RESISTANCE WATCH-- “I’m now back to being an activist citizen and part of the resistance,” Hillary Clinton said on May 2 during a televised conversation with Christiane Amanpour at an event for Women for Women International. Clinton is identifying with the broad popular resistance that has mobilized against Donald Trump after the 2016 election, and she is not the only Democrat to do so. The party that failed to win either the Senate or the White House last November is positioning itself as the best bulwark against Trumpism. In March, newly elected Democratic National Chairman Tom Perez announced triumphantly: “We’re going to be the resistance to Donald Trump. ... We have the most important lever of power, the power of we, the most important word in a democracy.”

It is tempting to see the Democratic Party as the only way out of the Trumpocalypse. But let’s not be fooled. Before Clinton called herself part of the “resistance,” she was a self-proclaimed centrist and moderate.

American voters fell into three broad categories last November, the smallest of which voted for Trump (25.5 percent). Edging just a sliver ahead of him was Clinton with the second-largest number of voters (25.6 percent). Larger than either of those groups by far was the group that simply did not vote (46.9 percent). If the 1.7 percent of conservative voters who chose Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson had cast ballots for Trump instead, Clinton’s impressive-sounding popular vote margin of 3 million voters, which she touted proudly at the event with Amanpour this week, would have been eviscerated.

Clinton also stated unequivocally that had the election taken place before FBI Director James Comey publicized that the FBI was reviving its investigation into her emails, she would have certainly won the election. She cited pollster Nate Silver, who posited that Comey’s unorthodox statements had an impact on undecided voters in swing states. She also blamed WikiLeaks for leaking her campaign’s internal emails at inopportune times. But at no point did she explain why her vote margin against the worst, most clownish candidate in recent memory was so close that one bad allegation could ruin her chance at the White House. Nor did she refute the veracity of the leaked emails, which confirmed so many Americans’ view of her as corrupt and beholden to Wall Street.

It is likely true that Clinton would have been president today had tiny aberrations that occurred over the course her campaign not thrown her catastrophically off course. But her campaign should have been far more immune to such aberrations given her rival. If Clinton had been truer to the Democrats’ stated principles of progressivism and put forth a Bernie Sanders-like platform of economic justice with a strong critique of big banks and Wall Street, her poll numbers would likely have been higher than Trump’s, and the damaging revelations from Comey and WikiLeaks might not have made enough of a difference to cost her the election.

It is true that had Clinton become president, she would have made a much better “statesman,” conducting foreign policy like her Democratic predecessors—Barack Obama and her own husband—with a combination of diplomacy and merciless bombing justified through eloquent denouncements of terrorism. Speaking to Amanpour, she said with impressive maturity, “Negotiations are critical. But they’ve got to be part of a broader strategy, not just thrown out on a tweet one morning and say, ‘Hey, let’s get together and see if we can’t get along.’ ” Indeed, it would be unimaginable for Clinton to have used social media to sow confusion and chaos through impetuous tantrums, as does the current White House occupant. But would Clinton’s foreign policy have been terribly different than Trump’s as viewed from the war zones we have targeted? As if taking foreign policy advice from his former rival, Trump bombed Syrian government targets just hours after Clinton said about Bashar al Assad’s Syrian regime: “I really believe we should have and still should take out his airfields.”

While Clinton is examining what led to her loss, and a new book, “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign,” co-authored by Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen, has attempted to dig into the minutiae of the story, there is little examination of why the percentage of Americans who voted for Clinton was so close to the percentage of Americans who voted for Trump, or why even more Americans rejected both candidates. Many of us are scratching our heads at why there is so little regret among Trump voters 100 days into his presidency, as a new Washington Post/ABC News poll revealed. There is anecdotal evidence of regret among some Trump voters, but only 4 percent said they would back another candidate today. Meanwhile, according to the poll, a whopping 15 percent of Clinton voters regret backing her. Trump supporters trust their president, and no amount of news coverage exposing his lying, flip-flopping or blustering will persuade them to change their minds—because he has convinced them that the media perpetuates “fake news.”

A very small sample of Trump supporters explained to Vice News how they feel about the president after his first 100 days. What is most interesting about these responses is that some of them acknowledge Trump’s stumbling on the Affordable Care Act and actually back a single-payer system, with one person saying, “I want socialized health care.” With most Democrats having thrown their weight behind the Affordable Care Act instead of backing the hugely popular single-payer system, it is no wonder so many Americans stayed home on election day.

Trump voters also told Vice that they are happy Clinton is not president. One person went so far as to say, “I do not trust Trump,” but added, “What I can say is that I have absolutely no regrets voting for him over Hillary.”

The political dialogue over last November’s election remains important because it is crucial for those of us who want progressive change in this country to not fall into the Democratic Party trap once more and pour all our energy into electing its members. If the Democratic Party sucks up the energy of the resistance to Trump, we will be right back where we started last year. If the Democrats couldn’t beat Trump in 2016, they won’t beat the Republican Party in 2018, and they won’t beat Trump in 2020—unless they change their tune. The only way to get them to change is to force them to adopt progressive ideals in deed, not just in word. Clinton and Perez trying to tie themselves to the resistance is bad news for progressives. The resistance to Trump should not be tainted by establishment Democrats.

Since January the mass demonstrations, from the Women’s March to the May Day march, have shown an impressive opposition to Trump’s madness. Grass-roots organizing at Congressional town hall meetings have thus far helped keep the Republicans’ macabre vision of health care at bay. Unfortunately, there have been a disturbing number of people within the movement echoing Clinton’s line on “Russian interference” with the election as a way to explain why Trump is in office. We are desperate to understand why and how such a madman has hijacked our democracy, and a sordid tale of backroom corruption is much more seductive than the more mundane and discomforting explanation that Clinton was not good enough.

If Democratic Party members can simply sweep away all the real reasons why non-Democratic Party loyalists don’t trust them, they can continue to try to win elections without translating their stated ideals into policy, and most of the time they will lose as they have been doing. But that means that most of the time Republicans will win, to the detriment of all of us, not just the Democratic Party.

Clinton may want to consider herself part of the resistance. But we must resist the temptation to have her on our side. The resistance must reject Clinton, Clintonism and the establishment Democratic Party if it wants to truly undo the Trump presidency

(Sonali Kolhatkar is Co-Director of the Afghan Women's Mission and a political writer at TruthDig …where this piece was first posted.)

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RESISTANCE WATCH--A scientist who studies protests said this week that the resistance to President Donald Trump is building momentum, not losing it, and the movement's continued existence could be a signal that Americans are changing how they participate in democracy.

Sociologist Dana Fisher told the Washington Post in an interview published Wednesday that she hadn't seen major protests in the nation's capital in the five years she'd lived in the area, but that demonstrations have now become an almost-weekly occurrence. 

Few of her students at the University of Maryland used to participate in activism, but these days "everybody has to get out of class to go downtown because they're chaining themselves to something or they're marching," she told the Post's Sarah Kaplan.

Fisher found that there was a lot of crossover between events, with 70 percent of participants at the recent Peoples Climate March having also come out for the Women's March in January. She also found that reports of "resistance fatigue" have been exaggerated. 

"What I think this is showing is that there are people who are getting involved and staying involved and coming out even if it's every weekend,” Fisher said. "There's only so many weekends in a row you want to march, but we have not hit that exhaustion yet."

The rise of mainstream activism could mean that average people are becoming more engaged with politics.

"Many Americans no longer feel like their concerns are being heard just by voting" every four years, she said.

"Are they really civically engaged, are they going to do something before the midterm election, or are they going to go back to watch TV?" Fisher posited. "The data we have collected so far suggest they are not going back to watching TV."

(Nadia Prupis writes for Common Dreams … where this report originated.)

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RESISTANCE WATCH--I gotta admit, I’ve never been a big Michael Moore fan. Until very recently. I caught a particularly pertinent part of his interview with Chris Hayes on MSNBC one day this week: 'I want the 6-year old off the highway': The first 100 days of Trump is not the story, he said. The story is the First 100 Days of the Resistance. Attempts to kill the ACA are dead because the members of Congress can read the tea leaves well enough to know that if they trash the American people and throw them all off healthcare, they will pay the price for it next year. 

“Everybody has to remember that this 100 days is about the citizens of this county -- that came out in mass. Within 24 hours of his inauguration, the largest demonstrations in the history of this country took place in D.C. and across the country and the world.

“It was an amazing thing.

“Ask anybody of my age or older…this goes way beyond anything we saw in the ‘60’s…I stood on that stage. Have you ever seen what one million people look like?

“For me, it was cathartic. We are not alone. A majority did not vote for him and people have been so active on so many levels…every day the switchboard lines for Congress are lit up … that number again is 202-225-3121…”

He went on about the Resistance being like a swarm of bees, coming from every direction. He’s been right about a lot – listen to the whole interview if you get a chance. Multi-pronged is how I’ve always viewed successful organizing campaigns – the strategic use of multiple grassroots tactics, an authentic coalition, the truth, the correct voice, and relentless work.

Clearly it works and is working. Marches for Science and Climate Change these past two Saturdays have surpassed expectations and for the first time in my memory, Los Angeles will see one unified mass May Day march. In June, local and nationwide LGBT pride parades are organizing as marches instead: Los Angeles Pride trades parade for a ‘resist’ march this year 

In the meantime I’ve found a list of organizing, action, research, support, and activism that I sent it to myself as the “Holy shit!” list. I share it in two parts; spend some time with both. Share ‘em as well, please and thank you! – and keep ‘em coming!

Action Hub 

How to get involved  – the holy shit list

Similarly, every day folks are creating and sharing tools and technology like this collection of Online organizing tools

(Julie Butcher writes for CityWatch and is a retired union leader now enjoying her new La Crescenta home and her first grandchild. She can be reached at juliejbutcher@gmail.com or on her new blog ‘The Butcher Shop - No Bones about It.’)

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100 DAYS OF RESISTANCE--It only took a day for the people to speak.

On the morning after Donald Trump’s inauguration, more than 500,000 people crowded into the nation’s capital for the Women’s March on Washington. The “counter-inauguration,” co-sponsored by the ACLU and many other groups, was likely the single largest protest in American history as sister marches sprung up in cities across America. All told, an estimated 3 to 5 million people took to the streets in defense of our most fundamental values and in opposition to the newly inaugurated president, who threatened so many of them.

The Women’s March, however, was just the beginning. As Trump’s 100th day in office approaches, the mobilization of people in defense of liberty and equality has been broad and deep. It’s also intersectional, establishing relationships across class, gender, racial, and even political and party lines, as some conservatives break ranks out of concern about Trump.

The Resistance, in other words, is everywhere.

Read: Day-By-Day Digest Of President Trump’s 100 Days of FailureIt was at our airports nationwide as Trump rolled out his Muslim ban. It was in town halls across the country as people held Republican members of Congress to account for their promises to repeal Obamacare. It was in front of the White House when Trump revoked an Obama-era guidance that protected transgender students’ right to use the bathroom that corresponds to their authentic selves. And it was in congressional confirmation hearings, most notably Jeff Sessions’, as activists let committee members know that many of Trump’s cabinet picks had terrible records on civil rights and civil liberties.

Civil society’s response to the Trump administration combined with the administration’s own record of legislative, legal, and political failure has clearly affected the White House. Trump came into office with historically low approval ratings, and they basically haven’t budged since. In fact, a recent Pew Research Center report found that going as far back as Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump has the highest disapproval rating of any president during his first 100 days — by far.

The man sitting in the Oval Office now understands intimately that there is a large revolt against his dangerous and often unconstitutional policies in the streets, in the courts, and in legislatures across this great country of ours. Over Donald Trump’s first 100 days, the fight to defend core civil liberties and civil rights has occurred in three primary areas: immigration, healthcare, and transgender rights. As in all struggles, there have been successes and failures, advances and setbacks, but one thing is clear: The Resistance isn’t going anywhere if President Trump continues to violate the Constitution and attack vulnerable communities.

Read the full ACLU report, 100 Days of Resistance, here

(Anthony D. Romero is the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation's premier defender of liberty and individual freedom.)

100 ORGANIZATIONS UNIFY-- The May Day Coalition of Los Angeles, a network of more than 100 organizations, held one of the nation's largest May 1 marches in resistance, unity, and defiance of efforts by the current administration to curtail, weaken, or take away basic rights and freedoms for most Americans, with the exception of the one percent at the top. 

SPECIAL--The May Day Coalition of Los Angeles, a network of more than 100 organizations, holds one of the nation's largest May 1 marches in resistance, unity, and defiance of efforts by the current Administration to curtail, weaken, or take away basic rights and freedoms for most Americans, with the exception of the 1% at the top. 

The May 1 march begins at 11 am at MacArthur Park located in the Pico/Union-Westlake district just west of Downtown Los Angeles. A rally kicks things off before marching begins at 12 noon, moving east on Wilshire Blvd. towards downtown Los Angeles. The march concludes with a massive rally in front of Los Angeles City Hall on Grand Park. 

To access Media-Designated Areas at MacArthur Park and Grand Park, members of the press will be required to wear OFFICIAL PRESS BADGES. No exceptions. 

Media Truck suggested parking--

At MacArthur Park: S. Park View St. between 6th and 7th St.

At Grand park: W. Temple St, between N. Hill and N. Main St. 

WHAT: "Resist Los Angeles" march and rally on May 1, 2017, International Workers Day. Largest concentration of marchers to date downtown Los Angeles expected.

WHEN: Today, May 1, 2017, starting at 11 a.m. through 3 p.m.

WHERE: Locations vary.

Start location: 11 a.m., MacArthur Park, Wilshire Blvd. and S. Alvarado St.

Rally: 11 a.m. - 12 noon, MacArthur Park

Marching begins: 12 noon, East on Wilshire to S. Grand Ave., then 6th street to Hill St. heading north all the way to Grand Park/City Hall. 

Merge march/stop at Pershing Square with Women's March LA: 1 p.m.

End location: 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., LA City Hall west, front of Grand Park

See entire route here: http://weresist.la/ 

WHO: Scheduled speakers include (partial list): Kelly Calabrellos, Tongva Tribe Elder; Angelica Salas, CHIRLA Executive Director; David Huerta, President SEIU-USWW; Alex Caputo Pearl, UTLA President; Maria Elena Durazo, UNITE HERE; Alexandra Suh, KIWA executive director; Rusty Hicks, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO; Laphonza Butler, SEIU 2015; Claudia Estrada, Planned Parenthood; Rev. Meschellia Johnson, California NOW; Tom Steyer, NextGen; Hector Villagra, ACLU SoCal; Kevin De Leon, Senate Pro Tem; LA County Supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl; LA City Mayor Eric Garcetti; Pastor Lewis Logan, Rev. Walter Contreras, Rabbi Jonathan Klein, Bamby Salcedo, transgender rights advocate; and performances by Jornaleros Del Norte, Very Be Careful, and Inner City Dwellers.

Members of the May Day Coalition of Los Angeles, include:  9to5 Los Angeles, ACLU of Southern CA, ACT-LA, AF3IRM, AFSCME District Council 36, AFT 1521, African Coalition, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), All Saints Church - Pasadena, American Federation of Musicians Local 47, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), ANGELENOS FOR TOMORROW, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, Black and Brown Clergy Community Coalition, Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles, C.I.C.L.E., CA Nurses Association, California Dream Network, California Faculty Association, California Immigrant Policy Center, California NOW, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Community Change, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN-LA), Church Without Walls, Clinica Mrs. Oscar A. Romero, Coalition for Economic Survival, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Church Without Walls, CLEAN Carwash Campaign, CLUE-LA, COFECA, Coalition for Community Control Over the Police, Comite Fuerza y Unidad Morena  Los Angeles, Communist Party USA, Community Coalition, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greater Los Angeles Area (CAIR-LA), Creating Justice LA, CWA LOCAL 9588, Democratic Socialists of America - Los Angeles, East LA Community Corporation, Equality California, Esperanza Community Housing Corporation, Fight For 15 LA, Food & Water Watch, Fundación Ilobasco, Global Women's Strike/Los Angeles, Hip-Hop Congress, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles, IATSE Union, IBEW Local 45, Inquilinos Unidos (United Tenants), Instituto de Educación Popular del Sur de California (IDEPSCA), International Rescue Committee in Los Angeles, JUUstice LA, KIWA, Korean Resource Center, LA Forward, Labor 411, La Voice, LA-Más, LAANE, Lambda Legal, Latino Equality Alliance, LIUNA Laborers Local 300, Los Angeles Black Worker Center, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Los Angeles LGBT Center, Los Angeles Worker Center Network, March and Rally Los Angeles, Mesa Comunitaria Guatemalteca, Miguel Contreras Foundation, Monkey Wrench Brigade, Morena Los Angeles Fuerza y Unidad, Multicultural Communities for Mobility, NALC 24, NextGen Climate, Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California, Promesa Boyle Heights, Red Migrante Guatemalteca, Refuse Fascism LA, Restaurant Opportunities Center of Los Angeles, Roofers Local 36, SAJE, Salvadoran American National Association (SANA), Strategic Concepts in Organizing Policy Education (SCOPE), SEIU 121 RN Nurses Alliance, SEIU 2015, SEIU Local 721, SEIU Local 99, SEIU USWW, Southeast Asian Community Alliance (SEACA), St John's Well Child & Family Center, Stonewall Democratic Club, T.R.U.S.T. South LA, Teamsters 630, Teamsters JC42, Teamsters Local 2010, Teamsters Local 396, Teamsters Local 399, Teamsters Local 630, Teamsters Local 896, Thai Community Development Center, T.R.U.S.T. South LA, UAW 2865, UCLA Labor Center, UFCW Local 770, UFW Foundation, UNITE HERE Local 11, United Farm Workers, United Teachers Los Angeles, UPLIFT, USW Local 675, Venice Family Clinic, Warehouse Worker Resource Center, Women in Media, Women of Color in the Global Women's Strike, Women's March LA., Writer's  Guild of America, West.

-CW

 

RESISTANCE WATCH--As President Donald Trump is set to mark his first 100 days in office on Saturday, the resistance movement that sprang up alongside his rise to power is also celebrating its accomplishments and taking stock of where it stands—and where it is going. (Photo above: Women’s March 2017, Los Angeles.)

Much has been said about the failure of Trump to live up to the promises of his campaign, which Democratic lawmakers are highlighting this week. 

But, as many have noted, the swell of popular opposition has not only stymied the administration's plans to ban Muslim visitors or dismantle healthcare for 30 million Americans. It has also prompted a reckoning within the Democratic Party, forcing establishment leaders to move left and bringing popular progressive ideas such as a single payer healthcare system into mainstream conversation.

Alicia Garza, one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, said Sunday that despite the many "low points" over the past few months, she is "hopeful."

"The disorganization of our political landscape offers abundant opportunities for new strategies and a transformation in the way we care for one another," Garza wrote at the Guardian. "We have no choice other than to fight back, to take back what was always flawed but still holds the promise of what could be."

Tallying up some of the greatest successes and moments of the anti-Trump resistance, The Nation's John Nichols wrote Monday:

The epic Women's March on Washington restored the faith that many of us had lost on Election Day. Trump's Muslim ban was thwarted not just by judges, but by immediate and massive opposition across the country. His attempt to overturn the [Affordable Care Act] was tripped up, at least in part, by overwhelming opposition from an "Indivisible" movement that packed town halls with Americans who proudly declared that they wanted not just Obamacare, but health care as a right. Trump's initial pick for labor secretary, Andy Puzder, withdrew because, as Puzder admitted, "the left and the Democrats really didn't want [me]."

To that list, one could add the #GrabYourWallet boycott campaign, which has driven major retailers to drop Trump family products, and other massive mobilizations including Saturday's global March for Science and last week's Tax March, as well as the upcoming Peoples Climate March.

Trump's presidency has clearly fueled a new wave of political engagement, particularly among women. Notably, more than 12,000 women have contacted Emily's List seeking information and assistance in running for political office, which the organization notes is a 1000 times more than last year.

Going forward, Nichols said that to continue to derail the Trump train, "Americans must stay in the streets."

"Democrats," he continued, "must answer the call of their base and run hard in red states like Kansas, Georgia, Nebraska, and Montana—putting in place a full-scale 50-state strategy for the 2018 midterms."

Similarly, George Goehl, co-executive director of People's Action, declared Sunday evening that "now, more than ever, we need strategy."

Speaking at the start of the People's Action founding convention in Washington, D.C., Goehl outlined the steps to transform a resistance movement into lasting political power. 

"First, we have to build a resistance that turns Defense into Offense. That means being exactly where they don't want us to be, exactly when they don't want us to be there," he said. "We have done it on healthcare, and we can do it on immigration, we can do it on policing, we can do it on the budget, and more." 

"Number two, Being the resistance is not enough. We need a visionary resistance," he continued. "Let me ask you this: Is now the time to retreat on our big ideas? Is it time to soften our demands?  No. Now is a moment that calls for a radical imagination of what's possible. Every time we protest their agenda, we must demand and articulate and push for our agenda."

"Finally," Goehl added, "let's turn protest power into political power."

To that end, Our Revolution, the organization that sprang from Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) presidential campaign, hosted a livestream Sunday evening to assess the "State of the Revolution" and kick off the next phase of its national organizing plan, which aims to build change by winning local elections.

"It's not just about fighting Trump," said the organization's chair, Larry Cohen. "It's also about fighting for what we want." The progressive platform laid out by the speakers included a $15 minimum wage, policing reform, immigrant rights, and Medicare-for-All, among other issues.

"From the school house to the White House," added former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, "local elections matter." 

Looking to the 2018 midterm elections and beyond, Nichols added, "Now is the time to turn resistance into something more: a coherent opposition that is capable of saying 'no' to Trump and holding him to account while at the same time organizing, marching, campaigning, and voting for a whole new politics that will consign crony capitalism, militarism, fear mongering, and the cruel chimera of the 'CEO president' to the dustbin of history."

(Lauren McCauley writes for Common Dreams … where this perspective was first posted.)

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