This Week in Activism: Protesting Nuclear Action and Holding Representatives on Recess Accountable
Productivity was halted in offices across America on Tuesday when millions of Americans went online and were greeted with the news that President Trump had threatened to bring “fire and fury” down on North Korea due to its missile tests and ever-increasing nuclear capabilities. He did so in the middle of a briefing on the opioid crisis, and without the prior knowledge of his national security staff.
In Washington, D.C., the stalwart antiwar activists of CodePink held a 24-hour anti-nukes vigil outside the White House on August 8-9. According to its statement, CodePink has three demands:
- Negotiate a freeze of North Korea’s nuclear and long-range ballistic program in exchange for a U.S. security guarantee that would include suspending U.S.-South Korea military exercises.
- Initiate a peace process with North Korea, South Korea and China to replace the 1953 Armistice Agreement with a binding peace treaty to end the Korean War. Women must be significantly represented in the peace process in accordance with the spirit of UNSCR 1325.
- Support citizen diplomacy to heal the legacies of the Korean War by establishing a liaison office in Washington and Pyongyang to facilitate retrieval of U.S. Korean War servicemen’s remains and Korean-American family reunions.
If you couldn't get to D.C., you can still call your representatives. Thursday morning, Indivisible released Tell your Members of Congress: Don’t Let Trump Start a War with North Korea. They recommend asking your representatives to do the following, especially during the August recess:
- Co-sponsor Sen. Jeff Markey and Rep. Ted Lieu's Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act (H.R. 669 in the House and S. 200 in the Senate).
- Demand that Trump finally nominate qualified, career professionals for critical but vacant State Department positions including Ambassador to South Korea, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security. There are many more, but these are important starts.
- Publicly denounce Trump's dangerous, deluded rhetoric, which is a danger to our national security.
Speaking of August Recess
Senators and representatives will be back in their home districts this week, probably hoping to cut some ribbons and kiss a few babies. Instead, they’ll be greeted by engaged and enraged constituents, demanding action on multiple issues: immigration, climate change, tax cuts, the budget, protecting Robert Mueller and the FBI’s investigation into Russian collusion, and ensuring Trumpcare remains dead.
If you’ve been involved all along, dive into Indivisible’s new site August Action, a comprehensive guide to recess events across the country, including the launch of a new canvassing initiative. In addition to showing up at town halls and representatives offices, Indivisible wants you to turn even non-political events into an opportunity to spread the #resistance word.
Armed with facts and talking points from the site, you’ll be able to hit farmers markets, parades and concerts, and make any community event into an opportunity to get friends and neighbors involved in lobbying their members of Congress, signing letters and petitions, and generally making their voices heard. As the site explains:
“You’ll be talking to your community about how your MoC voted on TrumpCare, and asking your neighbors to take action to hold your MOC accountable by making a phone call on the spot. You’ll also leave a flyer with as many people as possible, which talks about your MoC and their vote on Trumpcare; we want these flyers to eventually filter back to the MoCs staff and the MoC themselves. You can also tell the people you’re talking to about your group in the process, and recruit new members!”
Need some inspiration? In San Diego, 450 people showed up Monday to a protest against Trump's proposed 2018 budget.
“450+ of us at ur place today 2 say don't vote 4 #budget that steals from working families 2 line millionaires' pockets.” —San Diego Indivisible
In Illinois, Indivisible Chicago convinced Rep. Jan Schakowsky to write a letter urging Illinois Board of Elect. Chair William J. Cadigan to withdraw Illinois from the Interstate Crosscheck program, which supplies Kris Kobach, the head of Donald Trump's so-called Election Integrity Commission, with voter registration information, part of his campaign to suppress the vote.
Thank you @janschakowsky for your official statement urging IL St.Board of Elect. Chair William J Cadigan to withdr… https://t.co/197Qz0n4SV— Indivisible Illinois (@Indivisible Illinois)1502208901.0
MoveOn.org has compiled a Resistance Recess calendar for those who want to go straight to protests and other events.
Watch 'An Inconvenient Sequel'
Al Gore is back with a followup to his hugely successful (and hugely alarming) documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," and Indivisible, in collaboration with Paramount Pictures and Participant Media, is holding special screenings in 14 cities across the country. The goal, organizers announced in a press release, is "to inspire activists across the country to demonstrate their commitment to solving the climate crisis, using their choices, voices and votes to speak truth to power."
Many of the screenings will feature appearances by and discussions with local elected officials and environmental leaders. In Austin, Texas, audiences will even hear from Dale Ross, the mayor of Georgetown, Texas, the rare Republican willing to tout the economic benefits of renewal energy, which he brought to his town. Visit the Indivisible site to find screenings in your town.