We thought it would be helpful if we created this space to talk about how we disrupted the inauguration of President Trump, what resourced we used, training’s we did, and structures we used.
We also really wanted to illustrate what happened on January 20th as an example of what is possible when we resist together.
This resource is intended to show others how #DisruptJ20 organized and what resources were used for others to learn from. The resources on this page are public and available for sharing (please credit all of the teachers and authors who made these resources possible.) Don’t forget to check out the map below for visuals from the mobilization of #DisruptJ20.
Structures and Vocabularies
#DisruptJ20 wanted to provide a framework for autonomous groups, organizations, and individuals to plug in to show a true diversity of tactics and to make resistance accessible to the widest group of people possible.
We invited organizations and others to bring action ideas to the mass public meetings we held throughout December and January and provided a platform for others to get involved in whichever ways they were comfortable. We figured a truly open, democratic, and organic resistance meant that groups had to have a role in making their own visions come to life.
Every few weeks starting in mid-December, we held public mass meetings in preparation for the big day. Meetings started off with about 175 people, and by our final Action Spokescouncil we were up to 300 or more. Each meeting was designed to prepare folks to use the Spokescouncil model.
A spokescouncil is a method for bringing together a large number of people who belong to specific working groups, affinity groups, or other clusters for the purpose of making decisions.
Each cluster sends forth a spokes person, and they meet on behalf of their group, which is clustered behind them. When a decision has to be made, the spokes person returns to their group to confer and bring forth any concerns or issues. After that conversation, the spokes reconvene and discuss and amend the proposal as needed until consensus is achieved.
#DisruptJ20 had a stated goal of disrupting the inauguration, which we did using Direct Action. The checkpoint blockades were the centerpiece of the disruption, and we managed to permanently shut down 7 out of the 12 that were blockaded.
Affinity groups are self-sufficient groups of about 5 to 15 people who come together with the intention of supporting one another and taking action together. A number of AGs may work together toward a common goal in a large action, or one affinity group might