As many as five million people nationwide attended the Women’s March on January 21. The following week, 175,000 individuals showed up at airports and public squares protesting the Muslim travel ban, with 50,000 more standing forth in other similar protests by early March. Around 150,000 people are regularly attending their congressional representatives’ town halls or appearing at “Resist Trump” Tuesday events.
In “No Factions in Foxholes,” The American Prospect sheds light on this “big blue revolt” against the Trump administration. As the publication notes, “Today’s citizen activists say they intend to stand up for all the issues on the progressive checklist, demanding that all liberals act like we are one country, indivisible. As many have noted, the multi-city Women’s March was (almost pointedly) not a march for women’s rights but a march organized by women that roared on behalf of democracy and fairness, human rights and science. Its plethora of handmade posters shouted, ‘Can’t touch this,’ whether ‘this’ was women’s bodies, Muslim civil rights, the environment, black lives, bathrooms for trans folks, Obamacare…”
As the article notes, numerous leaders, progressive organizations, and activists have been working hard “to pull down the barriers and put a halt to the ‘oppression olympics’ that pit one identity against another. They’ve been coming together for Moral Mondays, canvassing together for marriage equality, putting on interfaith potlucks, lobbying for sick time and family leave.” Since the election of Trump as President, these groups have become even more active in their mission.
Within six weeks of the election, Lieff Cabraser employment lawyer Kelly M. Dermody put together a “Good Ally” conference at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California. This strategic engagement conference consisted of 35 nonprofits whose staff explained the challenges they were facing in current times and what kind of legal help they would need moving forward. Featured Good Ally panelists included “advocates for issues that included civil liberties, climate, criminal justice, disabilities, domestic violence, environment, farmworkers, LGBTQ rights, reproductive health, service workers, voting rights, Asian Americans, Latinos, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs.” There were 1,200 people in attendance, with 600 of them signing up to do pro bono work. More continue to sign up to participate through an online portal.
As further noted in the article, this movement of activism across class, race, gender, age, documentation, religion, and disability has created a dialogue that “immediately transmitted new ideas into American hands, in many cases eliminating any temporal gap between thought and action.” The role social media and the web has been significant in this spread of thinking – “Livestream and Periscope and YouTube enabling anyone to literally hold these events in their own hands, feeling intimately involved; Twitter making it possible to debate (for good and for ill) widely and immediately; Facebook offering an always updated bulletin board reachable from wherever you might be; and now WhatsApp and Signal letting organizers communicate without being overheard or seen.”
As stated by Greg Moore, a veteran voting-rights activist working with the NAACP National Voter Fund, “a great awakening has come.”