Despite the dismal daily news, I am encouraged by the protests and demonstrations also regularly making the news. People are deeply frustrated and ready to take action. Some folks are cynical and judgmental about the effectiveness of these “flash in the pan” protests. And while I understand that critique, I think these protests serve an important function, and the key to sustained engagement will be establishing pipelines from these protests to people-power. What do we do after the protests? Luckily, there are some folks (with far more experience and insight than I have) who are sharing pragmatic strategies and initiatives to help us collectively oppose the current expression of political depravity and build a more just, equitable, and free society. Afer all, this is bigger and deeper than Trump. Before him, there was much work to do…and after him, there will be much more work to do. Where do we begin?
In short, there’s good reason to see the Trump era as an opportunity not only to stop him, but to make major gains in justice and equality. It will help to learn to turn our fear into power. We’ll also need strategy and the humility to learn from successes of other movements that have come out ahead during hard times. It is not rocket science. If we’re willing to shift personal habits and priorities, support each other through hardship, and come together on a plan, we can win. That is our opportunity.
Some folks affiliated with Black Lives Matter recently put out a Resistance Guide. The wiki style guide is chock-full of issue specific information and updates at the national and state levels. Bookmark this! It will come in handy.
For those more inclined to work through the established political channels, here is an interesting resource called the Indivisible Guide. Though I think we are in a moment that demands a break from decorum and less reliance on electoral politics, I don’t discount any avenue for putting pressure on those with power.
The Women’s March earlier this month may be viewed by future historians as the inauguration of the popular resistance to Trump as well as the resurrection of feminism as a collective political project. The character of that resistance, and of this renewed feminist energy, will still have to be shaped in the months and years ahead. Will the broad forces who participated continue to espouse a liberal perspective, or will they adopt a sharper left-wing outlook and strategy? Will there be splits in the movement, or will the Left be able to shift the popular anti-Trump base away from the consensus of the neoliberal center? It’s difficult to answer these questions now, but it is urgent that the Left continue to reflect on the women’s march in order to build a roadmap of what comes next, both for resisting Trump and reviving the socialist-feminist project. Here, three Jacobin contributors offer analysis of the march and what left activists can do next.
If you have other resources or ideas to share, please post in the comments!