The 98-year-old American Civil Liberties Union is delving into direct action and activism, with a March 11 event in Florida kicking off a new “People Power” project aimed at getting cities to reject President Trump’s policies.
In a memo shared with The Washington Post, the ACLU plans to add volunteers — it has already recruited more than 2,000 — for “a plan to fight the Trump administration lawfully and systematically, not just by defending each individual as they are detained, harassed, or deported.”
It’s developed nine principles for activists to organize around and demand from civic leaders, from a prohibition on “surveillance of a person or group based solely or primarily upon a person or group’s actual or perceived religion, ethnicity, race, or immigration status” to several ideas that would mean noncompliance with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“People Power volunteers will put pressure on elected officials and local law enforcement officials through targeted grassroots action to urge adoption of the ‘Freedom Cities’ nine ‘model’ state and local law enforcement policies,” the ACLU states in the memo. “As a volunteer organizer you don’t have to understand all the ins and outs of the legal language to advocate for these policies and rules. What you need to know and advocate for is that these are the policies and rules for law enforcement that the ACLU has determined our cities, towns and counties need to protect Muslims, immigrants and refugees from some of the worst abuses of the Trump administration.”
According to an update provided to ACLU members this month, the “People Power” project — soft-launched in February — has grown at a rapid speed, across the country. The ACLU claims that 133,000 people have signed up for the project, in addition to the 2,100 volunteers organizing events.
“Peoplepower.org will be a one-stop hub for activist resources and listings of ACLU nationwide mobilizations, activities sponsored by like-minded groups, and information about local gatherings posted by volunteers across the country,” it says.