White Supremacist who used “Battle of Berkeley” as testing ground for Charlottesville Nazi rally.

I’m posting this in reference to the first part of my show, Inauguration Vacation, in which I tell the story of my personal experience at the “Battle of Berkeley.” Since I wrote the piece, more and more videos of the event have been uploaded to Youtube of moments of violence I didn’t see personally because I kept a safe distance. Most of them are by the hardcore right wing to both portray themselves as victims of Anti-Fa and as victors whenever they hurt someone on the other side. The comments sections are particularly horrifying.

A few days ago, I learned that White Supremacist Nathan Damigo of Identity Evropa, one of the leaders of the recent neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, said he viewed this “Patriot’s Day” rally in Berkeley as a test run to see how far they could go with their violent protests. You can see a video of him punching a 19-year-old woman in the face at the protest and read about it in this local report.

Nathan Damigo punches woman

The Charlottesville neo-Nazi rally murder.

Writing and preparing to perform a solo show that is topical, I find myself constantly reevaluating what I am presenting. Inauguration Vacation chronicles some of my experiences at demonstrations protesting Trump and Right Wing groups in Berkeley and Washington, D.C. Now, on August 12,  a young man influenced by radical white supremacists has driven his car through a group of counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville at a “Unite the Right” rally, killing one woman and injuring 19 others. And President Trump refused to name white supremacists as being to blame, instead faulting the “violence” of “many sides” for this man’s brutal act. The full quote is: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides.”

I am not a side. I don’t belong to any special interest group like the KKK. I am a person. Who objects to people touting white supremacist rhetoric—and acting on it.

And this 20-year-old man who drive into the protesters can’t take all the blame for his actions either. Sure, he might be a psychopath. More likely, he is like a young jihadist, brainwashed by a gang, in this case neo-Nazis…who in turn are emboldened by Trump’s rhetoric as a “leader,” which he is only in the sense that he leads a movement of people whose strategy for fulfillment in life is, “I am not happy, I am angry, and I will scapegoat others to replace those feelings with a sense of outrage, community, and power.”

I’m including this horrific picture of the attack to underscore the reality of what happened.


And a video from the NRA encouraging its members to perpetrate violence against liberal protesters. Statistics are important here. Yes, some protesters on the left do bad things. You can show a few clips in your videos. But their platform is very different.

NRA ad

Now some Republicans are finally criticizing Trump’s response, when nothing before seems to have been bad enough to motivate them to eschew him. I assume because before, they were afraid opposing Trump would make the entire party look bad and reflect on them. But now they think they can safely criticize him for supporting Nazis and keep their party intact. I’m also waiting for the neo-Nazis etc. to decry what happened.

I just went to the website Daily Stormer and it’s unspeakable. They have a disclaimer in the corner that says:

“Disclaimer: We here at the Daily Stormer are opposed to violence. We seek revolution through the education of the masses. When the information is available to the people, systemic change will be inevitable and unavoidable. Anyone suggesting or promoting violence in the comments section will be immediately banned, permanently.”

Their articles are things like: “Kikes pressing Trump to Condemn Innocent Nazis Who were Attacked by Terrorist Cops and Leftist Terrorists” and “World’s Oldest Man, A Jewish Holocaust Survivor, Dies at 113: The secret of health: surviving a Holocaust adds decades to your life!”

Thank you Google for cancelling their domain registration.

Me and Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones

I went to #45’s inauguration. I had gone to Obama’s first inauguration to celebrate, so I had to go to this one to protest.

On an empty side street, I saw a man talking to a cameraman with a small crowd around him. I thought he was a reporter, so I walked behind him with my sign to get it on “film.”

The man waved me over to speak with him. He was Alex Jones, of Pizzagate fame. I only learned his identity days later when friends started telling me they had seen me online. Two people I didn’t know saved clips of me talking to him on his InfoWars live stream and posted it online (Thank you, Sky Palma, Oliver Willis, and MediaMatters.)


An Edmonton Fringe Festival interview about Animal Love

An interview with Annette Roman. 

Describe your show in five words. 

Moving, funny, poignant, uplifting, surprising.

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?

My promotional description is simply this: Annette prefers people to animals. After many failures, she finds the perfect companions in an unusual pair of pets! But now her family needs her… An uplifting tale of loyalty, loss, and love.

As you might imagine, it’s a challenge doing a theater piece about death and dying that is vulnerable and true, yet doesn’t leave the audience feeling depressed. It’s a project I took on after I cared for a dying family member in hospice because I realized how many people share this experience yet rarely speak of it in our culture. It was such a comfort to me to find people who understood what I was going through, and sometimes it was strangers, not the people closest to me who just didn’t get it. My hope is that Animal Love helps people feel like someone else out there “gets it,” reflects and understands one of the most intense experiences they have been or will ever go through.

Your main character prefers animals to people – why did you give your character that trait?

My show is a memoir, so it wasn’t really a choice. My mother already had three kids when I was born, so she let the dog raise me…

Animal Love is about death and dying, but doesn’t leave the audience feeling miserable. How do you keep that balance in the show?

What is it they say…? Tragedy + Time = Comedy. Humor is how I—and many people—cope with pain. Losing a loved one is never funny. But trying to get love through pets like a goldfish is funny. The bumbling mistakes I made when trying to give my loved one the best possible care are funny. The things a person says when they can’t speak properly anymore are funny because…if you take them too seriously it would be too damn tragic. Even the dynamics of a family in a crisis can be funny…if it’s somebody else’s family…

You say that Animal Love is funny not because loss is funny, but because death is absurd. Can you explain what you mean, that death is absurd?

It’s so impossible to imagine that someone you love will no longer exist. That you only have a limited time left with them. Yet they are right there with you, and still alive. And then you realize that you too will someday not exist. It’s impossible to wrap your mind around, really.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

There is plenty of funny, silly, lighter stuff in the Fringe to enjoy. Shows like mine will never be top sellers because of the topics. But people who have seen it have told me they were glad to see something that to them had more of a “message.” (Their words, not mine.)  I would also add that although there are wonderful solo shows and storytelling by men out there, I have often found solo shows by women touch my heart more deeply. Women solo artists aren’t always able to tour the fringes as regularly or as early in their lives as men due to childcare and other issues, so they can’t build their fringe reputations as strongly from year to year. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t just as good and don’t have unique things to say that might speak to you.

The 35th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 11 – 21. Tickets go on sale August 3 at noon and will be available at tickets.fringetheatre.ca.

Animal Love at the Edmonton Fringe Festival

Thank you Winnipeg Free Press for your 4-star review at the Winnipeg Fringe 2015


California-based writer-actor Annette Roman is sick and tired of people who resort to name-dropping Hitler in public discourse, the title of her own one-woman drama notwithstanding.

As the child of a loving mother who was a member of the Hitler Youth, and a domineering Hungarian Jewish father who “played the Holocaust card” at every opportunity, she figures she gets a pass. And she earns it in this irreverent, 60-minute biographical tale, drawing on colourful family histories and relationships — including her own ill-conceived romance with a white supremacist — to sketch sympathetic multi-dimensional characters. (Except in the case of one annoying Canuck, eh?)

Absorbing and surprisingly amusing, it’s a well-balanced call for empathy and tolerance — just not too much tolerance.

— Pat St. Germain

Thank you Winnipeg CBC for the 5-star review at the Winnipeg Fringe 2015


I was not won over by the title and originally not meant to review the show, but I’m so glad I got to see it.

Her father is a Jewish Holocaust survivor, her mother was in the Hitler Youth. Annette Roman takes her time and guides us through her life, her family, and her history.

Roman is a fantastic storyteller, weaving effortlessly between memories and emotions. She lulls us with humour, pain, and haunting awe.

This is a master class in storytelling. I can’t wait to see it again.

Day 1 – It’s all about your perspective.

Day 1 – It’s all about your perspective..

Prelude – One more time for the road…

For those of you who wonder what a fringe festival is really like and who appreciate a behind the scene’s look, here is a great blog for the next few weeks by JBJ about the Winnipeg Fringe!


Prelude – One more time for the road….

London Fringe Festival, June 2015 review of Hitler’s Li’l Abomination

What an honor to have my work compared to one of my artistic heroes, Art Spiegelman.


The Confederate Flag and the Swastika Flag

Posting below a great explanation of the racism behind the insistence on flying the Confederate Flag.

America is so many different countries. Living in New England and New York State and California, I could never have imagined the Confederate flag hanging over an official government. It wouldn’t have been tolerated. But it does fly in South Carolina.

What must it be like for African-Americans to pass by it every day? That I can’t imagine either. Larry Wilmore covers the history of the flag and the truth about it brilliantly in this video.

Like Diogenes searching for just one honest man, I’d like to find one proponent of flying the Confederate flag to “express his heritage” who doesn’t in some way believe Blacks are inferior and unequal.

My mother’s heritage includes growing up in Nazi Germany. The sight of the swastika flag, she told me, makes her want to vomit. I would like to think that anyone born at the tail end and after slavery would feel the same way.