Resist and Disrupt
By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News
23 January 17
onald Trump is president of the United States. We can talk about how he is not our president all we want, but those are just words. It is time for action. Remember the Tea Party? Remember their reaction to the election of Barack Obama?
Say what you want about the Tea Party, but one thing they were was effective. We need to learn from their example. The Tea Party successfully put a monkey wrench in a lot of what Barack Obama wanted to accomplish. Imagine if members of Congress had not been disrupted in their town hall meetings during the winter recess in 2009. Is it possible that senators like Olympia Snow would have voted for Obamacare with a public option? I am convinced that with a public option Obamacare would not have had the same problem controlling costs that it is having now.
So what am I getting at? It is time to Tea Party Donald Trump and the GOP. We need to be at every public event our Members of Congress (MOCs) have. There is a document that is going viral on the internet called “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.” It was written by former congressional staffers who watched the Tea Party resist Obama’s agenda.
We thought they were racist nut jobs freaking out when a black man became president. Many of them were. Their leaders, however, were shrewd political operatives who were channeling the anger into an effective political movement. It is our turn.
Think Globally, Act Locally
Politics is local. We can have huge marches on Washington, but they are not as effective at influencing your MOC as local actions. A well-planned local action is on the evening news and covered in the local paper. MOCs are in constant re-election mode. They don’t care what people outside their district think of them – it is how they are viewed by constituents that matters.
They don’t like to be embarrassed or upstaged. We can use many tactics. Blending in with the crowd, asking questions, and making statements in opposition in a polite manner is one tactic. That could work, especially if there are many people in opposition spread throughout the room. This gives the impression that it wasn’t organized and that many voters in the district feel the way you do.
You can also be disruptive and treat it like a protest. When they tell you to sit down and wait your turn, remind them of 2009, when the Tea Party disrupted members of Congress when they held meetings with constituents. It is our turn to express our anger.
When they tell you the election is over and you should respect the results, tell them we are. More people voted against Donald Trump than voted for him. They are not respecting that. The American people rejected Trump’s agenda by 3 million votes. Tell them to respect the will of the people.
Join a Group
Our Revolution is a chance to get involved in a new grassroots group that is still defining its identity in your community. Some places like Des Moines have existing community groups that are affiliating with Our Revolution. Iowa CCI is where I will connect with Our Revolution. If there isn’t an affiliate in your community, start one.
Indivisible is also building a directory of groups resisting Trump in your area.
We will need to lean on each other for support. It will not be an easy time, and it will be easy to get discouraged. Finding like-minded people to lean on will be important. When you do join a group, socialize. It shouldn’t be all work. Build community, go for coffee after a meeting, and make friends.
Keep the Pressure On!
This past weekend, the Women’s March showed the depth of the opposition to the Trump agenda. We must keep the pressure on. The unprecedented local marches around the world in over 600 locations showed that opposition to Trump exists in every community. This is not the time to rest. Don’t just point to the numbers and go back to your couches. Join a group. Organize, organize, organize. We must continue to build a progressive movement. Our day is coming.
Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador’s slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush’s first stolen election. Scott moved to Des Moines in 2015 to cover the Iowa Caucus.
Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.