This past week, we saw lots of resistance in the streets: people turned out to protest the conflict with Iran at the #NoWarWithIran actions, as well as the final DC-based #FireDrillFriday around climate change, which involved Jane Fonda and her famous friends marching along with well known climate activists and engaging in civic disobedience.
Next weekend is the fourth anniversary of the historic Women’s March, which was the “spark that ignited the Resistance” (American Resistance, page 56). Although demonstrations are scheduled across the US, turnout is expected to be much smaller. I provide some explanation why in the Washington Post today. Stay tuned for a lot more discussion of protest and the role it is playing in politics today as we march towards the 2020 elections.
Happy New Year! The American Resistance book tour resumes this month.
I will be at Profs and Pints in Washington, DC this Sunday (1/5); talking with Ian Silverii at the Tattered Cover in Denver on 1/15; at the University of Colorado, Boulder and at the Boulder Bookstore on 1/16; and talking with Matt Rogers at Busboys and Poets in Arlington, VA on 1/22. Check out Events for more information.
This week, President Trump was impeached in the House of Representatives and more than 100,000 people around the US came out to participate in the #NobodyIsAboveTheLaw demonstrations (the Crowd Counting Consortium is still counting).
As Americans mobilized to protest the President and express their support for the impeachment process, many were asking about what is the purpose of protest in American politics right now. Last Friday, I wrote a piece for TIME that discusses protest in the US right now. In particular, I explain how Resistance Groups are employing protest as a tactic to mobilize energy for efforts in the 2020 election (rather than to confront and disrupt the political system).
This week, my perspective and American Resistance were mentioned in “Impeachment Needs to Move to the Streets” by Jeet Heer for the Nation and in “The Resistance Almost Missed Impeachment” by Elaine Godfrey for the Atlantic.
Unless something outrageous happens in the next 11 days, I doubt we’ll see much more resistance in the streets in 2019. Happy holidays to all!
On Tuesday, December 17th, the Nobody Is Above the Law coalition coordinated over 600 protests across the US. On Wednesday, December 18th there will be a rally that will take place at the US Capitol. I talk about what we should expect from these demonstrations in my recent piece in TIME:
“A controlled burn that is not likely to spill over into real disruption and potentially violent resistance. Organizers apply for permits and pay for legally required bathrooms while participants assemble with witty signs and follow approved routes. “
In his new piece in The Nation, Jeet Heer discusses the findings from American Resistance, concluding that “only mass protests can turn a narrow Beltway scandal into a massive anti-Trump weapon.”We’ll see what happens this week, but given the organizations coordinating this day of action (e.g. Indivisible and Move On), it’s very unlikely that any event will flare up. What comes after the 2020 election, however, is still unclear. I’ll be at the event in Washington, DC and will share what I find.
The first reviews of the book came out over the holiday weekend. In Joseph O’Neill’s “No More Nice Dems,” he discusses American Resistance along with Meaghan Winter’s All Politics is Local in the holiday issue of New York Review of Books. Noah Berlatsky writes “Trump’s lies and cruelty fueled a real resistance. That’s hopeful news for progressivism” for a piece on NBC Think. More reviews are in progress–I’ll share when they are available.
In the meantime, protesters once again shut down Washington, DC today, as the climate resistance gets more confrontational.
It’s been a busy first week filled with numerous events in New York City and Washington, DC. I also did an interview with Jesse Singal for ArcDigital (many thanks to them for the cool image I’m sporting above and on twitter!), the Breakthrough barriers with Damali podcast, and the @NewBooksPoliSci podcast with Heath Brown.
I’m currently on my way back up to NYC for events at the Astoria Bookstore with Vanessa Wruble from March On TONIGHT, and at Civic Hall with Joan Walsh and Micah Sifry TOMORROW, so come if you can!
If you’re in DC, I’ll be at Politics and Prose with James Zogby next weekend (the 23rd). For a full list of events (including new ones added in VA and Boulder and more coming soon in Iowa), see here.
American Resistance is officially out on Tuesday (that’s election day in a number of states)! Events to promote the book began in New York City this week with a publisher’s salon and a chat about the book on Morning Joe on November 1st.
Stay tuned for much more. Also, if you’re in the mid-Atlantic region, check out the list of the many book events scheduled in New York, Washington, DC and Philadelphia in the next 5 weeks (including a joint event with Leah Greenberg and Ezra Levin from Indivisible to discuss our new books at Swarthmore College on December 2nd)! I’m still scheduling more events in many more places–the full list of confirmed public events is available here. If you don’t see an event where you live, contact me and we can try to get something scheduled!
American Resistance is officially out in 2 weeks! Today Michelle Goldberg wrote about the book in her column in the New York Times. Even though the book is not out yet, many people have taken advantage of pre-orders (and the discount). It’s so great to watch the book making its way around the world (so far, only Europe)–please keep sharing your images!!
I’m just back from a series of talks that included meeting with civic leaders from the Western Hemisphere to discuss civic activism and its role within the democratic process. I presented my recent work on the youth climate movement and how it connects with the Resistance. One of the participants in the group–Raul Olivan Cortes–from the Government of Aragón in Spain created this diagram of my talk. Many of the main themes of American Resistance are right there (along with a beautiful portrait of me and a representation of the cover of the book). Thanks to Raul for allowing me to share his image!
Early estimations report that over 7 million people participated in what Greta Thunberg and others are calling the #WeekforFuture, which included Climate Strikes and direct action around the world. Here in the US, I worked with the organizers of the Strike to survey the hosts of 633 of the events as well as collecting data in the crowd in Washington, DC on September 20th.
As I wrote in a piece in July 2019 based on earlier data, the youth climate movement in the US is populated by young people who cut their teeth in the American Resistance. Over half of participants in the DC Climate Strike (58%) had participated in the March for Our Lives and almost half (46%) had participated in the first Women’s March in 2017.
This weekend, I published a new piece that highlights how the young people who are participated in this growing climate movement are extremely civically engaged. “Three-quarters, or 76 percent, of the participants will be eligible to vote in the U.S. 2020 election. And their current levels of civic engagement strongly suggests they will vote.”