Coordinated push-back works.
On Thursday night photos of The US Postal Service removing iconic blue mailboxes by the truckload in Oregon began to circulate on Twitter (NVA #7: Slogans, caricatures, and symbols and an updated form of #11: Records, radio, and television.) By Friday morning, photos were circulating from locations across the country, Michigan, Montana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Tennessee, New York, and more.
Stories of crucial, life saving medicine remaining undelivered and weeks late began to trend on social media.
In Montana, someone leaked an internal postal service memo to reporter Maritsa Georgiou noting the location of thirteen letter boxes being removed in Missoula (NVA #144: Stalling and obstruction, Action by Goverment Personnel). She started to dig. Within hours she had tracked locations and confirmed removals in Billings, Bozeman, Missoula, and Lewiston. She reached out to Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) for comment. Within hours, Daines had sent a letter to USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy investigating the removals. His request was followed quickly by actions from Senator John Tester (D-MT), Representative Greg Gianforte (R-MT), and Governor Steve Bullock. By early evening the removals in Montana were put on hold.
About half an hour later, the USPS suspended the removals nationwide.
But the removal of the sorting machines critical to moving election ballots from us to the election offices continues. And the reassignments of long time, experienced leaders inside the postal service remain in place.
Today protesters gathered outside Dejoy’s home in Washington DC (NVA #31: “Haunting” officials and #32: Taunting officials) for an early morning noise demonstration (NVA # 47: Assemblies of protest or support.)
Why is this important?
The USPS is going to play a critical role in our November 3 election due to the coronavirus pandemic devastating our country. Nearly 75% of voters in the US can vote by mail this November. If the US Postal doesn’t deliver those ballots, our constitutionally guaranteed right to cast a vote is denied.
Here is the thing though… All of this chaos has succeeded for the Trump campaign in another way already.
It is planting doubt.
Doubt in the postal service’s ability to fulfill its constitutional mandated work, means the election results are being fundamentally undermined.
And that works for the Trump campaign.
With the polls showing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris leading and the formerly secure GOP Senate seats now in play. GOP long time voter suppression tactics, though wide spread and unconstitutional, appear to be insufficient when one has 165,000 deaths on their hands as of this post.
Every single seed of doubt they can sow is a victory.
And sow doubt they have.
Everywhere I look today are articles about how to ensure your vote is counted (Vote early!), how ballots from those voting by mail for the first time are more likely to be thrown out, informing absentee voters that they can deliver their votes to designated drop boxes or their local elections office in person.
So action at several levels to protect the post office and the election is called for.
Two simple simple things to do are sign a petition (NVA #6: Group or mass petitions) and write your governmental officials (NVA#2: Letters of opposition or support).
This petition is simply a call to save the USPS.
This one to the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service calls for removal of the ethical challenged, Trump stooge Louis Dejoy from his appointed position as Postmaster General.
ResistBot is an easy way to reach your representatives from your phone with a text that generates a letter at any time. But they have made it even easier on this issue. Simply text USPS to their number (50409) and they will send out an automated letter to your governmental reps. (If you haven’t used them before they will ask for a few bits of info, zip code, name, etc. to track down the proper recipients for your letter).
You can also use ResistBot to demand a Senate vote on the House of Representatives passed HEROES Act which includes funding and relief for the USPS.
You can contact the individual members of the USPS Board of Governors to demand they remove Dejoy, or other boards they serve on to protest their activity in allowing this fundamental undermining of our constitution under their watch (NVA#2: Letters of opposition or support, #175: Overloading of facilities, and in the second case threaten #71: Consumers’ boycott and #189: Selective patronage). These Trump appointees are used to operating behind closed doors, in executive boardrooms. It is time to shine a spotlight on them.
If you want to go farther, and file an official complaint with the Inspector General for the USPS you can do so here: https://www.uspsoig.gov/form/file-online-complaint (One example of a complaint filed). Or file one with your State Attorney General here.
Act today to protect the US Postal Service. And as soon as you can legally and safely do so: Vote to protect our democracy.
Together we can take back our democracy.
Actions you can take at Federal and state levels (Warning it is a long Twitter thread!)
Nonviolent actions employed and suggested:
NVA #7: Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
NVA #11: Records, radio, and television.
NVA #31: “Haunting” officials
NVA #32: Taunting officials
NVA #47: Assemblies of protest or support
NVA #71: Consumers’ boycott
NVA #144: Stalling and obstruction
NVA #175: Overloading of facilities
NVA #189. Selective patronage