Thursday, January 19, 2017

All organizing is local: How to throw sand in the gears of Trumpism.


When Republican lawmakers already are proposing to outlaw free speech by banning public protests that interfere with the convenient operation of automobiles, it's merely more proof that the loony bins have been emptied and the occupants have been elected to State Senate.

As we await Ron Grooms' inevitable vote in favor of gutting the Constitution, but not before he asks One Southern Indiana for permission, here are two articles from The Nation.

First, what you'll have to be doing quite apart from posting resistance memes on Facebook.

Throw Sand in the Gears of Everything, by Frances Fox Piven

When it comes to stopping Trump, petitions aren’t going to do it.

Chanting crowds are the familiar insignia of movements. And I think movement politics may even make resistance to a Trump regime possible. But while the great movements of American history were the crucial determinant of our most important democratic reforms—from the basic electoral elements of representative democracy, to Emancipation, to labor rights, to women’s and LGBTQ rights—none of these movements achieved their successes simply through the gathering of people to show their commitment. People gathered, of course, but what makes movements a force—when they are a force—is the deployment of a distinctive power that arises from the ability of angry and indignant people to at times defy the rules that usually ensure their cooperation and quiescence. Movements can mobilize people to refuse, to disobey, in effect to strike. In other words, people in motion, in movements, can throw sand in the gears of the institutions that depend on their cooperation. It therefore follows that movements need numbers, but they also need a strategy that maps the impact of their defiance and the ensuing disruptions on the authority of decision-makers.

Piven observes that "political leaders in big cities are beginning to provide just that sort of electoral resonance and encouragement," and while noting that New Albany is a small city without a coherent leader in a county that voted overwhelmingly for Trump, there is at least a possibility that cities can be incubators for the resistance.

We may even be able to do some of it here, but if so, it will come without either political -- and on occasion, you might be forced to miss an IU basketball game. Sorry about that.

Cities Have the Power to Finally Bridge MLK’s ‘Two Americas’, by Ras J. Baraka and Ryan P. Haygood (The Nation)

The solutions to the enduring problem of economic inequality will have to come from the ground up in our cities, not from Washington, DC, down

Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., looked to our city, Newark, New Jersey, and other urban communities and explained that the country consisted of “two Americas,” divided by race.

... At this critical juncture in our nation’s history, on the eve of the presidential inauguration after one of the most divisive and racially charged presidential campaigns in history, our cities hold incredible promise to advance an agenda that unites us, and to incubate progressive solutions to finally bridging the two Americas.

To do this, we must ensure that every person has access to economic opportunity through employment that pays a true living wage. This is the most direct way to confront poverty in our nation, and to bridge our class and race divides.

The solutions to the enduring problem of economic inequality will have to come from the ground up in our cities, not from Washington, DC, down.

No comments: