Now is the Time for Peace and Justice Organizations to Actively Resist Trump

Now is the Time for Peace and Justice Organizations to Actively Resist Trump
king-at-lunsford

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the home of Dr. Charles Lunsford, from On his Day, remembering when Martin Luther King visited Rochester January 7th, 1958

from George Payne

In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

George Orwell

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said: “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

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Nazareth College

Evil happens when just people forfeit their inherent right to speak out for war victims, the impoverished, and those discriminated against because of a policy.

To passively accept the Trump agenda is to cooperate with evil. By evil, Dr. King always implied the forces of selfishness, pride, ignorance, and mercilessness that arise when the virtues of wisdom, love, compassion, and courage have been vanquished.

With King’s prophetic words in mind, now is the time for the peace and justice community to respond with a unified, unambiguous, strategic voice of dissent against Donald Trump. Now is the time for creative disobedience and loving confrontation. It is not the time for mere passive disapproval and veiled complicity.

Since most people who oppose Trump are feeling incapacitated right now, the best way to overcome this sensation of helplessness is to do something constructive, hope inducing, and goal oriented with others. For expert help, the most prolific source of information about active nonviolence resistance is the work of Gene Sharp. (See more about Sharp’s methods at 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action.)

If I had to choose a few immediate actions from Sharp’s list, I would recommend assemblies of protest or protest meetings. Public assemblies empower those in attendance and send a message to the opposition that there is an active community which is working behind the scenes and on the front lines.

dont-shoot-in-color

George Payne

Secondly, I believe that ostracism of persons can be effective if done with the right intention. Social boycott of Trump’s products, selective social boycotts of companies that are in business with Trump, and a variety of symbolic nonaction days can all have a powerful effect.

Thirdly, I would recommend action by holders of financial resources. Withdrawal of bank deposits, refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments, refusal to pay debts or interest, severance of funds and credit, revenue refusal and even refusal of government money can be potent forms of resistance.

Last but not least, peace and justice organizations should be mobilizing their members and constituents to physically intervene by engaging in sit-sins, stand-ins, ride-ins, wade-ins, mill-ins, and pray-ins.

There are so many ways to actively oppose Donald Trump by using nonviolent civil resistance, that perhaps the most consequential act is to do nothing at all. As King put it: “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

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Give it a read!

Learn more about the psychology and methods of demagogues by listening to this interview with Aldous Huxley.

SEE ALSO

RIT’s John Roche offers “Orange Golem” and “Trumped.” And the Donald’s parting shots.

On his Day, remembering when Martin Luther King visited Rochester, January 8th, 1958

About The Author

dkramer3@naz.edu

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, and the CITY.  My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.

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