Thousands march in Lima in protest over forgivenes for former Peru president

Alberto Fujimori, 79, was serving 25 -year sentence for corrupt practices and authorising death squad killings

Thousands of Peruvians have marched through Lima to vent their outrage over a forgivenes for the jailed former chairperson Alberto Fujimori, in the biggest protest since the decision was announced.

The public opprobrium was directed at Peru’s president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who granted the forgivenes on health grounds on Christmas Eve to lift the 25 -year sentence, Fujimori, 79, had been serving for corrupt practices and authorising death squad killings.

Public indignation threatens to push Kuczynski’s beleaguered government into a political crisis as he reshuffles his cabinet and seeks to forge a new confederation with the majority opposition party led by Fujimori’s daughter Keiko.

” The chairman has lost all legitimacy ,” said Maria Isabel Cedano, a feminist campaigner who supported Kuczynski, known as PPK, in Peru’s 2016 presidential runoff to avoided a victory for Keiko Fujimori.” He has betrayed us. He should resign and convene new elections .”

Amid the face-painted drummers, workers’ unions, students and feminist collectives wearing traditional Andean embellished skirts, Kuczynski’s image was a new addition to the rubber-faced puppet caricatures worn by performers waving bundles of banknotes in the burlesque parade usually reserved for Fujimori and other former leaders tainted with corruption.

Marchers wore headbands reading” The forgivenes is an insult” and carried placards saying ” Justice cannot be negotiated” as they chanted” Out, out PPK .”

People
People holding pictures of victims of the guerrilla conflict march against President Kuczynski’s pardon for former chairwoman Alberto Fujimori in Lima. Photograph: Mariana Bazo/ Reuters

Alberto Fujimori, whose authoritarian leadership in the 1990 s left an indelible mark on the country, continues to casting a long darknes over modern Peru. His supporters credit him with stamping out the Maoist Shining Path movement and responsibility for Peru’s economic success while others hold him a corrupted and iron-fisted dictator.

Speaking from a hospital bed on Tuesday, Fujimori asked for forgiveness from the Peruvians he said he had “let down”. He thanked Kuczynski for the forgivenes and pledged to back the president’s call for national reconciliation.

” It was a taunt ,” said Rosa Rojas Borda, who lost her eight-year-old son Javier and husband Manuel, in the 1992 Barrios Altos carnage, one of two carried out by a military death squad Fujimori was convicted of having created.

” He should ask for forgiveness from the relatives of those he had killed. They have a first and last name ,” she told the Guardian as she strode at the front of the marching with other family members carrying placards bearing black and white photos of their loved ones who were killed in the early 1990 s.

” PPK has never invited us- the families of the victims- to visit him, as “hes having” Keiko and Kenji. We’ve asked him three times ,” said Carmen Oyague, 70, whose daughter, Dora Oyague Fierro, was one of nine students and a university professor who were kidnapped and killed in 1992.

Her niece, Carolina Oyague, 36, said:” You can’t reconcile the country by decree ,” referring to a message on Tuesday in which the 79 -year-old leader asked young people to leave aside” negative emotions” and” turn the page “.

Human rights lawyers in Peru say there are legal grounds to challenge the forgivenes because it was a political and not a humanitarian decision.

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Public indignation threatens to push Pedro Pablo Kuczynski s already beleaguered government into a political crisis. Photo: Martin Mejia/ AP

Carlos Rivera, a lawyer at the Legal Defence Institute, said Kuczynski issued the pardon as a part of a deal to avoid impeachment on corruption accusations last week . The chairman has denied wrongdoing.

Human rights experts at the UN called the pardon an appalling “slap in the face” to the victims of human rights abuses, adding it was granted on” politically motivated grounds” and was a” major setback for the rule of law in Peru “.

Fujimori’s” remorse is not in question” and he did” not satisfy the legal requirements for a forgivenes”, they concluded.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights expressed “deep concern” over the pardon.

” The pardon is a major reversal in the consolidation of Peru’s democracy ,” says Paulo Drinot, a senior lecturer in Latin American History at University College London.” PPK has undermined the rule of law for his own political survival. He will go down as one of the most pusillanimous and unprincipled chairpeople in Peruvian history.

” With the pardon, he may also have created the conditions for a much more fractious and openly confrontational period of Peruvian politics ,” he said.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Why a protest camp in Florida is being “ve called the” next Standing Stone

At first glance the quiet town of Live Oak seems an unlikely venue for a stand against Big Energy. But in recent weeks its become a centre of opposition

A north Florida river that attracted the states first tourists a century before Walt Disneys famous cartoon mouse is emerging at the centre of a fight against a contentious 515 -mile natural gas pipeline that many are calling Americas next Standing Rock.

One section of the so-called Sabal Trail pipeline is being laid beneath the crystal waters of the Suwannee river, whose pure mineral springs were once fabled to remedy anything from marital discord to gout.

Today, the abandoned stone bathhouse at Suwannee springs is a disintegrating ruining, and the four hotels that once stood here, the last of which burned down in 1925, are long consigned to history.

The Suwannee river itself though is currently a scene of ongoing conflict amid the opposition to a $3.2 bn pipeline designed to carry a billion cubic feet of natural gas daily through Alabama and Georgia to power plants in Florida upon its scheduled completion later this year.

At first glance, the quiet township of Live Oak, with a population of fewer than 7,000, seems an unlikely venue for such a stand against big energy. But in recent weeks a sizeable woodland protest camp has grown on the banks of the Suwannee and a number of non-violent direct any steps had taken place, including one last week that temporarily halted building and resulted in eight arrests.

Opponents say the building of the pipeline is harming not only the natural beauty of places such as the Suwannee, but irreversibly damaging sensitive environmental and culturally important areas in all three nations, and threatening the supplying of clean drinking water for millions.

This is our land and our water , not theirs, says John Quarterman, president of the WWALS Watershed Coalition that advocates for the conservation of five rivers in Georgia and Florida, including the Suwannee. We cant just sit here and let them come through here. We have to do something about it.

In these parts of northern Florida, as in much of the rest of the nation, the karst bedrock being drilled for the pipeline is a fragile and porous limestone.

Campaigners say that drilling has already resulted in sinkholes forming at several sites, and claim to have evidence of inadequate construction practises, including photograph from the air appearing to show the leaking of drilling mud into Georgias Withlacoochee river from a frac-out.

The consortium of companies behind the project, Spectra Energy of Houston, NextEra Energy of Juno Beach( the mother company of Florida Power and Light) and Duke Energy of Charlotte, North Carolina, insist that stringent safety measures are in place and that security threats to the environment is minimal. Drilling the pipeline, they say, makes a much smaller construction footprint than roads, railroads and water mains.

But adversaries claim Spectra including with regard to has had issues around its safety record, pointing to an explosion caused by a rupture of a natural gas pipeline across the Arkansas river in 2015; a pipeline detonation near its Nig creek compressor station in British Colombia in 2012 and documented regulatory fines of more than $650,000 for various environmental violations since 2010. Not least of the campaigners frets is the possible threat to the underground Floridan aquifer system that offer drinking water for about 10 million people, according to the US Geological Survey.

Environmental impact analyzes and an independent hydro-geological report commissioned respectively by the Sierra Club of Florida and a Native American clan leader warning against health risks of catastrophic breakdown of parts of the cave system essential to the free flowing and purity of water through the aquifer.

Sabal Trail Transmission LLC, the entity set up by the three energy companies to run the project, says campaigners anxieties are unfounded. Sabal Trail will not significantly impact karst terrain, springtimes or the Floridan aquifer with its construction or operations, Andrea Grover, the companys director of stakeholder outreach, wrote in written statements to the Guardian.

The pipeline, she said, was needed to upgrade Floridas fully or near-fully subscribed natural gas transmitting infrastructure and its road and building techniques were determined, after a lengthy consultation period, to avoid, minimize or mitigate impacts.

Protesting
Protesting the pipeline at Live Oak, Florida. Photograph: Richard Luscombe for the Guardian

There were communications, commentary periods, face-to-face and public meetings with landowners, community members and public officials, she said, adding that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission( FERC) and other pertinent federal and country environmental permitting agencies conducted regular inspections.

A massive social information campaign on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #StopSabalTrail has been set up to complement protest attempts on the ground, and organisers say a light is being shone in dark corners of the project that are normally had an opportunity to escaped scrutiny.

Until now these companies got away with it because they tucked it in these tiny Suwannee places like this and didnt tell anyone, says Josh Michener of Twin Falls, Idaho, one of several residents of the Sacred Water campsite who expended weeks in the autumn protesting at Standing Rock.

But the technology, the awareness, attains it much easier for people to know whats going on. You can say its futile, this is a pointless place to be, just a bunch of hippies in the timbers. But its not just about Florida. You can find a majestic point anywhere in the world and say its worth saving but its really the fight against these companies. Thats what constructs it universal.

There are other parallels to the campaign that halted the Dakota Access pipeline( DAPL) in December, particularly the involvement of the native American community. Last week the Seminole Tribe of North Florida said it was opening four heartland protest camps along the pipelines planned road in Levy Countys Goethe Forest and in the towns of Bronson, Williston and Dunnellon, where the tube will lie less than 3,000 ft from a high school.

The tribe is promoting campers to act as water protectors, to observe construction and document and report any violations they witness.

Although the pipeline does not cross Native American reservations, as DAPL did in North Dakota, Floridas indigenous tribes lament the impact on lands it sees as culturally sensitive, like those around Fort Drum creek in central Florida with histories dating back to the Seminole wars of the 1800 s.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Trump: 100 days that shook the world- and the activists fighting back

Three months in, the future is totally unpredictable. But a dramatic fightback is currently underway. Four activists tell us how they are adapting to the new normal

Naomi Wolf, author, political journalist and cofounder of DailyClout: Trump didnt do this. You did this. Your own inactivity brought us precisely here

The first 100 days of President Donald Trump: how has my life changed? First of all, there was the mourning period. Not for me, but for my fellow citizens. I was just mad. And I wasnt even maddest at the Trump voters. I understood that the critical battle line now are not left versus right, but the 1% neoliberal globalisers making off with all of the loot and disembowelling the middle class. So when I find the campaign, I knew that in the US, just as in the UK, a candidate who said anything at all about people forgotten in the neoliberal race would have a solid chance.

No I was mad at my own leftwing tribe. All of January, people on the left would tackle me with dazed, grief-stricken expressions, as if they had just emerged from a multi-car pileup on a foggy road. How could this have happened? What will we do ? I couldnt even bear to participate in those conversations. Ultimately I started explaining my rage to my closest friends.

I had been calling about the possibility of this very moment for eight years, since I published a piece in the Guardian titled Fascist America in ten Easy Steps and wrote a book based on it, called The Aim of America ( 2007 ). Under George Bush Jr, the left had been very receptive to the books message about how democracies are undermined by the classic tactics of would-be authoritarians.

But once Obama was elected one of ours I had to expend the next eight years screaming like a haunted Cassandra, to a room the left had abandoned. I had yelled myself hoarse for eight years under Obama about what it would mean for us to sit still while Obama sent drones in to take out US citizens in extrajudicial killings; what it would mean for us to sit still while he passed the 2012 National Defence Authorisation Act that let any chairman hold citizens for ever without charge or trial; what it would mean for us to sit still while he let NSA surveillance, let Guantnamo to stay open, and allowed hyped terrorism stories to hijack the constitution and turn the US into what finally even Robert F Kennedy Jr was calling a national security surveillance state.

Naomi
Naomi Wolf, photographed last week at Stony Brook University, NY: I was mad at my own leftwing tribe. Photo: Christopher Lane for the Observer

For eight years, under Obama, my audiences were libertarian cowboys and red-state truckers; members of the military and police forces, who were appalled by what they were witnessing; and even conservatives, worried about our legacy of liberty. My usual audience, the shoppers at Whole Foods and drivers of hybrid autoes, the trained left, my people, sat smugly at home while the very pillars of American republic were being systematically chipped away. They were watching Downton Abbey and tending their heirloom tomato patches on weekends in the Hudson Valley, because everything was OK; yeah, he may OK drone ten-strikes, but they cant be that bad, since he was one of ours a handsome, eloquent African American, a former community organiser in the Oval Office. Seduced by the image of a charming black human on Air force One who talked about change a white woman in a pantsuit( though highly pay back Goldman Sachs) talking about that highest, hardest glass ceiling the left slumbered while US democracy was undone brick by brick by brick.

So my feeling, the first inaugural month of 2017, as the left sat shiva, was: now you are worried? Now you want action? Now that the separation of powers is a joke and the constitution has collapsed around your ears, you point a finger at Trump and say, Sudden Catastrophe?

He didnt do this. You did this.

Your own inactivity and willingness to be seduced by two-bit identity politics labels, without actually doing the hard work of being patriots and defending the actual constitution brought us exactly, exactly here.

I had sought for eight years to explain to my own people, to no avail, this: “its not” that important who sits in the White House if the structures of democracy are strong. If the structures of republic are strong you can have a madman or madwoman for four years or even eight, and then he or she is gone, and the nations freedoms live.

But if you take an eight-year nap snoozing through a systematic dismantling of the structures of republic freedoms of speech; freedom of the press; separation of powers; fourth amendment rights to privacy; and allow the suspension of due process under the guise of fighting the war on terror hell yeah, some day you will wake up and there will be a crazy human or a strongman in the White House and then nothing you do or say will make a difference any more.

So yeah, Month One: I had nightly glass of red wine to dull my rage at my own feeble delusional kind, and avoided the collective liberal mourning conversation.

Month Two: February was the month of OMG! Or else, WTF! I was part of it too, as Pres Trumps new-to-us-all methods of explosion Twitter bombs, engaging in scary political theatre, perpetrating daily acts of apparent, um, economic treason, and doing it all at a bewilderingly fast pace, demanded a learning curve from us all. It was a sense of chaos, destabilisation. OMG! He issued a traveling forbid. OMG! People are held en masse at Newark New York City taxi drivers are boycotting the airport because of the ban! OMG, Uber is profiting on picking up those rides! OMG , now we have to boycott Uber! WTF! He is rounding up immigrants! OMG he is separating families at the border! WTF did Kellyanne Conway simply promote Ivanka Trumps apparel line? Isnt that illegal? WTF! Are Chinese influence-mongers genuinely lining up at Mar-a-Lago to ingratiate themselves with the presidents son-in-law? WTF stripping the EPA of any budget to keep the air and water clean? OMG did he just say he doesnt believe in global warming? There was a creek of statelier edits from Congress, as the nations WTF? reaction evolved into: can he actually do that? Ben Cardin, the Democratic senator for Maryland, proposed a Senate resolution that Pres Trump obey the emoluments clause of the constitution, which forbids bribery( Trump had refused to put his constrains in a blind trust ). States began to pass laws, such as those protection sanctuary cities, to fight back against measures that Trump was taking federally. My day-to-day life was spent at our tech company, DailyClout, developing a group of young person to write about legislation, Congress and statehouses, and putting out news narratives, blogs and opinion pieces following these developments. DailyClout is incubated in a cool space in Manhattan called Civic Hall, which is funded by Microsoft, Google and Omidyar Networks, where we are surrounded by others largely idealistic millennials who are also building arousing new tools for new various kinds of civic engagement.

Month Three: in March, we all began to see a massive grassroots resistance. I personally dont like that term, because you use that word to opposed a completed fascist takeover; it dedicates democracys adversaries too much power; right now we have a battered democracy on life support that needs defending from anyone wishing to pull the plug.

March was the month that dozens of new entities devoted to mobilising citizen action originating from the collective shock. There were so many forms of new organising and funding: online candidate training seminars to Knight Foundation grants for new tools to get public and municipal records to people. Existing civic tech sites such as PopVox and Countable were joined in March by a slew of new tools and sites put together by this powerful wave of activism. Our collective missions got boosted with jet fuel by the huge burst in ordinary citizens wanting and needing to take action. New platforms ranged from 5 Calls which came out of the experience of volunteers in the Clinton campaign and which sends you political action steps to take in five phone calls to DailyAction, a similar service, which emerged out of Creative Majority, a Pac that supports Democratic nominees, and USAFacts, set up by Steve Ballmer, formerly of Microsoft, which compiles and crunches federal, nation and local data from government sources. My own life mission didnt reorient, since I had cofounded DailyClouts platform in 2010. But utilize of our civic engagement tools skyrocketed. Our first product, called BillCam, lets you search a database of live country and federal bills, then pop a live bill into your blog or news articles; it lets you interact with the bills in real day and share them socially. We also made RSS feeds to stream live state and federal legislation right into the websites of local, regional and national news sites, and the websites of elected officials. In March we boosted our blog stream and videos covering new nation and federal legislation, and started to report on what people could do locally to push forward their issues. Our sites on social media grew by triple and quadruple digits.

Protesters
Protesters against Trumps travel ban order outside JFK Airport, 30 January. Photo: Xinhua/ Barcroft Images

I presented these tools in March to news outlets and candidates and campaigns around the country from Maine to Ohio to Oregon. I felt as if I was rediscovering my own nation, as the people in it were rediscovering belatedly how precious and fragile republic was, and how much it depends on an informed citizenship. We were invited to demo it in a senate office; we visited Congress too, for our first exclusive interview, with Representative French Hill of Arkansas; I had never before been inside the Senate office building, or the Congresss Longworth House Office Building. It was uplifting and moving to me. I also insured that elected officials worried about democracy, and wanting to empower real citizens, existed on both sides of the aisle.

We got our widget embedding live bills into news outlets totalling 160 million readers. In Q1 of 2017, 113,000 people searched BillCam to look at bills that would affect them that they could now affect in turn. There are still shocking days missiles to Syria, gunboats to North Korea but we stay focused.

An amazing thing happened in March. The distinguished technologist George Polisner who quit his senior-level role at Oracle in a public letter, encompassed widely in the US press, in which he demurred from Oracles CEOs intention of working with President Trump had started Civ.Works, a social platform, privacy protected so citizens can organise without fear of a corporate-buyout Big Brother. Polisner and DailyClout joined forces in March. Were working to combine Civ.Works power of organising with the power of DailyClouts streaming digital updates via RSS feeds, blogs and video, about local and federal legislation. No wonder I feel aroused about the future.

Am I happy about the current? I feel incredibly energised, hopeful and certain that if enough citizens, in our democracy and worldwide, wake up( as they are) and are able to get hold of real tools to use republic and those best-case tools are now digital and link to social and digital media we can indeed be in the midst of what another chairman called a new birth of liberty. Where I live, every day, on the frontlines of this digital revolution, there is every reason to feel in spired. That doesnt mean I am happy about where the nation is I am highly scared, just as I am frightened about the future of Europe in a parallel assault on its democracies.

But the biggest threat in the US or the UK isnt one political party or nominee. It is peoples ignorance about their own democracies and their till-now lack of real-life tools protecting children. DailyClout UK and DailyClout EU are next on our list of planned launches: the UK legislative database is entirely unsearchable, and the UK Parliaments own website ends in dead connects when you try to find actual legislation. The EU website tells you with difficulty what bills have passed but doesnt indicate you what is coming up, when you might possibly take action it offers a feed of pointless press releases instead. This lack of legislative transparency and usability had a lot to do, I believe, with the Brexit vote.

Months Four, Five and Six will see more and more of these tools from dozens of T-shirt-clad bespectacled tech revolutionaries, coming online. Geeks are the new patriots, and code is the new shot heard round the world.

Naomi Wolf lately finished a PhD at the University of Oxford and is CEO of DailyClout.io

May Boeve, environmental campaigner and director of 350. org: We will take power back. And when that happens, we need a very bold agenda

May
May Boeve photographed in Dumbo Brooklyn: Were up against: the full political might of the fossil-fuel industry. Photograph: Christopher Lane for the Observer

As soon as we sang the first chorus of the hymn, the tears started. Here I go again, I guessed, screaming in church. This was three weeks ago. And the week before, and the week before that, all the way back to last Novembers election.

Sudden emotional outbursts are how Im able to understand what Donald Trumps presidency means to me. I wasnt disconnected to these emotions before, but its the unexpected and potent nature that has changed.

Im in no immediate hazard from the Trump presidency. Im not fearing expulsion, the loss of my healthcare, a racially motivated apprehend. I havent been personally attacked online or in the real world. So when I get scared and start crying, I wonder what it would feel like to be in that more vulnerable position, and Im more distressed by the damage being done.

My lens on Trump stems from work in the climate motion. My vantage point is as executive director of 350. org, a global effort to build a social movement that can confront the power of the fossil-fuel industry and accelerate our transition to 100% renewable energy.

Trump stands in direct opposition to those goals. As president, he has wholeheartedly taken the side of the petroleum, coal, and gas industry and is already watching to it that their agenda is legislated. Previous US presidents and nominees also did business with this industry, but at the same time they denounced the threat of climate destabilisation, worked actively to secure international diplomatic alliances leading to an agreement, and achieved some progress from the executive branch.

Before Trumps election, the climate motion had made some serious advance. Thanks to the good work of movements around the world, the social licence of this industry is on the decline. Investors are pulling their dollars, banks are cancelling loans, and public is supportive of fossil-fuel companies is low.

Ditto for the politicians who back them up. Take congressman Lamar Smith of Texas : 45% of his constituents , not unacquainted with his ties to the oil industry, were less inclined to vote for Smith when as chair of the house science committee he failed to investigate ExxonMobils alleged climate cover-up.( 350. org is under subpoena from Smiths office for our efforts to get the truth out about Exxon .) From the political arena to our energy markets, it felt like the tide was ultimately beginning to turn in our direction.

But then along came Donald Trump to declare climate change a hoax( the only head of state in the world to do so ), promising to revive the coal industry( declining in the US, thanks to terrific organising ), and appointing known climate-change deniers to head the very offices responsible for regulating the problem.

When Trump won, a new kind of desperation settled over climate activists. Were fairly accustomed to despair already climate sorrow circles have started up in Australia, home to devastating heatwaves, fires, drought, and a basically decimated Great Barrier Reef but this felt like something new.

One week after the election, I was at a collect with motion leaders across the faith, labour, LGBTQ and reproductive justice movements. We were each asked to write down one hard truth about the election that we hadnt yet said out loud. One person wrote: The small window of day we had to dramatically reduce emissions may have just closed.

At the very time when we need to be taking great leapings forward, Trump and his allies are dragging us backwards with an ideology that puts corporate power above all else and youd be hard pressed to find a decide of corporations more desperate to hold on to power than the likes of Exxon, Chevron and numerous coal and gas companies with less brand recognition.

At least now theres no mystery about what were up against: the full political might of the fossil-fuel industry. Two examples register highly on that score. The first is the appointment of former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. The second is the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.

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A successful protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline slated to drill beneath the Missouri River and through sacred Sioux grounds has been reversed by Trump Photograph: DDP USA/ Rex/ Shutterstock

The Tillerson appointment stands out because even the most cynical and pessimistic among us didnt predict that a person at the pinnacle of big petroleum would be in charge of diplomacy in the Trump regime. As my colleague Bill McKibben has said, you might as well ask Ronald McDonald to head up the Department of Agriculture. And Exxon isnt just any oil company: it has concealed what it knew about climate change, as early as the late 1970 s, in order to continue making money on a product it knew was wrecking the planet. It money climate-denying thinktanks and retained the same firms that helped tobacco companies claim that nicotine isnt addictive. It should be bad enough to have the entire cabinet made up of the 1 %, but the state post provides Tillerson and Exxon with far too much temptation to officially use the US foreign policy apparatus to keep extracting more oil.

The night I considered that Trump indicated Tillerson for the post, I burst into tears and crawled into bed. It was a feeling close to panic, in recognition of what might happen and how powerless I felt. Thank goodness Im part of a big team, some of whom love battle and were quick to start writing and rendering statements denouncing his appointment. Reports came out last week that of all the cabinet members, Tillerson is doing the best chore maintaining a close relationship to the president. Because this man is used to operating in privacy, well have to stay vigilant to understand the moves hell be making.

Then there is the remarkable narrative about the Dakota Access pipeline and the historic resistance at Standing Rock. At no other day has there been this much widespread opposition to a pipeline, for the many reasons pipelines merit our opposition. This represented an alliance of tribes whose rights, subsistences and lives have been systematically desecrated by the US government and firms. The camp at Standing Rock itself was a symbol of everything Trumpism cannot be: spiritually grounded, connected to history and land, fundamentally respectful of the rights of nature and peoples, infused with art and music and heart. It moved people to act in solidarity all over the world. Many moved fund out of the banks invested in the project.

And the resistance ran. The forces at Standing Rock peacefully made sure that the Obama administration put a stop to the construction and allowed further review of the pipelines viability.

So it was with cruelty the same cruelty seen in the enactment of the Muslim travel ban and the gamble with the healthcare of 24 million people that Trump signed an executive order to begin construction immediately. At the end of March, oil began to flow through the pipeline. This is why Im still weeping in church. The minute I start to feel numb, I believe Ill lose some hope and resolve.

And there is another animating objective. Progressives share so much, but so often our human nature and lopsided structures get in the way. Can we use this moment to be honest with one another in a new and different way, and clear up longstanding disagreements and inequalities that enable us to be aligned behind a common vision? Because I believe we will take power back. And when that happens, we need to legislate a very bold agenda that propels political prospects far, far away from where Trump has dragged them.

This work is already under way: its the work of dialogues between unions and environmentalists; big, well-funded international organizations and smaller grassroots ones; centrist and more radical activists; and those who believe change comes from disrupting unjust laws and those whose work is to pass just ones.

Its the work of the Peoples Climate March, which will take place on Saturday, 29 April in Washington DC and throughout the rest of the country. Its message aspires to the future were trying to build, and its being organised by a diverse cross-section of the entire movement.

That tearful day in church ended on a high note. Afterwards, some friends and I went to New Yorks MoMA PS1 museum to see the Rev Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou perform. Rev Sekou is a Pentecostal minister, an author and a gospel and blues musician, who has been active in the Movement for Black Lives. Yes, I went to church twice that day, and no, that isnt the norm for me! And where reference is sang What a time to be alive, the revolution has come, I didnt feel like crying I felt like getting back to work.

Alicia Garza, co-founder, Black Lives Matter: We are in for a long fight and not all of us will make it

Alicia
Alicia Garza: The resistance is real. Photograph: Kristin Little

20 January 2017 marked a turning point for the entire world. Since the outcome of the elections were announced on 8 November 2016 Id been feeling mostly numb, unable to process what potential impacts would be for me, my family and the person or persons I care about. I felt the need to be quiet, to be somewhere quiet. To have space to think.

Every step I took felt like walking on eggshells. The first few weeks after the election everyone around me seemed to be unsure, fearful and riddled with anxiety. I was too. Quick to lash out, slacken to listen. I had nothing to start from except what Id heard during the campaign.

And yet, at the same time, I did know what was coming. Perhaps somewhere my cells were reorganising to protect my heart from what was inevitable. More suffering, more uncertainty. More people dying for trying to live. During the campaign, the surrogates for our current president unabashedly attacked Black Lives Matter activists as terrorists and cop murderers. In the aftermath of the election, there were many different answers. Some decided to continue their work as before and felt that not much had changed. Others decided to demonstrate their resistance by doing a direct action at the inauguration. Others shared information about the key players in the incoming administration, attempting to support others in the network to understand more clearly the new political agenda. All of us remain committed to the work of black liberation.

During the holidays, my family and I talked over dinner about personal security. I described to them a new set of protocols we would need to begin using in order to ensure our safety, insofar as that was even possible. My parents described their anxiety of what was to come. A lawsuit filed by a rabid conservative former district attorney hung over our heads as someone charged us and other activists with starting a race war. Indeed, the election of Donald Trump was just a nuclear plume slowly rising over the United States.

What Ive learned in the first 100 days of this administration is that you can never stop dreaming about freedom. Ive spent the past few months being relatively quiet. Listening. Brushing up on my reading about the right wing in the United States and the movement it has been diligently constructing for the past 30 years. Ive taken to business practices of listening more and also listening less. Listening more to whats not being said, watching as the various factions on the right joust for power and influence. Ive taken stock of the damage, as the right wing now controls the presidency, the supreme court, Congress and the majority of state parliaments. Listening less to voices that refuse to deal with our political reality as it actually is, as opposed to how they want it to be.

The low phases over the past few months have been many. Executive order after executive order that sought to punish the communities that induce America great Muslims, undocumented immigrants, black people, females, faggot communities, transgender people. A law and order agenda that seeks to criminalise anyone who disagrees with the administrations aims. An attorney general who refuses to protect each person equally. A secretary of education who seeks to privatise public education. A secretary of housing and urban development who seeks to slash an already paper-thin budget for housing set aside for those living in poverty. A chief strategist with white supremacist leaningswho is responsible not just for advising the president, but who, to all intents and purposes, is the one pushing the many decisions that this so-called chairman espouses on television. And of course, the recent bombings of Syria and Afghanistan. Certainly, we are in for a long oppose and not all of us will make it.

A
A Protest against proposed Republican legislation that would change Medicaid funding, New York. Photograph: Justin Lane/ EPA

I comfort my mothers who are concerned about the state of their healthcare. Theyre both in their 60 s and have recently retired. And so, while the Affordable Care Act isnt perfect, it is what they have and it is what they depend on. And it is what they deserve, what every human being on this Earth deserves to be cared for.

And yet I am hopeful. The disorganisation of our political scenery offers abundant opportunities for new strategies and a transformation in the way we care for each other. I greet the opportunity to be closer to my neighbours, to fight for myself, my family and my loved ones with every fiber of my being. Inside of the quiet, the cynicism dissipates. We have no choice other than to fight back, to take back what was always flawed but still holds the promise of what could be.

I remember that the resistance is real and it lives. The day before the president is inaugurated, I join more than a million women in the street of Washington, DC ; for many, this was their first time on a demo. When the president followed orders from his chief strategist to institute a travel prohibition on Muslims, airports were shut down by those fighting for republic and those caught in the crosshairs of such a ridiculous endeavor were given legal subsistence and reunited with their families. I work with the National Domestic Workers Alliance, a prominent voice and political vehicle for the millions of domestic workers in the United States who are still excluded from most federal labour protections and so when the president initially nominated a man for secretary of labour who was known for his opposition to workers rights, we participated in the resistance to stop him from being confirmed. Representatives returned to their home districts and were forced to face their constituents in ways that they havent had to in decades.

And so, while there are many challenges to overcome, it is good to know that we are not alone in attempting to find the solutions necessary to save our lives and the lives of millions who are vulnerable not only in the United States, but around the world. Wherever there is oppression, there is resistance. Im happy to know which side Im on.

Linda Tirado, writer on poverty: My instinct is to set off around the country asking impertinent questions

Linda
Linda Tirado photographed in Washington, DC: At least I have fertile land and a defensible perimeter. Photograph: Scott Suchman for the Observer

I live in the heart of Trump country, in Meigs County, Ohio, a rural county struggling with poverty and addiction. My neighbours are precisely the people the right wing have been preying on and propagandising while the left abandoned them for decades. I wasnt awfully surprised to find Clinton had lost. Id just published a column in the Guardian about why so many people would be voting for Trump. But I sob on election night and then get well and truly drunk, because I didnt want to think about what was coming next.

My household is bracing of natural disasters. I wrote a volume, Hand to Mouth , about what a precarious life feels like, but this is the first time Ive felt precarity coming in my bones and also “ve had enough” income to assuage my dreads of: not enough food , not enough warmth , not sufficient anything on hand to deal with situations of emergency. I have a garden, as anyone in the country does, but we got serious about it after the election. This is the first year Ive thought that food costs will spike enough to make it worth focusing on the garden as a food source , not just a pastime. Increased immigration raids will likely leave food rotting in the fields and shipping costs will probably go up as they do during periods of uncertainty; imported food will be more expensive.

And the more the country talked about Russia, the more sense it made to expand the plans we had for a few tomatoes and beans to include asparagus and maybe some root veggies because theyll keep just fine. The logic: oil and power expenses tend to spike when Russias doing a thing and were bombing the Middle East. Then we thought: maybe berry shrubs. A few fruit trees. And a herb patch. And perhaps we should borrow a tiller at this phase or buy one? Just now, Im mapping out two weeks of my schedule around harvest time so I can be home to do the food preservation. Were not about freeze-dried food storage yet; right now people are still only joking about nukes.

Besides, these sections of the countrys turning into a rainforest. A decade ago this part of Ohio didnt reach such high temperature. Now summers are lush and humid, while wintertimes are becoming harsher. So its not such a bad idea, if you happen to have the land and the time to get the work done, to be working on sustainability. Partially thats environmentalism, but its an economic consideration too. Its a thing we talk about over dinner at home or with friends. We also talk about power. Electricity is expensive, so is heating petroleum, and gas aint free either. Power will merely get more expensive as regulations are rolled back and the market is left to its own devices. Water is already a scarce commodity. Might as well put in some solar panels if you can afford it.

I expended the weeks between the election and the inauguration mostly glued to Twitter. I tried to help people reason through what had just happened. I impatiently explained the philosophical and historical definition of fascism versus the hyperbolic version. I demanded we all grow up and focus on the important stuff: not what had happened, but what was coming. My audience grew and split into groups people who liked my satirical round-ups of the incoming administrations peccadilloes, people who liked that I discussed the reasons we were vulnerable to a demagogue, people who just wanted someone to explain what the fuck is had happened.

I started taking more note of political conversation I hear around me, too, here in rural Ohio, where they went for Trump hard. Consensus seemed to be constructing that voting Trump hadnt ran but as it was a last-ditch try anyway, it was worth waiting to see. Nobody quite agreed on what he was supposed to have done or, instead, there were a lot of things. Largely, he was supposed to have interrupted everything but not exactly like this. He needed to get off that stupid Twitter, anyway, everyone agreed on that. I keep wondering what these people didnt learn from the Tea Party.

Once the inauguration was over, I largely discontinue trying to explain anything to anyone online; emotion was riding too high and we were back to violating news instead of analysis and I was scheming a garden, so I started joking that no matter what happened, at the least I had fertile land and a defensible perimeter. When the children werent listening, we talked about what guns to buy.

Trump: 100 days that shook the world- and the activists opposing back

Three months in, the future is totally unpredictable. But a dramatic fightback is under way. Four activists tell us how they are adapting to the new normal

Naomi Wolf, writer, political journalist and cofounder of DailyClout: Trump didnt do this. You did this. Your own inactivity brought us precisely here

The first 100 days of President Donald Trump: how has my life changed? First of all, there was the mourning period. Not for me, but for my fellow citizens. I was just mad. And I wasnt even maddest at the Trump voters. I understood that the critical battle lines now are not left versus right, but the 1% neoliberal globalisers stimulating off with all of the pillage and disembowelling the middle class. So when I saw the campaign, I knew that in the US, just as in the UK, a candidate who said anything at all about people forgotten in the neoliberal race would have a solid chance.

No I was mad at my own leftwing tribe. All of January, people on the left would tackle me with dazed, grief-stricken express, as if they had just originating from a multi-car pileup on a foggy road. How could this have happened? What will we do ? I couldnt even bear to participate in those conversations. Eventually I started explaining my fury to my closest friends.

I had been screaming about the possibility of setting up this very moment for eight years, since I publish a piece in the Guardian titled Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps and wrote a book based on it, called The Aim of America ( 2007 ). Under George Bush Jr, the left had been very receptive to the books message about how republics are undermined by the classic tactics of would-be authoritarians.

But once Obama was elected one of ours I had to expend the next eight years screaming like a haunted Cassandra, to a room the left had abandoned. I had screamed myself hoarse for eight years under Obama about what it would mean for us to sit still while Obama sent dronings in to take out US citizens in extrajudicial killings; what it would mean for us to sit still while he passed the 2012 National Defence Authorisation Act that let any president hold citizens for ever without charge or trial; what it would mean for us to sit still while he allowed NSA surveillance, let Guantnamo to stay open, and allowed hyped terrorism narratives to hijack the constitution and turn the US into what ultimately even Robert F Kennedy Jr was calling a national security surveillance country.

Naomi
Naomi Wolf, photographed last week at Stony Brook University, NY: I was mad at my own leftwing tribe. Photo: Christopher Lane for the Observer

For eight years, under Obama, my audiences were libertarian cowboys and red-state truckers; members of the military and police forces, who were appalled by what they were witnessing; and even conservatives, worried about our legacy of freedom. My usual audience, the shoppers at Whole Foods and drivers of hybrid vehicles, the educated left, my people, sat smugly at home while the very pillars of American democracy were being consistently chipped away. They were watching Downton Abbey and tending their heirloom tomato patches on weekends in the Hudson Valley, because everything was OK; yeah, he may OK drone strikes, but they cant be that bad, since he was one of ours a handsome, eloquent African American, a former community organiser in the Oval Office. Seduced by the image of a charming black man on Air Force One who talked about change a white woman in a pantsuit( though highly pay back Goldman Sachs) talking about that highest, hardest glass ceiling the left slumbered while US democracy was undone brick by brick by brick.

So my feeling, the first inaugural month of 2017, as the left sat shiva, was: now you are worried? Now you want action? Now that the separation of powers is a joke and the constitution has collapsed around your ears, you point a finger at Trump and say, Sudden Catastrophe?

He didnt do this. You did this.

Your own inaction and willingness to be seduced by two-bit identity politics labels, without actually doing the hard work of being patriots and defending the actual constitution brought us precisely, precisely here.

I had sought for eight years to explain to my own people, to no avail, this: “its not” that important who sits in the White House if the structures of republic are strong. If the structures of democracy are strong you can have a madman or madwoman for four years or even eight, and then he or she is gone, and the nations liberties live.

But if you take an eight-year nap snoozing through a systematic dismantling of the structures of republic freedoms of speech; freedom of the press; separation of powers; fourth amendment rights to privacy; and allow the suspension of due process under the guise of fighting the war on terror hell yeah, some day you will wake up and there will be a crazy man or a strongman in the White House and then nothing you do or say will make a difference any more.

So yeah, Month One: I had nightly glass of red wine to dull my rage at my own feeble delusional kind, and avoided the collective liberal mourning conversation.

Month Two: February was the month of OMG! Or else, WTF! I was part of it too, as Pres Trumps new-to-us-all methods of explosion Twitter bombs, engaging in scary political theater, perpetrating daily acts of apparent, um, economic treason, and doing it all at a bewilderingly fast pace, demanded a learning curve from us all. It was a sense of chaos, destabilisation. OMG! He issued a travel prohibition. OMG! People are held en masse at Newark New York City taxi drivers are boycotting the airport because of the ban! OMG, Uber is profiting on picking up those rides! OMG , now we have to boycott Uber! WTF! He is rounding up immigrants! OMG he is separating families at the border! WTF did Kellyanne Conway merely promote Ivanka Trumps clothing line? Isnt that illegal? WTF! Are Chinese influence-mongers genuinely lining up at Mar-a-Lago to ingratiate themselves with the presidents son-in-law? WTF stripping the EPA of any budget to keep the air and water clean? OMG did he just say he doesnt believes in global warming? There was a creek of statelier edits from Congress, as the nations WTF? reaction developing into: can he really do that? Ben Cardin, the Democratic senator for Maryland, proposed a Senate resolution that Pres Trump obey the emoluments clause of the constitution, which forbids bribery( Trump had refused to set his holds in a blind trust ). States began to pass laws, such as those protection sanctuary cities, to fight back against measures that Trump was taking federally. My day-to-day life was spent at our tech company, DailyClout, developing a group of young people to write about legislation, Congress and statehouses, and putting out news stories, blogs and sentiment pieces following these developments. DailyClout is incubated in a cool space in Manhattan called Civic Hall, which is funded by Microsoft, Google and Omidyar Networks, where we are surrounded by others mostly idealistic millennials who are also constructing exciting new tools for new kinds of civic engagement.

Month Three: in March, we all began to see a massive grassroots resistance. I personally dont like that word, because you use that word to opposed a completed fascist takeover; it gives democracys adversaries too much power; right now we have a battered democracy on life supporting that it was necessary to defending from anyone wishing to pull the plug.

March was the month that dozens of new entities devoted to mobilising citizen action originating from the collective shock. There were so many forms of new organising and funding: online candidate training seminars to Knight Foundation grants for new tools to get public and municipal records to people. Existing civic tech sites such as PopVox and Countable were joined in March by a slew of new tools and sites put together by this powerful wave of activism. Our collective missions got boosted with jet fuel by the huge burst in ordinary citizens wanting and shall be required to take action. New platforms ranged from 5 Calls which came out of the experience of volunteers in the Clinton campaign and which sends you political action steps to take in five phone calls to DailyAction, a similar service, which emerged out of Creative Majority, a Pac that supports Democratic candidates, and USAFacts, put in by Steve Ballmer, formerly of Microsoft, which compiles and crunches federal, country and local data from government sources. My own life mission didnt reorient, since I had cofounded DailyClouts platform in 2010. But use of our civic engagement tools skyrocketed. Our first product, called BillCam, lets you search a database of live state and federal bills, then pop a live bill into your blog or news articles; it lets you interact with the bills in real hour and share them socially. We also created RSS feeds to stream live country and federal legislation right into the websites of local, regional and national news sites, and the websites of elected officials. In March we boosted our blog creek and videos covering new state and federal legislation, and started to report on what people could do locally to push forward their issues. Our sites on social media was increased by triple and quadruple digits.

Protesters
Protesters against Trumps travel ban order outside JFK Airport, 30 January. Photo: Xinhua/ Barcroft Images

I presented these tools in March to news outlets and nominees and campaigns around the country from Maine to Ohio to Oregon. I felt as if I was rediscovering my own nation, as the person or persons in it were rediscovering belatedly how precious and fragile democracy was, and how much it depends on an informed citizenship. We were invited to demo it in a senate office; we visited Congress too, for our first exclusive interview, with Representative French Hill of Arkansas; I had never before been inside the Senate office building, or the Congresss Longworth House Office Building. It was uplifting and moving to me. I also assured that elected official worried about republic, and wanting to empower real citizens, existed on both sides of the aisle.

We got our widget embedding live bills into news outlets totalling 160 million readers. In Q1 of 2017, 113,000 people searched BillCam to look at bills that would affect them that they could now affect in turn. There are still shocking days missiles to Syria, gunboats to North Korea but we stay focused.

An amazing thing happened in March. The distinguished technologist George Polisner who quit his senior-level role at Oracle in a public letter, covered widely in the US press, in which he demurred from Oracles CEOs intention of working with President Trump had started Civ.Works, a social platform, privacy protected so citizens can organise without dread of a corporate-buyout Big brother. Polisner and DailyClout joined forces in March. Were working to combine Civ.Works power of organising with the power of DailyClouts streaming digital updates via RSS feeds, blogs and video, about local and federal legislation. No wonder I feel excited about the future.

Am I happy about the present? I feel incredibly energised, hopeful and certain that if enough citizens, in our republic and worldwide, wake up( because this is) and are able to get hold of real tools to use democracy and those best-case tools are now digital and link to social and digital media we can indeed be in the midst of what another chairman called a new birth of freedom. Where I live, every day, on the frontlines of this digital revolution, there is every reason to feel in spired. That doesnt entail I am happy about where the nation is I am highly scared, just as I am scared about the future of Europe in a parallel assault on its democracies.

But the biggest threat in the US or the UK isnt one political party or nominee. It is peoples ignorance about their own democracies and their till-now lack of real-life tools protecting children. DailyClout UK and DailyClout EU are next on our listing of planned launches: the UK legislative database is totally unsearchable, and the UK Parliaments own website ends in dead connects when you try to find actual legislation. The EU website tells you with difficulty what bills have passed but doesnt demonstrate you what is coming up, when you might possibly take action it offers a feed of pointless press releases instead. This lack of legislative transparency and usability had a lot to do, I believe, with the Brexit vote.

Months Four, Five and Six will see more and more of these tools from dozens of T-shirt-clad bespectacled tech revolutionaries, coming online. Geeks are the new patriots, and code is the new shot heard round the world.

Naomi Wolf lately finished a PhD at the University of Oxford and is CEO of DailyClout.io

May Boeve, environmental campaigner and director of 350. org: We will take power back. And when that happens, we need a very bold agenda

May
May Boeve photographed in Dumbo Brooklyn: Were up against: the full political might of the fossil-fuel industry. Photograph: Christopher Lane for the Observer

As soon as we sang the first chorus of the hymn, the tears started. Here I go again, I believed, screaming in church. This was three weeks ago. And the week before, and the week before that, all the way back to last Novembers election.

Sudden emotional outbursts are how Im able to understand what Donald Trumps presidency means to me. I wasnt disconnected to these feelings before, but its the unexpected and potent nature that has changed.

Im in no immediate peril from the Trump presidency. Im not fearing expulsion, the loss of my healthcare, a racially motivated apprehend. I havent been personally attacked online or in the real world. So when I get scared and start crying, I wonder what it would feel like to be in that more vulnerable position, and Im more distressed by the damage being done.

My lens on Trump stems from work in the climate motion. My vantage point is as executive director of 350. org, a global effort to build a social movement that they are able confront the power of the fossil-fuel the enterprises and accelerate our transition to 100% renewable energy.

Trump stands in direct opposition to those goals. As chairman, he has wholeheartedly taken the side of the petroleum, coal, and gas industry and is already assuring to it that their agenda is enacted. Previous US presidents and candidates also did business with this industry, but at the same time they condemned the threat of climate destabilisation, worked actively to secure international diplomatic confederations leading to an agreement, and achieved some progression from the executive branch.

Before Trumps election, the climate motion had made some serious progress. Thanks to the good work of movements around the world, the social licence of this industry is on the deterioration. Investors are pulling their dollars, banks are cancelling loans, and public is supportive of fossil-fuel companies is low.

Ditto for the legislators who back them up. Take congressman Lamar Smith of Texas : 45% of his constituents , not unacquainted with his ties to the oil industry, were less inclined to vote for Smith when as chair of the house science committee he failed to investigate ExxonMobils alleged climate cover-up.( 350. org is under subpoena from Smiths office for our efforts to get the truth out about Exxon .) From the political arena to our energy marketplaces, it felt like the tide was ultimately beginning to turn in our direction.

But then along came Donald Trump to proclaim climate change a hoax( the only head of state in the world to do so ), promising to revive the coal industry( declining in the US, thanks to terrific organising ), and appointing known climate-change deniers to head the very offices responsible for regulating the problem.

When Trump won, a new kind of despair resolved over climate activists. Were pretty accustomed to despair already climate heartbreak circles have started up in Australia, home to devastating heatwaves, flames, drought, and a basically decimated Great Barrier Reef but this felt like something new.

One week after the election, I was at a collect with movement leaders across the faith, labour, LGBTQ and reproductive justice movements. We were each asked to write down one hard truth about the election that we hadnt yet said out loud. One person wrote: The small window of day we had to dramatically reduce emissions may have just closed.

At the very day when we need to be taking great leapings forward, Trump and his allies are dragging us backwards with an ideology that puts corporate power above all else and youd be hard pressed to find a situated of corporations more desperate to hold on to power than the likes of Exxon, Chevron and numerous coal and gas companies with less brand recognition.

At least now theres no mystery about what were up against: the full political might of the fossil-fuel industry. Two instances register highly on that rating. The first is the appointment of former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. The second is the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.

The
A successful protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline slated to drill beneath the Missouri River and through sacred Sioux grounds has been reversed by Trump Photograph: DDP USA/ Rex/ Shutterstock

The Tillerson appointment stands out because even the most cynical and pessimistic among us didnt predict that a person at the spire of big petroleum would be in charge of diplomacy in the Trump regime. As my colleague Bill McKibben has said, you might as well ask Ronald McDonald to head up the Department of Agriculture. And Exxon isnt merely any petroleum company: it has concealed what it knew about climate change, as early as the late 1970 s, in order to continue making money on a product it knew was wrecking countries around the world. It funded climate-denying thinktanks and retained the same firms that helped tobacco companies claim that nicotine isnt addictive. It should be bad enough to have the entire cabinet made up of the 1 %, but the nation post provides Tillerson and Exxon with far too much temptation to officially use the US foreign policy apparatus to keep extracting more oil.

The night I saw that Trump indicated Tillerson for the post, I burst into tears and crawled into bed. It was a feeling close to panic, in recognition of what might happen and how powerless I felt. Thank goodness Im part of a big team, some of whom love battle and were quick to start writing and making statements denouncing his appointment. Reports came out last week that of all the cabinet members, Tillerson is doing the best job maintaining a close relationship to the president. Because this human is used to operating in secrecy, well have to stay vigilant to understand the moves hell be making.

Then there is the remarkable tale about the Dakota Access pipeline and the historic resistance at Standing Rock. At no other hour has there been this much widespread opposition to a gas pipeline, for the many reasons pipelines merit our opponent. This represented an alliance of tribes whose rights, livelihoods and lives have been systematically desecrated by the US government and corporations. The camp at Standing Rock itself was a symbol of everything Trumpism cannot be: spiritually grounded, connected to history and land, basically respectful of the rights of nature and peoples, infused with arts and music and heart. It moved people to act in solidarity all over the world. Many moved money out of the banks invested in the project.

And the resistance worked. The forces at Standing Rock peacefully made sure that the Obama administration put a stop to the construction and allowed further review of the pipelines viability.

So it was with cruelty the same cruelty seen in the enactment of the Muslim travel ban and the gamble with the healthcare of 24 million people that Trump signed an executive order to begin construction immediately. At the end of March, oil began to flow through the pipeline. This is why Im still screaming in church. The minute I start to feel numb, I believe Ill lose some hope and resolve.

And there is another animating objective. Progressives share so much, but so often our human nature and lopsided structures get in the way. Can we use this moment to be honest with each other in a new and different route, and clear up longstanding disagreements and inequalities that enable us to be aligned behind a common vision? Because I believe we will take power back. And when that happens, we need to legislate a very bold agenda that propels political possibilities far, far away from where Trump has dragged them.

This work is already under way: its the work of dialogues between unions and environmentalists; big, well-funded organisations and smaller grassroots ones; centrist and more radical activists; and those who believe change comes from disrupting unjust laws and those whose work is to pass simply ones.

Its the work of the Peoples Climate March, which will take place on Saturday, 29 April in Washington DC and throughout the rest of the country. Its message aspires to the future were trying to build, and its being organised by a diverse cross-section of the entire movement.

That tearful day in church aimed on a high note. Afterwards, some friends and I went to New Yorks MoMA PS1 museum to see the Rev Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou perform. Rev Sekou is a Pentecostal minister, an writer and a gospel and blues musician, who has been active in the Movement for Black Lives. Yes, I went to church twice that day, and no, that isnt the norm for me! And when he sing What a time to be alive, the revolution has come, I didnt feel like exclaiming I felt like getting back to work.

Alicia Garza, co-founder, Black Lives Matter: We are in for a long fight and not all of us will make it

Alicia
Alicia Garza: The resistance is real. Photo: Kristin Little

20 January 2017 marked a turning point for the entire world. Since the election results were announced on 8 November 2016 Id been feeling mostly numb, unable to process what the impact would be for me, my family and the people I care about. I felt the need to be quiet, to be somewhere quiet. To have space to think.

Every step I took felt like walking on eggshells. The first few weeks after the election everyone around me seemed to be unsure, fearful and riddled with nervousnes. I was too. Quick to lash out, slow to listen. I had nothing to start from except what Id heard during the campaign.

And yet, at the same time, I did know what was coming. Perhaps somewhere my cells were reorganising to protect my heart from what was inevitable. More suffering, more uncertainty. More people dying for trying to live. During the campaign, the surrogates for our current president unabashedly attacked Black Lives Matter activists as terrorists and policeman killers. In the aftermath of the election, there were many different reactions. Some decided to continue their work as before and felt that not much had changed. Others decided to demonstrate their resistance by doing a direct action at the inauguration. Others shared information about the key players in the incoming administration, attempting to support others in the network to understand more clearly the new political agenda. All of us remain committed to the work of black liberation.

During the holidays, my family and I talked over dinner about personal security. I described to them a new situate of protocols we would need to begin using in order to ensure our safety, insofar as that was even possible. My mothers described their anxiety of what was to come. A suit filed by a rabid conservative former district attorney hung over our heads as someone charged us and other activists with starting a race war. Indeed, the election of Donald Trump was like a nuclear plume slowly rising over the United States.

What Ive learned in the first 100 days of the authorities concerned is that you can never stop dreaming about freedom. Ive expended the past few months being relatively quiet. Listening. Brushing up on my reading about the right wing in the United States and the movement it has been diligently building for the past 30 years. Ive taken to business practices of listening more and also listening less. Listening more to whats not being said, watching as the various factions on the right joust for power and influence. Ive taken stock of the damage, as the right wing now controls the presidency, the supreme court, Congress and the majority of state parliaments. Listening less to voices that refuse to deal with our political reality as it actually is, as opposed to how they want it to be.

The low points over the past few months have been many. Executive order after executive order that sought to punish the communities that stimulate America great Muslims, undocumented immigrants, black people, women, faggot communities, transgender people. A law and order agenda that seeks to criminalise anyone who disagrees with the administrations aims. An us attorney general who refuses to protect each person equally. A secretary of education who seeks to privatise public education. A secretary of housing and urban planning who seeks to slash an already paper-thin budget for housing set aside for those living in poverty. A chief strategist with white supremacist tiltedswho is responsible not just for advising the president, but who, to all intents and purposes, is the one pushing the many decisions that this so-called chairwoman espouses on television. And of course, the recent bombings of Syria and Afghanistan. Surely, we find ourselves in for a long battle and not all of us will make it.

A
A Protest against proposed Republican legislation that would change Medicaid funding, New York. Photo: Justin Lane/ EPA

I comfort my mothers who are concerned about the state of their healthcare. Theyre both in their 60 s and have recently retired. And so, while the Affordable Care Act isnt perfect, it is what they have and it is what they depend on. And it is what they deserve, what every human being on this Earth deserves to be cared for.

And yet I am hopeful. The disorganisation of our political scenery offers abundant opportunities for new strategies and a transformation in the way we care for each other. I greet the opportunity to be closer to my neighbours, to fight for myself, my family and my loved ones with every fiber of my being. Inside of the quiet, the cynicism dissipates. We have no choice other than to fight back, to take back what was always flawed but still holds the promise of what could be.

I remember that the resistance is real and it lives. The day before the president is inaugurated, I join more than a million women in the street of Washington, DC ; for many, this was their first time on a demo. When the president followed orders from his chief strategist to institute a travel prohibition on Muslims, airports were shut down by those fighting for republic and those caught in the crosshairs of such a ridiculous endeavor were given legal subsistence and reunited with their families. I work with the National Domestic Workers Alliance, a prominent voice and political vehicle for the millions of domestic workers in the United States who are still excluded from most federal labour protections and so when the president initially nominated a human for secretary of labour who was known for his opposition to workers rights, we participated in the resistance to stop him from being confirmed. Representatives returned to their home districts and were forced to face their constituents in ways that they havent had to in decades.

And so, while there are many challenges to overcome, it is good to know that we are not alone in attempting to find the solutions necessary to save our lives and the lives of millions who are vulnerable not only in the United States, but around the world. Wherever there is oppression, there is resistance. Im happy to know which side Im on.

Linda Tirado, novelist on poverty: My instinct is to set off around the country asking impertinent questions

Linda
Linda Tirado photographed in Washington, DC: At least I have fertile land and a defensible perimeter. Photo: Scott Suchman for the Observer

I live in the heart of Trump country, in Meigs County, Ohio, a rural district struggling with poverty and craving. My neighbours are precisely the people the right wing have been preying on and propagandising while the left abandoned them for decades. I wasnt awfully surprised to insure Clinton had lost. Id just published a column in the Guardian about why so many people would be voting for Trump. But I sob on election night and then get well and truly drunk, because I didnt want to think about what was coming next.

My household is bracing of natural disasters. I wrote a book, Hand to Mouth , about what a precarious life feels like, but this is the first time Ive felt precarity coming in my bones and also “ve had enough” income to assuage my anxieties of: not enough food , not sufficient warmth , not enough anything on hand to deal with situations of emergency. I have a garden, as anyone in the country does, but we got serious about it after the election. This is the first year Ive thought that food prices will spike enough to make it worth focusing on the garden as a food source , not just a pastime. Increased immigration raids will likely leave food decompose in the fields and shipping costs will probably go up as they do during periods of uncertainty; imported food will be more expensive.

And the more the country “was talkin about a” Russia, the more sense it made to expand the plans we had for a few tomatoes and beans to include asparagus and maybe some root veggies because theyll keep just fine. The logic: petroleum and power expenses tend to spike when Russias doing a thing and were bombing the Countries of the middle east. Then we believed: perhaps berry shrubs. A few fruit trees. And a herb patch. And perhaps we should borrow a tiller at this phase or buy one? Merely now, Im mapping out two weeks of my schedule around harvest time so I can be home to do the food preservation. Were not about freeze-dried food storage yet; right now people are still merely joking about nukes.

Besides, these sections of the countrys turning into a rainforest. A decade ago this part of Ohio didnt reach such high temperature. Now summertimes are lush and humid, while winters are becoming harsher. So its not such a bad notion, if you happen to have the land and the time to get the work done, to be working on sustainability. Partially thats environmentalism, but its an economic consideration too. Its a thing we talk about over dinner at home or with friends. We also talk about power. Electricity is expensive, so is heating oil, and gas aint free either. Power will only get more expensive as regulations are rolled back and the market is left to its own devices. Water is already a scarce commodity. Might as well put in some solar panel if you are able afford it.

I expended the weeks between the election and the inauguration mostly glued to Twitter. I tried to help people reason through what had just happened. I impatiently explained the philosophical and historic definition of fascism versus the hyperbolic version. I demanded we all grow up and focus on the important stuff: not what had happened, but what was coming. My audience grew and split into groups people who liked my satirical round-ups of the incoming administrations peccadilloes, people who liked that I discussed the reasons we were vulnerable to a demagogue, people who just wanted someone to explain what the fuck is had happened.

I started taking more note of political dialogue I hear around me, too, here in rural Ohio, where they ran for Trump hard. Consensus seemed to be constructing that voting Trump hadnt ran but as it was a last-ditch endeavor anyway, it was worth waiting to see. Nobody quite agreed on what he was supposed to have done or, rather, there were a lot of things. Largely, he was supposed to have interrupted everything but not exactly like this. He needed to get by that stupid Twitter, anyway, everyone agreed on that. I keep wondering what these people didnt learn from the Tea Party.

Once the inauguration was over, I largely discontinue trying to explain anything to anyone online; feeling was riding too high and we were back to transgressing news instead of analysis and I was planning a garden, so I started joking that no matter what happened, at least I had fertile land and a defensible perimeter. When the children werent listening, we talked about what guns to buy.

With so many protesters staging die-ins, the anti-GOP zombie strolls is no more than a matter of time

Summer’s here and the time is right for playing dead in the streets. We’re old enough to remember a hour when Independence Day weekend meant something other than lying down on the sidewalk holding a cardboard tombstone. If anyone’s going to sink the Senate’s version of the health care reform bill, it will be the holdouts on the GOP side who don’t think the bill is a true repeal of Obamacare but rather a small patch-job on the ACA. Still, adversaries are motivated to do whatever they can to preserve Obamacare, whether that entails dressing up in” Handmaid’s Tale” cosplay, holding a gay dance party for health care in front of Mitch McConnell’s house, or just playing dead.

Die-ins are nothing new, but we don’t remember having seen them on public transit before.

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Protest and persist: why giving up hope is not an option

The true impact of activism may not be felt for a generation. That alone is reason to fight, rather than surrender to despair

Last month, Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden had a public dialogue about republic, transparency, whistleblowing and more. In the course of it, Snowden who was of course Skyping in from Moscow said that without Ellsbergs example he would not have done what he did to exposure the extent to which the NSA was spying on millions of ordinary people. It was an extraordinary declaration. It meant that the results of Ellsbergs release of the top-secret Pentagon Papers in 1971 were not limited to the impact on a presidency and a war in the 1970 s. The consequences were not limited to people alive at that moment. His act was to have an impact on people decades later Snowden was born 12 years after Ellsberg risked his future for the sake of his principles. Actions often ripple far beyond their immediate objective, and remembering this is reason to live by principle and act in hope that what you do matters, even when results are unlikely to be immediate or obvious.

The most important consequences are often the most indirect. I sometimes wonder when Im at a mass procession like the Womens March a month ago whether the reason it matters is because some unknown young person is going to find her purpose in life that will only be evident to the rest of us when she changes the world in 20 years, when she becomes a great liberator.

I began talking about hope in 2003, in the bleak days after the war in Iraq was launched. Fourteen years later, I use the term hope because it navigates a way forward between the false certainties of optimism and of despair, and the complacency or passivity that goes with both. Optimism assumes that all will go well without our effort; despair presumes its all irredeemable; both let us stay home and do nothing. Hope for me has meant a sense that the future is unpredictable, and that we dont actually know what will happen, but know we may be able write it ourselves.

Hope is a belief that what we do might matter, an understanding that the future is not yet written. Its informed, astute open-mindedness about what can happen and what role we may play in it. Hope looks forward, but it draws its energies from the past, from knowing histories, including our victories, and their complexities and imperfections. It means not being the perfect that is the adversary of the good , not snatching defeat from the jaws of victory , not presuming you know what will happen when the future is unwritten, and part of what happens is up to us.

We are complex beasts. Hope and anguish can coexist within us and in our movements and analysis. Theres a scene in the new movie about James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro, in which Robert Kennedy predicts, in 1968, that in 40 years there will be a black chairwoman. Its an astonishing prophecy since four decades later Barack Obama wins the presidential election, but Baldwin jeerings at it because the style Kennedy has presented it does not acknowledge that even the most magnificent pie in the sky might comfort white people who dont like racism but doesnt wash away the ache and indignation of black people suffering that racism in the here and now. Patrisse Cullors, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter, early on described the movements mission as rooted in grief and fury but pointed towards vision and dreams. The vision of a better future doesnt have to deny the crimes and sufferings of the present; it matters because of that horror.

I have been moved and thrilled and astounded by the strength, breadth, depth and generosity of the resistance to the Trump administration and its agenda. I did not anticipate anything so bold, so permeating, something that would include state governments, many government employees from governors and mayors to workers in many federal departments, little town in red states, new organisations like the 6,000 chapters of Indivisible reportedly formed since the election, new and fortified immigrant-rights groups, religious groups, one of the biggest demonstrations in American history with the Womens March on 21 January, and so much more.

Ive also been worried about whether it will endure. Newcomers often think that results are either immediate or theyre nonexistent. That if you dont succeed straight away, you failed. Such a framework constructs many give up and should be going when the momentum is build and victories are within reach. This is a dangerous blunder Ive insured over and over. What follows is the defense of a complex calculus of change, instead of the simple arithmetic of short-term cause and consequence.

Theres a bookstore I love in Manhattan, the Housing Works bookshop, which Ive gone to for years for a bite to eat and a superb selection of used volumes. Last October my friend Gavin Browning, who works at Columbia University but volunteers with Housing Works, reminded me what the name entails. Housing Works is a spinoff of Act up, the Aids Coalition to Unleash Power, founded at the height of the Aids crisis, to push for access to experimental medications, bringing awareness to the direness of the epidemic, and not run gentle into that bad night of premature death.

What did Act up do? The group of furious, fierce activists, many of them dangerously ill and succumbing, changed how we think about Assists. They pushed to speed up medication trials, deal with the many symptoms and complications of Aids together, pushed on policy, education, outreach, money. They taught people with Aids and their allies in other countries how to fight the narcotic companies for affordable access to what they needed. And win.

Members
Members of Act Up, the Aids Coalition to Unleash Power, at the Gay and Lesbian Pride March in New York City on 26 June 1988. Photograph: The New York Historical Society/ Getty Images

Browning lately wrote: At the start of the 1990 s, New York City had less than 350 divisions of housing set aside for an estimated 13,000 homeless individuals living with HIV/ Aids. In answer, four members of the Act up housing committee founded Housing Works in 1990. They still softly offer a broad array of services, including housing, to HIV-positive people 27 years later. All I insured was a bookstore; I missed a lot. Act Ups work is not over, in any sense.

For many groups, motions and mutinies, there are spinoffs, daughters, domino effects, chain reaction, new models and examples and templates and toolboxes that emerge from the experimentations, and every round of activism is an experiment whose outcomes can be applied to other situations. To be hopeful, we need not only to embrace uncertainty but to be willing to know that the consequences is a possibility immeasurable, may still be unfolding, may be as indirect as poor person on other continents getting access to medicine because activists in the USA stood up and refused to accept things as the latter are. Think of hope as a banner woven from those gossamer threads, from a sense of the interconnectedness of all things, of the lasting effect of the best actions , not only the worst. Of an indivisible world in which everything matters.

An old woman said at the beginning of Occupy Wall Street were fighting for a society in which everyone is important, the most beautifully concise summing-up of what a compassionately revolutionary, deep democratic movement might aim to do. Occupy Wall Street was mocked and was regarded as chaotic and ineffectual in its first weeks, and then when it spread nationwide and beyond, as failing or failed, by pundits who had simple metrics of what success should look like. The original occupation in lower Manhattan was broken up in November 2011, but many of the encampments inspired by it lasted far longer.

Occupy launched a motion against student indebtednes and opportunistic for-profit colleges; it shed light on the ache and barbarism of the financial breakdown and the American debt-peonage system. It called out economic inequality in a new way. California passed a homeowners bill of rights to push back at predatory lenders; a housing defense motion arose in the wake of Occupy that, home by home, protected many vulnerable homeowners. Each Occupy had its own involvement with local government and its own projects; a year ago people involved with local Occupies told me the flourishing outgrowths still make a difference. Occupy persists, but you have to learn to recognise the myriad forms in which it does so , none of which seem much like Occupy Wall Street as a crowd in a square in lower Manhattan.

Similarly, I think its a mistake to regard the collect of tribes and activists at Standing Rock, North Dakota, as something we can measure by whether or not it defeats a pipeline. You could go past that to note that simply delaying completion beyond 1 January cost the investors a fortune, and that the tremendous motion that has generated widespread divestment and a lot of scrutiny of hitherto invisible corporations and environmental destruction constructs constructing pipelines look like a riskier, potentially less profitable business.

Standing Rock was vaster than these practical things. At its height it was almost certainly the biggest political gathering of Native North Americans ever seen, said to be the first time all seven bands of the Lakota had come together since they defeated Custer at Little Bighorn in 1876, one that made an often-invisible tribe visible around the world. What unfolded there seemed as though it might not undo one pipeline but write a revolutionary new chapter to a history of more than 500 years of colonial brutality, centuries of loss, dehumanization and dispossession. Thousands of veterans came to defend the encampment and help prevent the pipeline. In one momentous rite, many of the former soldiers knelt down to apologize and ask forgiveness for the US armys long role in oppressing Native Americans. Like the Native American occupation of Alcatraz Island at the end of the 1960 s, Standing Rock has been a catalyst for a sense of power, pride, destiny. It is an affirmation of solidarity and interconnection, an education for people who didnt know much about native the same rights and incorrects, an affirmation for Native people who often recollect history in passionate detail. It is a confirmation of the deep ties between the climate movement and indigenous rights that has played a huge role in stopping pipelines in and from Canada. It has inspired and informed young people who may have half a century or more of good work yet to do. It has been a beacons whose meaning stretches beyond that time and place.

To know history is to be able to see beyond the present, to remember the past gives you capacity to look forward as well, its to see that everything changes and the most dramatic changes are often the most unforeseen. I want to go into one part of our history at greater length to investigate these questions about outcomes that go beyond simple cause and consequence.

A
A water protector at Standing Rock, where thousands gathered to protest the Dakota Access pipeline and its menace to the Missouri river. Photograph: Pacific Press/ Rex/ Shutterstock

The 1970 s anti-nuclear movement was a potent force in its period , now seldom recollected, though its influence is still with us. In her important new book Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism, LA Kauffman reports that the first significant action against nuclear power, in 1976, was inspired by an extraordinary protest the previous year in West Germany, which had forced the government to abandon plans to build a nuclear reactor. A group that called itself the Clamshell Alliance arose to oppose building a nuclear power station in New Hampshire. Despite creative tactics, great movement building, and extensive media coverage against the Seabrook nuclear power plant in New Hampshire, the activists did not stop the plant.

They did inspire a sister organisation, the Abalone Alliance in central California, which used similar strategies to try to stop the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. The groups protested against two particular nuclear power plants; those two plants opened anyway.

You can call that a failure, but Kauffman observes that it inspired people around the country to organize their own anti-nuclear groups, a motion that brought about the cancellation of more than 100 planned nuclear projects over several years and created public awareness and changed public opinion about nuclear power. Then she gets into the really exciting part, writing that the Clamshell Alliances most striking legacy was in consolidating and promoting what became the dominant model for large-scale direct-action organizing for the next 40 years. It was picked up by the Pledge of Resistance, a nationwide network of groups organized against US policy in Central America in the 1980 s.

Hundreds more employed it that fall in a civil disobedience action to protest the supreme courts anti-gay Bowers vs Hardwick sodomy decision, Kauffman continues. The Aids activist group Act up employed a version of this model when it coordinated bold takeovers of the headquarters of the Food and Drug Administration in 1988 and the National Institutes of Health in 1990, to pressure both institution to take swifter action toward approving experimental Aids medication. And on into the current millennium. But what were the strategies and coordinating principles they catalyzed?

The short answer is non-violent direct action, externally, and consensus decision-making process, internally. The former has a history that reaches around the world, the latter that stretches back to the early history of European dissenters in North America. That is , non-violence is a strategy articulated by Mohandas Gandhi, first used by residents of Indian descent to protest against discrimination in South Africa on 11 September 1906. The young lawyers sense of prospect and power was expanded immediately afterward where reference is traveled to London to pursue his cause. Three days after he arrived, British females battling for the right to vote occupied the British parliament, and 11 were arrested, refused to pay their penalties, and were sent to prison. They made a deep impression on Gandhi.

He wrote about them in a piece titled Deeds Better than Words quoting Jane Cobden, the sister of one of the arrestees, who told, I shall never obey any laws in the making of which I have had no hand; I will not accept the authority of the court executing those laws Gandhi declared: Today the whole country is laughing at them, and they have only a few people on their side. But undaunted, these women work on steadfast in their cause. They are bound to succeed and gain the franchise And he saw that if they could win, so could the Indian citizens in British Africa fighting for their rights. In the same article( in 1906 !) he prophesied: When the time comes, Indias bonds will snap of themselves. Notions are contagious, emotions are contagious, hope is contagious, gallantry is contagious. When we represent those qualities, or their opposites, we impart them to others.

That is to say, British suffragists, who won limited access to the vote for women in 1918, full access in 1928, played a part in inspiring an Indian human who 20 years later resulted the freeing of the Asian subcontinent from British rule. He, in turn, inspired a black human in the American south to study his ideas and their application. After a 1959 pilgrimage to India to meet with Gandhis heirs, Martin Luther King wrote: While the Montgomery boycott was going on, Indias Gandhi was the guiding light of our technique of non-violent social change. We spoke of him often. Those techniques, further developed by the civil right movement, were taken up around the world, including in the fight against apartheid at one objective of the African continent and to the Arab spring at the other.

Participation in the civil right motion of the early 1960 s shaped many lives. One of them is John Lewis, one of the first Freedom Riders, a young leader of the lunch counter sit-ins, a victim of a brutal beating that broke his skull on the Selma march. Lewis was one of the boldest in questioning Trumps legitimacy and he resulted dozens of other Democratic each member of Congress in boycotting the inauguration. When the attack on Muslim refugees and immigrants began a week after Trumps inauguration, he demonstrated up at the Atlanta airport.

Thats a lot to take in. But let me set it this style. When those women were arrested in parliament, they were fighting for the right of British females to vote. They succeeded in liberating themselves. But they also passed along tactics, spirit and defiance. You can trace a lineage backwards to the anti-slavery movement that inspired the American women suffrage motion, forwardright up to John Lewis standing up for refugees and Muslims in the Atlanta airport this year. We are carried along by the heroines and heroes who came before and opened the doors of potential and imagination.

My partner likes to quote a line of Michel Foucault: People know what they do; often they know why they do what they do; but what they dont know is what what they do does. You do what you can. What youve done may do more than you can imagine for generations to come. You plant a seed and a tree grows from it; will there be fruit, tint, habitat for birds, more seeds, a forest, timber to build a cradle or a house? You dont know. A tree can live much longer than you. So will an idea, and sometimes the changes that is a consequence of accepting that new idea about what is true, right, only remake the world. You do what you can do; you do your best; what what you do does is not up to you.

Schoolchildren
Schoolchildren dress as Gandhi during festivities to mark the 143 rd anniversary of his birth. Photograph: Babu/ Reuters

Thats a style to remember the legacy of the external practise of non-violent civil disobedience used by the anti-nuclear motion of the 1970 s, as with the civil rights movement of the 1960 s, which did so much to expand and refine the techniques.

As for the internal process: in Direct Action, Kauffman addresses the Clamshell Alliances influences, quoting a participant named Ynestra King who said: Certain kinds that had been learned from feminism were just naturally introduced into the situation and a certain ethos of respect, which was reinforced by the Quaker tradition. Suki Rice and Elizabeth Boardman, early participants in the Clamshell Alliance, as Kauffman relates, were influenced by the Quakers, and they brought the Quaker practice of consensus decision-making to the new group: The notion was to ensure that no ones voice was stillness, that there was no division between leaders and adherents. The Quakers have been since the 17 th century radical dissidents who opposed war, hierarchical structures and much else. An organizer named Joanne Sheehan said, while non-violence educate, doing actions in small groups, and agreeing to a situated of non-violence guidelines were not new, it was new to mix them in combination with a commitment to consensus decision-making and a non-hierarchical structure. They were making a way of operating and coordinating that spread throughout the progressive activist world.

There are terrible narratives about how diseases like Aids jump species and mutate. There are also ideas and tactics that jump communities and mutate, to our benefit. There is an evil word, collateral injury, for the people who die unintentionally: the civilians , non-participants, etc. Maybe what I am proposing here is an idea of collateral benefit.

What we call democracy is often a majority rule that leaves the minority, even 49.9% of the people or more if its a three-way vote out in the cold. Consensus leaves no one out. After Clamshell, it jumped into radical politics and reshaped them, building them more generously inclusive and egalitarian. And its been sharpened and refined and used by nearly every movement Ive been a part of or witnessed, from the anti-nuclear actions at the Nevada test site in the 1980 s and 1990 s to the organization of the closing of the World Trade Organization in late 1999, a victory against neoliberalism that changed the fate of the world, to Occupy Wall Street in 2011 and after.

So what did the Clamshell Alliance attain? Everything but its putative objective. Tools to change the world, over and over. There are crimes against humanity, criminal offences against nature, and other forms of destruction that we need to stop as rapidly as possible, and the endeavors to do so are under way. They are informed by these earlier activists, equipped with the tools they developed. But the efforts against these things can have a longer legacy, if we learn to recognize collateral benefits and indirect effects.

If you are a member of civil society, if you demonstrate and call your representatives and donate to human rights campaigns, you will see political leaders and magistrates and the powerful take or be given credit for the changes you effected, sometimes after resisting and resisting them. You will have to believe in your own power and impact anyway. You will have to keep in mind that many of our greatest victories are what doesnt happen: what isnt constructed or destroyed, deregulated or legitimized, passed into statute or tolerated in the culture. Things disappear because of our efforts and we forget they were there, which is a way to forget we tried and won.

Even losing can be part of the process: as the bills to abolish bondage in the British empire failed over and over again, the ideas behind them spread, until 27 years after the first bill was introduced, a version ultimately passed. You will have to remember that the media usually likes to tell simple, direct tales in which if a court regulations or an elective body passes a statute, that action reflects the actors own beneficence or insight or evolution. They will seldom go further to explore how that view was shaped by the nameless and unsung, by the people whose actions built up a new world or worldview the way that innumerable corals build a reef.

The only power adequate to stop the Trump administration is other members of civil society, which is the great majority of us when we recollect our power and come together. And even if we remember, even if we exert all the pressure can potentially, even if the administration breakdowns immediately, or the president resigns or is impeached or melts into a puddle of corruption, our work will only have begun.

International
International Womens Day 2017. Actions often ripple far beyond their immediate objective, even when results are unlikely to be immediate or obvious. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/ AFP/ Getty Images

That job begins with resisting the Trump administration but will not aim until we have made deep systemic changes and recommitted ourselves , not just as a revolution, because revolutions dont last, but as a civil society with values of equal opportunities, democracy, inclusion, full participation, a radical e pluribus unum plus compassion. As has often been noted, the Republican revolution that allowed them to take over so many state houses and take power far beyond their numbers came partly from corporate money, but partly from the willingness to do the slacken, plodding, patient run of building and preserving power from the ground up and being in it for the long run. And partly from telling stories that, though often deeply distorting the facts and forces at play, were obligating. This work is always, first and last, storytelling work, or what some of my friends call the battle of the narrative. House, remember, retelling, celebrating our own narratives is part of our run.

I want to see this glorious resistance have a long game, one that includes re-enfranchising the many millions, perhaps tens of millions of people of color, poor people, and students disenfranchised by many means: the Crosscheck program, voter ID statutes that proceed from the deception that voter fraud is a serious problem that affects election outcomes, the laws taking voting rights in most nations from those convicted of felonies. I am encouraging to note many idealistic activists bent on reforming the Democratic party, and a new level of participation inside and outside electoral politics. Reports say that the offices of elected official are inundated with calls and emails as never before.

This will merely matter if its sustained. To sustain it, people have to believe that the myriad small, incremental actions matter. That they matter even when the consequences arent immediate or obvious. They must remember that often when you fail at your immediate objective to block a nominee or a gas pipeline or to pass a bill that even then you may have changed the whole framework in ways that induce broader change inevitable. You may change the tale or the rules, give tools, templates or encouragement to future activists, and make it possible for those around you to persist in their efforts.

To believe it matters well, we cant assure the future. We have the past. Which gives us patterns, models, parallels, principles and resources, and stories of valour, brilliance, perseverance, and the deep pleasure to be found in doing the work that matters. With those in our pockets, we can confiscate the possibilities and begin to stimulate hopes into actualities.

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