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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Why Protest?

I mentioned earlier that I've been finding protesting really exhausting. But as I was working out in the gym this evening trying to restore myself, I read this great point from Erik Loomis:

Despite the strange belief by those who are personally uncomfortable with protest politics that protesters are a bunch of wankers who engage in purity politics and don’t show up to vote, in fact, protest creates the most possibly engaged voters who find new ways to influence the system. Even on last night’s post, there were some comments (and there really were on the LGM Facebook page about it) saying that protest didn’t really matter in the judges’ stay of the Fascist Trump’s executive order and that it all was a sign that “the system works” and we don’t need protest. This is ridiculous. First, judges do not operate in a vacuum. If you don’t have thousands of people take to the streets and shut down airports, this is not nearly as immediate. The judges won’t work as fast. Second, politicians don’t come out against the ban without the protests. This is all everyone’s talking about, except of course for the fact that a Nazi is running American foreign policy. If you want to fight Trump, you need active resistance. And that resistance is quite likely going to need to be escalated to placing bodies between state security and our most vulnerable comrades. This is how preparing for that starts. We need lawyers and politicians and judges. We also need activists and organizers. They are the ones who made the JFK protest happen last night, not the ACLU, although that organization is great and played a key role. But it was grassroots activism that started it. And of course we need you. And me. And everyone else.

Right on. I'm going to get back out there as soon as I can.

And then a friend tipped me off to this a few minutes ago:

Five people detained at San Francisco International Airport under President Trump’s executive order were released Sunday afternoon, airport officials said, as a second day of protests drew thousands to the transportation hub
People chanting “Trump Out, Refugees In!” protested for a second day at SFO against the president’s immigration ban.
Accompanied by a brass band, the Sunday crowd divided into three large groups that stood at passenger exits in the arrival area of the international terminal. A group of lawyers worked on computers huddled in a corner under signs in English, Farsi and Arabic that read “Family Members Detained? Legal Help Here.”

We just directly impacted the lives of five people. And if this is working, I think there's more to come.

Keep going!

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