First and foremost, it is important to stay focused on the purpose and message: mass sustained non-violent protests around the central slogan Trump/Pence Out Now. This regime is illegitimate both because of stealing the elections and because fascism, white supremacy and theocracy are never legitimate. We have right on our side, and it is important to base ourselves on and return to this moral and political grounding.
In this context:
- Develop a public and clear code of conduct for what you organize.We should not get diverted by engaging fascists in arguments or allowing ourselves to be drawn into fascist attempts to provoke and set pr etexts for law enforcement to repress a non-violent protest. We should stick together in a disciplined way and not allow our protest to be shut down or silenced. We will not be cowed—the whole world is watching. Repression against righteous resisters with legitimate grievances represents desperation —it is not a sign of strength, it is a sign of weakness.
- Given the commitment to nonviolence, it should be clear that if violence is perpetrated during the protests, it will have been by the Trump-aligned forces or law enforcement (who are often intertwined).
- Wear certain clothes that are Orange to distinguish this group and the principles it is carrying out. Strive to have assigned monitors and legal observers in attendance (the National Lawyers Guild Legal Observers Program provides green hats but also training for legal observers who do not have to be lawyers). In some cases people may be assigned to be official liaisons to police or city agencies to negotiate permits if they are being applied for, negotiating taking the streets when there are no permits (which is the case in many cities with COVID). Select the person or legal professionals who will be responsible and discourage any other interaction with them.
- Be alert to fascist “press” and cameras there to record and interview people. It is best not to consent to be interviewed by them. Have a press liaison who is making a record of the press that is there, introducing themselves and developing principled relations with members of the press, many of which will be on our side. Follow up on coverage and keep a record of what is actually published or makes it onto social media and television.
- Work with people willing to provide medical aid to people who need it, and mutual aid people to provide water and snacks, hand warmers and emotional support for people who need it.