And the Democrats, time after time, have done nothing. Worse than doing nothing, they have been accomplices to the GOP. Even the self-proclaimed Democratic champion of the fight against Trump, Senator Elizabeth Warren, voted to confirm Ben Carson.
There is no number of calls you can make to Congress to stop Trump’s agenda. There is no amount of shock filled tweets and snark filled memes that can stop the illegitimate president and his illegitimate GOP led Congress.
If Trump is to be stopped, we will have to do it on our own.
And if we don’t fight, we only have ourselves to blame it Trump continues down his white nationalist war path. We cannot expect the Democrats to fight this fight. We cannot expect the nonprofits to fight this fight. There is bare rhetoric in places where allies should be. There are funding requests where action plans should be located. It is the people, as it always has been, that will have to bring an end to Trump and his criminal network of white nationalists.
In order to do that, organizers and participants must up their game and revolutionize their strategies. We have entered a new and extreme territory. We must adjust our strategies accordingly.
Offensively, as outlined in the Strategic Institute for Intersectional Policy’s (SIIP’s) Turning Protest into Power: Strategies for Activism in the Times of Trump, the people of the United States must abandon traditional methods of interaction with the authorities, and adopt strategies that will stop any and all progress Trump and the GOP are trying to make socially, economically and politically.
It’s time to shut it all down.
In order to effectively combat Trump, SIIP argues that the community must adopt the following:
Political Stance in Relation to the Federal Government
To the Right
- Donald J. Trump illegally usurped the position of President of the United States.
- His authority is illegitimate and must be rejected.
- The GOP is an accomplice to these illegal actions.
- The authority of the GOP Congress is illegitimate and must be rejected.
To the Left
- The Democratic Party and the Nonprofit networks responsible for defending our rights have refused to live up to their promises. If these organizations do not stand now and fight for our rights as hard as they fight for our funding, they will be considered coopted accomplices of Trump and the GOP.
- Should the left refuse to fight, their authority and allyship will also be rejected.
Current Political Context
We, the people of the United States of America, have been labeled as enemies of the state. We are on our own. Our strategies must be revolutionized to be effective in this new context.
Demands: Repeal, Replace and Restore
- The immediate impeachment of Donald J Trump
- Immediate charges filed on all members of his campaign transition team, cabinet and any family member, member of the GOP, public or private citizen that funded, participated in or had prior knowledge of Trump’s work with foreign governments to alter the election, to engage in deprivation of votig rights to alter the election or to violate the Emolument’s Clause.
- Install the rightful winner of the Election, the Democratic Candidate: Hillary Rodham Clinton.
- Replace removed congressional members of the GOP with rightful winners of the election whether third party or democratic.
- Restore integrity of elections
- Immediate removal of all voter suppression policies such as voter purging, id requirements, citizenship requirements, early voting restrictions and absentee ballot restrictions
- Enforcing ADA requirements and ensuring that all polling locations are accessible
- Immediate plans to reopen and expand upon of the over 800 polling places shut down and addition of polling places, especially in high density areas.
- Legislate formal requirements for presidential candidates to release financial information including tax returns and financial disclosure statements
Revolutionize Offensive Grassroots Strategies
It’s time to up our game. Here’s 3 ways to do it:
- Turn Protests into Strategic Assemblies
- Turn Boycotts into Embargos
- Put the Middlemen on Notice
The Executive Branch has been taken over by Trump. The GOP belongs to his white nationalist network, and they have taken over Congress. Marches build momentum, but they do not create strategic change. The criminal takeover of the United States cannot be tweeted, phone called or marched away. We have to fight. And because we have entered a political context the likes of which no reformer alive has yet seen to date, we need to revolutionize our strategies accordingly.
The Problem with Protests
Protests were developed as a form of political action that used human bodies as resources for acts of political resistance, reform and revolution. Currently, the main goal of protesting is to draw media attention to a particular cause or political stance. This goal eliminates the power of mass assembly as a tool for direct political action.
Mass assembly must be reformulated to ensure success is the goal, not just attention.
How to Turn Protest into Power
In order to revolutionize the power of protest, we must remove it from the realm of media strategy and place it at the forefront of our direct actions. Protest organizers and participants must stop using protests as attempts to grab media attention and start using mass assembly to disrupt the political and social processes that enforce and legitimize Trump’s authority.
Organizer and participants must be willing to say: There will be no business as usual until our demands are met.
What Revolutionary Assembly Looks Like
Bodies are for blocking. Targets and assembly locations should be chosen for their abilities to disrupt the functioning of social, economic and political functions of the United States under Donald Trump.
Be creative: there are many ways to block access to a route or location. Be strong. We are fighting for lives. Not ideas. Be strategic. Choose social, political and economic targets for their abilities to facilitate shut down of the illegitimate white nationalist movement — not for their ability to garner media attention.
There are people that are being forced to sacrifice their lives because of the actions of the Illegal and Illegitimate Administration. One of the smallest sacrifices society can make as a whole is that of national social events. They are now nationalized social events that benefit Trump’s Society.
All social events until the removal and replacement of Donald Trump should be viewed as white national events and immediately blocked. The national social scene should be viewed much like the inauguration: Participation = Support for Trump.
Sporting events, concerts, parades, etc. can and should be chosen as target for revolutionary assembly. This is a small sacrifice society can make to show our communities and the world that there will be no business as usual in the United States until the lives of our people are protected and Trump and the GOP are thrown out of office and into prison cells.
Pressure must be prioritized and applied strategically, but action may also be applied to the location, the participants, the for the events funders, the supporters and the key resource and staff providers. With the goal of media attention, assembly is usually limited to protests at or near the locations of these events. This needs to change. With the revolutionary goal of shutting down the event whether the MSM pays attention or not, target locations can be expanded to any and all main routes leading to the event and the disruption of set up, attendance AND execution of the event.
All political processes and events orchestrated by the illegitimate government must be blocked until the removal and replacement of Donald Trump and his network of public and private participants.
These targets include but are not limited to town halls, committee meetings, legislative assemblies, celebrations, fundraising activities, media events, and transportation to and from these political functions.
Every effort should be made by the public to shut down the functioning of the illegitimate government.
With the goal of media attention, assembly is usually limited to protests outside political offices and buildings. This needs to change. With the revolutionary goal of completely shutting down the progression of the policies of an illegitimate government, target locations can be expanded to any and all main routes leading to the event and the disruption of set up, attendance and execution of the event.
Targets may also include the personal homes and transportation routes of illegitimate public officials
Pressure must be prioritized and applied strategically, but action may also be applied to the location, the participants, and resources necessary to run the government day to day and during target events.
The ability of the illegitimate government to function under resistance rests in the social, political and economic functioning of himself, his administration and his party. The economic success of the illegitimate government and its economic supporters muse be blocked until the removal and replacement of Donald Trump and his network of public and private participants is achieved.
These targets include but are not limited to the functioning of Trump affiliated organizations and individuals, cities, ports and other trade lynchpins, delivery routes and fundraising events.
Creativity is for more than just Protest Signs
Creativity lies at the core of grassroots activist. Unfortunately, it is usually limited to the realm of the protest sign. There are many more strategic ways to revolutionize our creativity. Mass assembly and physically blocking the function of society can benefit by employing creative roadblocks with flash mobs, slow walking\rolling, block parties, theater, vigils, games with art, furniture, materials, cars, snowmen — whatever it takes. Take a revolutionary assembly challenge and allow people in your community to express their own revolutionary creativity. But use this talent for direct action — not just to decorate it.
Every effort should be made by the public to shut down the economic success of the illegitimate government and its economic beneficiaries. With the goal of media attention, assembly is usually limited to protests outside buildings. This needs to change. With the revolutionary goal of halting the economic success of an illegitimate government, target locations can be expanded to include buildings, transportation routes, trade routes, financial centers and events.
How to turn Boycotts into Embargoes
Boycotts have been a long used tactic designed to economically effect businesses that support or implement policies that further marginalize Grassroots communities. As individual organizations have evolved into megalithic networks, the ability to target specific organizations and mobilize the sustained energy necessary to create a financial impact becomes more and more difficult. As a result, we must revolutionize our economic impact strategies in a way that transforms both the strength of individual participation and the effect of our direct actions. In order to achieve these goals, the energy used for boycotts must be shifted to enforce large scale economic embargos.
The Problem with Boycotts
Boycotts have been used as an effective strategy to create reform; however, the effectiveness of this strategic has become less and less impactful. As organizations have evolved into networks, the number of targets necessary to create an economic impact has also grown. This places more responsibility on the individual boycotter than can be achieve and sustained. As a result, the actions that activists engage in should focus on applying pressure to organizations and networks that can more effectively disrupt the target’s bottom line.
The Solution found in Embargoes
In order to revolutionize the power of economic divestment, we must remove it from the realm of the individual and press for a more networked approach. We must revolutionize our call for boycotts into a collective call for businesses, cities and states to place an economic embargo on all economic relationships with Trump, his organizations the organizations related to his public and private co-conspirators.
Organizers and participants must be willing to say: Our businesses, cities and states will not do business with illegitimate authority and its supporters.
Revolutionary mass assembly can be used to achieve this goal. Pressure should be applied to organizations, companies and government entities (cities and state) to cut all contracts and economic ties with the illegitimate government and its supporters in the public and private sectors. These agreements can and should be renegotiated with entities that do not support the illegal administration.
At the lowest level, embargos may be sought to prevent department stores from selling Trump merchandise. Mid-level strategies may include pressuring the largest companies in each state to cut financial ties with the illegitimate government in both the public and private sectors. Larger level embargos may seek to prevent blue states from trading with red states.
How to Put the Middlemen on Notice
Middlemen include the Democratic Party and the Nonprofit organizations and networks that gain positions and funding through the rhetoric of fighting on behalf of the rights of marginalized groups, but have failed to take more than a rhetorical stand against Trump and his administration.
Not only have these groups failed to secure our safety and our rights, but they have refused to even put up a fight. These groups allowed the GOP to illegally take away our voting rights, they allowed the Trump supporting Fraternal Order of Police strip all of our protections from police brutality, they refused to protect Sacred Rock from hoses and mace, they refused to secure livable wages, housing rights and our healthcare. These groups have taken our people, our money, our votes and have produced little more than press kits and fundraising packets.
In order to ensure that the relationship between the Democratic Party, the nonprofits that generate funding off of grassroots causes, and the people most targeted by Trump and his white nationalist GOP network — this practice must end immediately.
Ally status must be considered Probational. Government officials and non-profits can prove their worth, or be considered as accomplices to Trump and his GOP network. In order to do this, they must tangibly prove they will work to remove and replace the illegitimate government, resecure our lost rights, reinforce these rights and ensure they cannot be removed again. They must make sacrifices along with the rest of us to achieve these goals — or they will lose our people, our support and our alliance.
Revolutionizing this relationship requires the understanding that the illegitimate President and Congress cannot be stopped by phone calls, media blitzes, or front page ads. Traditional methods of political pressure will not move this administration. The Democrats and nonprofits that have let our rights and safety be stripped to the point of a white nationalist takeover must take legal, political and economic action to amend their failures, or they will be considered accomplices to Trump’s criminally illegitimate takeover of the federal government. They have a lot of work to prove they are more than rhetorically on our side. And unfortunately, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to get us out of this catastrophe.
Offensively, these potentially co-opted accomplice groups must:
- Call for the repeal and replacement of Trump, his administration and every member of the GOP that conspired with them.
- File charges against Trump and his network for treason, deprivation or rights and violations of the emulents clauses
- File charges against all members of the GOP, the public and private sectors involved in their takeover of the federal government
- Shut down the local, state and federal processes related to the advancement of any and all GOP related appointments and agendas.
Consequences for the Co-opted
The Democratic Party as a whole has one final opportunity to prove that it works for the people; it doesn’t just coopt our rhetoric for party purposes. If it fails to do so, active measure will be taken to ensure divest all community support for the party. Members of the Democratic party that fail to live up to these expectations will be relentlessly pressured, primaried and\or impeached.
The legal, political, economic and social organizations that have also coopted our rhetoric to gain funding but not produce results also have one last opportunity to do more than make claims. If they fail to directly work to support this agenda, active measure should be take to divest all community support for the organization.
Should the Democratic Party and the Nonprofit networks continue to use our rhetoric and refuse our rights, they should be considered accomplices of the GOP and approached accordingly.
Creativity when Approaching the Middlemen
There are many resources for how to effectively use phone calls, petitions and letter writing to place pressure on government officials. While SIIP is happy to provide resources for people to continue to engage in this type of action, the new strategic context highlights the fact that this type of pressure is limited in effect. Other creative forms of communication include glitterbombs, sand boxes, mass social media involvement, and creative assembly at the personal and public addresses of target officials. There is no place that we can hide from the government. There should be no place that they can hide from us.
Ultimately, whatever strategies are chosen must be chosen for effect, not attention. The power we seek to stop Trump must be found in ourselves, not the media and not nonprofits and parties that have let the far right go too far for too long. We must fight like the world is watching, because it is. We must fight like our lives are on the line, because they are.
If Trump succeeds, it’s because we let him. When he fails, it will be because we gathered together and fought harder than we’ve ever fought before. When he fails, it will be because we gathered together and took him down. When he fails, it will be because we gathered together and stopped him.