Labor in the Time of Trump: Turning Fear into Action
by Sandra Toussaint, Political Organizer
The 2017’s biennial convention comes at a crucial time for us, as a union and as citizens. There has been unprecedented participation at every level of government, and it’s time we had a difficult conversation. How does one turn fear, apathy, and resignation into action? Chances are you’ve met or are one of the many in this country and this union that are still worried about reprisals or simply believe that the only way out is with a can of gasoline and a match. While I sympathize (who hasn’t been there?), there is another option: collective action. The very thing that gives union their power. Enter this year’s convention, and an early bird session.
This early bird session, (titled “Labor in the Time of Trump: Turning Fear into Action”), is meant to assess and discuss the challenges presented to our union under the new President’s administration. We will work through the organizational and personal reasons that keep us from standing together as one and moving forward. The goal of this session will be to confront our own preconceptions and frustrations when approaching our fellow members and provide the means and tools essential to overcoming them as a unit. This will enable us to better engage our members and fight back.
Our goal is that everyone in attendance will be able to take what they’ve learned and apply it effectively at their locals. We want locals to successfully move their fellow members past fear, apathy, and resignation towards active involvement in their communities and their union and to see the union as a venue for addressing larger social challenges.
The early bird session is meant to be a focused, discussion-based forum wherein attendees explore what holds people back and ways to recognize it in others when engaging our members. This discussion of our current situation and the very real threat to education and public services, something that we as citizens hold as a human and civil right, is crucial to not only defending our union, but building it and fighting for social justice.
So put down the gas can, and join us Friday, May 19th, so we can #standtogether and #moveforward!