The Tea Party Movement had real, hurtful effects on American politics. It pulled the Republican Party far to the right and the center of gravity of the American political system with it. It set the stage for the rise of Trump and the thrashing of Democrats at the state and local level.
It also set a powerful example for approaching politics from a social movement perspective, rather than using compromise as a strategy for change.
We believe that the current resistance can give rise to a social movement of far more lasting power than the Tea Party—and that this movement will shift our country in a direction away from the Tea Party’s cruel aims and towards justice for all.
By changing the political weather, we can turn demands that seem unrealistic today into the new common sense—and then we can win them.
Medicare for All. Free public college. Criminal justice reform. Strong, unapologetic protections for reproductive rights. A $15 minimum wage and a fair, progressive tax system in which the rich pay their fair share.
It will take hard work. But millions have already shown that they are willing to do it.
It will take a commitment to minimally participating in each of the three types of protest—changing the political weather and drawing new supporters into our movement through protest; resisting elected officials with the tools at our disposal; and winning elections against Republicans while pulling the Democratic Party towards our movement and away from establishment-centered, compromise-driven politics.
As the Resistance Guide goes to press in the summer of Trump’s first year in office, the future remains unwritten. The GOP has had trouble gaining traction on their agenda—yet they remain committed to undoing Obamacare, slashing taxes on the wealthy, and using executive power to impose reactionary environmental and criminal justice policies. Special elections suggest that the Republicans will be on the defensive in 2018—but no U.S. House seats have flipped, despite millions of dollars in campaign spending.
But that’s only the story that we hear on TV. The real story is happening elsewhere.
It’s happening in mass trainings across the country, as longtime activists and newly engaged protestors commit to common principles and action. It’s happening in small groups that are coming together and doing their part to resist the Trump agenda. It’s happening in sit-ins at elected officials’ offices, in local races across the country, in small actions on campuses and at City Halls.
Fueled by hope, a movement is growing.
Affiliate with the Resistance Guide
If you would like support from the Resistance Guide and our network, we would love for you to affiliate with us as a Resistance Circle. Affiliation is not exclusive—you’re welcome join us and continue working with Indivisible or any other existing group.
To affiliate, we ask three things:
- That you use the principles, meta-narrative and brand that we provide through this guide, through our meeting scripts, and on our website.
- That you sign up for a Resistance Guide training.
- That you put your Circle’s contact information on the map at our website, so others can see that the resistance is growing!
- Sign up for a training with the Resistance Guide and learn everything you need to know to be a leader in the resistance.
- Download, share and give away this Resistance Guide.
- Use our Resistance Circle Map to find a Circle near you, or start your own!
- Download this Group Meeting Planning Guide to use for small group meetings and presentations.
- Download these Principles for small groups (basic guidelines to follow when forming or joining a Resistance Circle).
Mark and Paul Engler have a series of articles in Waging Nonviolence on topics covered in their book:
- Surviving the ups and downs of social movements
- What makes nonviolent movements explode?
- Gandhi’s strategy for success — use more than one strategy
- From the Berlin Wall to today — Lessons for harnessing the moment of the whirlwind
- How did Gandhi win?
- When the pillars fall — How social movements can win more victories like same-sex marriage
- Should we fight the system or be the change?
- Can Frances Fox Piven’s theory of disruptive power create the next Occupy?
- "This Is An Uprising": A Conversation with Mark Engler
- Would Saul Alinsky break his own rules?
- Why targeting corporate Democrats is part of the fight against Trump
- How to win in populist times
- Participation is everything — a conversation with Erica Chenoweth
- How the Southern Strategy Made Donald Trump Possible
The following list includes groups that are advancing the resistance. Focus and style varies from group to group. Don’t hesitate to try more than one before you decide where you want to concentrate your activity.
- Working Families Party
- People Power, ACLU
- Center for Popular Democracy
- Progressive Democrats of America
- Justice Democrats
- Brand New Congress
- Working Families Party