Friends,

With the Inauguration next week and Cabinet confirmation hearings already under way, things are kicking into high gear. Now more than ever, it’s time to get engaged and take action. If you’ve been busy – if you haven’t been keeping up – don’t worry. This is the perfect time for you to get back in the saddle.

This week, we have only four action items for you, but they’re all substantial and important ones. Please try to do all of them if you can!

Also, keep getting more of your friends and family to take the solidarity pledge as well – all are welcome to sign!

  • 1) Protest the inauguration
  • 2) [URGENT] Keep pressure on Trump’s cabinet nominations
  • 3) Stand up for Obamacare!
  • 4) Educate yourself – catch-up week

Please also answer this one-question survey so we can better understand what’s working, what needs work, and what our priorities should be. Please take 30 seconds right now to help us be more effective. Thank you!

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1) Protest the inauguration

Stand up for your values by protesting the inauguration! There are numerous protests and rallies of various flavors that you can attend in the coming week and over inauguration weekend; check out the list and make your plans now! If you’re going to a protest and would like to be connected to other pledge signers, fill out this form.

DC

Boston

If you’d like to be even more involved, consider getting trained as a Legal Observer! LOs serve as “the eyes and ears of the legal team–to observe and record incidents and the activities of law enforcement in relation to the demonstrators.” Attend the National Lawyers Guild’s online training on Jan 14 (RSVP here) and read their training manual, and also read Disrupt J20‘s legal guide. And for more concrete ideas on expressing your opposition, check out this guide.

2) [URGENT] Keep pressure on Trump’s cabinet nominations

The Office of Government Ethics has raised alarm over the rate of confirmation hearings for Trump’s cabinet nominees. Call your Senators ASAP to ask them to slow down the hearings, as OGE has requested, and to oppose the most reprehensible nominees!

In an already packed week of political activities, the most important are the Senate confirmation hearings of Trump’s cabinet picks. Trump and his cabinet appointments have shown themselves to be racist, Islamophobic, climate change deniers with numerous conflicts of interest. We can’t emphasize enough how important the cabinet appointments are – especially with Trump likely to be relatively hands-off on policy matters, their influence will be tremendous. A win for us here will be a huge positive step, whereas losing these fights will put us even more on the defensive for the next few years.

Despite – or perhaps because of – the importance of these appointments, the Senate is accelerating the hearings schedule to try to rush appointments through without the necessary financial disclosures or ethics clearances, while public attention is distracted – despite having previously insisted that those exact disclosures and clearances must be completed first.

We can fight this underhanded strategy. Here are some ideas for what you can do:

  • Tune in: watch the confirmation hearings (full schedule of hearings here), remind yourself about the confirmation process, and educate yourself on who is likely shaping our government for the next four years.

  • Speak up: call your senators and urge them first to call for all cabinet nominees to be properly vetted by OGE (script from Wall-Of-Us here), and second to oppose the more reprehensible specific nominees. Talking points and scripts for all nominees (from Pantsuit Nation) are available here, and here are additional scripts and info (from Wall-Of-Us) on Jeff Sessions, Rex Tillerson, and Steven Mnuchin.

  • Get others involved: text-bank to ask other regular people to take action as well! NextGen is organizing text-banking over the next few days, with sign-up and instructions here. This is very straightforward – they give you a predetermined message, you just have to press send in a website on your computer, and you’re texting receptive regular people rather than calling Senators. NextGen also provides guidelines on how to respond to messages back. You can also talk to fellow text-bankers and the organizers on their Slack channel!

3) Stand up for Obamacare!

Trump and Republicans in Congress have made repealing or dismantling Obamacare a top priority, while remaining vague at best about proposed replacement measures. While an outright repeal would be difficult, the Senate is already considering budget measures that would gut the law and leave millions effectively without insurance.

Fortunately, there are a couple of simple things you can do to help:

  • Fill in Mitch McConnell’s Obamacare survey. The Senate majority leader is clearly hoping to receive lots of negative feedback about Obamacare; let’s flood him with positive stories instead!

  • Take part in an Obamacare day of action rally on Jan 15. The Boston event is at 1 pm, at Faneuil Hall, and will feature Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, as well as Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. Other events are being held nationwide, see here for details.

  • Sign this petition to support protecting Obamacare.

4) Educate yourself – catch-up week

With all that’s going to be happening in the next few weeks, it’s important to have a solid grasp of what to expect and how various processes work.

If you missed them previously, catch up on some of our previous self-education action items. Also read the Indivisible Guide, and check out this list of proactive actions you can take to prepare for the new administration (also available en español).

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That’s all for this week. Thank you for standing with us and staying active and engaged, especially as we go into the next crucial weeks. Now more than ever, we need your support, and that of everyone you can rally and recruit.

As always, if you have questions or suggestions, or would like to get more involved, contact us at solidaritymit@mit.edu. We especially welcome suggestions for potential action items!

Until next week,

Solidarity MIT

tinyurl.com/solidaritypledge

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