tanaqui: Illumiinated letter T (Default)
[personal profile] tanaqui posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
I'm sure many of us are feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of different issues being raised by the Minority President's administration: attacks on the media, Russian interference, threats to the ACA and abortion rights, immigration, First Amendment rights and Net Neutrality, dismantling public protections for our environment and our finances....

We've already had a post about how to approach your activism once you've decided which issues you want to work on. But, as [personal profile] sathari said in a comment to the last check-in post:
[T]here are so many things WRONG, which are the MOST wrong that I need to speak up about RIGHT NOW?
So this post is a place for people to suggest ways we can each figure out where we're going to put our energies when so much is wrong but we can't tackle all of it.

Date: 2017-03-04 04:00 pm (UTC)
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyrielle
For what it's worth, I have two tiers of involvement:

1. My core issues. These are the things I put most of my energy and action toward.

What are they? They're the things I _know_ the most about, or the thing things I _feel_ the strongest about. I'm not saying other things are less important - there are too many important things to play that game - but I either have more knowledge (and thus more chance to have an effect) or more passion (and thus ditto, plus more energy), or both, here.

This list is limited in length to what I think I can maintain energy on and move forward - so if you're passionate about lots of things, you're going to have to work out which you are most passionate about. (And you may rotate them over time, either if you get burnt out or if something critical rises to the top - just, IMO, do that consciously.)

2. Everything else I care about. I will do "easy"/"quick" things related to these items, and I do think they're important, but I will let others with more knowledge, more passion, or both, carry the main effort here most or all of the time.

What "easy" and "quick" looks like varies from person to person. Figuring that out is also a self-calculus.

Date: 2017-03-04 04:22 pm (UTC)
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyrielle
To clarify because I didn't say it - I don't think you pick what's most wrong. So many things are so very wrong that that's hard to do. You count on everything getting covered by someone, and you pick what's *wrong enough you think it should be addressed* that you have either a special passion about, or enough passion and extra knowledge that will make you more effective. (So my friend who works in renewables is all over the EPA issues, among others. Passion _and_ knowledge, the best combo.)

Date: 2017-03-04 05:12 pm (UTC)
tassosss: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tassosss
This - we're playing zone defense and we have to trust the rest of the team is covering the other issues.

I think one of the hard things is letting go of the guilt about not supporting everything.

Date: 2017-03-04 04:28 pm (UTC)
jjhunter: Drawing of human J.J. in red and brown inks with steampunk goggle glasses (red J.J. inked)
From: [personal profile] jjhunter
I have a few core areas of "things WRONG" where I'm putting much of my efforts, but I think it's just as important to figure out what are things that are going right, and how to make them more right - how can I increase my local social efficacy? Where can I get news of people being awesome to learn from and celebrate and potentially ally with?

What roots me, what sustains me? It's key to invest in supporting those enough to generate resources for tackling issues on scales outside my own needs and my immediate communities' needs.

Doing things together with friends helps a lot - I enjoy being with them, and we get more done together than we would separately. We each have a slightly different focuses, so there's a sense of dividing the burden of keeping track of news and events and opportunities/strategies to act effectively for all the different things going on.

Date: 2017-03-13 06:26 am (UTC)
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
From: [personal profile] marahmarie
Similar to this, perhaps, I believe in celebrating successes and wins. We've already made small but important inroads against this administration, and every time we win any battle against it directly (ie, against their so-called travel ban, which was only a partial win, but which still might get struck down, as at least five states are suing over the rewritten version) or indirectly (Texas congressional maps have been judged to violate the Voting Rights Act or to be unconstitutional, an argument that's probably moving on now to the Supreme Court) I feel it's helpful to get the word out, and to celebrate these moments in clearly joyous ways.

1) it will make many of us feel better (doing so has actually done a lot for me, personally and I like to think it helps others who read what I write, as well)

2) it shows the other side we're rooting for their ugliest plans to fail

It's important to show a united front not just in contesting and fighting wrongs and injustices but in celebrating wins - and not just to stave off the exhaustion of So Much Wrong hitting us on a daily basis, as it does, and will. If we don't show them we acknowledge their losses and why they deserved them, they don't have any lesson to sit back and learn from. I think shaming the other side, when appropriate, even if just in outlining why we won each time and celebrating wins is needed to boost morale and show the other side people do care about the outcomes in more than a rushed "Cause of the Moment" way.
Edited (clarity) Date: 2017-03-13 06:30 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-03-04 04:57 pm (UTC)
snickfic: (Default)
From: [personal profile] snickfic
I think there are a couple of key things to remember, here.

First, each person has a few actions or activities that they are better qualified to be involved with than most people, due to proximity/life circumstances/personal skills. "Grow where you're planted," and all that. And this can mean a lot of different things. If you are already involved with serving and advocating for immigrants in your community, keep doing that, and maybe watch for ways in which you can share your knowledge and experiences with people who are newly anxious to help the immigrant population but don't know how. If you are involved with Big Brothers / Big Sisters in your community, keep doing that!

I'm in a region with special elections coming up this year, so I'm choosing to focus most of my attention on helping to build up my local Democratic party. I'm doing some writing for them, I'm serving as a primary email contact for new folks to the party, I'm managing spreadsheets - I'm using all the skills I've already spent years in fandom developing. Meanwhile another member is setting up speakers for our meetings and designing a logo and business cards for us, none of which I have any aptitude for at all.

I think it's a huge mistake to let our eye catch on the first big dramatic need we see and say "I have to become the person that can fill that need." Believe me, there is plenty of need to go around!

Each person also has specific things they care about most. I will show up in support of environmental protections and reproductive rights, but the issue that really gets to me personally is voting rights. If I only have the time/energy to call my rep about one issue, I'm going to call about the voting rights bills in the state legislature. Nobody should feel bad about having things that they are most passionate about! That passion helps drive your creativity and energy to do your best work possible on those specific issues, and every issue needs people who are able to give it that passionate focus.

And finally, those things that you just don't have the time or energy to work on? Chances are good there are other people showing up to fill that need. Some people are unable to protest, for financial, geographical, or physical reasons, but I encountered someone the other day who says she goes to protests every weekend partly on behalf of all the people who can't. (And now I'm tearing up a little about it, again.)

The downside of our current situation is that the country is a tire fire, but the upside is that there are more people picking up buckets of water than we have seen in many, many years. It's not all on you. It's not even mostly on you. Most of what we've all been doing the last few months would be pointless if there weren't many, many other people doing it with us. Does my congressman care about a phone call from me, specifically? No. Does my congressman care about hundreds and hundreds of phone calls from all over his district? YOU BET HE DOES. Every time I call my reps, I do it trusting that there are other people from my district doing the same. Every piddly donation I make, I do it trusting there are lots of other people making those same donations.

Our power is not primarily in what any single person does, but that we do it together. And that gives each of us the freedom to find where we fit the best.

*climbs down off soapbox*

Date: 2017-03-04 05:26 pm (UTC)
tassosss: We are not plotting your destruction. Really. (Destruction)
From: [personal profile] tassosss
All of the above comments echo what I was going to say about picking the one or two issues that you care about the most and sticking to those.

I'm wondering if there's a way we can create support groups by topic for this comm - would that be helpful?

I'm thinking of the Land Team model. Like the handful of people who want to focus on Healthcare, for example, can find each other, keep track of the news, post the calls to action for Team Healthcare, make the calls for the wider community if there's a protest/big vote in Congress coming up.

For my own part, I've found that since my job is one that may be in the crosshairs in the near future, doing it well has become one place I put my energy. I live in the bluest of blue states, so I haven't found what I feel is a constructive use of my remaining time or energy, but I'm thinking it might be something hyperlocal that I can physically volunteer for.


Date: 2017-03-04 06:40 pm (UTC)
venturous: (Default)
From: [personal profile] venturous
excellent plan! our Prog group is evolving in this direction

Date: 2017-03-04 06:40 pm (UTC)
venturous: (bite me morticia)
From: [personal profile] venturous
this is such a challenge - every one I know in our progressive community is struggling with this.

I had worked thru a process and decided that education of women and girls was my top priority, despite my deep ecology soul. I am already running a women's writing group that is empowering a wide variety of women, so it seem ed like a logical next step.

Then a miracle happened and I got a job, long after I gave up on ever finding something fitting.

BOOM! I am now working for a govt contractor on water quality and habitat restoration!!! My employment is making a difference. And after some recovery from debt to landlord, I will be in a position to contribute to cause as well.

Of course the agency is at risk because of what we do, but my contract, plus the self-funding nature of the agency give us some protection.

We are all fighting the good fight - keep prioritizing, and keep going!

Date: 2017-03-04 07:37 pm (UTC)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
From: [personal profile] redbird
Mine is partly opportunistic: if a rally is announced, can I reasonably get to it, and can I tolerate being outside that long? (The latter is based on a combination of the weather and how I'm feeling that day.)

This may not be the best approach, but it's what I'm doing now.

Also, keep in mind that some of what we're already doing counts: I was talking to my mother yesterday, and she was saying that she wished she had the energy for phone calls or rallies. I reminded her that she is doing important political work that very few other people can: Holocaust education, telling people about her personal experiences as a survivor. She has been doing that work for a long time, and plans her schedule around it, but wasn't thinking of it as political/resistance work.

Date: 2017-03-05 08:35 am (UTC)
sathari: (Waiting for ourselves)
From: [personal profile] sathari
Upstanding this, maybe awkwardly, but what I meant by that quote was---

Which are the most immediate, specific, in-the-moment, things that are the points at which the current administration is weakest? Where if we all push on those we can make something happen, as we almost did with DeVos, actually did with Pudzer, and made Sessions step back at least a little bit? As in, WE DID THIS, when we came together at a specific vulnerable spot, and I want us to coordinate on what those are. (Seriously, I'm reading how the Watergate playbook is not a good look for this administration, and how we who are on the Constitutionalist opposition need to join ranks across various lines.)

Date: 2017-03-05 11:39 pm (UTC)
tassosss: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tassosss
That's a good point. I guess, for me, that has to come from paying attention to the movement as a whole, outside of day to day efforts. I don't feel like I know well enough which are the pressure points to push on, so I'd have to track what other activists are doing.

Date: 2017-03-10 10:47 pm (UTC)
sathari: (Waiting for ourselves)
From: [personal profile] sathari
Yeah, that's sounding about right--- a formula of "action lists + media coverage = critical issues", so to speak.

Date: 2017-03-06 08:42 am (UTC)
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
From: [personal profile] vlion
I rate my activities by my estimation of likely impact to things. Signing a petition on change.org? Probably useless. Sending money monthly to the ACLU? Useful. Showing up at a rally for a specific cause at a specific place? Targeted use (My city does rallies like some cities do sports games: it is just part of the civic noise usually).

Sometimes my tweets seem to get picked up. Having read Shirer's Rise and Fall before I was 10 and having kept up on news & history, I have a better-than-average bear grasp of authoritarianism.

Ultimately my take is that the keystone of our society is the law; that no one is above the law, that due processes are followed, that accountability is maintained. Liberty for all is made possible by removing the freedom to become a warlord or a king.

Thus I judge the efforts to subvert democracy to be the key business at hand; somewhere near that in priority is the fact that a foolish egomaniac has nukes.

So I consider the election health, gerrymandering, redistricting, and vote-limiting actions to be the biggest deal in the current business. If you can't exercise power, you're in trouble.

In the specifically Trump case, he will be attempting to subvert the judiciary for his nationalist dreams. The ACLU will probably be the key external entity in defending the judiciary.

Similarly, the House needs to appoint a bi-partisan committee to investigate the question of Presidential compromise by a foreign power; and, further, needs to prepare the Cabinet for a case of impeachment if required. That will be accomplished by careful propaganda - sorry, is that not the current term? - in Red House districts. The House is refusing to investigate because they believe they will accomplish more with Trump than without Trump - and voters will support that. Until voters stop giving them a pass, they will use the pass they have.


I want to be super clear that I distinguish Trumpism and its coup of the GOP from a typical Republicanism conservative. The first I believe represents existential threat to the Republic and to keeping nukes not used; the second represents deep harm to our minorities and underserved communities. The second is bad; it doesn't involve the risk of nuclear fire on the rubbles of our society.

My opinion is that Trump must be impeached and removed from office; he deserves an investigation in relation to high treason. That done, it will be time to pivot towards ensuring elections are open to all citizens, free and fair. Likely that will involve things like drives to get people correctly and legally registered with their mandatory VoterRealID etc. I see many busing groups in our future.


From a philosophical and media standpoint, it's clear the lessons of WW2 have worn down to the point that Hitler has become a myth; and that nationalism/fascism is now an acceptable ideology, maybe under a shiny new name. What must be defended is the Reformation & Enlightenment-based liberal order. This has not been adequately done (evidence: POTUS 45). My personal reckoning is that the education system in the US has failed us; years of focusing on "how to get a job" over "sissy liberal arts" has ensured we are not in a society where we are libre. And, shows which glorify lawbreaking in the service of the nation need to be axed from the air. It's not appropriate, and conditions us all to poor thinking.

Hear, hear

Date: 2017-03-13 06:12 am (UTC)
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
From: [personal profile] marahmarie
+1, to every single word.

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