We Are a Civic Tide

Today, well over a million people around the globe are marching to show their resistance to the ascent of a new American demagogue. The dynamics of this moment are complex, with roots that run deep in American history, and the history of other countries, all of which have contributed to the bold invention of an active, visible, vocal public.

New Yorkers' reaction

Protestors walk down 42nd Street near Grand Central Terminal during the Women’s March in New York City at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. NYTMARCH NYTCREDIT: Nicole Craine for The New York Times

The roots of today’s brilliant display of civic responsibility are intertwined with the dark and subversive realities of the 2016 election. I believe we need these events—deeply, urgently, profoundly—to become a turning point in our civic life. This crack in the proverbial long arc of history is also a genuine opportunity to fight for the rights of individuals to govern themselves in the face of modern tyranny and exploitation.

So, let’s do that. Let’s think clearly, and communicate actively, in the interests of those who are too often held back and held down. Let’s use this incredible upswell of energy to create a focused pattern of civic action, one that can batter and break down the old structures of privilege and division. If we are resolute, irrepressible, unrelenting, we can change the edifice of our social and political reality.

We are a civic tide, rising. 

This project is one tiny part of a much larger endeavor that will be diffuse, diverse, and expansive. No great movement is entirely self-organizing or self-sustaining, so this broader effort will benefit from creativity, encouragement, and shared expertise. For the many people who will be part of this new civic moment, this is intended as one modest but perhaps useful source for such information and insight.

I invite any and all constructive contributions and collaboration—join me! Help me find a way to develop something that could be valuable for you as you undertake the crucial work ahead. I hope to include links to resources on organizing, relevant news from reliable sources, academic research, and occasional commentary, all of which is intended to be pragmatic and encouraging. I certainly can’t do it all alone, so I hope you will consider sending links, sharing ideas, and even contributing.

There is no broad and salutary civic evolution without a rising tide. Let’s be that tide and change our fate.

About cjlingle

I'm a civic engagement strategist working in Seattle and New York, helping organizations build communities and persuade audiences on issues of climate, democracy, and social justice.
This entry was posted in Civic Organizations, Democracy, History, Protest. Bookmark the permalink.

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