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From: “Read Brugger” <email@example.com>Date: April 4, 2012 7:04:46 PM EDTTo: “Larry Danzinger” <firstname.lastname@example.org>Subject: 99% Spring NVDA Training in MaineWE ARE THE 99%; LET’S PREPARE FOR THE 99% SPRING WITH NON VIOLENT DIRECT ACTION TRAINING
During the week of April 9-15, a national coalition of progressive groups, The 99% Spring, hopes to train 100,000 people in non violent direct action. Make plans to attend one of the 7 hour trainings scheduled April 14th in Augusta (10-5 at the Unitarian Universalist Church) and Portland (10-5 at the Portland Public Library). These trainings will prepare you to lead or participate in upcoming actions to use People Power (the 99%) to overthrow the Power of Money (the 1%). You can register to attend a training at this site: http://moveon.org/event/events/index.html?action_id=268&rc=99HP. Additional trainings are listed on the site, but be aware that they are shorter 3 hour virtual trainings.
First, it is learning to tell our story. We need to let go of our shame at not being a “success,” and discover what connects us and build solidarity. We share our personal stories about being part of the 99%; being unemployed and losing your home, burdened with five and even six figure student debt, suffering from racial and sexual oppression, lacking health care, being undocumented or, or having yourself or loved one diagnosed with a disease caused by rampant pollution of our environment. We also learn “the job of a leader is . . . (to) use storytelling to move people from feelings of stagnation to feelings of motivation – urgency, hope, YCMAD (you can make a difference), solidarity, and anger.“ (All quotes from the Participant Guide.)
Beyond the personal storytelling, the training presents a primer on how the economy has gotten to the point where we have returned to the statistics of 1929 when inequality was last as extreme as it is today. We learn how the 1% amassed its wealth by dividing “us by race, gender, age, sexuality and geography, pitting us against each other in our politics, our workplaces and our homes.” We also learn that this obscene wealth was created in part by our “exploitation of natural resources like oil. With oil, suddenly corporations could traverse the globe, and we entered into a new era of ‘globalization’ in which jobs in the U.S. were outsourced to countries with worse environmental protections and labor laws. . . These fossil fuels concentrated in our atmosphere to the point where we are now feeling the effects of climate change”
The other side of our history is the story of those of us who have fought back. Non violent direct action has been the engine of social movements for the history of human advancement. It is also “a moral grounding through which we can build community in a broken world. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once called non violent direct action ‘the sword that heals’ because taking action, despite the consequences, is a fundamental healing act. Often, standing up to injustice and taking action heals trauma more than talking about our trauma ever could.” In short, we learn to move beyond telling our story to taking meaningful action.
The remainder of the training is spent in training exercises that will prepare us to stand tall and gain power. There will be a lot of role playing as we practice confronting money power, learn the characteristics of a successful campaign and how to lead one.
The training DOES NOT cover risking arrest. It does provide guidance to those who want to move on to that stage, but to cover that component requires local legal advice, additional planning and practice, and a heightened awareness of how race, class, and gender play out in arrest situations.