Methods of resistance
I’ve talked about how we must fight and resist the coming regime (and let’s be honest: it’s going to be a regime) but I haven’t given any specifics on how to do it. Here is a numbered list on how you can resist.
- Document everything. Not just online, but offline as well. Pin those instances of harassment, brutality, propaganda, etc. that you see, but also keep a scrapbook of things that are printed out. Computers can be hacked; social media can be censored and shut down. Having multiple records of oppression is important when it comes to proving oppression.
- Support organizations dedicated to civil rights and free speech. Support them with donations, especially recurring ones, and support them by volunteering. Look at both national organizations and local organizations. For example, the SPLC or your local chapter of the ACLU, ProPublica or FreePress.net, LGBTQ rights organizations, minority protection groups.
- Follow and boost the voices at risk for silencing. Tell others who you’re following. Follow marginalized people on your social media. Follow reporters. Follow artists and creatives. Retweet, reblog, share to Facebook, boost their voices. If social media is a vehicle for change then we need to be in the driver’s seat. Marginalized voices are marginalized because there are so few of them and often the majority does not believe what they say. In any oppressive regime, the first people to be silenced are the dissenters, the truth-tellers, the creatives. We have the power now to disseminate information at an incredibly fast rate. We can’t let that go to waste.
- Get creative. Write, draw, paint, sing, compose, dance. Express yourself through the arts. Express your feelings and your views openly and loudly. The quality of it does not matter. You must create, and not let anything stifle the impulse. Art is the medium of resistance. Throughout history oppressive regimes have silenced writers and composers. Books have been burned, art has been destroyed, composers have been jailed. Share art, and also create art.
- Take joy anywhere you can find it. The goal of oppressive regimes is to keep the population depressed and unwilling to do anything. A gray, bleak existence fuels inactivity. Be happy whenever you can, celebrate those things in life that are causes for joy. Anything that makes you smile, little or big, is precious. Laugh and be carefree - that’s the heart of resistance.
- Reach out and stay connected. Check on your friends and family often. Reach out to the communities in your neighborhood who are at risk. Black people, Muslims, south Asians, Latinxs, and LGBTQ are all under the crosshairs now. All PoCs, LGBTQ, and the disabled will be in danger, especially those people whose identities intersect. Go check out your local mosque or synagogue. Visit a temple. Let people know you stand with them. Don’t just call, show up. Involve yourself and take part in their events. Put your body in front of theirs. Make it personal.
- Make and rehearse a plan of action for when you see harassment. Don’t just come up with the plan; act it out. Rehearse it so that when you are witness to harassment, you intervene quickly. What will you say? What actions do you take? How do you document, and when do you begin filming or recording (this goes right back to point #1)? Be secure in your plan. Even if it’s something as simple as ripping down hatespeech in posters plastered around your town. Speak out, document, intervene, engage.
- Know your rights. Memorize the parts of the Constitution or Bill of Rights that are most pertinent to what you’ll be doing, and be able to speak the exact language aloud. Be familiar with the other rights granted to us as citizens of the United States. Understand what due process is. Research state and federal law to see what other rights or actions are afforded to you. Keep on your person or memorize the contact info of an attorney or firm that will defend you in case anything happens (civil rights attorneys, criminal defense attorneys), and create a chain of contacts that will get the word out if things go pear-shaped.
- Create a community. A community works better than any individual. A community can be large or small, and can put pressure on organizations such as the police when injustice occurs. A single voice can be ignored, but not the voice of many.
I apologize for the length of the post, and I’m saddened I even feel a need to write this in the year 2016. But what Trump proposes to do to Muslims is frightening, and even the idea of it should never be entertained. He’s filling his cabinet with people who will shape policy for the worse. We must, must resist.
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