How to Protect the Results

Well, it happened almost exactly like we predicted: Biden is on track to win the election, but Trump has already declared victory and is using the courts, directed mobs, and the full power of the executive branch to try and steal the election.

If you’ve seen and heard enough, then sign up to join a local Protect the Results rally near you this week and help us demand that every vote is counted, and that the winner, not Donald Trump, gets the presidency:

Here’s what’s happened: As expected, on election day Nov 3, an historic 169 million+ votes were cast. Because of the pandemic, many of those ballots were cast by mail, and as a result of the so-called red-mirage this made it appear that Donald Trump was in the lead for some of the time, in some of the states. But as counting of ballots has continued, Biden is pulling ahead and once all the ballots are counted (sometime between now and Dec 8) we’re sure Joe Biden will win the election

Also as expected, Trump declared ‘victory’ in defiance of the results, and US election law, early this morning. Since then, Trump and his enablers have been using legal challenges, directed mobs, and the full power of the Executive branch to try and steal the election. 

That means that even though states have until Dec 8 to finalize election results, Nov 5-12 will be a critical time to Protect the Results and demand that all votes are counted. It’s also essential that we don’t leave that up to lawyers and courts, which Trump has just packed with his justices. The best way to protect the results is for citizens to show up in the streets and public spaces en masse to demand all votes are counted.

We haven’t been idle. Today activists took to the streets in DC, San Francisco, and other cities. Tomorrow and over the next few days there are hundreds of events planned all over the country where you can show up to demand all the votes are counted, and that the people are allowed to choose their government (not the other way around). Use the map above to find an event near you this week.

If you’re in DC, make sure to join our friends from Shut Down DC again for a rally and moving action by bike, car, or on foot to surround the White House

And we’ll leave you with the advice I added to a message from the inspiring Kentucky Senate Candidate Charles Booker. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are built for the work we must do. And together, I still believe that we will win:

Join ShutDownDC tonight for an election protection party!

Hey metro-DC area friends. Are you worried about the election results? I don’t blame you, if so.

While we’ve been preserving the pillars of our democracy and fighting for the future that we need and deserve; Trump and his enablers have been attacking the democratic process with voter suppression, intimidation and other schemes to undermine the will of the people.

That’s why we are going to keep showing up and keep supporting each other until the people swear in the new government. Since you’re in the DC Area, I wanted to invite you to join ShutDownDC in the streets to hold them all accountable and shut down any attempt to disrupt the election or stop the vote count!

On November 3rd, after you vote, volunteer at the polls, and get out the vote, come to Black Lives Matter Plaza. 

We’re going to start this next phase of the election cycle in the streets. We’ll have GoGo bands, salsa dancers, artists, cultural workers, and much more. We’ll also be watching the election results coming in on big screens. Votes will still be coming in, so this will (probably) not be the time we need to create disruption – yet. But we’ll be together and in a good place mentally and physically to respond to whatever might happen. 

This has been a really long and dark era so we’re going to be together to process our feelings of hope, anger, fear and exhaustion as a community. Regardless of the results, election-night programming will probably wrap up around midnight so we can be energized and ready to hit the streets again on the 4th. 

This is a very fluid time and logistics could change so please make sure to text DEMOCRACY to 88202 for the latest updates. 

What comes next

I’ve been pretty quiet here the last few weeks, but with less than a week until election day I wanted to post a preview and some updates about what comes next. Specifically what to watch for, and how to prepare in the event that Trump tries to dispute the election results or stage a coup to stay in power.

This project is not allowed to campaign for candidates. So while we’ve been quiet over here, I’ve been getting out the vote and I hope you have too. If you haven’t voted yet, please do. If you’re not sure who to vote for, check out the vote climate ballot guide from our friends at Climate Hawks Vote, which has listings for local, state, and federal candidates from nearly every state. If you need help looking up rules on how to vote early, vote by mail, or locate your polling place – check out the non-partisan tools at VoteAmerica.com

Millions of Americans have voted already. And millions more are watching uncertainly – having seen numerous news reports that Donald Trump may not accept the election results.

With this in mind, and given that this blog was itself created in part as a response to the crisis created by Trump’s 2016 election, it makes sense to be prepared for a crisis on and just-after election day. We sincerely hope this information will be unnecessary, but if you’re wondering how to respond – peacefully, forcefully, using digitally-backed direct action methods – we believe you will find these resources useful.

Key dates and principles

No matter where you live, participating in and securing a fair democratic outcome is every citizen’s right, and duty. In usual times, this just means educating yourself on the issues, voting, and paying attention to the results. These are not ordinary times. So what to watch out for may be more complicated, and suggests that a little extra reading and reearch may be helpful.

In a contested election or attempted coup, things will happen fast and information may be unclear. Here are a few key dates and principles to keep in mind. For a long-form read on this topic, we recommend the excellent briefing “The Count” written by movement leaders for this moment. You may also want to check out Stopping the Coup: the Disruption Guide for 2020, which has more principles and preparation on how to form affinity groups and mutual aid networks in advance of the election.

Key dates from The Count with some additions

NOV 3Election Day: In a close election, we are unlikely to know which candidate won on election night.
NOV 4-12The Count This is the window where we should expect conflicting reports of who has one, and a flurry of legal challenges in swing states, especially MI, WI, GA, AZ, NC, and FL. This is also the initial time where we expect to need citizens to take to the streets and demand that every ballot be counted, and that no winner is declared until all votes are tabulated.
DEC 8The “Safe Harbor” Deadline: States must resolve disputes over which ballots to count and report final vote totals or risk their Electoral College votes not being counted by Congress.
DEC 14Deadline for Governors to Report Election Results to Congress: In each state, the governor must send a “certificate of ascertainment” to Congress reporting which candidate won the state and which slate of electors has been appointed to the Electoral College.
The Electoral College Meets: In each state, the winning candidate’s slate of pledged electors meet, cast their votes, and send a record of their votes to Congress.
JAN 3Start of the 117th Congress: All newly elected or reelected senators and representatives are sworn in.
JAN 6Congress Counts Electoral College Votes: Congress convenes in a joint session held in the House chambers to count Electoral College votes and choose the next president. Note that in a contested election, the House awards 1 vote per state delegation, not one vote per member. Since Republicans control more state delegations, this opens the possibility of the House voting to install Donald Trump, even if he did not get the most votes.
JAN 20Inauguration Day: The newly-elected President is sworn in. If Congress hasn’t chosen a new president, the newly-elected Vice President is sworn in as the acting president. If Congress hasn’t chosen a new Vice President, the Speaker of the House is sworn in as the acting president.

To prepare for Nov. 3 and beyond, we wanted to share some resources and opportunities to take action. Please make use of these, share widely with your members and neighbors, and be prepared to jump in to protect our democracy, support the movement, and build our power for the fights to come.

Actions to Join

The Protect the Results coalition is organizing in-person actions across the country to demand all the votes are counted, with a special emphasis on the first weekend after the election, Nov 7-8. Check out the map for hundreds of planned events, as well as resources to organize your own. 

If you’re in the DC area, our old friends ShutDown DC are organizing trainings and actions ahead through Nov. 3 and beyond. Find a list of events and actions here: ShutDownDC.org/calendar 

If you’re in the Bay area, check out the emerging coalition at Bay Resistance, which has trainings and actions planned centering on a Nov 4 day of action in San Francisco and Oakland.

Direct action all-father George Lakey and other long-term allies have also started Choose Democracy, which has tools to pressure your local elected officials to count all the votes, monitor polls, and pledge to take action in the event of a coup or contested election.

United we Dream and the Movement for Black Lives – two non-environmental mobilizations we’ve worked closely with over the Trump years – have teamed up to create the The frontlines. They have opportunities in many cities to protect each other and Democracy on election day and in the aftermath.

Finally, our old friends at the Poor People’s Campaign are calling for an army of poor people and their allies to show up as election monitors and democracy defenders before, during, and after election day. They want you to do MORE: Mobilizing, Organizing, Registering, and Educating people to vote.

Earth Day Live 2020

This week, millions will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. It should have been a day of rallies and protests, concerts and action in the streets. But, as we’ve explained, this year, however, is anything but normal.

Instead of mass protests, from April 22 to 24 we’re joining a massive online action for Earth Day Live. That plan is for a three-day live stream focused on climate action, with each day hosting a different theme: Strike. Divest. Vote.

Each day will include training sessions, performances, and appearances to keep people engaged, informed, and inspired. There will be panel discussions, call in days, art builds, divestment, and lots and lots of social media with celebrities, politicians, scientists, and youth activists.

Click here to join us live online at EarthDayLive2020.org.

The coronavirus has laid bare the brutality and injustice of our current system. Millions of people have lost their jobs, are no longer able to pay their rent, student loans, credit card bills, utilities, or healthcare costs. That’s why we’re coming together for online action at a scale the climate movement has never done before.

Here’s an overview of what’s happening each day:

Wednesday, April 22, is a day to demonstrate our collective power and unity through community building and storytelling. Originally a day of mass mobilization, we are leaning into healing and togetherness to provide comfort and inspiration during this time of unknown and are centering the voices of frontline, Indigenous, and POC leaders. Click here to stay engaged and learn more.

Thursday, April 23, we will target financial institutions across the country. Led by the Stop the Money Pipeline Coalition, this day of action will bring urgent public attention to the fact that banks, insurance companies, and asset managers are complicit in funding, insuring, and investing in the climate crisis. Click here to stay engaged and learn more.

Friday, April 24, we will focus on political change with a nationwide voter registration day. We need leaders who will address this existential threat, and for this to happen, we need people to show up at the polls this year. We will be holding a digital, relational voter registration challenge to see which region of the country can register the most voters, and call on elected officials to support our demands. Click here to stay engaged and learn more.As the 24th is the first day of Ramadan, organizers will be working with the Muslim community to make sure events are accessible for those who are observing and use it as an opportunity to educate people on the holiday.

Click here to find out more about Earth Day Live and take part in one of the biggest days of digital action the climate movement has ever seen.

Online or offline, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day is a day to demonstrate our collective power and unity through community building and storytelling. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean collective disengagement.

See you online at Earth Day live 2020

Shut Down DC, Earth Day to May Day Starts Tomorrow!

From April 22-24, we’re going to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, as part of the massive Earth Day Live 2020 event online. The next week, we’re taking bold action online and in the streets (safely) of DC to Shut Down the status quo – which continues to approve pipelines, permit racism, and prolong attacks on our communities during the pandemic.

Months ago, young people from all around the world put out a call for urgent direct action to confront the climate crisis. Today, in the midst of the pandemic, we find ourselves in a much different world than when we first prepared to answer that call. But it is clear that bold direct action is as essential as ever.

That’s why we’re still planning to 5 days of bold action April 27-May 1, so that every weekday from Earth Day (April 22) to May Day (May 1) there’s an action or actions for you to join.

And tomorrow (April 22) at 7pm, the Shut Down DC crew is hosting a kick off meeting to explain our plan, and tell you how to connect with each day’s actions. Can you join us?

If you want to know more, check out the Shut Down DC website, with details on each day of action, and read their message below setting the whole plan up:

The COVID-19 pandemic has cracked open the veneer of our economic and social system. It’s putting the inequities in health care, wealth, housing, education, and much more on full display, and exacerbating existing crises. And unless we stop them, the politicians and lobbyists will continue to take advantage of this pandemic to suppress the vote, funnel hundreds of billions of dollars to their corporate cronies, and loosen already inadequate environmental regulations.

In the 10 days between Earth Day and May Day (International Workers Day) we are going to take bold direct action online AND in person (safely) to disrupt the interlocking systems that are threatening our collective survival and build a collaborative framework for a healthier, more just and sustainable world.

April 22-24 – Earth Day Live

Between April 22 and 24 young people are organizing online actions to strike, divest and vote for our future. From April 22, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, to April 24, activists, performers, thought leaders, and artists will come together for an empowering, inspiring, and communal three day livestream mobilization. We will support and lift up these activities and while leaving space for youth to lead in this important moment.

The action starts online TOMORROW (April 22):
7pm-ShutDownDC: How we’re going to make it happen

April 27-May 1 – #ShutDownDC

​Throughout the week of April 27th we’ll take bold direct action online AND in person to shut down business as usual and create space for a healthier and more sustainable world. Each day of the week will focus on a theme to highlight the ways that the climate crisis threatens our communities and lifts up our opportunities to build resilient alternatives.​

Learn more at https://www.shutdowndc.org/

Earth Day 2020- Live and online

April 22 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and we’d planned to make it a BIG one. Hundreds of organizations representing millions of people worldwide were planning a massive global strike.

The plan was awesome, and audacious: with the first day (April 22) focussed on protest and climate history; the second day (April 23) focussed on Stopping the Money Pipeline of investors, banks and insurers profiting off climate chaos; And the third day (April 24) as the biggest one day strike from school or work in global history.

Then, of course, came the pandemic. And we needed to keep each other safe by moving our action online and physical distancing. Which is why From April 22 to 24, young people and adults are coming together for a three-day live stream event focused on climate action.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed that we don’t get to hold the biggest all-out, in-the-streets day(s) of climate action in history. But it is still possible to take lots of action and make a lot of impact online. And as we’ve seen, fossil fuel profiteers, dirty politicians, and climate criminals have wasted no time in using the pandemic to push their agenda. So from April 22-24, it’s essential that we push back.

Can you join us? There’s 2 ways to participate:

  1. Click here if you’re a photographer, videographer, artist, musician, or have an existing affinity group or local action-team – sign up here to submit something (a song, a poem, a live-streamed one-person action etc) to be part of the 72 hour live stream at earthdaylive2020.org
  2. Everyone else, click here to sign up host your own earth day live event with friends. The Earth Day live team (including 198 methods) will be in touch to help you plan an event online, invite everyone to participate, and feature a couple of these local events each day as part of the 72 hours

Earth Day Live is a 72-hour live stream and online mobilization that aims to engage people across the country and the world in collective action to protect our climate and communities. Each day has a theme, and the live stream will include speakers, performances, and training sessions to keep you engaged, informed, and inspired. Click here to stay engaged and learn more.

Wednesday, April 22, is a day to demonstrate our collective power and unity through community building and storytelling. Originally a day of mass mobilization, we are leaning into healing and togetherness to provide comfort and inspiration during this time of unknown and are centering the voices of frontline, Indigenous, and POC leaders. Click here to stay engaged and learn more.

Thursday, April 23, we will target financial institutions across the country. Led by the Stop the Money Pipeline Coalition, this day of action will bring urgent public attention to the fact that banks, insurance companies, and asset managers are complicit in funding, insuring, and investing in the climate crisis. Click here to stay engaged and learn more.

Friday, April 24, we will focus on political change with a nationwide voter registration day. We need leaders who will address this existential threat, and for this to happen, we need people to show up at the polls this year. We will be holding a digital, relational voter registration challenge to see which region of the country can register the most voters, and call on elected officials to support our demands. Click here to stay engaged and learn more.As the 24th is the first day of Ramadan, organizers will be working with the Muslim community to make sure events are accessible for those who are observing and use it as an opportunity to educate people on the holiday.

Earth Day Live includes more than 350 partners, including 198 methods, who are working to amplify and mobilize around the strikes. While the strikes remain youth-led, we’re a part of a broader network that is truly collaborative, intergenerational, and intersectional.

As I said last September during the first global climate strike: this is the moment 198 methods was made for. The pandemic may have forced us to focus on the digital, as opposed to direct-action, parts of our mission; But nothing will stop us from taking action together to stop the climate crisis and building a more just, safe and equitable world for all.

Learn more and join us at earthdaylive2020.org

No Coal, No Gas. Nobody will shut Merrimack down for us.

The Merrimack Generating Station in Bow, NH, is the last large coal plant in New England without a shut-down date. On September 28th we will gather in Bow for a mass nonviolent direct action to shut down this plant.

Nobody’s going to close this coal plant for us. Continuing to burn coal and build fracked gas infrastructure in New England is immoral. That our political leaders stand idly by, or worse claim to believe in climate science, but refuse to take the actions necessary in the midst of this climate emergency is unconscionable. We must act ourselves.

The action has already started. Activists removed hundreds of pounds of coal from burn pile #BucketbyBucket and delivered it to the doorsteps of the New Hampshire Legislature and other ineffective political leaders.

Now, they’re calling for backup to finish the job: Can you Join us in Bow, NH, on Saturday, September . 28 for a powerful action to stop fossil fuels and climate chaos?

When we took action in DC this week, we chose as our message based on firefighter’s badges: to symbolize that we were the emergency responders coming to the rescue of a planet that’s on fire. In the same way, this week we’re going to show up and remove a little fuel from the fire that is burning our future.

The coal industry/fossil fuel industry has been reaping profits by stealing from our future for generations. They try to tell us that it’s our fault, that we should change our diet, drive less, travel less. But just 100 companies are responsible for 70% of emissions worldwide. And coal kills 13,000 people per year in the US and 800,000 a year globally, plus countless more deaths as a result the climate crisis driven by fossil fuels.  Any nonviolent act that prevents fossil fuels from being burned is an act of reclaiming a small piece of the future that is being stolen from us.

Activists have campaigned for decades to close down Merrimack. But local elected officials are bought by the fossil fuel industry and lack the political courage to confront the climate crisis. Nobody is going to shut down this power plant for us. But by physically carrying away the coal, removing the fuel from the fire, we are reclaiming our power and our future in our own hands.

This moment calls for mass resistance – the status quo is the enemy. On September 28th we will converge in Bow to remove the fuel from the fires of climate catastrophe – even if we have to do it bucket by bucket. Will you join us?

There are two basic ways to join us in action, and you can learn more about both of them at the nocoalnogas.org website:

It is past time to move past comfortable responses to the climate crisis. As Greta Thunburg said in her speech to UN ministers last week:

“For more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are nowhere in sight.”

If you’re ready to take the action we need, not simple what is politically feasible, join us in Bow this weekend and take the fuel from the fires that are burning our planet #BucketbyBucket.

Shut Down DC

UPDATE: We are going to #ShutDownDC in less than three weeks! More than 700 folks have pledged to join us and more than a dozen organizations have endorsed our demands for a Green New Deal, respect of indigenous land, and protection of biodiversity, and more.  If you haven’t already – click here to sign the pledge of resistance and join us in the streets September 23.

Then (or if you want to know more before you commit) RSVP for an organizing meeting September 11 or 18. The organizing meetings will get you briefed and ready, and help connect you to an affinity group to make taking action safe, easy and fun.

If you’re already onboard, use these quick links to share the news with your networks online:

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There’s no time left for business-as-usual; the Amazon and the Arctic are on fire. Greenland is melting and Trump wants to ‘buy’ it. Corruption reigns and the climate crisis is here. Now.

On September 20th, hundreds of thousands of young people around the world will skip school or work to take to the streets and make a stand. Many of them were inspired by the actions and words of Swedish student Greta Thunberg.

They include and will join Indigenous peoples, as well as Black and Brown communities on the frontlines, who have been leading the climate movement and building a regenerative future in the midst of the climate emergency.

In Washington, DC we will be answering the call in a huge way and building on the momentum of the youth climate strikes:

On September 23rd, we are going to shut down DC. Click here or visit StrikeDC.org to join us.

We will block key infrastructure to stop business-as-usual, bringing the whole city to a gridlocked standstill. Parents, workers, college students, and everyone who is concerned about the climate crisis will skip work and school and put off their other responsibilities to take action on the climate crisis.

People around the world are experiencing superstorms, floods, droughts, and wildfires at unprecedented rates, with low-income communities and communities of color hit first and worst. Cruelly, communities and regions being devastated by the worst effects of climate change tend to be the least responsible for its onset. It is not a coincidence that climate impacts strike along the lines of race and class so starkly; climate change itself is a product of the same processes which cement racism and wealth inequality in our country and our world.

To achieve something as monumental as shutting down DC, we are going to need everyone to step up. We need everyone’s creativity, everyone’s energy, everyone’s insights, and everyone’s ideas. Every single person has skills and experience to contribute to the strike.

Take the pledge of resistance to join us, come to a kickoff meeting, and organize or join a squad.

This is the mass uprising that everyone with climate anxiety has been waiting for. This is an uprising for life itself, fighting back against the forces of destruction. This is your chance to take action to save the people, plants, and animals you love. Let’s rise up and shut down DC!