The massive Women’s March in Washington last Saturday started off with a bang the resistance to the incoming administration of Donald Trump and his policies. The breadth and scale of the myriad sister marches held around the country and the globe, from big cities to small towns, amplified that even more.
But everyone is asking, what now? How do we harness the energy, excitement and momentum of that day of protest into an organized and ongoing resistance needed to constrain the political options of the new administration and block its worst plans?
The answer won’t be a single organization or effort. There is no magic bullet. But Tuesday, January 24 marks a key next step in the resistance.
People’s Action, MoveOn.org, Working Families Party, and other allies across the country are holding actions at the offices of Democratic and Republican senators on Tuesday with a clear message: “Stop the #SwampCabinet.” Many organizations will continue weekly protests against Trump and Trumpism every Tuesday as part of #RiseUpTuesdays, initiated by People’s Action.
As a candidate, Trump promised to “drain the swamp,” to get rid of the old corrupt Washington political class. He must have forgotten his pledge. Trump’s cabinet is the whitest, oldest group of nominees that we have had since Ronald Reagan was president. It is also perhaps the richest group of people ever assembled for those posts. Trump’s cabinet is full of billionaires, Washington insiders and cronies. It is truly a “swamp cabinet.”
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One of the worst of the bunch is Georgia Rep. Tom Price, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Price is plagued with scandals over possible insider trading, conflicts of interest and deep connections to the pharmaceutical industry. Price admitted to profiting from investments from medical corporations that benefited from legislation he wrote. He has been put up by Trump to end Obamacare, threatening the health of nearly 30 million people. When questioned by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in hearings last week, Price refused to affirm that we should have a guaranteed right to health care.
The Senate’s Finance Committee will question Price as activists make their voices heard at local Senate offices. Groups are calling for senators to vote “no” to Price’s confirmation.
Price has proven himself to be unfit. We need a secretary of HHS committed to the health of all the people of this country. Price will roll back health care instead of expanding it.
Trump did not receive the majority of the popular vote, nor did he receive a mandate for his destructive agenda. That truth was made clear with the Women’s March.
Now it is up to the people’s movements to show it and prove it in the streets and in the halls of power. That effort starts now and continues every Tuesday during Trump’s first hundred days.