Unity, Diverse Tactics and Local Focus Key to Sustain Anti-Trump Activist Movement

Posted Feb. 15, 2017

MP3 Interview with Leslie Cagan, veteran political activist and organizer, conducted by Scott Harris


After just three weeks in office, Donald Trump has led a chaotic and scandal-plagued administration into the history books as the most unpopular incoming president in modern American history. From Day One of his inauguration to the present, there have been countless protests targeting the Trump agenda – from the millions who gathered nationwide for the historic January 21 Women’s March, to spontaneous demonstrations at airports across the country in opposition to Trump's Muslim ban executive order.

Tens of thousands of long-time activists, joined by people new to protests, have come out in large numbers to challenge federal ICE raids deporting immigrants, as well as oppose legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and the repeal of Obama Care. Both Democrats and Republican legislators have seen thousands of angry progressive activists attend town hall meetings and flood Congressional switch boards with phone calls, unhappy with the direction of government policies under Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Leslie Cagan, one of the nation's most accomplished peace and social justice activists. She's organized some of the largest political protests in U.S. history, including the 1982 anti-nuclear weapons march in New York City's Central Park, the ground-breaking 1987 protest for gay and lesbian rights, the giant 2003 protests in opposition to the Iraq War and New York City's People's Climate March in September 2014. Here, Cagan discusses the amazing explosion of anti-Trump organizing going on around the U.S. – and offers her assessment of how this activism can be sustained for the long haul, and form an enduring and powerful progressive movement.

For more commentary on the future of the growing anti-Trump movement, visit "Your Guide to the Sprawling New Anti-Trump Resistance Movement,"The Nation, Feb. 6, 2017.

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