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Support the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Now more than ever, you need to support the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). 

When Trump was elected, and so many of us were flat on the mat or reeling in shock, the ACLU had its fists up and was ready to fight back.

On the morning of November 9, ACLU President Anthony Romero wrote a letter to Trump, putting him on notice that several of his campaign promises, if enacted, would violate the Constitution, and the 97-year-old nonprofit would dog him mercilessly over any such thing he tried.

It has gone after Trump with vigor and ferocity ever since.

The ACLU takes a lot of crap for sticking up for unpopular people who say unpopular things. If the ACLU hasn’t yet defended someone you find repugnant, give them time. They will.

That doesn’t change the fact that we need the ACLU now more than ever. Romero put his finger on its value in an article in Fast Company when he likened it to the U.S.’s insurance policy.

The organization got a powerful, historically unprecedented surge of support in the wake of the election. It received $15 million in online donations before Inauguration day, and during the first weekend of the Muslim travel ban in January 2017, it took in another $24 million–a sum equivalent to roughly six times what it reaps online in a year.

Trump is attacking bedrock American values on several fronts. The ACLU is, and will continue to be, on the front lines in the effort to push back.

We at OTYCD realize you’ve probably helped the ACLU in some way already. More than 350,000 contributors gave money during that January weekend. But we’re asking you to consider stepping up to the next level.

Given to the ACLU once? Consider becoming a monthly donor. Already a monthly donor? Consider increasing your donation, even if the increase is only small. Not a member yet? Join the 1.6 million who are. Already a member and donating monthly? Urge your friends to do more.

Can’t afford to do anything that costs money? Read up on the ACLU, follow it on social media, and defend it, firmly and unwaveringly, from those who fear and hate it.

 

Read the Fast Company piece about what the ACLU has done in the wake of the 2016 election:

https://www.fastcompany.com/40407576/how-the-aclu-is-leading-the-resistance

 

See its website:

https://www.aclu.org

 

Find your local ACLU:

https://www.aclu.org/about/affiliates

 

Read about the history of the ACLU:

https://www.aclu.org/about/aclu-history

 

Join the ACLU:

https://action.aclu.org/secure/become-freedom-fighter-join-aclu?s_src=UNW170001C00&alt_src=UNV170001C00&ms=web_horiz_nav_hp_join

 

Donate to the ACLU:

https://action.aclu.org/donate-aclu?ms=web_horiz_nav_hp

 

Become a monthly donor:

https://action.aclu.org/secure/muslim-ban-fight-may-go-supreme-court-2?s_src=UNV170101INA&ms=web_hero_trump_gol

 

Like the ACLU on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/aclu.nationwide

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@ACLU

 

Read about how it took in a historically unprecedented number of donations since the election and following the first implementation of the Muslim travel ban:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/01/30/the-aclu-says-it-got-24-million-in-donations-this-weekend-six-times-its-yearly-average/?utm_term=.6b4b5b3521e5

Call Your Members of Congress · Marches and Protests · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Continue the Work of the No One Is Above the Law Protests: Call Your MoCs to Demand Whitaker Recuse and Demand Investigation of Sessions’s Departure

Continue the work of the No One Is Above the Law protests: Call your members of Congress (MoCs) to demand that Matthew Whitaker recuse from the Mueller probe, and demand investigation of Sessions’s departure.

 

You got the call and answered it. You were out there at 5 pm local time at your No One Is Above the Law protest site. Thank you.

 

The next step is to carry on the work by calling your MoCs and demanding the following:

 

That acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker recuse himself from the Mueller probe; and demand investigation of the circumstances of Jeff Sessions’s exit from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

 

Whitaker is problematic on several levels, not least that an office of this level of importance requires the Senate to weigh in. Trump is evidently trying to avoid scrutiny by making him Acting AG. But, in a November 8, 2018 opinion piece for the New York Times, Neal Katyal and George Conway (Kellyanne Conway’s husband, btw), flatly assert that the move is unconstitutional.

 

Key paragraphs:

It means that Mr. Trump’s installation of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general of the United States after forcing the resignation of Jeff Sessions is unconstitutional. It’s illegal. And it means that anything Mr. Whitaker does, or tries to do, in that position is invalid.

Much of the commentary about Mr. Whitaker’s appointment has focused on all sorts of technical points about the Vacancies Reform Act and Justice Department succession statutes. But the flaw in the appointment of Mr. Whitaker, who was Mr. Sessions’s chief of staff at the Justice Department, runs much deeper. It defies one of the explicit checks and balances set out in the Constitution, a provision designed to protect us all against the centralization of government power.

If you don’t believe us, then take it from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, whom Mr. Trump once called his “favorite” sitting justice. Last year, the Supreme Court examined the question of whether the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board had been lawfully appointed to his job without Senate confirmation. The Supreme Court held the appointment invalid on a statutory ground.

 

Full article here:

 

Even if it was legal to appoint Whitaker, he has known biases against the Mueller probe, and they are on record. Those stated biases would legally compel him to recuse.

 

But Whitaker says he has no intention to recuse:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trumps-acting-attorney-general-matt-whitaker-has-no-intention-of-recusing-from-russia-probe-associates-say/2018/11/08/a5bc8d90-e370-11e8-ab2c-b31dcd53ca6b_story.html?utm_term=.7c669d2b9229

 

As for the Sessions thing–the reason we need to ask for an examination of his exit is it appears to be a firing, but we need to clarify what happened. A firing requires elevating Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to the role Sessions left. The wording of his resignation letter indicates he did not leave of his own volition–ergo, he was fired.

 

Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter), as always, is on top of it. What follows are her scripts for calling your House Rep and your Senators. Scroll down for word on how you can show your appreciation for Pewter.

 

Before you call, check Celeste’s Twitter feed, in case she’s issued updated scripts. Also, check the social media feeds of your MoCs, to see if they’ve made a statement on either matter. If they have, mention it in your calls.

 

Also! Before you call, check to see if your House Rep or one or both Senators are on their chamber’s Judiciary Committees. If they are, it’s extra-important for you to call.

 

Senate members listed here:

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/about/members

 

House members listed here:

https://judiciary.house.gov/subcommittee/full-committee/

 

Lastly–why it’s important to call. Going into the streets to protest is important and necessary. Backing those protests up with specific demands for your representatives makes for a one-two punch.

 

Here is the script for your House rep:

 

You can show love for Celeste Pewter in many ways.

 

You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter

 

You can tweet about calling your Senators, using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

You can follow @ICalledMyReps on Twitter.

 

And you can subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

 

 

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 · Marches and Protests · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Attend the No One Is Above The Law Protest Near You Thursday November 8, 5 pm Your Time

Attend the No One Is Above the Law protest near you, taking place Thursday, November 8, at 5 pm your time (local time).

 

So, we at OTYCD wrote about the if-then protest in the past, when MoveOn.org and friends started planning it.

 

We also urged you to visit the site and write down the details for your local No One Is Above the Law protest site in case a triggering event sends people stampeding toward the site from all over the Internet and the web page goes down.

 

Welp. On Wednesday November 7, with the midterm results not even a day old (and some still trickling in), Trump compelled Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign and installed an Acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker, who had been Sessions’s chief of staff.

 

Read articles on the slo-mo modern spin on the Saturday Night Massacre here (and click these words if you need a refresher on the original Saturday Night Massacre):

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/attorney-general-jeff-sessions-resigns-at-trumps-request/2018/11/07/d1b7a214-e144-11e8-ab2c-b31dcd53ca6b_story.html?utm_term=.89b91e4aee90

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/with-the-midterms-over-mueller-faces-key-decisions-in-russia-investigation/2018/11/07/7ef2765a-e151-11e8-ab2c-b31dcd53ca6b_story.html?utm_term=.6490220bf6eb

 

 

You can question whether any of this is legal. You can question whether Trump can put Whitaker, who is not Senate-confirmed, into the Acting AG role. You can question whether Whitaker has to recuse himself, given that he is on record as opposing the Mueller investigation, and has made comments about muffling it by starving it of funds.

 

Rampant attack on our democracy? Yep. All that nonsensical fuckery was more than enough for the team behind the No One Is Above the Law if-then protest to pull the trigger on the event.

 

If you haven’t checked out the web page, please do so now, and find out where your nearest protest site is. Note the address down on paper. Google it and plot how you can get there and where you can park. As of November 7, 2018, the page reflected more than 900 events scheduled:

https://act.moveon.org/event/mueller-firing-rapid-response-events/search/

 

You’ll also notice that the organizers didn’t quite follow the standing plan. They chose to set it for 5 pm local time to give folks more time to prepare.

 

We’re now going to reproduce the bit from the page that appears after the logistics:

 

THEN WHAT?

Good question!

These events are only the first step. Our goal with these actions is to create an opportunity for anyone outraged by Trump’s abuse of power to engage immediately in voicing their concern. Together, we will communicate unmistakably that this is not okay and that this act to undermine democracy is not going to be allowed to become a new normal.

But that’s only the first step, and it’s far from the last one.

Congress is the only body with the constitutional power and responsibility to hold a president politically accountable for major violations of the public trust like this. And “we, the people” are their backstop and source of legitimate power.

And what people do next to force Congress to act is up to them!

Certainly, everyone at an event should also call their member of Congress to demand action. And everyone is encouraged to communicate that demand directly at congressional offices.

Beyond that, it’s up to you! It’s a good idea to discuss possible scenarios in advance with the hosts of your event or with your friends to develop other nonviolent ways you would like to compel actions from Congress.

Here’s what groups will be asking Congress to do:

 

CONGRESSIONAL ASKS

  1. Demand members of Congress protect the special counsel’s office, including preserving its files and staff and ensuring it receives the full cooperation of all federal government law enforcement assets.
  2. Demand the creation of a modern-day version of the Senate Select Watergate Committee to investigate all matters involved in the Russia scandals and Trump’s abuse of power and obstruction of justice.
  3. Demand bipartisan hearings in the House Judiciary Committee on obstruction of justice and abuse of power.
    • Some groups will call these the first steps to impeachment hearings; others will not.
    • Impeaching Donald Trump is not a demand shared by all partner organizations. Nor is supporting impeachment a prerequisite to attend these events. But it is a view welcome at events, and you can definitely bring a poster calling for it if that’s your view. We can all be for the three things above if some of us are also for additional things, such as impeachment.
…So this might be a one-off, and it might not be.
Another suggestion from us at OTYCD: After you look up and note your own protest
location, look it up for friends and family who might approach you for help, or those
who you want to approach, in the spirit of making it as easy as possible for them to join.
You might want to go as far as giving them easy-to-follow driving directions and parking
tips.
If you can, offer a car-pool ride to other interested protesters. If you cannot or do not
want to go, but can offer child-care services, that definitely helps, too.
If you can’t go and can’t help others go, follow and boost these hashtags:
#NoOneIsAboveTheLaw
#TrumpIsNotAboveTheLaw
#whitakermustrecuse
During the course of the day, watch the Twitter feed of Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter).
She is prepping call scripts as we draft this blog post, and she’ll be on top of relevant
breaking news.
Also watch the feeds of Ben Wikler (@BenWikler) and Anna Galland (@annagalland),
both of MoveOn. They will have news about the nationwide protests and other things
you’ll want to know.
Sorry it’s come to this, folks. Sorry it comes so soon after the conclusion of the multi-
month saga that was the lead-up to the 2018 midterms, which took so much out of so
many of us.
We thought we could rest. Hell, most of us planned on taking at least one goddamn
day off. Wednesday. Joke’s on us. (Fuck that guy. Seriously, fuck that guy.)
But we gotta muster. We gotta. We gotta show up in big honking numbers, just like
we did on Tuesday.
Democracy needs us again. It’s just that kind of week. (If you’re not already keeping a
journal, now’s the time to start. Your kids, grandkids, nieblings, and grandnieblings will
want to know what this time was like, and they will want to know what you did to push
back.)
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!

 

 

Marches and Protests · Uncategorized

Note Where the Nearest Nobody Is Above the Law Rally Takes Place, NOW, Just In Case. If Trump Does Fire Mueller or Rosenstein, Etc., the Server Might Crash

ThisOTYCD post originally appeared in May 2018. In the lead-up to the midterms, we’re re-running important posts. Please click on the announcement from Sarah Jane to learn why you’re not seeing timely daily posts.

 

Take a moment and note down the actual address and directions to the site where the Nobody Is Above the Law rally is happening closest to you. Just in case.

 

We hope it won’t be necessary to rally. But if Trump actually fires Special Counsel Robert Mueller, or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, or does some other ridiculous thing to undermine the Trump-Russia investigation and thus cause a constitutional crisis, you’ll need to be ready to go to your nearest protest site.

 

As of late April 2018, more than 350,000 people have RSVPed. That’s good! But if Trump does the deed, there’ll be a lot more people than that who’ll be interested in going out to one of the 900-plus protests.

 

Think about it. That 350,000 number represents those who intend to protest and who are comfortable filling out a form and giving their info to MoveOn.org.

 

For every person who’s willing to do that, there are a bunch more who are only willing to do the first of those things.

 

And for every person who intends to protest but who doesn’t want to fill out a form or give their info to MoveOn.org, there’s a bunch more people who will realize they want to protest once the batsignal is hanging in the sky over their heads. (Metaphorically.)

 

If you’re a regular reader of OTYCD, you’ve probably become The One In Your Circle Who Knows About Politics. Your friends and family will expect you to know where the Mueller Firing Rapid Response protest is, and how to get there, and where they can park.

 

Do you?

 

At the very least you need to go to the Mueller Firing Rapid Response page, find your protest site, and write down the name of the spot and its street address.

 

Put it on paper. Put it in your phone. Email it to yourself. Heck, do all three.

 

Even better, take some time and teach yourself how to give good, precise directions to the site, and learn what the parking options are.

 

We’re saying this because if Trump does the deed–and remember, we know he’s threatened to do it at least twice and hasn’t carried through–it’s possible that the MoveOn.org site, which is hosting the Mueller Firing Rapid Response page, will be super-slammed in seconds, and it might go down due to the spike in traffic.

 

Be prepared. Plan ahead. Take down the protest site info and put it where you can get it easily.

 

 

Find your Mueller Firing Rapid Response protest site here:

https://act.moveon.org/event/mueller-firing-rapid-response-events/search/

 

 

While you’re at it, review The Plan–what would trigger the protests, and why:

https://act.moveon.org/survey/mueller-firing-rapid-response-plan/?

 

 

And you may as well review the FAQ page, too, and take notes:

https://act.moveon.org/survey/mueller-firing-rapid-response-faq/?

 

 

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 · Marches and Protests · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Leave a Comment and Push Back Against Trump’s Attempt to Limit Protest In Washington, D.C., October 15 LAST CHANCE Edition

Push back against Trump’s attempt to limit protests in Washington, D.C., by leaving a comment on the proposal before the Monday, October 15 deadline.

 

Because this came up quickly and the deadline is Monday, OTYCD will feature this action daily between now and then.

 

Every time Trump does something horrible, which is often, word soon breaks on social media about a quickly organized protest in D.C. on public land. And certainly, you are aware of the nightly #KremlinAnnex protests at Lafayette Square, near the White House, which have been going since summer.

 

Trump, being Trump, doesn’t give a damn about the First Amendment and is trying to limit the ability to protest in the nation’s capital.

 

If this goes through, it would curtail the ability to protest on land that belongs to the National Parks Service (NPS). That includes the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, Lafayette Park, the Ellipse, the White House Sidewalk, and areas along Pennsylvania Avenue, including sidewalks near Trump’s hotel in D.C.

 

It would curtail protests by letting the NPS impose waiting periods on granting protest permits; charge fees for erecting barricades, restoring grass, and similar effects of large gatherings; give the police more latitude to arbitrarily end a protest; and ban long-term protests such as #KremlinAnnex, among other moves.

 

Follow the links below and leave a comment against the proposal, and do it before Monday, October 15 if you can.

 

Please note, however: When you submit a public comment, your words and any info you give to submit the comment will become part of a public record.

 

If you have gone to a protest in D.C., please talk about your experiences in your comment. Stress how vital it is to have the right to engage in free speech, as enshrined in the Bill of Rights, in its very first amendment.

 

Please alert friends and family who have attended protests, even if they haven’t yet managed to go to one in D.C. If these new regulations go through, they will set a bad precedent that could affect protests closer to home.

 

Lastly, follow Ben Wikler on Twitter (@BenWikler) for updates on this matter. He’s the Washington, D.C. head of MoveOn.

 

Here is the link to the ACLU’s page for submitting comments to the NPS:

https://action.aclu.org/petition/dc-restrict-demonstration-rights?redirect=DC-protest-plan&ms_aff=DC&initms_aff=DC&ms=181010_freespeech_DCprotests_BLOG&initms=181010_freespeech_DCprotests_BLOG&ms_chan=web&initms_chan=web

 

 

Here also is the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund’s background page on the NPS proposal:

http://www.justiceonline.org/take_action_now_stop_trump_new_laws_to_crush_protests_in_washington_dc#/5/

 

 

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 · Marches and Protests · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Leave a Comment and Push Back Against Trump’s Attempt to Limit Protest In Washington, D.C., Oct 13-14 Edition

Push back against Trump’s attempt to limit protests in Washington, D.C., by leaving a comment on the proposal before the Monday, October 15 deadline.

 

Because this came up quickly and the deadline is Monday, OTYCD will feature this action daily between now and then.

 

Every time Trump does something horrible, which is often, word soon breaks on social media about a quickly organized protest in D.C. on public land. And certainly, you are aware of the nightly #KremlinAnnex protests at Lafayette Square, near the White House, which have been going since summer.

 

Trump, being Trump, doesn’t give a damn about the First Amendment and is trying to limit the ability to protest in the nation’s capital.

 

If this goes through, it would curtail the ability to protest on land that belongs to the National Parks Service (NPS). That includes the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, Lafayette Park, the Ellipse, the White House Sidewalk, and areas along Pennsylvania Avenue, including sidewalks near Trump’s hotel in D.C.

 

It would curtail protests by letting the NPS impose waiting periods on granting protest permits; charge fees for erecting barricades, restoring grass, and similar effects of large gatherings; give the police more latitude to arbitrarily end a protest; and ban long-term protests such as #KremlinAnnex, among other moves.

 

Follow the links below and leave a comment against the proposal, and do it before Monday, October 15 if you can.

 

Please note, however: When you submit a public comment, your words and any info you give to submit the comment will become part of a public record.

 

If you have gone to a protest in D.C., please talk about your experiences in your comment. Stress how vital it is to have the right to engage in free speech, as enshrined in the Bill of Rights, in its very first amendment.

 

Please alert friends and family who have attended protests, even if they haven’t yet managed to go to one in D.C. If these new regulations go through, they will set a bad precedent that could affect protests closer to home.

 

Lastly, follow Ben Wikler on Twitter (@BenWikler) for updates on this matter. He’s the Washington, D.C. head of MoveOn.

 

Here is the link to the ACLU’s page for submitting comments to the NPS:

https://action.aclu.org/petition/dc-restrict-demonstration-rights?redirect=DC-protest-plan&ms_aff=DC&initms_aff=DC&ms=181010_freespeech_DCprotests_BLOG&initms=181010_freespeech_DCprotests_BLOG&ms_chan=web&initms_chan=web

 

 

Here also is the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund’s background page on the NPS proposal:

http://www.justiceonline.org/take_action_now_stop_trump_new_laws_to_crush_protests_in_washington_dc#/5/

 

 

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 · Marches and Protests · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Leave a Comment and Push Back Against Trump’s Attempt to Limit Protest In Washington, D.C.

Push back against Trump’s attempt to limit protests in Washington, D.C., by leaving a comment on the proposal before the Monday, October 15 deadline.

 

Because this came up quickly and the deadline is Monday, OTYCD will feature this action daily between now and then.

 

Every time Trump does something horrible, which is often, word soon breaks on social media about a quickly organized protest in D.C. on public land. And certainly, you are aware of the nightly #KremlinAnnex protests at Lafayette Square, near the White House, which have been going since summer.

 

Trump, being Trump, doesn’t give a damn about the First Amendment and is trying to limit the ability to protest in the nation’s capital.

 

If this goes through, it would curtail the ability to protest on land that belongs to the National Parks Service (NPS). That includes the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, Lafayette Park, the Ellipse, the White House Sidewalk, and areas along Pennsylvania Avenue, including sidewalks near Trump’s hotel in D.C.

 

It would curtail protests by letting the NPS impose waiting periods on granting protest permits; charge fees for erecting barricades, restoring grass, and similar effects of large gatherings; give the police more latitude to arbitrarily end a protest; and ban long-term protests such as #KremlinAnnex, among other moves.

 

Follow the links below and leave a comment against the proposal, and do it before Monday, October 15 if you can.

 

Please note, however: When you submit a public comment, your words and any info you give to submit the comment will become part of a public record.

 

If you have gone to a protest in D.C., please talk about your experiences in your comment. Stress how vital it is to have the right to engage in free speech, as enshrined in the Bill of Rights, in its very first amendment.

 

Please alert friends and family who have attended protests, even if they haven’t yet managed to go to one in D.C. If these new regulations go through, they will set a bad precedent that could affect protests closer to home.

 

Lastly, follow Ben Wikler on Twitter (@BenWikler) for updates on this matter. He’s the Washington, D.C. head of MoveOn.

 

Here is the link to the ACLU’s page for submitting comments to the NPS:

https://action.aclu.org/petition/dc-restrict-demonstration-rights?redirect=DC-protest-plan&ms_aff=DC&initms_aff=DC&ms=181010_freespeech_DCprotests_BLOG&initms=181010_freespeech_DCprotests_BLOG&ms_chan=web&initms_chan=web

 

 

Here also is the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund’s background page on the NPS proposal:

http://www.justiceonline.org/take_action_now_stop_trump_new_laws_to_crush_protests_in_washington_dc#/5/

 

 

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!