New York Immigration Coalition Encourages Support for Local Grassroots Groups and Advocacy, Reported by The Guardian

Posted on November 14, 2017

The resistance to Trump is blossoming – and building a movement to last

Originally Posted on The Guardian on November 9, 2017
Written by LA Kauffman

Galvanized by huge protests at the beginning of the new presidency, the ground-level opposition to it has evolved into a decentralized movement of many movements. While established progressive organizations have seen important upswings in membership and provided important guidance and resources, the most striking and novel aspect of the resistance has been the creation of an astounding number of new grassroots groups. The resistance had a dramatic kick-off with the massive Women’s Marches that took place the day after the inauguration, drawing an estimated 4 million participants. This upsurge carried over to the airport protests that greeted the first version of the Muslim ban. As Murad Awawdeh, vice-president of advocacy at the New York Immigration Coalition and a key organizer of the initial protest at JFK airport, remembered: “Folks really were activated, in a way that I’ve never seen before, to actually show up. It wasn’t people who have always gone to protests or people who always believed in a fair immigration policy or practice. It was people who just felt like what was happening was wrong, and they couldn’t just stand by and let it happen.” People have continued to show up to protests in significant numbers, but the more dramatic development has been a quieter one: all around the country, people have channeled the do-it-yourself political energy into the formation of locally grounded, multi-issue resistance groups. Over 6,000 have registered with Indivisible, the organization that grew out of the now-famous post-election guide to congressional advocacy. There are a variety of groups in every single congressional district, in both red states and blue states; in cities, in suburbs, in rural parts of the country. Leah Greenberg, the co-executive director of Indivisible, notes: “One of the things that’s really striking is just the sheer range of different kinds of work that [the local groups are] doing and different approaches they’ve taken.” Rather than trying to steer the groups into adopting a similar focus or strategy, Indivisible has viewed their variety and autonomy as strengths.

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