Tips & Tricks: Join the Resistance!

Some of you may have noticed that I did not upload a post last Sunday, despite my stated efforts that I would be publishing every Sunday. I’m hoping you will all understand, and forgive me, but last weekend was just too hard. I was completely overwhelmed by the Inauguration, the protests, and the emotional roller coaster that ensued. I imagine that many of you felt the same. While last Friday was devastating, and Saturday elating, by Sunday I was left with the rug-pulled-out-from-under-you feeling of what comes next?

I have spent a good amount of the past week mulling over this question. After all, how much change can I, one person with basically zero government power, fight back against a deeply entrenched government administration? Obviously, it isn’t easy, but there are ways to resist. I’ve compiled some suggestions into this post, maybe some of them you’ve already heard/thought of, maybe some are new to you. Hopefully, this will help to remind us that, even as citizens, there are powerful ways for us to resist.

  • Call your representatives!
    • Okay, this is kind of a gimme, but its important to put it out there. Keep calling, keep writing, keep making your voice heard. If you’re uncomfortable calling because you don’t know what to say, visit this website for a series of scripts to help you out.
    • Yes, the White House comment line is down, but there has been a movement of folks calling Trump hotels and businesses. Call those places, make them lose business. Just remember to be polite, and respectful. Those people on the other end are just folks trying to earn a living.
  • Stay educated!
    • Maybe another gimme? But stay on top of what’s going on. Read reputable news sources. My personal favorite is The New York Times, but I also follow Dan Rather on Facebook, as well as his new news outlet News and Guts. Keep track of what’s happening, remember that its not normal.
    • Along that same line, look to history. Remind yourself of what is considered normal for an administration to do. Remind yourself what has typically been considered the powers of the President. Familiarize yourself with the system.
    • If you haven’t looked at it for a while, reread the Constitution. Take the time to really think about what its saying, and what powers it affords the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Understand how this country is supposed to work.
  • Donate!
    • You probably already know about the importance of donating to Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU but there are plenty of other causes that are going to need our help:
    • Those are just a few big ones! I would also suggest looking into upcoming elections in your area, and considering donating to upcoming campaigns as well, especially if you’re not happy with your Congressperson or Senator.
    • You may also want to look into local groups to donate to. Do your research, and look into local groups that are working to combat homelessness, climate change, or other important local issues.
    • Donations can come in forms other than money. Did you just knit a pussy hat for the Women’s March? That’s awesome! Now knit a hat or two and take them to your local homeless shelter. While you’re at it, bring something from this list  of what shelters wish you would bring or even make a call before hand and find out what your local shelter needs.
  • Get involved!
    • From the top to the bottom, get involved in politics. Go to local precinct meetings, run for local government (or at least become more knowledgeable about local races). Visit SwingLeft.org to learn about your closest swing district, and how you can help it swing to the left.
    • Go to more protests. Did you go to the Women’s March? Great! But don’t stop there. Find out when the next Black Lives Matter march is, when the next Standing Rock march is, when the Scientists March is, and then go to them!
  • Become more informed!
    • Maybe after the Woman’s March, you heard a lot of critiques about the movement. Maybe you heard that the march was too white, or that it was transphobic, or that it wasn’t accessible for disabled people. Listen to the people saying those things! Really put more time and effort into addressing your own privileges, and unlearning the various “-isms” that culture has taught you.
    • If its new to you, learn about intersectional feminism. Learn about white feminism and its many pitfalls.
    • Follow activists like Shaun King, and Janet Mock. Follow people who have had different experiences than those that you have had, and really listen to what they have to say.
    • And, most importantly, LISTEN. Listen when people correct you, listen when people talk about their struggles, listen to when its not about you. And remember, if someone is taking the time to correct your behavior, they’re doing it because they trust that you will listen.
    • If this is all new to you, I really suggest reading this article. Its a great primer, particularly for white folks.
  • Fight climate change at home!
    • Listen, for the next few years at least, it looks like we’re gonna be pretty much on our own when it comes to climate change. While we as citizens don’t have a ton of control over policy, there are things we can do at home to help cut carbon emissions from our life:
      • If you can, plant a garden. Grow your own greens, herbs, gourds, and veggies. Do some research and figure out what type of flowers your local bees like best. Go out and put things in the ground.
      • Eat locally. A great way to reduce your carbon footprint is to try to source your foods as locally as possible. Check out local farmers markets, CSAs, and food co-ops. Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” is a great conversation about how much oil is actually in our diets, and offers a lot of great suggestions getting it out.
      • Reduce the amount of plastic in your life. I know that personally, I have pledged to stop buying plastic water bottles, and am working towards purchasing as many foods as I can in bulk. I have been collecting containers to bring to the store myself in order to cut down on packaging. For more tips and tricks to reduce trash in your life, check out the Zero Waste Family.
      • And of course, the three oldies but goodies, mind your water usage, your electricity usage, and your car usage. Take shorter showers, and shut off the faucet when you wash dishes. Turn down (or off!) the thermostat, and if you aren’t in a room, make sure the lights are off. Take public transport, bike, or walk where and when you can.
      • Lastly, stay informed! Follow all those rogue twitter accounts that are posting facts about climate change. Support scientists and reporters that are trying to get the word out. Stay up to date on the facts and figures. The more you know, the more powerful you are.

Whew! Okay, it seems like a lot, and I know I only barely scratched the surface. But for a jumping off point, look how much there is! There is a lot we can do, and we can all do it together. Together we are many.

If there is anything that you feel is missing from this list, please share in the comments.

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