An Update on Women’s Marches & Other Protests Worldwide

By: Keven Wilder – Artist, Activist & Chicagoan

Here’s the latest info on the Jan. 21st Women’s March in DC and Sister Marches around the US and the globe. If you’re planning to march but haven’t yet registered, then please register on the Eventbrite page for the city where you’ll be marching.  Again, the Marches are gender neutral and the organizers are encouraging anyone who cares about women’s rights to participate.  

Organizing these Marches is expensive (logistics, port-a-potties, permits, staging, sound equipment,etc.) so the DC Women’s March has requested that people make donations if possible through Crowdrise. While registering for the Marches is free, a modest contribution would help the organizers cover their expenses. 

Click here to find Sister Marches around the US and overseas so you can participate in a March near you on the 21st. Planned Parenthood has joined as an official partner of the March.  As Planned Parenthood is expecting the fight of their life with the incoming administration, they have a lot at stake here to demonstrate that women will fight for access to services that Planned Parenthood provides.

Regarding the DC March, it is important to order a subway ticket for transportation that day.  Click here to order a Metro Smartrip card in advance and it will be sent to you. FYI, after talking to the Metro customer service, the best bet for March attendees is to purchase the $14.50 Smartrip Card which allows unlimited travel for a 24 hour period (screen shot below).  If you want a card you can use throughout the weekend, you’ll need to add value to the card. FYI, the average one way fare in the DC area is $3; the highest fare is $5.90.  You can add value at one of the Metro stations (difficult with lots of crowds on the 21st) or online at home once you receive the Metro card in the mail.

Also, here’s a helpful blog with tips on what to bring with you to the March.  It will be likely be cold and maybe wet.

If you haven’t yet ordered a banner, there’s still time to get one.  Vistaprint is a reliable inexpensive resource to print up a custom banner.  A good friend will be marching with a banner saying Trump+Putin=Treason.

And FYI here is an article from the Guardian with more details about the Women’s March.

 Legislation We Need to Pass in the States

With Congress and the White House firmly in Republican hands, it will be up to the states to fight back against the draconian changes planned by the incoming administration.  As the NYT suggests in an article below, we can take a page from the Tea Party handbook by fighting for what we believe in at the state and local level.  In this new Trump authoritarian era, states’ rights will be increasingly important; we will need to form a movement for progressive federalism.

The following three pieces of legislation, if passed in a majority of states, would go a long way towards preventing this Trump disaster in the future:

1.  The National Popular Vote statute:  Click to find here an update on legislation to pass this important law in state houses around the country.  When passed in a state, this statute would require that the state’s electors award the Presidency to the winner of the popular vote in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  States with 95 electoral votes already have passed this legislation; we need states with 105 electors to pass this legislation to have it take effect before 2020.  The legislation has cleared at least one house of state legislatures in 12 additional states (even red states such as AZ and MI) with a total of 96 electoral votes.  Even Newt Gingrich in 2014 endorsed this legislation, which is an effective way to blunt the effect of the outmoded Electoral College without a difficult to achieve Constitutional Amendment.  Please visit this link to check on the progress of this legislation in your state and if this legislation has not yet passed in your state, please consider doing all you can to get it passed in your state before 2020.

2.  We need to pass legislation in states across the country like the bill pending in NY that would require anyone running for President or Vice President to release their tax returns in order to get on the state ballot.  New York State Senator Brad Hoylman of NY has introduced this legislation: the T.R.U.M.P. Act (Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public).  We need to get similar legislation passed in as many states as possible. If you agree, please contact your state representatives to urge them to introduce similar legislation in your state.  Again, we need this legislation in place in as many states as possible by 2020.

3.  Automatic Voter Registration Passing legislation to make it easier for everyone in each state to vote is critical.  For instance, automatically registering people to vote when they get their driver’s license has been passed in states like OR (where voter turnout in 2016 was 66% far higher than elsewhere in the country).  Voter suppression in 2016 was a big factor in Hillary’s loss: minorities turned out at much lower numbers in WI and NC in large part due to strict new voter ID laws, fewer polling places, reduced hours for early voting, etc.  In Oregon, the automatic voter registration law took effect Jan. 1, 2016.  Also CA, VT and even West Virginia have enacted these laws already.  Passing this legislation in swing states is particularly critical.  Click here for an update on the status of this legislation across the country.

Other Protests

Taking a page from the Tea Party, here’s an article which describes how progressives can blunt Trump and Republican actions by getting more active at the state and local level learning from Tea Party tactics. 

Consider joining a billboard campaign in Paul Ryan’s backyard to keep the pressure on him by reminding all Janesville, WI residents that Ryan has pledged that “No one will be worse off” (after Congress repeals Obamacare.)  

Articles

Robert Kuttner describes what needs to be done now to build the case to impeach Trump.  While Pence is awful as well, he is unlikely to blow up the planet with a careless tweet that might provoke a nuclear war and Pence is unlikely to get reelected.

David Brooks’ of the NYT has written a great article describing Trump as our first Snapchat President.

Here’s an excellent article from Paul Krugman recently describing how the US has now officially become a -stan country with the advent of a Trump administration committed to self-enrichment and authoritarianism.

The Nation’s Progressive Honor Roll details a few progressive victories in an otherwise bleak year.