Popular Assemblies Sweeping the US Are Building The Resistance

Southern Movement Assembly from SouthToSouth

By Sarah Lazare for AlterNet. Cheema is one of countless organizers across the country working to pull off large popular assemblies to empower and connect the communities caught in the crosshairs of this multi-pronged assault. With roots in the U.S. Black Freedom movement, Latin American encuentro and left formations across the globe, such forums appear to be gaining steam, as growing crowds cram into packed community meetings to plot out strategies for resistance. While the issues and tactics may vary, organizers from across the country emphasized to AlterNet that the aim is to fortify independent social movement infrastructure to enable a broader and more effective fightback—and determine the needs of the most-impacted communities during this harrowing political moment. In Los Angeles alone, at least 10 popular assemblies since November have drawn crowds ranging from 900 to dozens. “Right now the aim is building support, mutual aid and community power. The basic idea is, let’s start helping people get organized and let’s do it neighborhood by neighborhood, connecting to where people live and connecting to issues they’re facing.”

Take A Page From These Dockworkers: Stop Work

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By Peter Cole for In These Times. On the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, many Americans wrung their hands. Some took to social media to express their discontent while others protested. But, perhaps, the most dramatic and important action was taken by dockworkers in Oakland, California: They stopped working. Their strike demonstrated the potential power ordinary people have on the job, when organized. Longshore workers, who load and unload cargo ships, chose not to report to their hiring hall. As a result, “Oakland International Container Terminal, the largest container facility at the Northern California port, was shut down Friday,” according to the Journal of Commerce. It also reported that all other Oakland container terminals were essentially shut down, too.

Where We Go From Here: 5 Key Ways To Build A Movement

People marching in Austin, Texas on Saturday were among the millions nationwide who mobilized to express their dismay at the reality of President Donald Trump. "There are millions of people in this country who currently feel lost and alone and would like to contribute to movements that envision a more just society," writes Lobel. But in addition to organizing this new wave of energy, he adds, there must also be "a coherent strategy and vision" if transformative change is to be achieved. (Photo: Steve Rainwater/flickr/cc)

By Jules Lobel for Common Dreams. Millions of people marched throughout the United States and abroad last Saturday to protest Donald Trump’s first day in office and to affirm women’s rights and human rights. The demonstrations were inspiring—full of energy, witty signs, slogans and chants—and brought into the streets a diverse multitude, many of whom were not normally politically active. But a demonstration is not a movement. The key question for many is how does all this energy, outrage and action get channeled into a movement not simply against the Trump Presidency, not only to defend our rights, but for basic societal change. The current upsurge in political activism among ordinary people stems from the perceived danger that Trump presents: to democracy, decency, progress, rights, women, immigrants, minorities and generally civilized values. The very danger causing the consternation, outrage and grief which moved people to action presents an enormous opportunity to change the country’s political dynamic. But that takes translating the protest against Trump and those who empower him into a positive vision of social change.

In DC, Voices Of Resistance Are Everywoman/man

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By Bonnie Darves. Washington, DC – On the Washington, D.C., streets this week, it’s already looking like Pick-Your-Protest-Land, and even Trump can’t tweet fast enough to respond to the torrent of backlash that’s broadening with each new insult he issues. I’m here from Seattle to participate in the Refuse Fascism movement, which seeks to stop the Trump-Pence regime from taking power. It’s a long shot, but anything that might stop this disaster in the making or potentially mitigate its damage is worth the effort. The Trump Defense Camp claims that the resistance organizations that have formed since the election represent only jargon-spouting leftists on the fringe. That’s not what I’ve seen. The protesters I’ve encountered are schoolteachers, IT workers, scientists, paralegals, health care professionals, business owners, film makers and restaurant managers.

Movement For Black Lives Call To Action

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By Movement for Black Lives. As we enter 2017 , under an administration motivated by hate and greed, we renew our commitment to you, and to our fight for justice. We know that Black people have always made a way, even when the odds were against us – as they are now. An administration full of racist, sexist, fear mongers are moving into the White House – and we should all be concerned about their potential impact on our lives. We are just beginning to see the effects of the fear and violence they support. In the last 30 days, we’ve seen an increase in hate crimes and hate speech against Black people, the vandalizing of Black churches, and vigilantes taking up arms in our communities to incite violence and fear. In the face of all this, millions of Black folks across the country are asking, “What can we do?”

Become #Ungovernable

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By Ungovernable. We pledge to create a resistance movement that makes Trump unable to govern our oppression; unable to deceive the people, to make the people accept his reign of hatred. We refuse to give hatred a chance to govern, a chance to roll back civil and human rights, a chance to deport millions of people, a chance to create camps and registries for Muslims, a chance to expand the prison industrial complex, a chance to expand its drone wars, or a chance to turn back the gains won by our struggles. We pledge resistance to this renewed attack on our communities. As we resist, we will create new governing institutions, new economic relationships, and new ways of being human. What we will not do is sanction and/or normalize “overt” white supremacy. Let’s start now. Let’s make the so-called inauguration day a day to resist a day to be ungovernable and plan for a new future and new way.

J20 Counter-Inauguration Protests

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By Infoshop News. Tens of thousands of people will be traveling to Washington, DC on January 20, 2017 (J20) and January 21, to protest the inauguration of Minority President Donald Trump. Many other cities will see similar protests and actions. Infoshop News will be providing information about all of the scheduled protests iand we will be posting news about the protests as they happen in D.C, and around the country. Scheuled protests include a general disruption of the inauguration (J20), a Women’s March on Washington, and many others. Many Americans dislike and oppose Donald Trump as a despicable human being. Many are worried that his policies will greatly benefit the rich, further worsening the gap between the 1% and the rest of us.

Newsletter: Trump Comes Into Focus; So Do Our Tasks

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. The Trump presidency is coming into focus. Every appointment shows that his populist campaign rhetoric was disguising a government for the ultra-wealthy and the military. He has already appointed the wealthiest cabinet ever with a net worth of $12 to $35 billion, and he is putting generals in what are usually civilian positions. A look at his current appointments show us what we can expect the Trump administration to pursue for policies. Much of the work that has been done for social and economic justice will be threatened. This means that we will need to escalate our efforts and be more assertive. The potential for people working together in solidarity will grow and the long-term impact of the Trump era could be a mass movement that will change the political culture in the United States.

Trumpism: Anger Going Viral

Stop Trumpism Highway View by Chris Owens

By Padraig Reidy for Bill Moyers Journal. It is difficult to argue against people who are sincere but not necessarily serious, and whose aims seem to lie entirely in the gesture — the great big NO to the world. But that is the task at hand. The first thing to do is to reinforce the idea that actions have consequences. If you refuse to help Syrian civilians in Syria, you will end up with refugees in your own country. If you vote to leave a stable trading community, your economy will suffer. The second thing is to treat people like grown-ups, in a way populist leaders refuse to do: The world has changed, and continues to change radically. Promising to turn back the tide, as the new right does, is idiotic and insulting. Countering populism involves a genuine appraisal of what a future for working-class people looks like — too often this is simply ignored, or dealt with on grounds dictated by the right — as if, for example, tighter controls on immigration are somehow the answer to the huge challenges of automation and globalization.

Newsletter - Time To Ask Who We Are

It's Our Future

By Margaret Flower and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. The United States has reached a turning point. Where we turn is dependent on what we do as people to determine our future. Neither of the major political parties are going to adequately solve the crises we face. This is a time to examine and discuss some fundamental issues: who we are and who we want to be. Out of crises come opportunities to put bold solutions in place. We are calling for a People’s Agenda. We have the power to make changes in this country that completely alter the course of our nation and the world. We can say no to genocide against Native Americans. We can end systemic racism. We can demand respect for the human rights of all people. We can promote peace and prosperity for all. We can solve the climate crisis. It is up to us and how we organize in our communities. At the heart of the success of popular movements is what we have advocated – the building of a broad and diverse unified movement that is active and has built national consensus for the changes we wish to see.