Tag Archives: Politics

Scenes from the Resistance: LGBTQ Solidarity March at Stonewall Inn, NYC

It’s only been two weeks into this abomination of an administration, and already there’s so much to protest. But we’re still raising our voices, making calls, and putting our bodies in the streets. May we have the strength to do so for as long as it takes.

Here are photos I took at yesterday’s LGBTQ Solidarity March at Stonewall Inn (my family and I could only be at the edge of it, as the crowd of thousands spilled over into the adjacent streets).

The Resistance continues.

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Scenes from the Resistance: the Women’s March in NYC

I’m so incredibly awed, inspired, and humbled to have been a tiny part of this upwelling of decency, defiance, righteous anger, kindness, and courage — not just here in New York but all around the world. Humanity at its best. Dark forces are abroad, and who knows if they’ll prevail; but let today make it absolutely clear that we who stand against the darkness are many. The future is not yet written, and we have many hands with which to write it.

Here are a few photos I took in the march today. (Feel free to contact me if you want to reuse an image. If you or your sign are in a photo, I’m happy to include more information, or take it down at your request.)

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Yoko Ono in the house!

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The next generation, doing us proud:

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The spirit of Carrie Fisher presided over the march, through many signs like this one:

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Love the message on the pink sign below. The other, of course, is a lyric from Hamilton, a show that inspired many signs — including Hercules Mulligan’s “You knock me down, I get the fuck back up again” and, my favorite, “My dog speaks more eloquently than thee.”

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So many people.

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I absolutely love the detail and craftsmanship on this sign. And the message.

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And this, a moving quote from the Captain America comic (later reused for the movie Civil War):  “This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world: No, YOU move.”

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Lots of encouragement from the crowd on the overpass at Grand Central.

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And here’s the flip side of the “Queers Without Borders” sign:

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Excellent advice for everyone, as we brace ourselves for the long struggle ahead.

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On this day, and all the days to come

Some images, sounds, and words to lift darkened spirits and bolster the courage we’ll all need in the days and years ahead. There may be occasional updates. Feel free to make suggestions in the comments.

“We the People” Protest Art
By Shepard Fairey, Jessica Sabogal, and Ernesto Yerena, for the Amplifier Foundation. Download hi-res versions and find out more here.

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Thea Gilmore, “Start As We Mean to Go On”
A song of joyful resistance.

Beyoncé, “Superpower”

Staceyann Chin, “Racism”
The spoken-word artist delivers a blistering call to arms.

Ursula K. Le Guin, always necessary, offers a meditation:

A Meditation

The river that runs in the valley

makes the valley that holds it.

This is the doorway:

the valley of the river.

~

What wears away the hard stone,

the high mountain?

The wind. The dust on the wind.

The rain. The rain on the wind.

What wears the hardness of hate away?

Breath, tears.

~

Courage, compassion, patience

holding to their way:

the path to the doorway.

And from her famed National Book Awards speech:

Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries — realists of a larger reality.

We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable — but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings.

Rebecca Solnit, from “Hope in the Dark”

Anything could happen, and whether we act or not has everything to do with it. Though there is no lottery ticket for the lazy and the detached, for the engaged there is a tremendous gamble for the highest stakes right now. I say this to you not because I haven’t noticed that this country has strayed close to destroying itself and everything it once stood for in pursuit of empire in the world and the eradication of democracy at home, that our civilization is close to destroying the very nature on which we depend — the oceans, the atmosphere, the uncounted species of plant and insect and bird. I say it because I have noticed: wars will break out, the planet will heat up, species will die out, but how many, how hot, and what survives depends on whether we act. The future is dark, with a darkness as much of the womb as of the grave.

Turn your head. Learn to see in the dark. Pay attention to the inventive arenas that exert political power outside that stage or change the contents of the drama onstage. From the places that you have been instructed to ignore or rendered unable to see come the stories that change the world, and it is here that culture has the power to change the world. Often it appears as theater, and you can see the baffled, upset faces of the actors onstage when the streets become a stage or the unofficial appear among them to disrupt the planned program.

Stories move from the shadows to the limelight. And though the stage too often presents the drama of our powerlessness, the shadows offer the secret of our power.

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The case for optimism, cont’d: Even today

Trying really hard to make that case today. Josh Marshall tries too:

There is a lot of fear. I know. I feel it. At such a moment I come back to a thought I’ve told family members at times of stress or grief. Optimism isn’t principally an analysis of present reality. It’s an ethic. It is not based on denial or rosy thinking. It is a moral posture toward the world we find ourselves in. If everything seems great, there’s no need for optimism. The river of good news just carries you along.

We need optimism now more than ever. Perhaps it shouldn’t be called optimism. Perhaps it’s simply the grim strength to get up and do what needs to be done. Day after day after day.

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Aftermath

America, what have we done.

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What we won

Rachel Maddow lays it out:

What we stopped:

We are not going to have a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe v. Wade. There will be no more Antonin Scalias and Samuel Alitos added to this Court.

We’re not going to repeal health reform. Nobody is going to kill Medicare and make old people in this generation or any other generation fight it out on the open market to try to get themselves health insurance. […]

We are not going to give a 20% tax cut to millionaires and billionaires and expect programs like food stamps and kids’ health insurance to cover the cost of that tax cut.

We’re not going to make you clear it with your boss if you want to get birth control under the insurance plan you’re on. We are not going to redefine rape. We are not going to amend the United States Constitution to stop gay people from getting married.

We are not going to double Guantanamo. We are not eliminating the Department of Energy or the Department of Education or housing at the federal level. We are not going to spend $2 trillion on the military that the military does not want.

We are not scaling back on student loans, because the country’s new plan is that you should borrow money from your parents.

We are not vetoing the Dream Act. We are not self-deporting. We are not letting Detroit go bankrupt. We are not starting a trade war with China on Inauguration Day in January. […] We are not going to have a foreign policy stocked with architects of the Iraq War.

We are not going to do it. We had the choice to do that if we wanted to do that as a country. And we said no, last night, loudly. […]

What we gained:

So last night, the Democratic senator who was supposed to be the most endangered incumbent in the country not only won, she won by 16 points.

Republican senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who was so stuffed with hedge fund money that he burped credit default swaps […] lost by a lot to the nation’s foremost authority on the economic rights of the middle class.

After marriage rights for same-sex couples were voted down in state after state after state for years, more than 30 times in a row, this year, all change. In Maine, they voted on marriage equality and they voted for it. In Maryland, they voted on marriage equality and they voted for it. In Minnesota, they were asked to vote against marriage equality, and Minnesota refused to ban it. […]

Nevada elects its first African-American congressman this year. America gets our first openly gay United States Senator. America gets our first-ever Asian American woman senator from Hawai’i. Her seat in the House, I should note, gets filled by this woman, a Democratic Iraq War veteran. […] Speaking of Iraq War veterans, Tammy Duckworth, veteran helicopter pilot, she lost both of her legs in Iraq — she is going to Congress, and she is sending home the opponent who mocked her for her war record […]

California relaxed its “Three Strikes You’re Out” law and rejected a law to cripple the political power of unions. Decriminalization of marijuana was approved in Washington and in Colorado. […]

All of those states that went so red in state government in these past couple of years and that then had these big fights inside their states over how Republicans were governing there — in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and we will see about Florida, last night not only did Republicans lose the presidential election in every single one of those states, Republicans lost the Senate race in every single one of those states too. […]

Last night, Democratic women swept every major office in New Hampshire. Last night, California Democrats won a Democratic supermajority in the state house and in the state senate. Not just majorities in California, but supermajorities, wherein, if the Republicans don’t turn up […] they’re completely legislatively irrelevant. […]

More women got elected to the U.S. Senate than at any time in U.S. history. […] West Virginia chose its first gay state legislator. So did North Dakota. […] The proportion of young people voting compared to 2008 […] went up. Same with African-Americans, up from 2008. Same with Latinos, up from 2008 […]

And, oh yeah, this happened. President Barack Obama, yes, will go down in history as our nation’s first African-American president. But he will also go down in history as the most successful Democratic presidential candidate since FDR. President Bill Clinton got re-elected too, I know, but only Barack Obama got re-elected with not just big electoral college margins, but also with majority wins in the popular vote — twice.

As substantial as this list is, there’s more. Watch the whole thing to see Maddow’s take on why the country needs Republicans to come to their senses, burst their bubble of self-delusion, and join the rest of the country in proposing real solutions to real problems.

Big night, indeed.

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“Ripples of hope”: The President thanks his campaign volunteers

This is the man that Republicans think is a cynical, divisive, un-American, anti-American socialist redistributor hell-bent on destroying the nation and everything it stands for? This man?

Clearly, the modern Republican Party has gone utterly insane. Thank goodness most of the country hasn’t.

Whatever people think of his policies, whatever his failures and victories in the last four years (and the next four), this video should make it absolutely clear that President Barack Obama is a good man with decency, empathy, and compassion at his core. That’s important in a leader. I’m very glad we have this one.

Each time a man stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

— Robert F. Kennedy

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