On Saturdays, the True Blue Report “Blue Ribbon” will be awarded to an individual or group with the most successful, dramatic, or encouraging act of resistance in the previous week.
I will choose some winners in the body of the diary and also accept nominations for others in the comments.
When today began, it was obvious that the premier Blue Ribbon winners for the week were the organizers and participants in the Women’s March on Washington.
The event was a much needed emotional lift after the inauguration on January 20 left a lot of people feeling ill and despondent about the future of democracy. So in January 21 women all over the world got on their feet to show the power of resistance on the very first day of the DJT administration.
Over 400 sister marches were held in the United States in addition to the main march in Washington, D.C., and over 150 sister marches were held in locations all over the world, including a presence on each of the seven continents.
Exact numbers are hard to come by, but the most liberal (!) estimates of worldwide attendance are just short of five million. So YOU get a ribbon, and YOU get a ribbon, and YOU get a ribbon, YOU get a ribbon, and YOU get a ribbon… since they are virtual ribbons we can give out as many as we want!
The enormous crowds in NYC and DC and London and Paris were inspiring, but my spirits were lifted most by the smaller acts of defiance like the tiny group of five on a hospital floor and the hardy group of fifteen in Sandy Cove Nova Scotia (population: 65).
But just as I was about to post this diary I saw a story on MSNBC. Twelve people were being detained pursuant to the executive order signed yesterday by DJT blocking entry into the United States by people traveling from seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen; or as Wonkette put it: “Muslim countries without Trump hotels.” Worse, the government was not even releasing the names of people being detained, so there was no way to provide them with legal counsel or get any information that might help them get released from detention.
The executive order was unconscionable discrimination on religious grounds, signed on a Holocaust Remembrance Day when the DJT official statement intentionally did not mention Jews or antisemitism.
Lawyers everywhere commented that the executive order was obviously unconstitutional, and certainly headed for legal challenge eventually.
But certainly no one expected what happened today.
When I first saw the story, there were less than 100 people protesting at Terminal 4 of JFK airport. They waved handmade signs drawn on file folders and pieces of scrap cardboard with slogans like: “No Person is Illegal”, “Let Them In” and “Free Republic of Brooklyn”. More people arrived as Nydia Velázquez and Jerrold Nadler spoke to the press. Some were wearing pink knitted hats. They chanted “No Justice, No Peace”, “No Ban, No Wall, Justice for All”, “Let Them Go” and so on.
Suddenly social media exploded with news of similar detentions in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles. People with green cards and valid visas were finding themselves in limbo. An Oscar-nominated Iranian director was being refused entry to the US to attend the Academy Awards. Spontaneous demonstrations arose in several cities with international airports and the crowd in NY grew to over a thousand people. Tweets went out asking all available lawyers to come to airports. The resistance was relentless all day, catching folks in the bubble by surprise with the spontaneity, intensity and volume (in numbers and decibels) of people protesting.
We will never be never be anything but LOUD!
White House spokesbots said they were unconcerned and there was no need for panic, that a procedure for review would be put in place for each green card holder to obtain a waiver on a case by case basis. After all the vetting that people have to go through to get a green card? What more could DJT’s minions hope to do? And how could people stranded in airports or foreign cities without internet access or legal help be expected to complete this procedure? And by the way, they admitted the waiver procedure didn’t actually exist yet!
Now ten hours later, an improbable victory: a federal judge has blocked the Trump order with a national stay. Even more important, the DJT administration has been ordered to provide a list including the name of every person who is being detained, so they can have access to legal counsel. Anyone who had already achieved lawful entry status before the Executive Order will not be sent back to their country of origin. It is a temporary stay, and detainees may still be held in detention, but it is still being called a legal defeat for the DJT administration. We won. We won. We won. We won! We pray it is the first of many legal defeats to come.
Protesters are jubilant, changing their chants to “We are the Wall and Trump will Pay”, No Hate, No Fear, refugees are welcome Here” and “Show Me What Democracy Looks Like/This is What Democracy Looks Like”! One new sign says “Give Me Your Tired, Give Me Your Poor, Trump Doesn’t Own the Golden Door”.
DJT is learning, slowly but surely, that he is not a dictator. For now at least, he still has to answer to the courts. And maybe it will get through his thick pumpkin skull that there is a good reason why sweeping immigration changes affecting the lives of millions of people are usually done in measured ways after consultation with legal experts, not just on the hastily-drafted say so of bigots from Breitbart.com.
So in addition to the Women’s March organizers and participants, the True Blue Report also recognizes as Blue Ribbon winners of the week all the demonstrators and lawyers who effected this amazing national stay of DJT’s immigration ban in just one day!
DJT must be fuming. I can’t wait to see what the tweetstorm response will be. Poor snowflake in chief. Even becoming president is not enough to make people like him.
Please add in the comments links and info about any resistance efforts in your area or nationally that you want to recognize from the past week and they will get Blue Ribbons too!
And where are his supporters? So far they have not turned out in support of any of his policies. It must drive them crazy that we outnumber them.
In the meantime, we need to celebrate every win to help keep our spirits up.
There are no small victories! Let’s party!
Previous TRUE BLUE REPORT diaries
Jan 27: I wish Steve Bannon would tell me to keep my mouth shut
Jan 26: Thursday Action—Have you ever written a letter to the editor? Here’s how to start
Jan 25: The Asch Conformity Study, inauguration crowds, and the importance of speaking out
Jan 24: #ResistTrumpTuesday—good news day or another paying dues day?
Jan 23: Spy the Lie 101: How to enjoy watching Rcon spokesbot interviews, even KAC!
Jan 22: Why I prayed for the President* today
Jan 21: The only silver lining in the midst of these clouds
Inaugural (!) diary: Stop expecting Republicons to make sense