Daily Acts of #Resistance → “Protests are about what you do. Resistance is about who you are.”
All week, the internet has been ablaze with questions about what to do next in the wake of the massive Women’s Marches that rocked the nation and the world. My own personal channels are burning up with questions of what to do, and there’s been no shortage of answers: Block nominations! Call your congressperson! Show up at the White House for the emergency rally in support of immigrants! Let the GOP retreat know you are listening! There are and will be no lack of protest actions to take in the coming days. These are all important steps, and I give my sincerest thanks to everyone who has gotten involved and made their voices heard. I know it feels like we are shouting into a vacuum sometimes, but together, our collective voices will be heard.
Still, the times call for something greater. The first week of the Trump administration has proven that the next four years will present unprecedented threats to women, to immigrants, and to all historically oppressed communities. Even more, there’s an acknowledgement that the fundamental promise of American democracy and the principles our country was founded upon are teetering on the edge of an abyss.
The executive orders Donald Trump signed this week could wreak havoc on the lives of millions of Americans for the next years and even decades. Egregious acts like instating the global gag rule that undercuts women’s agency and endangers lives are piled onto immigration bans that threaten to separate families and prevent children from reaching safe places. And he’s making good on his threat to take health care away from millions with his action to dismantle crucial parts of the Affordable Care Act and efforts to limit enrollment in new health plans.
This means who we are, as much as what we do, is going to be the determining factor in how and whether we will survive this period. Protest is finite. Resistance is durable. Protest actions say “I don’t like this.” A mind frame of resistance works constantly to end systems that leave people behind and leave kids worse off than their parents — and instead work to create something new. Protest is what I do. Resistance is who I am, who I promise to be and what I promise to create.
And that means resistance is daily. Our daily acts — from where we shop, to what we talk about with our families around the kitchen table, to who we make eye contact with — seed and nurture resistance. It looks different every day. One day, it might be calling your senator. One day, it might be standing up to bullies emboldened by Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric. One day, it might be showing up at a rally. One day, it might be frequenting a business that shares your values.
But every day it means waking up and deciding that you won’t stand for this. Because resistance is a way of life.
In my family and at NARAL, we’ve been engaged in daily acts of #resistance. Every day, we think of a way to live in our values, offer simple acts to demonstrate our commitment to resist the erosion of our democracy, and share those with others. We will continue to do this every day in the Trump era. And we want to know what you are doing! No act is too large or too small. Submit your ideas for acts of resistance or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be anonymous. We want to share the best ideas from our network with our network.
We’ve also heard from so many of you that you want to get to know EACH OTHER! So, we’re bringing NARAL members together in house parties across the country — from South Bend, Indiana to Greenville, SC. Click here if you would like to host one. If not, we’ll make sure you have an opportunity to go to one in your town.
In times like these, I often go to poetry for inspiration. One of my favorites is a passage from Marge Piercy:
“What we want to change we curse and then
pick up a tool. Bless whatever you can
with eyes and hands and tongue. If you
can’t bless it, get ready to make it new.”
Protest is cursing. Resistance is making new. Every day. We’re committed to both. Are you with us?