Boots on the Ground #1

Actions you can take starting today!

This is the first in our biweekly series listing action steps you can take to help fight for your rights and support others who need help right now.

  1. Meet Your New Cabinet

The transition team for Donald Trump has been busy working to fill slots in the cabinet. We’ve already talked about Steve Bannon, and it’s still important to keep calling your representatives in Congress and Speaker Paul Ryan about this, letting them know that the American people are furious to have an anti-Semitic, woman-abusing bigot as a chief policy adviser for the president of the United States. Here is where you can contact your congresspeople and here is where you can contact your senators. Also, below, is the Speaker’s office number:

(202) 225–3031

(Again, consider calling as it’s the most direct way to remind the speaker’s office about the hate crimes happening out there, the fact that Bannon can’t stay on Trump’s team, and that there’s a reason you need both medical insurance and birth control).

However, there are more members of Trump’s team that you do need to be aware of. Unfortunately, General Michael Flynn does not need to be approved by the senate to be the lead National Security Adviser. Everyone should be aware of the issues surrounding this appointment. This is a man who is a rabid Islamophobe and who has called Islam “a cancer.” He’s also someone with supremely compromised interests. He’s both spoken on Russian state television and attended its award ceremonies (and sat next to Putin, no less), but his consulting group has worked for and continues to work for Turkey.

However, there is something we can still do to try and block Jeff Sessions from becoming the Attorney General. This is a man who was blocked from being a federal judge in 1986 because he was considered too racist. In the past, he has “joked” that he liked the KKK until he realized they smoked marijuana. He’s called the NAACP a “pinko” or communist organization, and he’s insulted his former employee, Thomas Figures, by calling him “boy,” a racially charged derogatory term. He’s also anti-women and has voted against Violence Against Women Act as well as voted on bills to strip funding allotted to women small business owners. Additionally, he’s solidly against LGBTQ+ rights and has voted against expanding hate crime statutes to include crimes based on sexual and gender orientation as well as voted for a constitutional ban on same sex marriage. This man could be extremely dangerous as part of the new administration. Please, call your senators every day. Call them as much as you can. Be polite, but let them know that you won’t stand for Jeff Sessions as the attorney general and that you’ll remember who voted for whom/supported Sessions when the 2018 and 2020 elections roll around.

Also, it should be noted the Kris Kobach, the architect behind severe anti-immigrant laws, including the horrendous “Show Us Your Papers” law in Arizona has been part of the Trump transition team. He was scheduled to meet with the president-elect on November 20th, possibly also about a full-time cabinet position. He’s also someone who supports the president-elect’s immigration proposal and most likely would be disposed toward mass deportations.

Other Actions You Can Take

2. Call for Oversight

This weekend has seen a lot of fighting over Mike Pence’s trip to see Hamilton. For the record, Vice President-Elect Pence handled the whole scenario graciously and respectfully, and I’m glad the Hamilton cast was able to speak their minds so eloquently and give Vice President-Elect Pence some things to think over. However, it’s important not to be confused by the flashier mess of the president-elect’s tweet storm. What’s more important is that Donald Trump has clear business conflicts of interest with the presidency already. He’s brought his daughter along to a meeting with the Japanese prime minister (she has no clearance), asked for permission to hire his son-in-law for his staff (a clear violation of nepotism laws), and there are worries that heads of state will stay at his hotel in D.C. in order to curry favor with the president. All of these are smaller worries, considering Donald Trump hasn’t set up the required blind trust for his holdings yet.

But you can do something about these potential sources of corruption and conflicts of interest. You can call the hotline for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and let them know that you have qualms about how the president-elect is avoiding (or not) conflicts of interest and nepotism. The phone line for them crashed on Friday, but let’s keep calling and demanding a committee review till it happens:

(202) 225–5074

3. Be active with boycotts, marches, and donations.

Also, please keep protesting peacefully in public. Here is a list of upcoming marches and if you live in the Annapolis area, a march is happening at 5 p.m. on November 21st at the City Dock. Additionally, have your economic voice heard by boycotting businesses that have been supportive of Donald Trump and/or The Trump Campaign. You can find the list here. Of course, please consider donating to some of the causes we discussed last time.

4. Petition the U.N.

In light of Russia’s claims that it was in contact with the Trump Administration the entire time and that it helped to sway the election results, a petition is going around here asking the U.N. to investigate the results. Sign there to have your voice heard!

5. Stay informed!

Stay aware and alert. Just on Sunday the 20th, Reince Priebus, the Chief of Staff for the Trump Administration, has said that the president-elect will not rule out a Muslim registry. That is unacceptable. We’re not allowing our country to go into internment camp territory as George Takei so eloquently put it, and we will not allow anything to fall into the territory of scapegoating members of another religion. If it comes to it, Legendary Women fully supports the “I Am Spartacus” approach also promoted by The Anti-Defamation League. We’ll protest the registry with every fiber of our beings and, if it ever does exist, we’ll all sign up for it. Bustle also has a list of anti-registry actions you can take.

Finally, if you want other sources to follow that can help you figure out which actions to take or what policy and demonstration drives or boycotts are going on, we recommend Lisa Bloom’s podcast as well as Keith Olbermann’s program on GQ called “The Resistance.” Finally, there is Shaun King’s Facebook group, The Donald J. Trump Resistance.

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