In the document, organizers said that people “must unequivocally acknowledge that there will be issues that remain long after the election is over – things that will require long and sustained organizing efforts.”
The group wrote that the efforts “can’t be just a ‘call to the streets’” – but rather, a discussion “about what’s happening broadly and make a case for developing that street sense into broad, collective strategic action.”
“Whether you’re from Iowa or Portland, Chicago or rural Ohio; whether you’ve been in the game for a while or you’re just starting out, we hope that this guide might offer ideas, strategies, and connections for fomenting and mobilizing large-scale and widespread disruptive activity if there is a coup,” the guide reads.
ShutDownDC offers three specific things to be aware of on November 3: armed militias, provisional ballots, and long voter lines and polls closing early.
The group also writes that there are an “infinite number of scenarios” that could happen between Election Day and when the election is actually over.
One of them is to demand every vote be counted before a winner – either Trump or his Democratic opponent Joe Biden – is declared.
“We will see clear signs on Election Night or the next day whether the Republican playbook will claim all uncounted votes are fraudulent,” ShutDownDC says.
“Trump may try to declare himself the victor before the votes are counted, or Fox News might call the race.
“Those who can should be prepared to take action against those who are feeding into the stolen election narrative, including social media companies that are letting falsehoods or incitements to violence spread.”
The group also provides an example in which Attorney General William Barr “could attempt to seize all mail-in ballots and invalidate them.”
“Or, states with Republican-controlled legislators could authorize their own set of electors regardless of the outcome of the election.”
A section of the activist group’s guide under “false declaration of victory” reads: “It is in this muddied context of legal and political wrangling that we must take action.
“We cannot wait to see how the chips fall. That will only ensure more power for the violent white supremacist machine that is the Trump administration and its supporters.”
ShutDownDC says their framing of the election isn’t a “before/after scenario, but rather in the context of ongoing issues we face in the moment (militia movement, organized voter repression, etc) that will be present no matter the outcome.
“We’re absolutely not saying the election is useless, but rather the reactivity of the right and the white supremecist (sic) will be present no matter who wins (and certainly is present beforehand), but the election will massively change the political terrain for movements over the next four years.”
The guide, per the group, “will grow and change” and they get more information ahead of Election Day.
Trump on Monday night wrote of ShutDownDC’s guide: “They know it is over for them. Law & Order will prevail, strong version!”
ShutDownDC was organized in summer 2019 in response to a youth climate strike, per the group’s website.
It advertises that both individual people and groups can come together and use the space as a way to organize direct action.