Rules for Resistance

Advice from Around the Globe for the Age of Trump

An international cast of dissidents, journalists, and intellectuals tell Americans what to look out for and how to resist

“Those of us who witnessed illiberal populist movements take hold in Turkey, Russia, Hungary, Poland, the Philippines, and elsewhere are watching the election of Donald Trump with a particularly acute sense of foreboding.” —Turkuler Isiksel, political scientist from Turkey

Some of us have been here before. Many people living today in America and around the world have direct experience with countries where an autocrat has seized control, changing everything from the tenor of daily life to the laws and constitution. Others have seen charismatic, populist leaders come to power within democracies and dramatically change the rules of the road for the public, activists, and journalists alike. In Rules for Resistance, writers from Russia, Turkey, India, Hungary, Chile, China, Canada, Italy, and elsewhere tell Americans what to expect under our own new regime, and give us guidance for living—and for resisting—in the Trump era.

Advice includes being on the watch for the prosecution of political opponents, the use of libel laws to attack critics, the gutting of nonpartisan institutions, and the selective application of the law. Americans are also urged to “protest early and often,” “help those who are more vulnerable than you,” “build your own guerilla government,” and “stay on the offensive, never give an inch.”

A special section on challenges for journalists reporting on and under a leader like Donald Trump addresses issues of free speech, the importance of press protections, and the critical role of investigative journalism in an increasingly closed society. An introduction by ACLU legal director David Cole looks at the crucial role non-governmental institutions have in preserving democracy and resisting autocracy. A chilling but necessary collection, Rules for Resistance distills the collective knowledge and wisdom of those who “have seen this video before.”

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