We Decide. Join us Saturday.

Four four years we protested and resisted. This year, we voted. And now we the people have spoken. We decided and elected new leaders.

We made our voice heard loud and clear. Voters rejected Trump and his cronies so that we can make the changes our people need to thrive. Right now, even as you read this email, good people from all over the country are coming together as a united front to say we are ready to count every vote.

If you’re ready to join us, come to a Protect the results rally this Saturday in your town and celebrate our movement’s strength to defend the results.

As expected, an historic number of Americans voted in 2020. And now that more of the ballots have been counted, Biden has pulled ahead in the electoral college, and has already earned more votes than any candidate for President in history.

But last night Donald Trump, again, lied about the election and proclaimed himself the winner. He’s still using lawsuits to try and overturn the results of the election, and has said he will not to concede.

Join us this Saturday and let everyone know, we will count every vote and we will win.

We’ve lost hundreds of thousands of neighbors, friends, and family to COVID-19. And with cases skyrocketing in many communities, a lot of us are struggling to survive.

But remember this summer when protests sprung up all over the country against police violence, and continue today. That movement made our victory possible in Pennsylvania, Georgia and elsewhere. Now is the time to make sure that every vote is counted and then get to work holding our elected officials accountable to all of us!

See you in the streets.

Count every vote, ’cause every vote counts.

This is really simple, so I’ll keep it really short. Biden has pulled ahead in the electoral college, and has already earned more votes than any candidate for President in history.

But last night Donald Trump, again, lied about the election and proclaimed himself the winner. He’s still using lawsuits to try and overturn the results of the election, and has said he will not to concede.

The most important thing right now is to count every vote. When they count every vote, in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona and other states – we win. If Trump is able to stop vote counting – we all lose.

Voters determine elections. Every eligible voter who cast a ballot this election has the inalienable right to be heard — whether that ballot was cast in person or by mail.

Here’s a little more background if you’re just tuning in:

More people voted by mail than ever leading up to Election Day. That means it’s going to take longer to count every vote and certify a winner for the election — and that’s okay. What’s wrong is the possibility of some people’s votes being thrown out. Election officials must take the time needed to ensure every vote is counted accurately. Governors must ensure those election officials have the resources they need to do their democratic duty.

We’ve been telling you for a week now that while Biden is likely to win when they count every vote, Trump is likely to use legal challenges, directed mobs, and the power of the Executive Branch to try and stop states from counting every vote. This strategy is already in motion. Trump is trying to steal the election in broad daylight:

On Nov. 1, Republican politicians and conservative activists tried to throw out over 127,000 early ballots cast via drive-through locations in Harris County, TX. The all-Republican Texas Supreme Court and U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen rejected their case of blatant voter suppression.

On Nov. 2, the Trump reelection campaign and state Republican officials tried to stop mail-in ballot counting in Clark County, NV, where 70% of all voters reside. A Nevada judge rejected their lawsuit which included installing cameras to “monitor” the ballot counting process.

These legal schemes to invalidate ballots from eligible voters are tactics that undermine our democratic elections. There will be other efforts to disrupt or bypass a complete count of all votes.

We’re calling on all governors and election officials to ensure we count every vote — every early vote, mail-in ballot, provisional ballot and Election Day vote — are counted.

We must demand our leaders do their job: America is watching. With our democracy on the line, we’re counting on you to ensure the U.S. election is fair and accurate.

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.

No more business as usual. Tell the Senate to stop FERC now

We live a in climate changed world. From the wildfires out west to the hurricanes in the east — one making landfall this week while four more are active offshore. So why is Congress rushing to approve more Trump nominees to key energy agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)? What, exactly, would it take to convince Senators to just STOP the madness and extraction?

The Senate Energy Committee, once again, is considering new nominees to serve as commissioners at FERC. And FERC has continued its work rubber stamping new fossil fuel infrastructure all through the pandemic. We’ve called and written them thousands of times: Most recently some 40,000 of us asked FERC not to extend a permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

But FERC won’t stop until Congress stops them by instituting real reforms. Will you tell the Senate Energy Commitee that this is no time for Business as usual – and demand they stop the nomination of two new FERC Commissioners this week?

Call nowCall the Senate switchboard 202-224-3121 & tell them to vote NO on all new FERC Commissioners until there are real reforms!
Click here to tell them on Facebook
TwitterClick here to tell them on Twitter
Or, just forward this post to your friends!

The entire west coast is on fire. Hurricane Sally is making landfall today in the Gulf, even as communities re still struggling to recover from Hurricane Laura, which itself made landfall on the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. And the Mid west is still trying to put itself back together after a massive derecho (a sort of one-directional tornado) and back to back storms that produced massive flooding.

Donald Trump continues to spout his nonsense and ignore science. But it’s his enablers – the agency heads and administrators that keep rolling back climate regulations and rolling out the red carpet for more fossil fuels extraction and infrastructure – who do the real damage.

The two newest nominations — Allison Clements and Mark Christie — aren’t as bad as some of the people Trump has nominated in the past. But that’s hardly the point: As long as Trump and his cronies are calling the shots, FERC will never be an agency that supports real climate action. We need bold changes, like a Green New Deal that changes FERC in to a Federal Renewable Energy Commission – and that change could be coming soon.

But until those changes come, we stand with our allies at Beyond Extreme Energy in calling upon Senators to abstain from voting for either of these nominees. Next week there will be a people’s hearing on FERC’s numerous offenses against the climate, our communities, and people. That needs to be followed quickly by real reform legislation that Congress can vote on FIRST, before they continue to feed the Fires of FERC’s climate disaster.

Laura, Katrina & a chemical fire: Katrina 15 anniversary

Tomorrow marks Katrina 15, a decade and a half of ongoing recovery from Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf South. And just as organizers were gathering to mourn, remember, rally and act together – Hurricane Laura slammed into the petrochemical hub West of New Orleans.

Today, thousands are without access to power, or clean water and at least one chemical plant was still burning Thursday evening. That means, as one New Orleans ally just explained to me, that people who lost their roof in the storm are being told to stay ‘indoors’ because the air outside is toxic.

The profound level of environmental and climate in-justice that permeates this moment is hard to take. But community leaders from across the Gulf South have been planning for months to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Katrina.

In the wake of Hurricane Laura, and the unfolding tragedies in its wake, we invite you to join them for a day and honor the sacrifice of the region in the global fight for climate justice.

Here’s an update in their words:

In solidarity with our family recovering from Hurricane Laura which made landfall on the Louisiana central coast this week, we are shifting our #Katrina15 programming to center the frontlines impacted by Hurricane Laura, offer lessons learned from 15 years of ongoing recovery from Hurricane Katrina, and share disaster recovery resources and ways to stand in solidarity with communities in Louisiana and Texas. Register here to join us for an abbreviated virtual program, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020 at 10amCDT.

If you’re able, we encourage you to also make a donation to support frontline groups in Louisiana and on the Gulf coast who are rendering direct, mutual aid to impacted people and communities. Our friends have begun compiling a list and there should be more information on the call tomorrow at 10amCDT.

HOLD THE LINE: Don’t let corporate polluters get away with murder

Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans already gave more than $3 billion of COVID response money to fossil fuel polluters. Now, they’re planning another big oil bailout as part of a Coronavirus response bill they’re negotiating.

This time they don’t just want to give away our money: they want to let fossil fuel companies get away with murder. 

Call your Senators at (800) 914-0328 and tell them to hold the line against McConnell’s liability shield and make sure COVID response funds benefit people, not polluters!

For weeks, we’ve been telling you about the #BigOilBailout where fossil fuel companies got access to literally billions of dollars of public money that was supposed to help main street employers and workers. The House passed a package weeks ago that’s a good start — called the HEROES Act — and we’ve been pressing McConnell to take that bill up, and give our allies in the Senate a chance to make it even better by banning direct payments to the fossil fuel industry.

Instead of doing that, McConnell is pushing something called a “liability shield” which would protect corporations against lawsuits from workers who get Covid-19 because of unsafe conditions.

We don’t need to encourage corporations to be even more reckless with their workers’ safety and health. And that’ why nobody wants this liability shield, except for Senate Republicans and corporate billionaires like the fossil fuel industry. Doctors don’t want it; Major League Baseball doesn’t want it; low-income workers of color who are doing many if not most of the “essential” jobs in the pandemic as nurses, delivery drivers, certainly don’t want it.

McConnell’s plan will put frontline communities at risk, as fossil fuel companies and others spread disease from their facilities. 

It gets worse: corporations would have these protections for the next five years and they are likely to try using them to block all sorts of lawsuits, including those who are trying to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their fatal pollution and climate lies.  

We can stop this cynical attempt to let corporations put our lives at risk. 

The White House has already said they may be willing to drop the liability shield in negotiations over the stimulus. If we can generate a massive public outcry over the next 24 hours, we may be able to stop it for good. 

Please call your Senators at (800) 914-0328 and tell them to kill the liability shield and make sure this stimulus protects people, not polluters. 

When you’re on the phone with your Senators, remind them that the fossil fuel industry has already received billions of dollars in tax breaks and bailouts. Meanwhile, tens of millions of people are still out of work. Nearly 30 million Americans reported they went hungry last week. Black, Brown and Indigenous communities continue to be the hardest hit. 

Call at (800) 914-0328 and tell your Senators to drop McConnell’s deadly plan, and bail out people, not polluters.

They tear gassed moms. And then the Mayor. Ban Tear Gas Now.

The use of tear gas is illegal in war. But in the last few weeks, it’s been used so often to disperse protests in the US that many of you can probably recognize the smell at a distance, and know exactly what it looks like in a photo or video.

In Portland, Trump’s storm troopers fire it nightly into the “wall of Moms” peacefully protecting everyone’s children out protesting (the crowds have included babies, toddlers, and lots of young adults). In one memorable incident last week, the mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, was tear gassed outside the federal courthouse right in the middle of an interview.

Nor is this just a problem with federal agents, or only in Portland. Tear gas has been used more, and in more places, in the last few months than ever before in American history. This isn’t just a danger to protesters, it’s a danger to the right to protest. And it’s past time that we banned its use on our streets. Sign our petition to state and local leaders demanding they ban tear gas NOW.

Tear gas is not safe. It has been found to cause long-term health consequences, and intense burning pain in the eyes, throat, lungs, skin and mucous membranes. In some cases, it can cause an asthma attack — potentially leading to asphyxiation or death. When a canister detonates, it can also cause serious burn injuries. When they’re fired into crowds (which is usually the case) tear gas canisters have caused severe head injuries.

This would be enough of a problem in normal times, but now, use of tear gas in the midst of a respiratory pandemic threatens to worsen the coronavirus, along with racial disparities in its spread.

Doctors, nurses and disease experts have warned that dousing crowds with these kind of chemical agents will accelerate the spread of coronavirus. And in a season of mass demonstrations against police brutality and structural racism, the frequent use of these tactics raises fears that police are trying to worsen a pandemic that has already taken a disproportionate toll on Black and brown Americans.

Sign and send the petition to your Governor: Demand a ban on the use of tear gas by the police immediately.

Your Mayor can Defund the police – and they should

For the last few weeks, we’ve been telling you about why we support the demands of the Movement for Black Lives, including and especially the demand to Defund the Police. But the truth is that most of us can’t defund the police ourselves:

Not by voting in local elections (some sheriffs are elected, but not most police chiefs or officers); not by calling and writing Congress (some police are paid or mandated by Congress, but most are locally controlled); And not by marching in the streets, protesting, singing, or taking artistic action (though you can and should do all that as you are able, as we’ve been saying)

The decision about whether to defund the police, and how to re-invest that money in actual community safety, rests with Mayors and city councils across America. And that’s why we’re asking you to sign this petition to all US Mayors telling them we must immediately defund the police at local government levels.

The murders of George Floyd, Dreasjon Reed, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Rayshard Brooks, and countless other Black people at the hands of police have exposed what we’ve known for too long: Policing in the U.S. upholds a violent legacy of racialized trauma and control, diverting crucial resources from communities that most need them.

Defunding the police, like divestment from fossil fuels, is a non-violent, direct action to reduce harm, and create the solutions we need. By reducing the disproportionate budgets of the police, we can redirect those funds to critical resources like schools, affordable housing, healthcare and mental health.

This is also a movement to address the longstanding trauma and harm policing creates and to finally invest in our Black and brown communities that have carried that pain for too long.

The U.S. spends more than $100 billion on policing per year. The city of Chicago spends more than $4 million on police every day, compared to about $600,000 on public health services. And they’re not alone: Police department budgets make up a disproportionate amount of overall spending in most major U.S. cities. It is well past time to reckon with the decades of racism that divest from services that actually keep communities safe and well. We must reclaim public money from the systemic oppression and inequity upheld by policing.

Some cities have already taken action. After immense pressure from protesters, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti rejected a large increase in the LAPDs 2020 budget, reducing it from $1.89 billion to $1.86 billion. The NYPD 2021 budget was set at $6 billion. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that NYPD resources will now be shifted into social services. Dallas, Philadelphia, and Nashville are looking into similar steps to gradually reduce their police budgets.

We are calling on ALL local governments to divest from police budgets and redirect that money to essential services in Black and brown communities most harmed by these violent systems. We demand our city budgets reflect what we value as a community. This begins with supporting life-giving resources, not racist and violent police.

Sign the petition: Cities must divest from law enforcement and finally invest in Black and brown communities.