Girding up for a big week ahead, the leftist direct-action group calling itself Shutdown DC plans to hold an election result-watching gathering on the evening of Election Day at Black Lives Matter Plaza across from the White House – “a good place to respond to whatever might happen.”
On Wednesday morning, according to its website, the group is inviting people to gather at BLM Plaza and Union Station, from where “we’ll step off to disrupt business as usual for some of the institutions that are most complicit in [President] Trump’s attack on Democracy.”
“Trump will only be able to successfully launch a coup if his donors, the media and the Republican Party establishment goes along with his attack on democracy,” Shutdown DC says. “We’re going to put Trump’s enablers on notice: We hold you accountable for facilitating Trump’s historic attacks on democracy.”
Demonstrators then plan to target the White House on Thursday, the website says. “A combination of cars, bikes, and on-foot demonstrators will jam traffic around and block access to the White House.”
And on Friday, “we’re going to be ready to continue the uprising to defend democracy by shutting down business as usual in the nation’s capital. We’ll be continuing our planning and organizing over the next week and we’ll be ready to do whatever it takes to stop a coup!”
Expect to hear that word – “coup” – frequently from such quarters in the coming days.
First of all, he says, “we think that we need to start the post-election phase in the streets.”
Following the BLM Plaza gathering on the evening of Election Day, “on the 5th, we’re going to shut down the White House; on the 6th, we’re going to shut down larger parts of Washington D.C.”
A big march is being planned for Saturday by “all the mainstream groups,” before the focus moves onto lawmakers returning for the lame-duck session.
“The following week Congress is planning on coming to town, and passing laws again, and, like, having business as usual,” Young says. “And we’re saying there’s – if, if we’re in a coup, there’s no time for business as usual. Members of the Congress that are coming in, we’re going to meet them at the airports or at Union Station, and send them back to where they came from, until we deal with the situation we’re in.”
If enough lawmakers do manage to get into D.C. and “we need to go to Capitol Hill that week,” he says, “well, you know, we’ll do that too.”
‘We are going to be in a crisis, but we want it to be one that we are creating’
“We’re facing an administration and a potential coup and a potential insurrection,” opines veteran protest activist Lisa Fithian.
“We began to put together a list of things we want to know about in this city,” she says, as a map of the nation’s capital fills the Zoom call screen. “So, where are all the police stations? Because it’s good to know where the police are. Where are all the key government buildings? Where are all the media outlets? Who are the Trump boosters?”
“So we’re talking about, what would it take to surround the White House, and have people do stuff?” she asks. “We can divide it up easily into affinity groups. We have to be willing to put our bodies on the line and take on some discomfort, sacrifice, risk, in order to change things.”
Fithian says there may be a scenario where protestors are facing people who are armed.
“We are going to be in a crisis, but we want it to be one that we are creating. We want to make sure that we are on the offense and not the defense. We want them to be responding to us and not us responding to them.”
Citing the experience of uprisings in countries such as Egypt, Fithian says, “In order to achieve what they did they knew they had to take over important government buildings, they knew they had to try and win over members of the police and army.”
“I think we don’t have a lot of experience taking over government buildings,” she says. “We might need to think about that.”
“We may find ourselves on the streets with people with different tactics than ours. Like, there may be some people who are willing to break the windows to get into the government buildings. Like, it that’s what we need to do then we shouldn’t fight about that. Let’s do that – let’s take over the buildings.”
Conservative activist Gary Bauer, chairman of Campaign for Working Families PAC, reported on Friday about having received “a very unsettling phone call.”
“A coalition of the worst far-left, neo-Marxist groups in Washington, called Shutdown DC, is promising attacks on conservative organizations and their leaders in the Washington, D.C., area,” with CWF among the organizations targeted, he told supporters.
“Just so there is no confusion, they literally provided leftist stormtroopers with a convenient map with the addresses of groups and people they want taken down.”
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, campaigning in Philadelphia on Sunday, tweeted, “I promise you this: I’ll end Donald Trump’s chaos and end this crisis.”
The tweet prompted a response from Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas): “Trump’s chaos? Last I checked, businesses weren’t boarding up their windows because they were afraid of Trump supporters.”
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