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No Time to Get Comfortable: Resisting oppression and working for transformative change in Grand Rapids right now!

November 10, 2020

The 2020 Election is now over. Sure Trump, McConnell and other GOP holdouts are still contesting the election results, but they don’t have a leg to stand on and even Fox News and Jared Kushner have urged Trump to concede gracefully. Plus, the armed, White Supremacist groups that had been threatening a major uprising have demonstrated that they don’t have the capacity to really threaten the outcome on a large scale.

There have been lots of people who have celebrated the ousting of Donal Trump, both on social media an in the streets. This celebration is understandable and welcomed, but we are far from achieving the kind of transformative politics we so desperately need. While Trump will be gone from the White House, he is merely a symptom of our deep seated problems. 

The US will still be an Empire that engages in imperialist an colonial policies around the globe, with nearly 200 military bases and hundreds of thousands of troops ready to enforce military and economic policies that benefit the Capitalist Class. 

Millions of Americans will still be facing eviction in the New Year, when the CDC moratorium on evictions will end and many more are facing the loss of their homes due to the ongoing housing crisis, compounded by high unemployment.

Immigrant children are still in cages and Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) will still be operating under the Biden/Harris administration. This means that ICE will continue to arrest, detain and deport immigrants, which has escalated under every administration since the Clinton.

Climate Change is still an extremely urgent matter, with regular reports coming from Climate scientists on how they have underestimated to severity of the crisis. The Biden/Harris administration will likely rejoin the Paris Accords, but that is a woefully inadequate response to the crisis. Numerous Climate Justice organizations are already demanding that the Bidden/Harris administration adopt a 10 step plan with the first 10 days of the new administration, plus the Green New Deal has to be adopted soon in order for Climate catastrophe to be avoided.

Mass incarceration, police violence and other manifestations of State violence and White Supremacy are deeply entrenched in our society and there are no indications that the Biden/Harris administration will threaten this reality. 

Indigenous land is still being occupied through Settler Colonialism and indigenous resistance to oil pipelines is still being criminalized and threatened with State violence. 

For those who have been doing on the ground work during the Trump administration, none of them are under the illusion that a Biden/Harris administration will mean they can relax or start having long, relaxing brunches. 

Groups like Movimiento Cosecha GR are still fighting to get Driver’s Licenses for All in the short term, with long terms goals to win dignity, respect and permanent protection for the estimate 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country. GR Rapid Response to ICE will continue to work with Cosecha, along with their commitment to resisting ICE in Kent County and providing solidarity and Mutual Aid to immigrant families impacted by ICE violence. and

The Grand Rapids Area Mutual Aid Network (GRAMAN) is continuing to raise funds to provide Mutual Aid to families, particularly Black, latinx and indigenous, that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID 19 crisis. The COVID crisis has only escalated in recent weeks and most estimates suggest that the crisis will continue at least through all of 2021. This means there will be huge needs for the families that GRAMAN is working with. 

Groups like Justice for Our Lives and DeFund the GRPD are working on confronting the funding for the Grand Rapids Police Department, which continues to push for additional funds, despite large calls for defunding throughout the community. DeFund the GRPD has resources for alternatives to calling the police and they have set up an online resource for people who want to share their stories about police abuse in Grand Rapids. You can access these resources at

The Grand Rapids Area Tenant Union is fairly new, but is working to build a tenant-led union to challenge the power of landlords and Property Management Companies in the area. They have resources for those facing eviction and are beginning to host regular online meetings to allow people to access resources and connect with other tenants. 

Then there are groups like Together We Are Safe, the Urban Core Collective, the Sunrise Movement, Democratic Socialist of America, the ACLU, the People’s Budget and many more in this community that always need volunteers and supporters to be involved in the fight for transformative justice and collective liberation.

All of these groups are doing important work and we can not abandon them just because Trump will soon be out of the White House. Imagine if all the energy and financial support that people provided to the 2020 Elections were to go to the groups listed above, imagine how that could impact the grassroots, transformative work they are doing. With electoral politics, you chose politicians to represent you, sometimes they lose, but even if they win they often don’t end up representing the change you want to see in the world. With grassroots organizing, you get to be involved in the ongoing work using direct action tactics and strategies, which can actually begin to dismantle the systems of power and oppression you are fighting against, plus it provides a direct democracy avenue to build community and work for the kinds of collective liberation we do want to see in this world. 

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