Millions of people flooded streets across the world last week to advocate for the rights of women. Just this past weekend, hundreds of thousands more crowded major airports across the country to advocate for the rights of Muslims across the U.S. and all over the world.
In the past week alone, this country has seen an outpouring of intense activism and resistance to a new president and administration that has promoted policy ideas and signed executive orders that would infringe on the rights of the most marginalized people in society.
However, marching and joining protests are not the only means of resistance and advocacy. Taking direct action that is not as visible is just as important as putting one’s physical body on the front lines in a protest.
The Women’s March on Washington has created an action plan comprising 10 actions within 100 days for the purpose of collecting the energy that permeated these marches and turning it into a sustainable movement. Two of the most important actions include contacting senators and signing up to receive information about the next collective action.
Contacting one’s representatives is a simple and easy way to voice one’s thoughts and opinions on an issue most pressing to them, such as the future of reproductive rights, the state of the Affordable Care Act or President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. Even if the representative cannot be reached directly, the act of calling sends a signal about what matters most to the politician’s constituents.
Another way to continue advocating for the civil rights of others is to put your money where your mouth is. The myriad organizations that are currently fighting to protect the rights of the most vulnerable groups would greatly benefit from citizen donations to keep them afloat, particularly at a time when the president has threatened to defund some of these advocacy groups. Some organizations worth donating to include the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. If you have the money to spare, donating money to these organizations and more will go a long way in protecting the rights of those who are targeted by this administration.
But perhaps the most important way to resist is to not be silent. Silence is complacency, and at a time when an administration has no qualms about infringing on people’s human rights, it is dangerous. Speak out if you are angry, upset or afraid. Do not stand by in silence as your fellow humans face marginalization and demonization. A silent opposition is not much of an opposition at all. In this country’s current divisive climate, the most powerful type of resistance is collective, long-lasting and loud.