As we claw our way through the gut-punch gauntlet of President Trump’s funhouse, it’s easy to want to just quit, give up, “crawl into solitude” as one dismayed friend told me this week.
Don’t! That’s just what Trump wants. In David Frum’s excellent article for The Atlantic, “How to Build an Autocracy,” he writes:
“Trump and his team count on one thing above all others: public indifference. . . . What happens in the next four years will depend heavily on whether Trump is right or wrong about how little Americans care about their democracy and the habits and conventions that sustain it. If they surprise him, they can restrain him.
“We are living through the most dangerous challenge to the free government of the United States that anyone alive has encountered. What happens next is up to you and me. Don’t be afraid. This moment of danger can also be your finest hour as a citizen and an American.”
There will be lots of opportunities to fight back against the steamroller President Trump has unleashed on our land, water, climate and property rights! Start by putting February 22 on your calendar:
WHAT: Bold Action Teams (BATs) will mobilize for direct action across Iowa, targeting officials and businesses that have aided and abetted construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.
WHEN: Wednesday, February 22 during “business” hours. Commit for the entire day or for a minimum of 3 hours.
WHERE: In or near your community, at a government office, bank or other place that has supported construction of the pipeline. We’ll have a comprehensive list of targets available shortly before February 22.
WHY: The Dakota Access pipeline isn’t finished. Politicians, public officials and businesses who’ve supported it need to hear that the pipeline is wrong for Iowa and wrong for our planet. Because when we do nothing, when we crawl into our solitude, the forces of greed and injustice win.
* Take Wednesday, February 22 off from work (yes, I know not everyone can, but if you can, it’s important).
* Sign-up for a BAT — we’ll help connect you with folks in your area.
* Meet with your BAT of 5-10 people over coffee on the 22nd to study the message, discuss the code of nonviolence and plan details for the action(s).
* Invite local press to meet your team and travel with you to the action.
* Each team will be led by an experienced leader, someone well-versed in non-violence and capable of effectively directing the action.
ACTION: BATs will occupy the targeted space and read statements, press releases, articles and other material explaining why this pipeline is wrong. One or two members of each BAT will take photos and video. BATs either stay until arrested or until security threatens to arrest them. If BATs choose not to risk arrest, they then either disperse or travel to another site for a second action.
FOLLOW-UP: We’ll have a “hotline” — a BAT-line! — for teams to send photos, video and a brief summary immediately after the action.
Let’s make this big! We need 100 BATs. Sign up here to participate, and include a message indicating your preferred role(s) (i.e., team leader, risk arrest, spokesperson, photographer, videographer, driver).
Onward, through the gauntlet and beyond! – Ed Fallon