Political and Peace Research Analysis
By Robin Young & Serena McMahon
WBUR – Here and Now
Thousands have been mobilizing under the national umbrella group Protect The Results to nonviolently resist what they see as a possible coup.
By Ashley Quarcoo
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (October 28, 2020)
In the final frenzied days before the U.S. election, many voters are nervous about the risk of violence and whether the results will be considered legitimate. A diverse group of civil society organizations is restoring trust in the process.
By Bryan Farrell
Waging Nonviolence (October 15, 2020)
As Americans prepare to stop a coup, concerns for safety are rising. Longtime trainer George Lakey offers lessons on overcoming fear and minimizing violence.
By Maciej Bartkowski
ICNC Minds of the Movement Blog (October 29, 2020)
Dictatorships project unwavering discipline when they exercise—or aspire to exercise—enduring control over their societies. In response, movements must work on honing and harnessing their own discipline. Being more disciplined than their opponents gives movements an edge in winning.
By the Transition Integrity Project (TIP) (August 2020)
In June 2020 the Transition Integrity Project (TIP) convened a bipartisan group of over 100 current and former senior government and campaign leaders and other experts in a series of 2020 election crisis scenario planning exercises.
By Stephen Zunes
The Progressive (October 26, 2020)
If Trump refuses to step down, we must be ready to not cooperate.
By Daniel Hunter
Waging Nonviolence (October 21, 2020)
As coup prevention has gained mainstream attention, here’s a series of tactics with a plan to defend our democracy.
By Maria J. Stephan
Waging Nonviolence (October 17, 2020)
To prevent a stolen election we must win decisively at the polls and use disciplined nonviolent mass action to defend the legitimate results.
By George Lakey
Waging Nonviolence (September 10, 2020)
A knee-jerk protest won’t stop a Trump power grab. It’s going to take several clear, do-able strategies that together enable us to win.
By Daniel Hunter
Waging Nonviolence (September 18, 2020)
While keeping people focused on a strong, robust election process is a must, we also need to prepare for a coup.
Guides, Movements, and Training Opportunities
By Hardy Merriman, Ankur Asthana, Marium Navid, & Kifah Shah
Everyone has a role to play in defending our democracy. The Hold the Line guide is a step-by-step handbook on how to prepare and what to do in case attempts are made to subvert the election results.
By The Disruption Project
Unfortunately it is likely that some folks may try to steal the election and we might need to engage in mass scaled disruptive action. Here is the guide to how we might make that happen.
Protect the Results is a growing coalition of partners committed to upholding the rule of law and safeguarding the final, legitimate results of the 2020 election. In the event that Donald Trump loses the election and refuses to concede or undermines the results, the Protect the Results partner network will activate their members and take coordinated action to protect our democracy.
Democracy is fragile. We have reason to worry that this fall we may see an undemocratic power grab — a coup. We also know that the people can defend our democracy. Nonviolent mass protests have stopped coups in other places, and we may have to do the same in this country.
Elections work because the public agrees to honor the results. Similarly, coups work only if the public honors them. When the public refuses to accept the coup as legitimate, coups fall apart. Refusal looks like millions of people using nonviolent tools to delegitimize the coup by demonstrating, resisting orders, and shutting down the country until democracy prevails.
That’s why we are committing now to choose democracy: by voting, making sure all the votes are counted, and preparing to take the streets in the case of a coup.
Together, we choose democracy.
The Trust Network is a broad network/platform designed to prevent violent conflict before, during and after the U.S. 2020 elections. The TRUST Network’s goal is to prevent and mitigate violence stimulated by underlying social issues – before the 2020 elections, during the vote, and in the aftermath, as we rebuild our unity. While the conditions are alarming in the lead up to the elections, it is also abundantly clear that no matter who wins, the need for community cohesion has never been greater.
In order to identify and de-escalate threats or instances of violence as they arise, we are building an Early Warning Early Response mechanism developed specifically for the United States.
Key to this effort is the participation of American local peacebuilding organizations and individuals who know their communities from the inside.
Join one of Choose Democracy’s national workshops led by George Lakey. There’s a chance that a desperate Trump will respond to a narrow victory by Biden by declaring the election fraudulent, urging his base to support his continued Presidency. This training will share the most important things to know and practice in order to be ready for that possibility.
The DC Peace Team offers a number of upcoming online trainings, including:
- 2020 U.S. Election Protection: Bystander Intervention and Nonviolent Communication
- Restorative Community Circle: Insanity to Integrity
- Nonviolent Community Safety for Election Scenarios.
- Unarmed Civilian Protection and Accompaniment
- Meditation and Nonviolence
- Active Bystander Intervention
Historical Analysis & Case Studies
Case Studies Compiled by Choose Democracy
When it comes to learning about coups, we don’t have to start from scratch. Choose Democracy has identified some case studies of mass movements who have stopped coups. Study up!
By Stephen Zunes
ICNC Monograph Series (December 2017)
Nations are not helpless if the military decides to stage a coup. On dozens of occasions in recent decades, even in the face of intimidated political leaders and international indifference, civil society has risen up to challenge putschists through large-scale nonviolent direct action and noncooperation.
By Maciej Bartkowski
ICNC Minds of the Movement Blog (September 29, 2020)
When citizens wage civil resistance for democracy against authoritarian rule, how can members of law enforcement, interior security, intelligence services, and the military in the country help?
By Stephen Zunes
ICNC Minds of the Movement Blog (October 23, 2020)
Discussion has grown for months about how the upcoming U.S. election results could be contested and possibly subverted.
No one knows for certain what will happen, but there are precedents we can learn from about how attempts to overturn election results have been stopped. Four cases in recent decades—one in Southeast Asia, one in Africa and the other two in Eastern Europe—involved an incumbent president or party attempting to steal an election only to have it reversed through large-scale nonviolent direct action. This article looks at these cases, and identifies key lessons.