We The People Will Defend the Vote and Uphold Democracy: A Call to Nonviolent Resistance from Black Faith Leaders and Allies

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We believe in an America where everyone counts. No matter our race, ethnicity, accent, income, or zip code. We reject hate and stand for democracy. We are mobilizing massive voter turnout to defeat Trump. And if Trump attempts to cheat or steal his way out of losing, we will mobilize massive nonviolent resistance to ensure that every vote is counted, and that the power of the people to choose our elected representatives is protected.

We call on Americans from all walks of life to unite to uphold democracy. We call on everyone to act: urban and rural, white, Black, and Brown, Democrats, Republicans, and independents. We will need elders, children and young people, the disabled, immigrants, essential workers — we will need everyone who chooses democracy to join together in sustained nonviolent action to uphold it.

Hopefully the candidate who loses the election will accept the result. But if he does not, we cannot acquiesce to a coup. We will not accept an illegitimate government.

How could we stop it though? An illegitimate government cannot govern if we the people withdraw our consent. As people in countries around the world and our own have proven, when we refuse to cooperate with business as usual in great numbers the people can force the institutions that depend on our obedience to respect our will. We will need many different tactics — protests, occupations of state capitals, strikes — but fundamentally it will all require unity, courage, preparation, and discipline.

In particular, a shared commitment to strategic nonviolence is critically important for keeping each other safe, inviting broad participation, and winning popular sympathy and support — all of which are essential to stopping a coup and upholding our democracy.

From the uprising in Argentina that stopped a military coup in 1987 to last year’s democratic revolution in Sudan, nonviolent resistance worldwide has proven to be more than twice as successful as violence in challenging oppressive governments, and much more likely to result in durable democracy. In other words, it is a winning strategy against authoritarians like Trump.

Violence is the terrain that Trump and the armed extreme right wing want to fight on. We will not give them what they want. We will fight for democracy and the rights guaranteed under the Constitution using the power Trump fears most: widespread, inclusive, disciplined nonviolent resistance.

He cannot stop millions of us acting together. If our democracy is threatened, We the People will nonviolently shut down our country until it is restored.

As we prepare for this moment of danger and uncertainty, we can draw strength from these words from the last essay of one of our nation’s most courageous fighters for democracy, John Lewis: “Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble.”

Join us. Sign the pledge to join in nonviolent resistance to defend the vote and uphold democracy.

Signatories

(organizations and affiliations listed for identification only)

Black Faith Leaders

Rev. Stephen A. Green   Chair, Faith for Black Lives
Rev. Dr. Dominique A. Robinson   Dean, Wiley College
Rev. Erica N. Williams   Founder, Set It Off Ministries
Rev. Cornell William Brooks   18th NAACP Pres. & CEO and Professor, Harvard Kennedy School
Rev. Dr. Iva E. Carruthers   Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference
Rev. James Lawson   Civil Rights Activist
Rev. Dr. Frederick Douglass Haynes, III   Senior Pastor, Friendship West Baptist Church
Bishop Yvette Flunder   Presiding Prelate, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries
Rev. Dr. Willie Francois   Mt. Zion Baptist, Pleasantville, NJ
Pastor Jamal Bryant   New Birth Cathedral, Atlanta, GA
Bishop Michael L. Mitchell   President, AME Council of Bishops
Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry   Retired AME

Bishop Reginald T. Jackson   AME Bishop, 6th Episcopal District
Bishop John Richard Bryant   Retired Senior Bishop, AME Church
Bishop Marvin Frank Thomas Sr   Bishop, 2nd Episcopal District, CME Church
Dr. Teresa Fry Brown   Professor, Activist
Rev Erika D. Crawford, DMIN   President, AME Women in Ministry
Bishop John Selders   Co-Founder, Moral Mondays Connecticut
Rev. Gary Bernard Williams   Pastor of Saint Mark United Methodist Church
Lisa Sharon Harper   President and Founder, Freedom Road
Rev. Eddie Anderson   Senior Pastor,McCarty Memorial Christian Church Los Angeles ; Activist
Pastor Gabby Cudjoe Wilkes   Pastor/Strategist, Double Love Experience, Brooklyn, NY
Rev. Andrew Wilkes   Pastor Double Love Experience, Brooklyn, NY
Rev. Dr. Danielle L. Brown   Cathedral International, New Jersey
Rev. Dr. Lisa M. Goods Sr.   Pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church, Cleveland
Rev. Dr. Krystal Sears Senior   Pastor Greater St Luke AME Church, Charleston, SC
Elder Marissa Farrow   Greater Allen AME Cathedral of New York
Rev. Brianna Parker   CEO, Faith Leader, Data Activist
Pastor Timothy Findley, Jr.   Pastor & Founder, Justice & Freedom Coalition
Rev. Shanika Perry Clergy & Advocate

Rev. Joseph Robbins   Founder, Sanford Community Freedom Coalition
Rev. Francine Brookins   Pastor, Beth-el AME, Fontana, CA
Rev. Teresa Galloway Clark   Pastor, Stover Chapel AME Church
Rev. Alfonso Campbell   Minister, Washington, DC
Rev. Devon Jerome Crawford   Staff Director, The William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice
Rev. Caffie J Risher Clergy, Good Mourning Ministry
Martinique Mix   International President AME Church Richard Allen Young Adult Council
Rev. Cassius L. Rudolph   Minister, Saints’ Memorial Christian Church

Rev. Ernest Brooks   Minister, Activist


Activist Allies

Tamika D. Mallory   Co-Founder, Until Freedom
Linda Sarsour   Executive Director, MPower Change, Co-Founder, Until Freedom
Erika Andiola   Chief Advocacy Officer, RAICES
Opal Tometi   Founder, Diaspora Rising & Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter
Coby Owens   Youth Caucus of America
Paulina Gonzalez-Brito   Executive Director, California Reinvestment Coalition
Renaldo Pearson   Chief Diversity Officer & Director of External Affairs, Represent.Us
Noam Chomsky   Author & Activist
Bill McKibben   Founder, 350.org
Dr. Wes Bellamy   Our Black Party
Sal Rosseli   President, National Union of Healthcare Workers
Kazu Haga   Founder, East Point Peace Academy
Daniel Hunter  Founder, Choose Democracy
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove   Author & Moral Activist
Erica Chenoweth   Author
Carlos Saavedra   Ayni Institute & Co-Founder, Momentum
Michelle Seyler   Executive Director, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice
Rabbi Dr. Stephen J. Einstein   Founding Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation B’nai Tzedek
Father Aidan McAleenan   Pastor, St. Columba Catholic Church
Shakeel Syed  Board Member, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE)
Dani Moscovitch   Co-Founder, IfNotNow
Doyle Canning   Co-Founder, Center for Story-Based Strategy
Jodie Evans   Co-Founder CODEPINK
Tamara Toles O’Laughlin   Advocate for People & Planet
Emily Mayer   Founder, IfNotNow
Jeremiah Chapman   Black Culture Weekly
Waikinya Clanton   Former Executive Director, National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women Stephen Roach Knight   Transform Network
Maria Stephan   Author
Valarie Kaur   Author, Activist & Founder of the Revolutionary Love Project
Tanyah Barnes   Board Member, Black Millennial Convention
Lea Webb   Black Millennial Convention
Nalleli Cobo   Environmental Justice Leader
Kai Newkirk   Founder, For All
Shani Smith   Black Cornerstones, Founder & Nonviolent Action Strategist
Tay Anderson   Denver School Board Director
Representative Jewell Jones   Michigan State Legislator, 11th District
Kerri Kelly   Founder, CTZNWELL
Sarah Jacobson   Organizer, UNITE HERE
Taj James   Full Spectrum Capital Partners & Movement Strategy Center
Rev. Dr. Alexia Salvatierra   Author & Professor, Fuller Seminary
Lissy Romanow   Executive Director, Momentum
Kimi Lee   Director, Bay Rising
Betty Hung   Civil Rights Attorney & Nonviolence Practitioner
Jeremiah Chapman   Black Culture Weekly
Victor Narro   Immigrant Rights Activist and Movement Chaplain
Tim Hernández   Activist-Educator
Mary Stancavage   Co-Founder & Teacher, Meditation Coalition
Dave Gibbons    Founder, NEWSONG & Activist
Rev. Samuel Pullen   Pastor, Community Congregational United Church of Christ of Los Alamitos
Rev Paula Maiorano   Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware

Richard Parker  
Faculty, Harvard University; Co-Founder, Mother Jones

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