The Week Ahead: May Day & More
Today is May Day. Historically, this day has been observed as an international day in honor of labor, a day to honor the workers. This year, May Day takes on a new and timely significance. On this May Day many are planning to take to the streets to protest the policies of the Trump administration.
May Day marches and rallies across the U.S. will take place in solidarity with the Immigrant Rights movement. In Los Angeles, organizations involved in May Day demonstrations say they are coming together to show Trump that we are united in support of workers rights and immigrant rights. These demonstrations come on the heels of Saturday’s momentous Climate March and last week’s March for Science that took place on Earth Day.
While Trump may try to ignore the continuing onslaught of public demonstrations aimed at his destructive policies, the sheer numbers of demonstrators must be acknowledged and celebrated. Washington D.C. saw an impressive display of marchers come together on the National Mall to declare disapproval of the administration’s backwards energy policies and refusal to recognize the science behind climate change.
The stakes are high and many, including celebrities like Jane Fonda, Tom Hanks, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Nye the Science Guy, recognize that we have nothing to lose by speaking out. The fact that the marches continue to see such great turnouts is a testament to the dedication and strength of the Resistance movement. Marches are an energizing and unifying expression of our resistance and their positive effects cannot be overstated.
Budget deal reached and healthcare is back on the table
As Congress appeared to reach a deal to keep the government running until September, Ryan continued to murmur about bringing back the healthcare fight. Trump made promises, in a deeply disturbing speech to supporters on his 100th day in office, to make sure that a new healthcare bill passes.
It is time to call and write to your members of Congress again and let them know that we do not want Trumpcare. This is especially important if you have Republican elected representatives. Republicans seem to be grasping at anything they can to get some wins. Let them know that their jobs are on the line! Thankfully, the deal to keep the government from shutting down for the first time since 2013 did not yet include defunding of Planned Parenthood, but you can be sure that it will come up again before long.
Get out the vote
The next big budget fight may be healthcare, or it may be tax cuts. We’ve got to roll with the punches and stay ready to fight whatever this administration serves up. Admittedly, the unpredictability and instability of the administration makes it hard to stay on top of the issues. But many TWW affiliate groups are doing a great job staying the course. In recent weeks, we have seen a renewed focus on voter registration efforts.
Trainings for volunteers who want to go into swing districts and help get the vote out are beginning to take place nationwide. Check in with your local groups to find out how to get trained, and where your help is most needed. The American Association for University Women (AAUW) has resources on how to organize a voter registration drive in different states that are simple and easy to understand.
The challenge in the 2018 election cycle will be to make sure that everyone does indeed vote. Many of us feel disillusioned by the political circus that Trump is directing, but we must remember that voting will be our way out. We have to convince the whole electorate that their votes do really count.
Keep talking about the issues, keep writing to your MoC, and keep marching. Senator Elizabeth Warren recently declared, in the course of her national book tour, that our efforts do make a difference. Without all of you, and all of our sister and brother groups, things would certainly be even more dire! Stand Up America just published a list of 100 successes we have collectively achieved, and it is worth a read if only to boost your morale.
- Get out and march, join your neighbors and demonstrate!
- Write and call your members of Congress about health care, Trump’s ties to Russia, conflicts of interest, and any other issues that are important to you.
- Get out the vote. Do whatever is needed in your community to ensure that voters take their responsibility seriously. Start educating youth about voting, hold registration events, and walk the neighborhood.
- Take a break and read a book, watch a silly movie or chat with friends and family about something other than politics. Stay healthy and strong. The Resistance needs you!
Marchers in Wilmington, California, gathered with Indigenous groups, including the Tongva people who led the march, to hear Jane Fonda speak about the importance of recognizing climate change.