At the last NWTRCC national gathering in May 2020, some of our members suggested having a study group to look at issues emerging during COVID-19. The group has met weekly and has discussed a variety of issues over the past months—mostly as it relates to militarism. In recent weeks the conversations have been focused on the elections. People have expressed concerns about the peaceful transfer of power, voter suppression, and armed groups at polling places or potentially in the streets resisting election results.
A component of the study group is sharing articles and resources with each other that encourage reflection, discussion, and action. We wanted to share some reflections on the upcoming election and resources (that you can find at the end of this blog), as well as NWTRCC’s national gathering online the weekend following the elections.
Beyond 2020—The work that lies ahead
Regarding the 2020 U.S. presidential election, there has been much speculation about the outcome for weeks, months, and years now. During elections, there is often attention on the difference between candidates. In 2020, there have been a lot of conversations about the growing polarity and divisions among people in the U.S., but a place of common ground seems to be in the presidential candidates’ positions.
While Trump refers to “endless wars” and Biden calls them “forever wars,” neither candidate has articulated a plan to end the two longest wars in U.S. history in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nor has either candidate proposed the possibility of reining in military spending—even during a global pandemic in which U.S. spending priorities have had literal life and death consequences for people in the U.S. Defense contractors do not anticipate disruptions in their business with either candidate as president: “Boeing CEO confident in defense spending, no matter who wins the 2020 election.”
As war tax resisters we have our work cut for us war tax resisters no matter the outcome of the election. Join NWTRCC for our national gathering the weekend following the election. It will be a great time to come together to strategize on the work that lies ahead. You can find registration information here.
Drum beat builds as election approaches and Coalitions are forming
The Peace Resource Center in San Diego has signed on with the Veterans For Peace Chapter as Election Defenders! Our team will visit polls most at risk of disruption and we will intervene as needed. Why? We believe that while most poll workers are diligent and do their best, outside agitators are being orchestrated to disrupt the vote.
We know that white supremacist groups are active in San Diego, many with close ties to police in our public safety departments, and confrontational at rallies. This was on show publicly in the community protests that sprang up when Trump came to San Diego to stump for the vote back in 2016. Our public servants politely pushed protesters into the hands of Trump supporters, leading to fights and a massive show of police militarism. A strong indicator of what lies ahead if we don’t push back?
Election Disruption in San Diego. Voter intimidation and suppression occur all the time in different ways, depending on the local politics. San Diego is a heavy mix of both democratic and republican officials, with a military overlay of control. This military presence is complicated, pervasive and multiple: from local poll cops to ICE agents COVID-19 has added an extra layer of opportunity, as social distancing needs change normal voting processes.
More info about Election Defense 2020:
Election Protection 2020 with Election Defenders – a national coalition of
democracy-minded organizations. Join PRC at the polls this year to watch
and protect people’s right to vote.
You can be an election defender too!
*Online trainings every week *→ *Tues, Fri, Sun*
Info & Contact: https://www.mobilize.us/thefrontline/event/321224/
- Choose Democracy
- Hold The Line Guide
- Election Defenders
- Protect the Results
- Nonviolence News’ 13 Nonviolent Actions To Defend Democracy
- Watch “Elections Defense”, a webinar from our colleagues at Nonviolence International, featuring activists from Brazil, Serbia, the Philippines and Gambia sharing their stories of how they used people power to effectively confront oppressive regimes.
- Beautiful Trouble have launched a Resistance Hotline. The Resistance Hotline provides trustworthy one-on-one support for action planning & training needs.
Post by Chrissy Kirchhoefer and Anne Barron