#RESIST: 8 ways to fight the rise of tyranny
By Julia Norton
Our democracy is under attack.
Make no mistake, while the political climate created by the Trump administration feels like a descent into chaos, it is in fact a calculated slide into a nationalist regime ruled by a tyrant.
While it’s tempting to panic, or to throw up our hands and abandon ourselves to the tiny hands of a would-be dictator, we must remember that tyrants rely on the complicity of the people. Our perceived helplessness only feeds the monster. We can fight this!
Luckily, Yale professor and Holocaust historian Timothy Snyder has written a book, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, containing twenty concrete ways to resist tyranny.
If the machinations of this administration do not align with your beliefs, On Tyranny is essential reading, and we strongly encourage you to pick up a copy.
Our list of eight ways to resist is heavily inspired by Snyder’s work.
8 WAYS TO FIGHT THE RISE OF TYRANNY
REMEMBER: THIS IS NOT NORMAL
The current political climate is not normal! Do not attempt to adjust to the use of racist, xenophobic rhetoric. Do not "get used to" arguments for stripping away our freedoms. As Timothy Snyder reminds us in his book, when we accept “the new normal,” we accept oppression. Feed your outrage — it’s one of the greatest weapons available to us.
DO NOT STAY QUIET
Speak up about how you feel, be it on social media or at the dinner table. Lead by example; people are listening, watching, and reading. Too often, comments only come from those would silence opposition to the Trump administration. Combat the bullies with comments, not just likes.
Get into the habit of speaking up against micro-aggressions and jokes at the expense of the oppressed. These things matter.
SUPPORT YOUR INSTITUTIONS
The media is our greatest defense, and it’s under attack.Buy a subscription to The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Boston Globe. Don't know how much costs? We've done the homework for you:
The New York Times — Online subscriptions start at $15/month. Happen to be a student? Your first month is free, and then it's only $4/month! Click here to subscribe. It's free to cancel anytime!
The Washington Post — Your first month is only .99 cents, then subscriptions start at $9.99 per month thereafter. ($31 discount if you buy an annual subscription for just $99). Click here to subscribe. It's free to cancel anytime!
The Boston Globe — Your first month is only $3.96 (.99 per week), then $15.96 per month thereafter ($3.99 per week). Click here to subscribe. It's free to cancel anytime!
PICK UP THE PHONE
Add this number to your contacts list and call it: (202)-224-3121. This is the switchboard of the Capitol, which will help you connect with your representatives. Not sure what to say? This article has a great template: http://www.refinery29.com/2017/01/138465/how-to-call-senator
LEARN ABOUT (AND SUPPORT) NET NEUTRALITY
You've seen it in the news, but do you understand the complexities of net neutrality? If you don't, watch the video clip below, then utilize John Oliver’s “go FCC yourself” link to leave a comment with your support for net neutrality: www.gofccyourself.com .
WHEN YOU LAND ON THE FCC'S WEBSITE CLICK ON
ON THE NEXT PAGE, THE PROCEEDING # WILL ALREADY BE FILLED IN. SIMPLY TYPE IN YOUR NAME, ADDRESS AND COMMENT OF SUPPORT.
DON'T KNOW WHAT TO TYPE? FEEL FREE TO USE THIS:
"I urge you to keep strong net neutrality rules backed by Title II. The importance of a freely accessible internet cannot be overstated!"
HARNESS THE POWER OF SYMBOLS
According to Snyder, symbols hold immense power and help enforce the status quo (hello swastikas, yellow stars). To combat tyranny, harness the power of symbols yourself in a positive way. Get a bumper sticker or a hat representing the organizations you care about. Seeing a symbol of resistance will encourage others and often the companies that offer such products donate to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, etc.
Wanna donate money to the cause by spending money on things you already buy?
Get a hand poured, vegan, non-toxic candle from this Boston-based company and its owners will donate to either Planned Parenthood or the ACLU (you get to choose!). Their RESIST candle is a blend of Rosemary, Sage and Lavender.
Buy it here $23
BECOME AN ACTIVE CITIZEN
Sign up to be a delegate for your district — all it takes is a few meetings and a trip to the capitol to vote for your political party’s state chair. Timothy Snyder highlights the importance of being friendly to your neighbors, particularly those from oppressed communities. Get involved in a protest in your hometown. Speak up and defend yourself and your neighbors from those who would turn us against one another.
FOLLOW and/or DM this girl on Instagram for more info about becoming a delegate for your district: @ashleyy_janee
She ran to become a delegate in the Riverside, California area, and just this last May went up to Sacramento to vote for California's next DNC chair!
INGRAIN THIS DATE IN YOUR MIND: November 6th, 2018
It’s the date of the midterm elections. Make sure you’re registered to vote beforehand and remember to SHOW UP TO VOTE. This election will shape our country’s future forever.