Send Out the Clowns!

Participants in the second annual “March 4 Trump” in Austin were met with the scariest form of resistance: clowns.

Calling themselves the LOLt-Right Marching Band, these clowns showed up with costumes and kazoos to confuse and roast the Trump supporters. Fun fact: these clowns were trained in nonviolent, de-escalation tactics to help people channel their energy in safe and affirming ways in the face of hatred.

You can follow these clowns’ shenanigans on Twitter: @loltrightband. And support the Clown Resistance through their GoFundMe page.

Two clowns in front of the Austin capitol

Ban Muslin banner

Clowns in front of the Capitol

Bubble Blowing clown on the Capitol

Animated GIF of a bubble-blowing clown

Enter to Win Pod Save America Tickets

Jon, Jon, Tommy, and Dan. You know their names. You know their voices. They are the hosts of the wildly popular Pod Save America podcast, and they have been critical in amplifying the voice and energy of the resistance, all while bringing some much-needed fun to the fight.

Now, they’re coming to Austin for a live Pod Save America on March 9, 2018 at the Moody Theater.

The event is sold out, but you and a friend can still go to the show.

Enter your name and email to be included on our email action list and you will be included in the drawing to win two floor tickets to the show.

If you are already on our email list, you’re already entered, but you can get more chances to win by getting your friends to sign up too. Just make sure they list your name and email in the “Who Sent You?” section. When your friends sign up for our email list, you’ll both be entered for a chance to win the tickets.

Board members of Indivisible Austin and their families are excluded from the drawing.

Yes, Trump Can Start A Nuclear War. Yes, We Can Stop Him.

Hey y’all! As my first blog post for Indivisible Austin I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Billie Green, I’m a UT Alumni, and I really don’t want Trump to start a nuclear war.

I’ve been working directly with Global Zero and William Perry on current nuclear weapons issues. Our primary concern is Trump’s ability to order a unilateral launch against any country at any time, and how his dangerous rhetoric with North Korea is inching us closer to a military confrontation. This incredible piece by nuclear weapons historian Alex Wellerstein dives into the question: “Can the President use nuclear weapons when he wants, and can anyone stop him?” The short answer is No. No one can stop Trump once the order is given. Generals Mattis or Kelly will do all they can to discourage him, but if Trump validates the decision, chain of command will be initiated.

It is incredibly important for us to be vocal about this issue. If we can manage to take Trump’s finger off the literal “Apocalypse” button, then maybe we won’t feel like every ridiculous decision his administration makes is the end of the world. We have to get our representatives on board saying they will only support diplomacy, deterrence, and no preventative (nuclear 1st strike) military options. There’s already been indication that the GOP is sincerely concerned about Trump’s instability (e.g. Corker saying Trump could start World War III) but we need them to take tangible action. This is where we, the masses, step in.

I’ve recently created Global Zero – Austin TX. The focus of this group will be to educate the public about the relevant dangers of nuclear weapons and what we can do to stop/limit said dangers. Currently, Global Zero has planned a Week of Action for the first week of November, but has encouraged their remote activists across the nation to reach out to their communities and start recruiting members for local chapters. As an immediate action, we can call on Cruz and Cornyn to support legislation introduced by Ted Lieu and Ed Markey, that would constrain Trump’s authority to use nuclear weapons.

I know we live in Texas. I’m aware that Cruz and Cornyn are hardliners. But this issue should be bipartisan. Here are two scripts from the Indivisible Project to use when you call:

  1. Donald Trump has frighteningly few checks on his authority to launch a nuclear weapon. That’s why Senator Markey and Congressman Lieu have introduced bipartisan legislation that would make explicit that the President cannot launch a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress. Will you help constrain Trump’s authority to use nuclear weapons by co-sponsoring the bipartisan “Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act”? (H.R. 669 in the House and S. 200 in the Senate)
  2. Trump’s dangerous rhetoric is fanning the flames with North Korea. His words could provoke the unstable Kim Jong Un and further escalate tensions when our top priority should be de-escalation and diplomacy. Will you denounce Trump’s dangerous rhetoric that puts our national security at risk? Will you demand he come to Congress first before engaging in any sort of military operation against North Korea?

And remember to sign up for the new Global Zero – Austin, TX Facebook Group.

OMG We are SO Tired of This Repeal BS! Here’s What We Need to Do

We know you are tired of beating back health care repeal bills. We are, too. We’ve been doing this for months, and it doesn’t get any easier.

The only saving grace is that the the Senate Republicans can only attempt to repeal the ACA through the gimmick called reconciliation until September 30. (And really, it’s September 29, since the Senate won’t be voting on Yom Kippur.) That’s only eight days away!

The time is short, so we have to work fast! Here’s what you can do right now to help stop this final attempt at repeal:

    1. Call Sens. Cornyn and Cruz at 202-224-3121 and tell them:
      My name is [Name] and I am one of your constituents. I want Senator [Cruz/Cornyn] to oppose Graham-Cassidy because it will take healthcare away from millions including children, people with disabilities seniors and even victims of natural disasters like Harvey and Irma. (If you also have a personal story to share, it really helps.)
    2. Sign up for a timeslot in our call relay! The goal is to get enough people signed up every day to make calls all day long so the DC office phones never stop ringing. This page will reset each day until we #KillTheBill. (You can still call whenever you want!)
    3. If you’ve called both Sens. Cornyn and Cruz and you’re asking yourself: what more can I do? How can I influence Republicans in red states who may be on the fence? You can sign up to call constituents in the target states and ask them to call THEIR senators!
    4. Join us this Sunday, Sept 24 at 8:30 a.m., for a Public Square Town Hall to take a last stand against ACA repeal and Medicaid cuts! Sens. Cruz and Cornyn will be just steps away from our event, speaking at the Texas Tribune Festival!
    5. Sign up here to get email and occasional text alerts for urgent actions.

BONUS: Submit comments to the Senate Finance Committee by Monday at noon! 

Thank you for supporting Texans who depend on the ACA and Medicaid for their healthcare!

Austin-Area “Payback Recess” AHCA Events

The House voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a cruel bill designed to strip healthcare from millions of Americans while giving a tax cut to the rich.

So now it’s payback time. We’ll update this page with more detail as events unfold.

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Monday, May 8

3:30 – 5 pm at Michael McCaul’s Austin office, hosted by TX-10 Indivisible

TOPIC:

We want the answer to one question: “Why did Representative McCaul vote ‘YES’ for the AHCA?”  We want to know the logic behind Representative McCaul’s ‘YES’ vote knowing the following about the AHCA:

  • It will remove the requirements to cover ‘essential health benefits’, such as emergency services, maternity care, and hospitalization
  • It will allow insurance to charge whatever they want (ie exorbitant premiums) for people who are sick or have pre-existing conditions
  • It has drastic cuts to Medicaid
  • It had zero public hearings and zero transparency
  • It will lead to more than 24 million people losing health insurance, while giving a wind-fall in tax breaks to the top 1%

We will also let his staffers know why the ACA is so important in our lives and what we think about his ‘YES’ vote on the AHCA.

WHAT TO BRING:

This will be a rally outside his office; so please bring big signs that say ‘Why?’, ‘Explain Yourself’, ‘Holding You Accountable’, or anything that is healthcare related.  Also, please write a letter that you can read aloud about why the ACA is so important in your life and/or what you think about McCaul’s ‘YES’ vote on the AHCA.  Make your letter personal and please include your full address (including your 9-digit zip code).  You don’t have to speak if you don’t want to — supporting others willing to speak is just as important.  Hopefully a staffer will come out to explain McCaul’s ‘YES’ vote and take notes about our concerns; but if not, we’ll still record the event (for those who wish to be recorded) and hold a peaceful rally.  And as always, children and babies are welcome!

WHERE:

Rep. Michael McCaul’s Austin Office
9009 Mountain Ridge Drive
Austin Building, Suite 230
Austin, TX 78759

We’ll meet in the office park parking lot at 3:30 PM promptly.  FYI: It’s a corporate office park off 360, so it’s a bit hidden.  There is plenty of parking in the building lot and on the street.

4 – 5 pm Die-in at Bill Flores’ AUSTIN Office, hosted by Indivisible TX-17
It’s been 6 months since America has made the worst decision in its lifetime. Let’s show the world we’re not backing down. This is a protest to show our commitment to our cause of unity and freedom, and to show our outrage over the healthcare bill that Bill voted to pass. We pledge allegiance to the liberation of all people, and to each other. Just as we pledge our allegiance to each other, we will remind our members of Congress of their allegiance to us—the voters. https://www.womensmarch.com/pledge

This will be a “die-in” to represent the harm that the GOP #deathcare bill will have on the public (special shout out to Black Lives Matter for inspiration for this style of protest), and show Mr. Flores what his yes vote will lead to. This is a PEACEFUL protest. See below for a toolkit to help you prepare and know the “do’s and don’t’s” to make this demonstration a huge success! Everyone is free to protest in their own individual way, if that means lying-in, sitting-in or chanting loudly outside, go for it!

-We will use no violence (physical or verbal) towards any person.
-We will not destroy or damage property.
-We will not carry anything that can be construed as a weapon, nor possess (or consume) any alcohol or drugs.
-We will all hold each other accountable to respecting these agreements.

WHERE:
Rep. Bill Flores’ Austin Office
14205 Burnet Rd, Suite 230
Austin, TX 78728

4 – 7 pmLie-in/Protest at Congressman Bill Flores Bryan-College Station Office, hosted by Indivisible TX-17BCS

WHERE:
Rep. Flores’ BCS Office
3000 Briarcrest Dr #406
Bryan, TX 77802

Tuesday, May 9

11 am Indivisible Austin rally at Sen. John Cornyn’s office to protest the AHCA.

WHERE:
Sen. Cornyn’s Austin Office
Chase Tower
221 West Sixth Street
Suite 1530
Austin, TX 78701
RSVP NOW

8 pm Indivisible Austin conference call with NARAL Pro Choice TX and the Center for Public Policy Priorities

Guest speakers:

  • Dr. Valerie R. Peterson, who is on the Board of Directors of NARAL Pro Choice Texas. Dr. Peterson also shared her personal abortion story in the New York Times and continues to be engaged with reproductive rights in the Texas Legislature.
  • Stacey Pogue, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP)

To join:

1-(712) 770-8067
Code: 409542

NOTE: This is a change from the previously posted dial-in

Facebook Event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1911682312441317/

Thursday, May 11

2:30 – 4 p.m. ACA Die-In at Rep McCaul’s Office

TOPIC:
Michael McCaul just voted to strip away healthcare from millions of Americans and replace it with a plan that would be disastrous for our country. Let’s show him what the results of his actions will look like. A “die-in” is meant to create a stark visual to remind our representatives what the consequences of their actions are: Little or no access to healthcare for millions of Americans, higher rates of preventable death and disease, and poorer health for us all. If the ACA is repealed and replaced with the AHCA, an estimated 52 million people would have no healthcare coverage by 2026. And the latest version of the bill lets individual states decide whether insurers must cover those with pre-existing conditions. We can’t let this disaster of a plan pass. We must show Michael McCaul what his actions will do. Join us for a die-in and bring a headstone with a message for McCaul. Reference: https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52486

WHAT TO BRING:
– Cardboard signs in the shape of headstones with sayings like, “Here lies the ACA,” or, “Trumpcare killed me,” or “McCaul voted to take away my healthcare.”

WHAT TO WEAR:
– Black, white, or grey clothing
– If possible, costumes such as the grim reaper
– Any other theatrical elements you think are appropriate
NOTE – People should lie down in shifts to prevent exhaustion and overheating.

WHEN:
Thursday, May 11, 2:30 – 4:00pm

WHERE:
Congressman Michael McCaul’s Austin Office
9009 Mountain Ridge Dr #203
Austin TX 78759

PARKING INFO:
Please park along the street near the office building called Mountain Ridge Drive.

Share as widely as possible! Looking forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, May 13

11:45 am – 2:15 pm TX-25 Congressional District Town Hall, hosted by Indivisible TX-25 East

Did you know that 45% of Congressman Roger Williams voters live in Travis County?

Austin constituents from Texas Congressional District 25 are hosting a town hall meeting for Congressman Roger Williams in the King-Seabrook Chapel at Huston-Tillotson University on May 13 from 12:00 p.m. (noon) to 2:00 p.m. Doors open at 11:45 am.

We will have a moderator and non-partisan policy experts lined up to answer your most pressing questions if Congressman Williams chooses not to attend.

Make your voice heard!

RSVP Here

Tuesday, May 16

1:30 to 3 p.m. Die-In at Sen. Cruz’s Office: R.I.P. = Republican Insurance Plan

The AHCA passed the House last week and now goes to the Senate for review. Let’s show Senator Cruz exactly how we feel about Trumpcare and the number of lives this bill will impact.

  1. Bring your STORIES! Do you (someone you know) rely on the ACA? How will the changes affect your friends/loved ones? Write a letter and bring it with you.
  2. Come with PROPS for visual effect – tombstones, RIP signs, etc. This is a die-in format which means we want to be dramatic with our props. WEAR BLACK. The AHCA will impact access to care for millions and lives are at risk.
  3. It’s recommended you bring a yoga mat or blanket to put on the ground. For those able, we will lie down to reinforce the dying effect.

See you next Tuesday! Dump Trump and Cruz.

Hosted by Indivisible Rosedale Huddle.

Facebook Event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1861280994139294/

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Tuesday, May 23

Noon. Die-In at John Cornyn’s Austin office, hosted by Indivisible TX-10.

TOPIC:

The senate is currently working on a plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and implement “TrumpCare 2.0.” We must send a strong message to Senator Cornyn that stripping away healthcare from millions of Americans is simply unacceptable. A “die-in” creates a stark visual to remind our representatives that if protections for essential benefits and those with pre-existing conditions are erased, millions of Americans will lose their access to affordable healthcare, and people will die from preventable conditions. We cannot let this disaster of a plan pass. We must show Senator Cornyn what his actions will do. Join us for a die-in and bring a headstone with a message for the senator.

WHAT TO BRING:

  • Signs in the shape of headstones with sayings like, “Lived under ACA, died under Trumpcare,” or “R.I.P. Affordable Healthcare.”
  • A blanket or mat
  • NOTE – This is a busy area of town, so people should lay single-file if necessary to avoid blocking the street and sidewalk and to maintain everyone’s safety.

WHAT TO WEAR:

  • Black or grey clothing
  • Costumes and/or masks such as the grim reaper
  • Any theatrical elements you think are appropriate

WHEN:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 12:00 pm

WHERE:

Senator John Cornyn’s Austin Office
221 W 6th St #1530
Austin, TX 78701

PARKING INFO:
There are some metered spots along the street, and there are several parking garages in the area. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early to find parking and walk to the location.

Share as widely as possible! Looking forward to seeing you there!

Facebook event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/408221736227492/

Thank you. Here’s what’s next.

We just had an amazing experience at Huston-Tillotson University with Rep. Lloyd Doggett, State Rep. Celia Israel, and 700 of our closest friends. If you were there, or there in spirit, you know that Indivisible is a positive, uplifting movement. It is bringing together people from all walks of life to oppose authoritarianism and defend democracy.

Plus, we had food trucks.

One thing we ran out of time for was this video from Indivisible Guide cofounder Ezra Levin—who could not join us personally but his mom was in attendance!

So what’s next for the #Resistance? How can we channel all of that positive energy into action?

Join in a citywide action at Sen. Cruz’s office on Tuesday, March 7 to demand a thorough investigation of the Trump administration’s ties to Russia!

Sen. Ted Cruz: We Demand an Investigation!
12 to 1:30 p.m. at Sen. Cruz’s office
J.J. Pickle Federal Building, 300 E 8th St
Tell Senator Cruz that we demand a full investigation by a Special Prosecutor into ties between Trump and Russia. When a hostile foreign government meddles in our elections and members of the administration lie about their connections, we have to uncover the truth!  

RSVP here

Facebook event

If you can’t join us Tuesday, here are plenty of other #Resistance actions to keep you busy this week, and more is listed on our calendar.

See more weekly actions.

If you’ve read this far, we’d like to give you one more hearty thank-you for your commitment to defending democracy. Your actions are making a difference. You’re making phone calls and attending rallies, and looking for opportunities to do more, and to resist harder.

With your support, we can plan more events like today’s, more frequently, in larger venues, and with even more live music and food trucks. And we can plan new trainings like Protest Safety and Verbal Self-Defense, Media Training for Activists, Personal and Digital Security in the Age of Trump, and many more. If you have the means to make a donation, however small or large, you can do that here.

Actions for January 30 – February 5, 2017

Events unfold quickly. This post will be updated throughout the week.

Monday, Jan. 30

All day: Call your SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES and ask if they support Trump’s Executive Order to Limit Refugees Into the U.S. aka the Muslim Ban.

Updates:

Also call SENATORS and demand they cancel vote on Jeff Sessions because of his reported involvement with the Executive Order.

ACLU statement on Muslim Ban:

“‘Extreme vetting’ is just a euphemism for discrimination against Muslims. Identifying specific countries with Muslim majorities and carving out exceptions for minority religions flies in the face of the constitutional principle that bans the government from either favoring or discriminating against particular religions. Any effort to discriminate against Muslims and favor other religions runs afoul of the First Amendment.”

6-7 p.m.: Refugees Welcome: Interfaith Community Vigil
First English Lutheran Church
3001 Whitis Ave, Austin, Texas 78705

8 p.m.: Emergency Call to Stand Against Trump’s Muslim and Refugee Bans

Indivisible (the national team) is co-hosting a big planning call with Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), and National Immigration Law Center (NILC-IJF)

RSVP HERE

Tuesday, Jan. 31

9 a.m. Texas Muslim Capitol Day
Read more about this call to action. 

All Day: Call SENATORS to vote NO on Betsy DeVos.

8 p.m. Weekly Indivisible ATX conference call

Dial-in Number: 1-(712) 770-8067
Conference Code: 409542

Tuesday is insane. See our calendar for more. 

Wednesday, Feb. 1

Call SENATORS to vote NO on Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Read this for updated information. 

We also have extended Jeff Sessions scripts.

If you are reading this from out-of-state, call your DEMOCRATIC SENATOR and bolster their courage to vote NO on Trump’s Supreme Court pick. Republicans held up Merrick Garland’s confirmation for a year.

2 p.m. TX-10 visit to Rep. McCaul’s office

Thursday, Feb. 2

8:15  – 9:30 a.m. Hearing on SB4 scheduled in Texas Senate Chamber. If you can’t be there, call Lt. Dan Patrick and voice your opposition to SB4, the anti-sanctuary city bill. More details are on the Commonsense Immigration Website.

While you’re at, call Gov. Greg Abott and tell him you support Sally Hernandez, the Travis County Sheriff who refuses to be bullied by his executive overreach on sanctuary cities.

Friday, Feb. 3

All day: Call SENATORS to vote NO on Betsy DeVos. Keep the pressure on Cornyn, especially.

All Day: Call Gov. Abbott at (512) 463-1782 and tell him that his ban on “Sanctuary Cities” and his withholding of funds to Travis County violates his own belief in local control of government. Much more information is here…

12 p.m. Visit to Roger Williams.

Saturday, Feb. 4

11 a.m. TX-25 is holding a meetup at Black Star Coop
7020 Easy Wind Dr, Austin, TX 78752

Emergency Texas #MuslimBan Actions

This post will be updated as we get more information. Here is what we know so far:

Austin Airport: Protest planned for 2 p.m. Meet downstairs in front of the garage at the arrival terminal.
https://www.facebook.com/events/760757904100266/

Houston Airport: Protests began at 1 p.m. at Discovery Green
https://www.facebook.com/events/386770058353091/

Rally Against Hate at 5 p.m. – Terminal E
https://www.facebook.com/events/1675293846102406/

San Antonio Airport: Protests began at noon today in Terminal A, baggage claim, and are still ongoing.

DFW: Protests began last nigh and continue. People are still detained.

Tuesday is Texas Muslim Capitol Day

***Please see this post to for details on how to be a peaceful supporter for this event on Tuesday***

___

Y’all, I missed a lot of the news yesterday and this morning I was struggling to believe what I was reading.

I don’t know why I was surprised. When an autocrat tells you something, believe him.

Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says. Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization. This will happen often: humans seem to have evolved to practice denial when confronted publicly with the unacceptable. – Masha Gessen, Autocracy: Rules for Survival

About 10 days ago Texas state Rep. Kyle Biedermann (R- New Braunfels) sent a letter to Muslim organizations across Texas demanding they fill out a poll about their beliefs. He followed it up with a forum on Thursday at the State Capitol called “Defending Against Radical Islamic Terrorism in Texas,” which featured controversial speakers, some of whom claim that Texas Muslims want to overthrow our government and institute sharia law, and that they have, “a different methodology for the destruction of Western civilization…”

All of this was leading up to Texas Muslim Capitol Day on Tuesday, January 31. It’s a citizen lobby and advocacy day that happens every legislative session, and many religious groups have similar lobby days throughout the session. In recent years the event has drawn nasty and angry protests and reactions from lawmakers.

In 2015, then-Representative Molly White (R- Belton), who was not re-elected, demanded that any Muslims who came to her office recite an oath of loyalty before her staff would speak to them. She also, weirdly, left an Israeli flag on her desk. Participants in the lobby day, including school kids,  were verbally harassed and spat at.

This year’s lobby day is happening in what is probably the most hostile climate for Texas Muslims since 2001. A couple weeks ago the Islamic Center of Lake Travis’ under-construction mosque burned. Last night the Victoria Islamic Center’s mosque burned.

On Tuesday at 9 a.m. there is an opportunity to show up and stand with Texas Muslims who are engaging in participatory democracy. “Peaceful protectors” will gather to create a buffer zone between the event’s participants during their morning program on the Capitol steps, and the counter protesters. Texas Muslim Capitol Day organizers hope to get at least 200 people as Peace Observers. Representatives organized by Rep. Celia Israel and other faith leaders are expected to join in the protective action.

This is a chance to stand, indivisible, with Texans whose rights are under attack.