ACTIVISM IN AMERICA

Activism for me began on a freezing day in January, the day following Donald J. Trump’s inauguration. My friend Gina and I drove two hundred miles to march for human rights. We joined 10,000 women, men, and children of all ages, color, gender, and faiths in solidarity against abuses we feared would come with the new president.

It was called the Women’s March, but turned out to be so much more. Started by a woman and spread throughout the world by social media, it energized people to stand up against abuse of power and abuse of human rights.

Before that day, I felt powerless and depressed by the Trump’s campaign rhetoric and win. How could he be our president? He’s not my president.

What happened to America?

Trump’s followers cheered when he led chants to “Build the wall” and when Lt. Gen. Flynn led chants to “Lock her Up.” Trump promised to place someone in the Supreme Court who would be “his judge” to overturn Roe v. Wade after Mitch McConnell blocked President Obama’s nomination for the vacant seat. What happened to separation of church and state? What happened to the Separation of Powers?

What happened to America?

Trump’s cabinet choices appear poised to destroy the agencies they head. Obama regulations to protect people, schools, science, humanities, the poor, the old, the disabled, public lands, our water, our air and the list goes on, are all at risk. Almost every day since his inauguration Trump has failed to fulfill his promises, such as to “drain the swamp.” Instead, he surrounded himself with alligators and top staff with close ties to Russia.

Now, with Flynn fired and Russian connections made public, Flynn may be the one who is locked up. Smoke-screens and stonewalling by the White House and Republican congressional members related to investigation into Russian connections to the Trump campaign may be history is repeating itself. I still have a newspaper with Nixon’s impeachment on the front page. Hopefully, I will be able to add a Trump’s impeachment report to the collection.

Marches of millions in solidarity around the world have energized people to fight back. I hope the people of France choose a centrist leader and do not find them in the same turmoil generated by the right that the United States is experiencing. President Donald Trump has destabilized our country and the world.

Today, very brave Russian citizens plan nationwide anti-Putin protests. The organization, Open Russia, has been banned and blacklisted as an undesirable organization. The Russian Attorney General said the organization threatens Russia’s “constitutional foundations” and “the security of the state.” I looked for information this morning online at RT, the Russian news organization arm of the Russian government. I found little information on the demonstrations. Is this media suppression like Donald Trump advocates?

As you may recall, RT paid Lt. Gen Flynn thousands of dollars to attend an event in Russia with Putin in December 2015, another of Flynn’s Russian contacts he failed to disclose. Flynn worked with the Trump campaign and was named top security advisor by Trump despite known Russian connections – maybe because of Russian connections.

Putin uses his power to destroy, imprison and kill those who oppose him. Open Russia is a threat to his power. Russians risk their lives to rally.

In the U.S., we still have the constitutional right to rally in peace. However, multiple Republican-controlled states are pushing legislation to discourage and criminalize nonviolent public demonstrations. In Minnesota, such a bill passed a Republican-controlled committee to sue protesters to collect money to pay for police forces required at a demonstration. Additional lawmakers in Minnesota and Michigan pushed legislation for fines and possible imprisonment against unions and protesters for picketing. What happened to America?

Many of us returned from the Women’s March with a plan and empowerment to make change. One way to make change is to have your voice heard. Run for office, write letters, contact your congressmen, defend your views, rally, march. Stand up for America.

Join a People’s Climate Mobilization March today near you. https://350.org or Join us today at the Climate Action Rally in Glacier National Park at Lake Mc Donald Lodge at 11:30 am.

RISE UP! We are the resistance.

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About bettykuffel

Author and retired medical doctor with broad interests in writing, flying, photography and outdoor life. She is a monthly health columnist in Montana Woman Magazine and has three nonfiction Indie published books available on Amazon. Writing projects include: multiple books of fiction including a biological thriller, medical thriller series, a romantic intrigue and a mystery set in 1960 co-authored with her sister Bev. Dr. Kuffel lives in MT with husband Tom and dog Valkyrie.
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