Saturday, November 19, 2016

ACT UP Lessons for the Trump Era?

I heard from good buddy Victor Mendolia today and have to share his thoughts beyond my two little eyeballs. He raises important thoughts on how best to respond to Trump and Pence, and their dangerous appointees and advisers.
My top question: How best not to waste this election crisis?
For me, it starts with keeping wellness high for hubby Mike and I. Oh, and staying woke. Read Victor's note, please:
Dearest Michael,
First of all, Glenn's accolades are entirely well deserved. In fact, you’d be well within your rights to say, ‘what took you so long?’ Anyone in NYC when we did what we did, knows that on many occasions, if not all of them, you were the biggest shit stirrer that got us to exactly where we needed to be. Congratulations to you and a big thank you to Glenn for calling it out.
I’m starting to finally come out of the depression-haze-deeperdepression-anger-but-never-acceptance-funk I’ve been in (thanks Kevin Hertzog). So this is not terribly organized, but it’s a start.
What I am starting to understand and realize is that in many ways we need to do what we did back then. A year or two ago I thought that we could never get away with most of the things that we did back in the day in today’s America. That taking control of government buildings, drug company offices and all the rest which we successfully orchestrated, would be nearly impossible to accomplish post 9/11, Patriot Act etc. But there are going to be so many portals of activism, they won’t be able to see everything that everyone is doing, even with cameras everywhere.
We must do what we did back then. Most of all we need to support each other. When we are getting off track, we need the wiser people amongst us to help us pull back to where we need to be. We need to be certain to fight our real enemies and not each other. We also need most of all, to laugh at our sick senses of humor. We need to dance with each other, entertain each other and have wonderful and celebratory sex with each other, and try to always help make what will be a lot of fucking work, a lot of tears and a god damn shit storm, as less damaging to us as a community and to our country as possible.
I go back to the pre-action meeting the night before the Stop the Church Demo. Ann Northrop was coaching us on what to say to the media, because each of us were able to speak on ACTUP’s behalf as to what we were doing there. She said it wasn’t our intention to change people’s minds about their religion or about anything else. Our only intention was to make them understand, that we are the people fighting for people’s lives, and that they are the murderers.
Now more than ever, Ann’s words ring true. They are actually an even bigger reality. This time it’s not just junkies and queers. It’s anyone other than them.
Think about the words again!
We are on the right side.
Our most pressing agenda item must be to begin organizing now to take every fucking seat locally in 2017 that we are able. We need people to step up and run for office or at the very least, work to help elect others who have. We have to fight the hardest, for the seats that we think we will never win. We can win those too, if we work together.
Then we have to organize like we have never organized before, to once and for all put an end to the racist, homophobic, anti-science, anti-anything-that-makes-sense Congress FOREVER.
Things can start to get better in one year.
They can get substantially better in two.
Finally, this time we need to not make Obama’s biggest mistake when he came to office. For those who are guilty, we need to ship them all off to the Hague and put them on trial in front of the entire world for war crimes and crimes against humanity. We need to show the world once and for all, that the people of this country do not support the policies that have been executed in our names. That we are not their enemies. That corporate greed, nepotism, corruption and bigotry are the enemy of all people, and we stand united with the rest of the sane people around the globe for peace, true justice, and real equality that can never be taken away.
I’m still in recharge mode. But only for another few minutes. Then I’m ready to fight. Who’s in?

No comments: