Within recent weeks, a man who threatened the life of Rep. Martha McSally's (R-AZ) was arrested by the FBI, Rep. Tom Garrett (R-VA) increased security at a town hall after receiving death threats, while a woman pursued Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN) in her car. Other Republicans are worried about the fiery emotions expressed by some of their constituents.
Media coverage and amateur video have recorded scenes in which people attending Republican town hall events have shouted down Republican lawmakers, while crying out their opposition to President Trump’s policies. Various progressive and leftist groups have coordinated their attendance at these events.
Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) said that at a town hall last week he was booed when he said that Constitutional rights are given by God. He told The Hill, “They booed God. ...They booed the prayer….They booed when I said rights come from God” , which Brat said is “fundamental” to western civilization. Moreover, Brat said he did not think that the booing was “partisan.”
The young daughter of Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) discovered a sign on the family lawn last week. It read, “Traitors put party above country Do the right thing for once, shithead.” He later told Neil Cavuto on Fox News, “Attack me, protest against me, but do not frighten my children at their home.” He added, “If we are going to be a true civil society that actually upholds the values of liberty and free speech, which means respect for differences and trying to work that out through the ballot box if necessary, but also through rational conversation.”
Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) told The Hill that protesters threatened his staff and vandalized his office. One constituent left a message on the office answering machine, saying, “Next time I see you, I’m going to beat your f---ing ass.” Protesters showed up every week in the front lobby of the office and complained that they did not have access. Since then, he has allowed only those visitors who have pre-arranged for an appointment.
Groups such as MoveOn.org has coordinated protest efforts for events such as the Women’s March on Washington that brought thousands of protesters to the streets of the nation’s capital on the day after President Trump was inaugurated. MoveOn is now coordinating something it calls “Resistance Summer.” On the group’s website, it claims that it “blocked much of Trump and the GOP's agenda” and “strengthened our networks…” Decrying what it sees as “slashing of the social safety net to benefit the wealthy; an escalation of saber-rattling and war-making; rampant racism, sexism, and anti-immigrant hate-baiting; deliberate undermining of our democratic institutions; climate chaos and denial,” MoveOn vows to “organize and mobilize.”
With Resistance Summer, MoveOn seeks to build up the “Resistance” to what it calls “Trumpism” by training 1,000 MoveOn activists in organizing and mobilizing skills. The organization is offering:
in weekly online trainings in organizing and mobilizing skills from the nation's top organizers;
be matched with a cohort of 25 fellow MoveOn Mobilizers and an expert Resistance Facilitator who will support and coach you and your cohort;
put your training into practice by organizing one community event per month in June, July, and August, with the support of your cohort and your Resistance Facilitator (June Community Cookout, July Voter Contact Event, August Recess town halls and other accountability events), and by being ready to act in moments of rapid-response;
receive a $150 monthly reimbursement to help offset the often-hidden costs of volunteering: cell phone minutes, transportation, and oh, those snacks you bring to meetings!
upon successful completion of the Resistance Summer program, you'll have the opportunity to join MoveOn's national Rapid-Response Network to help your community respond to critical national moments by leading timely local actions.
On its website, MoveOn
asks applicants to declare their experience in areas such as "civil disobedience," "BlackLivesMatter," "MLK event." "LGBTQ rights rallies or actions" and "other political or social justice event."