Actions.

There is so much going on in the world today, especially with all that the current administration and Congress is pushing through. In the midst of all this chaos, it can be easily to get overwhelmed  – I know I have been. But it’s important to keep fighting, to keep resisting, and to take care of yourself. Self-care and taking a deep breath is just as important as being on the streets and making calls.

With all the issues going on, there are plenty of ways to resist and not everyone’s activism is going to look the same. People have different abilities, resources, and schedules, which means that not everyone can march in protests but there are so many things that need to happen. With this, I thought I’d find some great and different ways to join the fight.

Support organizations and people. This can mean so many different things: financially supporting both organizations and individuals, volunteering time, subscribing to newspapers and magazines, becoming a patreon to creators and freelancers. If you spend a lot of time reading or consuming someone’s work, especially if they are a freelancer, consider donating money if that’s an option. At the same time, support can also mean bringing meals to those who might not be able to get out to grocery store, shoveling snow off driveways and sidewalks, driving people to appointments if they don’t have a car, etc.

Some organizations I personally recommend include:

Plus, there are plenty of creators and writers on Patreon and hashtags on Twitter like #TransCrowdFund #DisabilityCrowdFund and #FemCrowdFund highlight some of the fundraisers and ways to support people. The fact that many have to crowdfund lifesaving health care is a tragic comment about the United States right now but unfortunately, that’s where many people are at.

Show up. Marching and protesting are often the most visible part of resistance and while they are incredibly important, they’re not the only part of showing up. It can mean hosting or helping with before or after protest meals, going to community meetings that are centered around justice, organizing or attending letter writing campaigns (Amnesty International, TGI Justice Project, and many others have letter campaigns).

Showing up can also mean intervening in iffy situations if possible. There was a comic from a few months ago that described the different ways in which to not be a bystander if you see a racist attack. Similarly, the above video is from the Barnard Center For Research On Women and members of Project NIA and shares some similar ways. Plus, the Green Dot project is another approach to preventing sexual violence and offers training, including how to intervene. The important thing to note about intervening, particularly if you are intervening in a verbal attack, is to not call the police unless specifically asked by the victim. For people of color, undocumented immigrants, and LGBTQ folks (particularly trans folks), having police around would just escalate the situation and make it worse for them.

Call people out/in. Intervening can also mean having tough conversations and confronting people’s biases and more. This especially means talking with friends and family about different issues, explaining to that one uncle why his comment was racist, or the like. Calling out an individual or organization publicly challenges problematic behavior and often speaks to the underlying systemic issues. And in some cases, calling out can also allow for community accountability – it allows for others to identify problematic behavior in themselves as well. While there are some benefits, calling out isn’t the perfect end all solution to talking about iffy behavior and it’s important that calling out is about accountability above all else.

Calling in, while not as widely used as calling out, is a bit more private in nature – it allows for the person to confront their oppressive behavior and mistakes in a quieter space. People fuck up and make mistakes – we’re going to stumble and mess up and for the most part, we should be able to learn from our mistakes without feeling publicly humiliated. (The constant repeating of problematic behavior despite being called in might warrant a calling out though but that’s me.)

I picture “calling in” as a practice of pulling folks back in who have strayed from us. It means extending to ourselves the reality that we will and do fuck up, we stray and there will always be a chance for us to return.

Ngọc Loan Trần, Calling IN: A Less Disposable Way of Holding Each Other Accountable

For me, calling people out/in on problematic shit is also really important for so called “allies” to participate in. Not because we should be talking over or for marginalized folks (that’s a big no-no) but because marginalized folks shouldn’t have to continuously prove our own humanity. Marginalized people shouldn’t have to carry all the weight of these conversations and challenging oppressive behavior because that is incredibly exhaustive.

Call and write your representatives. Contacting your elected officials on a local, state, and federal level is important now more than ever. With Lord Dampnut in office, the administration filled to the brim with real life Nazis, and a GOP led Congress, it’s important that we don’t let them get away with unconstitutional shit. There are a few places that provide easy ways to get involved:

  • 5 Calls – choose issues that are important to you and they provide the number and script for your representative!
  • Countable – this is an app that helps you understand what is going on politically and ways you can get involved
  • The Women’s March also has resources and ways to get involved.
  • The Resistance Manual – this is an open source site that provides information about getting organized and taking action
  • Weekly Actions to Resist Trump – the title pretty much explains this site.

The last act I’ll write about now is to keeping creating – keep writing, keep drawing, keep making things if that’s what sustains you. Art in its many forms can be an act of resistance and regularly an act of therapy, both of which are important to ourselves as individuals and society at large. Art can provide a visual representation that facts and statistics may not be able to convey properly or even a space in which for communities to grieve collectively or build stronger connections with each other.

Resistance is vital in this day and age – with the current administration in general, Nazis getting a larger and larger platform, and so much more, it’s critical we challenge systemic and individual oppression. I’ve said this many times but not everyone’s activism is going to look the same and the steps I’ve written about today aren’t always going to be universal. Some will be on the front line in protests and marches; others will be calling elected officials; even more will be doing the behind the scenes work that desperately needs to be done. Doing all this work and taking care of ourselves and our communities is going to be a long and challenging journey but we are not alone in it.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s