How Cities Can Protect People Threatened by Trumpism
Cities can offer shelter and protection to their vulnerable citizens and become a place progressives can exert real power.
How Cities Can Protect People Threatened by Trumpism
By Arun Gupta / yesmagazine.org
Nov 12, 2016

The disbelief, shock, and anguish that Donald Trump is now president-elect is giving way to waves of protests. Tens of thousands are hitting the streets in cities large and small, blocking roads, and rejecting Trump’s blatant racism, misogyny, and Islamophobia.

But Trump is swiftly assembling a cabinet. The names being floated include some of the most dangerous fanatics, demagogues, and authoritarians in America, such as Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin, Ben Carson, Newt Gingrich, and Chris Christie. Trump has drawn considerable support for his proposals to deport undocumented immigrants, force Muslims to register with the government, and ban immigration from specific countries. He has allied himself with hardliners opposed to abortion and LGBTQ rights, and his website still includes a call for a “complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

Not surprisingly, the targets of these policies are terrified.

But there is also a chance to create bulwarks of resistance that can minimize much of the harm, while creating space for movements to build power and eventually challenge Trump’s agenda.

Let’s start in the cities. Cities are places of great diversity, creativity, and tolerance. They are the economic engines of the United States, producing much of the wealth, and where 63 percent of the population lives. Cities are the one place where the left and progressives can exert real power.

We should start organizing to make cities powerful bastions of noncooperation, resistance, and protection. Activists and organizations can start demanding in every city that city councils and mayors issue resolutions and statements saying:

1. Our city will not assist or cooperate with any raids or detentions or deportations of any immigrants. This includes assistance of local law enforcement or providing data to the federal government. Already, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has pledged it will remain a sanctuary city even if Trump cuts off federal funds, as he has vowed to do.

2. Our city will not cooperate or assist with registration and surveillance programs of Muslims, or any attempts to make our friends, neighbors, and loved ones the enemy.

3. Our city is a safe zone for all immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ people, women, and anyone fearing persecution from the Trump regime.

4. Our cities reject any effort to criminalize or attack Black Lives Matter or other organizing for social justice, as Trump has suggested he might do.

It’s vital to go beyond nice-sounding but toothless resolutions. This would involve directing city and county attorneys to design legal strategies to resist odious federal policies. It means exerting strong civilian control of police departments, which a Trump administration will try to enlist as front-line troops to persecute entire communities.

It’s also vital to pass other resolutions and statements asserting unequivocal support for full reproductive health care for women; no attacks on the right to organize or unions; no attacks on workers’ wages, benefits, or health care; and an end to the fossil fuel economy and a rapid and just transition. Complementary strategies can also be developed to make cities more welcoming for LGBT youth and for women denied abortion by creating networks to fund travel and lodging. But it will take organizing to bring local governments on board with such an agenda.

Many city governments will try to do the minimum and hope protests die down. So there will be a need to organize to get community groups, unions, activist organizations, professional groups, and businesses on board for strong resolutions and action.

The strategy should be to build a broad-based movement with a focused agenda. In other words, we want as many people on board as possible, but there are also minimum, nonnegotiable demands to protect vulnerable communities.

Meetings should start happening citywide, in communities and in neighborhoods. Meet with your neighbors, meet with your coworkers. If you’re a student, meet with other students. Wherever possible.

A lot of horrendous things are going to happen, so we need to resist fiercely and build bastions of noncooperation and protection throughout the country. We have to defeat Trumpism without getting suckered into a failed Democratic Party.

The world is counting on us.


Arun Gupta wrote this article for YES! Magazine. Arun is an investigative reporter who contributes to YES! Magazine, The Nation, Telesur, The Progressive, Raw Story, and The Washington Post. He is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York City and author of the upcoming “Bacon as a Weapon of Mass Destruction: A Junk-Food-Loving Chef’s Inquiry into Taste” (The New Press). Follow him on Twitter @arunindy.

4.3 ·
2
Trending Today
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 20,256 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Obama's Hidden Role in Worsening Climate Change
Stansfield Smith · 2,990 views today · It should be a scandal that leftists-liberals paint Trump as a special threat, a war mongerer – not Obama who is the first president to be at war everyday of his eight years...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 2,008 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,124 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Make The Serengeti Great Again | Resource Scarcity, Demagogues and How Creativity Can Trump Hate (2017)
5 min · 532 views today · A Familiar Tale of Resource Scarcity, Demagogues, and How Creativity Can Trump Hate A quick, original, illustrated allegory that pokes at the demagogues we’ve got with an...
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 495 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
Deconstructing Hierarchies: On Contrived Leadership and Arbitrary Positions of Power
Colin Jenkins · 451 views today · Bosses don't grow on trees. They don't magically appear at your job. They aren't born into their roles. They are created. They are manufactured to fulfill arbitrary positions...
Baraka (1992)
97 min · 382 views today · Featuring no conventional narrative, this film presents footage of people, places and things from around the world. From chaotic cities to barren wilderness, the movie takes...
"Desert Goddess" Remembers Arizona's Glen Canyon
7 min · 368 views today · In this excerpt from the award-winning documentary DamNation, filmmakers Ben Knight and Travis Rummel interview the "desert goddess," Katie Lee. When the Glen Canyon Dam was...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 315 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
Why It's Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
Bethany Webster · 272 views today · The issue at the core of women’s empowerment is the mother wound
What Is a Gift Economy? - Alex Gendler
4 min · 247 views today · What if, this holiday season, instead of saying "thank you" to your aunt for her gift of a knitted sweater, the polite response expected from you was to show up at her house in...
Introversion Is Not a Personality Fail
Cat Elz · 228 views today · A few years ago, I got into an argument with my now mother-in-law over my supposedly “backwards” ways. My transgression? I did not attend a party of my now husband’s (then...
HUMAN (2015)
382 min · 226 views today · What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight? That we laugh? Cry? Our curiosity? The quest for discovery?  Driven by these questions, filmmaker and artist...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 224 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Defiance in the Face of Oppression - Iranian Artist Atena Farghadani Defends the Right to Draw
Gavin Aung Than · 215 views today · Atena Farghadani is a 28-year-old Iranian artist. She was recently sentenced to 12 years and 9 months in prison for drawing a cartoon.  
Here's How We're Going to End Factory Farming
2 min · 198 views today · Factory farming is a huge problem. But the solution is simple, if you'll join us. Watch this short 2 minute video to see how... Help make a kinder world possible...
Bertrand Russell & Buckminster Fuller on Why We Should Work Less, and Live & Learn More
Josh Jones · 197 views today · Why must we all work long hours to earn the right to live? Why must only the wealthy have a access to leisure, aesthetic pleasure, self-actualization…? Everyone seems to have...
Trump Is a Symptom of a Sickness That Is Raging All Across The World
1 min · 174 views today · This is why we are here. And this is what we need to remember. 
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 169 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
How Cities Can Protect People Threatened by Trumpism