Interviews for Resistance

Donald Trump and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Budget

Sarah JaffeMarch 22, 2017
Clara Donney, a recipient of Meals on Wheels, a program that faces cuts in Trump's proposed budget, with the U.S. Air Force member who delivered her Thanksgiving dinner. / U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Katrina Heikkinen
Clara Donney, a recipient of Meals on Wheels, a program that faces cuts in Trump's proposed budget, with the U.S. Air Force member who delivered her Thanksgiving dinner. / U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Katrina Heikkinen

One of the things that I am seeing, at least, is a lot of energy. People are energized particularly around healthcare. They are trying to reach out to their representatives. I live in a relatively small rural community and people are showing up at town hall meetings and giving their representatives an earful on these various priorities, like heating assistance for low-income folks, Meals on Wheels.

So Much Bigger Than Standing Rock

Sarah JaffeMarch 17, 2017
Kandi Mossett of the Indigenous Environmental Network in the encampment at Standing Rock. / Sarah Jaffe
Kandi Mossett of the Indigenous Environmental Network in the encampment at Standing Rock. / Sarah Jaffe

The way that the camp started, first of all, was with the youth. They had a vision and a goal and a dream because of the fact that suicide rates in our communities are so high. It is so devastating that so many kids would rather kill themselves than deal with the hurt and the transgenerational trauma that has happened over the years.

Organizing in Pence Country

Sarah JaffeMarch 14, 2017
Megha Anwer and Melissa Gruver are among the organizers of the womens strike in Lafayette, Indiana. / Photo courtesy of Megha Anwer
Megha Anwer and Melissa Gruver are among the organizers of the womens strike in Lafayette, Indiana. / Photo courtesy of Megha Anwer

To those who say that strike is only the luxury of the privileged, that is bullshit. Strike is the most basic form of resistance for the most vulnerable women. It is precisely the most vulnerable women that have come out and demanded their rights over the history of modernity really.

The Growing Grassroots

Sarah JaffeMarch 09, 2017
a group of volunteers hold a banner reading "Lewiston Unites for Human Rights"
a group of volunteers hold a banner reading "Lewiston Unites for Human Rights"

I am hopeful that if people follow Maine, they might learn some things that they could reshape to fit their circumstances, other folks who are working in rural contexts and in very white and conservative and working class contexts. If people want to reach out to Maine, we want to hear from them.

Whistle-blowers, Hedge Clippers, and Strikers

Sarah JaffeMarch 07, 2017
protester being by by two police officers. A tag on his shirt reads "Justice for Janitors."
protester being by by two police officers. A tag on his shirt reads "Justice for Janitors."

A big part of our work is basically saying, “Trump has surrounded himself with these set of players. That is who they really are. Let’s look at all of the way they screw people that are the opposite of Trump.” The way I think about it is, we have to make Trump guilty of every evil and sin they commit.

It Is Just Open Season Now

Sarah JaffeMarch 02, 2017
Aly Wane speaks at a School of the Americas protest, 2013. / Photo courtesy of Aly Wane
Aly Wane speaks at a School of the Americas protest, 2013. / Photo courtesy of Aly Wane

There is a hypocrisy in being shocked about Trump proposing a border wall when the compromise by Republicans and Democrats included this ramp-up of ICE and CBP and a border wall that was deeply, deeply militarized. I think that is one of the things that we need to pay attention to, especially as we organize somewhat with the Democratic Party is we need to remember that many of these folks have not necessarily been on our side and have compromised our humanity left and right.

Demonstrations for Peace and Bread

Sarah JaffeFebruary 28, 2017
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor speaking at an anti-Inauguration event in Washington, D.C. / Photo courtesy of Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor speaking at an anti-Inauguration event in Washington, D.C. / Photo courtesy of Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

There is still the issue of childcare—there is no access to public or state funded childcare. The attacks on public education. The attacks on the public infrastructure. All of these have disproportionate impact on the lives of women. On a very basic level, we need a feminist politics that responds to these issues as the most urgent.

Battles We Have Fought Before

Sarah JaffeFebruary 24, 2017
Michael Kink arrested during civil disobedience at the New York State Capitol in Albany June 2013 with a multi-issue activist coalition. / Nathaniel Brooks
Michael Kink arrested during civil disobedience at the New York State Capitol in Albany June 2013 with a multi-issue activist coalition. / Nathaniel Brooks

I see someone like Elizabeth Warren, I see someone like Zephyr Teachout, I see someone like Kshama Sawant, I see candidates that can speak out forcefully and directly and link economic interests and racial interests and class interests and get people to stand together.

Un Dia Sin Inmigrantes

Sarah JaffeFebruary 22, 2017
Day Without Immigrants march
Day Without Immigrants march

We are unable to make a difference in politicians’ deals but we live here, we make money here, and we spend money here. So we are going to spread the message for the community and be ready in the best way possible.

A Moment of Urgency

Sarah JaffeFebruary 16, 2017
Desai at a charter signing event
Desai at a charter signing event

On January 28, as protesters rushed to airports around the country seeking to defend refugees and migrants against Trump’s travel ban, taxi drivers with the New York Taxi Workers Alliance took the protest a step further and refused to pick up fares at JFK Airport.

Deportation Nation

Sarah JaffeFebruary 14, 2017
ICE police raid
ICE police raid

I think we sugarcoat it by making it very procedural, but actually, that night she was kidnapped from her family and there are many of us in the community that took action. We had them waiting outside in vigil for Lupita in hopes that the director would have released her.

Old-school Organizing in Iowa

Sarah JaffeFebruary 09, 2017
David Goodner coordinates a leadership team of rank and file workers and everyday people during a "Fight For A Fair Economy: Make Wall Street Pay" action outside of Wells Fargo in Iowa City. / Photo courtesy of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.
David Goodner coordinates a leadership team of rank and file workers and everyday people during a "Fight For A Fair Economy: Make Wall Street Pay" action outside of Wells Fargo in Iowa City. / Photo courtesy of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.

There is also a lot of inspiring social organizing in Iowa. It is not to a scale compared to New York City or L.A. or anything, but in 2012 a grassroots community organization named Iowa CCI, bird-dogged Mitt Romney at the state fair and forced him into his “Corporations are people, my friend” gaffe.

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