges, as we have seen, they canceled the order in their regions. Cities or even entire states, exercising their constitutional right to have institutionalized asylum conditions to protect their citizens. It is also remarkable that large capital companies such as Google, Amazon, etc., Have already launched campaigns million to enhance various litigation. This is something that only happen in America. Obviously movements communicate with the institutional reactions. Exert enormous pressures 24 hours. In this case, the alliance of movements with the institutions, and companies still are welcome. In fact, I would say that is part of a multi-faceted tactical kinematics, because the war is conducted in multiple fields, and institutional and extra-institutional order requires enormous flexibility and ingenuity.
Constitutional coup in progress
PS: In the past days the Trump expelled caretaker Attorney General because she refused to implement this Decree. Will remain stable in the implementation? The fist now shows the Trump think it is indicative of his presidency?
SG: The Trump operates authoritarian nature. The way is to order “fired!” As he did in the reality show, which ran on TV. This will not change. The important thing is to understand that America is currently in the process of a constitutional coup, the outcome of which is likely to change radically and tragically geopolitical landscape around the planet.
I know that in some circles in Greece the Trump causes sympathies as an opponent of German policy. But the Trump is not Roosevelt -and rather reverse the shape according to the context of the World. The ideology of Trump government is racist and extreme nationalist, while serving the great oil industry. There lies the alliance with Putin. Now a war is very likely precisely because nationalism is thriving everywhere, and especially because it becomes a huge redistribution capitalist interests that will bring various world elite in conflict. Small communities are unprotected before the giant collision. So it must be global resistance against Trump government, not under any naive anti-Americanism, but instead, in the context of resistance against all kinds of nationalism.