Detroit District Area Local Issues Proclamation to Stand for Democracy

November 17, 2020

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(This article first appeared in the November/December 2020 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

Below is a reprint of a proclamation by the Detroit District Area Local published in October. The Baltimore Francis ‘Stu’ Filbey Area Local and the Nations Capital Southern Maryland Area Local passed similar resolutions.

“We commend the Detroit leadership, and others, for their strong statements and activism around defending democracy,” said President Dimondstein. “As this issue goes to press, President Trump has yet to concede the election and promise he will leave office. It will be up to the workers and people of this country to rise up if he or his enablers attempt to override the voice of the people.”

Choose Democracy – Take the Pledge

1. Don’t expect results election night. Count all the votes and honor the result.

2. Do call it a coup. A coup is wrong and a violation of democratic norms. We know it’s a coup if the government:

• Stops counting votes;

• Declares someone a winner who didn’t get the most votes; or

• Allows someone to stay in power who didn’t win the election.

3. Know that coups have been stopped by regular folks.

4. To start preparing, talk to at least 5 people who would go into the streets with you – the safest way to take to the streets is with people you know and trust.

5. Be ready to act quickly – and not alone.

6. Focus on widely shared democratic values. No matter who you are, you can be a part of choosing democracy.

7. Convince people not to freeze or just go along. It’s about protest and getting people to reassert core values. It’s about actions like mass strikes from workers and students refusing to go to work or school until all votes are counted.

8. Commit to actions that represent rule of law, stability and nonviolence. Mass resistance to coups wins by using walk-outs and strikes, refusing orders and shutting down civil society until the rightful democratically-elected leader is installed. For mass movements to succeed against coups, they should refuse to do violence to the other side.

9. Yes, a coup can happen in the United States.

10. Center in calm, not fear. It’s scary to believe we’re having to talk about a federal coup in the United States. Let’s aim for calm and avoid hyperbole. Be a reliable source by double-checking rumors and spreading high-quality facts. Breathe deeply.

11. Prepare to deter a coup before the election. In that spirit, Choose Democracy has created a pledge:

• We will vote

• We will refuse to accept election results until all the votes are counted.

• We will nonviolently take to the streets if a coup is attempted.

• If we need to, we will shut down this country to protect the integrity of the democratic process.

Defend Democracy. Take the Pledge. Share Widely.

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