How Students Can Resist the Trump Administration

Black-Lives-Matter

The election of Donald Trump as US president has birthed a determined, ever-growing network of resistance. In the five days following his election, the ACLU collected an unprecedented $7m and over three million people across more than 300 cities took part in women’s marches. Since then, the US government has repeatedly been met with organised, vocal protest, whether it be at their attempt to repeal Obamacare and leave millions without health insurance, or attempts to ban Muslims from entering the country.

If the thought of President Trump scrapping Daca or the Clean Power Plan is keeping you up at night, you’re clearly not alone. If you’re worried about your future or the future of LGBT citizens, people of colour, women, low income earners or the environment, here’s how to make your voice heard and resist the Trump administration.

Chase after the truth like a Washington Post reporter

One of the most radical things you can do in this day and age is combat the spread of disinformation, armed with a healthy dose of scepticism and reason.  

Last week, for example, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that President Trump would be phasing out Daca over the next six months, he suggested that it was partially for the sake of national security, which in addition to being prodigiously racist, is entirely baseless.

In a statement to the press, Jeff Sessions actually said: “Failure to enforce the [immigration] laws in the past has put our nation at risk of crime, violence and even terrorism.”

Yet, while Jeff Sessions is perfectly happy to suggest that Dreamers are bloodthirsty terrorists, we must remember that the program involved a strict vetting process for applicants deemed to present a threat to national security or had a criminal record.  

Of course, it’s hard to keep track of all the lies, but don’t let the White House rob you of your capacity for being scandalized. Remain engaged; remain interested, and don’t give up on your country just yet.

Telephone Congress

The right to petition the government is one of the most underrated of rights within the First Amendment. You hear about freedom of speech and freedom of the press all the time, but what about the right to ring your elected official to rant about gun legislation or overtime pay? Calling or writing congress is probably a tad more time-consuming than signing an online petition, but as recent events have shown, it get results.

If you’re not sure what to complain about, or aren’t feeling particularly eloquent today, check out The 65 for a list of scripts you can read on the phone to your rep. If you’re not sure how to reach your local rep, enter your address in Phone Your Rep and get their phone number.  

Join an anti-racist organization on campus or in your area

You might want to join an organization dedicated to ending racial discrimination and racial killings and violence, like The Movement For Black Lives, Showing Up For Racial Justice, Black Lives Matter, Million Hoodies or Campaign Zero to participate in collective action and find support you need from other activists.

Some organizations are campus-based, like Circles of Change, a local organization supported by the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire that organizes talks and discussions about inclusivity, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, or racism. Students of Stanford University can also join Disrupting Whiteness, a coalition of students and faculty members dedicated to ending racism and white supremacy.

Take to the streets

Going to a protest for the first time can be scary, but with the right preparations and some friends to go with you should be fine. If you’re worried about physical altercations between rival protesters, which have occurred recently when protesters have picketed white supremacist and right-wing rallies, avoid the front line of the protest. It might seem alarmist, but it’s a good idea to have some basic first aid supplies on you as well of plenty of food for yourselves and others.

March for Racial Justice will be rallying on Capitol Hill on September 30 to the Capitol, past the Department of Justice and holding a vigil at MLK Memorial. If you can’t make it to Washington, there’ll be a number of sister marches across the country over the next few weeks. Find information about your rights when it comes to protests and marches here.

Donate your hard-earned dollar bills

If you can’t spare the time to attend a protest or make a phone call, you can still do some good with a charitable donation. Life After Hate is an amazing nonprofit set up by reformed members of the far right, who saw their funding get cut by President Trump in June. Their work centers around deradicalizing individuals harbouring extremist views. Of course, the list of community projects and activist groups that deserve your donations is endless, so save time for searching for a project, individual or organization to donate to here.

For more ways you can help, check out Micaela Suminski’s amazing comprehensive list of things you can do to join the movement here.

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