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Roanoke Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

"What to Do If There's a Coup?" Workshop on October 16

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WHAT TO DO IF THERE'S A COUP WORKSHOP ON OCTOBER 16
Dear friends,
Plowshare Peace Center will present a showing of the George Lakey workshop "What to Do If There's a Coup?" on October 16 at 7 Pm through Zoom. A Zoom invitation will be posted closer to the event.
Please spread the word.
Below is more information from Chose Democracy, the group with which George works.
Gary Sandman
(This workshop is not an endorsement of any candidate. It's support of democracy).
Here is a link to "Mass Direct Action Might be the Only Way to Stop Trump from Stealing the Election", an article George wrote about the possible coup: https://wagingnonviolence.org/.../mass-direct-action.../
Here is a link to choosedemocracy.us, a website about responses to a possible coup: https://choosedemocracy.us/
Finally, below is a summary from Daily Kos.
Diaries about a possible election coup were exploding through the Rec & Shared lists yesterday and overnight. So this is to share an organizing and resistance resource: https://choosedemocracy.us. They are hosting research results, training materials, strategy guides, and a public pledge of engagement.
A key figure in this group is George Lakey, who has been heavily involved in progressive organizing since SNCC in the early 60s, and who has been using the word “coup” in his writings at wagingnonviolence.org for fully 2 months.
To summarize briefly: Political science research indicates it is possible to resist a coup attempt, especially if able to organize in advance, and that massive popular nonviolent resistance is essential. Potentially adequate organizing and alliance building can deter the coup attempt at all. If they do try for a coup, the “left” specifically has to convince the empowered “center” (eg, business class, professional political class + media) to actively resist the coup instead of siding with the right-wing takeover or even waffling back and forth while the coup consolidates. I recently watched this 90 minute recording of a webinar Lakey delivered via Zoom on the topic, and I found it helpful.
The path that Choose Democracy.us is recommending is a simple emphasis on counting votes and then following the democratic outcome. The citizen-level pledge is for four actions:
1. vote
2. accept no result until all ballots are counted
3. nonviolently assemble if a coup is attempted
4. “if we need to, we will shut down this country to protect the integrity of the democratic process”
This is designed as a simple, unifying principle that is unambiguous and with measurable objectives throughout the electoral process. Clarity is important because (historical analysis shows that) if the plotters actually try for the coup, they can capitalize on uncertainty, division, and willingness to compromise (among resisters & institutions) to consolidate the takeover. We have to be stalwart in rejecting instructions or overtures from the plotters, who would seek to demobilize us and legitimize the coup by offering temporary, partial, or symbolic adoption of protestor demands without actually giving up their hold on key levers of power.
Lakey outlined one citizen-level action plan earlier this month: politely but insistently (with nonviolent escalation as needed) ask that your local government office-holders join the demand for every vote to be counted. Get it to the press when they do, or eventually (as a planned and perhaps telegraphed escalation) if they don’t. This is a winnable demand from most office-holders, D or R, because “choosing democracy” is obviously the correct choice.

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