New York Times reporter Yamiche Alcindor filed a full-page ad for the anti-Trump “resistance” for Wednesday’s edition: “Activists for Liberal Causes Join Forces Against Common foe: Trump.” The subhead: “Seeing Strength in Mass Action, Left-Wing Protesters Move to Broaden Their Reach.”
The page was designed for maximum impact, with four good-sized photos of protesters, three in flattering “casual” poses, plus several long quotes from lefties running down the right side of the page under a different eye-catching font under the headline “‘Resist’ Becomes A New Battle Cry.”
The Times performed similar puffery in 2011 for the unhappy left-wing campers of Occupy Wall Street, a movement that faded to nothingness despite the paper's best publicity efforts (the Tea Party, of course, got the old, white, racist treatment).
For years, Justin Boyan worried about the effects of climate change but focused on his wife, his two daughters and his work as a computer scientist in Rhode Island. Then Donald J. Trump became president, and Mr. Boyan was jolted into political activism.
Within days of the election, Mr. Boyan began volunteering for the Working Families Party, a liberal political organization focused on income inequality, and attended almost weekly protests to voice his dismay. He traveled to the Women’s March on Washington with his family the day after inauguration, protested Mr. Trump’s travel ban at the Rhode Island state capital, and began studying criminal justice issues, which he connects to climate change as two issues where policy makers, he believes, have put the demands of big-money contributors over the needs of ordinary people.
The same energy motivating Mr. Boyan is bursting out at demonstrations and town hall meetings across the country. Protesters who had focused on issues like police shootings of black people, a $15 minimum wage and climate change are collaborating against a common foe, President Trump. In cities and states, activists are exchanging civil disobedience tactics, pooling financial resources and showing up to demonstrations about issues that they may not have previously focused on.
Call it Protest Nation: Activists across the country have been strengthening old partnerships and making new ones.
At least Alcindor got the ideological labeling right:
The Working Families Party has joined with MoveOn.org, a left-wing group that goes back to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, and People’s Action, a national progressive group, to encourage people to protest weekly on what they call Resist Trump Tuesdays. Meetup.com, a site that often hosts opportunities for social gatherings, has created more than a thousand local groups called #Resist Meetups aimed at encouraging political activism.
“I was on the phone arranging a car pool to violin practice and I said: ‘All right, I’ll be there in 20 minutes. Bye.’ And the mom said, ‘Resist,’” Mr. Boyan, 46, marveled about a recent conversation. “When people say goodbye to each other, they are saying, ‘Resist.’”
For opponents of Mr. Trump, there is a risk protesting a president who revels in opposition, mocks demonstrators and says he speaks for a silent majority, said Micah White, 34, of Nehalem, Ore., who helped start Occupy Wall Street in 2011. That movement prompted thousands to camp in public parks, protest the excesses of “the 1 percent” -- and eventually disperse with little to show for the efforts.
But as shown above, not for lack of trying on the part of the NYT.
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Activists opposing Mr. Trump still see strength in mass action, and they have begun broadening their reach.
Since she helped organize the Women’s March on Washington, which drew hundreds of thousands of people, Tamika D. Mallory, a gun control advocate and one of the march’s four co-chairwomen, has protested against the travel ban, spoken out against Attorney General Jeff Sessions and worked on organizing follow-up events to keep people involved after the march. She said that while she was still focused on racism and the lives of black people, she also understood that Mr. Trump’s rapid-fire pace meant people must work together and learn about issues outside their main concerns.
In Chicago, Black Youth Project 100 is pairing up with Mijente, a Latino civil rights group, to push to increase the number of sanctuary cities, a term used for jurisdictions that limit local law enforcement’s cooperation with federal immigration agents. While the groups had teamed up in 2015 to stage a large protest in the city when the International Association of Chiefs of Police held its annual conference, last month the groups held their first news conference together.
Tania A. Unzueta, 33, policy and legal director of Mijente, said she saw the collaboration as crucial for undocumented immigrants like herself and to minority communities where discrimination can have deadly consequences.