New Orleans The other day activists associated with Stay Woke, We Are the Protestors, Campaign Zero, and much of the Black Lives Matter movement among other groups, released something that they called the Resistance Manual. The manual was described in the Huffington Post as “an open-source platform which houses resources people can use to ‘resist the impact of a Trump presidency and to continue to make progress in our communities.’” Obviously, it’s a work-in-progress, but an innovative idea that with support could become a very useful organizing tool.
When I opened the site, I saw a clean page with a list of issues in the main frame and a sidebar of links to other organizations and information. Once I clicked on one of the issue areas, like voting rights for example which I hit first, I did a double-take. I thought I had somehow klutzed around and opened Wikipedia instead. Then I realized that the manual is designed almost exactly on a wiki-template. There are clear sections under each main topic:
1 Recent Updates
2 Trump/GOP Strategy
3 Projected Impact
4 Vulnerabilities in Their Strategy
5 How You Can Resist
In voting rights, there were recommendations of other organizations that you could work with including Project Vote and the League of Women Voters. The recent update was red hot and mentioned a Brennan Center report just released. The ways you could resist were somewhat old school and involved calling to oppose Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions nomination as US Attorney General or to call your local state legislators to oppose the introduction of new restricts to voting rights.
The other issues listed were what most would expect: immigration, Obamacare, policing, incarceration, tax cuts on the wealthy, housing, women’s rights, LGBT, education, climate, Muslim registry, and consumer protection. There is also a way to link to state and local activities, which has potential as well.
This is a work-in-progress though and needs help to be effective. When I checked housing-and-infrastructure for example, the sections on “vulnerabilities” and “how you can resist” were blank and waiting for suggestions. When I hit consumer-and-financial protections, there seemed to be subject matter confusion between protecting minimum wage, welfare, and food stamp benefits and saving the Consumer Finance & Protection Bureau and Dodd-Frank, which probably should have been two issue areas. When they recommend the League of Women Voters and calling your legislators, no one could say this is an inflammatory or radical manual, and I’m sure there were arguments, given the history of the sponsors, on whether or not this was even resistance.
But, this is the strength and weakness of “open source.” We will have to see what evolves. On one page, helpfully, I could see the revision and the email source that had suggested it, as well as the fact that it was waiting to be approved. As they say, front and center, they are looking for partners and help make this a powerful tool, and something even more effective as a Resistance Manual. In their words:
If you’d like to begin organizing or become a partner in maintaining the site, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is an open-source site – feel free to add and edit as new information arises.
That’s a call to action as well to turn a promising start into a weapon. I’m hoping that many answer and respond.
Please enjoy Hungry Ghost by Hurray For the Riff Raff.
Thanks to KABF.