If we are to take Donald Trump at his word, it seems that he has no intention of letting mail-in ballots be fully counted…or perhaps ceding power at all. He is doing everything possible at the moment to undermine the legitimacy of the election. As such, people all over the country are beginning to build election and democracy defense coalitions. As the late John Lewis so wisely said, “Democracy is not a state. It is an act and each generation must do its part.” We must take action together to continue the fight for justice and a better future while defending our rights.
Here in Oregon and Southern Washington, the Defend Democracy Coalition is preparing for a peaceful mass mobilization should there be clear signs of undermining our democratic processes. We aim to help ensure nationally that everyone is able to vote free from intimidation, that all votes are counted, that any election fraud or irregularities are thoroughly investigated and remedied, and that the results of the election are respected through a normal transition of power.
With any luck, this post-election protection will not be needed and we can put the energy spent building this coalition and local mass movement directly into pushing the new administration into the kinds of policies needed to address the multiple crises we face—climate chaos, economic displacement and the need for jobs, the pandemic and lack of affordable access to health care, and so much more.
But, if our democracy is threatened, we will take to the streets and address the pillars of power. We encourage you to take this local pledge, modeled on the national Choose Democracy pledge, and help us build a local mass movement by sharing the link with as many people as possible.
Since we started organizing this month, more than 40 organizations—ranging from environmental groups to labor organizations, interfaith fellowships, and street-level direct action groups—have already pledged support for the Defend Democracy Coalition, and many other groups have representatives working with us and doing outreach to their groups and allies as well.