#GetOrganizedBK in the Media
Here are a few news stories about #GetOrganizedBK and its working groups. If you are a member of the media who would like to write about #GetOrganizedBK, or an activist who would like to help us tell our stories, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jennifer Friedlin
Sen. Charles Schumer had the opportunity to speak with hundreds of constituents on his home turf of Park Slope, Brooklyn on Monday. Instead of attending the scheduled town hall, his first in Brooklyn since the 2016 election, Sen. Schumer decided to use a dog-ate-my-homework excuse to phone it in.
Featuring the Standing Against Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia Working Group:
Florence Nasar kept checking her phone. She was at an interfaith dinner last Sunday aimed at building friendships between New York Jews and Muslims, and the guests, all in their 20s and early 30s, sat on couches around her, sharing stories about their religious practices, their pasts and their quests to define who they are.
…Get Organized BK, a Brooklyn-based progressive group formed by Councilman Brad Lander, organized the most protests with 10, including a February “die-in” where activists lied on sidewalks outside Brooklyn Borough Hall and faked their deaths in opposition of Trump’s proposed healthcare plan.
“You would have to go back to the Vietnam War to see similar protest activity,” said Adrian Benepe, a senior vice president for The Trust for Public Land who previously served 11 years as city parks commissioner under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Two hours before half the liberal Jews in Brooklyn were set to turn up at a local synagogue to learn how to resist President Trump, things were feeling a bit precarious at the offices of the city councilman who was organizing the whole thing.
Downtown Brooklyn looked like death Saturday as a dramatic die-in against Republicans efforts to repeal Obamacare clogged the streets. Activists hoisted signs shaped like tombstones that read “RIP Obamacare” and “The Blood Will Be on Your Hands.”
A protest in Brooklyn took place Saturday to draw attention to what could happen without the Affordable Care Act as the Trump Administration pushes a new health care option. A staged “die-in” protest took place where protestors laid on the floor with tombstone posters- written with reasons of their death.
If you haven’t noticed already, we are living through a movement moment. Triggered by the election of Donald Trump and his combustive personality and policy moves, millions of Americans are in motion, forming and joining groups, rallying, signing and sharing petitions, and searching for ways to demonstrate their opposition. Thousands of new local community groups have formed, with at least 7,000 local groups inspired by the Indivisible Guide; 5,000 Huddles (small groups) spawned by the Women’s March; at least a thousand more conjured into existence by Meetup.com. Dozens and dozens of specialized groups have also been created—the ActionAlliance counts more than 80 just focused on collecting and sharing action alerts for concerned citizens. Here at Civic Hall, we’ve been building a catalogue of many of these efforts focused on simply tracking who is doing what, by function, and we’ve run out of letters of the alphabet to enumerate all the columns in our “Resist Projects” spreadsheet (a work in progress, aided by research from the good folks at Movement2017.org).
Here’s one model of community mobilization for progressives across the nation. It can be adapted by faith communities, local officials, and citizens. It relies on face-to-face community gatherings, and uses social media not to drive, but to support, sustain and communicate real world, three-dimensional action. At its heart, it’s about weaving together bonds of community. To start, bring together concerned citizens in a church or local library, someone’s basement, any place where people can meet, even a bar.
De nombreux Américains s’organisent pour résister aux politiques du nouveau locataire de la Maison-Blanche. La pression est quotidienne sur les élus. En 2009, les Républicains avaient mené des opérations similaires face à la politique d’Obama.
Ce lundi de février, vers 18h, la file d’attente s’étend sur plusieurs dizaines de mètres. Mères de famille, jeunes hipsters barbus, personnes âgées, femmes voilées : des centaines de New-Yorkais de tous âges se pressent dans le froid pour accéder à la synagogue Beth Elohim. Située dans le quartier de Park Slope, à Brooklyn, cette congrégation réformiste fondée il y a plus de 150 ans s’est imposée ces derniers mois comme l’un des berceaux de la contestation anti-Trump. Ce soir-là, le groupe “Get Organized Brooklyn !” y tient sa cinquième réunion d’action. Objectif : réfléchir aux moyens de résister aux politiques du nouveau locataire de la Maison-Blanche. Serrés sur les bancs en bois, plus d’un millier d’habitants de New York écoutent attentivement Rachel Timoner, la femme rabbin qui dirige la congrégation.”Nous sommes ici pour trouver notre mission. Nous sommes trop nombreux pour être stoppés. Nous allons résister”, tonne cette femme de 45 ans, déclenchant les applaudissements de la foule.
“They have our back and we have their back,” she said. “[President Donald] Trump can do what he wants and call people names, but the free press isn’t going away.”
On Sunday morning, the time when many engage in the weekend ritual of reading the news over coffee, a large crowd converged outside The New York Times’s Manhattan headquarters on Eighth Avenue to defend the country’s press.
“It’s a New York Sunday tradition,” read a sign held by Norman Cohen, a freelance TV producer, “Coffee, Bagels, and a FREE PRESS.” The protest, which was led by Get Organized BK, was in response to President Trump’s decision on Friday to bar several news organizations from a White House briefing, including The Times.
Early on Tuesday evening, as a shivering rain fell, Nelini Stamp stood outside the headquarters of Goldman Sachs on West Street in Lower Manhattan in a waterproof poncho, her sleeping bag, protected by plastic, close at hand. An alumna of Occupy Wall Street who currently holds the position of national membership director for the Working Families Party, Ms. Stamp had helped to organize an encampment of protesters outside the investment bank, who intended to take up residence there until the end of the week, when Donald J. Trump would be sworn in as the country’s 45th president.
With just days to go before Donald Trump takes the oath of office, hundreds of citizens in and around Park Slope are already organizing an active resistance to the incoming president, his agenda, and those he seeks to empower. The fourth general meeting of #GetOrgainizedBK, a resident-led organization started by Councilman Brad Lander shortly after Trump’s election, packed the pews at Park Slope’s Congregation Beth Elohim on Jan. 16, the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Brad Lander is a city councilman in New York. But that’s not preventing him from setting his sights nationally, as he casts about for a new staffer who will take the fight to President-elect Donald Trump.
According to the job posting, the Brooklyn Democrat is looking for a communications director to “resist the threats of the Trump regime to American democratic values and vulnerable constituencies.” Other responsibilities include more ho-hum tasks such as organizing press conferences and talking to reporters.
The local Brooklyn response to last week’s election of Donald Trump continues to develop, with Councilman Brad Lander taking an outspoken stance in opposition to many of the president-elect’s policy platforms. Lander, whose district includes Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Park Slope, Kensington and Windsor Terrace, is hosting an organizing meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 15 focused on “how we can prepare for the Trump presidency, and get organized to defend the progress we’ve made and the values we hold.”