Don't Mourn, Organize!

11/09/2016 02:55 am ET Updated Nov 09, 2017

There will be shock and tears and wailing. When you get past grief... start working.

T. S. Elliot, in "The Hollow Men", wrote, "This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper." Not for me. I'm from the Bronx, and came of age in the anti-war movement; I intend to fight. Right now! How about you?

What can be done? Lots.

First, we need to start and implement a vast national movement. My suggestions for names: The ATR (Anti-Trump Resistance). Or: PFA (Patriots for America). We need demonstrations and new forms of protests, all over the country. In giant numbers. Start organizing right now.

We need a coordinating body; this can't be scattershot. I call on Huffington Post or some other major web site to create a central clearinghouse for the Resistance, so that the sum is greater, has far more impact, than the individual parts.

Next, we need to take care of the vulnerable. Back in the sixties, every university, every city set up draft counseling centers, with trained people giving help and effective advice to those who refused to serve. We need this same network created for the millions of immigrants in our country, whose families, whose lives, whose future is now at risk.

Obamacare is gone; Trump and a Republican-dominated Congress (both Houses) will make that a priority. Twenty million Americans could lose health care, those least able to replace it. For those who don't want to march but can contribute money, think about setting up or helping a free clinic.

It is clear that the fringe right will be emboldened now. All kinds of people, Muslims Jews, LGBT, everyone different, could be at risk of vigilantism. Back in the late nineteenth century, the Populist movement forged an integrated party with both white and black leaders; when mobs threatened these families, fellow Populists showed up and surrounded their house, protecting the residents with their own flesh. If someone today, in your area, faced the danger, would you be willing to spend the night sitting up with them?

One note of the greatest importance. There can't be violence from our side. Basically it would give them cause to use violence of their own, and in turn legitimate it. Both Gandhi and our own civil rights movement won because they shamed their attackers, not because they triumphed in battle.

I'm an old man. Lots of people are planning to leave for Canada (the Canadian immigration website crashed as the news turned bad). I can't, I won't do that. This is my country, damn it, and I won't give it up without a fight.

Joe Hill, an IWW organized, told us what to do. He instructed his followers, "Don't waste any time in mourning... Organize."