Monday, February 27, 2017

This is what democracy looks like.

I'm still hearing a lot of chatter about "paid protesters" at town hall meetings, and that being the excuse used by legislators for not holding these meetings, which were a way for them to touch base with their constituents.

I also hear about "busloads of protesters" being brought in from outside districts, and all of this is often blamed on Indivisible, which is touted as some secret organization.

If Indivisible is "secret", it's the worst kept secret in the world.  In fact, the organization has a website, the guide is available online for free, and it has no central location or governing board, but is purely a grassroots effort.

So let's talk about Indivisible and some of the blatant lies told about the group.

1:  That they are paid protesters.  This lie has become so prevalent that it's a joke at Indivisible meetings.  No one gets a check.  There are times when money is collected to pay for venues or for transportation (more about that in the next section), which means that (a) the events can be held and (b) people who may not be able to afford to go to a town hall will be able to have their voices heard, instead of being silenced by poverty.  Indivisible isn't like a corporate entity, but is instead made up of a number of woke individuals who are ready to assert their rights as citizens.  Some of those citizens are also associated with other resistance groups, social justice groups, religious organizations, and other grassroots groups concerned about the rights of others and willing to stand against the Trump/ Right Wing agenda. 
2:  That people are bused in from other areas to inflate the crowds.  Calls, emails, and attendance at town hall meetings for officials who do not represent you is discouraged by Indivisible.  The guide is very clear that this is ineffective, if not counterproductive.  The groups you see opposing a legislator in any town hall settings is made up of constituents.   When groups arrive via bus or together, it's often to save gas or to provide transportation for those who may be unable to attend otherwise.  Generally arriving as a group is also discouraged by the Indivisible guide, as it can result in barred entrance.  Likewise carrying signs or wearing party or cause specific buttons are discouraged, for the same reasons. 

3: That Indivisible members are trained to be rude:  That's another thing absolutely discouraged by the guide.  Rude people don't get heard, and they don't look good in media reporting.  In fact, the guide supports being courteous but firm.  And yes, we ARE encouraged to refuse to surrender the microphone until the question is answered. I suspect that some politicians are terribly unused to being asked repeatedly to answer the question, and that demanding that the town halls be actually used to communicate the needs of the constituents rather than provide a venue for party talking points and self-serving promotion is taken as "rudeness" by those less willing to listen to the voters.

I've added a page to this site that has a couple videos about the Indivisible guide, as well as a link to the PDF version of the guide and an audio book reading.

If you're interested to see Indivisible in action, what follows is a video of a People's Town Hall: an event held when a representative of the people refuses to meet with the people.

The People’s Town Meeting, Sunday, February 26 2017 Charlottesville VA

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Saturday, February 25, 2017

"The Enemy of the People"

“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” ― George Orwell, 1984