January 21st, 2017. The Country was awakened to a new world. One where tyrannical leaders and shills for corporations had the power to erase years of progress and without the support of the people. One where white supremacists and bigoted racists suddenly had a voice. On that fateful day, we awoke! More than 3 1/2 million people stood up and marched in the streets, the actual number is estimated to be between 3.3 and 5.2 million, through the help of a few brave and powerful Women who organized a nationwide Women’s march through grass roots organizing, the gave birth to the Resistance!
Many people thought it wouldn’t last. They thought it would be like the Occupy movement and eventually fade out. To make sure, they planted people to wreak havoc and cause property damage. The arrested journalists. And yet, we persisted!
The Resistance wasn’t like the short lived protest movements of the recent past. This was different. For one, we had the government in checkmate. The flagship demonstration, January 2017 Women’s March was so large and overwhelming that no force existed that could easily shut it down. There were celebrities and politicians involved. Any attempt to silence us would only make us stronger.
The movement had the backing of career activists who grew up fighting for what’s right. People like Tamika D Mallory, whose parents started Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. At age 14, she became the youngest member of NAN and eventually went on to become a Senior Director. And Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American-Muslim who has fought for racial and social justice her whole life.
There was more to this though. The Women’s March coupled with the election of Donald Trump, gave rise to over 1,800 grass roots organizations ready to fight against injustice. Soon, Invisible made headlines with their now infamous Indivisible Guide that boasts over 5 million downloads.
The Indivisible Guide is a must-read for anyone fed up with the current system that wants to do something. Indivisible was started by ex-congressional staffers who borrowed the successful parts of the tea party organization in order to help guide the Resistance into making real change and get Progressive candidate in office.
These factors are what make a resilient movement possible. After last January, there were rumors flying around about how the Resistance had petered out. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Resistance understood one thing above all else. Marching the the streets is a great start, but does nothing on its own. Change happens at the voting booth.
In the words of Tamika Mallory:
In this moment, what I see as being something that is extremely powerful is opportunity, but it is only opportunity. Because until January 22nd comes and we see people continue to do the work, it means nothing.
As a result, the Resistance went to work. Since January 21st, 2017:
- 602 Women started a run for congress. 480 are not incumbents, but new candidates. At this point in 2014, there were only 321 likely female candidates
- 441,808 women contributed $200 or more to federal political campaigns
- At least 14 elected officials have chosen not to run for reelection
- 26,000 women contacted Emily’s list to express interest in running for office
- Virginia’s House of Delegates increased the amount of Women electees to 28
- Democrat Doug Jones beat Republican Roy Moore in deep red Alabama
Source: Mother Jones – “The Women’s March Never Ended. These Stats Prove it.“
Progressives have been winning state and local races all over the Country. This is really important since gerrymandering and voter suppression laws are generally made at the state level.
Today is January 21th, 2018 and the Women’s March is as powerful as ever. Just like one year ago, millions have taken to the streets. Final numbers are still coming in, but here are the initial estimates:
- New York City: 85,000-100,000
- Richmond, Virginia: 1,000
- Chicago: 300,000
- Washington DC: 12,000
- Los Angeles: 500,000
- New Hampshire: 1,000+
- Oakland, California: 40,000 – 50,000
- San Francisco: 80,000
- Boston: 10,000
- Vancouver, Canada: 2,000
- Austin, TX: 1,000
- San Jose, CA: 20,000
- San Diego, CA: 40,000
Many more cities haven’t released official estimates yet, but many of them are saying attendance was bigger than last year. Additionally, the whole world stood with us!
What’s more, Progressives have been winning special elections at an astronomical rate all last year, and many in states and regions that Trump won by large margins. This year started with the epic win by Patty Schachtner snatching the State Senate seat from the Republican incumbent in deep red, rural Wisconsin.
No region is decided and no incumbent is safe. Never has there been this much momentum going into a mid-term. Election predictors are saying the electoral map has never looked this bad for a single party in modern history.
This is not a wave, it’s not a fad, it’s not going to fade. This is an Uprising!!
Everything is in in order for the people to take back the Country. Real change happens at the Voting Booth! Democracy is not a spectator sport. Volunteers are needed to help people vote in areas where voter suppression laws have targeted minorities. Get out the vote efforts are underway accross the Country. Now is the time to come together and start! Call your congress members, show up at town halls and give them hell. It really works! Just ask Darrell Issa.
A Country United Can Never Be Divided!