Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sunday ruminations: The Resistance will be televised (& live-streamed)

When the National Park Service tweeted out these photos comparing the inauguration crowds of Obama and Trump, the NPS was ordered to shut down its social media accounts.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, there is a silver lining to President Donald Trump's attempts to add America to his long list of money-making ventures for him and his billionaire friends.

While it might be easy to fall into a state of despair because of Trump's attempting to turn back all the progressive actions of the last 20 years, there has been reason to hope.

The good comes from people stepping up, speaking out, writing letters to the editor, voicing their concerns to their representatives, taking action out of their comfort zones, making donations to their favorite civil rights organization and just showing up at protests, rallies and marches.

From CNN, we hear that the Jewish community of Victoria, Texas, has stepped up to aid the town's Muslim community after their mosque was destroyed in a fire last weekend, hours after Trump signed his executive order restricting immigration of Muslims.

"I never doubted the support that we were going to get," said Dr. Shahid Hashmi, the president of the Victoria Islamic Center. "We've always had a good relationship with the community here."

Sally Yates
America found a new hero in former acting Attorney General Sally Yates when she ordered the Department of Justice lawyers not to defend Trump's anti-Muslim order because she doubted the legality of the order. As a result Trump had her replaced. Overnight, the career government employee, found herself the subject of social media praising her action.

Yates wasn't alone. Plenty in the legal community agreed with her. Civil rights attorneys rushed to the airports to provide free legal services to those affected by the travel ban.

The attorneys general of Virginia, Massachusetts, New York and Washington filed legal challenges to Tate Trump order resulting in a nationwide stay preventing Homeland Security from implementing the ban. 

A DOJ appeal to overturn a judge's stay was denied allowing the nationwide stay to continue through the weekend.

How about the underreported quiet revolt occurring in the federal government? Besides Yates, employees in the State Department and CIA have voiced their serious concerns about Trump's policies affecting international relations. There is some dispute on this but State's senior management team either resigned their posts or were "reassigned" because their opinions countered the administration's directions.

Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency, USDA, CDC, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Weather Service and National Park Service have created private social media accounts - with tags of alt.NPSto counter the 
"gag order" after they began tweeting about climate change, their research and other facts, which the administration doesn't believe in.

 Using  names such as @altUSDA, @altUSEPA, @rogue_NOAA and @alternativeNWS, employees began tweeting about climate change and its impacts. 

According to Scientific American, the runaway popularity of @AltNatParkSer's tweets — the account quickly gathered over 14,000 followers — appeared to raise its founders' concerns regarding their continued involvement. On Jan. 26, the anonymous team tweeted that the members were handing the account over to activists and journalists who have science backgrounds but who are not federal employees, saying that they were making the decision "for the sake of our colleagues."

Our Democratic politicians were outspoken in their opposition to Trump's series of executive orders and tried to block the appointments of Trump's questionable cabinet members but thus far, have not been able to overcome the numbers game in the Senate

AAPI representatives were active: going to the airport demonstrations, denouncing the immigration and Muslim ban orders and encouraging their followers.

S.F. Mayor Ed Lee along with mayors of other cities have
refused to be cowed by Trump threats.
Mayors of sanctuary cities have by and large have stood fast against Trump's threats to cut federal funding but that drama still has to play out.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee reaffirmed the commitment of his city to remain a sanctuary city despite threats from President Donald Trump.
Last week, the president signed an executive order to deny federal grant funds to “sanctuary cities.” These cities have policies in place to restrict local law enforcement’s cooperation with federal immigration agents, with the exception of extreme cases.

“Our city is still a sanctuary city and we are going to remain a sanctuary city,” said Lee. The sanctuary city policy intends to increase cooperation between local law enforcement and immigrant communities by establishing a sense of trust, reports ABC7 News. The policy also permits undocumented immigrants to access services, such as health care and education, that they would not necessarily receive in cities not protected by the sanctuary city policy

Other U.S. cities who have declared sanctuary cities have joined in the chorus. Only Miami appears to have backed off.

The Women's March has Held the day after Trump's inauguration sparked a resistance  movement that appears to have legs. When Trump signed the Muslim Exclusioni order, thousands of demonstrators across the country spontaneously protested at the nation's airports. Unlike the Women's March that attracted millions, there were no months of planning involved, people fed up with Trump's king-like proclamations showed up to demonstrate their displeasure.

As Muslim immigrants allowed to join their awaiting relatives at LAX, the LAPD joined in singing the chorus of "This Land is Your Land," along with the protesters.

Over the weekend, some Republican lawmakers staged town halls in their districts and were surprised to see the crowds in attendance, demanding that Obamacare be left alone.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), one of the relatively few members of Congress who has held public town hall meetings in 2017, was beset by protesters in the city of Roseville, Calif. More than 1,000 people gathered in front of a venue that could seat 200, and many of those who got inside protested McClintock, a conservative who represents one of the state’s few safe Republican seats, for favoring the president’s executive orders on refugees and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

According to social media reports from attendees, the event was raucous; according to video clips taken in its aftermath, McClintock left under police protection as critics, many organized by the local branch of the Indivisible activist organization, followed closely.

“If anyone is wondering what a town hall meeting in a conservative district looks like, welcome to Roseville,” wrote protester Troy Kuersten on Facebook.

Other GOP representatives, including Rep. Paul Ryan, (R-Wis.), had visits from groups opposed to Trump policies.

e resistance, good people, is gaining momenturm. You are not alone.