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Learn from How Italians Ultimately Defeated Silvio Berlusconi

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2017.


Trump has been likened to Hitler, Mussolini, and other 20th-century autocrats, but his closest analog is Silvio Berlusconi, the blustering, womanizing media mogul who served as Italy’s prime minister from 1994 to 2001.


In this November 2016 New York Times op-ed, Luigi Zingales shows us how to avoid the mistakes of Berlusconi opponents, which had the effect of prolonging his grip on power.

The key point to remember:


Attack what Trump does, not who he is. Yes, he’s morally bankrupt. Yes, he’s an awful human being. Yes, he’s unbelievably ignorant. Yes, his view of women is horrific. Yes, his twitter-squawkings are insane. Yes, he looks goddamn ridiculous.


If you need to complain about things like that, vent in a private Facebook group, or some other protected space. Empty it from your mind, then go out and shine a light on what he is doing, and explain why what he’s doing is bad.


You need to do it in a way that spotlights the consequences of his actions as president, and not on why Trump, the man, is repugnant. The instant you start attacking his character, you make him sympathetic. It’s not fair, but it’s what it is. The anti-Berlusconi crowd made that mistake and got seven years of his rule. Do you want eight years of Trump? Then lay off.


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Learn How to Intervene as a Bystander to Hateful Speech and Acts

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.

Learn or refresh yourself on strategies for how to diffuse hateful situations as a bystander.


The racist terrorist attack on public transit in Portland, Oregon in May that left two men dead and a third wounded raised awareness about bystander training. The passengers who became victims confronted the ranting man directly when he accosted two young women who appeared to be Muslim, and continued to do so after he made death threats against those who tried to de-escalate the situation.


Those who offer bystander training have said that the Portland men didn’t do anything wrong. It would be a shame if the incident scared people off from confronting people who spew hate in public spaces.


Here are a bundle of resources that will help you learn how to intervene when you witness hateful situations.



Start with Maeril’s now-classic cartoon on what to do if you witness Islamophobic harassment.



Hollaback, a movement devoted to stopping street harassment, offers digital bystander intervention training for a modest fee:



Read the text of a speech on Bystander Intervention Training given by folks at the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition of Maryland:



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See if Collective Action for Safe Spaces is doing a bystander intervention workshop near you, or request one:



For background, read a local news account of the Portland attack:



And read a Slate article about bystander training in the wake of the attack:


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Join the Postcards for America Page and Keep Fighting Trump With Postcards

This OTYCD entry originally posted in March 2017.

The OTYCD page on joining #TheIdesOfTrump–the effort to bury Trump in postcards on March 15–is the most popular in the young blog’s history.

Seeing as you all have such an appetite for sending postcards, we’re doing a post on one or our favorite Facebook activist pages: Postcards for America.

Its main goal is to encourage you to send postcards to your members of Congress about your fears and concerns. But it also alerts you to other postcard campaigns and suggests legislators who might benefit from receiving great wobbling piles of postcards that tell them they’re wrong, or in some cases, exquisitely correct and in need of thanks.

Apply for admission to the Postcards for America Facebook group:

Please note: Postcards for America is a closed group. You can apply to join and you will have to wait for an administrator to approve you before you are admitted.

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Commit Now to Put Any Tax Benefits You Might Get from the GOP Tax Bill to Fighting Its Effects

This OTYCD entry originally appeared in December 2017.

If the GOP tax bill passes, will you benefit from it in the form of lower taxes? Commit now to put any extra money to the work of fighting its effects.


Yes, the GOP tax bill rewards the rich at the expense of the middle class and the poor. Not too terribly many people who read this will belong to the group who will benefit if it becomes law.


Still. If you are one of those people, think about how you will use that money for good, and use it to fight the ill effects of the bill.


The bill treats waived graduate school tuition as taxable income. Fight this by talking to your alma mater, or a favorite public or private university, about how you can help relieve the burden the bill imposes on grad students. In particular, do what you can to assist grad students from marginalized communities, who will be hit hardest.


The bill removes a tax credit that employers received if they hired veterans. Look around your community, see which organizations are serving veterans and helping them find jobs, and see about pointing your gains in that direction.


The bill removes a tax credit for teachers who buy supplies for their classrooms. Find the neediest public school in your community and commit to underwriting those perpetual costs.


The variants are endless, but we should also mention yet again that in addition to what you choose to do, you should also support and elect candidates who will change the laws, fix the flaws, and help the people who will be hurt by the GOP tax bill.


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Donate To These Bail Funds Across America

This OTYCD entry originally appeared in January 2018.

Donate to these bail funds across America and help poor people gain release from jail to await trial at home.


Being poor is not a crime, but all too often, it seems that way. The justice system can, and too often does, impose bail requirements on arrestees who have no hope of raising the money. They languish in jail, risking their jobs, homes, and families, and taking a space that’s better set aside for a more dangerous individual.


Bail funds help the poor by lending or giving them the money they need to gain their release. A few months back, OTYCD wrote about the Massachusetts Bail Fund, which was swamped with bail requests and almost had to close as a result:


Fortunately, enough donors stepped up to resolve the crisis and place the fund on firmer footing.


On November 28, 2017, Clint Smith III, an author and Harvard Ph.d candidate, tweeted a thread of links to bail funds across the country.


We have collected the information that he tweeted and have reproduced it here. Full credit goes to Smith, who you should follow (@ClintSmithIII).


Giving to bail funds helps poor people from sliding even further into poverty. Your donation allows adults in dire straits to continue to go to work and tend to their families while they wait for their cases to proceed through the justice system.



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The Bronx Freedom Fund




The Brooklyn Community Bail Fund




The Chicago Community Bond Fund




Just City Memphis (located in Tennessee)




Louisville Community Bail Fund (located in Kentucky; this is a YouCaring page)



The Massachusetts Bail Fund




The Minnesota Freedom Fund



Northwest Community Bail Fund (located in Seattle)




The Philadelphia Community Bail Fund



The Richmond Community Bail Fund (located in Virginia)




You can also support bail funds that specifically help immigrants and migrants.


The Immigrant Bail Fund (which serves individuals in Connecticut)



Immigrant Family Defense Fund (which serves individuals in California)



Here also is a December 30, 2017 blog post from Prison Culture (@prisonculture) which lists still more bail funds (scroll down for others not listed above):

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Enough! Join the National School Walkout on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, to Protest Congress’s Failure to Pass Gun Safety Laws

Join the National School Walkout planned for Wednesday, March 14, 2018 to protest Congressional inaction on putting common-sense gun laws in place.


Organized by Women’s March Youth EMPOWER, it calls for students, teachers, administrators, staff, parents, you name it to walk out of classrooms at 10 am in your local time zone for a total of 17 minutes–one for each person who died in the Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting at the high school in Parkland, Florida.


Find your nearest walk-out event via the link below:


Learn how to host your own school walk-out event on March 14:


Visit the Facebook page for Enough!: National School Walkout and indicate if you’re interested or going:



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A note: We at OTYCD intend to nurture and encourage the movement sparked by the Margory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting by devoting one post at least every other week to gun safety-related issues.


The reason that the NRA has a death grip on Congress, and in particular, GOP Congressfolk, is that NRA members get off their asses and call if there’s a whisper of a muttering of a hint that a law might pass that could impose even the slightest imposition on ownership of guns in America.


That’s what the politicians are afraid of. It’s not just that some of them get metric buttloads of money for their campaigns from the NRA. Those who embrace the NRA’s outlook pounce on their phones and berate their representatives the instant they think their beloved guns are under threat.


So, yes, it’s on us to shout back.


We have to adopt the tactics of those who support the NRA.


We have to call our representatives often to make it damn clear that the status quo is unacceptable, and we want common-sense gun safety laws.


OTYCD will start out with one weekday post every two weeks, at minimum, that has to do with improving gun safety and pushing back against the NRA.


We do this in honor of the Parkland victims, and all victims of mass shootings in America, and everyone who has been fighting to change our laws on firearms all along.


If Trump finally bows to the will of Congress and imposes the sanctions against Russia for messing with the 2016 election, we will switch to devoting one post per week to these issues.


Honor the victims of the Parkland shooting, and all other shootings, by stepping up and calling your reps about common-sense gun safety laws, and by supporting politicians who have low grades from the NRA, and voting out those who do the NRA’s bidding.


#NeverAgain. For the love of all that is right and good, Never Again.




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Save This Tool for Keeping Tabs on Bills That Concern You: GovTrack

This OTYCD entry originally posted in March 2017.

Bookmark, a nifty tool for learning about and tracking bills that concern you.


Govtrack debuted in 2004 as a hobby project and blossomed into what you see today. It helps you find federal legislation on issues that you care about, and lets you track them as they work their way through Congress.


It can also show you the bills most tracked by the site’s users, trending bills, and other useful information, such as the total amount of legislation passed by Congress in the current session. And it offers good longer reads in the form of GovTrackInsider, which offers detailed examinations of hot bills and contested issues.



Start using GovTrack:



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