Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, people all over the world have been chanting “RESIST.”
From the historic Women’s March on Washington after Trump’s inauguration to airport protests the day that he announced his proposed travel ban, concerned citizens have been making their voices heard in ways big and small.
But it’s not just individuals who are resisting. In response to policies enacted by the Trump presidency, several businesses have risen up, opposing Donald Trump and the Trump agenda.
Of course, companies everywhere are speaking out against Trump’s agenda. Nike and Google, for instance, criticized Trump for pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, and firms ranging from Mozilla to Pornhub all slowed down their websites in December 2017 to lobby for net neutrality.
But several companies have taken resistance a step further, putting forth their time, money, and/or lawyers to oppose Trump policies that are harmful to citizens, immigrants, the environment, and more.
Here are 5 businesses that are actively resisting Donald Trump and his presidency.
Patagonia, the outdoor apparel company defending the environment
In December 2017, Donald Trump announced plans to massively scale back the land allotted to the Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent and the Grand Staircase-Escalante by 45 percent. Both of these cuts were to allow for more development, drilling, and hunting on public lands, a decision that sparked an outcry by nature conservationists all over.
But one businesses in particular used their platform to highlight the damage the decision could make: Patagonia.
Following the announcement, Patagonia added a bold pronouncement to its homepage stating “The president stole your land.”
In addition to the homepage blackout, Patagonia also joined a coalition — which includes nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa, grassroots Native American organization Utah Diné Bikéyah, and more — to sue Donald Trump for what it says is an illegal reduction of protected land.
Patagonia wasn’t alone in its resistance. REI also released a statement on its homepage saying “Despite the loss of millions of acres of protected lands this week, REI will continue to advocate for the places we all love,” reported the Washington Post. North Face also joined the fight, donating $100,000 to Friends of Cedar Mesa to build an education center outside of Bears Ears and creating a line of “protect Bears Ears” t-shirts and hoodies, the profits of which are donated to the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition for Bears Ears advocacy.
Melville House, the bookstore making sure you stay informed
Melville House is a Brooklyn-based publisher and bookstore known for Twitter trolling. When the Nobel Prize in Literature winner was announced in 2017, for instance, Melville House offered a word of advice to non-winning authors: “As for the rest of you: TRY HARDER.” And in 2016, the bookseller launched a massive Twitter thread about why the company, which is a bookseller, hates books.
But when it comes to the Trump administration, Melville House means business.
In an unexpected March shuffle of his cabinet, Donald Trump fired then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, reportedly on Twitter, though that account was contradicted by the White House, then an aide confirmed Tillerson found out via Twitter, and then that aide was fired. To take Tillerson’s place, Trump appointed CIA Director Mike Pompeo as new Secretary of State. And finally, Donald Trump nominated Gina Haspel as the new Director of the CIA.
The decision was controversial for a number of reasons.
First, as the New York Times noted, moving Pompeo to Secretary of State marked a shift in the Trump administration “further out of the economic and foreign policy mainstream and closer to the nationalist ideas that animated Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.” Secondly, while former head of ExxonMobil Rex Tillerson had a bad record on climate issues, Mike Pompeo is poised to be arguably worse for climate change.
Thirdly, the nominated CIA director Haspel has been dogged by accusations that she supervised torture programs, a fact that Melville House wants to make sure stays in the public consciousness of Americans everywhere
For a week, the publisher made its e-book the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture free so that readers could learn up on Haspel.
“The news from DC is so distressing that we’re not selling this one. Today it’s free,” the publishing house wrote on Twitter. “Please download it. Please read it.”
Real talk. We’re a company. We make books, which get sold for $$. We use that $$ to maintain a staff, make more excellent books, etc.
The news from DC is so distressing that we’re not selling this one. Today it’s free.
Please download it. Please read it.https://t.co/XVhuHT0GdT
— Melville House (@melvillehouse) March 15, 2018
Knowledge is power, and Melville House is using its platform to keep Americans informed.
Cards Against Humanity, the irreverent card company fighting the wall
If there is one business known for not giving a single f*ck, it’s Cards Against Humanity. Whether its with stunts like digging a giant hole for no reason or its Black Friday “sale” where it invited shoppers to give the company $5 for nothing (which raised $71,145 that the staff kept for themselves), the NSFW card game is known for breaking the mold of typical businesses.
It’s to that end Cards Against Humanity launched two projects in 2017 dedicated to challenging Trump.
In November, Cards Against Humanity launched Cards Against Humanity Saves America, a campaign to buy a part of land at the U.S./ Mexico border so Donald Trump wouldn’t be able to complete it’s boarder wall.
The government is being run by a toilet. We have no choice… we are going to save America and attempt to keep our brand relevant in 2017
Join in and for $15 we’ll send you six America-saving surprises this December: https://t.co/o1BFmokO9W
— CardsAgainstHumanity (@CAH) November 14, 2017
“The government is being run by a toilet,” Cards Against Humanity wrote in a tweet, inviting users to donate money to buy acres of land on the boarder. Despite its best efforts, however, the stunt is unlikely to actually prevent the wall from being built because of eminent domain — the power of the government to seize private property for public use — which would allow the U.S. government to take Cards Against Humanity’s land for a wall that it considers to be a matter of national security.
But Cards Against Humanity has another trick up its sleeve. In December, the company launched a second campaign, Cards Against Humanity Stops The Wall, to fight Donald Trump’s proposed barrier. This time Cards Against Humanity built a working 30-foot trebuchet, which, “for legal reasons” is 100%, totally, not at all a threat against the U.S. government or its property.
“For legal reasons, we are not threatening to destroy U.S. government property with our glorious medieval siege engine. We cannot possibly overstate that we are not going to crush Trump’s twenty billion dollar wall with our totally badass trebuchet. But if we wanted to, we could. But we won’t. But we could.”
“Unfortunately, the United States government is more powerful than a comedy card game. However, we’ll do everything we can to protest the wall and slow down the process of eminent domain. If Trump tries to build a wall on our land, we’ll be a big pain in the ass.”
In addition to the trebuchet, Cards Against Humanity is directing users to support The The ACLU, The ICIRR, Texas Civil Rights Project, Refugee One, MoveOn.Org, and National Immigrant Justice Center.
Merriam-Webster, the dictionary that’s not letting Trump’s words slide
Did it suddenly get breezy here with all this shade? Merriam-Webster has quietly been resisting Donald Trump and highlighting the effects of his agenda using the power of language.
The dictionary has been subtweeting Donald Trump and members of the Trump administration since before Trump’s election, correcting their grammar and giving internet users everywhere words to describe the presidency.
For instance, when reports broke that Donald Trump allegedly called El Salvador, Haiti, and countries in Africa “shithole countries,” Merriam-Webster followed up with a particularly scorching word of the day: reprehensible.
The dictionary has also called out Donald Trump’s “covfefe” typo, poked fun of the president’s council vs. counsel mix-up, corrected Ivanka’s mind boggling definition of complicit, decried Congress’ vote to repeal Obamacare, clapped back at Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts,” and more.
“The goal is to make the dictionary relevant to people’s everyday lives in a way that’s authentic and that reflects the way we talk to each other in real life,” Merriam-Webster’s content and social media manager Lauren Naturale told Mashable in 2017.
So while Merriam-Webster maintains it’s just “making the dictionary relevant,” it’s doing so with a pretty significant side of Trump trolling. That on its surface may seem insignificant. After all, it’s just trolling. But for an administration that’s especially slippery with words — “Donald Trump’s Language Is Reshaping American Politics” The Atlantic argued in 2018 — Merriam-Webster is on hand, making sure that Donald Trump stays accountable for the language he deploys and that the public has the proper words to describe what’s going on in the White House.
Microsoft, the tech giant fighting for DACA and the Dreamers
In September 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions shocked immigration advocates all over the U.S. when he announced that the Trump administration would be rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, otherwise known as DACA. (The program was created by the Obama administration in 2012 and protected undocumented immigrants who came to the United States under the age of 16 from deportation, allowing eligible recipients to sign up for renewable two-year permits if they passed a background check.)
But Microsoft wasn’t having it. The software company was one of several businesses, including Facebook and Google, that spoke out.
“We believe this is a big step back for our entire country … The Dreamers are part of our nation’s fabric. They belong here.” Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith wrote in a blog post titled “Urgent DACA legislation is both an economic imperative and humanitarian necessity.”
In addition to speaking out, Microsoft took their resistance one step further: they lawyered up.
“If Congress fails to act, our company will exercise its legal rights properly to help protect our employees. If the government seeks to deport any one of them, we will provide and pay for their legal counsel. We will also file an amicus brief and explore whether we can directly intervene in any such case. In short, if Dreamers who are our employees are in court, we will be by their side.”
The blog post and promise to defend Dreamers is not the first time Microsoft and the Trump administration have crossed paths. In January 2017, Microsoft, along with Expedia and Amazon, signed onto a lawsuit, and the company also drafted a joint letter with Apple, Facebook, Uber, and more resisting Trump’s travel ban.
That’s not to say Microsoft is opposed to working with Trump. CEO Sundar Pichai was one of many Silicon Valley CEOs who met with Trump’s American Technology Council in June 2017.
While their approaches vary, all of these companies are showing how corporate resistance can work in the Trump era.