Originally published by the Daily Lobo
By Celia Raney
Excitement, joy and applause sprouted from every corner of a crowded room where community members gathered with a plan of action: stop President Donald Trump.
Founded by Barbara Lemaire, the Nob Hill chapter of Indivisible held its second meeting at local restaurant Canvas Artistry Wednesday evening.
A nationwide organization founded by activists and former congressional staffers, Indivisible’s goal is to proactively resist Trump’s political agenda.
“What we’re doing as Indivisible is taking what the Tea Party did, taking out the spitting and guns, and we are making our voices heard,” Lemaire said.
The Nob Hill chapter, which already has more than 200 members, is working with 11 other Indivisible divisions throughout the Albuquerque area.
Urging members to express their concerns, speakers at the meeting addressed recent events, such as the polarizing confirmation of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education.
“I’m a mom, and I’m really concerned about the future of our kids,” new member Rachel Matier said. “It’s important that we continue to mobilize.”
Lemaire and co-organizer Gary Coffin encouraged students to get involved, stating at the meeting that Indivisible is looking for writers to help engage with the media and public.
“(Students) were so burnt out after (former Democratic presidential candidate) Bernie (Sanders), so what I really want them to understand is Bernie was a shining light, and you gotta take that fire and bring it to the next cause,” Lemaire said. “They could start now, they can make things change. They don’t have to feel helpless or hopeless.”
The whole group was compelled by what Sanders inspired, and understood the icon he became for young voters.
“The Bernie Sanders movement — that happened not because of my generation or her generation, that happened because of your generation,” Coffin said. “It’s your world. We’re just renting it from you at this point. It’s your time to really impact and make the changes that are either going to preserve this Earth or change its political structure.”
Members of Indivisible shared their grievances, both lighthearted and serious.
“We’re two gay men, out on the table,” one man said. “Trump wants to make sure we’re discriminated against in the business community. These are everybody’s issues. If we don’t stand together in a group, supporting each other, we will fail.”
“He tweets like a 14-year-old girl!” another audience member said. “All of his tweets should start with ‘OMG.’”
As the meeting progressed, members asked about the best and most proactive ways to get involved.
Coffin encouraged constituents to reach out to their representatives by phone.
“They don’t read their emails; when that much is thrown at you, you can’t,” he said. “Trump has been in office for two weeks and so much has happened that it already feels like an eternity.”
Although the overall vibe of the event was positive, an assistant professor at UNM who asked to remain anonymous was worried that many people did not feel they could speak out.
“People don’t feel like they can share, because you don’t know what list you’re going to be on, or whether or not you’re going to be targeted,” she said.
The main goal of the meeting was to motivate people to “get stronger ties with members of congress,” Lemaire said.
“We don’t have to reinvent the wheel, we just have to find the directions,” she said.