What’s more important than protesters at a Trump protest?
Regular people who make the magic happen, including folks at home on social media
October 29, 2019
The biggest, most amazing Trump protest in over two years happened in Minneapolis on October 10th. It wasn’t on our radar nationally. How did it become so big and important?
There were 20,000 who attended that rainy Thursday evening. Everyone left knowing they had accomplished a lot. For one thing, they had more protesters than Trump had followers at his rally. That’s big because it’s not easy coming out ahead of cult members and paid actors. Plus Trump hates to lose.
Even a purely local protest like this is much more than the people that attend. It takes at least 10 people for every one protester to pull this off. The more the better.
Most Trump protests have been organized using what I call the Field of Dreams approach— build it, and they will come. It would be great if things worked that way. They don’t and never have.
A protest starts happening the day it’s announced. But even before that, someone had an idea and many someone’s started planning. There’s a team and it can include people from around the globe. Not all attend and some never speak (they type on their phones).
The real fun begins when it’s announced. Magic must happen or you might as well not even try. Without protest magic, you’ve got a small group of people standing around with signs (slight exaggeration). The magic rarely starts at the protest. It’s happens way before.
Like any magic trick, you don’t want to know exactly how it’s done. There’s some good trickery. But here’s the thing: no one goes to see an illusion. It’s real magic we crave because it transforms us.
Back to the Minneapolis protest. Somehow the magic started happening there and bam — I was involved. I’m in Arizona! I heard about it from my friend Carol in Oregon who also had no personal connection to Minneapolis. Lord knows how she got involved.
Carol’s predictable these days. She wants an article. There was another amazing protest three weeks earlier called the We The People March. They were getting close to go-time and major media hadn’t written one. Without a good article, part of the illusion won’t happen. We wrote one. Then we wrote four more! That’s a first for us. The real magic started well before the protest for both us and also the readers. The first article was read by 3,000 people (seen by nearly 10,000) in less than a week. Another first.
Expecting Carol wanting an article, I was shocked when she said, “Get ready and start paying attention. You’re not gonna believe what’s happening. We start writing AFTER this protest.” I did like she said and soon knew this article would be among many written.
Protests are easy to describe: It’s like love. If it’s real, you can’t explain it. That’s not just a sounds-good analogy. Successful protests are always the harnessed, diverse passions of many people. With Trump we’re all driven in ways we wish we weren’t. That’s why we need him in prison. The feelings run very deep. Somehow that all comes out of each of us at a protest. And somehow it’s productive (not just emotions). That’s power that can change the world. You don’t get there by setting up the mechanisms and hoping for the best. No, it takes the best that people can bring. Lots of people, each is part of the experience whether they attend or not.
I can actually quantify it for you to some degree. Carol’s husband Bill has numbers. He always has numbers. They made at least 100,000 people aware of this protest and conversed with hundreds individually on Facebook. How many of them lived in the area or had a friend who did? Whether it’s letting one person know or 100k, it adds to whatever it is that gives a protest its superpower.
No matter where you live or what abilities you have, there’s something you can do that makes you part of what’s happening. Forget about build it, and they will come. When people get involved in any manner, they give of themselves expecting nothing but good for others in return. Kind of like love, right? Love wins against evil. Pretty simple.
You know now that you don’t have to go to be part of a protest. It’s okay if you want to and super cool to do. But if you can’t due to infirmity, schedule, obligations, something in trouble be it car or friend, etc., your energy is there. That energy is the power that makes change possible and, on occasion, changes everything.
EKATA EXTRA: Few of us know the ways of love, let alone magic. How about some practical magic? Here are 10 ways you can help make a protest successful without going:
- Like and follow social media efforts connected to the protest.
- Join the conversation. Let folks know you will be there in spirit.
- Share the best posts you find to help promote the protest.
- Write your own posts as you feel a connection. This adds your own magic to the mix.
- Donate to help cover costs. It doesn’t need to be a lot. The max I give is $5. But I do it in a way that helps get others donating. Like every other aspect of protests, momentum is crucial.
- If you have more money to give, help someone go who can’t because they lack money. You’ll be surprised how many there are. In this so-called robust Trump economy, there are people working two full-time jobs who can’t make ends meet. We desperately need their perspective at protests.
- Attend a virtual protest from your home, work, hospital bed, etc. If there isn’t a virtual protest, ask for one or even champion the need for one.
- Widen the connections. Facebook groups are great places to spread the word via posts. You can also bring the upcoming protest into conversations on a wide range of topics via your comments and replies. Twitter is a great place too. No need to say you’re not going. In a way, you are.
- Join an existing effort to promote the protest. We often have one. Check Blue On The Ready Against Trump. Ask via direct message if you don’t see something.
- Start your own effort to promote protests, contact the media and ask for a story about the protest, write to celebrities and ask them to get involved, write an editorial in the local newspaper, buy or make a yard sign and put it up proudly, go to your favorite pub and buy a round of drinks for everyone who promises to go, make business cards with the event info and hand them out, teach your kids how to help (they do the work and learn about democracy, you feel like #1 mom or dad), call your congressional reps and tell them about the protest, pray if you’re religious, or buy an official protest shirt or hat and wear it as often as you can. Did I just add 10 more? Nope. The last suggestion is get creative. There’s literally hundreds of things you can do. Like to write? Then do like I do. It’s really needed. Or do what I can’t — write poetry, songs, speeches. Share your artistic talent and/or passion.
- It would not be an Ekata Top 10 without #11. As soon as the protest ends, start thanking people and remember that many of the suggestions above still apply. One measure of the impact of a protest is how long it takes for people to move on. Look at me, I’m determined to make sure that Dump Trump! Minneapolis and the We The People March are never forgotten. I want them both in history books when the story of Trump’s downfall is told. If we all work together to get more impactful Trump protests going, his downfall is assured and I just might get my wish too. Imagine that.
See more Ekata articles on this topic: Tap Here