The experienced trainers and organizers who founded Choose Democracy knew that preparation helped people to act powerfully, so training became a core component of our strategy to stop a coup. Between mid-September and the end of election week 2020, we trained nearly 10,000 in How to Be an Election-Related Power Grab!
We focused on people-power and the strategies that worked in other countries where coups have been defeated nonviolently. Here are some learnings we heard directly from training participants:
“I learned defending democracy takes courage! I had to really think if I was prepared to take to the streets if needed.”
“I learned that it’s almost impossible for a single individual to do anything in a situation like this. We must work with others, and build bridges to others who may not think just like we do.”
“I learned so much from you and you gave me new things to do and think about that really lowered my level of anxiety and feeling of helplessness in the fall.”
“I learned that I’m not alone; many people want to protect democracy… and that there are many actions that can be taken to push back on possible coup attempts. I also learned that this process must continue. Democracy is not a destination; it’s a process in which as many citizens as possible must get involved!”
Although Choose Democracy as an organization will not continue past the inauguration, the process of defending democracy will be carried on by all of us. Below you’ll find a few ongoing training resources. And here’s a behind-the-scenes peak at what helped Choose Democracy get off the ground so quickly.
Thanks for your vigilance, commitment, and courage.
Choose Democracy trainings are led by a rotation of experienced trainers from diverse backgrounds. Their decades of experience span a wide range of movements, including Civil Rights, LGBTQ, labor, racial justice, and climate justice. To read trainers for a specific training, find their bios on the Zoom registration page.
These sessions, by DC Peace Teams, will discuss the challenges that voters, election workers, demonstrators and others will face during the voting, vote counting, and results declaration periods, and how ABI and NVC tools may be used to protect the election process.