Activism right now doesn’t mean you need to attend an on-the-street protest. You certainly can if you like. Protests are important right now, if for no other reason that making dissent visible.Most people are not protesting the election results. They’re protesting the rhetoric that is emboldening hate crimes and discrimination.Protests help activists connect with each other to move forward. They keep people motivated to fight.
Not everyone can be a “boots on the ground” protester. That type of protesting isn’t always accessible to disabled folks. I know that I personally get derailed by transportation issues, my husband’s work schedule that can change at a moment’s notice,kids’ schedules…general life stuff. Oh,and my social anxiety is my #1 non-fan. And that is absolutely okay. As a low income person, I also cannot risk being arrested.
It’s usually the least visible things that are the most meaningful. When I can’t be physically present at an event, there are other ways to contribute.
It’s also important to remember right now that those marginalized people who have always needed people to fight with them need that even more now. Listen to marginalized people right now. Even if you yourself are a marginalized person, others are oppressed in different ways . Listen to each other about what they need. Don’t try to speak for others. Boost their voices.
Don’t ever feel that “online activism” is ineffective and garbage activism. Information is power. Using your share button on social media gets it out there. If you see information you know can help specific individuals you know, pass it along (for instance, something specifically meant to address helping transgender folks get ID or passports right now and you know a trans person…. get that info where it needs to go). Block as many people as you have to in order to keep your sanity on social media.
Get involved locally.
-Is your city hosting refugees? Find out what arriving families need for a smooth transition, whether it be household & clothing items or just to have someone to make them feel welcome and get acquainted with the area.
– If you know another language besides English, help immigrants by being a translator.
– Become a clinic escort
-Organize (with others…trust me. This one can’t be done alone) a holiday dinner/potluck for those who feel that they can’t be around family this year. Maybe make it a monthly gathering, like a dinner club. Being around like minded and supportive people is crucial right now.
-Start a book club specifically to raise awareness. Select books that focus on social justice issues.
-Remember that Paul Ryan is now empowered and he is no friend to us food insecure folks. Getting involved and fighting for accessible community gardens, well funded food pantries, and food rescue organizations are going to be essential.
-Educate yourself on how to handle intense situations so that you’re prepared to be helpful if you see someone being attacked in public (verbally or physically). The preparation for being a safe, allied person is crucial. Not knowing the right things to do can either escalate a situation or just be no help at all.
-Make sure your local school has a solid anti-bullying policy with staff that upholds it. If you can’t attend PTO/PTA meetings, stay involved by asking for a copy of the meeting minutes (usually via email). When possible, volunteer in youth programs that will help nurture the community and nurture children.
-if you live in a small community , it’s not hard to figure out which locally owned businesses support paying their employees a living wage and other things that add to oppression. You may even find business owners sharing their pro-Trump opinions openly (I have). Don’t give those people money.You can be upfront about why you’re no longer their customer or just let the action speak for itself. If possible, try to patronize minority owned business or ones you know are on the right side of things at the moment.
Making phone calls to representatives are more effective than holding a sign at a street protest. Here I will recognize that some people have difficulty with phone calling. Obviously, some low income folks may not even have a phone or limited phone time. Those will social anxiety might have a hard time with phone calling. I totally get this and can offer some advice from experience. The first time you make phone calls, it’s hard. It helps to have a script of what you need to say. If you can get past those first calls, it’ll get easier. If you’re calling small local-ish rep offices often, they will start calling you by your first name (not even kidding). You will be that pain in the ass who calls their office to voice concern about every damn thing. It’s cool. BE THAT PAIN IN THE ASS.
When dealing with both Trump supporters and Liberal folks who want you to give the president-elect a chance, I’m going to co-opt an oft used expression from my favorite true crime podcast: Fuck politeness . In part, politeness led us here. If someone’s telling you to calm down or get over it, they are very comfortable with life, no matter how the next four years go. When they ask you to “come together” w/ the new administration, remind them that Trump’s newly appointed advisers are a team that represents white supremacy, white nationalism, antisemitism,misogyny, LGBTQ bashing, and human rights violations. Challenge those who voted for Trump and now claim they aren’t racists or bigots to fight for the people this presidency seeks to oppress. Don’t be respectful of and tiptoe around white fragility. Do not let individuals or media normalize this vitriolic president-elect, his policies, and his cohorts.
I don’t want to be an alarmist but I’m definitely not staying calm right now either. Being calm is to be complacent. Nothing gets done with complacency. To be complacent is to be complicit.
Anyways, this guy’s grandmother Else was an alarmist and it saved her family. Good job, Elsa.
Links To Important Information & Helpful Resources
(will edit and add to this list as I see new things)
♥ Fortification podcast -inspiring interviews w/ activists with focus on how to care for themselves while giving so much
♥ Trans Relief Project will help trans people obtain ID and passports
♥ Peace Supplies– Black Lives Matter signs and other messages to display your opposition to white supremacy and solidarity for oppressed people
(If someone has a link to a Black owned business that makes similar things, I would love to have that info)
♥ 2 Hours a Week: an email subscribe list that offers tanglible actions
♥ Resist Tinyletter – a daily newsletter
♥ Maud Newton – daily actions and news
♥ Safety Pin Box – a monthly subscription service for white people who want to know what measurable tasks they can take to show allyship
Check out the Activism & Advocacy category here for individual actions.Specific topics will be tagged (for example: food stamps, workers’ rights, Fight for 15, housing,LGBT…) and you can either find them at the very bottom of this page or by using the search bat (also at the bottom).