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Jan 06 2017

Resistance: Growing Roots – Indivisible

Anyone with a good memory remembers how quickly the Tea Party movement took rose after the election of President Barack Obama. on January 21, the day after the inauguration of a new president, over 100,000 women (and a few good men) will converge on Washington, DC to make their voices heard. This started with just one woman who was not happy with the election results and wondered what she could do.

Teresa Shook never considered herself much of an activist, or someone particularly versed in feminist theory. But when the results of the presidential election became clear, the retired attorney in Hawaii turned to Facebook and asked: What if women marched on Washington around Inauguration Day en masse?

She asked her online friends how to create an event page, and then started one for the march she was hoping would happen.

By the time she went to bed, 40 women responded that they were in.

When she woke up, that number had exploded to 10,000.

Now, more than 100,000 people have registered their plans to attend the Women’s March on Washington in what is expected to be the largest demonstration linked to Donald Trump’s inauguration and a focal point for activists on the left who have been energized in opposing his agenda.

This is how resistance grows.

The anti-GOP resistance now has a manual, The Indivisible Guide that was written by congressional staffers who watch the emergence of the Tea Party, which of course had billionaires like Pete Peterson and the Koch brothers behind it.

President-elect Donald Trump rose to power while losing the popular vote by a historic margin, and his lack of a mandate means a vocal and organized resistance can weaken Republican resolve and “[stiffen] Democratic spines,” the guide states.

“We know this because we’ve seen it before,” write the authors, former staffers who witnessed the Tea Party surge in President Barack Obama’s first term. “We saw these activists take on a popular president with a mandate for change and a supermajority in Congress.”

“We believe that protecting our values, our neighbors, and ourselves will require mounting a similar resistance to the Trump agenda—but a resistance built on the values of inclusion, tolerance, and fairness,” they write. “If a small minority in the Tea Party can stop President Obama, then we the majority can stop a petty tyrant named Trump.”

The guide, which began as a Google doc last month and whose full title is Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda, outlines a step-by-step process of grassroots organizing and advocacy targeting Members of Congress (MoCs), from coordinated calls to sit-ins and photo op disruption.

It also encourages people to form localized activist groups to pressure their congressional representatives to resist Trump’s agenda.

Here is a quick summary of the document which goes into detail how to carry out these activities:

CHAPTER 1

How grassroots advocacy worked to stop President Obama.

We examine lessons from the Tea Party’s rise and recommend two key strategic components:

  1. A local strategy targeting individual Members of Congress (MoCs).
  2. A defensive approach purely focused on stopping Trump from implementing an agenda built on racism, authoritarianism, and corruption.

CHAPTER 2

How your MoC thinks — reelection, reelection, reelection — and how to use that to save democracy.

MoCs want their constituents to think well of them and they want good, local press. They hate surprises, wasted time, and most of all, bad press that makes them look weak, unlikable, and vulnerable. You will use these interests to make them listen and act.

CHAPTER 3

Identify or organize your local group.

Is there an existing local group or network you can join? Or do you need to start your own? We suggest steps to help mobilize your fellow constituents locally and start organizing for action.

CHAPTER 4

Four local advocacy tactics that actually work.

Most of you have three MoCs — two Senators and one Representative. Whether you like it or not, they are your voices in Washington. Your job is to make sure they are, in fact, speaking for you. We’ve identified four key opportunity areas that just a handful of local constituents can use to great effect. Always record encounters on video, prepare questions ahead of time, coordinate with your group, and report back to local media:

It worked to stop Obama (although he did have a hand in it). It certainly can work to block Trump and his band of criminals.

See you in DC January 21 or on the streets of your home towns.

Resist