A week ago today I got up bright and early and drove to Lansing with my mom and my aunt for the Women’s March rally taking place in front of the capital building. The roughly 8,000 of us on the capital lawn that morning were just one small group amid the millions of people around the world who came together to send a clear message to Trump Administration: we will not be silent.
Over 1 million people–most of them women*– gathered in protest in the United States alone, making the Women’s March the largest protest in our nation’s history. And I was proud to be a part of it.
But we cannot let ourselves forget that the Women’s March was only the beginning. We need to fight individually every single day. We need to remind this administration every single day that we will not go quietly. It feels great and empowering to be surrounded by thousands of people chanting for change, but that action needs to carry over into our every day lives. We need to save our reps office numbers in our phones and call them on our lunch breaks. We need to stay vigilant of every lie this administration is going to attempt to gaslight us into believing. The march will mean very little if we do not follow up every day for the next 4 years.
We also cannot be blind to how we got here. White women–we cannot claim solidarity until we except that we were part of making this happen, until we accept accountability for the fact that 53% of white women voted for Trump. And while you may not have been one of them–I certainly wasn’t–we still need to take responsibility for that. We failed to have the necessary conversations with our friends and family. We failed to make them uncomfortable by confronting them with the racist underbelly of their words and beliefs. That is on us.
Looking for ways you can resist Trump right now? Here’s what I’m doing:
The first thing we all have to commit to doing is paying attention. We cannot allow Trump’s lies to go unchecked. His administration is openly lying about things that we can all see are false with our own eyes–just imagine what they’ll lie about that we can’t see.
Stay up to date on the executive orders he’s signing, on the bills being introduced to Congress, and do not trust anything this administration says.
Personally, I owe a lot of my understanding of what is going on right now to Celeste Pewter. She works tirelessly to educated people on everything being introduced and passed, she writes phone scripts, she answers questions, she does it all. You can follow her on Twitter to keep up to date.
After you’ve educated yourself on what’s going on, make your opposition known. Find out who your representatives are, save their numbers in your phone, and call their offices every damn day.
A really easy way to get educated and make your voice heard in just 5 minutes a day is with 5 Calls. This site will tell you what you should be calling about, tell you who you to call based on where you live, and provides a script for you to use when calling. That last part is particularly important to people like me who have really terrible phone anxiety.
Don’t Forget Self Care
Staying in the know and speaking up is important, but you’re no good to the resistance if you’re mentally exhausted and making yourself sick. Give yourself permission to get off social media and tune out from time to time. I’ve seen a lot of prominent activists reminding people that this is a marathon, not a sprint. They’ve also encouraged people to choose a few causes to really focus on rather than desperately trying to know everything about all of them. Personally, I’m trying to focus most of my energy on environmental issues, human rights, and foreign policy.
The moment we become apathetic, the moment we resign ourselves and quit fighting, they win. History has taught us time and time again what happens when people stand silently while administrations like this take over–we cannot allow it to happen again. Not here.
Stay strong. Stay loud. Stay fierce. Welcome to the resistance.