Thursday, September 21, 2017
The Upstander

Overwhelmed When It Comes to Fighting Donald Trump? Here Are Four Different Types of Grassroots Resistance Emerging in New York

Clementine Havemeyer February 1, 2017 Grassroots, Opinion Comments Off on Overwhelmed When It Comes to Fighting Donald Trump? Here Are Four Different Types of Grassroots Resistance Emerging in New York
Senator Bernie Sanders

It’s been a little over a week since Donald Trump was sworn in as President. In that time, he has launched major assaults on the civil liberties and human rights of Muslims and immigrants, inflamed relations with Mexico, and set his administration against the media.

Trump has delivered on many of his most contentious campaign promises, signing executive orders to build a wall along the Mexico/US border, resume building of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, issued a gagging order on federal scientists not to communicate with members of the public, announced a ban on Muslims and refugees from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa from entering the country, appointed Steve Bannon to the National Security Council, and reinstated the “Mexico City Policy,” which bars international not-for-profit organizations that perform abortions from receiving US funding.

In the face of this wave of regressive actions, it can be difficult to know how best to fight back. The below is meant as a guide for those ready and raring to get involved:

1) Protests
Since the Women’s March on January 21, there have been anti-Trump protests almost every day in New York. The best way to find out about these events is through Facebook, as groups tend to organize online. For the next few weeks, as Trump continues to roll out more executive orders, spontaneous protests are likely to spring up, advertised on social media. Make sure to show up for causes that don’t necessarily affect you directly – it’s what being an ally is all about. For example, at Dulles Airport in Washington over the weekend, two Black Lives Matter activists were at the front of the protest for the Muslim ban, loudly condemning it. If we all start showing up for each other, instead of focusing on our individual issues, we will be more effective as a movement.

2) Democratic Party
The formal opposition to Trump and the Republican Party in legislatures across the US remains the Democratic Party. Voters can register as Democrats and get involved at the local level by joining their nearest Democratic club. There are other ways to get involved with the party too: organizers who worked on the Bernie Sanders campaign set up the New York Progressive Action Network and are working to elect representatives at the local level who champion his progressive agenda. Their program involves door-to-door canvassing, calling voters, and supporting progressive candidates running for office. This could be an effective means of resistance if you are looking ahead to the 2018 elections (or if you’re really missing Bernie).

3) Resistance Groups
Search for “Donald Trump resistance groups in New York” on Facebook and you will find an endless list of events and public forums taking place across the city. These groups advocate direct action, rather than lobbying efforts targeted at elected officials. As such they offer the opportunity for everyday New Yorkers to take part in a host of activities, from supporting immigrant communities to bystander intervention training to coordinating acts of civil disobedience. Many of these groups operate as open forums so if you have an idea for a radical act of resistance, this is the place for you.

Popular resistance groups include:

Rise & Resist

Time to Resist

The Base

NYC Democratic Socialists of America

4) Clicktivism
For some New Yorkers, it is not always possible to attend events in person. In these cases, the internet becomes a powerful tool. From signing petitions, to tweeting at your local representatives, donating to not-for-profits like Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, campaigning for everyone you know to #deleteuber, writing letters, or even arguing with your friends, relatives or (let’s be honest) total strangers, you have the ability to bring about change.

In the end, not everyone will want to fight, but if you are looking for ways to to get involved, it’s time to join the resistance.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA)

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