Hi there, my darlings.
How are you? No, I mean it. How are you?
It’s so rough out there right now.
I woke up on Saturday morning with nothing to do until the evening, when we had tickets to see Ira Glass at City Arts and Lectures. I planned to lounge in bed. I’d cleared work from my plate until Monday, and I was going to have a Day Off. I was counting on pajamas and muffins and knitting and maybe some cleaning out of books.
Instead, I read about the Muslim Ban. I got more and more upset, as you probably did, too.
What has happened in a week and a half? The brand new White House policy advisor, Steve Miller, actually organized white supremacist events at Duke University with Richard Spencer (the Nazi who got punched last week).
Steve Bannon, the ex-Breitbart alt-right (read: Nazi), has the same status of the secretary of state as of this weekend. He has not been vetted. At all. (There’s a theory that says he’s setting us up for an attack by ISIS. No sitting president has ever lost reelection in wartime.) And he’s in the driver’s seat now, not Trump.
There are strong signs that this is a coup.
Read that again.
There are signs that this is a literal coup, well-planned and orchestrated by Bannon. THIS ARTICLE says more and is scary as hell.
Saturday morning, watching all of it unfold, I felt hopeless.
Yes, we should call our representatives and congresspeople, we know that. Calls are worth way more than paper letters, and emails/Tweets/FB messages are all but ineffective. (I didn’t know until this week that if you do write paper letters, send them to their regional, state-level office rather than DC. Good info.)
But my congressperson who’s waffling on voting No on Sessions and Tillerman is Diane Feinstein. None of her offices are answering their phones. At all. You get messages that say the voice mail is full.
The voice mail is full! There’s nothing you can do with that! You can keep calling, hoping a live body will answer (in DC, in SF, in LA, in SD, even in Fresno) but no one does.
I felt so hopeless I felt sick.
Then I saw the march planned at SFO. When I saw the FB page, only 9 said they were going. That was okay. I talked to Lala (who couldn’t go–she went on Sunday) about contingencies in case of my arrest. I made a hasty sign.
I went to BART and made my way there to find I wasn’t the only one.
For a while, we stayed on our sides of the street, letting traffic flow.
Then, led by a tiny elderly Asian woman who waited for the cops to get distracted and then stepped into the street. She gave a little “come on” sign with her hands and we all did.
It was a loud crowd, the chants never stopping, the mic-checks almost drowned out by the sheer righteous anger that surrounded us.
The ban is not our America.
It’s not what this country was founded on.
It felt good to fight. To resist. To yell as loudly as we could, “No ban! No wall! Sanctuary for all!”
And it’s just the start, my friends. We have at least four years of this to come.
What do we do now to resist?
Protests are important (and let’s face it, they can be soul-mending and even fun).
Calling your elected officials is essential. (We’re finally learning how to use our smart phones to make calls!)
But what else?
This is what I’m doing to make a difference:
Call: On the off-chance you haven’t seen this already, start with 5calls.org. You just put in your zip, and you get info on who to call with what message.
Swing Districts: Control of the House in 2018 depends on a few swing districts, and it’s time to start thinking about that NOW. Go HERE to find out the one closest to you, and then get to work there. (I’m CA Dist 7, see you in Modesto!)
Put “social activism” on your To Do list every day. Cross it off after you’ve made contact with someone. Today I crossed it off after sending a fax to Diane Feinstein (apparently faxes are good for something!) through this site from which you can fax both house and senate.
Arrest: Are you in a place of privilege that you could be arrested if need be? Lala and I are (no kids, no jobs that would punish us for doing so), but we are putting into place to set up care for the animals. (We’ll use IFTTT to send a text blast to the relevant people who have our house keys. A beloved friend who can’t be arrested but wants to help is our bail money. She’s set it aside on purpose, keeping it liquid for this reason, for those she loves.) Related: I’ve been a good girl my whole life. Kept my nose clean. It’s fucking NUTS that this is the conversation we’re having.
Get organized, on a grass-roots level. I’m part of a local crafting group, and this was done in the first meeting:
- Write down the social topics that matter to you (it might be a long list)
- Have people sign up for those they’re most interested in.
- Get a leader for each topic.
- Each leader disseminates that info to the people interested, with news and plans of action.
By dividing, we can conquer. My particular group meets once a week for an hour and a half, in person. Knitting is in our hands and we’re taking action.
Every HOUR it seems like the news gets worse, and we can’t all fight all the things all the time. But we can help each other hit the high points, break through the noise, and take action.
I know that’s hard, but there are more of us, who value the rights all of human beings, than there are of them.
Keep fighting. (And keep talking. Comments open. Polite comments of all types will be kept and cherished. But come into my house with fists swinging, and I’ll delete you right out of my house, and you won’t even get a gluten-free muffin to go.)
And remember to put on your own oxygen mask first. Too much? Step away. Rest. Read something light. Take a bath. Then come back swinging. We’re in this together, petals. We’ve got this.
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