Old Enough to Know Better?

This is an odd election.  I think I have manged so far to lose more fellow progressives than reactionaries/conservatives.

It seems that the main reason I have lost these apparent allies is that I have been trying to let people, especially supporters of Green Party Candidate Jill Stein, of the potential consequences of their actions.  It seems that people don’t like to see the tactics and tools that resisting Trump may require.

This reluctance is to be expected. Many of the millennial voters that made up Bernie Sanders’s base are too young to remember the 2000 election, but they are dealing with many of the after effects.

They also may think that memes, etc will be enough.  The fact that a meeting to plan a response to a right-wing rally in November attracted five people may show a belief that other folks will do the actual leg work.

I did continue my prepping for a potential post-Trump America last week when I went to the training sponsored by the National Lawyer’s Guild.  These observers, in their familiar green hats, are part of an organization that dates back to the 1930s; from the “red scare” of the 1950’s to the civil rights movement, to the anti-war protests of the early 2000s.   I could see these observers not only having to monitor the police, etc, but also individuals.

Deying Democracy to The Deplorables?

Yesterday, October 22nd, was a “Deplorable” day.  Donald Trump gave a speech in Gettysburg, which is ironic as you were likely to see a lot of American Flags with a Confederate Battle Flag beside it in the parking lots.  Also, according to an ally, some Trump volunteers were canvassing parts of Harrisburg.

It seems that it may be “too little, too late” for the Trump ground game, but what had me concerned was my ally’s desire to disrupt the Trump volunteers’ efforts. To the best of my knowledge, no such disruptions took place, but such actions may have been more harmful than helpful.

Much like the violence and threats to ‘dox’ Trump, such actions would only have helped fuel Trump’s narrative.  His supporters have the right to educate and inform voters and gauge support.

A better way to disrupt Trump would have been to take to the streets as well.  Canvassing voters in the neighborhoods of color that would feel the brunt of Trump the most would do more damage to his efforts than harassing his volunteers, who were likely nervous enough about being so far from the mobile estates.

 

Walking The Walk?

“If you’re gonna talk the talk, you best walk the walk,” so would say my Dad.  Usually he’d be applying to an athlete.  Ali was an example of someone who did this.

It’s something that I fear may come to pass with activists.  Hillary Clinton’s  reference to some Sander’s supporters as “Basement Dwellers” may be tested should Trump win.  I worry still that many activists will believe that they can fight Trump and his supporters from the safety of, if not a basement, at least a coffee shop, etc.

On Friday, I’d like to think I showed that I’m willing to take the fight to the streets.  I grabbed my camera and headed to photograph an action by “This Stops Today Harrisburg”; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s branch of “Black Lives Matter” now has something to rally around as, in August, an African-American man was killed by a member of the city’s police department.

The event began at the State Capital Building, where a small group of activists gathered:

 

From there, we made our way to one of the city’s main streets.  The band Fuel was doing a free concert at a local establishment, and there the activists readied to make their move.

 

That move would be to, for a few moments, block traffic.

After the activists dispersed, they decided to proceed to the Police Station.  As the activists marched along the sidewalks, they were confronted again by officers.  These confrontations, according to one activist became physical, with an officer putting his hands on a female protester.

Was I in any danger, likely not.  While the protesters were blocking the streets, I was taking pictures.  But as we approached the station, one of the protesters said something to me that I hope more than a few Sanders/Stein/Johnson backers remember should their efforts put Trump in power: “One person in the streets is worth more than 10 Facebook followers”.