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Help Journalist Linda Tirado, Who Was Blinded in One Eye While Covering Protests in Minneapolis

Help journalist Linda Tirado, aka @KillerMartinis, who was blinded in her left eye while covering protests in Minneapolis on Friday, May 29, 2020.

 

First, an apology. We at OTYCD have been meaning to write a post about Tirado for, oooh, over a year, at least. She understands how to report about the realities of poverty like few journalists do.

 

We held off because we wanted whoever wrote the post to have read Tirado’s book, Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America, and offer a book review while telling you how awesome she is.

 

But we wanted to make sure we paid full price for her book, and OTYCD has no budget, and Trumpstuff kept happening and kept happening and kept happening, and we just never got to it.

 

So we’re sorry, deeply sorry, that we’re doing our first post on Linda Tirado because she was hurt while covering the Minneapolis protests. She believes she was struck by a rubber bullet that launched from where police had been at the time.

 

Protesters helped her get out and get to a hospital. Doctors tell her she is likely to permanently lose sight in her left eye.

 

Tirado was one of several journalists who were injured by police during protests of deadly police brutality in late May, 2020. She appears to be the most badly injured of those who suffered attacks.

 

In true Linda Tirado fashion, she live-tweeted the aftermath of the incident through her @KillerMartinis account, staying bracingly true and darkly funny all the while:

 

 

So me and this nurse have gotten into a gallows humor contest to see which is worse, a nurse or a journo I think since I’m the one with the exploded eye I win by default

 

Guys I just realized that now I have like an unbeatable excuse to refuse to parallel park

 

Up side, I do not have the plague, they tested me for covid and that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Fucked world where I’m like “well they might have exploded my eyeball but at least it got me basic medical care!”

 

Okay because people are awful and we can’t even take a day off it comes to my attention that some folks are using my injury to argue that people should stop protesting Fuck that, stay in the streets double for me, cause I can’t. It was police who shot me, not protesters.

 

It was protesters who got me to the hospital, who gave me medical supplies and acted as my eyes when I couldn’t see past the blood and swelling I am not your establishment’s argument. And I am happy to tell you so directly.

 

No worries, I’ve been back at work for five hours now My job is to witness and they only got my left eye. My right one is good to go

 

 

Tirado is a fine journalist, amazing on Twitter, and hugely generous, helping folks out by soliciting donations online.

 

She needs us now. Her medical bills must be high already, and we’re guessing she’ll need more surgery in the future.

 

 

So! Please, sign on to her Patreon:

https://www.patreon.com/bootstrap/posts

 

 

Buy Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America, preferably from an independent bookstore:

https://www.strandbooks.com/product/9780399171987?title=hand_to_mouth_living_in_bootstrap_america

 

Follow Linda Tirado on Twitter:

@KillerMartinis

 

…and boost her work wherever and however you can. Ask your library to acquire her book. Share her tweets. Share her work.

 

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!

 

FWIW, we put up the Twitter logo rather than a photo of Linda Tirado for a bunch of reasons. We don’t want to use a post-injury hospital photo because it’ll stay on top of this post forever, and we don’t want it to “stand for” her and be the way you “meet” her. And the portrait photos she uploaded to Patreon and Twitter are too small to scrape. If a good, larger image of her appears, we’ll swap it in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Help the Arrested Protesters, Damaged Businesses, and Others Affected by Protests Denouncing the Deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor

Help the arrested protesters, damaged businesses, and others affected by the protests denouncing the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

 

America has been roiled by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, both black, and both killed by police.

 

Floyd’s life was taken in Minneapolis as he complied with being arrested. Taylor was killed in Louisville, Kentucky by police serving a no-knock warrant.

 

We don’t need to tell you that people are Sick Of This Shit.

 

Protests arose in Minneapolis and several other American cities in the wake of the killings and have continued through the last week of May 2020.

 

This post collects information on GoFundMe pages and other efforts established to help those affected by the protests.

 

These include protesters who were arrested and need bail money and also businesses and neighborhoods that suffered damage.

 

We at OTYCD expect to update this page periodically as we learn of new efforts and delist older ones that have received sufficient funds.

 

We will not be including online petitions [scroll to the bottom of this page to learn why].

 

We also won’t post about upcoming in-person protests [scroll almost to the bottom of this page to learn why].

 

And we apologize that so many of these actions involve donations of money during a time when so many have lost their jobs. If you can’t give right now, understood. Instead, share this information widely and encourage others to do what they can.

 

One last warning: Some of the links below contain graphic descriptions and possibly video links that detail the death of George Floyd.

 

 

Read the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)’s text, Fighting Police Abuse: A Community Action Manual:

https://www.aclu.org/other/fighting-police-abuse-community-action-manual

 

 

Read this Star-Tribune piece about how to help Minneapolis:

https://www.startribune.com/need-help-want-to-help-twin-cities-groups-offer-resources-for-folks-hurt-by-riots/570894392/?refresh=true

 

 

Here’s a roundup from The Cut titled How to Help Demand Justice for George Floyd:

https://www.thecut.com/2020/05/george-floyd-protests-how-to-help-where-to-donate.html

 

 

We Love Lake Street helps small businesses and nonprofits in Minneapolis’s Lake Street area to rebuild:

https://www.welovelakestreet.com

 

 

You can give, specifically, to the Minnesota branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU):

https://www.aclu-mn.org/en/donate

 

 

The Minnesota Freedom Fund provides bail money and has been boosting other bail funds and worthy local causes through its Twitter account:

@MNFreedomFund

…and donate through this page [please note: they DO NOT have a Venmo. Only use the donation tools offered here]:

https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/donate

 

 

Donate to the Louisville Community Bail Fund:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-0KC83vYfVQ-2freQveH43PWxuab2uWDEGolzrNoIks/mobilebasic

 

 

Donate to a different bail fund in your area:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2019/09/01/donate-to-these-bail-funds-across-america-3/

 

 

Here’s a Google Doc full of assorted resources.

 

 

We’re putting the official George Floyd Memorial Fund’s GoFundMe page last because its goal was $1.5 million and as of May 30, 2020, it had raised $3.8 million. It belongs here regardless.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

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Give Blood to Fight the Summer Slowdown in Donations

This OTYCD post originally appeared in July 2018. Combine expected summer slowdowns in blood donation with the havoc that COVID-19 has wreaked on blood donation drives, and things are dire. Please give if you can. 

 

Please donate blood before and during the summer months, a time when donations tend to fall off sharply.

 

The Red Cross always needs donations of blood and platelets, but things get worse in the summer months, when schedules are disrupted by vacations and blood drives at high schools and colleges are not an option.

 

If you are a regular donor, please plan vacations with your donation schedule in mind, and try to recruit a friend or two to come and donate with you during the summer.

 

If it’s been a while since you gave, think about how and when to work a blood drive into your summer plans.

 

If you have never donated, find out if you are eligible, and consider whether it is something you feel you can do.

 

 

Find the Red Cross blood drive happening closest to you:

http://www.redcross.org

 

 

Read about how blood and platelet donations tend to drop severely–losing as many as 100,000–during the summer:

http://www.redcrossblood.org/news/nne/red-cross-urges-blood-and-platelet-donations-summer

 

 

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!

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Learn to Evangelize (In a Good Way)

This OTYCD post originally appeared in February 2018. 

 

Learn, and practice, how to tell the story of the candidates you support, and become an evangelist for them.

 

One of the most important things you can do to push back against Trump is convince people to come out and vote against his democracy-destroying agenda. But if you really want to be effective, you want to immerse yourself in the merits and the story of a non-Trumpish candidate, fully master it, and be ready to make a powerful, personal, eloquent case for voting for them.

 

Now, a personal confession. Sarah Jane here. I’m the founder of the OTYCD blog and the lead wrangler of research and of its anonymous writers. This is my 2016 story.

 

So it’s late 2015 or so and the election is starting to gear up. I resign myself to voting for Clinton. I’m meh on her but I don’t think Bernie can do the job, the Republicans are all thoroughly horrible, and the third party options look miserable, too.

 

But at some point I see clips from that eleven-hour Congressional Benghazi hearing.

 

And I see Clinton own those Republican twerps like the boss she is. Own. Them. Completely and thoroughly. She cleans the floor with them till she can see her face in it, and she doesn’t even break a sweat. She slays. She dominates. She destroys. Through her actions and her attitude, she reveals the hearings for what they are–a formal, coordinated attempt to kneecap her 2016 presidential campaign–and she ain’t havin’ it. At all.

 

And I realized: She can do this, and she wants to do this. She is crazy-smart and ludicrously skilled, and she has a skin as thick as a rhino’s, and she actually wants to be president. She’s been through hell and back so many times, from so many different directions, she could write a guidebook on it for Lonely Planet. She has taken far more than her allotted ration of shit in this life. She has long since earned the right to walk in the woods and play with her grandkids. But she wants to do this. Damn. Whoa.

 

In that moment I became a Clinton convert. The scales fell from my eyes. I went from ‘meh’ to ‘yeah!’ I was *excited* to vote for her. Not as much as I was for Obama, but I was excited.

 

Now, here’s my sin: I didn’t tell anyone about my change of heart. At no point before the 2016 election did I speak up to anyone else and say why I was excited to vote for her.

 

I donated to her campaign. I voted for her in the primary. I stayed on top of the issues. I watched all three debates. I voted for her for president. But never did I ever sit with friends and family and spontaneously say why I was so jazzed to vote for Hillary Clinton.

 

I live in a state that went overwhelmingly for Clinton. I can tell myself that not speaking well of her once I started thinking well of her made no difference.

 

But c’mon. What if more of us had shown genuine enthusiasm for voting for her? What if more of us had evangelized for her?

 

What if our friends and family made note of that, and passed the word to others–that there are people out there, sane and fine people, who actually like Clinton and want to vote for her?

 

Don’t get me wrong–I realize she had a fine contingent of folks who did speak well of her, early and often, and I realize a goodly number of them read this blog. I’m wondering how things might be different if that contingent were bigger, and if folks who share my Clinton journey had stepped up and joined it.

 

The overriding perception was that those who cast votes for either major presidential candidate in 2016 did so while holding their noses.

 

Remember the ‘Giant Meteor 2016’ bumper stickers? Judging by the way the election was covered, no one would blame you for thinking it was a giant nationwide game of ‘Would You Rather?’

 

It wasn’t, or at least it wasn’t for me. I liked Clinton, and I still like her, and what she stands for. And I’ve gone from being irked to pissed to stabby about how the right wing noise machine has done its level best to smear her for 30 goddamn years.

 

It’s too late to do right by Hillary Clinton, the presidential candidate. But you can devote yourself to becoming a better evangelist for non-Trumpish candidates running in special elections and in 2018 who will restore and defend our democracy. (“Non-Trumpish” candidates include Republicans and conservatives who have spines, btw.)

 

You don’t have to formally join their campaigns to be effective. Heck, you might be more effective if you don’t. Just do your damnedest to learn about them, and what they stand for, and figure out what it is about them that you connect with most, and tell others why.

 

You have power. You have friends and family who listen to you and value what you have to say. Hearing people you trust speak happily, and authentically, about a candidate for office helps that candidate’s chances of winning that office.

 

Speaking up is scary. Some people will challenge you, talk over you, even yell at you and try to shout you down. But you need to speak up anyway. It’s too important. Do not succumb to silence. Do what you have to do to learn how to speak up, and get good at it, and start working on it now, in summer 2017, well before the primaries.

 

We need you. We need every voice. Our democracy depends on it.

 

Update: Since I wrote this I realized (headsmack) that many of those who stuck up for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign got shouted down, and they’re still getting shouted down months later. I can only point back to my own experience.

 

I know most of my crowd was pro-Clinton, but no one expressed spontaneous enthusiasm for her. I don’t think I would have felt any pushback if I had voiced my enthusiasm in real life (online is of course another matter) but I can’t know because I did not think to try.

 

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Uncategorized

Join Indivisible’s Payback Project and Target Nine GOP Senators for Defeat in November 2020

This OTYCD post originally ran in February 2020. We’ll repost it at least once a month until it’s obsolete. 

 

Sign on to Indivisible’s Payback Project and help defeat nine GOP Senators who have failed us, over and over again, and who are up for re-election in November 2020.

 

The current GOP have shown us that they are not interested in democracy unless it means they control everything, all the time, and they always get what they want, no matter how ruinous it is and no matter how many citizens oppose it.

 

They also aren’t interested in democracy unless it means that they can stop Democrats from governing if voters give that party control, and unless it means that the Democrats get nothing they want, ever, no matter how useful and necessary it is, and no matter how many citizens support it.

 

When Republicans get control of a branch of the government, by however slim the margin, they behave as if we have a parliamentary system–they act as if they own every branch of government and they act as if the Democratic party and the citizens who cast ballots for them doesn’t exist.

 

The January 31, 2020 vote to prevent witnesses from testifying in the impeachment trial of President Trump is only the latest betrayal by the GOP. It was an expected one, for sure, and we were braced for it, but still. The craven cowardice and the utter and complete failure to do the tough but vital job that the Founders intended was galling.

 

Two big reasons explain why the GOP folded like cheap laundry: They’re afraid of Trump, and they’re afraid to lose their jobs, and the status that comes with them.

 

We need to show them that they’re scared of the wrong people.

 

They should be scared of the voters instead. And because they failed to do their jobs when we most needed them to stand firm and do them, we will take them away.

 

Indivisible has launched a campaign to achieve that goal. Its Payback Project targets nine GOP Senators of the 22 who are up for re-election in November 2020.

 

Under the banner of “Get Angry. Then, Get Even,” it gives voters many options for pushing back against the nine and aiding their defeat.

 

 

The nine targeted GOP Senators are:

 

Martha McSally, Arizona

 

Cory Gardner, Colorado

 

David Perdue, Georgia

 

Joni Ernst, Iowa

 

Mitch McConnell, Kentucky (also Senate Majority Leader)

 

Susan Collins, Maine

 

Thom Tillis, North Carolina

 

Lindsey Graham, South Carolina

 

John Cornyn, Texas

 

 

Indivisible has a “four-pronged plan” to show these Senators the errors of their ways:

 

Build awareness and accountability by placing newspaper ads and using other means to alert constituents in their home states to their shitty votes.

 

Boost local political power through growing Indivisible groups already on the ground and providing them support.

 

Organize to win, and

 

Get out the vote (GOTV).

 

 

See the main site for Indivisible’s Payback Project.

 

 

See the nine Senatorial targets of the Payback Project.

 

 

See the Payback Project plan.

 

 

See what the Payback Project is asking members to weigh in on currently.

 

 

Donate to the Payback Project.

 

 

Like the Payback Project by liking the Indivisible Guide page on Facebook.

 

 

Follow the Payback Project by following Indivisible on Twitter.

 

 

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!

 

Uncategorized

Learn to Welcome Others to the Movement, Period, Full Stop

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017.

 

Learn to welcome others to the movement, period, full stop.

 

In November 2016, New York magazine published a fascinating article that didn’t get the recognition it deserved. Titled Why Some Protests Succeed While Others Fail and filed under its Science of Us blog, the story contained mind-blowing revelations about how best to cultivate and direct the anti-Trump energy that arose after the election.

 

http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/11/how-should-trump-protesters-organize-themselves.html

 

First, let’s list the takeaways from the piece, as identified by the writer, Jesse Singal. These boil down to:

 

Use Trump to draw people in, but don’t make him your lasting focus. Otherwise, your energy and your momentum will evaporate along with him when he goes.

 

Welcome everyone who wants to protest with youand make them feel welcome.

 

Don’t be violent.

 

The mind-blowing bits appear in the section where Singal discusses the second point, about the value of making people feel welcome. He cites the work of sociologist Ziad Munson, who has studied why people join and become increasingly active in causes such as the pro-life movement. Here are the mind-blowing bits, quoted in full (bold is added by OTYCD):

 

One of the key things he’s found, over and over and over, is that people often get involved in movements without having particularly strong ideological commitments to them.

 

Take the anti-abortion activists who were the subject of Munson’s book The Making of Pro-life Activists: How Social Mobilization Works. “I went back and I tried to determine what were their beliefs about abortion the first time they were involved in some kind of pro-life activity,” whether a protest in front of a clinic, the March for Life, or whatever else, he explained. “At that moment, only half of them would have considered themselves pro-life.” Moreover, a quarter “would have openly said they were pro-choice.” So why do they get involved? Someone asks them to. In one instance, for example, a woman’s eventually intense, long-term involvement in anti-abortion causes began simply because her doctor, whom she respected a great deal, asked her to come to an event. Prior to that, it just wasn’t something she had thought of.

 

Why is this mind-blowing? It shows you how much power you have.

 

Yes, you.

 

You’re doing so much good work to push back against Trump. You have one more task to add to your To-Do List: Ask someone to join you in pushing back against Trump.

 

You don’t have to do it thisverysecond. But you should think about who you want to invite, and when, and what you want to invite them to do.

 

Maybe you ask them to go to a protest with you. Maybe you ask them to go to a League of Women Voters’ meeting with you. Maybe you ask them to phone-bank for a Democratic candidate with you. Maybe you ask them to go to a member of Congress’s next local town hall meeting with you. Maybe you ask them to write and stamp postcards with you.

 

Whatever works. Whatever makes sense. Just do it.

 

Then keep doing it. Keep inviting other people–especially those who like you and trust you–to join you in pushing back against Trump.

 

Keep doing it until Trump is gone and we’ve cleaned up all the wreckage he’ll leave behind.

 

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Uncategorized

Find Out Which Organizations Are Handling the Grab-and-Go Lunch Program at Your Local Public Schools, and Donate to Them

Re-running this post, which first appeared in March 2020, because COVID-19 lockdowns are still A Thing, and an increasing number of states are cancelling the remainder of the 2019-2020 K-12 public school year.

 

Find out which organizations are handling the grab-and-go lunch program at your local public schools, and give them money.

 

The spread of Covid-19 is pitilessly exposing all the frayed links in our social safety net. One obstacle to shutting down public school systems is the fact that for a significant minority of children, their only reliable source of meals is their school cafeteria.

 

Grab-and-go lunch programs have sparked into being to serve this need by opening the school daily only to those who need meals.

 

We’re asking you to call around, find out which organizations are responsible for running the grab-and-go programs, and donate to their efforts.

 

If you have a kid in school, try emailing the school’s administrative office or asking about it on your school’s Facebook page.

 

Alternately, you could try calling your local school department, or your local food bank. They’ll probably know the answer or know who else you can check with.

 

Another thing to think about for the near future is supporting school-based feeding programs during the summer. We wrote about this before, and deadlines for food donations and for offering a specific venue as a feeding site start arriving this month and next.

 

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!