A Call for the Networked Resistance
It’s a rainy day in D.C. after a shocking election. “Upset” doesn’t seem like a big enough word to characterize what has happened. As we struggle with the outcome, the Netcentric Campaigns team has shed tears and hugged. We share the grief and fear along with millions of others — not just because of the outcome of this election, but that it suggests that the central values of our country are threatened. One implication of this election is that we are NOT an America centered around inclusion, safety, civility and mutual respect. As we grieve and worry, let’s also get angry as the implications of this election sink in. And let’s gear up to resist.
We have woken up to a shift in power that will transform Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court. The promises made for the first 100 days of this new presidency include ferocious attacks on the marginalized — all to the benefit of those most privileged, powerful and wealthy.
We know some of the top priorities include:
- Deport millions of people who lack documentation to work legally in this country.
- Build a national database of immigrants indicating religion and ethnicity.
- Fire up coal plants, lift restrictions on oil and gas production and increase the federal support of national infrastructure projects for fossil fuels.
- Cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities.
- Disavow the historic work by the United Nations to address climate change.
- Repeal the Affordable Care Act, putting at risk millions who for the first time in their lives could go to the doctor with health insurance.
There is no strategy to fight all these initiatives head-to-head with the traditional approach of building unified focus on each issue, one-by-one, or within centralized coalitions. Those championing this destructive agenda will use the considerable power they have grabbed to pick the battles where they can win fast, where opposition is weakest and the timing is strategic for maximum impact.
If we care about protecting the most vulnerable and the planet, we must unleash a PEOPLE-POWERED networked resistance. We must rapidly build connections across the spectrum, across issues and borders, and then unleash the power of a broad, inclusive people-powered network just as quickly.
While organizing such a rapid resistance network is hard and complex, it is far from impossible or beyond the talent and financial resources of those that care about justice, environment, climate, public health, safety and peace. The people are there, outraged and motivated. And the expertise to effectively resist is there among tens of millions. What we need now is to amplify the power of millions in a different way, through a network. We must harness the anger, outrage and frustrations that many of us are experiencing today to build the resistance to come at this terrifying agenda from many angles, in unpredictable ways… and then fight off the worst.
This flash and underground distributed resistance through a network approach is how we can face down overwhelming institutional power.
What’s more, it is our duty to continue to resist for and with the next generation. The map of voting from people ages 18 to 25 speaks volumes about the future we have to fight for. Sixty million need strong community ties, many creative ways to collaborate and fresh models of thought for resistance.
If there is one CLEAR lesson from the data it is that the shift of 2016 is driven and supported by a demographic that is aging out of the American landscape. The future of America is clearly a liberal, diverse and passionately inclusive future. We just need to hold the resistance and exhaust the worst in power as we look toward and create a brighter day.
We’re not giving in. We will resist.