1/16 We will offer an ONLINE advanced training in Unarmed Civilian Protection Deployments in situations with weapons from 12-2pm and 3-5pm EST. Full training is both segments.REGISTER HERE. Share FACEBOOK event.
1/23 We will offer an ONLINE training on Introduction to Active Bystander Intervention from 10-12 and 1-3pm EST. Full training is both segments.REGISTER HERE.
1/23 We will offer an ONLINE Restorative Circle: Healing Harm from the Political Climate, from 12-3pm EST. REGISTER HERE
1/29 + 30 We will offer an ONLINE training on Introduction to Nonviolent Communication from 4 to 6pm each day. Full training is both segments.REGISTER HERE
The 2020 election season has been dramatically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ongoing political crises and specific events have combined to make the general elections particularly contentious at the level of President and down-ballot races across the country; the prospect of violence is real.
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.
Note that many of these training classes are esp. suited pre-2020 election.
Counter-coup unarmed community organizing resource list
An organizer and analyst we deeply respect, “Training for Change” co-founder George Lakey recently suggested Voices help maintain a list of organizations in the U.S. which are helping people prepare for the possibility of a stolen election, a rigged election, or an outright coup following November 3rd voting in the U.S.. In a nation with rapidly dwindling concern for democracy, the principle of nonviolent community organizing for democracy has seldom seemed so urgent.
We’re impressed by the quality of outreach and organizing which has already developed in cities and states across the U.S. This is a mere sampling of what we’ve learned so far. We’ll keep George Lakey’s Training for Change trainings at the top of the list, and other groups with upcoming events. See Counter-coup unarmed community organizing resource list – VCNV
Additional List of Nonviolence Trainings
We have also compiled a list of training opportunities around the 2020 election. Some of them are already on the list to the left ← and some are new. See the list below.
Series multiple days. tapesavailable
With the stakes being as high as they are, voter suppression already more rampant than ever, and the nationalist right emboldened by conspiracy theorists, we can’t depend on anyone else ensuring people are able to vote freely and safely.
Election Defenders will be working to provide safe supports for voting (such as PPE and water), and election and voter defense, de-escalating white supremacist intimidation tactics and signaling to a network of groups and lawyers if and where trouble breaks out.
Can't make this proposed times? Sign up anyway so we can send you a recording of the trainings.
10/20: Alysia Reiner from the Orange Is The New Black will be on to do a dive on media in addition to our training on poll monitoring, bystander escort, and de-escalation!
10/21: De-Escalation 201: PRACTICE! To do de-escalation well, you're going to need to practice. Come to this call to get what you need to practice on and how to keep things cool and calm at the polls when people are trying to be antagonizing.
10/23: De-Escalation 201: PART TWO! Come to both, or catch the recording for both as this will build on the 10/21 training.
10/25: Election Defender Training - another general training, if you've taken the trainings or watch the videos from 9/29-10/20, only come to the last 30 minutes of the call (8:30 ET) because that's when we'll do the NEW STUFF YOU NEED TO KNOW!
10/29: Same as 10/25 -- For newer folks and come to the last 30 minutes for new information (8:30 ET)
11/2: (7:30 EST 4:30 PT ) MASS RALLY!!! Everyone get on to get pumped up to get out to the polls!!
Hold The Line: A Training to Defend Democracy- 2 sessions
Concerned about how this year's election is taking place? You are not alone. We are a small group of researchers, organizers, and activists, who've seen how people-powered movements have protected freedom and democracy around the world. We recently published these lessons in “Hold the Line: A Guide to Defending Democracy” to help people like you take action to ensure that the election is free and fair, and that the results are respected. Join us to learn how you can start an election protection group in your community to ensure that:
a) Every vote is counted. b) Any irregularities are investigated and remedied as appropriate. c) The results of the election are respected.
You’ll learn the potential scenarios that might unfold between Election Day (Nov. 3, 2020) and Inauguration Day (Jan. 20, 2021), evidence-based strategies to respond, and steps you can take to act. We also encourage you to read the full guide online at to get up to speed: http://bit.ly/holdthelinepdf. The stakes are too high to sit this one out — so let’s get to work!
Indivisible: Protect the Results - Preparation for Potential Hosts
Session 3: Sustained Pressure We know that if the Protect the Results coalition activates our mobilizations, the work of fighting for our democracy won’t be easy and won’t conclude after one day of protest. Come learn how to keep up momentum and motivation and how to ensure we have the longevity to see this work through to a win.
Unarmed Civilian Protection and Accompaniment deployment. Post-Election scenario focus. Full training is both segments.
Unarmed Civilian Protection and Accompaniment is a methodology for teams that offer direct protection of civilians and others, reduction of hostility, re-humanization of parties, as well as increasing local peace infrastructures. This workshop will be largely experiential and learning-by-doing, with a focus on post-election scenarios. The skills learned can be modified and applied in many facets of life, including political demonstrations, local events, accompaniment of those in danger, neighborhood conflicts, and international conflicts.
(1) Sharing experiences of unarmed protection and accompaniment
(2) An increased awareness of the orientation, strategies, methods, and impact of unarmed civilian protection
(3) Acquiring skills by role-playing how peace teams use these strategies and tactics in local community conflicts, especially related to election scenarios
Payment is requested on a sliding scale. Please consider $50-$95 to support our work and help us better serve the community. FREE for students. No one will be turned away for lack of payment and we welcome you either way.
After completing registration below, please submit payment today-- https://dcpeaceteam.com/donate/; or checks can be written out to DC Peace Team and mailed to Eli McCarthy, 7305 Baylor Ave. College Park, MD 20740.
Election 2020 Nonviolence & De-Escalation Training Learn practical de-escalation skills and tactical ways to handle agitators and violent groups in the role of a Peace Ambassador. Especially for preparation of Nov 4 Prayer Vigil and Rally at San Jose City Hall.
Active Bystander Intervention. Focus will be on Post-Election scenarios.
An active bystander training teaches effective skills for assessing, de-escalating, and diffusing a problematic situation, such as intimidation, harassment, abuse, physical violence, etc. Active bystander training focuses on a bystander observing a problematic situation and determining if and how to intervene. In this training we will focus on post-election scenarios. This is distinct from self-assertion training that teaches how to de-escalate and diffuse unwanted attention when you are being attacked. An active bystander is someone who not only witnesses a situation, but takes steps to speak up or step in to keep a situation from escalating or to disrupt a problematic situation.
This is an interactive, participatory, beginner’s workshop designed for those that may have none to little prior studies of bystander intervention.
Payment is requested on a sliding scale. Please consider $45-$85 to help us continue this work and better serve the community. FREE for students. No one will be turned away for lack of payment and we welcome you either way.
For those who can, please submit payment today-- https://dcpeaceteam.com/donate/; or checks can be written out to DC Peace Team and mailed to Eli McCarthy, 7305 Baylor Ave. College Park, MD 20740.
Description: 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.
This 90 min training will share lessons from history about what works to thwart a coup and how people can plug into national efforts.
The training team:
Diana González has worked with social change leaders and activists in education, unions, climate crisis, LGBTQ+, and electoral politics. All while integrating an intersectional lens to strengthen the work they are doing. Currently, she is the Director of Leadership Programs at the Equality Federation where she partners with state-based LGBTQ advocacy organizations. Additionally, she serves in the Vermont House of Representatives and is proud to have sponsored numerous bills that have become law such as mandatory single-occupancy gender-free restroom, inclusive K-12 curriculum, and paid sick days. Diana grew up in Southern California and now lives in Vermont with her spouse.
Eileen Flanagan is the Trainings Coordinator for Choose Democracy, which in recent weeks has trained over 7,000 people to thwart a coup. She is an award-winning author, online teacher, and a trainer in nonviolent direct action. As board chair of Earth Quaker Action Team, she helped shape and execute the strategy that pushed a $4 billion-a-year bank to stop investing in mountaintop removal coal mining, and co-founded the Power Local Green Jobs campaign. She is working on her fourth book, which is about the intersection of climate, race, and spirituality.
Nonviolent Action Lab with the Pace e Bene Team. As we gear up to use nonviolent action if needed to defend democracy in the wake of the November 3 election, people are organizing nonviolent actions and we're here to help! Learn more and register for these free sessions here.
Active Bystander Intervention. Focus will be on Post-Election scenarios as necessary. Full training is both segments. An active bystander training teaches effective skills for assessing, de-escalating, and diffusing a problematic situation, such as intimidation, harassment, abuse, physical violence, etc. Active bystander training focuses on a bystander observing a problematic situation and determining if and how to intervene. This is distinct from self-assertion training that teaches how to de-escalate and diffuse unwanted attention when you are being attacked. An active bystander is someone who not only witnesses a situation, but takes steps to speak up or step in to keep a situation from escalating or to disrupt a problematic situation.
We know that our best way to win in a Protect the Results scenario is to plan large, non-violent mobilizations. And we also know that bad actors on the right are likely to try and incite violence across many of our communities. Come learn important de-escalation and safety tactics in partnership with our colleagues at Greenpeace. Whether in rural or urban areas, we will keep ourselves safe.
Session 1: Planning a Large-Scale Protest (Wednesday 10/14, 7pm EST) Calling all Protect the Results activists! You know what’s at stake for our democracy if Donald Trump refuses to leave office in the case that he loses election. This training is for potential hosts who have committed to take part in the Protect the Results campaign and plan a large-scale protest if our coalition activates mobilizations. This will be an active training where hosts will be given a chance to begin the work of planning your events. If you’ve never planned a large-scale event, come learn from fellow activists with years of experience! If you’ve planned protests before and need time to wrap your head around this escalating work, we invite you to spend an hour with us to get the ball rolling. This is session 1 in a 3-part series.
Session 2: De-escalation & Safety Tactics (Wednesday 10/21, 7pm EST) We know that our best way to win in a Protect the Results scenario is to plan large, non-violent mobilizations. And we also know that bad actors on the right are likely to try and incite violence across many of our communities. Come learn important de-escalation and safety tactics in partnership with our colleagues at Greenpeace. Whether in rural or urban areas, we will keep ourselves safe.
Session 3: Sustained Pressure (Wednesday 10/28, 7pm EST) We know that if the Protect the Results coalition activates our mobilizations, the work of fighting for our democracy won’t be easy and won’t conclude after one day of protest. Come learn how to keep up momentum and motivation and how to ensure we have the longevity to see this work through to a win.
Democracy Defense: Advice from Activists around the World. This interactive webinar featured presentations by scholars and activists who took part in people power defense of democracy and elections. Speakers included:
Our host is author and activist Maria J. Stephan
Philippine professor and activist Joaquin Gonzalez
Serbian professor and nonviolent organizer Ivan Marovic
Gambian organizer and activist Muhammed Lamin Saidykhan
With concern growing over the US elections, Pace e Bene invites you to join a special online meeting about how we can use nonviolent action to protect the elections and the results of the election. Find out how 6,000+ Election Defenders have trained in nonviolent de-escalation and active bystander skills to deal with any intimidation at the polls. Hear how Choose Democracy, Hold the Line, and many others are working together to counter the concern that Trump might lose the election and refuse to leave office. Learn how movements around the world have met similar threats with nonviolent action. Discover the best and (relatively) safe tactics to use. We will share links to upcoming trainings organized by the groups working on this, the Resistance Hotline, guides for taking action, and more. We will particularly focus on how Pace e Bene/Campaign Nonviolence can do its part alongside other organizations. This meeting is open to everyone in the Pace e Bene/Campaign Nonviolence network. Campaign Nonviolence organizers and Nonviolent Cities coordinators are especially invited to attend.
Other trainings available on tape
FACILITATOR: Rivera Sunis a change-maker, cultural creative, protest novelist, and advocate for nonviolence and social justice. She is the author of The Dandelion Insurrection, The Way Between, and other novels. She is the editor of Nonviolence News. She travels nationwide offering workshops in writing and making change through nonviolent action.