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Shut Down the Wall, Open the Government" Day of Action
WATCH: Federal workers in Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill Wednesday to protest government shutdown as it reaches Day 33.
With U.S. President Donald Trump‘s State of the Union address, set for Jan. 29, blocked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi amid
a government shutdown, activists are joining up for a “day of action” aimed at stopping the administration’s push to build a wall
along the border with Mexico.
Shut Down the Wall, Open the Government is being organized by activist groups MoveOn and Indivisible and is set to take place
on the same day that the president was supposed to deliver his address to a joint session of Congress.
WATCH: Senate set to vote on two separate bills to end government shutdown as it enters 2nd month
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On January 29, when Trump's State of the Union was originally scheduled, speak out about the REAL state of our union. Together, we’ll show the true costs of Trump and the GOP's demand for a racist border wall and the destructive repercussions of Trump's tantrum shutdown, and we'll demand that Trump and the GOP shut down the wall and reopen the government!
The government has been in partial shutdown for over a month—the longest government shutdown in American history. Nearly 1 million federal workers and contractors are being used as bargaining chips against some of the most vulnerable people seeking asylum at our borders.
On January 29, we will stand together with immigrant communities, federal workers, and all of us who are impacted by the shutdown to show that we won't be divided by Trump's antics. We won't fund Trump's racist wall with our taxpayer dollars, the government must be reopened, and people seeking asylum must be let in.
Senate Republicans have been mute and largely absent—and they hold the power to reopen the government without giving in to Trump's racist policies.
That's why people all across the country are headed to Senate offices, closed federal government offices, national parks, other facilities affected by the shutdown and other public, visible spots in every community. We will share receipts (stories, effects, actual financial receipts) showing what this #TrumpShutdown has cost everyday people financially, morally, and spiritually.
And we'll offer our own "State of the Union"—because there are real crises we need to tackle together, and there is a vision of what this country could accomplish if we weren't divided and attacked by hatred, fear, and these outrageous actions.
Together, we’ll demand that Mitch McConnell end the madness and hold a vote to reopen the government without a hateful and wasteful border wall. We will stand shoulder to shoulder with immigrant communities, workers, and those impacted by the shutdown to demand that Republicans #ShutdownTheWall and #OpenTheGovernment.
Will you stand and speak out with us?
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Disagreement without the Hate
Laura Finley, Ph.D.
Disagreement is an essential component of a healthy relationship, a healthy workplace, and a healthy democracy. Much research documents the dangers of surrounding ourselves with so-called “yes men” who always concur. Workplace echo chambers stifle innovation and reify bad policy decisions. Disagreement stimulates creative thinking and prompts innovation.
Yet, there is indeed a peaceful, even collaborative, way to disagree. And, I contend, that it never involves personal insults, ad hominem attacks, and strings of epithets and curse words.
Unfortunately, it seems as though few in the U.S are taught how to disagree peacefully and constructively. Instead, if we read, hear or see something that bothers us, we tend to get all pissy about it and, rather than present our case, resort to the lowest blows we can. This behavior is, of course, modeled at nearly every turn.
It is difficult to remember any politician in the recent past who has not decided that the way to offer a contrasting view is to rip the crap out of his or her opponent. As bad (sometimes worse) is media, where television pundits (and I note, both conservative and liberal) seem to love nothing more than to invite guests onto their shows to interrupt them, yell at them, berate them, and otherwise set them up to look foolish. In professional sports, having the best trash-talker on your team is often viewed as an asset. K-12 schools reinforce the normalcy of mean-spirited disagreement when they fail to hold accountable those who denigrate those with whom they disagree. Popular culture encourages the “othering” of the alleged opposition. For just one example, the t-shirt company David and Goliath offers a shirt that says, “Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them.”
My recent experience authoring op-eds illustrates the issue perfectly. I authored a piece about the bureaucratic stifling of activism. In the op-ed, I encouraged folks who disagree with my positions to share their viewpoints, as dialogue and disagreement can lead to amazingly creative social change from the synthesis of the best parts of different arguments. While I did receive some pleasant feedback, I also received one very disturbing piece of hate email.
Not only did this anonymous emailer attack me personally, using hateful slurs, but s/he also failed to see the point I was making, which was precisely that we should not all agree but should not stifle those who do not see things our way.
I implore those who are reading this to understand what I am saying: I do not have all the answers. I never suggested I did. No one does. And I think it is amazing when people get worked up about an issue or a cause and take that passion to the streets, to the airwaves, to the print media and anywhere else they can find an audience. But please, do so in a peaceful, respectful manner. We really can learn from one another if we discuss and debate, rather than attack.
Laura Finley, Ph.D., teaches in the Barry University Department of Sociology & Criminology and is syndicated byPeaceVoice.
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