January 30, 2017
What we’re doing now
by Melville House
Wow, okay. Complicated weekend. On the negative side, a fascist has seized control of the White House, is ejecting the Joint Chiefs of Staff from the National Security Council and replacing them with a known White Nationalist, is spouting favorite lines of Holocaust deniers, has a press secretary who appears to be suffering strokes on the regular, and—oh yeah—just enacted the most unconstitutional, cowardly, hateful, brutal, and clumsily executed domestic policy of the past half-century.
On the positive side: Holy shit! America’s standing up. Thousands upon thousands of people poured into airports and public spaces this weekend to declare their absolute opposition to Trump’s anti-American agenda.
The American Civil Liberties Union promptly sued Trump; in the earliest, preliminary round, they—we—America—won, scoring a temporary halt to implementation of the ban, and winning the enforcement power of the US Marshal Service. Here’s executive director (and What We Do Now) contributor Anthony Romero speaking to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria about Trump’s Muslim ban shortly after the order was signed Friday:
Even before the ban had been signed, thousands packed into New York’s Washington Square Park to protest it, where they were addressed by certified force of nature (and, again, What We Do Now contributor) Linda Sarsour:
Linda also took just this morning to, y’know, sue Donald Trump. Presumably, we’ll all be hearing a lot more about this as the story develops.
Our nation’s first-ever Somali-American lawmaker, Minnesota Representative (and, you guessed it, What We Do Now contributor) Ilhan Omar spoke to the press, highlighting a particular irony (you remember irony!) of Trump’s order:
US Senator, Hero of the Republic, and—say it with us now—What We Do Now contributor Elizabeth Warren showed up late Saturday to join the spontaneous protest at Logan Airport, where she spat some fire through the People’s Mic:
Of course, not everybody was able to join the protests. NAACP director (andWhatWeDoNowcontributoryougetit) Cornell William Brooks, for example, spent the weekend heading down to Alabama, where he faces misdemeanor charges in connection with his sit-in earlier this month at the offices of racist senator, and Trump nominee for attorney general, Jeff Sessions. Never one to coast by while the forces of evil just do their thing, Brooks decided to take the opportunity to hold another sit-in at Sessions’s Mobile office.
Anticipating our arrival, Senator Sessions closes his office on the eve of a critical Senate vote. We’re sitting-in anyway. pic.twitter.com/xyJfNCwwGn
— Cornell Wm. Brooks (@CornellWBrooks) January 30, 2017
Meanwhile, ACLU legal director (yup) David Cole was busy finishing up his latest, scathingly detailed account of Trump’s constitutional tresspasses for the New York Review of Books:
Trump has somewhat gleefully asserted that the conflict-of-interest rules don’t apply to the president. He mixed together personal business and official diplomacy during several meetings and conversations with foreign officials during the transition. And despite his widespread private holdings in commercial real estate, condominiums, hotels, and golf courses here and around the world, he has refused to follow the lead of his predecessors by selling his assets and placing the proceeds in a blind trust. Instead, he has transferred management, but not ownership, of the Trump Organization. He retains his ownership in full. And he has assigned operational responsibility not to an independent arm’s-length trustee, but to his sons, Eric and Donald Jr.
As a result, President Trump almost certainly began violating the Constitution the moment he took the oath of office.
If you haven’t yet picked up your copy of What We Do Now — do.
If you want to join forces with us to build an event opposing Trump, we want to hear from you!
The struggle continues. To all of our friends who are pouring into the streets and airports, and supporting the movement to restore the constitution and stand up for what’s right in America: you’re beautiful, and have just won an important early victory. The road is long — be strong, stay brave, take care of yourselves, be good to each other, and fight like hell.
Note: Things are happening very fast now. We’ve updated this post a couple times today.