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.
The two-hour workshop will share the most important things to know and practice in order to be ready in the event of a coup.
George Lakey has led over 1500 workshops on five continents. He co-founded and led Training for Change before becoming the Eugene M. Lang Professor for Issues in Social Change at Swarthmore College. His first arrest was in a civil rights sit-in, and his most recent in January demanding urgent action on the climate crisis. He’s published ten books on change, including How We Win.
Diana González took her first training with George Lakey in 2003 and it shifted the way she thought about teaching, learning, and social change. She 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 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.