While such discussions are often seen as politically charged and teachers like to steer clear of politics, these conversations are about fundamental American values, and age-appropriate ways of discussing hatred and tolerance in a diverse and vibrant democracy are as important as anything young people can learn in school. Civics education has taken a back seat to reading and math in recent years in “the era of accountability,” but it is past time for it to take center stage again in America’s schools.
Since soon after the 2016 election, Amy Siskind has been steadily cataloguing the craziness around us: Trump’s bizarre tweets and directives, the corrupt actions of those around him, and the subtle and not so subtle changes in our country. Her goal is to remind readers weekly that remembering a nation’s descent into authoritarianism is the key to digging out of it. Google her and you’ll find coverage and interviews all over the place including The Washington Post, Daily Kos, and the LGBT-focused Los Angeles Blade, or read her growing list on Medium, linked above.
pub. weekly from 11/2016
ORGANIZE A TAKE SOMEONE ELSE’S CHILD TO WORK DAY
Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is intended to get children thinking about their future careers, but by having parents take their own kids to work, we perpetuate class divides. If your mother is a lawyer, you spend the day in a law firm. If your dad stocks shelves in a grocery store, then—if he is even allowed to bring you along—that’s what you will see. If your parents are unemployed, you don’t have a chance to go anywhere at all. And so the wheel turns.
Lucky for you, it’s also never been more convenient to secure your digital info. Apps are freely available that let you mask your most important information; privacy-centered operating systems can protect your browsing habits; and ditching your data temporarily is as simple as using a web app.
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.
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.
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!
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.