As you may have heard, yesterday Donald Trump signed the second version of his Muslim Ban after repeatedly having his first version smashed in court after court.
This updated version is hardly any different than the first one in that it continues to target immigrants and refugees from countries whose people have done nothing to harm the United States. Not a single immigrant or refugee from any of the countries in this updated version of the Muslim ban have killed one American citizen – not one.
This ban isn’t about national security. This ban isn’t about your safety or mine. This ban is about bigotry. This ban is about appearances. This ban is kind of like how our country went to war with Iraq after 9/11. Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with the attack, but our nation didn’t want to look like it didn’t care, or didn’t know what it was doing, so it started a devastating war with a completely unrelated country.
When the first Muslim ban was issued, the ACLU led the way in fighting it back in courts from coast to coast and protests broke out in airports all over the country. It was a powerful moment that caused the ACLU to begin asking some very important questions about how they do their work moving forward.
Instead of just fighting their battles in the courtroom, the ACLU wants to help empower those of us who aren’t lawyers or judges, everyday people, to work side by side with them as they fight to protect our constitutional rights.
I’m proud to be partnering with the ACLU in their launch of a brand new project called People Power. You can sign up for it right now at PeoplePower.org.
On this Saturday, March 11th, in thousands of house parties across the country, the ACLU is hosting a live training to help you and I form grassroots coalitions to fight alongside them. These coalitions will not only help us fight back together against the Muslim ban, but against each and every way the Trump administration and their allies try to infringe upon our constitutional rights.
Because here’s what I know…
When we don’t control the House, the Senate, or the Presidency – many more of our battles will have to be in the courts and in the streets. Our ancestors understood this very well. If you study the Civil Rights Movement you will consistently find grassroots activists and everyday people like Rosa Parks protesting, marching, sitting in, and boycotting alongside smart attorneys who were actively fighting their own battles in America’s courts. Nearly every major victory we had in the Civil Rights Movement was a smart partnership between protesters, policymakers, and lawyers fighting for changes in the courts.
I’m speaking in Seattle later today at the University of Washington, tomorrow I’ll be speaking at several community rallies all over Seattle, and on Thursday I’ll be speaking at the University of Illinois.
And when I travel, the question I get the most is this – “Shaun, what can I do to make a change? How can I help fight back against Donald Trump?”
I believe what the ACLU is aiming to do at PeoplePower.org is one such solution and I’d love for you to give it a shot. After you sign up, you’ll get a welcome email from some good people I know there at the ACLU and they’ll give you some instructions on how you can participate in the nationwide training this Saturday.
They are also creating a field guide to help us understand some of the important local laws and changes all of us can and should be fighting for in the days and weeks ahead. If you’d like to host a training, or attend one that has already been organized, head on over to PeoplePower.org and sign up.
And I’ll close with this thought – I am determined, when we look back on this time, 5, 10, or 25 years from now, I am determined to make sure each and every one of us can say with confidence that we fought back against Donald Trump. I am determined for us to not be passive. Don’t wonder what you should’ve done. Get in there and fight back. Every little bit matters.