Hints of What the Resistance Will Look Like

There’s a big question among people who are deeply concerned about the new administration, the millions who marched Saturday and millions more: What happens next in the development of the resistance?

It’s an urgent question as Trump is wasting no time in setting devastating executive orders into action. I at once feel the urge to check the news every three minutes on my phone, but I also dread looking. These are all stories I saw on my phone within the span of one day, yesterday:

Here’s how one friend summarized on social media what’s already taken place in Trump’s first five days in office:

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I’m starting to see signs of what happens next in the resistance. During my lunch break from work on January 24, 2017, I went downtown to join a rally and conversation at the Seattle offices of Washington’s two senators, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, both are Democrats.

screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-8-15-00-amThe meeting was organized by Indivisible, a national group that started forming after former congressional staffers made a how-to guide about how to engage with lawmakers and resist the Trump administration. It’s excellent. Take 20 minutes to read it.

Local Indivisible groups across the country started forming, including several here in Seattle. Since I’ve been focused on our Neighborhood Action Coalition, I hadn’t been to any Indivisible meet-ups until now.

I was one of the first to arrive and I wasn’t sure if we were meeting inside the building’s security line or outside. I went in and took a few pictures of the lobby so I could show you what the place looks like. Immediately an armed security guard stopped me and asked, “What are you taking pictures of? Who are you? Why are you here today?” Here are the harmless pics I took that caused concern:

The rally quickly grew to around 100 people, including a couple people who’d just come out of the building after talking with Senator Cantwell’s staffers about the Affordable Care Act and the horrific confirmation hearing and vote for Education Secretary Nominee billionaire Betsy DeVos. They told us that both senators had just voted against Trump’s CIA nominee.

Other people at the rally had been at the March in D.C. only two days earlier. They showed me pictures of the march on their phones and told me how proud they were to see so many people standing in the streets. They said D.C. was so crowded that they could barely walk.

People had come to the senate offices today with signs, buttons, megaphones:

Several people, young and older, described the feeling they had on this day, the feeling of coming to a senator’s office for the very first time in their lives. There was a lot of newfound activism that drew people here who might not have shown up a few months ago. I posted this selfie from the rally to Facebook, look at the comments, people are ready to engage:

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People who’d never been on a megaphone before, got on a megaphone in front of the crowd, and one-by-one railed against different cabinet picks: Carson, DeVos, Pruitt, Sessions. One of the speakers was a public school teacher of decades, another was a young mother holding her baby in one arm and the megaphone in the other. Each talk ended with a simple chant to reject whichever cabinet nominee the speaker had been talking about. Here’s what it sounded like:

Cars driving by honked in approval, the loudest honk came from a city trash truck, who’s driver did a fist pump. The rally ended with a handful of people from the crowd going up to the senators’ offices to talk with staffers about Trump’s cabinet nominees.

By day’s end, Trump had set in motion again the Dakota Access and Keystone Pipelines that Obama had halted after massive direct action at Standing Rock in the Dakotas. Moments after hearing that devastating breaking news, I saw this alert on Facebook, it calls for an emergency rally. This is a new term to me, but one that we likely will be using often in this administration:

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I rearranged my evening plans so I could go to the rally. When I got to Westlake Park downtown, hundreds of people were there to hear from members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, some who had just come from Standing Rock, others who were headed there soon. The rally started with a prayer and it included chants of “WATER IS LIFE!” and song and dance like this:

I left before the crowd marched, but by the time I was sitting in our apartment with Nick, we were watching live updates on Facebook (below) as hundreds of protestors entered a downtown Wells Fargo Bank. Wells Fargo has been under fire for financing the Dakota Access Pipeline:

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Now for a few other indications I’m seeing of what the resistance will look like. I received an email calling for attorneys to volunteer to be part of emergency response teams in the event that Trump instates “workplace raids”, which they expect he very well may:

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This Saturday, I had hoped to attend a direct action protest and civil disobedience training in Seattle. I looked online again and realized, it’s already OVER BOOKED. There are no seats left:

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And, in Seattle’s Central District at least one person has put this in their front yard:

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And, of course, the Greater Seattle Neighborhood Action Coalition is continuing to have meetings and organize. Some NAC groups are having regular potlucks at their neighbors’ homes. Others are meeting in public libraries to plan bail funds for protestors, support groups for immigrants and refugees and more. Nick and I will continue to be involved in NAC, we have a meeting in a couple days, so I’ll talk more in-depth about what’s going on with that group soon.

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