What’s My Role?

One common theme of many of my posts is the idea of a need to progressives to be ready to consider that a Trump Presidency may call for some level of resistance.  I will admit that using that term does have certain connotations; perhaps a case of how the term has been hijacked.  Resistance can be non-violent, as Martin Luther King and others have demonstrated.  Resistance can even have both components, the African National Congress would be an example.  It does seem to me that non-violent resistance is able to garner more public and international support.

Over the last few weeks, I have been thinking of what my role in a resistance to Trump might be.  I believe I have some answers.

For one, I am not “front-line” material.  You will not see me scuffling with Trump supporters or pushing back against police.  My role will likely be more behind the scenes.

I could see myself doing what I already do, act as a sort of “chronicle”.  Using my camera to capture images.  Pictures have great power; the images of Civil Rights activists having police dogs, fire hoses and mobs turned on them likely helped their cause gather allies, the image of that young girl fleeing her village in Vietnam helped to galvanize resistance to that war, just as the images from Abu Garaib did for the “War on Terror”.  Images of ICE agents conducting sweeps of a neighborhood, looking like something out of 1940s Germany might do the same in a post-Trump America.

Now to get those images, I would need to know where ICE is and there could be an app for that!  As I continue to learn to develop smart phone apps, an app to alert, record, or do both could be among a suite of tools that I could see myself developing and deploying.

I could see these apps being posted on a site that would include links to independent, progressive, media outlets like Democracy Now!, The Nation, Jacobian, etc.  I am working on such a site as well.

Of course, I hope none of this is necessary.  However, one of my favorite sayings is, “It is better to have, and not need, that to need, and not have”.



Covering the Movements

On Monday, May 23, I took a day off from work to head to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to hear Amy Goodman, the host of Democracy Now! speak.  She was on a 100 city tour in support of her new book celebrating the 20th anniversary of Democracy Now!

Her brother, David Goodman, provided some introductory remarks to provide some background on Amy Goodman’s life before Democracy Now!.  After that, Amy took to the podium.

She began by giving a history of; Democracy Now!, which was only supposed to last until after the 1996 election, and the Pacifica Radio network that would be the program’s initial home.  Both Pacifica and Democracy Now have been under attack; Amy recounted how the KKK attacked the Houston, Texas, Pacifica affiliate twice, and how a Philadelphia station pulled Democracy Now! after the programmed interviewed Mumia Abu-Jamal, who at that time was on death row for allegedly killing a Philadelphia Police Officer.

She spoke of how on Election Day 2000, she received a phone call from then President Bill Clinton, and took the opportunity to ask several hard and probing questions.  She used the incidents with the KKK to criticize Donald Trump, and spoke of how silent the mainstream media has been about Bernie Sander’s campaign.

But the thrust of her speech was about the various movements that she and Democracy Now! have covered and how they seem to keep coming back; the 1999 protests at the World Trade Organization in Seattle, led to Occupy and to the Sander’s Campaign.  A student at the University of Missouri going to Ferguson gets inspired to protest that university’s president.  The Charlestown Shooting leads to a young woman to climb a flagpole and take down the Confederate Battle Flag that had flown over the South Carolina State Capital.  She spoke of the folks who have gathered at the Climate Summits.

What she did not speak on, though, was the anti-war movement of the early part of the 21st century.  Or of the current efforts of Transsexuals to gain respect.

Her words did inspire one person though; on my way back from the event, another attendee said he was inspired to create his own media.  I gave him a few sites that may be places for him to start.

Stops Along The Way. . .

Any traveller needs folks to guide them, folks to inspire them.  Later today, I will be heading to Philadelphia to hear Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now, speak.  I will post a report on this later today or later in the week.

Since I’ve taken a day off of work, I had some time on my hands.  I decided to put some of it to use in more work on app development.  I’ve almost got the next step down, and may be ready to try to take an app I developed using a “snap together” tool and make it into something more along the lines of Java code.   I don’t think it’s gonna be my “Thump Trump” game though, at least not now.

This next leg on my “path to resistance” may go through–Columbus, Ohio!  One of the first apps I made using the tool was a multimedia board using the following four plays from the lore of the Ohio State Buckeyes:

Holy Buckeye!

“The Villain” Strikes

Buford’s Big Shot

The “Leap of Fate”?

Now I may add some plays: Braxton Miller’s Spin against Virginia Tech, Elliot’s runs against Alabama and Oregon, and maybe a case where lightning did strike twice 😉


What Downtime?

My Dad’s job had him spending a good amount of time on the phone, so now that he’s retired, he doesn’t like to talk on the phone.

You would think someone who is on a computer 8 hours a day would be all for getting off of them; except for me.  My work on Android development has cleared another hurdle, I have my Python and networking studies, my Security+,  and my HTML/CSS.

Now I’m not all coding, I also hope to take some pics over the weekend and trying to get back in shape.

So much to do, so little time.

Ready For The Resistance?

I’ve been hard of late on the “Bernie or Bust” crowd of late.  Those supporters of Bernie Sanders who, if he loses plan to do a write-in campaign or support Green or other 3rd-party candidates.  I still don’t think that they realize that their efforts may lead to a Trump presidency.

One thing many of the “Bernie or Bust” state they could see a Trump Reich leading to is an upsurge in activism.  We saw this happen under G.W Bush, when his foreign policy decisions led to a revitalized anti-war movement.  But activism under Ttump, in my opinion, would be a bit different, and I think that a little education now may go a long way in readying activists for what could be ahead.

The first step is to know and understand the opposition.  Many Trump supporters are what might be called “Right-Wing Authoritians”.  Understanding how they think, and the forces that shape them, in the subject of the 2006 book “The Authoritians“.   The term is often used to refer to leaders like Putin or Assad, but, as the book points out, “authoritians” are actually those that follow a leader.

With the knowledge of what these activists may be up against, the next step to is make sure their efforts are justified and validated.  Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges makes and effort to make “The Moral Imperative of Rebellion” in his book “Wages of Rebellion“.  He makes the argument that rebellions come in cycles and that we may be in one now; The “Arab Spring”, “Occupy”, and “Black Lives Matter” may all be part of one longer struggle, brought on by environmental degradation and increasing corporate power.  Alas the efforts of these new rebels are being opposed by the “powers that be”; the legal system and the armed vigilante, in America embodied by the National Rifle Association and the resurgent “Patriot” movement.

Finally, it’s time to take action, and the strategies for this can be found in “Beautiful Trouble“.  A collection of tactics and tools that can fit in a pocket or on a smart phone.

One common thread that all three of the books might have is that “slacktivism” is not going to be enough.  Activists are not going to just be able to “like” or “share” against Trump and his authoritan allies.  They may have to take to the streets, and risk arrest and abuse.