Continuing resistance

For Freedom of Speech:

Writers Resist Protest Brings Thousands to NYPL, Trump Tower

More than 2,000 artists, writers, and readers gathered at the steps of the New York Public Library on January 15 in the name of defending free expression and the free press.

The Writers Resist protest was launched by poet and Vida co-founder Erin Belieu and was co-sponsored in New York by PEN America….

The protest, one of more than 90 simultaneous Writers Resist events held across the country and abroad, reflects the worry among many in the media and book industries that the incoming Trump administration intends to crack down on free speech….

A friend of mine attended one of these protests in California and it sounded like a delightful time.

And in support of the Affordable Care Act:

Fear Spurs Support for Health Law as Republicans Work to Repeal It

President-elect Donald J. Trump and congressional Republicans appear to have accomplished a feat that President Obama, with all the power at his disposal, could not in the past seven years: They have galvanized outspoken support for the Affordable Care Act.

People who benefit from the law are flooding Congress with testimonials. Angry consumers are confronting Republican lawmakers. And Democrats who saw the law as a political liability in recent elections have suddenly found their voice, proudly defending the law now that it is in trouble.

Thousands of people across the country held rallies over the weekend to save the health care law, which Republicans moved last week to repeal with a first but crucial legislative step. A widely circulated video showed Representative Mike Coffman, Republican of Colorado, eluding constituents who had wanted to meet with him to express their concerns on Saturday at a community event in Aurora, Colo. Rallies on Sunday to save the health law drew robust crowds around the country….

Keep fighting!

#Resistance

Around the country, groups and individuals are coming together in #Resistance to the gathering authoritarian threat our country faces. If you’re looking to connect with others in your area, to take action to defend our rights and the rights of those around us, the #Resistance is already forming and you can join in.

First, the Indivisible Project, a group of former Congressional staffers who have published a useful guide which explains how to contact your Member of Congress and apply political pressure as a countervailing force to the right-wing pressure they get. Tactics are partially inspired by what worked for the Tea Party. The site also lets you look for local groups or register your own group for others to contact.

You may already have heard about the Women’s March on Washington, which is scheduled for Jan. 21st. If you can’t be in D.C. on that day, look for your local version, or start one yourself if nobody else has. Here in Colorado, there’s a big march and rally planned in downtown Denver. Weather permitting, I’ll be there.

As someone who spent much of my life organizing political gatherings of different sorts, I really enjoyed this interview with some organizers of the march. Seeing such smart, strong, thoughtful young women take on this enormous task and work together to make it happen makes my heart sing.

More to come, as it comes.

Tools

For now, staying safe and sane in this neo-facist environment.

Autocracy: Rules for Survival

… Trump is anything but a regular politician and this has been anything but a regular election. Trump will be only the fourth candidate in history and the second in more than a century to win the presidency after losing the popular vote. He is also probably the first candidate in history to win the presidency despite having been shown repeatedly by the national media to be a chronic liar, sexual predator, serial tax-avoider, and race-baiter who has attracted the likes of the Ku Klux Klan. Most important, Trump is the first candidate in memory who ran not for president but for autocrat—and won.

I have lived in autocracies most of my life, and have spent much of my career writing about Vladimir Putin’s Russia. I have learned a few rules for surviving in an autocracy and salvaging your sanity and self-respect. It might be worth considering them now:

Rule #1: Believe the autocrat.

Read the whole thing. It’s important.

Think about your digital security. This will be the kind of Administration that goes after those who oppose it. (They already have an enemies list.)

How to Trump-Proof Your Electronic Communications. “If Donald’s going to be in charge of the surveillance apparatus, we should all take precautions.”

Surveillance Self-Defense: Tips, Tools and How-tos for Safer Online Communications, from the EFF.

It is important for those of us with privilege to realize racial and religious minorities, LGBTQ people, native people, anyone who looks or acts or speaks differently than your basic white person is going to be in additional danger now. Prepare to stand together and keep everyone safe.

Speak Up: Responding to Everyday Bigotry, from the Southern Poverty Law Center. They’ve been responding to bigotry for a very long time.

ETA: Important to also remember that Clinton won the popular vote, by a lot. We were defeated by the anti-democratic means of the electoral college, which we should work to bypass as swiftly as we can. The important point: most voters did not vote for Trump. Most of our fellow citizens are not deplorable.

Citizen solutions: things you can do now to prepare for the worst under Trump . “Trump’s campaign was light on policy details, so activists have already organized everything from classes to safe houses to prepare for what may happen.”

More as it comes.