USDA Staff Revolts Against Trump, Forces Immediate Retraction From White House

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People are fighting back against Donald Trump and his war on governmental employees. It all started when some National Parks Service employees using @NatlParkService retweeted images comparing the new president’s inaugural crowds to President Barack Obama’s 2009 inaugural crowds. Trump placed a gag order on the employees, but that did not stop them.

Employees at @BadlandsNPS began tweeting factoids about climate change, and the resistance effort cascaded across the country, according to NBC News. For example, one tweet said that the amount of carbon dioxide on earth is higher than at any time in the last 650,000 years.

Someone deleted those tweets on the official Twitter accounts. In the meantime, scientists and researchers have been frantically downloading data to archive, so that someone does not delete that valuable information, too.

Administrations are not allowed to destroy documents just because they do not like the results, but in this era of social media, tweets are also considered records.  Records retention is particularly a concern among various governmental communities.

The administration placed a blackout on federal workers’ outgoing communications from the EPA and USDA to the public. That includes papers, speaking engagements, and tweets. Although this was supposedly a temporary ban, which is not particularly uncommon during the changing of administration, Trump’s blackout is extremely severe.

The National Parks Service employees created a new Twitter account #AltNatParkSer, which is not a governmental account, to bypass the gag order. With this new account, the government employees’ resistance is going strong. It urges Congress to oppose Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator.

Trump’s attempts to stifle our government employees’ tweets has only made them more interesting. The new account has over 250,000 followers and is growing rapidly. According to one tweet, active park rangers run it during their off times. The site calls itself:

“The Unofficial ‘Resistance’ team of U.S. National Park Service. Not taxpayer subsidised!”

The people who started the Twitter account said that their reason for opening it was to do what they can to:

‘Protect and safeguard America’s National Parks, saying that climate change was the single greatest threat that national parks face.

‘To understand what’s best for our parks, we need to have access to US science data on climate & the environment. We must not be silenced.’

The account has come down hard on the blackout, not only for its own gag but those of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service plus the EPA’s grant program, according to NBC News. Both of these perform research into how the climate change affects everything from local wildlife populations to our own food supply.

The employees’ tweets say that even if Trump fires anyone who continues despite his gag orders, others will rise up to take their places.

‘We will not go quietly into the night!

We will not vanish without a fight!

We’re going to live on!’

Check out the site at @AltNatParkSer here and some of the tweets below:

Never doubt the ability of Americans to resist.

Featured Image: jqpuliq via Flickr, Creative Commons License.