Friends,

100+ days into this administration, they haven’t let up and neither will we. This week, we’ve got a summary & recap of the first hundred days, along with our usual fare of saving our health, environment, and basic democratic rights:

1) [URGENT] Save the Affordable Care Act (again…)

2) Follow-up on the People’s Climate March!

3) Protect the EPA from the “Regulatory Reform Agenda”

4) Defend against Anti-Protest Bills

5) Summary: Trump’s First 100 Days

Since we again have fairly few actions this week – make a particular effort to recruit more people! Most of you didn’t last time (we can tell!), so let’s try this again. This week, get at least two new people to take the pledge!

And as usual, don’t forget our one-question survey!

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1) [URGENT] Save the Affordable Care Act (again…)

It seems the Frankenstein’s Monster that is the AHCA just won’t stay dead. Despite the previous failure, Donald Trump is insisting that Republicans in Congress once again try to repeal the Affordable Care Act – even though 74% of Americans say Congress should try to improve it instead. Even now Congressional Republicans are inching dangerously closer to a repeal.

Once again, it’s up to us to stop them.

You all know the drill – call your Representatives (or better yet, visit their offices) and tell them, Enough is Enough!

What you can do:

  • Call or visit your Representatives! Check out this guide from Indivisible for more details and suggested talking points.
  • Ask your friends and relatives to do the same!

2) Follow-up on the People’s Climate March!

Over 200,000 people marched in DC at the People’s Climate March and tens of thousands more at sister marches across the country. We hope many of you were there! But now that we’ve finished marching, we must take local action in our communities to defend our climate!

Courtesy of the Sierra Club, here are few suggestions for how to do that.

What you can do:

  • Deliver a postcard to your member of Congress: Our climate protections are under attack by a polluter-controlled Congress. Deliver a climate action postcard to your member of Congress!
  • Host a Sneak Peak “From the Ashes” film screening! “From the Ashes” is a documentary film that highlights the work of the Beyond Coal Campaign, alongside frontline communities, to move our country from coal to clean energy. Host a grassroots screening and you and your group can view the film even before its National Geographic broadcast on June 25!
  • RSVP now for a special Climate Resistance Telebriefing on May 8: We’ll discuss the state of the climate resistance, share some of the work going on in our communities, and launch an exciting new initiative to create local action groups we’re calling Climate Resistance Circles.
  • Sign up to host a Climate Resistance Circle to build the movement in your town: As a host, you’ll bring together friends and neighbors to learn organizing skills and build power for the climate justice movement in your community. Sign up now and join the May 8 telebriefing to learn more about the opportunity to host a Climate Resistance Circle.

3) Protect the EPA from the “Regulatory Reform Agenda”

As far as Trump’s administration is concerned, the only good regulation is a rolled-back regulation. At the end of February, Trump issued Executive Order 13777, which ordered every federal agency to create a “Regulatory Reform Task Force” for the purpose of “reducing regulatory burdens.” (That’s Newspeak for “cutting regulations that polluters don’t like.”)

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is following orders. EPA is “seeking input on regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification” until May 15th. That means any rule could be on the chopping block – any of the hard-won rules on chemical safety, water pollution, pesticide use, air quality, hazardous waste disposal, and more. The long process of actually repealing rules would be an enormous waste of EPA’s limited resources, which ought to be devoted to enforcing those rules.

It’s no secret that Pruitt and the rest of the Trump administration are more than happy to hamstring EPA’s protections for human health and the environment. The public comment period may simply be a formality from Pruitt’s perspective, but that doesn’t mean the public should be silent and let him steamroll over us.

What you can do:

  • Flood the docket with support for EPA’s programs. Share your personal stories of harm caused by pollution, or harm forestalled by strong environmental laws.

4) Defend against Anti-Protest Bills

Even before Trump’s inauguration and the record-setting Women’s Marches, we’ve seen a string of laws designed to make it more difficult, or even more dangerous, to engage in peaceful protest.  Of course, the First Amendment guarantees the right to peaceful protest, but laws can chip away at the edges of this right.

We’ve all seen how effective protests are at distracting and hobbling the administration and getting people involved.  Bringing public and media attention can derail legislation that Republicans try to slip through quietly, as with the House Republicans’ attempt in January to eliminate the Office of Congressional Ethics.  Defending protest rights is essential to fighting this administration and essential to democracy.

You may have heard about the North Dakota bill that would make it legal to run over protestors, as long as as it’s “unintentional.”  But there have been many more proposals since then, in at least 18 states, some with much better chances of being passed (and found constitutional): laws that would increase punishments for blocking highways, criminalize wearing a mask while protesting, and allow law enforcement to hold protest organizers responsible for any violence committed by any protestor.

What you can do:

  • Read about the bigger picture (history/context) of anti-protest legislation here.
  • Read up on exactly what’s currently proposed here.
  • Before you attend any protests, know your rights. The ACLU has a FAQ here. If you are worried that police may seize your cell phone at a protest, this guide suggests ways to protect yourself in advance.
  • If you live in any of the states where these laws are being proposed, contact your state representatives to let them know that you’re opposed to restrictions on freedom of protest.  You can find your state legislators’ contact information easily by entering your address here.

5) Summary: Trump’s First 100 Days

April 29, 2017, marked the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency. He has signed 14 executive actions, made 18 cabinet-level agency decisions, and 0 new laws. Trump promised a lot of things for those first 100 days but has gotten remarkably little done given a Republican-controlled Congress. The 100-day mark is clearly arbitrary, but the Trump campaign made such a big deal out of it that we may as well check back in. PolitiFact does a good job comparing the 45th president to his predecessors, and we highlight some of the major events below.

Cabinet and Advisors: Trump’s cabinet confirmations have taken longer than any president since World War II. He has not even named a nominee for 84% of key positions that require Senate confirmation. His cabinet is 71% white men, and there were many important battles on the way to confirmation.

The Wall and Immigration: One of Trump’s first actions was to sign an executive order on border security that called for “the immediate construction of a physical wall.” As The Guardian points out, there have been 0 meters of wall built in the first 100 days. Furthermore, to avoid a government shutdown, the federal budget was passed with no money for a border wall (although $1.5bn goes to border security).

The executive order establishing essentially a Muslim travel ban was a major upheaval for the first 100 days, but it has been stopped and still sits frozen, thanks to your efforts and protests around the nation.

Supreme Court: Judge Neil M. Gorsuch was confirmed by the Senate in April. Whether you thought he was a radical conservative who must be stopped or actually not that bad, this is a major event for the first 100 days.

Health Care: After years of Republicans calling to repeal and replace Obamacare, and Trump’s (tweeted) promise to make Obamacare “explode,” the GOP pulled their Obamacare repeal bill from the floor at the end of March. While Trump and Ryan are mounting a new offensive (see how the Bill has changed here), it looks like it still may not have the votes to pass and we will continue to see that Obamacare is the law of the land.

Military Action: The U.S. hit an air base in Syria with 59 Tomahawk missiles after President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his own people. Many praised Trump for honoring the “red line” against chemical weapons that the Obama administration failed to uphold, but the new administration’s policy on Syria remains unclear.

The U.S. military also dropped the “Mother of All Bombs,” officially the Massive Ordnance Air Blast, on a network of tunnels used by ISIS in Afghanistan. While it is the biggest non-nuclear bomb, the impact the MOAB had is unclear, and fighting continues at the site where it was dropped. And while Trump is certainly upholding his promise to “bomb the hell out of” ISIS, the plan he released for defeating ISIS is hardly revolutionary and does nothing to solve the conditions that gave rise to ISIS in the first place.

Check out how Trump has interacted with other countries in his first 100 days here.

If you want even more, read what Trump thinks of the first 100 days in his own words here, and check out the White House’s official media here. For a quick video, the NYTimes has a nice collage.

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That’s all for this week. As always, keep encouraging people to take the pledge, and please share any thoughts or questions with us at solidarity@mit.edu!

Until next week,

Solidarity MIT

solidaritypledge.com

 

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