This post was originally written by Nikko Snyder as a Facebook Note. Used with permission from Nikko.
I started working on this shortly after the Saskatchewan budget came down nearly a month ago, but by the time it was ready to share I felt the time for it had come and gone. HOWEVER, with the recent good news about the Sask Party’s record low approval ratings and Brad Wall’s wavering on his cuts to the SK library system, I think it’s clear that what we need now is yet another focused WAVE OF RESISTANCE. Brad Wall is starting to experience (for the first time since coming to power) the true power of Saskatchewan citizens, and he’s getting scared. Let’s see what happens if we redouble our efforts to let him know that his vision of Saskatchewan is simply not acceptable.
Since Saskatchewan’s provincial budget came down on March 22 I’ve been experiencing incredible anger and a strong desire to take action. But I often feel overwhelmed and unsure about what effective action looks like, especially in a dire situation like the one we’re facing. My mind has kept coming back to something that filmmaker Michael Moore posted shortly after the election of Donald Trump: a 10-Point Plan to Stop Trump.
At the time I wished that he’d made a version for non-Americans to help guide our actions in response to the Trump presidency. And since our recent provincial budget, I’ve again found myself thinking about Moore’s Plan, and wishing there was a Saskatchewan version. Since I’m not aware of one, I decided to take on an adaptation myself. I’m certainly not the most qualified person to take on such a task, and I’m also short on the time and resources that are needed to do the research and fact checking that such a plan deserves. That said, I’ve made a start, and I’m hoping that with constructive feedback this initial draft can be improved and expanded to become a useful guide for Saskatchewan citizens seeking ideas and direction at this crucial moment.
SO! Please read, comment, share. And above all, take action on as many of the 10 points as possible. There truly is something in here for everyone, and if we all take this opportunity to become engaged, focused, active citizens, there is no Sask Party wrong that can’t be righted.
10-POINT ACTION PLAN TO STOP BRAD WALL
(an adaptation of Michael Moore’s 10-Point Action Plan to Stop Trump)
1. THE DAILY CALL: You must call a Member of the Legislative Assembly every day. Yes—YOU! It will take just two minutes. Make it part of your daily routine, one of those five things you do every morning without even thinking about it:
- Wake up.
- Brush teeth.
- Dress kid.
- Make coffee.
- Call an MLA.
It is impossible to overstate just how much power you have by making this simple, quick daily call. These politicians freak out if they get just 10 calls on an issue. Imagine them getting 10,000! Holy crap—the dome will pop off that building!
If you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t need to call because my MLA is a New Democrat”—that is NOT true! They need to hear from you. They need to know they have your support. They also need to be given direction from their constituents on how to build an effective, broadly supported opposition to the government.
It’s easy to make The Daily Call. Go here for the complete contact information for all Saskatchewan MLAs:
If you don’t know who your MLA is, find out here.
If you need information about the Ministers responsible for various areas of Government, go here:
Some ideas for a DAILY CALL:
- Call Minister of Education Don Morgan to express your concern over cuts to the Saskatchewan library system.
- Call Minister of Finance Kevin Doherty to let him know that you oppose his cruel and unusual budget.
- Call your MLA to let them know that you oppose the cruel and unusual budget.
- Call Minister of Energy and Resources, Minister Responsible for SaskTel, Minister Responsible for SaskEnergy Dustin Duncan to let him know that you support the development of renewal energy resources in Saskatchewan, and that you support keeping Saskatchewan’s Crown Corporations strong and public.
- Call Minister of Crown Investments Corporation (CIC), Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) Joe Hargrave to let him know you oppose the dissolution of STC, and that you support keeping our Crown Corporations strong and public.
2. THE MONTHLY VISIT: To add even more pressure, SHOW UP! Your MLA has a local office in your town or somewhere nearby (see above for complete MLA contact info, including addresses). Go there and ask to speak to their aide about the issues we’re facing, such as cuts to library funding, the dissolution of the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, etc, etc., etc. And, if you’re lucky enough to live within driving distance of Regina, show up at the Legislature and pay a visit. Make sure they know where you’ve traveled from! I know not everyone has time to do THE MONTHLY VISIT—but if you can, please do!
3. YOUR OWN PERSONAL RAPID RESPONSE TEAM: You and 5 to 20 friends and family members must become your personal RAPID RESPONSE TEAM. Sign everybody up so that when we need to leap into action, you can email and text each other and make an instant plan. On other days, you can share links to good investigative stories and news items. Come up with a name for your RAPID RESPONSE TEAM! Think about it: if I have 25 people on my TEAM, and each of them has 25 people on their TEAM, there are suddenly 625 engaged, active citizens that are in close, organized contact with each other. And that number can grow very, very quickly!
4. JOIN! JOIN! JOIN!: We all know it’s time for all of us to be part of a greater whole, so let’s actually physically sign up online and JOIN some of our great provincial groups. These can include organized groups working on any issue that you care about. This could include a group like Public Pastures—Public Interest, which is working to conserve Saskatchewan’s public grasslands. Or it could be SaskForward, which is a response to the Sask Party government’s threat of “transformational change” to basic public services. Or it could be Briarpatch, which is a Regina-based non-profit magazine that offers critical journalism on social and political issues. Please share your other favourite groups and initiatives that are in need of broad public support.
Some groups charge money to join, so if you don’t have much, pick the lowest amount or join groups that don’t charge anything (but if you can help them financially, please do). They will keep you informed of provincial actions, and in some cases they will also be able to fight for us in court.
5. TAKE TO THE STREETS: The Women’s March never ends! The historical, record-breaking January 21st Women’s March on Washington—and the hundreds of other marches that day across the US and the world, with over 4 million in attendance—brought massive numbers of people out to the streets who had never protested in their lives, and inspired millions of others. These incredible numbers show how incredibly powerful it is for people to physically come together across their differences to protest injustice. Join this movement and TAKE TO THE STREETS!
It is critical that large numbers of us march, protest, sit-in, read-in, and be VERY VISIBLE. This will show Brad Wall that his support is crumbling; it will put the NDP on notice that they are past due in mounting a real, just alternative to the Sask Party; and it will show our fellow Saskatchewanians in Foam Lake or La Ronge or Unity, who have been feeling alone and afraid since the budget came down, that we are with them. It is good for each of us to operate in concert with each other, to feel the solidarity and the hope.
TAKE OVER THE NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY: The old guard of the NDP has repeatedly failed to offer a meaningful alternative to the Sask Party government. Please, it is time for a true renewal of the New Democratic Party. Bless them for their contributions and intentions, past and present, but if we don’t enact a radical overhaul right now, we are doomed as far as having a true opposition party during the Wall era, or a legitimate chance to overthrow Brad Wall in the next election. Without effective opposition, the “transformational change” threatened by the Sask Party promises to dismantle everything good and humane about our province.
Become a member of the provincial New Democratic Party. Start attending your local NDP meetings. If possible, organize your friends and others to begin the take over.
HELP FORM REGIONS OF RESISTANCE: What can you do if you live in a NDP riding or a progressive community? If you are in this situation you have one of the MOST important tasks to complete: show the rest of Saskatchewan what it looks like when Wall isn’t in charge! Progressive communities must do an end-run around Wall and create the Saskatchewan we want to live in. That means Saskatoon, go ahead and support your City Council to file an injunction against the province. Regina, support your City Council and fight tooth and nail to keep the City and of the University of Regina around the table to manage the Wascana Centre Authority. Regina could become a Sanctuary City! Saskatoon is piloting an Urban Hen program! Get involved LOCALLY and show Brad Wall what kind of communities you want!
8. YOU MUST RUN FOR OFFICE: I know, that’s the LAST thing you want to do. But if we keep leaving the job up to the dismal political hacks who have sold us all down the river, then what right do we have to complain? This is only going to get fixed when you and I decide we are willing to put in our time—even if it is a brief time—and run for office. We need good candidates for the coming elections, and not just for the Legislative Assembly, but also for city councils, rural municipalities, and school boards.
I realize most of you can’t do this—but there are some things that each of us can do:
- For the love of all that is good, VOTE! For EVERY level of government, at EVERY election.
- Join one or more political parties. They need direction on an ongoing basis, from US, their constituents (i.e., BOSSES). Join the NDP to ensure that when it comes time to elect a new leader, the right person gets the job—someone who understands and is committed to overhauling the party and making real change. Or if you simply can’t stomach the NDP, join the provincial Liberal or Green party (or even the Sask Party if you must) and help make sure they are going in the best possible and most accountable direction.
9. YOU MUST BECOME THE MEDIA: Stop complaining about the media, stop wishing they were something they’re not, find the ones who are doing a good job (and support them financially if at all possible), and then start your own media empire by sharing their work and your work on the internet. Use social media to spread news and information. Make sure all your friends and family are signed up. You can be your own reporter, your own editor. You can curate the news for your friends. And now Facebook lets you have your own network with Facebook Live. It’s all free.
10. JOIN THE ARMY OF COMEDY: Like Donald Trump, one of Brad Wall’s Achilles heels is his thin skin. He hates mockery, and until now he hasn’t really had to deal with any substantive criticism. So we all need to MOCK HIM UP! Use your sense of humour and share it with people. Get them to do the same. Keep sharing around the good satire and memes. It’s time to laugh him out of town. And if there’s one thing we could use right now it’s a good laugh.
So there you go! The 10-Point Action Plan to Stop Brad Wall. Something for everyone. And every one of us needs to do them. Please share this and spread the word. We can stop Brad Wall. We can nonviolently block and obstruct and halt the damage he’s doing. But it’s going to need—and take—ALL HANDS ON DECK!
Liberally borrowed from Michael Moore by Nikko Snyder.