Through marches and dogged pursuit of elected officials, people across the US have helped to block some of the administration’s most anti-progressive policies
Despite Donald Trump’s claim that his administration is running like a “fine-tuned machine”, activists have already managed to score victories against some of the most anti-progressive policies of the president and his Republican allies.
Through rallies, marches and dogged pursuit of elected officials, people across the country have helped to block some of Trump’s initiatives, and draw attention to government missteps.
Here are some of activists’ most dramatic wins so far:
Puzder withdraws from labor secretary consideration
Andrew Puzder, the chief executive of CKE Restaurants, was Trump’s first choice to run the Department of Labor, but he withdrew himself from the running in February after complaints from Democrats and labor groups.
Hundreds of activists protested at Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s restaurants – owned by CKE Restaurants – on 12 January. They sought to draw attention to Puzder’s vocal opposition to minimum wage increases and his controversial business record.
In Washington Democrats held press conferences denouncing Puzder’s record. Under his leadership CKE restaurants ran sexualized advertising campaigns, and Puzder himself wrote in 2011 that “we believe in putting hot models in our commercials because ugly ones don’t sell burgers”.
Republicans back off effort to sell 3.3m acres of public land
In early February, Congressman Jason Chaffetz withdrew a bill that would have ordered the incoming secretary of the interior to sell off 3.3m acres of national land, after hundreds of protesters and 20 outdoor industry groups criticised the law.
People gathered at statehouses in New Mexico and Montana to demonstrate against House bill 621, which would have seen land in 10 states available for sale.
#GrabYourWallet sees companies dump Trump
The campaign was launched in October 2016, in response to Donald Trump’s infamous boasts that his fame allowed him to sexually assault women; specifically, to “grab them by the pussy”.
GrabYourWallet lists dozens of companies which have ties to the president – either by selling his or his family’s products, or by endorsing him during the election campaign.
Since the campaign started a number of companies have dropped Ivanka Trump’s clothing line, including Shoes.com, Shopstyle and most recently Nordstrom. In addition to delivering a financial hit to Ivanka Trump, the campaign succeeded in upsetting the president, who tweeted that his daughter had been “treated so unfairly” by Nordstrom.
Temporarily blocking the immigration executive order
Trump’s 27 January executive order suspending immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries sparked protests across the country. Thousands of people gathered at airports in New York City, LA, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Ohio, Orlando and elsewhere as travellers were detained.
At the same time groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and National Immigration Law Center filed lawsuits against the executive order.
On 3 February a federal judge ordered a temporary halt on the ban, restoring travel for refugees and people from the excluded countries, and on 9 February the ninth circuit court of appeals upheld that ruling. Trump on Monday issued a new executive order, which contained a number of revisions.
Overwhelming attendance at town halls
The congressional recess is traditionally a time for elected officials to hold town halls for their constituents. People took advantage of this to turn out in droves to events, questioning both Republicans and Democrats about their commitment to Obamacare, to the environment and more.
The actions were successful in two ways. Many congressmen and women decided not to host events, enabling activists to draw attention to their lack of interaction with voters. Even Republicans, including New Jersey governor Chris Christie, criticized their colleagues for not facing their constituents.
Separately, elected officials said that the attendance and tough questioning at town halls and other events was having an effect. Representative Mo Brooks, from Alabama’s fifth congressional district, was among those to note the impact.
“In my opinion, the massive obstructionist nature of the protests, particularly the disruption of town hall meetings, is having an effect on a good number of our more liberal, big government, weak-kneed, squishy-spined Republican senators and House members,” Brooks said. He predicted that the constituent opposition might even stop Republicans from repealing Obamacare.
#DeleteUber leads to people deleting Uber
More than 200,000 people reportedly deleted their Uber accounts after the company did not participate in a taxi drivers’ strike at JFK airport. The strike had been called in response to Trump’s executive order banning immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries.
As well as continuing to run cars to and from the airport, Uber tweeted that it had “turned off” surge pricing during the strike, seemingly taking advantage of the taxi drivers’ action.
Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, had joined Trump’s economic advisory council in December 2016, but decided to step down following the furore.
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