Our Call to Action
Donald Trump must go. It’s as simple as that. For four years, Trump has used hate, state violence, unprecedented corruption, and executive overreach to force his agenda on and cause untold harm to people in the United States and around the world. His racist rhetoric has fueled the murder of Black and Brown people in our communities; his failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths; and his support of the fossil fuel economy has accelerated the climate crisis.
From his attacks on mail-in ballots and the U.S. Postal Service to the GOP’s longtime voter suppression strategy, Trump has shown that he will stop at nothing to maintain his grip on power. Trump will not leave office without mass mobilization and direct action.
November 3. After You Vote, Hit the Streets!
We can’t anticipate exactly how Trump and his enablers will try to attack democracy (although we have been gaming out a number of different scenarios), but we know that the stakes are too high to sit on the sidelines and wait. That’s why we’re making plans to be in the streets before the polls even close, ready to adapt and respond to whatever comes our way.
If You’re in DC: Come to Black Lives Matter Plaza.
On Election Day, when you’re done voting, doing election protection, or getting out the vote, come join us at Black Lives Matter Plaza. We’re inviting everybody who agrees with these organizing principles to work together to make this uprising happen. We’re going to make sure Trump leaves. From election night on, as the situation changes and evolves we all work together to make that happen.
If you’re not in DC:
Organize in your community! Find out where the votes will be counted where you live. Make a plan with others to get there and stay until all the votes are counted. And come up with a plan to create serious disruption if Trump really tries to steal the election! Be ready to block a highway (or all the highways in your town), shut down a port, occupy your state capitol, do whatever it takes! We hope to be able to offer trainings and support to groups outside DC that share our principles.
Now is the Time to Organize
Between now and Election Day there’s a lot of work to be done! We’re mapping out different scenarios we may face in this historic moment. We’re building and strengthening relationships based on trust and accountability. We’re building the infrastructure (recruitment, training, action planning, communications, legal support, logistics, food, health, fundraising) that we’ll need to maintain a long-term uprising. And we’re learning and teaching the skills we need to stay healthy and safe in the streets. We’re organizing into small groups called affinity groups that can work autonomously and together in larger gatherings as needed to take bold actions and respond to rapidly changing situations. And we’re coordinating it all through spokes councils that can bring together all of the work that is happening and create space for everyone’s voices and visions as we rise to this moment.
#ShutDownDC came together during the summer of 2019 to respond to the Youth Climate Strikers’ Call to Action. It is an organizing space where individuals and groups can come together to organize direct action. As the 2020 election approaches we are making plans to rise up to confront the Trump administration's attacks on democracy.
We recognize the urgency of this moment. Our collective future is at stake and we are committed to taking bold direct action, to facing our fears, and to pushing ourselves and each other to make transformative change in this moment.
We are committed to working together to create the world that we want to live in. We do not want to reproduce the same violences we are committed to dismantling; thus, we are committed to anti-oppressive principles, transformative justice, and sustainable organizing.
We recognize that many of the challenges that we are facing did not start when Trump was elected president and they will not end when he is forced from office. We are not seeking a ‘return to normalcy,’ because we know that returning to ‘normal’ means returning to a system that was built on oppression. Rather, we see this as the time to rise up against the current crisis and move forward to dismantle the interlocking systems of oppression that have plagued this land for centuries.
The Trump administration’s current efforts to mobilize the Department of Justice to criminalize dissent and retaliate against political opponents will only escalate as he continues to lose his grip on power. We oppose all forms of repression of dissent and commit to acting in solidarity with the people and organizations facing retaliation and criminalization. We will work together to take appropriate measures to assess risks and keep each other safe. But we also recognize that forcing Trump from office is the only way to protect ourselves and the people we love from Trump’s wrath, so we will act with the urgency that the situation requires.
While we respect everyone's right to defend themselves and the people they love, we recognize that the police and military forces that may be mobilized to prop up the Trump regime have a far greater capacity for violence than we could ever imagine. Without making value judgments about the tactical approaches other people and organizations may choose to embrace, we plan to use the tools and tactical approaches that we have the capacity and expertise to implement, including disruptive direct action, mass mobilization, coordinated non-compliance, mutual aid, and other forms of civil resistance.