Call him crazy. Call him corrupt. But please, just call him, request activists.
The "Dial It Up" campaign launched on Thursday asks that Donald Trump dissenters tie up public phone lines listed for his businesses to make their voices heard, particularly about his alt-right chief strategist Steve Bannon.
“Let’s flood Trump’s hotels, restaurants, golf courses, spas, and other businesses with non-stop calls to fire Bannon. Be polite and respectful to the people answering the phones — but as long-winded as possible in your inquiries,” it reads on their page on actionnetwork.org.
The Trump organization didn't respond to a request for comment.
Participants who sign up on the “Tie up Trump’s phone lines until he fires Bannon” page (dialitupnow.com) are given a list of phone numbers for quick reference. The counter showed that 47 people had joined the cause in the first five hours of the ongoing campaign.
“I had a long conversation with the reservation desk at the Trump International Hotel today, and asked them if I would really be safe there, if they could guarantee I wouldn't be sexually harassed,” L.A. Kauffman, who helped organize the Dial It Up campaign that launched Thursday, told Metro.
While 150 or so protesters gathered outside of Trump Tower in the 22-degree weather on Thursday to demonstrate their objections to the president-elect’s business conflicts — and the cancelation of his news conference regarding the topic — the dialers delivered their messages more warmly.
“One thing that’s been front and center in this effort is treating people answering the phones with respect. Nobody wants to give a hard time to the underpaid employees,” Kauffman assured. “This campaign is absolutely against harassment of any form.”
The people at Trump Tower told her to send a letter and assured her that Trump reads all mail coming there.
“No wonder he doesn’t have time for intelligence briefings,” she said.
She encouraged having calling parties to keep the community spirit of protest while staying indoors.
Protesters perceived the cancelation of the news conference as a signal that Trump can’t disentangle himself.
“He is filling his cabinet with billionaires and business execs who have made it plain: they intend to siphon as much public tax money into their pockets as they possibly can,” Jake Rowland, who braved the cold yesterday, told Metro.
“These men are parasites,” Rowland said. “Bannon and Trump will say anything to make Americans feel at ease, stroke their base instincts, go on TV and act like clowns, but all the while they are slowly draining their host. All I can do personally is organize and fight back. I hope more people will join me before it's too late.”
Kauffman, whose book “Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism,” a history of protest organizing in the US from the 60s will be out in February, said she has been an organizer for a wide range of movements and is answering the call to help people who now want to rally.