Civil Disobedience: An Important Resistance Tool

We have reached a point in our history where reading blogs and alt-media sources and posting on Facebook are simply not enough. This blog includes specific suggestions for civil disobedience informed by those who blazed those trails. Time to get off our knees and Retake Our Democracy.

civil-disob-1Since the inspiring Town Hall Meeting last Sunday a good many things are moving, and they are moving quickly. Apologies that we haven’t completed a summary of the Post-it questions and ideas that attendees submitted last Sunday. We also haven’t yet logged in all the volunteer signups. Even advocates need a few days off, and Roxanne and I took some time to share Thanksgiving with family in Flagstaff. But we are back and will catch up quickly.

This blog includes a brief update on the status of planning, upcoming actions, and how you can get involved, including information on the local Women’s March on Washington, January 21, here in Santa Fe. The blog also a link to Jon Hendry’s stirring 3 minute talk at the Town Hall Meeting. He got the place on its feet and roaring–the link posted last week was broken. Click here to view his talk. Watch it and you’ll be signing up for the Civil Disobedience Action Team five minutes later. Link below.

We have reached a point in our history where reading blogs and alt-media sources and posting on Facebook are simply not enough. We are threatened not just by Trump, but the multiple xenophobic, homophobic, sexist, anti-semitic, Islamophobic, and racist individuals and groups that comprise a small but scary component of his movement. We must unify to protect ourselves and the most vulnerable among us against this hate. We also must open our ears and hearts to the many Trump supporters who are our friends, family, and neighbors; who voted for him but share some of our feelings: government has let us down for 40 years, our infrastructure is collapsing, our healthcare is too costly, and the world of Washington is dominated by corporations and the wealthy. We need to unify and Retake Our Democracy. Join us and we will succeed.

gandhiThis link will take you to a discussion of elements of effective civil disobedience, including excerpts from a tremendous NY Times article, “The Art of the Protest,” and from ACT UP: Civil Disobedience Training, a Gandhian-based handbook on non-violent civil disobedience. If you want to sign up to become involved in our newly forming Civil Disobedience Action Team, click here. The link will take you to an updated sign-up sheet where you can indicate your interest in a range of lobbying, canvassing, social media, media, event planning activities, as well as the Civil Disobedience Action Team. The sign up asks for your city, county, and precinct number so we can more easily organize resistance and activism in other parts of the State. To get your precinct number before you go to the sign-up page, click here.  It also asks for your phone number. This will only be used to notify you of a need to lobby with your legislators when a pressing issue is pending in the Roundhouse, with PRC, or other governing bodies. It is recommended you provide it, but it is not required.

rod-logo-new-smallRetake Our Democracy Office.   We are opening an office next week at The Center for Progress & Justice on 1420 Cerrillos Rd. We will announce hours of operation in our next blog as we are touring the site tomorrow. This will become the site of many planning meetings as we will also have access to the cafeteria and auditorium for planning meetings. We are working to secure two or three Activist Interns from Santa Fe Community College in the coming weeks and a “Donate” link will be posted soon to support this and other Retake Our Democracy actions.

Next Planning Meeting- January 8. While there are small planning meetings being held over the next week in relation to Conference Planning, social media planning, and database design and other meetings focused on canvassing, lobbying and civil disobedience should be announced soon, the next large planning meeting will likely be Jan 8 and will be half a day. We are in conversation with the City about possible venues. We do not want to use our ‘chit’ for the Convention Center for this planning meeting unless we can have it more than once. Details coming, but save the date. The meeting will be very much about planning specific actions related to canvassing, ward involvement, lobbying, social media, media, and civil disobedience with breakouts for each activity.

Update on the Conference. After a good deal of thought, we decided that to organize a truly inspiring and focused conference, we need to push it back to February. We are touring the Convention Center tomorrow and yesterday, Roxanne Barber, who is chairing the Conference Planning Team sent out a notice to those twenty volunteers who signed up to help plan it.

Democracy Organizing Committee
Monday, Dec. 12 at 6 pm at the downtown library
Join Bruce Berlin and his supporters as they chart strategies to remove the influence of money from the political process.
Statewide Conference: New Mexico Progressive Coalition
December 17, Albuquerque, precise location and times to be announced
Progressive groups like Progressive Democrats of America, Working Families Party, NM, Retake Our Democracy, Progressive Voters of America and newly emerging groups in Valencia, Dona Ana, Taos and other parts of New Mexico will convene to develop a statewide strategy for activism.  Details will be announced here.
Women’s March on Washington, in Santa Fe
January 21, 2017
11AM-2PM
The Roundhouse, NM State Capitol

In alignment with the national march in Washington, D.C., Santa Fe is staging its own march at the Roundhouse. There are close to 1000 RSVPs already and that is very limited promotion to date. There will be speakers and a likely a march, as well. Retake will keep you posted and you can RSVP at this link. This is quite obviously an important expression of resistance to Trump misogyny. https://www.facebook.com/events/916827241784624/

In closing, I can’t emphasize enough that our time is now. You are the people who need to be part of it. In the words of Jon Hendry, on Election Day, we got a kick in the teeth and a taste of blood in our mouths. Instead of feeling depressed we need to taste that blood, get angry, get off our knees and make our voices heard:  at City Council meetings, County Commission meetings, at the Roundhouse, and in a myriad of other venues where we can make our voices heard. We need to become a constant reminder that we are people here and people and planet should be our government’s priority, not profits and privilege.  Let’s do it. Sign up here to get involved and share this blog with others.

In solidarity,

Paul Gibson,
Coordinator, Retake Our Democracy

9 thoughts on “Civil Disobedience: An Important Resistance Tool

  1. Sad to see this large gathering and action be put off to a later date each time.There was a strong show of people who turned out in November meeting that wanted to do something right now. This energy will undoubtedly disperse.

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    • We actually haven’t put off anything, Luncinda and you are correct that we need to strike quickly. Only the Conference has been pushed back. We are planning action team meetings for Roundhouse Advocacy, Ward Involvement and Invigoration, Research, Conference Planning, social media and media, and civil disobedience, all within two weeks with notices going out to all who have signed up. Some of those notices would have gone out yesterday, but our house has been without internet for since Sat. night and is still without it. So today, we came to town to use it and respond to comments and get things rolling. Keep in mind that until we have action team coordinators identified, there are three of us responsible for getting all the names entered and then contacting folks and setting meetings.

      We also are planning a meeting on Dec 10, assuming we can get a space. We haven’t announced it as we are touring possible venues today. Thanks for the comment, though. We need folks to keep us on our toes.

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    • Actually, providing the time to do proper planning will help, rather than disperse the energy. The effort, time and intelligence invested so far by Paul and Roxanne is impressive. The mission of this movement to engage, educate and activate will not be met if we fail to recognize the importance of moving ahead carefully. Energy that will disperse because the timing is too slow is an energy that is motivated by anger and will not prove useful to the purpose of this movement.

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  2. Civil disobedience is a reaction to a problem. Before you start pushing and teaching Civil Disobedience techniques you need to identify and get by and on the specific issues you want to attack. Where are your specific issues. Just being upset with a dictator doesn’t hack it. Gandhi had a specific goal in mind. What is yours

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    • You are correct Guy and rather than I or a very small group of us to define the problems we want to attack, we want to have that done by a team, but to have that team informed at the outset by reading about how other movements developed and succeeded. Thanks for the input.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. have you checked SF Com. College for meeting space? They have huge meeting rooms and lots of free parking….dont know the cost. A number of more liberal churches also have large spaces and might let us meet for free or very ittle.

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    • We have been in daily contact with the Convention Center and they said only non-profits where a City Council member recommends its use are free and all 2017 CC recommendations have been made. But I’ll push a bit more. Tomorrow is the day we really try to nail some venues down. Thanks again

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