This is a Fight. We Are Fighting.
With so much happening so quickly, it can be easy to lose focus. Instead, let’s organize our actions and take it to them, hard.
On Friday, January 20, I didn’t watch what was happening in Washington, D.C. I taped up signs, carried video equipment, hung canvas, and ran a teleprompter in a Flatiron recording studio for the Love-a-Thon, a livestreamed celebrity fundraiser to support the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and EarthJustice. The broadcast garnered 1.3 million viewers and, at moment of writing, $201,862, enough to pay the salaries of one lawyer or doctor, for each organization.
It’s not enough.
On Saturday, January 21, I watched as an estimated 3 million people around the world march in one of the largest demonstrations in American history, the Women’s March on Washington. Full of undeniable hubris, pride, and very clever signs, it sent a loud and clear message to the new President that there are dissenting voices that will be heard and preventative actions that will be taken.
It’s not enough.
On Sunday, January 22, roughly 4 million people tuned in to Meet the Press, where host Chuck Todd fired backed at a statement made by Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway that Press Secretary Sean Spicer used “alternative facts” in his first statement to the Press Corps, by telling her and the millions of people watching that “alternative facts are not facts, they’re falsehoods.”
You get the idea.
While we were nursing our activism hangovers (and going back to our day jobs) America’s Next Top President and his White Wizards were already making public statements, taking forceful action, or signing executive orders that threaten the livelihoods of women, native people, the press, organized labor, low-income people, democracy, and the entire planet.
And that’s just his first two full days.
None of this is even touching upon the potential hellfire that might rain down upon us when this imbecile millionaire (or any of them for that matter) gets confirmed by a Senate that doesn’t seem to have any interest in blocking her.
If you’ve been battling a crippling existential dread while you watch push notification after demoralizing push notification come in, let’s remember the famous words of a sarcastic underachiever with a heart of (gold?) in one of my favorite undervalued NBC sitcoms:
This is advice that I have to remind myself as I type these words, and will conceivably be reminding myself every day for the next four (or eight, god forbid) years. It may not be very inspiring. It may not be very eloquent. It may not even be taken in the correct context. But, hell, does it sum up the situation in a simple, succinct, and straightforward fashion.
With all of this shit happening so quickly and forcefully, there have been countless calls to action on social media, in the news, and flooding your inbox. It’s all been very overwhelming and disorienting. What should I devote my time to? Who should I set up recurring donations with? Where is the next protest? It’s enough to make your (my) head spin.
So with that in mind, I am starting what will be an ongoing project of gathering the action items that can be taken by every day people like you and me to fight any and every axe swing taken by the rotting bell pepper and his band of merry white men.
But I can’t do it alone. WE can’t do any of this alone. We have to keep each other apprised of what we are hearing, seeing, and (most importantly) doing. This can’t just be a fight, it has to be an organized fight.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to send me your action items and I will collect them below. We can then refer back to them at any time when we feel the need to punch a Nazi in the face.
The items fall into three categories:
Actions to Take
These can be anything from signing a petition, to calling your congressperson, to voting. They can take very little or potentially larger amounts of time, depending on how much time you have to devote. But whatever the time commitment, they are actions that must be taken often and without relent.
Organizations to Support
These are groups that will be fighting this administration tooth-and-nail on behalf of all of us. They include lawyers, political campaigns, advocacy organizations, and more. You can visit their websites to find more information on how to volunteer, donate, or take specific action towards the causes in your community. A good place to start is by signing up for their mailing list or following them on social media.
Movements to Join
These are large-scale events or ongoing campaigns that need bodies, voices, and brains. They can be marches, protests, fundraising drives, or anything in between. Most of the time involvement is on a volunteer, sometimes even ad-hoc or on-call basis. The first step is to express interest in joining so that they can tell you what they need.
The only way that we are going to survive this administration is to stay organized, vigilant, and open to the possibility that we don’t know everything. So let’s get our humbled asses in line and…