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CAN WE STOP TRUMP?
Can we stop Trump and his agenda of hate and division?
It is possible that we can—if we believe we can and come together to act on that belief, swiftly. We have a few weeks to do it, multiple paths forward in those weeks, and awareness that the situation changes daily. We know that several senators and congresspeople are questioning the legitimacy of the election and the putative winner of that election. They need public pressure to move forward. We know that millions of people are hungry for ways to act.
We don’t know where this will take us. But everything that takes us away from the inevitability of a Trump presidency is worth pursuing. Even if we fall short of stopping Trump, we can weaken him and his agenda. And we can gather, inspire, and strengthen civil society to face what lies ahead.
The legitimacy of the outcome of the election is a question we need answers to before the transition of power moves forward. The candidate is already disqualifying himself through words and deeds—through his announced intention to violate the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and human rights; through his already outrageous conflicts of interest and attempts to monetize the presidency; and through his incitement of violence. At the heart of our opposition is a commitment to nonviolent strategies and to our First Amendment rights to free speech and to the “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Phenomenal, unanticipated things have happened and likely will continue. The ability to respond as the situation unfolds matters. Who foresaw that Jill Stein and the Green Party would launch a recount, or that the Clinton campaign would join them? That three-state recount may reveal that Trump’s miniscule lead there vanishes—or never existed—or that the election is so contaminated the results should be thrown out. To many election experts, the results suggest possible tampering, rigging, or hacking, in addition to the well-documented voter suppression before Election Day. We have the right to know what happened in our election and who really won it.
Trump lost the popular vote by more than two million votes and clearly knows that matters (since he’s lying to claim he won it). We must never stop reminding the world that he has no mandate.
We are building networks and strategy for mass mobilization and public pressure; we know improvisation is necessary in a changing situation, which is why we cannot issue a simple call to one action. Too, everything we do now that shows our power and holds the system accountable matters. Supporting the recount and making sure its results are scrutinized matters. Pushing for an audit and investigations matters. Supporting the calls for investigations and legal challenges matters. Putting pressure on the Electoral College and presenting evidence of why they must not transfer power to Trump matters. (We know that in some—but not all—scenarios this could result in a Pence presidency, but a weak, unpopular, and conventional, if horrendous Pence, is a step back from the brink we teeter on.) Defending the rights of people of color, immigrants, Muslims, women, LGBTQ people, disabled people, and others Trump has targeted will take many forms; recognizing that this is one struggle and we are in this together strengthens us.
If we succeed, we won’t spend four years in defensive reaction, trying not to lose the place at the table that so many of us have struggled to attain over the decades and centuries. Standing up against things getting worse can be the beginning of the longer journey to build the country and the world we want to live in, to move into the future in which everyone can thrive, to build an economy that leaves no one out, that addresses climate change with the urgency it demands, and that reforms our electoral systems.
Everyone agrees this is a turning point in our country’s history. Let’s seize the moment and turn toward our dreams and away from our nightmares. The first obstacle we face is the limit on our sense of the possible. We need to think big, then move boldly. Let’s commit to daily actions to focus on the most strategic leverage points, to build and strategize to maximize our power, to seize the opportunities that arise as the situation changes, and to be what the moment demands.
We call on you to add your name and your commitment to hope, determination, and possibility.
Rebecca Solnit, Writer ● Taj James, Movement Builder ● Angela Adrar, Executive Director, Climate Justice Alliance ● Lindsey Allen, Executive Director, Rainforest Action Network ● Aimee Allison, Democracy in Color ● Max Berger, #AllOfUs, Working Families Party ● Ludovic Blain, Racial Justice Activist ● Jose Bravo, Just Transition Alliance ● Melissa Byrne, Debt Free College Activist ● Doyle Canning, Co-founder, Center for Story-based Strategy ● Michael Chabon, Author ● Ryan Clayton, Americans Take Action, ● Christine Cordero, Center for Story-Based Strategy, Executive Director ● Xiomara E. Corpeño, Immigrant Justice Organizer, Groundswell Fund ● Peter Coyote, Actor, Director ● Chris Crass, Author and Educator ● Mike De LaRocha, RevolveImpact ● Drew Dellinger, Author ● Beka Economopoulos, Director, The Natural History Museum, Co-founder, Not An Alternative ● Michael Eisenscher, National Coordinator, U.S. Labor Against the War ● Eve Ensler, Playwright ● Laura Fink, Founder, Rebelle Communications ● Bill Gallegos, Board Director, Center for Race, Poverty, and the Environment ● Ann Hamilton, Artist ● Jane Hirshfield, Poet ● Kate Horner, International Rivers ● Yong Jung Cho, #AllofUs ● Keri Kelly, CTZNWell, Executive Director ● Rev Taigen Dan Leighton, Ancient Dragon Zen Gate, Chicago ● Annie Leonard, The Story of Stuff; Executive Director, Greenpeace US ● Maria Elena Letona, Neighbor to Neighbor, MA ● Alex Levinson, Executive Director, Pacific Environment ● Dahlia Lithwick, Contributing editor at Newsweek and senior editor at Slate ● Barry Lopez, Author, Environmentalist ● Richard Misrach, Photographer ● Kai Newkirk, Co-founder & Mission Director of Democracy Spring ● Mateo Nube, Movement Generation: Justice and Ecology Project ● Perry O'Brien, Veterans Against Trump, Common Defense PAC ● Lora O'Connor, Compassionate California / Earthways Foundation ● D Pei Wu, PhD, Jobs With Justice Portland, Executive Director ● Aparna Shah, Executive Director, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote ● Anat Shenker-Osorio, Author, communications expert, researcher ● Jonathan Matthew Smucker, Beyond the Choir, Executive Director ● Susan Celia Swan, Executive Director, V-Day ● David Talbot, Author and founder of Salon ● Terry Tempest Williams, Author, Conservationist ● Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams, Founder, Center For Transformative Change
● Organizations Listed For Identification Purposes Only
P.S. Washington is in turmoil, and many elected officials are trying to defend our democracy, but public pressure is what will give them the courage and momentum they need. It comes from us..
On November 29, seven senators on the intelligence committee demanded that the White House declassify information “concerning the Russian Government and the U.S. election.” Earlier, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called for an investigation into Russian interference in the election, as did Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) have asked the General Accounting Office to investigate Trump’s conflicts of interest and financial exploitation of his status as president-elect. Many say that he is in direct conflict with the Constitution’s safeguards against elected officials receiving “emoluments” from foreign governments. Senator Cardin (D-MD) is introducing a resolution to force Trump to sell his assets.
Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI) tweeted that the president-elect “supports indefinite detention of Americans without charge or trial, mass surveillance of law-abiding Americans, asset forfeiture, etc.” Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) charged in October that the FBI possessed “explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government. The public has the right to know this information.” But we don’t know it. If it’s true, it not only disqualifies Trump but may be grounds for charges of treason. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) condemned Trump’s enthusiasm for Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Putin appears to be Trump’s role model, an authoritarian who’s crushed free speech and human rights and concentrated power into the hands of an elite who used that power to further enrich themselves.
We know there have been challenges to reports on the Russian government’s role in the election and relationships to the Trump team. Our position is that we don’t have answers, but hundreds of articles in reliable news sources and dozens of statements from various branches of government and foreign policy experts raise questions we should have satisfactory answers to before we move forward with a transfer of power.
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From: [Your Name]
Dear decision makers,
We have entrusted you with the power to defend and protect our families, communities and the Constitution. All of that, and more, are facing grave threats. We ask you to find the courage to do what is within your power and within your rights to defend our country and our democracy from eminent danger.
If you stand with the people, the people will stand with you.
The People standing in defense of our democracy