January 20, 2018: Build the Base, Take the Initiative
A Call to Expand Our Capacity
On January 20, 2018, we invite you to join us in organizing events and gatherings in autonomous spaces, building capacity and community to sustain our movements and prepare for the year ahead.
This call is endorsed by the Channel Zero Anarchist Podcast Network, subMedia, It’s Going Down, and CrimethInc.. If you want to endorse this call, pass it on to others, organize something for January 20, 2018, and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to have your name added here.
Last year, thousands gathered in Washington, DC and elsewhere around the US to start the Trump regime off with an inspiring display of defiance. Since that historic mobilization, many of us have been in action almost continuously, responding to one threat after another from the regime and its supporters.
We’ve participated in airport blockades opposing the Muslim Ban, mass mobilizations against the Alt-Right and other racists, weeks of action in solidarity with J20 defendants and Standing Rock arrestees, ongoing anti-colonial action against pipelines, and broad disaster relief efforts in the South and Puerto Rico. As a new year opens up before us, let’s come together to think about where we want to go from here.
We live in dynamic and dangerous times. The state is ramping up repression just as fewer and fewer people perceive the government to be legitimate. Many comrades are facing decades in prison, but many more are looking to get involved.
For this reason, we’re calling for people to gather in anarchist and autonomous spaces on the week of January 20, 2018 in order to reconnect to the roots from which our movements draw strength, discuss the path ahead, and gather resources for prisoners, relief efforts, and ongoing struggles.
Expand Networks, Strengthen Spaces
We propose to use the week of J20 2018 to reconnect with our networks, revitalize our spaces, organize new projects, hold special events, and bring people together to build our movements.
Autonomous spaces include infoshops, community centers, and bookstores. But an autonomous space can also be a public place you make a habit of gathering in or a territory you share and defend. Open spaces offer a way for people who are freshly curious about our movements to plug in, pick up literature, and begin fostering relationships.
Towards this end, we are encouraging people to organize on the week of J20:
- Community events involving putting in work at autonomous spaces. This could mean fixing the bathroom or repainting the walls, or it could mean soliciting people to bring supplies, books, and other materials to add to the space. Let this be an opportunity for the community surrounding the space to strengthen and expand the physical infrastructure.
- Block parties and celebrations around the space, reconnecting the wider community that uses and interacts with it and bringing in new people.
- Fundraising events to support the space—this could include speaking events, film showings, and more.
Maintain Solidarity, Build Capacity
Let’s also use the week of J20 to organize events to raise money for J20 arrestees, gather supplies for disaster relief efforts, and prepare for ongoing struggles we are already engaged in such as antifascist action, supporting prison rebels, and the fight against pipelines.
This could include:
- Fundraising events to support the J20 defendants. Host an open mic, show an episode of Trouble, bring a speaker to address an audience.
- Letter writing events for political prisoners, community dinners and potlucks, and raffles.
- Events to gather supplies and resources for disaster relief or to support a particular struggle.
Go on the Offensive
Finally, let’s use the week of J20 to look back on the past year of action and discuss what we want to accomplish in 2018—to evaluate our accomplishments with a critical eye and think strategically about where we want to go from here.
- Presentations on struggles that have taken place over the past year.
- Open salon discussions about the previous year and the path ahead.
- Panel discussions featuring representatives from different organizations, struggles, and crews in the local area.
Conclude by identifying new issues that people in your neighborhood, city, or region are facing, and start an organizing project to address them in a way that puts our politics into practice. It’s time to find new ways to seize the initiative.
The path ahead won’t be easy, but it will offer us many opportunities. Let’s start 2018 strategically, on our own terms, and together.