RESIST TRUMP! Tips from Jewish Voices for Peace
Written by tessatowne on January 26, 2017
Boots on the ground and direct action: These are what the People’s Revolution requires in the face of the fascist administration of Trump. This means sending emails and signing petitions, though great actions to take, are not enough for the resistance to take hold and be victorious.
Jewish Voices for Peace shares these tips for making a meaningful effort as part of the resistance.
First and foremost: here’s a very brief explanation of Trump’s executive orders targeting immigrants, refugees and Muslims. Trump directed the Department of Homeland Security to:
- Build the wall on the US-Mexico border
- Empower local and state law officers to act as immigration agents.
- Hire more immigration agents and border patrol officers.
- Build more detention centers at border.
- Prohibit federal funding to “sanctuary cities”.
- Speed the removal of undocumented immigrants.
These announcements point to a dangerous ramping up of intensity and tactics of enforcement, surveillance, detention and deportation targeting immigrants and refugees. Pulling federal funding from Sanctuary Cities cannot legally happen overnight, but the order is certainly a terrifying step in that direction.
Yesterday, information was also leaked regarding upcoming anti-Muslim executive orders that will:
- Suspend the refugee resettlement program
- Sharply curtail the number of refugees who will be allowed into the US in 2017
- Increase collection of surveillance data such as biometric information.
- Institute a “values test.” This will ask applicants for information and ideology and religion as a condition of entry.
- Ban immigration and travel for passport holders of some Arab- and Muslim- majority countries who wish to come to the US. Those countries are Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq and Iran.
By all accounts, these directives will have immediate and potentially devastating impact for refugees who are in the process of being approved or have been approved and are on their way here.
This, to say the least, is as bad as we could have expected.
But these orders will not stand forever. It’s going to take a lot of work – AND we can do it. Let’s get started. Here are three immediate ideas:
1. Call your Member of Congress
Trump’s executive orders may have been a unilateral act, but it’s critical we engage congress about it early and often for two key reasons: 1) because we must demand our electeds resist the codification of this kind of blatant racism and Islamophobia every time it happens and 2) because these orders are only the opening blow in what will clearly be a long term fight that will also play out in congress in even deeper and more harrowing ways. We have to make our voices heard, and now.
Use this link to find your rep’s phone number: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
And here’s a suggested script:
Hi my name is [full name], and I’m calling as a constituent to ask [Representative/Senator] [Last Name] to speak out with urgency about Trump’s anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and racist executive orders.
These policies are a worst nightmare designed to target, profile, surveil and ban people due to their religion, race, national origin or legal status. Many of us are here today because our parents and grandparents or ancestors were welcomed into this country, as immigrants or as refugees [if it applies to you, be more specific, tell a story]. This kind of blatantly discriminatory policy will tear apart lives, families, and communities.
Will [Representative/Senator] [Last Name] make an immediate statement in opposition?
2. Get Visible
Go to jvp.org/nai to download “Stop Profiling Muslims’ and “Refugees Welcome” posters – even if you have to print them on a half-broken black-and-white deskjet, stick these signs on your windows and bulletin boards, mount them on cardboard and take to the next protest in your town, post them at your office or local coffee shop, or share them with friends. Make it your profile picture!
3. Get Educated
This isn’t the only Islamophobic policymaking in the country – there’s a long and complex history this recent attack stands on.
If you want some truly solid background learning to launch yourself fully into this work – or have people in your life who do – please watch and share these two trainings on Fighting Islamophobia and Anti-Arab racism from our Ready to Fight series.
Calling legislators directly is key. Call them whenever you see a policy that troubles you. Even better, pay them a visit. Go to your local congressional or Senate representative’s local office weekly, if you can, to state your concerns. Many have designated Tuesdays as a day to do this. And if you are visiting DC, head to Capitol Hill to talk with your representative or Senator’s aides. If you know your legislator will be holding a town hall or making a public appearance, show up and politely make sure they hear your concerns.
Is it contradictory for an Armchair Activist to head into the world? Absolutely not. Get informed, get those boots onto the ground, get busy, and resist the Republicans, the go-along-to-get-along establishment Democrats, and