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Turning the March Into a Movement


Turning the March Into a Movement

Peter Dreier, Donald Cohen

Saturday’s day of protest—against Donald Trump and for women’s equality—was successful in two significant ways.

First, it was the largest one-day protest in American history. Based on news reports from cities around the country, as many as 4.5 million people took to the streets. From 750,000 people in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles to 250,000 in Chicago, 60,000 in Atlanta, 26,000 in Des Moines, and 271 in Morris, Minnesota (with a population of 3,500 and only two stoplights), protesters took over America on Trump’s second day in office.


Back to Organizing 101 and it will take lots of door-knocking. Social media will not be enough. Every boarded-up town needs a visit from a new independent political party with the energy of the Anti-Saloon League. Can't do whatever was done in the Bush years - that was obviously a time of failure.


"... First, it was the largest one-day protest in American history...."

... I appreciate your enthusiasm, but the largest protest in US history was in NYC in 1982. I remember because I was there. I also remember asking friends and acquaintances every day, for months;
“Are you planning on going to the big anti-nuke rally coming up?” Almost every single person I talked to said something like;
“Naw, I don’t think so. I’ll probably stay home.”
“Are you kidding?” I would usually say. “Man, it’s gonna be the biggest thing since the sixties!” At which time most would quickly reconsider and then reply; “Ahhh, maybe I’ll go after all…”

... If it wasn't for me, those numbers would have likely only hit 999,999... :slight_smile:

… Here’s a little blurb fro a 2007 Nation article reminding us of that very rally;

"... Twenty-five years ago, on June 12, 1982, approximately a million people demonstrated in New York City’s Central Park against nuclear arms and for an end to the arms race of the cold war. Nothing like it had ever happened before. It was not only the largest antinuclear demonstration but the largest political demonstration of any description in American history. Nothing like it has happened again, either. The tide of protest was at its high-water mark, and thereafter receded steadily..."


Those of us on the true ideological left need to begin making the serious effort to peel-off the disaffected Bernie voters who either held their noses and unenthusiastically voted for Hillary, stayed home, or voted for the Green Party. At this point we/they are pretty demoralized, and resentful of the institutional Democratic Party, which, despite the enormous fail of the Clinton campaign, continue to elbow opposition out of the way to control the DNC, when they should quietly leave in shame. We need to reach out to those people, and anyone else who feels that the politics of the country do not have a place for them, and recruit them for the Green Party for the 2018 cycle. I am part of the "#Demexit" to the Greens. There are many of us, enough to change the direction of the Green Party and make it the true party of average working people who believe that it is the legitimate function of government to make their lives better, not to just serve the rich and the oligarchy. Please spread the word among those taking part in the demonstrations against Donnie Tiny Hands, to come and join us to create the new home of progressive politics in the Green Party.


"...In contrast, media coverage of Obama’s second day on the job in 2009 was almost universally positive throughout the country..."

... Since you've got me strolling down memory lane here -and speaking of day 'two'- here's another thing I remember; On day 'three' of Obama's new Presidency, he sent his first drone strike flying (which in my mind was a big FU to people like me...)


SLogans and marches are not enough.


A party??? I doubt that people who do not have enough to live on care about a party. They care about a solution NOW!!!!


That's a fine start, but most of those people will not stick with it after the spotlight has left.


What percentage of people here can risk losing their jobs by taking time off for any degree of sustained protest? And what, exactly, are they protesting? Media indicate that the greatest concern of women is abortion rights. It's not.

Women's equality? For complex reasons, the overwhelming majority of US poor are women. We stripped our poor of the most basic human rights (UN's UDHR) of food and shelter. You talk about "equality" in a country that doesn't even regard poor women as humans, entitled to fundamental human rights protections?


"or it would become like Occupy Wall Street, which created a great slogan and changed the nation’s discourse, but didn’t have the staying power to contest for real political influence." The wimpy movement that gave wings to the Sander's campaign, which in turn fueled the woman's march.


I have been with the Green party.


You are right about that- it's a conglomeration of basic human rights and a clean environment. Also, you do not have to take time off for sustained protest. We are having a meeting that includes over forty environmental groups to address climate change right here in our community this weekend. So.... assuming you do not work 24/7 there are many ways to get involved. You do not have to attend all protests.


Remember movements that really are sustainable have to last more than a few months. If people do not stay involved in community that is how authoritarianism takes over. The more connected people are.... they more strength they gain just like in any other situation. Even people with mh issues or kids who have academic issues prosper most when they have a good support system.


Too many people now would rather attend a cyber march on their couches. Sounds pretty boring to me.


BTW as someone who remembers when Roe v Wade passed through the supreme court, women and men are concerned about seeing rights being eroded on all fronts. Yesterday in the house, the idiots passed a measure that forbids any tax payer funding for abortion . That actually took place over thirty years ago when the Hyde amendment passed. However, this goes further because it punishes people for even having work insurance by a company that covers a person's abortions. In other words people who have no intention of having an abortion would be punished for having work insurance that covers that procedure in general for anyone. It is called HR 7 and to tell you the truth, I do not know why employer insurance was even mentioned. These wingnuts are insane and dangerous.


Maybe, "Occupy didn't have the staying power", because the establishment's goons took them out with military force.


Gee, same thing happened with anti war protesters in the sixties, but we kept on going. And what about civil rights, suffrage, etc? Military force? Give me a break.