Hooray For The Resistance!

Immediately following the 2016 election, voters across the country organized into units of what they called “the Resistance.” It wasn’t entirely clear just how the members of those groups planned to resist. It still isn’t.

Obviously, most are making efforts to register voters, to encourage turnout, and to spread information about the damage being done by this administration. Naysayers–some of whom post comments to this blog–criticize these efforts as inadequate, although it isn’t always clear what other steps they are proposing.

I have friends who have traveled to the border to assist the humanitarian organizations working there, and I applaud them, but most of us have job and family obligations that prevent us from joining g those efforts. Consequently, there are significant numbers of frustrated citizens who would like to do more to resist this racist and destructive administration, but aren’t sure what actions are available and effective.

Folks in Nashville, Tennessee, have now provided us with one example.

In a Nashville suburb, an ICE agent’a attempt to take a man into custody on Monday morning proved unsuccessful when the man’s neighbors formed a human chain.

 An agent for the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to Nashville’s WVTF Channel 5 (a CBS affiliate), attempted to detain the man in Hermitage, Tennessee, which is about ten miles from Downtown Nashville.

The man had entered his van with his son when the agent blocked them in, and neighbors responded by bringing them water and wet rags. After the neighbors formed a human chain, the man and his son were able to escape and enter their home — which the ICE agent was not authorized to enter.

 The agent had an administrative warrant, which allows an ICE agent to detain someone but not to remove them from a home or vehicle by force. Unable to detain the man, the ICE agent left.

 The incident was broadcast online by the man’s neighbors on Facebook Live.

Time has additional information about the incident.

After a four-hour attempted arrest — during which time the undocumented man and his young son barricaded themselves inside a van parked in front of their home — ICE agents left, and neighbors and activists on the scene created a human chain to allow the family to get indoors.

“At that point it was being extra cautious and letting the family know, look, we got your back, we’re between you and the unknown, and here’s a safe pathway back to your front door,” Tristan Call, a volunteer at Movements Including X(MIX), a collective of young activists who organize for social causes, tells TIME. Call was a part of the human chain.

By the time the attempted arrest was over, dozens of people had showed up to support the undocumented man, including two city councilmen from Nashville. The volunteers showed up as part of a network called ICE Rapid Response to protect undocumented immigrants, just one example of communities throughout the country who have responded to increasing threats of ICE arrests.

Evidently, neighbors who witnessed the attempted arrest sounded the alarm, reaching out to local activist groups, who then informed their networks.

Civil disobedience has a long history in the United States, mostly–albeit not always–for the good.

Episodes like this one–in which neighbors and good people gather to frustrate illegitimate efforts undertaken by their government–give me hope.

The Republicans in the House and Senate who are in thrall to the GOP’s white nationalist base may have been neutered, but the resistance of ordinary Americans, like this episode in (Red) Tennessee, give hope and encouragement to those of us who believe in a very different America than the one to which Trump and his base appeal.


  1. change is good, and change is needed. thanks Nashville,and thanks for stepping up for the right to be free. recent talks with my working class associates,many i just met, they are getting somewhat more informed. the talk is more now of,look what dump,er trump did again. in the trucking industry, we lost our per diem over the so called billion aire, tax break. a deduction needed to offset the costs of living on the road. many,never even claim it, as myself, since it was granted only when $10k or more was being claimed,as per day, at $63, (legal)or, as my cpa, $48 keeps the audit goons at bay..though i claim 290 plus days a years, OTR,over the road,its really more. do the math, i exceed the $10k easy. my own expenses, are above $10k every year,for 39 years. (if your wondering,yes,i do eat out,and now look for a real restaurant at a truckstop, its now all fast food)(dont eat there,its not trucker recommended) my per diem cut,is a talking point in our industry,and many use it. now we are reading where,trump suggests, since our boss got all the rewards in his tax cut he should spread the wealth,, yea sure, when trump supports a food bank and signs a real living wage act for all Anericans,ill believe that… with big companies like werner,swift etc,(investor owned)and clout as a weapon,to kill off the small buisness and drivers remain next to a poverty wage, its that, that makes the conversation real now,not when dump was running his lip,and lying during his free for him media coverage,back in 2016. now i hear some rumbling from those who didnt,know a carney act, when they smelled one.. best wishes.

  2. Friends just moved to Nashville and I passed this on for them to join the effort -thanks!

  3. Exactly WHY are there so many undocumented immigrants in this country, especially those who were brought here as children? Many of them have sought documentation only to be lost in the system or turned away due to the vast numbers as the system bogs down in details and changing administrations, lack of staff to assist them and just plain racism and bigotry. Those who have used legal assistance are caught up in years of waiting and mounting legal fees. Immigration has been a growing problem here for many decades; every administration has shoved it aside for matters they deem more important than poverty stricken people from other countries fleeing life and death situations who simply do not matter to them. The color of their skin and/or their religion or their country of origin overshadows humanity. American citizens today are facing the same lack of humanity; from those in poverty stricken areas to elected officials in our government. We are, as a nation, viewed as shameful racists and the scourge of a once great nation which has caved to the 1%, corporations and the White Nationalist government run by two wealthy white men, Trump and McConnell, holding this country hostage. The ransom they demand is the continuation of the presidency as it now stands.

    The immigrant case I know of personally has spent 6 years and more than $10,000 to finalize arrangements to return one of the children brought here, now a married adult with a child, to their homeland to begin the legal action through an attorney to return legally, only to be forced into hiding due to Donald Trump. They, with good reason, fear arrest no matter which mode of travel which would prevent their legal return to their homeland to finalize their legal return to their family here. Already arranged and already paid for. How many others are in this position along with those unable or too terrified to seek documentation are waiting in hiding for salvation which will never come?

  4. Just resisting Trump isn’t enough. I believe Liz Warren has figured this out as she now acts more like Bernie every day. The systems that created a Trump are the problem. Trump is a piece of shit but has always been one yet rose to the White House only to gift his rich friends and then dismantle the government. Congress does the same by defunding programs.

    ICE is a Fascist regime as is the Border Patrol. Fascism is alive and well in the USA and this is what Americans need to resist with actual programs to fight authoritarianism. It’s called the end stages of capitalism as we know it. Saving one undocumented man – kudos. Using Facebook Live is what we are doing in our City Council meetings so others can see how our “public servants” act.

    One council member used the police department to threaten detractors and got caught. The ISP issued sanctions for pulling criminal histories illegally. The GOP clamors “socialism” but the fight is really about more democracy which is missing. When a POTUS can wage war without Congress, we have a problem.

    Protesting Trump himself but not changing the underlying systems does absolutely nothing but make you feel good for a day. We need to return the government back to the people where it belongs.

  5. It is heartening when people realize that “the other” they have been so frightened by and wary of just happens to be their neighbor, someone they like and have had extensive contact with. The question is,”Will they change their perceptions of immigrants, or will they decide that their neighbor is the exception and most immigrants are still evil?” We’ve seen too many stories of 45 supporters who are upset that their “friends” are being taken away by ICE, but still will vote for 45 again.

    My new heroes are the aging sisters (not nuns – there is a difference and anyone who spent their formative years in Catholic school should be able to tell you that) who were arrested for their peaceful demonstration at the Capital. What could be more inspiring than to see 90 year olds putting it on the line for justice? What a contrast to the other big story coming from the Catholic Church of pedophile priests.

  6. Yes, ICE is Trump’s Gestapo and he is increasingly emulating that latter horror with every passing day. Next time, the ICE thugs will just walk through the human chain and the warrant limitations and do what the Gestapo did 80 years ago.

    Of course thinking people will resist any way they can. BUT we MUST have the voter turnout to run these rats (Republicans) back into their sewers of corruption and then flush them into oblivion. That means that those 92+ million eligible voters who stayed home in 2016 MUST figure out what kind of country they want their children to grow up in or live in.

    The Hitlerian parallels of the Trump years are becoming more stark every day. His latest comments about Baltimore, a predominantly African-American city, illustrates Trump’s scorn for anything but white. It sickens me to have a president (lower case intended) berate our cities instead of doing something to clean them up. With each passing day, I am getting more deeply disturbed that we might not have a 2020 election. This feckless bastard has said more than once that he wants to be dictator for life. When the polls show that he will lose, don’t be surprised if he suspends the election and declares another phony national emergency.

    These are increasingly perilous times for our democracy and our Constitution and maybe resistance has to be moved up a couple of clicks. Remember, mass demonstrations in the 60s and 70s brought down TWO Presidents.

  7. Our strongest possible RESISTANCE is step 1. the 2018 November election; followed one year later by step 2. the 2020 November election.

  8. Anyone know of an outstanding humanitarian organization that is distributing bottled water, disposable diapers, toothbrushes and toothpaste to the cages and monitoring that the relief is reaching the people who need it? I want to donate.

  9. “Deplorables” consider their lifestyle honorable because they have always been taught to take care of themselves only, and the most they have have learned since is to extend that tiny circle to include their families and to some degree their friends. What snuck up on us is the degree to which the Republican Party had been successful at organizing them through entertainment media by fake news and political propaganda.

    Capitalists consider their lifestyle honorable because they have been taught to make more money now regardless of the impact on any others ever because it has rewarded them financially and they were taught that wealth is all that counts.

    Religous extremists consider their lifestyle honorable because they have been taught to believe that their god rules the universe and that defeating those who believe otherwise will earn them regard in his eyes.

    While the goal of the Party has always and only been grabbing power their supporters have been taught libertarianism, society without effective government, as a means to achieve the goals which define who they are.

    That is the culture that brought us dysfunctional, corrupt and incompetent government the likes of which we have never seen here but have observed in many other countries.

    Only me and those like me, never “others”.

    In order for the republic to survive it is ultimately necessary to re-enculturate those groups to honor our Constitution not necessarily instead of what others have taught them but to recognize how essential good government is instead of libertarianism which has never been even been tried in the many millennia we have been civilizing and taking over the earth.

    That can be done just as it was undone over several decades. However, first we have to return to competent government serving we the people based on our Constitutional rights and responsibilities. That’s our only job for the next two years.

  10. JoAnn writes, “Exactly WHY are there so many undocumented immigrants in this country, especially those who were brought here as children?”

    My reply would be Corporate America found a source of exploitable labor. They are perfect targets. The undocumented cannot complain, organize or take job actions or they will be fired, and possibly deported. There will always be someone to take their place. Given that our Federal Government is largely in the hands of Corporate America, this situation of exploitable labor is heaven on earth.

    Reasonable people could have solved this issue years ago, with a path to citizenship and protection of basic human rights and severe penalties for employers who exploit these workers. The answer seems to have been round up the undocumented and let the employers off with a meaningless fine.

  11. Bravo Sheila!

    This is exactly how we as Americans should be a reacting to the garbage that is being foisted upon all of us by these total clowns that now infest the Republican Party and it turned it from something that, at least on occasion would be worthwhile, to nothing but a collection of sycophantic and worthless betrayers of all the values that we hold dear, nurtured generation by generation going all the way back to the beginning of this Republic.

    We have no choice but to fight those that have committed this vile thing starting with Trump, Moscow Mitch and all the others that put themselves over country the chain every day. We have to fight the fear, the numbing fear that is kept the other side of the aisle from acting in a coordinated and forthright way to combat this creeping crud, egged on by external influences, AKA the Russians and their intelligence services, and stop this assault on our nation’s sovereignty.

    We also have to confront, in any way we can, what the Republicans are doing to reverse hard fought social progress that has been obtained over the last 60 years via pushing hackneyed agendas that in the light of day hold no weight or water and are detrimental to our country’s progress as a free nation with liberty and justice for all. Those last six words are supposed to be preeminent in anything that our government does in our name for us. We have stood back, largely as observers only, and have allowed this thing to get as far down the road as it has with it being contrary to the core values this country was founded on, ones most of us know by heart, and allowed it to progress as far as it has by using them as the guiding lights for the evolution of the idea which is what America really has been all along-an idea.

    If it means taking to the streets, so be it. If it means getting out and working for a political candidates that through their actions demonstrate those traditional American values, so be it. We are right now basically where the rubber meets the road and it will be what we do all over the course of that next year and a half that will, very likely, decide the future of this country both in terms of its own political and social cohesion but also our place in the world order with us returning to what we should be and have been-a beacon of liberty for the rest of the world. While we have had our ups and downs that have been widely chronicled in our long history over and over we have always managed to rise to the occasion and come together as a people and cross whatever hurdles are placed in front of us by either by ourselves or others. There should be no stopping us from confronting what we’re dealing with today and getting past it as well.

    God bless America!!!!

  12. Thank you as always, Sheila! Correction: The call letters for Channel 5 in Nashville, TN, are WTVF. Joy Reid featured a clip on Sunday morning (July 28, 2019) from WTVF featuring Tim Wise, an anti-racist who is very vocal about how to deal with the Trump matter going forward. He has several books on the subject. We may be going at this thing in the wrong way. Follow Tim Wise to see what you think.

  13. I agree with ML regarding why our government keeps kicking the immigration issue down the road.

    Does anyone else recall the legislative bill that was created a few years ago in Indiana? I think Mike Delph authored it, but I could be mistaken about that. The bill’s intention was to punish corporations that hire illegal immigrants with large enough fines that it would deter the corps from hiring them.

    The bill was soundly defeated in the IN legislature. I can only assume that the corporations that hired the illegal immigrants donated money to (or threatened in some way) the members that were in favor of passing it.

    I do not know about the rest of Indiana, but there are several corporations in northern Indiana that take advantage of the financial savings of hiring illegal immigrants.

  14. Nancy; It was Mike Delph, the bill included fining landlords who knowingly rented to illegal immigrants. Sen. Merritt killed the bill; saying it was the job of federal government, not state. Delph resubmitted the bill with changes; again Merritt killed it. The next year Mike Delph submitted a bill to aid students buried under thousands in student loans…killed by Merritt.

    I sent Merritt so many E-mails arguing with his tactics against doing anything about illegal immigrants that he finally asked for my home phone number so he could call me that night “to discuss the issue”. I told him I am deaf; cannot use a phone and communicated by E-mail. Never heard from him again.

    In 1991 Mayor Bill Hudnut asked Deputy Director Gene Lausch of Department of Metropolitan Development to study the problem of abandoned buildings in Indianapolis, concentrating on abandoned homes. The issue was taken to the public, private businesses, schools, churches, neighborhood organizations, etc., and it took on a life of its own. At that time there were 4,500 – 5,000 abandoned houses here; the report came out in book form and the public wanted more done. There was an all day conference held; we turned away many because the spaces were quickly filled, and there was a fee to attend and participate. Sen. Merritt was one of the speakers during the lunch break; his topic was Unsafe Building Amendments in the 1991 General Assembly. Merritt has continued to ignore this issue since 1991 until his run against Mayor Joe Hogsett this year; he is blaming Mayor Hogsett for the now 14,000 abandoned buildings here. This city has its own problems regarding illegal immigrants; including those who are victimized by the Republicans supporting Trump. Do you have any faith in Merritt doing anything about this issue other than follow Trump’s lead?

  15. thanks everyone,i just came through again today to see where this conversation is going. best wishes,and please meet with anyone,and discuss this very item.

  16. JoAnn, thanks for the reminder of the details. Now, to figure out what Merritt was going to get and by whom when he defeated those bills.

  17. Here’s another Hooray from the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board on Trump’s attack on Cummings:

    “We,” the board wrote, “would tell the most dishonest man to ever occupy the Oval Office, the mocker of war heroes, the gleeful grabber of women’s private parts, the serial bankrupter of businesses, the useful idiot of Vladimir Putin and the guy who insisted there are ‘good people’ among murderous neo-Nazis that he’s still not fooling most Americans into believing he’s even slightly competent in his current post. Or that he possesses a scintilla of integrity.

    “Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.”

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