November Event: Free Discussion: Election 2016: Debrief & Degrief

Post-Election Points of Concern/Hope/Action

Updated: November 28, 2016

We had a good turn out for our Debrief/Degrief event.  Each person had the opportunity to share their concerns and feelings about the election, as well as to contribute their ideas for what to do next.

We began by asking why people came:

  • Companionship.
  • Organized direction.
  • Visibility.
  • Need to focus and distill our reactions.
  • Community.
  • Solidarity.
  • Encouragement.
  • Need for hope.
  • How can we mobilize / get direction?
  • Education.
  • Acceptance and unity.
  • Forward motion.
  • Vigilance.
  • Not knowing what will happen.
  • Recovery and rehab.
  • Rights and privileges.
  • Venting.
  • Listing fears.

Then, the participants were asked, one by one,  to share their feelings, fears and hopes:

  • J: 1) Bothered that she had read from Daily Kos that Trump was warning Obama to stay out of foreign affairs and that they were now in Trump’s area.
    “But Donald Trump’s team is issuing a warning: keep your hands inside the country…..  But now that they’re on the verge of power, Trump aides say Obama shouldn’t even think about taking such steps” (i.e., negotiations with other countries). Daily Kos points out that Obama still has 2 months before leaving office.
    2)  Trump is a climate denier, which would eventually lead to the end of all life.
    3)  He is leading us into a neo-Nazi dictatorship, to “make America white”.
    4)  His choice of cabinet members does not show any concern for the working class.
  • J:  depressed, afraid about climate.
  • A:  She knows somebody of an opposite opinion and asked to have coffee with him.  Also,  everybody must vote.
  • L:  disappointed + fearful.  Vulnerable people will be more disenfranchised, health insurance system,  99% will suffer,  right wing hate groups will rise.  She  hopes that people will not lose hope.
  • D:  frustrated,  hopes for only a short time damage,  proposes shorter work weeks for all, instead of unemployment and a guaranteed minimal income for all.
  • M:  hoping for leadership,  afraid of fascism and hatred,  and sorry that Trump got rewarded for corrupt actions instead of comeuppance.
  • N:   hoping that people in the new administration will be exposed before they do their damage.  Feeling loss of this country as she knew it.
  • B:  angry, wanting to fight,  met a Haitian who will carry his passport from now on.  A coworker of hers voted for Trump, although she is Jewish.  This is dividing people, even families. I want people to be able to take action but there is a renewed fear that they might be penalized under Trump, for example more militarized response to protests…
  • S:  fearing for our environment and for the safety net and decency of our President,  fearing of mean-ness, small-mindedness, nepotism of Trump family members in our gov’t.  Hoping for grass-roots strength.  Hoping that Trump’s holding office will have a chastening effect on him.
  • M:  feeling numb on the first day.  Fearing the suppression of arts?  We are in a cyclic phase in history, similar to the 60’s  but more ominous today.
  • L:  feeling that we elected an emperor with no clothes, like a pilot who does not know how to drive a plane, but carrying millions of passengers.  Fearing a climate catastrophe.  Hoping to join a mass movement.  Feeling more awake and aware than before.
  • J:  thinks that Trump has not done anything yet, and we should wait and see.   Concerned about electoral vs popular votes . Looking for an effective way of making a difference.
  • L:  hopeful that we might solve some problems.  We are more aware of what needs to be done. If we don’t do it now we may not get another chance to have a better country.  We need more dialogue with the other side.
  • E:  Seeing need to look at changes in global economy affecting working people.  Are the emergence of Trump and the exit of Britain from the EU all part of the same big trend?  Wanting to look for some common ground between Trump and his opponents (as suggested also by Eliz. Warren).
  • A:  Telling that his parents were Tea Party members who feared that Obama would become KIng.  Hoping that Trump’s bluster will diminish and bureaucracy will slow him down.

Points of Hope/Action

7 Tools for Organizing in Trump's America
[Source]
  1. Flippable’s main goal is simple: to help “turn America blue” by building power at all levels of government, both federal and state.
  2. Wall-of-Us gives users four “concrete acts of resistance delivered to your inbox each week,” which can involve donating to a recount or asking followers to call their local representatives.
  3. Weekly Actions to Resist Trump gives users guidance on what types of phone calls to make, and who to make them to, all while providing the contact information users need.
  4. Support.fm/Express provides a comprehensive yet digestible list of groups, including Muslim community organizations, migrant justice groups and POC-led nonprofits, where people can donate their funds (and sometimes their IRL support).
  5. Boycott Trump, is a new app from the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, allows users to search a database of more than 250 businesses to see if they share any connection to Trump and his business interests.
  6. TogetherList provides a list of agencies and nonprofits where people can donate money or volunteer their time. All you have to do is click “donate” or “volunteer” below the organization of your choice.
  7. Countable, the app lets you send a video message to your rep. for extra impact.

Next, we moved on to POINTS of HOPE:  what action to take?  Here are some ideas that were brainstormed by the group:

We can join organizations like:

  • ACLU that are gaining support.  (Propaganda is rising from both sides.)
  • ADL (Anti-defamation League).
  • Planned Parenthood.
  • Greg Palast of “The Nation”.
  • Southern Poverty Law Ctr.
  • Refugee Immigration Ministry  (RIM), interfaith group, (RIM)  protecting refugees seeking asylum .
  • Chelsea Collaborative
  • Framingham is a sanctuary city.
  • 350.MA
  • NE Wildflower Soc, species diversity.
  • Union Concerned Scientists
  • Transition Wayland and Framingham also environmental.
  • MA Progressives  Progressive MA.com
  • Our Revolution has an office in Framingham.
  • Terra Friedrich says:  we have more power than we think by using municipal rights to influencing local legislation.

NEWS sources, actions to take:

  • Democracy Now
  • The Guardian ,
  • Daily Kos

Join a Rally or Action:

  • “Flip the 37”  (Can enough electors change their minds?)  Dec 19 is the deadline.
  • Join a rally/vigil. Natick United did the Wed night rally and Black Lives Matter did the one on Sat.
  • Need for a more than 2 party system.
  • Rally for Women Jan 21, Women’s March.  Same day of March to Wash DC.
  • Vigil after tree lighting on Natick Common.  Sun Nov 27,  7 PM  like last Wed night’s rally.
  • Local meetings are important.

Contact Legislators and Publications:

We need to keep bugging our reps and keep them resisting Trump’s agenda.  Best to call them or a snail-mail letter to local office.

  • Maura Healy has hotline about hate crimes.
  • Petition to Governor Baker to make MA a sanctuary state
    (Use “Mass.gov” if you write to governor.)
  • Write letters to the Editor

People are too willing to jump on band wagon and swallow stories and engender more hate crimes. Fact checking of news can be too late, since people already believe a lie, which is hard to reverse .
Politifact.com  or Wilipedia (view with caution).

Try not to demonize opponents.  Protests should not get out of hand.  Provocateurs may be hired to make trouble and get the protesters blamed.
N.Dakota pipeline has conflicting news of how protesters were treated.

Need for an event calendar:  ACTMA.org tries to keep a list of events going on.
We keep our group connected and ready to react when a crisis comes up.

———————————————————————-

When:  Monday, November 21st, 7-9pm
Where:
Sherrill Hall, St. Paul’s Church, 39 E. Central St., Natick, MA (see map below)
What:
Group post-mortem discussion about the 2016 Election
What Else?
Free, ample parking, good company & light refreshments.  Handicap accessible.

republican elephant/ democratic donkey

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