Social movements of the past can teach us how to shape the future. Drawing from decades of experience in social movements, the guide will equip you with the essential tools and strategies to shift public opinion, change laws and decisions, and elect new leaders. Resistance Guide is an essential road map for anyone who wants to understand how movements succeed and how we can use this knowledge to fight for a better America.

Do you want to be part of a successful effort to defeat the Trump agenda?
Do you want to join a group—or form your own—and maximize your group’s effectiveness?
Do you want to know how your group’s efforts can fit in with a larger movement for social justice?
Do you want to know how to sustain the movement even in times of burnout, disillusionment or apathy?
Do you want to understand how great social movements of the past can guide the current fight?
Then this guide is for you.
Read it. Use it. Share it.
Together we can win.



For too long, the leadership of the Democratic Party has sought empty compromise positions that claim the broadest possible appeal without upsetting big donors. The only way to defeat the Trump/GOP agenda is to employ a movement strategy that instead heightens the differences between the reactionary Republicans and we who resist them. The example of the Tea Party shows us what it will take to change the political weather and win. Are you ready?

Chapter One explains the importance of social movements. Elected leaders are important—but people power is more important to achieve transformative change over time.

The change we need can only come from the power of social movements, and in order to exercise that power, we first need to understand how to grow it and how to sustain it. Our culture places too much faith in the role of leaders. It’s time to shine a light on the power of the people.

Chapter Two explores how protest movements work, especially how they turn popular support into the active participation needed to win.

Social movement victories require growing and sustaining active support—but great gains can be made with a relatively small, active group of supporters. Movements use protest to “polarize” issues, forcing spectators to choose a side. Though this can create discomfort, the result is often to strengthen movements—making it vital that supporters continue to show up for continued protest.

Chapter Three digs deep into three different but complementary types of resistance. We call these the game change, the inside game and the outside game.

Active popular support is the fuel for successful social movements. Turning active popular support into social change requires three different types of resistance: 1. game changing events that change public opinion and recruit new people; 2. outside game strategies that pressure decision makers; and 3. inside game strategies that put movement-identified leaders in positions within the system where they can effect change.

Chapter Four

Resist Together

Chapter Four gives you the tools you need to resist together, by finding a training and finding a group, or forming a group of your own. It also suggests a minimum individual commitment needed to sustain this movement.

There’s a reason they’re called social movements. Working together, we can accomplish so much more than we can on our own. Resistance is a group sport.

Millions of people have taken the first step toward resisting Donald Trump. What will keep them fighting? What will sustain them along the way?

To help build the kind of active popular support that will stop the Trump/GOP agenda and replace it with a government of, for and by the people, you need two things. You need to a way to resist together—preferably a small group or groups that meet frequently with consistency. And you need training in how to resist successfully.