Ariel Rojas: ‘No More Violence’





For the ultimate #NoMames, another Latino is assaulted by fervent, loyal Trump subservients. What’s mind boggling is there’s video footage proving it. At first audio pitch you’d think you’re about to enjoy a chanting match: USA! USA! But a second into the video, one of our own is dragged across the floor and violently pushed away.

Ariel Rojas is more than the protagonist of this shocking video gone viral, as the “Latino dragged across the floor by a Trump supporter.” He happens to be a strong activist for S.W.E.R. (Students Working for Equal Rights) and a senior student at Florida International University.

The jovial and brilliant Miami resident took 10 minutes to chat with me about the incident that has us scratching our foreheads.

Marlena Fitzpatrick: Oh my god! What a crazy scene! Let me start by asking: what does your organization stand for?

Ariel Rojas: So, my organization is the Students Working For Equal Rights here in Miami. Aside from protesting and taking action, we also do educational campaigns, legal services and “know your rights” clinics to undocumented youth. On Friday we met and had a debate whether we should participate or not at the #Trumpazo event. Our concern was if we’re giving Donald Trump more attention and more media, and is that going to benefit him or hurt him. But after discussion we realized there’s no way that we’d allow Trump to show up in our biggest immigrant community without resistance. We met with other organizations to discuss what our approach should be. We modeled our actions based on previous events, like infiltrating the event, holding up signs and chanting to disrupt his recent message. However, we usually get escorted out. This time around we were forced out.

MF: Basically, you infiltrated the event. Then not the security of the place but the actual attendees start bullying you?

AR: It was the crowd itself — not security, but regular everyday people.

MF: What triggered this commotion that has gone viral? You’re literally dragged on the floor by this menacing-looking man.

AR: We held up signs spelling e-q-u-a-l-i-t-y. Then we started chanting “equality.” Immediately, the guy in front of us grabbed the sign and started ripping apart the letters, which is pretty funny. It’s not a good look.

MF: So, a full-grown adult male takes a sign of one letter and rips it apart in a temper tantrum, and suddenly you’re being dragged on the floor into a hallway. What happened between the cardboard demise and your physical attack? This is crazy.

AR: After the letter is ripped apart, the crowd itself started pushing out. I have to say, when you’re in the middle of this, you’re not a hundred percent aware of your surroundings. There’s a lot of people and a lot of yelling. It is kind of like being in a mosh pit, but lighter.

MF: And there’s no good, real music. It’s Trump.

AR: I have to say Trump’s playlist was actually pretty good.

MF: [Laughter] I love that you are keeping a great sense of humor in the midst of it all.

AR: [Laughter] You have to keep it light. Anyways, they were approaching us and put us in headlocks. One girl was kicked in knee. It was very physical and violent. We made it a point not to resist and not hit back — you know, to keep things peaceful and as nonviolent as possible.

MF: I respect you all chose not to become physical and escalate the altercation.

AR: Yeah, one of the principles of nonviolent protesting is to not be violent. We stuck to it, and I am proud of everyone involved who managed to stay nonviolent and polite.

MF: Have you been contacted by Trump or his campaign officials to sort this issue out, to apologize?

AR: No, I have not.

MF: It ended there as if nothing happened?

AR: Actually, yeah. That’s exactly what happened.

MF: What’s next for S.W.E.R.?

AR: As of the next day we were in the streets of Little Havana registering people for their Deferred Action.

MF: It would be a missed opportunity if I don’t ask: what is your definition of a Latino Rebel?

AR: That’s a really strong question! To me, I define a Latino Rebel as someone who’s not ashamed to rise up for their culture and fight for others who are in that struggle.

MF: I wish you the best, and I demand Trump’s affiliates send a formal apology to your constituents. This is one true #NoMames.


Follow Marlena Fitzpatrick @MarlenaFitz.

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rikimaru says:

The Talmud must not be regarded as an ordinary work, composed of twelve volumes; it posies absolutely no similarity to any other literary production, but forms, without any figure of speech, a world of its own, which must be judged by its peculiar laws.
The Talmud contains much that is frivolous of which it treats with great gravity and seriousness; it further reflects the various superstitious practices and views of its Persian (Babylonian) birthplace which presume the efficacy of demonical medicines, or magic, incantations, miraculous cures, and interpretations of dreams. It also contains isolated instances of uncharitable “ judgments and decrees against the members of other nations and religions, and finally it favors an incorrect exposition of the scriptures, accepting, as it does, tasteless misrepresentations.

The Babylonian” Talmud is especially distinguished from the Jerusalem or Palestine Talmud by the flights of thought, the penetration of mind, the flashes of genius, which rise and vanish again. It was for this reason that the Babylonian rather than the Jerusalem Talmud became the fundamental possession of the Jewish Race, its life breath, its very soul, nature and mankind, powers and events, were for the Jewish nation insignificant, non- essential, a mere phantom; the only true reality was the Talmud.” (Professor H. Graetz, History of the Jews).
And finally it came Spain’s turn. Persecution had occurred there on “ and off for over a century, and, after 1391, became almost incessant. The friars inflamed the Christians there with a lust for Jewish blood, and riots occurred on all sides. For the Jews it was simply a choice between baptism and death, and many of them submitted to baptism.
But almost always conversion on thee terms was only outward and false. Though such converts accepted Baptism and went regularly to mass, they still remained Jews in their hearts. They were called Marrano, ‘ Accursed Ones,’ and there were perhaps a hundred thousand of them. Often they possessed enormous wealth. Their daughters married into the noblest families, even into the blood royal, and their sons sometimes entered the Church and rose to the highest offices. It is said that even one of the popes was of this Marrano stock.