Community Activism · Good News · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Believe It, You Matter, Part III: The Parable of Eating Less Meat

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017.

 

Believe it, you matter. Every little thing you do to push back against Trump matters, no matter how small. 

 

Eating less meat is, generally speaking, a good idea. It’s better for your health and it’s better for the planet, because raising animals for meat demands more resources than growing plants for food.

 

But what if you can’t quit meat entirely for the rest of your days? What if you need it for health reasons, or cultural reasons, or hey, you just like meat too much to give it up once and for all?

 

Despite what some nasty, one-upping vegans and vegetarians would have you think, if you make a conscious choice to eat less meat, and you faithfully commit to making a change, that’s a win. Even if you never give up meat entirely, that’s a win, because you thought the matter over, you chose to eat less meat, and you stuck to your choice to eat less meat.

 

You are part of the resistance. Many of us–those behind this blog included–cannot devote ourselves to the resistance full time. We have jobs and family obligations and housework and a host of other demands on our time. There are some days when we don’t have the chance to do anything at all to advance the cause. (If WordPress forced us to write fresh posts every day instead of banking evergreen posts at our leisure and bumping them forward as needed to make room for breaking news, this blog would not exist.)

 

And there are some people who can’t advance the cause as often as they might like. Maybe they live in an environment where it’s not safe to resist Trump openly. Maybe they have crazy-demanding job or school schedules. Maybe they’re 24/7 caregivers. Maybe they’re disabled. Doesn’t matter why, it just is, and they have to work around it.

 

The point: As long as you’re doing something, you win. Even if it’s not as much as you want to do. Even if it’s not as much as you think you should do. Even if it’s not as much as your neighbor did, or your cousin did, or your best friend from your Indivisible group did.

 

Resisting Trump is not a competition, nor should it be. Something is better than nothing, no matter how small that something is. We should celebrate every contribution that we make in the effort to push back against Trump. All of it helps.

 

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Action Alerts · Community Activism · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Make an Appointment to Donate Blood Every Time You Hear About a New Mass Shooting

This OTYCD post originally appeared in November 2018.

 

When news breaks of a new mass shooting in America, make an appointment to donate blood (if you’re eligible to do so). 

 

Because the majority of Americans are in fact sane, we are sickened when we learn of a new mass shooting. It makes us feel powerless as well (and don’t even ask about the decades, yes, decades of effort many of us have devoted, and will continue to devote, to trying to get our gun laws changed).

 

After the June 2017 shooting at the Congressional Republican baseball practice, we at OYTCD suggested that readers donate to the three charities that benefit from the game and also consider donating blood, even if they didn’t live in or around Washington, D.C. Blood donations drop in summer, what with vacations and the other schedule disruptions that come with the season. And Steve Scalise, the Congressman who suffered the worst injuries, definitely needed blood transfusions and continued to need them.

 

So here’s something to consider. Every time you hear about a mass shooting, consider making an appointment to donate blood at a facility near you.

 

Ok, we can almost read your mind–“But I won’t have any blood left if I do that!” If it’s too early for you to donate blood, offer to escort a friend. Or offer to volunteer at a blood donation facility. Or if you’re due to renew your driver’s license and you haven’t indicated you’re an organ donor, do that.

 

Or substitute some other bit of routine community activism that fits. Spend an hour at the library tutoring someone whose first language isn’t English. Donate peanut butter and tuna fish to a food bank. Do something to make your community better that you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t gotten around to yet.

 

Answer an act of random violence by making the world better. Every bit helps, however small it might seem.

 

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Community Activism

Help Children in Illinois Prisons by Donating to Liberation Library

This OTYCD post originally appeared in May 2018.

 

Help children serving sentences in Illinois prisons through Liberation Library, which gives them books.

 

Liberation Library is a volunteer-led group based in Chicago that serves children in prison and juvenile detention centers in Illinois. Its members ask the kids what they’d like to read, and gets those titles.

 

They believe access to books is a right, not a privilege. Twice a month, it hosts “packing days,” in which volunteers prep and mail books to young readers.

 

It also sends birthday cards to incarcerated children year-round, and holiday cards around Christmas.

 

 

See the Liberation Library webpage:

http://www.liberationlib.com

 

 

See its About page:

http://www.liberationlib.com/about.html

 

 

See its FAQ page, which includes advice on how to find a Liberation Library-type organization in your community, or set one up:

http://www.liberationlib.com/faqs.html

 

 

Sign up for its newsletter:

http://liberationlib.us10.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=b3d1719ad4771efe8f1a9b022&id=a7c868d487&orig-lang=1

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Donate money or gently used books to Liberation Library (please check if the books are on LL’s Amazon Wishlist first):

http://www.liberationlib.com/donate.html

 

 

Donate birthday cards for use by Liberation Library, or purchase blank birthday cards from its Amazon Wishlist:

http://www.liberationlib.com/birthday-cards.html

 

 

If you live in or near Chicago, volunteer for Liberation Library:

http://www.liberationlib.com/volunteer.html

 

 

Like its Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/LiberationLibrary

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@liberationlib

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Community Activism · Elections · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Believe It, You Matter, Part XIV: Feel Your Feelings and Vote Anyway

Believe It, You Matter, Part XIV: Feel your feelings and vote anyway.

 

Hi, I’m Sarah Jane. I write all the Believe It, You Matter entries. I’ve long since forgotten what Roman numeral I’m up to so I apologize if I’ve used 12 before.

 

Anyway. I’m here to talk about voter suppression, in part because the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) bizarrely (and irresponsibly, IMO) threw up its hands (well, five of the nine did) and essentially said it couldn’t do anything to stop gerrymandering, not even the ludicrously extreme gerrymanders drawn to explicitly corral and nullify the votes of one party.

 

This is the latest bit of news that could dispirit us. And hey, it’s OK to feel dispirited about such a thing. But please, please, do not let it stop you from voting, ever.

 

No matter what, show the fuck up and vote, and help others vote, too.

 

Republicans know, and have known, they can’t win if they can’t stop people from voting. Blatant, flagrant cheating, such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis attempting to defang Article 4’s re-enfranchisement of more than a million felons by requiring them to pay assorted fees before they can cast a ballot, is one such move.

 

But the vote-suppressors work in subtler ways as well, ways that get less attention.

 

One of those ways is fostering despair and disgust with the whole voting process.

 

They try to make people feel that voting doesn’t matter, and it’s not worth the trouble.

 

It does, and it is.

 

As we advance into 2020, be alert to attempts to dispirit you and yours about the act of voting. It’s already happening, it’s happening in particular on social media, and not all of it is the work of bots, btw.

 

They’re doing it because it works, even if it’s kind of oblique and hard to quantify. The vote-suppressors don’t have to get everyone to stay home, or specific people to stay home. They need just enough people to stay home to make a difference.

 

You need to carry on talking to you and yours about the importance of voting, and removing obstacles to voting, both literal and figurative.

 

You need to tell people they matter, and their vote matters, and there are people out there who want them to give up and stay home. Fuck those people.

 

Now, when you talk, you should be straight with them. Acknowledge that fuckery is likely in 2020. Trump has explicitly said he would accept information foreign governments offer him about his opponents, which prompted the chairwoman of the Federal Election Commission to issue a statement saying that accepting anything of value from a foreign government is a crime. Mitch McConnell has consistently refused to advance bills that would protect the integrity of the 2020 election.

 

Republicans, in particular, are doing whatever they can to suppress the vote.

 

Go out and vote anyway. Go out and vote, faithfully and always, and help others vote, too. Every time. No matter what fuckery abounds.

 

Hell, go vote IN SPITE OF the fuckery. Flip the bird by throwing the lever for a Democrat.

 

Also, keep talking to your friends and family about the importance of voting.

 

Talk about how excited you are to vote for specific candidates, and say their names, out loud, often.

 

Do this even if it feels like it’s not enough.

 

Do it even if you feel like no one is listening to you.

 

Do this even if the crisis du jour is turning your mood grim. If you need to take a break to work through your feelings, do it, and come back.

 

Vote even if the Democratic candidates look like they’re running away with it.

 

Vote, because you matter, and your vote matters.

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Vote with your Dollars

Boycott Companies That Help Trump Detain Migrants, Thanks to Grab Your Wallet

Boycott companies that profit from the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy against migrants, thanks to this Grab Your Wallet spreadsheet.

 

Grab Your Wallet was among the earliest protest tools to arise after Trump’s election. It was literally one of the first things OTYCD wrote about. The first boycott list, which is still active, was designed to help you avoid giving money to Trump and his children.

 

Grab Your Wallet has assembled a new resource that lists companies and organizations that are profiting from the Trump administration policy toward migrants, which includes the creation of the camps where it’s holding migrants.

 

It’s dynamic and it’s periodically updated, so you’ll want to check back often.

 

Important note: If you choose to contact these companies, be polite and respectful. If you can’t effectively channel your anger, hold off until you can, or simply satisfy yourself with boycotting them without telling them why.

 

See the Grab Your Wallet spreadsheet of companies and organizations that benefit from the Trump administration’s shameful anti-migrant policies:

https://www.grabyourwallet.org/Action%20Alert.html

 

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Marches and Protests · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Attend a Lights for Liberty Protest Near You on Friday, July 12

Attend a Lights for Liberty protest near you on Friday, July 12.

 

The protest’s full name is Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps. Events that draw attention to the crisis created by the camps and by the Trump administration’s policies are planned across America and the world.

 

Because these protests are vigils, most events will take place at night, and many will take place near facilities that are holding migrants.

 

Events are being added all the time. We’re dropping the direct link to the event list here but will repeat it below.

https://www.lightsforliberty.org/localevents

 

If you can go, please consider inviting friends and family to come with you. You have power, and now is the time to use it.

 

If you can’t go, and you have experience with caring for children, consider offering to babysit for other protestors.

 

You can also boost #LightsforLiberty on social media, buy Lights for Liberty merch, and donate to the organizers.

 

Main website for Lights for Liberty:

https://www.lightsforliberty.org

 

List of Lights for Liberty local events:

https://www.lightsforliberty.org/localevents

 

Link to the form through which you can create your own Lights for Liberty event (please scroll down; please remember to obtain any permissions or permits you might need; and please choose an area that’s accessible to the disabled):

https://www.lightsforliberty.org/localevents

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

Donate to Lights for Liberty:

https://www.lightsforliberty.org/donate-index-impact

 

Purchase Lights for Liberty merch:

https://shop.spreadshirt.com/lights-for-liberty/

 

Like the Lights for Liberty Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/lights4liberty/

 

Follow Lights for Liberty on Twitter:

@Lights4Liberty

Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Marches and Protests

Host or Attend a #ClosetheCamps Rally on Tuesday, July 2

Host or Attend a #ClosetheCamps rally on Tuesday, July 2.

 

Apologies for the short notice on this. MoveOn, United We Dream, Families Belong Together, and more are sponsoring #ClosetheCamps rallies nationwide to keep the public focus on the conditions in the camps where the Trump administration is holding child migrants.

 

As of 7 pm EST on June 29, 2019, about 80 events had been planned, many at the local offices of members of Congress.

 

The rally demands are:

 

Close the camps.

 

Not one dollar for family detention and deportation.

 

Bear witness and reunite families.

 

If you can’t attend, or there isn’t an event close enough to you, follow and boost #ClosetheCamps on social media.

 

Find a #ClosetheCamps rally:

https://act.moveon.org/event/close-camps-now_attend/search/?source=kos

 

Avail yourselves of rally materials, including printable signs and safety guides:

https://act.moveon.org/survey/close-camps-now-materials/?source=kos