by Doctor Science
I'm the equivalent of the third piccolo player in this parade, which means I know enough to say where the movement came from, how it's structured, and who's actually leading. Spoilers: there is no single leader or leadership group, it's a grassroots movement with a whole lot of local leaders. We *do* have a plan, but not an over-arching organization -- more like a bulletin board.
Here's what #TheResistance looks like from my point of view. You can use it to calibrate your bullshit meters when you see articles or videos "explaining" it.
1. This is not a movement of, or led by, white men.
#TheResistance is at least 3/4 women, and in many places the leaders are whoever organized local participation in the Women's March. #BlackLivesMatter, Hispanic groups, Muslim groups, queer groups, Native American groups, Asian groups: all are involved, depending on the area.
Of course there are plenty of straight white men in #TheResistance, but they are not the center, not the dominating element. The media seem to have a lot of trouble with this concept, and keep looking for a man they can talk to.
For instance, when my parents turned on the TV to see what the Women's March on Washington was about, CNN showed clips from two speakers: Ashley Judd, and Michael Moore. When we discussed it the next day, I had to talk them out of the idea that Michael Moore was an important figure in the March, one of the organizers maybe.
No, he is *not*. This is not Michael Moore's movement, he's jumping in front of the parade. The 10 Point Plan he recently put up is a collection of approaches other people have been doing better and longer. This is not the way to go, and even if it were Moore is not the person to take us there.
If you see a piece on #TheResistance that focuses on white men, it is bull.
2. The closest thing to an organization for #TheResistance is Indivisible. Indivisible started as a Google Docs handbook, put together in the 3 weeks after Thanksgiving by a collection of former congressional staffers to tell fellow progressives what works--and doesn't--to influence Congress (besides money). A lot of their advice was based on having seen, first hand, how the Tea Party movement worked to oppose Obama's agenda and to force change in the Republican Party.
There are lots of way #TheResistance in general and Indivisible in particular are *not* like the Tea Party, but any piece that denies that the Tea Party was an important inspiration is bull. And any piece that doesn't mention Indivisible is *extra* bull.
3. The Indivisible Guide acts as an organizing force for #TheResistance by having a database of local action groups. This started to go up in early January, and by now they list thousands of groups, including at least 2 in every Congressional District.
Most of the groups are on Facebook, so the easiest way to find a Resistance group you want to work with is to join the one (or ones) nearest to you, then look at other groups Facebook suggests. Moveon.org and the ACLU are also setting up groups, but Indivisible groups seem to be the most granular. The idea is to be as local as possible, focusing where the power of each vote is most significant.
Here in New Jersey we have to get organized pretty quickly, because the state legislature--including the governorship--is up for election this November. The Indivisible Guide focuses on influencing the US Congress, but we can work at state legislatures using the same principles.
4. No-one is paying us to protest. I have no idea why this plainly preposterous idea keeps being trotted out: I don't see how it passes even the most superficial smell test. C'mon, *pay* Americans for protesting?!? Where have you been?
We call it #TheResistance, but as Sarah Kendzior says:
What is now called resisting is often Americans simply helping others: a concept so alien to the Trump administration that it is labelled as subversive. Lawyers volunteer to aid unjustly detained immigrants; clergy hold interfaith rallies when one religion is attacked; citizens look out for their neighbours and lobby officials on their behalf.It's about having each others' backs, especially for the people most likely to be hurt by the Trump Regime: immigrants, Muslims, refugees, children, people with disabilities, the poor, people who aren't white or rich. We're Indivisible because we believe we truly are Stronger Together.