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A vital part of preparing for the next 4 years is building broad coalitions, but lately I’ve been reminded that coalition building has a dark side too.
This is work we need to do, without a doubt. A coalition can mobilize thousands of people from diverse backgrounds, and illuminate the intersection between our struggles.
The trouble is that with every group you bring to the table, you have to accommodate not just another political agenda but differing tactics for achieving those goals.
Questions quickly arise: How far are you willing to go to resist the government? Will your coalition collaborate with the police and in what ways? Are all organizations committed to nonviolence and, if so, do they have compatible definitions of what nonviolence means?
Here in Austin, Texas, I attended a planning meeting just days after the election, full of effective, passionate but frightened activists who were ready to react fiercely to this resurgence of American nationalism and white supremacy. From the start, we envisioned a January 20 that was one part radical direct action, and one part family-friendly rally and recruitment for our organizations.
Time passed between attendance, and every time I made it to a meeting the coalition had grown larger and their tactics less confrontational.
Read the full issue: “Gonzo Notes 04”
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