The purpose of having an action plan is simply to prioritize activities and funnel energy to fulfilling them. It shouldn’t be overly complicated. Apply the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid) to provide maximum flexibility as new issues come up that you want to respond to, as group members come and go, etc.
We will be varying in group size (from individuals to larger groups) with different skills sets and constraints upon our time and resources:
- There isn’t one action plan that will suit everyone’s needs.
- All direct actions will be taken by individuals; not all individuals will want to participate in larger actions (marches, rallies, etc.) and that’s OK.
- Bite off what you can accomplish given your reality.
- Don’t live near your activist friends? Use an app like Skpe or an online conference calling site to conduct meetings like this one.
- Example of goals:
- Finding constructive ways to resist the 45th President’s agenda for his first 100 days
- Organize to engage congressional members to block harmful legislation
- Lend support to the organizations who will be battling against him in court (thank you, ACLU!)
- Long-term goal:
- reach out to red-led states and lend assistance to help them in swing districts
- win back the House in 2018 by actively participating with campaigns, voter registration, etc.
From the Albert Einstein Institution site: Practitioners of nonviolent struggle have an entire arsenal of “nonviolent weapons” at their disposal. Listed below are 198 of them, classified into three broad categories: nonviolent protest and persuasion, noncooperation (social, economic, and political), and nonviolent intervention. A description and historical examples of each can be found in volume two of The Politics of Nonviolent Action, by Gene Sharp.
Messaging & Framing Our Movement’s Purpose and Actions
We’re all moving fast, organizing into groups, and getting information out there, etc. and that’s a good thing. Once established, messaging will become one of the single most important next steps as it is the outward-facing component of our work. It will influence how we engage, collaborate and align with each other and will also guide how we speak across the partisan divide. I believe there’s a place in the resistance for everyone who wishes to push back and work to proactively to make change.
It’s understandable that a majority of Americans are angry. However, to build long-term alliances and make real change, we will need to pull others into the fold with us. To do so, we (individuals and groups) need concise and respectful messaging and framing of our issues and actions. A group in Massachusetts, RISE Newburyport, put together this Messaging & Framing PDF and agreed to share it with Dinner at the Grange.
Skeleton Action Plan
- Determine your focus
- Identify what activities you want to actively participate in
- Develop long-term and short-term goals for those activities, organize priorities
- Develop a Support List for Organizations – organizations to follow on social media and/or subscribe to get action items sent via email or text, and who may have volunteer opportunities
- If working with a group:
- Split up the work and designate point persons for tasks (organization/meetings, legislation tracking, events coordinator, point person to send out action items, etc.)
- Provide weekly issue, legislation, and direct actions (calls, rallies, marches) updates to group members