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For Anti-Trump Protesters: Lessons From the First White House Protests—For Women’s Suffrage—100 Years Ago


For Anti-Trump Protesters: Lessons From the First White House Protests—For Women’s Suffrage—100 Years Ago

Peter Dreier

Many Americans will traveling to Washington, D.C. next week to protesting against Donald Trump on his inauguration day. Many will continue to demonstrate outside the White House after he takes office.


"Resistance to tyranny, is obedience to God." Every protestor in Washington DC must have this on the signs they carry.


"The press reported on the suffragists’ terrible experiences in prison, and politicians and activist groups demanded their release."

This is key. Wide and favorable (or at least objective) coverage by the MSM.


Okay, there's the thesis, followed by the historical review. But it looks like somebody forgot to follow through, bring it back to today and close the loop by saying what these valuable lessons actually are. What, from those protests, provides useful information which can be applied now? And what lessons were so uniquely applicable to today that it was necessary to reach back a century, over the all the myriad intervening protests, in order to find them?


What about Trump are we protesting--fossil fuel or big business in general or just what?


Playing by the rules only works for those who wrote them


A protest is a statement, not a force for change. If there is a dominant message, it can result in or block a legitimate people's movement for change.

Much of the country understood that the years of the Obama administration represented our last chance to bring the "masses" back together, forming a movement based on the common good. It was worth a try. By the time that Dem politicians and liberal media successfully redefined Occupy as a "movement of middle class workers" alone, we knew it was over.

What, exactly, are anti-Trump people protesting? The gods of US politics gave us two candidates who were deeply opposed by much of their own voting bases. Clinton ended up with the majority of the popular vote, the Electoral College picked Trump, and that's how the system works. Now what? Everything comes back to: We'd love to wage a revolution, but can't get enough time off from work. We can't risk losing our jobs because there's nothing to fall back on.


Most of the country is dependent on both.


Odd, the statement "a protest is a statement, not a force for change" when the essay was about a long term protest which - given the persistence of the suffragettes led to womens' right to vote. I never got the impression that the Obama years were about "bringing the masses together" as you apparently did. What are anti-Trump people protesting? his stands reflected in his words and his Cabinet nominations regarding: evisceration of social security, medicare, medicaid;
privatization of public education; expansion of coal, oil, fracking; loss of $15 minimum wage and further weakening of unions; using public office for private gain; selling off of public lands (including Parks) to oil, coal, gas companies; nepotism; use of shadow cabinet; the abolition of the EPA and Endangered Species Listing; defunding of Planned Parenthood; withdrawal from international commitments to reduce fossil fuel consumption as a way to moderate climate change- are but some of the concerns of anti-Trump protesters.


Nepotism; use of public office for private pecuniary gain; privatization of public schools; withdrawal from international commitments to limits on fossil fuel consumption as a way to moderate climate change; abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Endangered Species Act; defunding Planned Parenthood; evisceration of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid; selling off of public lands (including Parks) to coal; oil; gas corporations and private interests; reduced federal judicial oversight for civil rights protections; reduction of worker safety protections - are some of the concerns anti-Trump protesters have as a result of Trump's erratic comments and the track record of his Cabinet nominations.


Strangely enough--if we are willing to spend as much money to capture, compress and use CO2 as fracking fluid every year as we now spend for the entire energy industry, we can just about keep up with current emissions and get electric power from the effort. That might be more politically feasible than trying to stop Republicans from ruining Earth's climate. Probably still need to adapt to climate change--mostly replace buildings with boats in flood prone areas to cope with rising sea level AND desalinate lots of seawater to grow food crops in spite of drought.