Organizing and Mobilizing: People Power

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Regular citizens can only do so much to help the ACLU, primarily donate to the organization so its lawyers and other experts can work within the legal system to do what the rest of us can’t.

In the wake of the 2016 election, the ACLU saw the untapped passion of its many new members and took its record donations to a new project, a mobilization arm called People Power.

People Power is, at its core, a grassroots member-mobilization project. Through People Power, the ACLU will engage volunteers across the country to take action when Trump or his administration attempt to enact unconstitutional policies or trample on people’s constitutional rights. By mobilizing in defense of our civil liberties, volunteers will build local communities that affirm our American values of respect, equality, and solidarity.

seen 04/2017

If you’re still looking for the right movement or activist coordination group for you, and if you appreciate being part of something backed up by the history and expertise of the ACLU, take a look at People Power’s website and events map.

For more tips and resources, see the Resources lists, What to Do and What to Read.

Contacting Representatives: Resistbot

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Resistbot is a pretty sweet little tool that takes messages you text and turns them into hard copies to send to Congress via fax or mail. Aside from a few tweaks as users get more experienced, that’s all there is to it–which means that if you hate making phone calls, it’s never been easier to share your thoughts with your representatives!

For more tips and resources, see the Resources lists, What to Do and What to Read.

Video: How to protect your digital privacy during a protest

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pub. 04/2017

The Intercept has produced a three-minute video of tips to protect your identity, location, and communications from authorities who might surveil protestors or try to access your phone during arrest. If you’re off to a protest, even what you expect to be a peaceful one, it couldn’t hurt to spend a few minutes preparing.

The video is the beginning of a series, Cybersecurity for the People, that will cover other privacy and security measures regular folks can take as activists or to retain greater control over their everyday digital lives.

For more tips and resources, see the Resources lists, What to Do and What to Read.

Organizing and Mobilizing: Resistance School

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Resistance School is a free four-week practical training program that will sharpen the tools we need to fight back at the federal, state, and local levels. Our goal is to keep the embers of resistance alive through concrete learning, community engagement, and forward-looking action.

seen 04/2017

Resistance School was created by a group of Harvard graduate students who found a lack of education for would-be activists: What really are the most effective ways to get people organized, convince others of their positions, and keep activism rolling through time and challenges?

I’ve watched the second (two-hour) video myself–though it’s an option, no signup is required to watch–and I found it both illuminating and easy to understand. Any group can learn from the Resistance School lessons, including those affiliated with other organizations, making it an ideal companion for both new community activists and longtime veterans.

For more tips and resources, see the Resources lists, What to Do and What to Read.

Contacting Representatives: OurStates

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While we talk a lot about contacting our national representatives to fight big-name Trump and GOP appointments and policies, we shouldn’t forget the effect of bills coming through the states, everything from anti-trans bathroom bills to attempts to criminalize protest. I’ve tried to use my state legislature’s website for guidance on which Reps to call and when, but it seems simply not meant for that purpose.

Enter OurStates. OurStates can search by category and tell you exactly which bills on that subject are going through your state legislature right now. It’s new and still has relatively few categories; I expect we’ll see it expand over the coming weeks and months, so check back and keep making those calls!

For more tips and resources, see the Resources lists, What to Do and What to Read.