Yesterday, in response to a series of laws passed in states that restricted women’s access to abortion, people took to the streets once again. A coalition of groups including Reproductive Rights-focused organizations like NARAL and Planned Parenthood and more general political groups like ACLU, Indivisible, Move On and Swing Left worked together on the #StopTheBans day of action. Over 400 events were held around the US (a great collection of images is here).
In DC, the area in front of the Supreme Court that was allocated for the protest overflowed onto the street with people joining the demonstration. It is not surprising that this issue would spark so much outrage and collective action. As I have found in my work on Persistence in the Resistance (with Lorien Jasny), one of the main motivations for participants who have turned out again-and-again to protest is Reproductive Rights.
The book is in press at Columbia University Press and, as of today, you can pre-order it through the American Resistance page over at the publisher’s website. If you order through the publisher (as opposed to say, Amazon), the publisher is offering a 30% discount on the book. Just use the code “CUP30” at checkout.
I have decided to keep the very early drafts of the chapters that are up on this site live for now. Please note that the order of chapters as well as the content has changed a lot in the past many months, but I still believe it gives a sense of what’s in the book.
The American Resistance is highly educated, female, and mostly white. It is also predominantly middle- aged people. As the Resistance has marched in the streets and participated in events in Congressional districts and communities around the country, we have witnessed young people getting increasingly involved in activism as well. Since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida in February 2018, young people have participated in school walkouts, the March for Our Lives, and much more.
More recently, much has been said about the growing youth climate movement. As 16 year-old Greta Thunberg has been joined by a number of other young activists, the #FridaysforFuture movement has spread like wildfire around the world. On May 24th, another global strike for future is taking place. I wrote a piece about what this emerging youth movement means to the young people participating, their families, and the movement. Check it out at Nature Climate Change.
After a lot of fiddling with my protest t-shirts, the fine folks at Columbia University Press decided to go in a completely different direction. Here is the (very likely) cover for American Resistance! Stay tuned for information about upcoming talks and pre-orders should be available very soon.
While the world turns and attention focuses on what might be in the Mueller Report, American Resistance has gone to press at Columbia University Press. Sadly, the Report upstaged the 1 year anniversary of the March for Our Lives in much of the media (as well as the terrible news about some survivors of gun violence). Given the ups-and-downs of the American Resistance that I documented in the past 2 years, I am confident that attention will turn back to the Resistance and its efforts in the streets and communities across the country leading up to the 2020 Election.
Here is an outtake from the photo shoot yesterday in New York City–I will NOT be on the actual cover of the book.
It’s still super early days, but everyone seems to be asking who is running and who could win. I asked participants at the 2019 Women’s March on January 19th who they would support in 2020. Although many respondents outwardly groaned when they saw the question on the survey, the results are very interesting. Moreover, it’s pretty interesting to compare to the recent fivethirtyeight poll and the more recent one from FireHouse Stretegies, given their similarity and differences. Here are the results:
While my colleagues over at the Crowd Counting Consortium keep tabulating how many people participated in the 3rd annual Women’s March, once thing is certain: the Women’s March continues to mobilize people to Resist in the Streets.
My new piece over in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, highlights the ways that participants in this year’s Women’s March were marching after having participated in the midterm elections in many ways.
Here’s a table of all the ways that participants in the 2019 Women’s March worked with Individual Candidate’s Campaigns during the 2018 election cycle:
At this point, American Resistance has gone to Press, which means it will be coming out in the not-too-distant future. I’ll continue to post here and provide updates. Note that the chapter drafts that are available are early drafts of what is to come.
The full revised draft of American Resistance will be going into Columbia University Press this month (so you can imagine what I’ll be doing for the next few weeks). That said, I wanted to share one more overview of findings from the follow-up survey with participants in the Resistance based on my post-2018 election survey.
While the action shifted from the Streets to the Districts, perspectives by members of the Resistance about what are the top 3 issues facing America were pretty stable. Here’s the comparison:
The stability of concern for the environment is remarkable. It provides support for policies like a (as well as more specific regulations to mitigate Climate Change). Concern for the political system in the US is also relatively stable. This category includes issues of Voter Suppression and Gerrymandering, as well as challenges to our electoral system.
Concern for Health Care shot up during this 6 month period. This shift is likely the result of attempts to repeal the #ACA as well as the discussion of candidates’ positions on healthcare during the election. Concern for #CivilRights fell from the #2 category in May 2018 to #4 (earning 5% less mentions). This shift may be due, in part, to the fact that Racial Justice was mentioned much more in November 2018.
In contrast to mentions by incoming Congressional leaders who say they will be focused on an infrastructure bill quickly (after resolving the government shutdown), infrastructure did not make the list of the top 15 issues in either May or November 2018. It was only mentioned TWO TIMES total right after the election, representing 0.4% of all mentions
Participants in the Resistance reported working with numerous groups leading up to the midterm elections and the number had grown substantially in the 6 months before the election (from May to November 2018). The most mentioned groups were the Democratic Party, the Women’s March, MoveOn, Indivisible and the ACLU.
There were also very significant differences in what exactly people did with these groups. Here is a table showing the breakdown for how people reported working with each group (as a percentage of the people who reported working for each group).
There is still more to say about exactly what participants were doing with the Democratic Party and how they participated in individual campaigns (53% did), but not today.
As I analyze the data collected through my post-election follow-up survey with participants in the Resistance in the Streets, I thought I’d share some early preliminary findings.
The most common protests attended by participants in the follow-up survey were the 2017 WomensMarch (68%) and the MarchForOurLives (51%).
As expected, civic engagement levels were high for these folks in the past year: 72% had contacted an elected official, 79% had signed a petition, 80% had participated in a boycott or buycott, 47% attended a town hall meeting, and 36% had participated in some form of direct action.
In addition, these activists reported working with numerous groups in the lead up to the midterm elections: 61% reported working with the Democratic Party in some way, 28% with ACLU/People Power, 30% with Indivisible, 36% with MoveOn, 18% with Swing Left, and 44% with the Women’s March. Also, about half (53%) reported having actively worked in support of 1 or more political candidate during the election.
My next post will discuss what, exactly, participants in the Resistance did with these groups.