From Erica Garner to Ahed Tamimi

Still from the video “Erica” produced by the Bernie Sanders campaign.

In many respects, 2017 was a miserable year for just about everyone but the one percent and the parasitic elites who serve its interests. Suffering, dislocation, and insecurity plagued large swaths of the planet. In the United States, Trump’s dystopian agenda deepened the economic pain of millions. Meanwhile the billionaire class extended its hegemony, dramatically expanding the landscape of social anguish.

As the corrosion of democracy accelerated, a dark pall enveloped the ranks of the opposition. Leftists and progressives continued to mobilize across the country. Yet as they scrambled to respond to the political onslaught, many people of conscience slipped into survival mode, devoting to rearguard skirmishes the energy needed to actually build a world beyond imperialism, oligarchy, and bigotry.

True to form, 2017 departed with a final act of cruelty. Late in December 27-year-old Erica Garner, daughter of Eric Garner, who New York City police choked to death in 2014 while he repeatedly uttered, “I can’t breathe,” suffered a heart attack that ultimately claimed her life. Though agents of the state had suffocated her father, Erica had helped oxygenate the resistance, becoming a visible participant in Black Lives Matter and supporting a host of other causes. She had embodied resilience and courage at a time when such qualities were desperately needed. Her death delivered a savage blow at the…

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