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ACLU Received “Unprecedented” $19.4 Million in Donations Since Saturday

"This is a different type of moment"



Many Americans are disgusted and disturbed by Donald Trump’s immigration bans, and one of the myriad ways they showed that was through donations to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). On Saturday, the ACLU and its state organizations helped argue the cases that resulted in a temporary stay against Trump’s executive orders.

Yahoo! News earlier reported that the ACLU made $10 million dollars from 150,000 new members since Saturday. Now, the reported numbers are even bigger. USA Today reports that the ACLU has raised $19.4 million from roughly 290,000 people. This is a 1,900% increase in the number of donations from January of 2016, and a huge overall increase for an organization that usually raises $4 million per year in online donations.

In a phone interview with Yahoo, Anthony Romero, the executive director of the ACLU, said “I’ve never seen anything like this. People are fired up and want to be engaged. What we’ve seen is an unprecedented public reaction to the challenges of the Trump administration.”

He echoed this sentiment to USA Today, saying, “It’s really clear that this is a different type of moment. People want to know what they can do. They want to be deployed as protagonists in this fight. It’s not a spectator sport.”

In addition, Romero had some sharp words for members of Congress. “With Republicans controlling both houses of Congress and the Democrats in disarray and lacking any spine, the two pincers (opposing Trump) have to be litigation and citizen action,” he said.

This is a landmark response from the American public, to an equally unprecedented threat to civil liberties. I almost can’t believe the number of donation matches, fundraisers, and just-plain-furious individual donations that occurred, but it’s galvanizing as hell.

However, this is also an opportunity to point out some of the other, less high-profile groups who also do great work. The Anti-Defamation League, CAIR, Lambda Legal, the NAACP, and the Southern Poverty Law Center are just a few of the other organizations that are dedicated to defending civil rights in the U.S. As you plan out donations for the rest of the year, consider also sending some money to more specialized organizations for the causes you most care about or feel are most in danger.

I know there are dozens of other worthy groups out there. Which groups have you donated to in the wake of a Trump presidency? Which ones do you most trust to listen to and defend marginalized people? Let us know!

(Via USA Today and Yahoo! News; image via screengrab from People’s Oath Anthem video)

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