“We cannot and should not legitimize the transfer of authority to a right-wing populist who has neo-fascist orientations,” Kali Akuno told AlterNet over the phone. “We shouldn’t legitimize that rule in any form or fashion. We need to build a program of being ungovernable.”
As the co-director of the Mississippi-based group Cooperation Jackson and an organizer with the nationwideMalcolm X Grassroots Movement, Akuno is one of countless people across the country working diligently to build a platform sturdy enough to confront Trump’s America.
Movimiento Cosecha, led by undocumented people and immigrants, isplanning to go on the offensive to organize a migrant boycott and general strike demanding “permanent protection, dignity, and respect of immigrants.” Groups including Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM) arealready striking preemptive blows against a potential Muslim registry under Trump by successfully demanding that the Obama administration eliminate the regulatory framework for a Bush-era registry. The New Sanctuary Movement, meanwhile, is getting ready to mobilize large numbers of people to intervene against a potential escalation of raids targeting immigrants.
For Akuno, whose organizations strive for self-determination for people of African descent and the eco-socialist transformation of society as a whole, now is an important time for movements to be talking to each other and strategizing how to unfold aprogram of noncompliance and noncooperation on both the federal and state levels. “We are not going to legitimize this regime, and we are going to try to draw a deeper level of criticism to the entire system,” he emphasized. “If Trump and Clinton were the best the system could offer, there is something wrong with the system. There always has been. We need to start envisioning what kind of future we want and need.”
A call for civil servants to resist
“A core component of resistance is to get the class of civil servants, particularly on the federal but also the state level, to not comply with arbitrary laws and policies that are going to be created,” said Akuno. “To not recognize the laws we know are coming that will discriminate against Black people, Latinos, immigrants and queer people. There is no need for anyone to comply. Let’s not give it legitimacy just because it’s the law. We need to be prepared to disobey and engage in civil disobedience. We need to get ready for that now.”
Akuno said there are already encouraging signs that such resistance is building among civil servants. Concerned that critical climate data will vanish under a climate-change denying Trump administration, scientists and meteorologists are working to copy and safely store public data using independent servers. Earlier this month, the University of Toronto held a “Guerrilla Archiving”event inviting volunteers to “join in a full day of hackathon activities in preparation for the Trump presidency.” The website “Climate Mirror” waserected as part of an effort to “mirror public climate datasetsbefore the Trump Administration takes officeto make sure these datasets remain freely and broadly accessible.”