Yesterday my son Jesse sent me an article, the focus of this post. Its powerfully expressed message: time for women to lead. Also included today, a link to Santa Fe Women’s March photo album, more opportunities for action, and Angela Davis’s warning: “The 1,459 days of the Trump term will be 1,459 days of resistance.” Let’s resist together. Before diving in to Micah White’s excellent article in The Guardian, a few announcements:
Urgent Need for Volunteers. The level of effort involved in keeping all the parts moving for Retake Our Democracy is verging on comic and entirely unsustainable, especially since the march. If you have time, we need someone to:
- Compile notes from lobby organizations and translate them into a concise, consistent format so we can keep the lobbying guide current. We now have more information from Common Cause, NM Health Access, and Sierra Club that needs to be incorporated ASAP, and there will be more info coming most every day for the next couple weeks. Good clear writing skills are important. Click here to look at the first summary from Common Cause. It is the model format. Whoever volunteers for this will not be writing all that is found under Common Cause, but merely taking what other lobby groups give us and shaping it into this format. This is really important and time sensitive.
- Provide leadership…I’ve reached out several times and we have about 25 folks who have sent personal statements of commitment to play leadership roles. If you have 5-10 hours a week, we will find a role for you managing a piece of this growing effort. The scope of our impact and the speed with which our potential unfolds depends entirely on how many of you answer this call. Not only will you have an impact, you will make meaningful friends and have fun. Click here for what you need to do before Thurs., Jan. 26, and then come to our meeting at 5:30 p.m. Please do not show up for this meeting without submitting a personal statement. Go here and do what is asked in advance of the meeting.
- If anyone can provide me with an explanation for how to use the “My Roundhouse” application on the nmlegis.gov website, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is supposed to be an easy way to track progress of bills you are following, but setting it up is confusing. I want to make this available to everyone, but need to be able to explain it first.
Activist Pals: an idea to encourage sustained activism. Roxanne and I had coffee with volunteer Chris Salem yesterday and she mentioned that she had formed a small group of women to go to the march and that she was going to keep the group going to do actions together. This could easily be replicated with small groups of friends meeting weekly in coffee shops or in homes and doing a joint action together (like going to the Supreme Court tomorrow morning — see below), or laying out next steps in a neighborhood canvassing effort. (Look for a blog post on our strategy for community conversations and block organizing coming soon). Working with friends on small activism projects is a great way to reinforce friendships and encourage others to get involved. Plus the joy of working with good friends makes the activism more fun. Another form of this circle of friends could be for moms/dads with young children to get together to do the work while providing shared childcare, and then when a public action is needed where kids would be a challenge, the group rotates childcare while the others participate in the action.
Expanded Sanctuary City in Santa Fe — PLEASE NOTE: Action slated for Weds., Jan 25 at the Santa Fe City Council has been postponed, as the City Council is taking more time to deliberate on the Sanctuary resolution. The new date is Feb 22. In the interim, Somos Un Pueblo Unido is developing a range of strategies for pressuring the City Council to adopt the resolution. Look for an update later this week.
Supreme Court Hearing. New Energy Economy vs. PNM. TOMORROW, Weds, Jan.25, 8:30am. New Energy Economy will be facing off against PNM in a battle over the energy plan for much of our state. We cannot succumb to PNM’s greed and willful disregard for our planet. Let’s pack the courtroom! Click here for details.
Internet Security. Volunteers have raised the concern that with this new administration there could be significant intrusion into our privacy and that some level of effort to protect our privacy, as an organization and as individuals, may be advised. Another volunteer offered up these four articles on protecting your Internet privacy, but I haven’t the time or grasp of technology to accurately synthesize this info. If one of you has the skills and time, an easy-to-understand synthesis of this info will be very useful. Anyone got the time? Click here, here, here, and here for the four links.
Photo album of Santa Fe Women’s March. Click here to go to our Facebook photo album of Saturday’s march. Thanks to Joseph Hempfling for most of the photos and to Lynn Rosen for posting all of these.
Great tool to work swing districts. Swingleft is a tremendous tool for activists who want to get involved in retaking the House of Representatives. While Retake Our Democracy is staying non-partisan, we will help you find ways to be active in your own highly partisan ways. This app allows you to click and find Congressional Districts near you where there is a chance to go blue. Very good tool and now included in the Personal Action Kit. Click here to get to the Swingleft tool. Click here to take a look at the Personal Action Kit, a tool for taking individual actions on a daily basis.
“Without a path from protest to power, the Women’s March will end up like Occupy” by Micah White
As with other articles cited the past two days, this article by Micah White points to the risks of getting too excited about the huge outpouring of protest and unity we witnessed on Saturday, and the urgent need for a woman-led movement. First, some of his warnings:
“But it is all too easy to succumb to the false hope that a big splash is a transformative tsunami. Don’t be fooled. It is not.”
“Today’s social activists have succumbed to one of the most enduring myths of contemporary American protest: the comforting belief that if you can get enough people into the streets from diverse demographics, largely unified behind a clear message, then our representatives will be forced to heed the crowd’s wishes.”
And then White ticks off one massive march after another, that led to absolutely nothing:
- the 1913 march of women to demand the right to vote,
- the 1978 march for the Equal Rights Amendment,
- the 1986 Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament,
- the Million Man March of 1995,
- the 2004 March for Women’s Lives,
- the inauguration protests against George W Bush’s second term in 2005 … the list is practically endless.
Then White points to the solution by first referencing an illuminating summary of the central role played by women in the French Revolution. Yes that revolution. If for no other reason, reading this summary of courageous women over 200 years ago is worth clicking here to read the full article. But before you go there, here is White’s solution:
“May the angry women return home the day after the march to lead us toward a women-led hybrid movement-party in every state that is disciplined enough to govern, militantly local, and single-mindedly devoted to actualizing a force capable of seizing control of city councils and mayorships during midterm elections across America in preparation for an electoral coup against the presidency in 2020.”
Now that would be a goal worth marching for: Bring on the Nina Turner for President 2020 campaign! Admittedly not exactly a non-partisan statement, but I think it is time to ditch those timid candidates who are not willing to stand up clearly for an entirely new way of doing business. And that is precisely what is called for now. No more groveling for crumbs. Time to demand the whole damned loaf.
Paul & Roxanne