In the past few days there has been a social media storm brewing wherein a pre-WWII group known as The White Rose Society has been exhumed and California has answered strong.
The White Rose Society was started in the late 1930’s as an opposition to Hitler and the Nazi regime that plunged the world into chaos, propaganda, and multiple front lines of war. They anonymously published a series of pamphlets, distributing them to scholars, medics, and pub owners. They began to do public graffiti critical of Hitler. Several were caught distributing fliers and they were all rounded up and executed. Today the White Rose Society is back and ready to once again oppose all forms of fascism in a non-violent manner.
Principles of WRS, from the main public Facebook page:
The White Rose Society is an idea whose time has come. While we have scores of chapters across the United States, and even forming in other countries, there are no formal hierarchical positions of leadership within the White Rose Movement.
Each individual chapter is self-initiated and autonomous, so long as the words and deeds of those working in the name of the chapter are consistent with the overarching theme and mission of the White Rose Society.
As such, it is necessary that we delineate some of these principles. These should never be thought of as a list of “rules”, but rather ideas that may help you form a composite image of the underlying single ethic that guides all of our actions.
FIRST: Many of you may understand that the White Rose Society is decentralized, an “organization” that is self-initiated and ruled by none. But what you might not understand is what it means to claim the name “White Rose Society” or what the White Rose Revolt means.
The White Rose Society is a name that cannot be claimed by all. And yet, since we are decentralized, any may claim our name… provided they abide by the One Ethic that we fight for.
Human traffickers, pedophiles, murderers, cults and regimes throughout the world could never march under the banner of the White Rose Society while committing acts of injustice and oppression.
This should be obvious to all.
We are united based upon one single principal and an ethic of justice – freedom for all to do as they please, as long as no others are harmed in the process. In short, your rights end where another’s rights begin.
One cannot fight for freedom and at the same time support those who seek to impose a brutal government upon others.
We have united – as Muslims, Christians, Jews and people with no religion and every religion – to fight against injustice wherever we find it.
We make no distinction between injustices and oppressions. We do not chose one injustice to support while we oppose another at the same time. Again, this is because we fight for one Single Ethic that guides all of our actions.
Because there is no official White Rose Central Committee, because there is no Ministry of Experts or the like to determine what is said or done in our name, that could lead to some who do not have any business claiming our name telling the world that they are acting on our behalf.
If you are ever in doubt and ask, “Is this really the White Rose Society?” you need only ask yourself “does the action abide by the Single Ethic that the White Rose Society follows? That being an ethic of freedom for all to do as they please as long as no others are harmed – an ethic of justice for all, and resistance to oppression wherever it manifests.”
If it does, then you can be sure, that it is a true White Rose Society action. If it does not, you can be sure that it is not, and that it might even be an operation created by our enemies: those who have chosen oppression over freedom and injustice over justice.
SECOND: We are not a right or left movement, but are instead composed of people from all ends of the political spectrum. We do not bar people from the White Rose Revolt because they like one presidential candidate or another, even if they are flawed individuals, so long as they do not openly promote the fascist police state proposed by Donald Trump.
With the exception of our united opposition to this would-be dictator, as a group, we do not openly oppose or promote one party or candidate over the other. These are individual preferences and decisions that must be made by each of us. As an organization, this is simply beyond the scope of our aims.
Personal grievances or opposition to other candidates and politicians can be found on an individual level – but as an organization we have united from all ends of the political spectrum to oppose the unprecedented threat of fascism at the doorsteps of the White House.
THIRD: We do not initiate violence in any circumstance. We do not pick fights, but we also do not allow violence to be perpetrated against the innocent.
True peacefulness means that we are non-violent with those who are non-violent, and we avoid violence whenever possible.
It does not, however, mean that if we see someone being abused that we will not step in and stop that abuse.
Imagine someone who would stand back and allow a woman to be beaten by an abusive spouse, or a child to be abducted, abused and killed – all because they imagined themselves to be “non-violent.”
That is not non-violence. In fact, it is allowing violence to continue – it is pro-violence.
Instead, true non-violence – true peacefulness – is stopping violence with the minimal amount of force necessary. If you see someone being attacked, you stop them, but you do not escalate force beyond what is necessary, at any time.
The Dalai Lama recently spoke about the morality of self-defense – emphasizing that non-violence means that only the minimal use of violence can be justified if it must be engaged in to stop a violent act.
Thus, if someone is attacking you or another protester, there is a moral obligation to stop them, but that does not justify escalating force beyond what they have initiated.
True non-violence means decreasing the amount of violence in the world. If inaction allows a status quo of violence to continue, then that inaction is no longer non-violent, but is instead an act of complicity and tacit acceptance of violence.
We are not bullies, but we will also not be bullied.
FINALLY: We must act. The White Rose Revolt is a movement, and that means we must be on the MOVE!
While we coordinate and network on the Internet, our actions are primarily carried out in the streets and at rallies.
White Rose Society chapters should be active. They should print out flyers and circulate them at protests, rallies, shows, on light posts, or bulletin boards. They should make stickers, apparel, individual chapter websites and social media pages. They should hand out white roses at rallies and should wear them to represent our numbers at protests.
No White Rose Society chapter needs approval from any overarching power. Instead, we encourage you all to come together with friends, family and new faces of like mind, to join or form a chapter in your area.
Contact us for more information on how to get started. This is a fight that can be delayed no longer.
Over this past weekend, protesters blocked the streets outside of a Donald Trump rally in opposition to the fascist candidate. The people are standing up in numbers and joining forces to dismantle the racist, and dangerous rhetoric Trump has utilized to rise as the GOP Presidential front-runner.
- White Rose California, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- White Rose Fresno, Email: email@example.com
- White Rose Sacramento
- White Rose Modesto/Stockton, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- White Rose LAX
- White Rose Inland Empire (So-Cal)
- White Rose San Diego
- White Rose Santa Barbara
- White Rose San Francisco
- White Rose Northern Nevada
- White Rose Las Vegas
Now that you have an idea, these chapters are springing up everywhere. I urge you to find a chapter near you and talk with people involved to get better acquainted with people in your area that stand against Trump, and against fascist behavior.
Editors Note: There is also a #DumpTrump protest on Thursday, March 31. Join the event page here.