- “our actions must directly affect the structures and pillars of power“
- “we need to be in the streets, on the highways, or at the sites of power and power holders“
- “you want to think about what it might take to stop business-as-usual“
An organization of radical left-wing activists has posted an online guide to “disruption” that outlines a plan to shut down the country and force President Donald Trump from power in the event that the 2020 election is too close to call.
The guide, “Stopping the Coup,” available as a Google doc, is being circulated by a group called ShutDownDC. It casts its plan for disruption as a response to an imagined “coup” by the president in the case of a close election.
In an email promoting the guide, ShutDownDC declares: “Preventing Donald Trump from stealing the election and remaining in office is likely to take mass, sustained disruptive movements all over the country.” The guide is a manual to that “disruption.”
Parts of the guide are committed to ensuring a “fair election.” Parts of it, however, read like a manual for staging a coup rather than a guide to preventing one:
In the context of a coup or highly contested election we need to be clear that our actions must directly affect the structures and pillars of power. Our largest asset in this regard utilizes the ideas of non-compliance through massive, broad based direct action. Where we can, we need to be in the streets, on the highways, or at the sites of power and power holders. In our jobs and lives we must refuse to allow those taking control the legitimacy of the power they seek through strikes, slowdowns, and boycotts, and public refusal to accept an illegitimate ruling party.
Another section urges activists to stop American life from continuing if the election does not go their way (original emphasis):
In order to really win we will need to force some pillars of power (business, military, media, or other major institutions) to decide to side with the people, or at least get out of the way. If everyday life goes on, a despot will not leave power, and so there will be no incentive for real systems change. You want to think about what it might take to stop business-as-usual.