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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.