A Hive is a group of like-minded people who come together regularly to discuss state and local issues, and what actions should be taken to reach out to their state, locally elected or appointed officials.
Many of us have witnessed the devastation done to our federal government by the rightwing extremist group, the Tea Party (currently being rebranded in Washington as the Freedom Caucus). Their goal: to put stranglehold on our democracy until their will be done. They accomplish this by forcing elected officials to comply to their agenda or else they will primary others who will foster their cause.
Back in 2009, most of we non-Tea Partiers found those folks amusing whenever a video clip would appear on the news: tea bags swaying on their hats, venomous statements coming from their mouths, threatening fists thrust into the air, etc. We thought they were like our own Occupy movement: here today and “where did they go” tomorrow.
But they were not a one hit (one election) wonder. They were a full-blown and sustainable movement.
After loading DC with enough senators and representatives to do their bidding, they then focused on seizing control of state and local (city/town) governments, snuffing out dissent from both moderate Republicans and all Democrats. Their unorthodox, relentless and belligerent efforts were met with little, if any, resistance.
In fairness, there were local groups of Democrats trying to ward off what had become the behemoth, well-orchestrated Tea Party (or those GOPers acting like Tea Partiers), but it was to no avail. They managed to capture governorships, seize seats in state legislatures and gain control of city and town councils.
What were most of us doing while this electoral takeover was happening? Resting in complacency under the comforting “no drama” Obama blanket.
Then the 2016 presidential election happened and what most of us thought was frivolously impossible became a reality. We awoke on November 9th and realized we had a new president. And, it wasn’t Hillary.
Indivisible rose from the ashes of our defeat and from a single group in Austin, Texas, last December (2016) to over 6,000 groups nationwide. Their message was simple: Stop the Trump agenda. Their tactics were straight out of the Tea Party’s play book: make calls and show up unannounced at senators’ and representatives’ local offices…and occasionally attend a Town Hall meeting to publicly confront Members of Congress. The difference is that with Indivisible, the numbers are vastly larger than Tea Partiers and, though Indivisible’s style is equally as forceful – if not more so – than that of the Tea Party, it behaves in a non- confrontational manner.
The effectiveness of using the Indivisible strategy on a federal level since January is unparalleled.
Under the Indivisible umbrella are found people who were rudely awakened by the Trump presidency and entire groups, some as large as MoveOn.org. All sharing the same goal of stopping Trump, all following Indivisible’s simple strategy.
As IndivisibleRI, we are now replicating and refining those techniques on a state and local level through our Hive program.
A good number of our state and local elected officials have consistently not been accountable to us, their constituents. But that is now a thing of the past.
IndivisibleRI has covered Rhode Island with Area Directors, individual members and other special interest groups.
We are establishing the Hive concept as a means of building grassroots, cohesive community groups comprised of both individuals and other community groups. By coming together as one, our message on any issue will be heard. Uniting with other Hives across the state, we become a force to be reckoned with, a force beyond the efforts of any one individual or group.
For example, if dealing with a recalcitrant town council, we will have a Rapid Response team spring into action and have other Hive members there to provide support for your Hive group.
In terms of accountability, we will post votes on our HivesRI website. No longer can a state or local office holder run away from their vote.