By HENRY GARRIDO
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Martin Niemoller (1892-1984)
They are coming for us.
Today, Republicans introduced national “right-to-work” legislation. Last night, Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court. These are just the latest assaults against labor emanating from the White House during the new president’s first 100 days in office, and we anticipate these attacks to intensify.
Trump pledged to roll out his agenda right away, and he is moving at a quick pace, catching the progressive community off-guard.
Through executive orders, Trump has issued a temporary ban on Muslims of seven nations from coming into the country, started his unimaginable attempt to build a wall along the border of the United States and Mexico, and announced a plan to kick immigrants out the country.
At DC 37, we are carrying out our own “100 Days of Resistance” fight-back. And I pledge that we will not back down in the next four years.
With the Republicans controlling the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate, we need to be fully committed to joining the millions of Americans who don’t support where our country is headed.
As he guts labor protections, demonizes our Muslim brothers and sisters, carries out a war on immigrants, and gives the power elite billions of dollars in tax cuts, Trump and his administration have already shown they do not share our values.
Republicans in the House would like to privatize Social Security and Medicare, subjecting those benefits to the uncertainties of the stock market. We must make Trump stick to his pledge during the presidential campaign to leave Social Security and Medicare alone. We must–and we will–fight back. But we need everyone to join us in the resistance.
We launched our “100 days of Resistance” campaign on the eve of Inauguration Day. That evening, I joined 15,000 protestors in Manhattan for a rally called “We Stand United” outside of the Trump International Hotel on Central Park West at Columbus Circle.
The day after the inauguration, DC 37 activists turned out for the Women’s March on Washington, where half a million people—and millions more nationwide–demonstrated against the right-wing agenda embraced by Trump.
In the coming weeks, we expect to be very busy with our grassroots counterattack. We will be sending out weekly action alerts to members and retirees about DC 37’s “100 Days of Resistance” activities.
Political analysts expect Trump’s nomination of Gorsuch will stir up a lot of grassroots pressure on the Senate. The hearings on the Colorado appeals court judge’s nomination will undoubtedly be very heated.
Gorsuch’s nomination comes after Republicans refused to consider former President Barack Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court’s vacant seat, which opened up in 2016 with the death of Antonin Scalia.
Scalia’s death resulted in a deadlocked decision on the Friedrichs case, which threatened to allow non-union members to withhold their dues, reversing a practice upheld by courts over four decades.
Gorsuch has an anti-union record, though it is unclear whether he will rule in favor of another case backed by National Right to Work Foundation. But we must be prepared for the worst.
Despite this bleak outlook, I continue to be an optimist. Here’s what you can do now:
- Call the United States Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you with your U.S. Senator so you can tell him or her that you do not support the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Click here to send an email to your U.S. Senator and say that you do not support the Supreme Court nominee.
- If you have not done so already, click here to sign-up for action-alerts.
- Have ideas about how we can resist? Rallies for us to join? Actions we can take? Contact us at email@example.com
There’s hope. Today–and every day–we will resist!
We are DC 37 and we NEVER QUIT.
Henry Garrido is the executive director of District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO.