In the face of daily outrages from the White House and Congress, our collective political action is more important than ever. Whether we live in a metropolitan area where there are large, active, well-organized resistance groups, or in a small town or rural area, there are opportunities to take a stand. Following is a guest post by my friend Diane N. from tiny Lamoine, Maine (population 1600), describing her personal journey toward becoming a Resistance Fighter.
My original plan was to travel to D.C. to attend the inauguration of the first woman president of the United States. Finally, just like the 15 other countries that are currently led by women, the United States of America was about to elect a president that had proven herself capable of leading the United States both on the home front and abroad. It was to be an historical event and I was about to pay witness to it.
Such was not the case. Sadly, we chose to elect a man who is an incompetent, pathological liar who has chosen a cabinet of mostly old, white male billionaires, to head our democracy. It is no surprise that the U.S is “ranked 100th in the world, behind countries like Rwanda, Macedonia and Afghanistan, in terms of women’s representation in government”, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union. This fact merits its own discussion for another time.
I went to D.C. anyway, but not for the inauguration. I went to march. The Women’s March on January 21, exceeded all expectations not only in Washington but throughout our country and on the world stage. Together, women of all colors were joined by fathers, brothers, sons; a sea of diverse ethnicities and religions, echoed the chant, “What does America look like? This is what America looks like!” We were one in spirit and thought. I can’t say if there were 750,000, 1 million, or 1.2 million passionate, kind, and principled souls, but I can say I have never experienced a mass of people in one place at one time marching in harmony against racial, gender, economic, and religious inequities felt by so many of us in our nation, a nation that prides itself on, “liberty and justice for all.” Really?
So post D.C. the questions I asked myself were: Where do we go from here? How do we maintain the momentum? How do we share with our own communities the energy, the promise, the hope, witnessed that day? My answer to address these questions was to form a “huddle” using the indivisible guidelines as outlined in Action#2, with like-minded, passionate individuals in my neighborhood. Shortly after returning home from Washington, I reached out to friends who had attended a march, or were engaged politically, and asked if they might be interested in getting together on a monthly basis. They enthusiastically agreed and thus our huddle, POSTDC, became a reality. Currently we are one of the 5,488 huddles meeting throughout the country.
The 5-7 members that gather monthly around the kitchen table discuss the environment, health care, economic and gender equality, voting rights, children, and local issues. It is a lot to keep track of and at times it is overwhelming, but we “divide and conquer” so only one or two people are dedicated to an issue at a time. We are vigilant and timely in reporting to one another the President’s actions or inactions on these subjects and what we need to do to have our voices heard. Sending postcards, emailing, signing petitions, or picking up the phone and calling directly to our representatives and senators have been our primary strategies. We also attend local public forums and monthly meetings sponsored by the local Democratic Committee and we recently attended a climate march, one of the many that were held throughout the country.
And so we march again. This time for our Planet. We will do whatever we can to keep our government accountable to our environment and its citizens. One kitchen table and a gathering of committed and concerned neighbors has been a good place to begin.