Non-Violent Direct Action Team

    Non-Violent Direct Action Team

civil-disobedience-mlkPurpose of the Non-Violent Direct Action Team. Let’s face it. We are in uncharted waters. Anyone who says they know what is coming with a Trump presidency is making it up. Petitions and Facebook posts are not going to get this done. In a variety of forms, the Civil Disobedience initiative will research historically relevant and successful strategies and through a participatory process, invent new strategies that respond to the times, involve all ages, incorporate the arts, grab headlines, make deep emotional connections, engage new audiences, and motivate inquiry and action on the part of individuals who may be on the sidelines.

Non-Violent Direct Action Coordinators. Initially we would like to have two civil disobedience coordinators who will:

  • Oversee the involvement of Action Team Members;
  • Convene regular meetings to explore action ideas, brainstorm and imagine and plot specific actions and strategies; and
  • Participate in alternate week Coordinating Team meetings to ensure alignment of civil disobedience actions and other efforts coordinated by other Action Teams.

Non-Violent Direct Action Team Members. Members will actively participate in a process of exploration and invention: How to grab the imagination, inspire the moment, make the connection, create a pivot. Make change. Nothing is off the table. While we want to think creatively and expansively, there are some practices that have been effective historically and we need to learn from them. Activists from the US in civil rights, women’s rights, ACT-UP, and Occupy have each achieved historic achievements. How? How can we learn from that? Ditto internationally. From Poland to South Africa to Barcelona to Ecuador people have led progressive change. How? We will discuss this, develop local plans, provide training, organize legal representation in the event of arrests, work with local police to try to prevent arrests and conflicts, and make our voices heard.

Among those easy Action Team efforts that could be implemented quickly and on an ongoing basis:

  • Banners, signs, horns, costumes on major thoroughfares during commute hours: get the Retake Our Democracy banner and brand out there, connect it with Standing Rock, Public Banking, the Roundhouse session, Chaco Canyon, and issues that are sure to emerge with a Trump presidency.
  • Routine presence at Roundhouse and City Council sessions, with signs and banners promoting values or specific bills being considered
  • Presence at Farmer’s Markets, Walmart, and other areas where people congregate;
  • Marches like the ones organized in opposition to DAPL; and
  • Dramatic and symbolic actions that by virtue of their outlandishness attract media coverage and bring attention to key issues — here much can be learned from OCCUPY and ACT-UP.