A few of my friends called me out because I raised the alarm with my previous post of freedom. They said I didn’t offer any specific solutions about how to defend your freedom in democratic regimes.
This only works if you have elected officials representing your best interests. The more fragile the democracy, the less power we have as individuals to influence things.
Reach out to your immediate community and friends
Before taking more extreme measures or committing to more time, reach out to your friends and immediate community and assess the situation. See if others feel the same way. It’s easier to find support, and take the next steps as a group. There’s so many ways to connect and organize nowadays, so I won’t get into that. Email / phone numbers are usually a good idea to have, in case you need to move people off social networks and onto other channels.
Privately reach out to your representative
You’re living in a democracy, so you elect people to represent you at local, regional and national level. Find out who your representative is and start reaching out to them and express your concerns. Do it in a calm, articulate way and be respectful. Ask for help and show that you are not alone in feeling that your freedom is being threatened.
If they don’t respond, use public channels, like Social Media, to continue reaching out to them until they take notice. Here being more that a handful of people helps a lot. Interject existing social conversations and prevent them from carrying out their comms plans while ignoring you.
Look at how existing grassroots organizations do this. Learn from activists.
Gather public support
While you are working on the official outreach, it can be a good idea to start a petition. This is a good way to get your voice heard and get like-minded people to rally together. It will amplify your impact beyond your friends and family group. This is the place where there’s strength in numbers.
At this point, you should consider starting a group/newsletter/community, so you can better organize people that feel their freedom is threatened. This will enable you to take coordinated action, managed decision making, keep people informed of latest progress.
Find existing communities that defend freedom and democracy
It’s also a good idea to get in touch with non-profits that defend democracy and can help you defend your freedom. Thankfully, we have a lot of these in the US. They can help you connect with people with similar concerns, have experience battling abuse on this topic and have tools that you can’t easily access.
Take visible action consistently
It takes time and commitment to defend your freedom. You need to have a cadence of staging protests on visible properties/channels, petitions, press coverage, legal action and other tools your local non-profit can help with.
You need to keep doing it for a significant period of time – weeks or months, or until the threat is removed. People will stop abusive action if they are called out and there is consequence – either reputational, political, or, if the legal framework permits, constitutional.
Celebrate victories with your network
This is a very important step. Celebrate every new supporter, new piece of coverage or reply from your representatives. If you manage to get legal wins, celebrate those too. Keep spirits up during hard times by doing this consistently.
These are just a few ways you can start protecting your freedom. If you feel this will put you or your family in immediate danger, try to rally a bigger support group before going out on your own. Stay safe and stay free.
Photo by Katie Rodriguez on Unsplash