- That the President-elect upholds the constitution. We demand that the president-elect refrain from making tweets or any other public statements that directly or indirectly attack or threaten to undermine those truths which we hold to be self-evident. He must not appoint advisers or any cabinet members that have advocated, fomented or profited from misogynist, xenophobic, racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic remarks, rhetoric, and materials.
- That the President-elect acknowledges that the scientific evidence for Climate Change is unequivocal. He must not under any circumstance back out of the Paris Agreement, and must uphold and meet the nationally-determined contribution goals set by the United States.
- That the President-Elect must uphold the reproductive and civil rights of women. He must not limit those rights by implementing policies such as those that he and his Vice President-elect have pushed for and supported in the past (which include attempts to overturn Roe v. Wade, de-fund and close Planned Parenthood, punishments for abortions and abortionists, and mandatory funerals/burials for miscarriages.)
- That the President-elect conducts himself in a manner that shows respect for the rights and dignity of all women. His past misogynist behavior has been documented and, for this, he should apologize to all women, the world over.
- That the Trump team must stop his aggressive attacks on the free press, which include calling them “biased, corrupt, liberal, politically correct, dangerous, bad, or out of control.” As President-elect, he must allow all media outlets the same access. He must not be allowed to ban media outlets from reporting on the Presidency. He should stop using his Twitter account to attack liberal action.
- Donald Trump should immediately stop using his Twitter account to attack liberal action, to bully women, to fabricate and perpetuate lies and to send reckless policy messages to foreign sovereign nations and their leaders. Having proven over and over again that he is incapable of being responsible in his tweets, it is not unreasonable to demand Donald Trump’s Twitter account is disabled in the name of national security and integrity.
- That the Trump Administration must acknowledge that the following are propaganda organs that promote hate speech and aim to influence and alter the attitude of a population toward a racist, bigoted and discriminatory America using misinformation:The Drudge Report, Free Republic, TownHall, Rush Limbaugh Show, Michelle Malkin, The Heritage Foundation, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, Redstate, Little Green Footballs, Free Congress Foundation, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Studies, American Conservative Union, Young America’s Foundation, National Taxpayers Union, National Review Magazine, Free Republic, Stormfront White, Aryan Resistance, National Alliance, The Spotlight, and Breitbart News.
- That the President-elect must unequivocally denounce the KKK, and treat it clearly as a terrorist organization.
- That the President-elect must uphold the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, which applies to all people, regardless of sex, gender identification, race, class, religion, sexuality, political party or visa status.
- That the President-elect should be open and transparent about his conflicts of interest, and should disclose his tax returns and openly share his business interests and dealings both in the United States and around the world. He should not bring family members into the business of the presidency and into meetings with foreign dignitaries unless there is a compelling national concern that would make this necessary.
- That the President-elect should be held accountable for the blatant lies and conspiracy theories that he and his campaign perpetrated during the 2016 presidential election campaign, prior, and since. Donald Trump must specifically admit to lying about (among other things):
- Millions of people voting illegally in the 2016 presidential race;
- Hillary Clinton starting the Birthing Movement;
- Ted Cruz’s father being involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy;
- President Obama being a Muslim and not being American-born;
- Justice Scalia being murdered;
- Thousands of Muslim-Americans in New Jersey celebrating on 9/11, that 100% of Mosques preach hate, and that Syrian refugees entering the United States aren’t being vetted;
- Immigrants are mostly criminals and rapists.
We commit to non-violent civil disobedience and political activism.
A “staple” of American democratic protests the Sit-In.
A sit-in is a type of direct action where demonstrators sit down and occupy a particular space such as a building, street, park, etc. The object of sit-ins can range from a protests, a demonstrations of the people’s’ right to occupy a certain place, a demand for political, social or economic change, or to attract attention to a specific cause. Some sit-ins have speeches and chanting, while some are silent. The right of peaceful assembly is not only a right bestowed upon citizens by the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States, it is also an active and necessary staple of a democratic society.
The history of sit-ins in the United States predates the Civil Rights Movement, for which they are perhaps most well-known. Sit-down strikes, a form of civil disobedience, were implemented by factory workers in 1906, when 3,000 workers stopped production and sat down to protest the dismissal of three of their coworkers. The United Auto Workers staged sit-down strikes in the 1930s.
In 1939, African-American attorney Samuel Wilbert Tucker organized a sit-in at a segregated library in Alexandria, Virginia. Later that year, the Cafeteria Workers Union New York Chapter organized a sit-in to protest the racist hiring practices at New York’s Shack Sandwich Shops. In 1942, James Farmer, Jr. led a group of 27 people to protest the no-serve policy toward African-Americans at the Jack Spratt Diner in Chicago, Illinois. These protesters refused to move until they were served, which did not happen, and the manager of the diner thereafter called the police; as no laws were broken, the men were not forcibly removed. According to police reports, after the diner closed that night and reopened the next morning, it no longer continued its racist serving practices.
The most instrumental and significant sit-in occurred in 1960 in Greensboro, North Carolina, and became a series of other non-violent sit-ins that culminated in Woolworth’s removing its policy of racial segregation, and an increased national sentiment in the United States regarding segregation. After debating about the best action to gain media attention, a group of African-American college students staged a sit-in at their local whites-only Woolworth’s store lunch counter. The four young men ordered coffee and would not leave after they were refused service. They repeated this action for the next several days, each day joined by an increasing number of other protesters, until the lunch counter was occupied by over 300 people. Students in other North Carolina towns launched their own sit-ins at other Woolworth’s locations, and the movement spread from there to other Southern cities and to other segregated lunch counters.
The protesters faced many abuses and intimidation tactics; angry onlookers threw food, insulted, and threatened the demonstrators, but the protesters generally did not react, and many focussed on reading or schoolwork despite being heckled. There were a few instances where fights between whites and blacks broke out, but the overwhelming majority of the Greensboro protests were peaceful. No protesters were arrested in North Carolina until 41 black students on a picket line in Raleigh were charged with trespassing.
The Greensboro sit-ins brought rapid change. While some Woolworth’s closed their lunch counters rather than desegregate, the sit-ins were successful and lead to partial integration and an increasing national awareness of the inequality faced by African American’s in the southern United States. This was a landmark moment for the Civil Rights Movement.
Sit-ins became a staple of peaceful protest in America. They have been used to protest and acquire rights for workers, women, the LGBT community, disability rights, and so on. Across college campuses, students have used sit-ins to demonstrate against wars (such as the Vietnam War), or to advocate for student and faculty rights. They are considered an effective method of peaceful demonstration that can send a powerful message.
- Organize: A sit-in doesn’t have to be a big demonstration, especially if you’re just starting out. It can be a small group of friends or a local organization demonstrating against, or raising awareness for, a cause. To expand organization efforts, reach out to other like-minded people and groups, create relationships and collaborate, and find allies in your community. Campaigns are most effective when they are made up of people working together. Getting people organized and working together is easier in early stages and will be useful in the long run. Make sure everyone is on the same page, and that there is consistency in the message portrayed.
- Research: Before any kind of demonstration it is essential to know your rights and responsibilities. Be aware of trespassing and make sure you have proper permits where applicable. Speak to local authorities such as a sheriff’s office about the area you’re intending to demonstrate in, consult lawyers or civil rights organization about tips for not getting in trouble with the law. Staying informed as much as possible will be a necessary tool going forward.
- Prepare: Location is key in any type of demonstration, not just sit-ins. A place with a lot of traffic is preferable since you want to attract as much attention to your cause as possible. Make your location deliberate and choose a place that has significance for the protest or action, a space you know will draw attention and, if possible, a date of importance. Again, make sure you understand rules and regulations beforehand, have proper permits, to ensure you and your rights are protected. Think about logistics: what you’ll need, how to get it, and find the resources that will help you.
- Delegate: Make sure to delegate tasks and responsibilities. This will ensure everything that needs to get done will get done: overseeing tasks, organizing speeches or chants, creating or designing signs, finding a location and getting proper permits, speaking to authorities to ensure legality, speaking to media and having press releases if necessary, and promoting and getting the word out.
- Practice: If you’re going to have chants or speeches, it’s good to choose and go over them before the day of the demonstration. Moreover, practicing scenarios is a great way to prepare for unexpected or unintended situations. While a sit-in or demonstration might be intended as peaceful, you cannot predict how onlookers will react. Practicing how to react peacefully to violent or threatening behavior is a good way to ensure situations do not escalate. Some protesters, especially if they’re planning a sit-in or demonstration by trespassing, practice getting arrested to know what to expect, and how to not get hurt under those circumstances. They also develop post-arrest plans, like pooling money to pay for bail or creating contact lists so family can be informed in the case of an arrest. This does not mean that every demonstration will be that eventful, but it is always good to be prepared.
- Advertise: Make sure everyone participates in promoting the sit-in. Prepare literature and handouts to distribute to passer-byes with information regarding the organization and/or cause being promoted or protested. Invite the press, have press releases or packages ready. All members who are able should promote the event on their social media pages as much as possible. Remember: the more publicity you get, the more the word spreads, the more attention your cause will receive.
- Follow-Up: Make sure your event goes and ends as planned, do any necessary clean-up and make sure people are leaving/have left by the allotted time. If you collect signatures, email, phone numbers, make sure to contact interested participants to get feedback, and address any future interest or concern they might have. Ensure participants have a way of communicating with you, or the group or organization, as well. Learn from the experience: find out what worked, what can be worked on, what needs to be discarded.
- Onwards: Don’t give up!
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