Alert #26: A Virtual Museum of Ephemera from the Resistance

Material evidence of the anti-Trump resistance has been flooding in. When there were just two pages, they went on the refrigerator with a magnet (part 1). As the volume increased, the stuff went into a file folder (part 2). Then it started spilling over into my little living space (parts 3-5).

Now it’s all online.

Part 1 consists of the following:

  1. A letter from the Southern Poverty Law Center thanking me for my donation in the name of Donald Trump and telling me that his name would go on their Wall of Tolerance. As you can see, I circled the phone number, so as to call and say, “Guys, are you kidding me? Is Trump’s name really going on your Wall of Tolerance? Which part of this joke don’t you understand?” (When I actually got someone on the phone, I toned it down.)The middle-aged-sounding woman who answered said that she would need to check. I waited on hold. She returned and informed me that no, Trump’s name would not go on the Wall of Tolerance and yes, they understood that it was a joke.

Phew!

  1. Both sides of a leaflet, Spanish and English, handed to me by a fellow demonstrator in front of Senator Charles E. Schumer’s office back in November sometime. (The E., as the Senator now makes a point of noting, stands for “Ellis,” after his Uncle Ellis, who, in turn, was named for Ellis Island.)Note the web link at the bottom of the leaflet: <www.revcom.us>, aka the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. The same demonstrator who gave me the leaflet, a kindly gentleman who looked upwards of 70, also offered me a poster bearing the same logo. I must say that although I was completely in accord with the text of both the leaflet and the poster (although maybe they throw the word ‘fascist’ around a little too liberally, no pun intended), I have spent too much time in communist countries (as well as reading and translating books about them) to feel comfortable waving a poster bearing that logo. So the poster I politely declined, and the leaflet I took.

Part 2 consists of the following:

  1. The cover of the Cond√© Nast special commemorative magazine Rise Up!, about the Women’s March, purchased at the newsstand in Grand Central. (page 1)
  2. A handout distributed to demonstrators in front of Senator CES’s office on 7 February outlining his position on the DeVos and Sessions confirmations. (pp. 2-5)
  3. A New York Times op-ed by Schumer about Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch. (pp. 6-7)
  4. A handout from Schumer’s office entitled “The War on Seniors,” outlining his position on the confirmation of Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services. (pp. 8-9)
  5. Schumer’s floor remarks on the confirmation of Mick Mulvaney for Director of the Office of Management and Budget. (pp. 10-11)
    An aide distributed items 3-5 to demonstrators in front of the Senator’s Manhattan office on 14 February.
  6. Printout of chants sent out by rally organizers in advance of the 14 February gathering in front of Schumer’s office. (pp. 12-13)Incidentally, on the 14th, the organizers asked demonstrators to bring Valentines to Schumer asking him for a date, i.e., a town hall meeting, as Congressional recess was the following week. Aides collected our Valentines, either for transmission to the Senator or to log. (Logging Valentines–how romantic!) I think I managed to find the only platonic Valentine in the rack at my corner drugstore. All the others I saw declared undying ardor of the unplatonic kind.

[Note: Schumer’s office is a mere three blocks from my place of work, and these Tuesday Resistance demos are held at lunch hour, so I have no excuse to stay away. An example of no-fuss resistance.]

  1. Agenda, information and (handwritten) notes from a Moveon neighborhood strategy meeting on 19 February. (pp.14-21)The handwritten notes come mainly from an opening exercise in which attendees paired off and told each other what forms of activism they’d been involved in thus far. We then introduced our partners to the entire group–about 40 people, by my estimate, crammed into the living room of a large Upper West Side apartment.

    As noted in my scrawls, in addition to making the usual phone calls and posting on Facebook, my partner, an elegant 70-something actress named Delphy, told me that she performs activist plays with a group called Ensemble Studio Theater; was a member of a chorus filmed singing “Open the Gates” in front of the Statue of Liberty; and had just come from the “I Am A Muslim Too” rally in Times Square.

When I mentioned my Alerts, she asked what organization I’m with. When I said there was no organization involved, she looked puzzled, making me wonder if I should come up with a name, print off some letterhead and business cards and get myself a post office box.

(Adventures in Activism: During the meeting, there were sounds emanating from the depths of the apartment that called to mind children shrieking. The hostess/organizer appeared unperturbed. When she noticed attendees exchanging concerned glances, she said with a wave of her hand, “Oh, those are the parrots.”)

  1. The next two pages are both sides of the leaflet that we handed out at the vigil in Grand Central (covered in Alert #25). The purpose of the leaflet was explanatory, in order to minimize conversation with interested passersby, keeping the vigil as close to silent as an event in Grand Central could possibly be. (pp. 22-23)
  1. A sign held up by a fellow demonstrator at Grand Central. For those of you going to similar events, google ‘coexist’ to find this in a range of designs and colors. (p. 24)

Part 3 consists of a photo of protest buttons that my sister Anne has ordered in batches of one hundred. She’s been handing them out, including to a man she encountered on the 2 or the 3 train last week (uptown, just north of 42nd Street), who, it shouldn’t be a total loss, was using his commute to knit a pink pussy hat. (Knitting Advisory: he told her that pink yarn has become hard to find.) For his sake and the sake of other subway riders sitting nearby, let’s hope the ride was a smooth one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Write to me if you would like buttons sent to you free of charge. Please indicate which one(s) you want and quantities for each one.

Part 4 is a photograph of the poster given to me at the Grand Central vigil covered in Alert # 25.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 5 is a photograph of the poster I had made for the Women’s March (see Alert # 20). The slogan is pretty all-purpose, so I expect to get a fair amount of use out of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please send photos and explanations/descriptions of your memorabilia for possible future Alerts.

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