Celebrate #WeThePeople’s incredible defense of civil liberties during Trump’s first 100 days
Over the past 100 days, we have seen a barrage of attacks on civil liberties at the federal, state and local level — but each time, #WeThePeople have risen up and bravely fought to defend the freedoms promised in the U.S. Constitution. While the “Your First 100 Days Challenge” ends today, ACLU’s fight for freedom continues, and we hope you will join us as we keep fighting for liberty, equality and justice for all.
For your final task of #100DaysTN, celebrate just a handful of the incredible things YOU accomplished for fairness and equality in the first 100 Days of Trump’s presidency, and get ready to keep fighting the good fight with ACLU:
We marched with millions around the world. On January 21st, millions of people around the world took to the streets in the largest single-day protest in U.S. history. In Washington D.C. alone, the crowd was estimated at 500,000. Eight marches and rallies for women’s equality including thousands of people were held in Tennessee alone.
We became a legislative force, urging state lawmakers to vote in favor of civil liberties over 125,000 times. While it has been a divisive few months at the Tennessee legislature, ACLU-TN’s supporters’ engagement has helped secure some major victories at the Capitol. This session, we asked our supporters to contact lawmakers on bills ranging from abortion access to fair treatment of immigrants to the school-to-prison-pipeline and you answered in force, sending thousands of letters to state legislators. Details can be found at our Legislative Action Center.
We helped bring a refugee family home to Tennessee. After the Trump Administration’s first Muslim ban barred him from starting a new life in the U.S., despite his having worked for the U.S. government in Iraq, Fuad Sharef Suleman and his family were finally cleared to travel with the help of ACLU-TN, the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, and others. The family arrived in Nashville in February.
We swiftly and decisively stopped the discriminatory anti-Muslim travel bans. When Trump issued a shocking executive order banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., ACLU and our supporters swung into action. The public outcry against anti-refugee discrimination and ACLU’s immediate legal challenges quickly toppled the unconstitutional order. With his second ban resulting in more public outrage and injunctions, we have sent a clear message to President Trump that we will not let fear and discrimination stop our country’s tradition of welcoming those who have worked hard to build a new life here.
We stood up for criminal justice reform in Tennessee. While criminal justice reform has been a priority for ACLU-TN for years, your voice at the legislature helped us make great gains in this area during the 110th Tennessee General Assembly. From working to reform juvenile justice policies that will help Tennessee youth get out and stay out of the criminal justice system to increasing transparency about our state’s broken civil asset forfeiture system, to making it easier for those who have been incarcerated to get a fair chance to rebuild their lives, your tireless legislative efforts led to numerous victories for criminal justice reform in Tennessee in the past 100 days.
We defended protestors’ free speech from First Amendment-chilling lawmakers. You helped us quickly quash an attempt to intimidate newly-energized protesters from exercising their First Amendment rights. After public outcry, this bill failed in the House, sending the message to state legislators that #WeThePeople won’t tolerate violations of our First Amendment rights.
We stopped Congress’ plan to strip healthcare from 24 million Americans in its tracks. Despite promising for years to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and strip millions — particularly women, people with disabilities, communities of color, low-income individuals and families — of their access to healthcare, Congress was unable to overcome the overwhelming public support of ACA and abandoned their initial plan to repeal it at the twelfth hour.
We refused to let lawmakers target transgender youth. Last year our state came perilously close to passing legislation targeting trans students for discrimination, this year Tennesseans showed up in force to support the rights of gender-nonconforming youth. After meeting with LGBTQ+ students and their allies from across Tennessee and witnessing the sea change of public support for this vulnerable community, legislators are finally beginning to realize the challenges this group faces just trying to live their authentic lives. This session, the so-called “bathroom bill” was shut down in committee without even a motion to debate it, showing that our legislators recognize that we are not interested in making Tennessee a hateful state.
We squashed an appalling fetal heartbeat bill. Our supporters also put pressure on lawmakers to abandon a draconian measure that would have prohibited abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected — as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, when many women don’t yet even know they are pregnant.
We stood strong in support of immigrants in Tennessee. When state lawmakers considered a bill that would force local law enforcement agencies to comply with otherwise voluntary aspects of immigration enforcement and punish attempts to establish sanctuary cities, you refused to stand for the sweeping and extreme anti-immigrant measure. In the face of vocal opposition, the bill lost momentum and was deferred to the 2018 legislative session.
We made Team ACLU the strongest we’ve ever been in our 100-year history. Since the election, more and more people are mobilizing to protect their rights and join Team ACLU by becoming members and signing up to volunteer in record numbers. Since the election, ACLU-TN has received hundreds of applications to become a volunteer or a cooperating attorney, and we’re always accepting more. In the past months, ACLU has also more than quadrupled in membership, now numbering 1.6 million ACLU members across the country. This support is vital to the work we do protecting your rights, and with your help the ACLU is stronger than ever.
We put the power back in the hands of the people. Over 200,000 people joined People Power, ACLU’s new effort to engage and empower grassroots volunteers nationwide, for its first Resistance Training live-stream in March. From Memphis to Knoxville, Tennessee’s freedom fighters gathered together to learn how they could take the next steps to resist Trump’s attacks on our basic freedoms. Visit People Power to learn how you can get involved.
Congratulations on all that you have achieved during the “Your First 100 Days Challenge.”
There is still much to be done, and we’re not turning back now. We look forward to continuing to fight the good fight with you!