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Do Something!



We have two choices in the Trump era. You can fight back. Or you can live your everyday life and acquiesce. People have long wondered how the German people let Hitler take over their nation. We are living how it happened. Too many people just decided to put their heads down and go on with their daily lives. You must not do that. This blog serves as a community to its commenters and an outlet for its writers. That’s great. But it’s not really resistance.

On the other hand, I am going to try and make it part of the resistance for one post by organizing you readers into action. Right now, you have a choice to make that you will have to live with the rest of your lives. Will do you do something–ANYTHING–to stop the Trump administration from destroying everything we love about this country?

If you will, now is the time. We are all busy. We have children, elder care, jobs, life. I know that. I share that. But we can all do something. And we can all do something more than we are doing right now. If you can’t get out of the house, you can call your senators and representatives at both the state and national level and tell them to stand strong against Trump and his terrible policies. Any of us can do that. If you can do that, can you give a little bit of money to the ACLU, to Planned Parenthood, to the Sierra Club, or to some organization seeking to fight back against this agenda? If you can’t give money, can you volunteer? If you are a member of a union, can you get more involved? If you are a member of a church, can you work with your fellow members to turn your fellowship into solidarity with Muslims or safe spaces for undocumented immigrants? If you aren’t a member of an organization, can you volunteer somewhere? Are there groups in your community who are going to be part of the resistance? There almost certainly are. Can you at least talk to someone who might not be active and try to move them toward understanding the situation? And no matter where you live in the U.S., there’s a Democratic Party ready to be moved to the left and to have a backbone against this onrushing train from Hell. You can do SOMETHING. You must.

This afternoon, I was part of a mass meeting of around 800 people under the rubric Resist Hate RI. It’s just people coming out to figure out what to do. This was the second meeting. The first, a month ago, had 1000 people. 800 for a second is amazing. We broke into working groups around the issues we cared about. I was of course part of the Workers’ Rights group. And it had 25 people instead of the 200 or so for the Reproductive Rights group, but that’s OK. Each group came up with actionable things to do that will be shared with the larger Facebook page. Our group is going to do an organizing training and come out to support a picket, if we can. Other groups have trainings, actions, events, phone calls, letters. It gives us something concrete to do as part of the resistance.

Did I change the world today? Did I become Martin Luther King, John L. Lewis, Ida Wells, or Emma Goldman today? No. But I played a small role in larger movement and I will continue to do so. Plus it’s wonderful to know that there are hundreds of other people equally outraged, distressed, devastated, but also determined and trying to move ahead. It helps to be around these people. I’ve also been getting move involved in my own union, signing up new members, talking to people, trying to motivate people into taking this seriously. I also found out about a meeting later this week to support Keith Ellison’s candidacy for the DNC head, which I assume is really part of a larger group to make the Rhode Island Democratic Party more progressive. So I think I am going to go to that and see if there’s a path for me to get involved. Wouldn’t have heard about it otherwise. And of course I’m writing when I’m not too depressed about the new reality to do so, both on the blog and in my strikes book, which I am trying as hard as I can to turn it into a book useful for the resistance against Trump.

Again, it’s not the world. But I’m trying. And I want you to try. Can you commit to doing one thing every day to fighting against Trump? Whatever it is? Can you do one thing other than read or comment on this blog (although keep doing that too!)? Be creative. Use your skills. Fight for the future. Don’t let America become Nazi Germany. Be part of the resistance. Our descendants will thank you. I will thank you too.

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  • BGinCHI

    One idea, especially for those who find themselves too busy, or introverted, to get out and march or make calls:

    Why not forward to friends and loved ones a script along with the numbers for their congress critter, Senator, and state reps (where relevant, as it is here in IL).

    I’ve been doing this because my reps are already super liberal and engaged, but my IN family and others (out West) need a push. They responded really positively and admitted that they wanted to call but had no idea how to get started. These are not people who read political blogs.

    They also needed to know that calling matters, and that they didn’t have to be shrill or encyclopedic about issue details.

    If everyone here emailed such a thing to 5-10 people, that would really add up.

    • Sure, this is definitely a good piece of it.

    • DrDick

      Sadly, only one of my congress critters, the Dem, would even be approachable, and he mostly already seems opposed to Trump’s agenda. The other two will be right at home in Trump’s America and have been waiting him.

      • Even with the Democrats, pushing them to be leaders is important. We all know how lame and vacillating many Democrats can be. Part of what people are doing in Rhode Island is getting our own Democrats, at both the state and federal level, to really stand up against the Trump agenda. Some are good (Whitehouse). Some are questionable.

        • DrDick

          He has already taken some initiative in that direction and will certainly be at the forefront of defending public lands, an area where he has a really good record. I will keep encouraging him, however.

      • randy khan

        Seriously, you might as well push everyone. Sure, you might just be barking at the moon with the true believers, but it can’t hurt to let them know, and you never know if enough pressure might have an effect.

    • randy khan

      Absolutely. I’ve started doing something like that with my friends on Facebook. Of course, if you send people the script, you might as well use it yourself.

  • I’ve given some money to Planned Parenthood. I think I did so again immediately after the election. Now would probably be a good time to do so yet again. I’ll probably also throw some dough to the SPLC, the ACLU, ProPublica, maybe some other sources. I dunno. There are a lot of places that deserve money and I wish I had more of it to give. Maybe I’ll ask for my holiday gifts this season to be donations to some of these places. There isn’t really anything else I want, other than a few LPs.

    I like BG’s idea too. If someone has some scripts they think would be good to forward, I’ll forward some of those.

    • BGinCHI

      Tim F. over at Balloon Juice has been posting how-to on this for years, so that’s an excellent source of info.

      Below is what I sent to my mother (who is very smart but not experienced in political matters). It’s not extensive, but I just wanted her to get involved and weigh in:

      Your rep’s name is Todd Rokita. He’s a real piece of work. He’s full of shit about a lot of stuff, but the point is not so much to argue as push back so that his constituents know you are watching and voting accordingly. When you call you’ll get a staffer. Of course, be polite and don’t let them feed you any bullshit to get you off the phone.

      Number: (202) 225-5037 From 9-5 EST

      Read his entry on “Spending Cuts and Debt”: http://rokita.house.gov/issue/spending-cuts-and-debt

      Lots of misinformation there. Medicare is in better shape now than when Obama took office. The GOP lies about this constantly.

      Do this:

      1. Ask what his position is on Medicare. If they say they don’t know, ask why not. At the link he talks all about cost-cutting. Ask how Paul Ryan’s PLAN TO PRIVATIZE Medicare will cut costs. “How can making healthcare a for-profit service cut overall costs?”

      2. Ask what the congressman plans to do if the President-elect proposes deficit spending to accomplish his agenda of tax cutting and spending on infrastructure.

      Push back on anything that sounds hinky. Make them explain anything that sounds fuzzy.

      Please FORWARD to anyone else you know so that as many people call as possible. THIS is how we do something about the bad situation since last Tuesday.

      If you, or anyone, has policy questions, please ask and I’ll respond or, if I don’t know, I’ll find out the answer.

      • Thanks for this. I’ll presumably adapt this for other constituencies and look for other templates to add to it.

  • Russell Arben Fox

    Good for you, Erik!

    Here in Wichita, KS, our chapter of Democratic Socialists of America has tripled in size (not that we were that big to begin with, but hey–baby steps), as we’ve drawn in BLM people, Bernie people, Peace and Social Justice Center people, and lots of conventional Democrats as well. As I think Nexon wrote in a different context, this is a real “all hands on deck” result, and for all our regrets and should-have-dones, I’ve been impressed to see remarkably little score-settling taking place during our motley gatherings. We’re targeting specific actions we can set up phone banks for, in coordination with national offices, and doing training for direct action confrontations. People are talking about a massive strike on Inauguration Day, and I think that’s worth pursuing. Anyway, point is, if I can find stuff like this in Wichita, anyone else reading this blog can find it anywhere. So get to it!

  • Nobdy

    I don’t think I can commit to doing something “every day” because of my work schedule (and I’m not sure that there’s any specific need to do things on a daily basis as long as a significant amount of time is regularly committed) but I’ve already started upping my contributions to relevant nonprofits and I’ve been thinking about what sort of volunteering best fits my skill set. I think there should be opportunities as a lawyer to do pro-bono work for people arrested at protests or otherwise facing oppression from Trump and I assume there will soon be a flood of immigration work that needs doing. This post is a good reminder that I need to look around for some trainings on those specific issues sooner rather than later so I can start pitching in.

    I believe that the legal protections we rely on WILL start to fray under the relentless assault that’s to come, but for now many of the important battles against Trump will take place in the courts, and the courts are still a place where you can try to protect individual vulnerable people from the government, so that’s where I’ll probably go.

    • BartletForGallifrey

      Trans people are desperately trying to get name/gender/passport changes done before January. You can sign up to help here.

      • Oof. Fuck. I hadn’t even thought of the fact that this is going to be a problem. And I’m transgender.

        This election is like the worst kind of nightmare. It keeps getting worse, and it continues every time you wake up.

        • JL

          I don’t know where you live, but if you’re in New England as so many commenters here are, you can get matched with a free lawyer who will help you do this as quickly as possible through a collaboration between GLAD, MTPC, and Ropes & Gray LLP. You can sign up here. Dozens of people have signed up through GLAD alone, not sure how many thorough MTPC.

    • AstroBio

      To the courts! I just had this conversation (well, the first 2 paragraphs of the OP) with an old friend over dinner. We met doing forest protection work. I have turned back to that community in the recent weeks and we will try to hold up the dispensation of public lands for as long as we can.

  • Steve LaBonne

    I have already participated in a small demonstration in my very red hometown and will stay in touch with the organizers. And good call on churches, mine has lots of things to be involved in including a very active immigration justice ministry that is going to need to step up its game to a new level (we are planning on being a sanctuary church). We are also going to host a chapter of the anti-racist organization Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) in which I plan to participate, and we have our Black Lives Matter banner on order (I am a somewhat peripheral member of our racial justice task force which pushed for and designed the banner.) Liberal churches are going to be very important venues for resistance.

    • UncleEbeneezer

      We are also going to host a chapter of the anti-racist organization Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) in which I plan to participate,

      Nice. I’m going to try and attend one of their Los Angeles events next month and see what kind of actions I can get involved in. I’m trying to call my Sens/Reps daily and I also want to figure out more of my local reps and how I can try to pressure them.

      For those interested in Racial Justice, I also highly suggest you check out Leslie Mac and Marissa Jenae Johnson’s SafetyPinBox. It’s a great way to put your $ and time into a great cause while following the lead of and helping to support Black women.

    • gmack

      Interesting. I just joined our local SURJ group here in Rochester (I went to my first meeting today; it was the local group’s second or third meeting since its inception).

    • Just_Dropping_By

      Coincidentally, while walking to work this morning, I saw a number of “SURJ” stickers freshly pasted up and wondered what it was about.

  • Linnaeus

    I guess listening to an all-90s (remember the “end of history”? Yeah.) station via an iTunes stream doesn’t really count, eh?

    But seriously, I will be traveling to One Of Those States That Trump Won Narrowly, But Really Shouldn’t Have Won At All for the December holidays and I’ll be encouraging my family and friends there to act with specific ideas about what to do, whom they should be contacting, etc.

  • Ramon A. Clef

    I contacted a like-minded friend, and we agreed to work together to put pressure on our newly elected Congressional representative, and organize friends to do the same. Letters and phone calls, naturally, but also any local public appearances he makes or town halls he holds, we’re going to work to get fellow liberals/leftists/progressives/whatever to turn out with us.

    ETA: Thank you for the frequent calls to action.

  • petemack

    Comparisons to Nazi Germany are unwarranted, unnecessary, and unconvincing. Italy under Berlusconi is a better bet. And they don’t call Trump Il Douche for nothing.

    • I’m glad you are focused on what’s important in this post.

    • As a Jew, bearing in mind that literal neo-Nazis are cheering Drumpf’s election, I kindly invite you to go piss up a rope.

    • dl

      was berlusconi anything more than an somewhat ineffectual right-wing buffoon?

      did he start some wars? wreck the environment? dismantle the social safety net? take Italy out of the EU? deny basic facts?

      Berlusconi is pretty damn optimistic if you ask me.

    • Jackson87

      * came to power without receiving a majority of votes
      * prone to scapegoating “others”
      * has lots of supporters who like to use violence and intimidation
      * promises to make country great again
      * allied with big business and the military
      * claims to be the only one with all the answers

      Yeah, no parallels at all. Totes unfair to compare.

      • * had absolutely clear political convictions and objectives from the start of his long political career and held them to his death in office
        * had superior organisational skills in building a mass movement and getting absolute ci tfol.of the state apparatus
        * attracted widespread and devoted loyalty to his person.
        Just as well.

        • Just_Dropping_By

          Yes, things like these are why I find Trump/Hitler comparisons or references to fascism, Nazism, etc. overwrought. There’s no indication that Trump has any deeply held political beliefs or even a vaguely coherent long-term political agenda, nor is there any indication that Trump would be willing to fight for even those few things he purports to believe strongly. For example, Ryan basically said, “LOL, no,” about building the border wall and Trump’s reaction seems to have been a big shrug, despite it having been one of his signature issues throughout the campaign.

          • Trump does have deeply held political beliefs though: flagrant racism, including antisemitism, and sexism. These have been evident for his entire time in the public spotlight.

    • Nang Mai

      The comparison is apt. Most of Europe was able to build effective resistance movements against fascism but Germany’s efforts were remarkably weak. One factor was that the upper and middle classes thought resistance was ‘inappropriate’ and unseemly — and they continued to think this way after the war when they became fully aware of what happened in the camps. A similar dynamic exists in the US. Remember Code Pink’s recent political theatre where they attempted an ‘arrest’ of Henry Kissinger? John McCain called them ‘low-life scum’ for bullying a frail old man — and a significant percentage of the population agreed.

      America is starting from an even weaker position than what Germany enjoyed. Labour groups never built up a strong culture in the US and what did emerge has been nearly completely squashed due to the relentless repressive policies beginning with Reagan. The FBI continues to use cointelpro techniques against dissidents. This has been mostly directed at green groups but not exclusively. Everyone knows the NSA panopticon is watching and listening. Torturers were never brought to justice. The executive already has set a precedent for using drones to kill American citizens without even a hearing in a court of law. Political prisoners like Peltier and others never seem to get presidential pardons and wind up either dying in prison or serving very long sentences. The way that Americans do organize — generally through non-profits — tends to be frighteningly ineffective, The odds are not looking good. This might really be the beginning of the fall of the American empire.

      • Ronan

        America is not starting from a weaker position than Germany. Germany had come through a world war that decimated it, massive economic crisis, post war paramilitary violence, was engaged in a plausibly existential ideological struggle with a neighbouring major power. Please don’t be historically illiterate.

        • Nang Mai

          My point was that America is in a weaker position of understanding how to organize resistance. On top of those difficulties there is a long history of state repression of dissent.

          • Hogan

            A local professor of labor studies told me that she’d been to a meeting of US and Central American labor leaders and activists in the ’80s. The US labor people said one of their biggest problems was getting their message out in the media. The Central American labor people said they never had a problem with that: when they needed to get a message out, they just took over the official radio station for long enough to make their broadcast and left when the security forces showed up.

            We’re not really in that position here.

      • Marek

        Non-German resistance to Hitler came as a result of being occupied or at least attacked by a foreign power. That’s not really comparable to internal civil resistance.

        • Nang Mai

          Non German resistance to fascism.

      • Ramon A. Clef

        The FBI continues to use cointelpro techniques against dissidents.

        When the new person in your local resistance group recommends needless escalation toward violence, assume he or she is an FBI plant.

        • Good call.

        • JL

          Or even more likely, a local police plant.

          And watch out for who they target for their attention. In the run-up to the NATO summit protests in Chicago, they targeted a newish activist with a degenerative neurological disease that causes poor impulse control, poor judgment, and aggression. His friends were also young, new activists who wanted to sound impressive to the supposedly experienced activists giving them attention. The two undercovers convinced one or more of them to be around during the making of Molotov cocktails. All three of them were arrested, subjected to sensory deprivation among other things, railroaded, and, while acquitted on the worst charges (the terrorism ones), went to prison. The other two are out now, but he’s still in, not getting proper medical care for his condition, and may well die there.

          If someone had realized that these people who had only showed up recently, claiming to be experienced and talking big, were targeting a newbie who was going to be vulnerable for neurological-disability-related reasons and his newbie friends, it might have gone differently.

  • I already went to a wonderful meeting of activist women in my city and we heard from a city councilor about how the city was determined, even under financial penalty, to remain a sanctuary city. They are already preparing their plans if Trump can somehow cut off funding. And we heard from the police department about their refusal to turn people over to ICE. And we heard from one of Obama’s (now former) climate change people about what we can do regionally to fight for climate change policies. Andwe heard from our local head of ACLU about what they are planning to do to support immigrants, civil liberties, etc…

    My personal feeling is that mass mobilization will follow after Trump starts punishing people and communities that stand up. I’m not talking about revolutionary mass mobilization–I’m talking about electoral mass mobilization and, hopefully, an end to the splitter-ism and bitter ender-ism and NIMBY problem posed to electoral success by fucking entitled white boys and girls who didn’t see a need to get out and vote, who didn’t argue with their own trump loving relatives, and who don’t vote in midterms or in governor’s races.

    • Nick never Nick

      It would also be nice if the Democratic coalition can come together in mutual support and purpose, without starting fights between one sub-group or another that is insufficiently virtuous. Not only are those stupid, but they indicate that if you still have time to fight some dumb little battle like that, the overall situation isn’t serious.

      • Steve LaBonne

        The people who want to have those fights are not allies and need to be firmly ignored.

      • It would be nice! I sure hope that happens! As I recall the democratic coalition wasn’t split by democrats acting in coalition. It was split by non democrats attacking democrats for not being good enough.

        • efc

          Talking shit about people you don’t like is the glue of any successful political coalition. Keep boiling those hooves!

          • You are so very right–things I say online are identical to things I say in real life! And the people you meet online are identical to the activists who are activating in my local active area! I am definitely depending on the Johnson/Jill Stein voters and the hard core bernie voters to do the heavy lifting in my city to protect immigrants, refugees, undocumented people and all the rights guaranteed to people under our state constitution. They are such incredibly hard workers and there are so very, very, many of them.

            • JL

              I am definitely depending on the Johnson/Jill Stein voters and the hard core bernie voters to do the heavy lifting in my city to protect immigrants, refugees, undocumented people and all the rights guaranteed to people under our state constitution. They are such incredibly hard workers and there are so very, very, many of them.

              I am aware that you are being sarcastic, but I assure you that some of them already are and have been for years.

              If you’re going to do mass movement work, some of it is going to be with people whose positions on presidential electoral politics are not, to my way of thinking, particularly sensible. Full stop. You may even find that some of them are good organizers.

              Or you can keep on with the narrative in your head about how they’re all entitled white “boys and girls” who don’t do shit.

      • Linnaeus

        Obligatory Bernice Johnson Reagon link.

  • sam

    I keep trying to remind people of the flip side of this – it’s really important for all of us to do something, but it doesn’t mean that you, personally, have to do everything.

    Part of this is that you’re going to get frozen by the paralysis of choices but it’s also that you’re going to burn out.

    Pick one or two issues that you feel really passionately about and figure out how you can spend your time/money/resources on those specific issues. For example, I’m going to be figuring out how to amp up my volunteer work for election protection/lawyers committee for civil rights above and beyond the once every four years answering calls on Election Day that I do now – because it’s an organization I already have an “in” with, it’s work I’m relatively suited for as a lawyer, and I think voting rights are going to be one of the most important issues over the next several years.

    This is in addition to giving money to a whole range of organizations from the ACLU and planned parenthood to refugee aid organizations.

  • CrunchyFrog

    Two options. Stay and fight. Get the fuck out and fight. Anything else is cowardice.

    • I’m thinking I may end up having to do the latter of the two. I’d like to be able to do the former, but I won’t feel too bad if it ends up being the latter. I don’t want to have what happened to my ancestors in Austria and Eastern Europe in the ’30s and ’40s end up happening to me, and I can’t help anyone if I’m dead, after all.

      • ScarletNumbers

        Dramatic much?

        • See Jackson87’s comment above on the historical parallels, and then read up on the neo-Nazis celebrating the incoming administration, and then feel free to go fuck yourself.

        • CrunchyFrog

          Not even slightly if you study European history in any depth.

        • Origami Isopod
          • Thanks for letting us know, I will deal with it.

            • Origami Isopod

              Another one downthread, “Walter Allen Watson.”

              • It’s all Jennie. I got it.

              • BartletForGallifrey

                Not even a very good one. It seems to have mixed you up with CassandraLeo. Sad!

                • I think Loomis may be offended that he was mixed up with someone currently sporting a King Crimson avatar. He might as well have been accused of liking ketchup-flavoured vodka.

                  On the other hand, this album cover is a very apt depiction of how I tend to feel these days, so I shall probably be keeping it indefinitely.

                • I like King Crimson! At least the John Wetton years and the 80s albums.

                • Ah, fair enough then. “Starless” and “Fracture” in particular are two of my favorite songs of all time. “Larks’ Tongues” and most of Discipline are up there too, plus the Great Deceiver and Absent Lovers live sets – just phenomenal stuff.

          • XTPD

            Also appeared on the “one week down” thread using the c**t-word.

    • Linnaeus

      The former is the only option for me. So it goes.

  • Jameson Quinn

    My current fight is to put pressure on the senate Dems (from class I and II) to fill the SCOTUS vacancy on #Jan3HighNoon. Click the link, sign the petition. Trump without the SCOTUS is not an extinction-level event for democracy; we can not throw away this shot.

    • UncleEbeneezer

      Have any lawyers opined on this (here or elsewhere in like-minded spaces?) I love the idea (and called every Dem Senator on the list on the Kos article, adding as contacts to my phone since I anticipate I may be calling them regularly over the next 4 years) but I have seen people saying it’s not a realistic possibility. My brain is not lawyerly enough to really analyze it with much confidence but I would be curious to know what others think of this. It’s the Federalist so obviously the conclusion is what you’d expect.

      • Jameson Quinn

        The Federalist article you linked says:

        To be believed, [this plan] requires one to completely ignore the Constitution, the Standing Rules of the Senate, Senate precedent, and basic common sense.

        They’re perfectly right as regards the Standing Rules of the Senate and Senate Precedent. Ignoring those is explicitly part of the plan.

        As regards the Constitution and basic common sense: it’s less of a stretch than Bush v. Gore or Shelby County v. Holder. Which is pretty faint praise, but my point is that as hardball, I think it would work. The full 100-member Senate, once seated, would immediately pass resolutions saying that it was illegal and had never happened, but if Biden had already sworn Garland in (yes, this IS constitutional; it doesn’t have to be Roberts), then it would be as much of a fait accompli as Trump’s or Bush’s elections.

        (IANAL, BTW)

        They could respond by court-packing. But I think this would take them some time at least, and would not be a slam-dunk for them. And we could then retaliate when we got power back.

        I know that this is all really really bad, but I still think it’s much better than the alternative of just letting Trump fill the vacancy.

        • randy khan

          It’s actually pretty common for Supreme Court Justices to be sworn in by someone other than the Chief Justice. (And, as you note, there is no requirement that the swearing in be done by anyone in particular – LBJ was sworn in by a local Texas official after JFK was killed.)

          The legality question is pretty fascinating, but it’s close to 100% likely that the courts would not rule on it – they’d call it a political question, out of their reach.

  • BartletForGallifrey

    Just want to say against that while we should all be doing things–and I am, after I finish finals, unless I throw myself out a window instead–we should also not judge any member of a marginalized group for taking whatever actions they need to feel safe.

    If a black man doesn’t feel safe going to a protest filled with cops, I won’t judge him.* If a Muslim woman doesn’t feel safe calling and giving her name, I won’t judge her.* If a gay man doesn’t feel safe attending an LGBT protest, I won’t judge him.* If a member of any marginalized group doesn’t feel safe in this country and decides to leave, I won’t judge them.*

    Cishet able-bodied white people, them I’ll judge.

    *Unless they voluntarily didn’t vote for Clinton, in which case they a) don’t have any standing to complain about feeling unsafe; and b) “I don’t care” is about the nicest thing I can say regarding what should happen to them.

    • Sure, but there are many, many things people can do other than go to protests.

      • BartletForGallifrey

        And I mentioned at least one of them. I apologize for not listing every possible action one might take and the reasons why those actions might be untenable for some people.

    • Steve LaBonne

      I agree completely. Anyway my fellow cis het white males are the biggest part of the problem, and I feel that places an extra obligation on me.

      • I at least pass as cis and I qualified as white until this election, but now… welp.

        • Steve LaBonne

          Given who this pig associates with, I consider you a member of a threatened group who needs to prioritize staying safe, until proven otherwise. Those of us who have pretty much all the available categories of privilege need to be first in line to stick our necks out.

          • Reality is that anyone who protests now is a member of a threatened group. As a unionist, I’m a member of a threatened group. As a professor already targeted by fascists, I’m a member of a threatened group. As a person willing to do whatever it takes to resist fascism, I’m a member of a threatened group.

            I grant of course that I can physically pass for someone on the other side of the political spectrum, so I recognize that it’s not the same, although I will also note that individuals are always more vulnerable to attack than when they are in groups.

            • BartletForGallifrey

              Being a member of a threatened group due to actions you take is really not the same as being a member of a threatened group due to your skin color or gender or who you love or the prayers you say or how healthy you are.

              • While there are different histories, the difference in terms of what it means to go to a protest is not nearly as great as you are attempting to make it out to be. To me, your argument is effectively the problem with intersectionality in practice (as opposed to intersectionality in theory and among some who do practice it as it is theorized) which is that class and class-based action is effectively significantly less prioritized, valued, or discussed.

                • Drexciya

                  While there are different histories, the difference in terms of what it means to go to a protest is not nearly as great as you are attempting to make it out to be.

                  What’s the unionist and professor version of the targeted violence documented here? I note that there’s even a specific category for targeted anti-woman violence, but what I tried to find from the categories you outlined seemed absent.

                  And jesus christ at that post generally, good lord.

                • Given that I just today received hate mail threatening me personally about meeting me on campus that I am sending to the SPLC and reporting to the Rhode Island State Police on the recommendation of many people, you can go fuck yourself.

                • BartletForGallifrey

                  To me, your argument is effectively the problem with intersectionality in practice (as opposed to intersectionality in theory and among some who do practice it as it is theorized) which is that class and class-based action is effectively significantly less prioritized, valued, or discussed.

                  I’m pretty sure my argument is that you could, if you chose, quit teaching and quit going to protests and keep your head down and be basically fine, while black men are shot for doing absolutely nothing. And no one asked my relatives if they were going to protests or teaching objectionable things before sticking them in cattle cars. Hell, some of them signed up to help out and they still got stuck in cattle cars.

                  Is there some part of that argument that’s untrue?

                  And it’s not just class, by the way; some things just fall lower on the “existentially threatened” list than others. I could start dating men if I really had to to protect myself. My Pakistani friend can’t do a damn thing about his skin color. I’m much more concerned for him than I am for me.

                • No one is questioning the extreme threats of this administration and the atmosphere to people of color. What I am questioning is whether going to a protest is somehow more dangerous for people of color than not going to a protest. To use an obvious example, the murders of black people during the 1950s-1960s civil rights movement happened when they were alone, not during the protests. And when state violence was turned on those protestors, the national reaction was sharp and severe.

                • BartletForGallifrey

                  FTR I posted my reply at the same time as Erik’s about the SPLC, not in response to it.

                • BartletForGallifrey

                  What I am questioning is whether going to a protest is somehow more dangerous for people of color.

                  I…I don’t even know how to respond to something like that.

                  You’re not alone in the hate mail department.

                • Drexciya

                  Given that I just today received hate mail threatening me personally about meeting me on campus that I am sending to the SPLC on the recommendation of many people

                  There’s a way to acknowledge the importance of that, and the threats embedded in that without trying to draw a backhanded equivalence to what everyone who isn’t white or straight is facing and then defaulting to a “why doesn’t intersectionality encompass me” critique. One notes the problem, notes that it is a problem, and puts it in the perspective, the other does…what you did, and draws an equivalence between that and the sheer, inescapable and worsening omnipresence of the violence in the post-election atmosphere for those of us who are neither white or straight. It’s important to note that This Is Bad For Everyone, to a point, but it’s not a shared plight or a shared burden, which is why we’re here to begin with.

                • There’s a way to respond to posts about action in the face of rising of fascism and this:

                  And jesus christ at that post generally, good lord.

                  Is not it. And I will tell you why. There are millions of people outraged and horrified right now. We need to motivate as many of them as possible to action. If that’s your response to such a post, I have only one conclusion: that you simply offer nothing in the fight ahead. You have no plan for action, no strategy to engage, no way to get people on the street, no organizing strategy. Nothing.

                  But as I’ve said before, I think your contributions here are absolutely worthless. Usually I avoid you entirely, but since you’ve attacked me for no reason except to preen and signify, I will say it again. I think you offer nothing of value.

                • Drexciya

                  What I am questioning is whether going to a protest is somehow more dangerous for people of color than not going to a protest. To use an obvious example, the murders of black people during the 1950s-1960s civil rights movement happened when they were alone, not during the protests. And when state violence was turned on those protestors, the national reaction was sharp and severe.

                  Oh my god.

                  Edit: I’m done. Y’all have fun with that.

                • Please don’t come back.

                • veleda_k

                  What I am questioning is whether going to a protest is somehow more dangerous for people of color than not going to a protest.

                  You can’t be serious.

                • Steve LaBonne

                  Please DO come back, though I understand if you’ve had it with this particular thread.

                • Jameson Quinn

                  I value both of you. And with deep respect, you’re both being dicks.

                  Erik: this is your blog, so you have a right to say what you want. But hoping a non-troll commenter permanently leaves, on a post about finding ways to join in solidarity against Trump, is pretty jaw-dropping.

                  Drexciya: “Jesus Christ at that post in general, good lord” is bullshit. Of course Erik has his blind spots; we all do, and I’m sure you do too. If somebody tries to make a rousing speech that, because of some blind spot of theirs, utterly fails to rouse you, blowing a raspberry at all the people who are thereby mobilized for a basically just cause is just being an asshole.

                  We need to try to support each other. I’ve gotten into stupid internet arguments which I’ve taken too personally. But it’s better to just take a deep breath and go elsewhere until you calm down. I respect both of you and I hope you can find a way not to fight without Drex having to leave permanently.

                • Drexciya

                  I’m not leaving permanently (and I’m sorry for not making that clear), just leaving this particular argument/subthread. But this is fair:

                  “Jesus Christ at that post in general, good lord” is bullshit. Of course Erik has his blind spots; we all do, and I’m sure you do too. If somebody tries to make a rousing speech that, because of some blind spot of theirs, utterly fails to rouse you, blowing a raspberry at all the people who are thereby mobilized for a basically just cause is just being an asshole.

                  I could have taken a few deep breaths and outlined my objection or simply just went without saying anything at all, and I’m usually better about doing that. But I am done with this particular subthread. It will no doubt come up again.

                • Yeah, that whole “Please don’t come back” thing simply isn’t remotely fair. I could understand if it were being directed at someone like urd or some other equally consistently horrible commenter, but I think Drex has earned a bit of benefit of the doubt here.

                • Drexciya has earned nothing from me. I think he’s awful and have ever since he started commenting here. And it’s unfortunate that I would have to lash out like that in a thread on this topic. But the fact that he decided to come after me and the fact that he felt the need on a thread like this to speak out against a call for organizing and action, is precisely why he is so awful. He offers us nothing of value for moving forward and yet portrays himself as some kind of truth teller.

                • Jameson Quinn

                  You don’t have to think Drex’s comments have any value whatsoever for him to have earned far more respect than somebody like urd.

                • That’s an apples and oranges comparison. Obviously urd not only offers nothing, but no one takes it seriously because why would they. urd is a troll. Drexciya is many things, but is certainly not a troll. Or stupid.

                • JL

                  What I am questioning is whether going to a protest is somehow more dangerous for people of color than not going to a protest. To use an obvious example, the murders of black people during the 1950s-1960s civil rights movement happened when they were alone, not during the protests. And when state violence was turned on those protestors, the national reaction was sharp and severe.

                  Protesting is inherently a somewhat dangerous activity, and protesters, or others at the protest, in pretty much any marginalized group (and I would include class-based marginalization in that at least to some degree), tend to be more vulnerable to violence against and other repression of protesters. The national reaction to violence against those civil rights protesters was sharp and severe, but while that can help mitigate the long-term psychological consequences, it doesn’t, to be obvious, undo the beating, dog bites, tear gas, or time in custody. And then those people were still vulnerable to attack when alone, just like any other black person.

                  There’s also the middle area of what happens when you’re traveling to and from the protests, trying to find the protests, getting dinner after a day of protesting, taking a break between two protests in the same day, at home between two consecutive days of protests, etc. That can be a tremendously risky time. Let’s just say I’ve known of some bad things to happen to people. I’ve personally avoided anything worse during those time periods than some threats of violence, some police and other harassment, some fright. Not everyone has. And as with many other things in life, being in just about any marginalized group seems to up the risk.

              • Jameson Quinn

                And so I repeat:

                hoping a non-troll commenter permanently leaves, on a post about finding ways to join in solidarity against Trump, is pretty jaw-dropping.

                ETA: Crap, messed up the threading, sorry. Response to Erik’s post at 10:13 Eastern.

                • When said person uses that call for solidarity to rebuke you for making that call? Solidarity runs both ways.

            • Steve LaBonne

              All true, but these things are relative. I don’t fear for my life if I get pulled over for speeding. But as a civil servant I have to be a bit wary of being arrested and Ohio law prevents me from doing Democratic Party work which I would otherwise wish to do.

            • efgoldman

              As a professor already targeted by fascists, I’m a member of a threatened group.

              I think the best way to fight this (and it may already be happening) is to get as many academics as possible, willing or not, and especially conservatrons, on the list.
              Sometimes farce works when nothing else does.

        • Jameson Quinn

          I absolutely respect your worries that this could go very bad for several groups that you are part of. I’m a cis straight white male Harvard student who owns a house in another country in case things go bad, and even I am scared.

          But I’d like to, if I may, try to comfort you a little. I do not think that we’re anywhere close to anything remotely resembling kristallnacht and what came after. Yes, a spike in individual hate crimes, as the state pointedly looks the other way, is absolutely a possibility; but not full-scale pogroms or genocide. And I’m not just saying that it wouldn’t happen; I’m saying I don’t think it will happen and I and others plan to put ourselves on the line to stop it from happening.

          I know, that’s not a whole lot of comfort. But it seems to me that you’re really taking this hard. Many of us are, because it’s fucking insane. But I want you to stay strong, and I’d like to offer you a hug if I could. It’s bad, but I really think we’ll live through this.

          • Thanks for this. I certainly don’t expect the worst to happen overnight, at the bare minimum. But my worst suspicions have had a habit of coming true these past several years, so I intend to be prepared for them.

            • Nang Mai

              The trans population enjoys so few legal rights, enormous social stigma (wrongly) and even during peaceful times has to deal with homicidal maniacs. I think your fears are rational. Trump has openly talked about creating a registry for another group of people and when surveyed only one tech company said they would categorically refuse to help him. Being prepared sounds like a sensible idea. I wish you luck and peace.

              • Thanks. Luckily, I still pass as cisgender (I had the prescience to think things might get worse for us before they get better, though I didn’t think they would get this much worse), and I haven’t made a public thing about my gender identity (though I suspect if someone really wanted they could track down who I am from my comments on the internet). But it’s incredibly alarming. Plus I’m Jewish, so, y’know, threats on two fronts. I’m definitely going to take concrete steps to obtain dual citizenship before the inauguration and definitely make sure my passport is up to date.

                • Steve LaBonne

                  Ah, I hadn’t picked up on gender identity, I apologize. Yes, you are *very definitely* quite vulnerable in Trump’s America and need to make self-protection a priority, not that you need me to tell you that. I’m a peaceful person but so much of this hateful shit makes me want to hurt people.

                • I’ve mentioned it several times, but yep. Thanks. I’m just glad I pass as cis, while simultaneously horrified that such a thing is even necessary in anno Domini 2016.

  • Cordonazo

    I recently moved to the Pittsburgh area add have no roots here. I’d like to do more than donate, but I genuinely don’t know what the local groups are around here are that actually get things done. Does anyone here have any advice?

    • Pittsburgh is an awesome town for getting things done as it is one of the last 2 great union towns in the country (Chicago being the other). Check out of the Battle of Homestead Foundation for meeting people who work on labor and workplace issues, for one start. They are some awesome, amazing people. And once you meet a few people, you will meet all the people.

    • BartletForGallifrey

      -Looks like the Allegheny Dems have meetings coming up: alleghenydems[dot]com/events
      -ACLU: aclupa[dot]org/takeaction/volunteerintern/volunteering-pittsburgh-office
      -Planned Parenthood: plannedparenthood[dot]org/planned-parenthood-western-pennsylvania/volunteer
      -You can find organizations on Idealist. E.g.: idealist[dot]org/search/v2/?qs=QlpoOTFBWSZTWcpUbwcAAGifgAMAMAIBAAAAvuff4DAAtbYZU09TNCPUbUGgCUJPJTaE_VHqPJBhKInqHqBo9QNBnc0v3GnUrEKKpU1gl2dRsGaKqZ5HwQVQF4MXFLmRA9XKLTc6dpUga1cYjyFkucICliBIOhCZUKsSSt2MHAMsxSch08BVGKPGpZ82AtiTZAh8SRS5X8jKh_J40LUou3ZU9HEWhvY92SYZfxdyRThQkMpUbwc=
      -Any off-year campaigns? Even if you volunteer for an unsuccessful campaign, you’ll probably meet people who are active in other ways.

      • Cordonazo

        Thank you both for the help.

  • vic rattlehead

    At this point, I’m staking my hopes on runaway AI. Can’t possibly be worse than modern republicans.

    Well, I guess it’s not so much that AI couldn’t be worse. Just that it could be better. I don’t see the modern GOP getting any better.

    • Samaritan would be a yooge improvement on the shitgibbon. At least Samaritan pretended to want to help people, and was fairly efficient when it tried to do so. I am undecided about whether the shitgibbon will be more destructive than Skynet. It all depends on whether there is a nuclear war, I suppose.

      That said, I would also be unsurprised to find out that Samaritan or Skynet were responsible for getting the shitgibbon elected in the first place.

      • veleda_k

        First Death Note, now Person of Interest. Oh, I do like you. (I mean, I liked you before, but still.)

        • It’s one of the best shows of the past ten years, and towards the end, it seemed like no one was watching it. I’ve seldom seen a better depiction of technology and how it affects our lives on the small screen. The only thing I can think of to compare it with is Mr. Robot. And the last two seasons at least were perfect. And really, I’d watch Michael Emerson read the phone book. (Elementary also gets technology almost entirely right when it depicts it, but it’s much less a focus of the show.)

          Also thanks.

  • Hercules Mulligan

    Great piece, Erik.

    Some commenters will recall my post-election strategy of “calling elected Democrats and pretending to be their constituent,” which I recommend if you’re willing to go the paranoid route of finding plausible deniability. After that NYT report that the White House had been lobbying Tom Perez and the AFL-CIO to block Ellison’s DNC campaign, I also called the ALF-CIO to recommend Ellison, and though I’m sure it played not the slightest role in their ultimate decision, I was thrilled to see them endorse earlier this week.

    Also gearing up for the Inauguration Day protests in DC. Those should be massive.

  • Origami Isopod

    I’ve been using WallOfUs.org’s Weekly Acts of Resistance as guidelines. The week before last I probably made 50 phone calls. This past week, maybe one, because work was really nose-to-the-grindstone. I need to push myself to make at least one phone call per business day; it’s something I can manage.

    I donated to the ACLU, PP, NAACP, and SPLC shortly after the election and will certainly donate to them all again. It’s probably time for another donation to the Ali Forney Center, too. I’ve been bombarded with emails from various other organizations asking for money, but it’s hard to know which ones will give me the most political bang for my buck. I’ve heard 350.org is good for environmental causes. Does anyone have any experience with FreePress.net?

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  • Mike in DC

    Call, write, donate, volunteer, organize, protest…and run for office.

  • Read Jack Balkin’s I Ching advice. Seek balance and calm in your determination. Set your own agenda; don’t let Trump control the agenda with a chaff cloud of outrages, as he did in the campaign. Erik won’t like me saying this, but comparative advantage is an ethical principle too: do what you are good at, others will be better at the other stuff.

    Easy to write, as I’m a Brit, and not called on to take risks at your side.

    • Erik won’t like me saying this, but comparative advantage is an ethical principle too: do what you are good at, others will be better at the other stuff.

      Not sure why you would say this, as I agree with it. Doing what you are good at is a great idea. Trying to push yourself a little bit is even better, but we all have our strengths and weaknesses.

      • Sorry. I thought you might not have realized this because of your opposition to free trade, but I’ll gladly take it back. Ricardo’s account of comparative advantage in trade is amoral and apolitical: he does not consider distributional consequences. Though he served as an MP and must have been aware of the political implications of his analysis of rent.

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  • Cheerfull

    This afternoon I was at a meeting of our local state representative to talk about how to respond. A strong theme among the group of 30+ (in part because I kept pushing it) was making a better connection between local pressure and our national leadership, in this case, Senators Murray and Cantwell. An useful result was getting a promise from the state rep to start pressuring Senator Cantwell personally.

    As I said to others around me, if you are looking for an organization with both a national presence and local chapters everywhere, that is set up institutionally to resist Trump and the Republicans, than the Democratic party is an obvious choice. Why not make use of machinery that already exists? If the local Democrats suck, work with those who are like minded to change them.

    We need, now, a united political response to the political catastrophe that has happened. That will means votes on a wide range of issues and loud public voices condemning Trump & Republican actions. Pushing Democrats to do this, and forcing Democratic leadership to represent the anger of their local constituents is vital.

    And this is more than just calling them to protest this issue or that, though that is obviously crucial. It also means pressure to force national Democratic politicians back into collaboration and interactive communication with their local roots.

  • efgoldman

    Erik, does the RI group have a website yet? A funding page?

    I think we’re in a position where our congresscritters and senators are going to represent our interest very well.

    BTW, Amazon Smile lists many organizations to which they will contribute on your behalf, including what looks like every Planned Parenthood chapter in the country. I chose the national organization, figuring they can direct the funds better than I can by picking a random red state chapter.

    • There’s a Facebook page called Resist Hate RI. There’s no reason to raise money, or at least I don’t think there is. It’s more of a way to channel people into organizations and people already working on the various issues, which I think makes a lot of sense. So the Workers Rights subgroup was facilitated by someone from UNITE-HERE, the Reproductive Rights by a Planned Parenthood leader, etc.

      It’s Working Families Party people who are doing the work to make this happen, so donate to them if you want to support all this in that way.

  • Intangir

    Just registered here to say I really appreciate this post and have already been trying to do small things every day.

    I live in Grand Rapids, MI, where Trump spoke last night. I went and stood out in the snowy weather for 2 hours to protest. There was a group of about 30-40 people there most of the night and while I know we weren’t going to change the world it was the right things to be there. I’ve been calling my state and national Reps/Senators about various things for the past few weeks as well. I hope I can find a local group similar to the Rhode Island one you mention to join up with and eventually volunteer for the MI governor’s race in 2 years.

    Thanks for the encouragement, there is a lot of work to do!

  • DrDick

    I will be directly addressing many of his policies, particularly his xenophobia and racism, in my classes. In particular, he will figure prominently in my race and ethnicity class (where they are reading Out of Sight) as he well represents a lot of what I am addressing.

    • he will figure prominently in my race and ethnicity class (where they are reading Out of Sight


      • DrDick

        It is really good and addresses a lot of the points I already cover in the final third of the class. I take a global view in the class. The first third really looks at the nature of race and ethnicity and how they operate (a fair bit of theory in this section), The second third looks at structural inequality based in race and ethnicity, as well as how it operates and the consequences. The final third is on how these interact and shape global inequality.

  • rob_b

    I’m not sure what Sierra Club or Planned Parenthood will be able to do. What leverage will they have? (we do give money)
    It’s going to have to be mass resistance ala Occupy x 10,000. But after Occupy and Ferguson and now Standing Rock, the pro militarized police state folks are just drooling to be loosed. I’m not sure how I’ll do. I have my doubts about my spine.

    • We need help and organizing in all the ways. Sierra Club and Planned Parenthood are still well-funded organizations that do a lot of great work, especially PP. They need our help and can still make a big difference. But massive resistance is also incredibly important and the more people involved, the better.

    • efgoldman

      I’m not sure what Sierra Club or Planned Parenthood will be able to do. What leverage will they have?

      Lawsuits cost money
      Mass mailings cost money
      Lobbying costs money (the Good Guys have lobbyists, too)
      TV spots cost money

    • veleda_k

      Beyond what efgoldman said, what do you think Planned Parenthood is doing now? It provides affordable healthcare and sexual health info, often to people who wouldn’t have access to those things otherwise. How long do we think their federal funding is going to last?

  • BartletForGallifrey

    I know we’re all looking at 2018, but there are races this year. I’m going to volunteer for de Blasio, because keeping NYC a sanctuary city (and not just for immigrants) is vital now. I’m guessing Virginia gubernatorial will be a big fight, and there are some others on there too.

    • New Jersey elections are going to be huge.

  • Karen24

    I’ve been sidelined due to having my house torn up to fix the plumbing leak — did I mention the plumber stuck his foot through my ceiling? — but I’m in five FB groups planning action. Three had their inaugural real life meetings today and had I not been hosting three members of the plumber’s union I would have been there. (The leak has been successfully repaired by the way.). Based on the FB reports all meetings were big successes and new ones are scheduled for January. Things can still go awry, but I don’t have the bad feeling I did before the election. There is pushback. The Trump trolls on FB are keeping their heads down. The story about Russina hacking is getting shared around. It”s not going to be a picnic but we aren’t going down without a fight.

    And as for comparisons to Germany, Trump is less energetic than Hitler, although he’s certainly got a lot in common with him, but I don’t see us going down without a fight. We’re not going to make this one easy!

    • efgoldman

      I don’t have the bad feeling I did before the election.

      Going forward, I trust your feelings!

      Trump is less energetic than Hitler, although he’s certainly got a lot in common with him

      Cantaloupe McRapey Caligula doesn’t have 10% of the intelligence (thank FSM!) and his pure narcissism keeps him from planning more than three minutes ahead.
      That doesn’t mean that Bannon the Nazi and Krazy Kellyann can’t do it for him.

      • Karen24

        I never thought I would say this, but I’m glad the President-elect is dumb.

    • did I mention the plumber stuck his foot through my ceiling?

      If that’s what the kids are calling it these days…I don’t want to know.

  • Karen24

    Something else, make sure your groups have some fun along. I made lifelong friendships in the Ann Richards canmpaign and I anticipate the same now. Balance action with pleasure. I think the worst thing about conservatives these days is that they really are hostile to fun for anyone below a certain income level, skin color, or gender. Refusing to let them make us miserable is something important!

    • efgoldman

      Refusing to let them make us miserable is something important!

      Anyway, they’ve already done a pretty good job of that, haven’t they?

      • Can’t speak for anyone else, but this election did a far better job derailing my life than PTSD from a car wreck ever did. Existential dread is magical like that. I’m not even sure if this was an intended consequence for people like us or just fortuitous synchronicity.

        I am capable of laughing now (and crying; that’s important too) so I guess I am at least beginning to make progress again.

  • pseudalicious

    Does anyone have any recommendations for groups in the DMV area that are into direct action? I’m following both SURJ chapters and am planning on going to their next workshop. Pantsuit Nation DMV is mostly just people venting.

  • Thom

    This is all very useful and encouraging. I want to add that, while it is not enough, those writing and participating in this blog are engaged in resistance. This is certainly consistent with the way we conceptualize resistance in the social history of colonial and postcolonial Africa–acting (inluding writing and speaking) in ways that are discouraged or not validated or even not recognized by those in authority.

  • LWA

    I live in Los Angeles, a overwhelmingly blue city in an overwhelmingly blue state.
    Most protest organizations I have belonged to usually select their planned actions as street demonstrations against a conveniently local official or organization.
    But here, the best thing I can think of is defense of actions in support of our local officials who have declared sanctuary and resistance.

    We don’t talk a lot about support, but especially with the upcoming fights where they are hunting for weak and wavering Dem votes for Medicare destruction, we need to help stiffen the spine of our local Congressmen and Senators.

    And yes, as noted above, simply writing and speaking out is also resistance- public opinion turns on ordinary people speaking to each other.

  • Tyro

    I wish I could have your optimism, but I am now convinced that America, structurally and institutionally is designed to go in the direction it is going in. There is certainly room for moving the needle a bit at the margins, but it’s ultimately all about defense as we hurdle towards plutocracy.

    As far as I can tell, the election of Trump was possible only because our political and ideological structure made it happen. If we can’t avoid that kind of outcome, then clearly the entire infrastructure is broken.

  • Alworth

    Erik, I’d like a bit of advice for what people in entirely blue states can do. I’m in Oregon, where 4 of 5 reps (including mine), both senators, the Governor and both chambers of the legislature are Democrat. I’m happy to let Wyden, Merkley, and Blumenauer know I think they should oppose Trump–but of course they already are.


    • Chetsky

      Erik, and other front-pagers and commenters, yes please.

      Though, one thing that comes to mind: I live in SF, and it ain’t like Black Lives Matter here … not near enough. And fortifying the resolve of our pols, that we need to be a sanctuary city, is also important.

      But none of this is as important as …. what do we do to help the nation?

      • JL

        I’m guessing both of your states have, for instance, Republican Party offices that could be picketed. And as Chetsky says, there’s important local stuff. Are you a sanctuary city? How’s your DA? How are your state reps, your mayor if you have one? How are union protections in your state? How are the LGBTQ anti-discrimination laws? There’s been a lot of hate violence in blue states since the election – have you attended any kind of bystander intervention training?

        What about within your identity-based communities? I’ve been doing some work with If Not Now, a Jewish group which is pressuring the stodgy Jewish establishment to do more to oppose Trump, as well as protesting him and Bannon when they show up. If you’re white, do you have a local SURJ chapter that you could work with? If not, could you start one? If you have a religious community, are they working against Trump and Trumpism?

        There are also local chapters or affiliates of national organizations and movements that could probably use some kind of help – for instance, Cosecha (for immigrant human rights), or the National Network of Abortion Funds, or the NAACP, or the ACLU.

    • As a blue state person myself, part of the critical organizing is going to be resistance at the state level to federal attacks on what the states are doing. Making sure the state legislatures are on board all the way is really important. Put pressure on them to provide full-throated support. And make sure the Oregon delegation is not just opposed to Trump, but willing to go to the mat on these issues.

  • Chetsky


    Like perhaps other readers of this excellent blog, I’m not sufficiently up on the places were my donations might be most effectively applied. Origami Isopod suggested


    I thought perhaps you and your colleagues (and commenters) might make other suggestions? One that arises is

    lawyers committee for civil rights

    ISTR reading about their work during the election in vote protection?

    Are there other charities I (we?) should thinking of? I’m specifically thinking of things around

    refugee/migrant rights
    LGBT and esp. transgender rights

    • John Oliver suggested the Trevor Project for queer youth, MALDEF for Latinos and Hispanics, the International Refugee Assisstance Project for refugees, the National Resources Defense Council for climate change, and ProPublica for journalism. I haven’t looked closely into all of these, but judging from the other sources he suggested, I suspect they are all worthy of donations/volunteer time.

      • Chetsky

        Oh, John Oliver. Excellent pointer. Thank you!

    • BartletForGallifrey

      National Network of Abortion Funds is my go-to. Does what it says on the tin. I know jezebel put together a list of places right after the election too.

      Trans issues–Sylvia Rivera Law Project.

      • JL

        Yay! I volunteer at a NNAF fund and I’m glad to see someone other than me plugging them here!

    • JL

      Trans rights: Transgender Law Center, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, your statewide trans political group if you have one.

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  • Alworth

    Thanks, folks. One of the answers here is: in states like Oregon, direct action is just far, far less useful. It reveals the emerging split in the states. Oregon has passed a pretty smart minimum wage law (it already had one of the highest) and we’ve pushed hard on many issues that bedevil national Dems. There’s just not a lot left to accomplish. It means that living in Oregon is FAR preferable to, say, TX is you’re a lefty. You can get an abortion, but legal weed, get a prescription to end your life, and earn more st the bottom end of the pay scale. Questions like police abuse are high on the minds of locals. The city council just passed a plutocrat’s income tax.

    I’d encourage you all to move here except I want it all for myself!

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