Necessary Trouble: A Field Guide for the Resistance

by Ben Dangl
March 10, 2017

The resistance is everywhere. It’s in the streets and at the airports. It’s in public office and on Twitter. It’s with the Nazi-punchers and the general strikers. Resistance to Trump is everywhere, and it’s growing.

Much of the current organizing against Trump and Trumpism is building off of the last decade of social movement activity in America. From Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter, the US has given rise to countless activist movements and initiatives that provide useful strategies and political visions for the resistance today.


Women's March - Global Tally

We are compiling a comprehensive list of Women's Marches (and events against Trump, which happened on January 21, 2017. This list will include every city and the best available crowd estimate. We appreciate if folks send cities we've missed and numbers.


Submit Report on your local protest/march/rally.

Tabulation by Jeremy Pressman and Erica Chenoweth has found a totals as following: 3.2 - 4.8 milllion participants in the USA, 261,000 - 351,000 international. 643 cities and towns in the USA.

Tabulation by Kimberly B. indicates 4,160,723 participants in the U.S. alone.

Updated: January 31, 2017


How the AIDS movement has given birth to the Trump resistance

Lessons for Fighting a Demagogue, From the People Who Survived a Plague

By Michelle Goldberg

When Annette Gaudino, a longtime activist with the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, or ACT UP, realized that Donald Trump was going to win the election, she felt a sick sense of déjà vu. Now a middle-aged woman with an established career in health care advocacy, living in a world where the vice president of the United States presides over gay marriages, she suddenly remembered what it was like to be a young person consigned to marginality and surrounded by death. “It’s new and unprecedented, but also so familiar,” Gaudino says of our reactionary moment. “That’s what makes it feel like you’re in a dream. I could swear this happened when I was 25. How is it happening now that I’m 50? We had this little window where we all fell a little bit for the illusion of progress, but it’s like, oh, just kidding.”


"Necessary Trouble" and a Long, Hard Struggle: Talking Movements With Sarah Jaffe

By Joe Macaré
August 28, 2016

Sarah Jaffe's Necessary Trouble is one of the most essential books of the year -- an extensive, vivid overview of "trouble-making" organizers and movements from the 2008 financial crisis until, if not quite today, then the moment the book went to press. Each chapter not only covers a movement or group of campaigns, but also provides a concise but nuanced historical summary of the issues at hand.

It's a book that feels "necessary" indeed, almost overdue. Whether we realized it or not, we have been in need of a book that traces the connections between the Wisconsin Capitol occupation and the campaigns waged by Walmart and fast-food workers, that looks honestly at what the Tea Party has had both in common and in conflict with protesters at Occupy Wall Street and in Ferguson, and that gives due credit to Moral Mondays and Black Lives Matter.


MLK Would Never Shut Down a Freeway, and 6 Other Myths About the Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matter

by Jeanne Theoharis
July 15, 2016

On Saturday, as protests mounted across the country following the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed explained the large police presence at downtown protests to reporters: “Dr. King would never take a freeway.”

Reed’s claim was historically absurd. Martin Luther King Jr. took many a highway—most famously, perhaps, in the Selma-to-Montgomery march.


'Slacktivism' works

Study shows people who like and retweet political slogans help protesters spread their message

A US study has found that online activists can double the reach of a real life protest

Caroline Mortimer The Independent
8 December 2015

People who protest by casually “liking” or retweeting political content online do have an impact, a new study has suggested.

Dubbed "slacktivists", people who express support for causes online but rarely mobilise in real-life are often dismissed as superficial and ineffectual.

But analysis of more than a million tweets by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and New York University (NYU) has found these people on the periphery do play a critical role in spreading the reach of protest movements.

The study, published in the journal PLOS One, focused on a few specific protests: the 2013 Gezi Park protests in Turkey, the Indignados movement against austerity in Spain and the Occupy movements.


Non-Profits and the Pacification of the Black Lives Matter Movement

by Brendan McQuade
August 14, 2015

Rebellions aren’t simply repressed. They’re pacified. While repression—the iron hand—is useful to terrorize a population into submission, the issues animating a rebellion must be partially redressed—the velvet glove—to forestall a further reaching revolutionary upsurge. The most effective way to defeat rebellion is to blunt its grievances and overtake its leaders. This is precisely what is happening with the Black Lives Matter movement.


In Her Own Words: The Political Beliefs of the Protester Who Interrupted Bernie Sanders

by Eli Sanders
The Stranger
August 11, 2015

The roar of internet response to what happened in Seattle on Saturday surprised even one of the activists behind the action. But in retrospect, it makes some sense. On that stage in Westlake Plaza, some of the most emotional issues of the moment collided: race, class, age, opportunity, privilege.


Next Time It Explodes: Revolt, Repression, and Backlash since the Ferguson Uprising

by Crimethinc

A year has passed since the murder of Michael Brown, one of over 1100 people, disproportionately black and brown, killed by US law enforcement in 2014. The movement against institutionalized white supremacy and police violence has spread and escalated, gaining leverage on the authorities and the public imagination despite repeated efforts to coopt it. At the same time, we are seeing extra-governmental white supremacist violence reemerge as a force in the US, as it always does whenever state strategies for imposing white supremacy reach their limits.


Misunderstanding the Civil Rights Movement and Diversity of Tactics

By Lorenzo St. Dubois
The Hampton Institute
May 28, 2015

It’s gotten to be a pattern on the Left. When Black protest erupts into insurrection, as it did in Ferguson and Baltimore, most liberals and white radicals express empathy for the cathartic release of anger, but urge the oppressed that this is not the way. This is “not strategic,” says the leftist concern-troll. This is “what the police want.” Most of the time they manage to stop short of asking “why are they burning down their own neighborhood?” –if only to be mindful of clichés—but some can’t even help themselves there. In the aftermath, Amy Goodman (seemingly channeling Alex Jones) will spread conspiracy theories on how the government “orchestrated” the rioting.¹ The respectability politics of nonviolence will return.


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