portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements united states

actions & protests dnc & rnc actions

Don't Just Vote Take Action!

This is a call for a unified direct action and direct democracy contigent at the RNC in order to give a radical voice to what otherwise could be a reformist event. Don't just vote, take action!
The whole world is watching New York City as the Republican National Convention comes to town to coronate Bush, and this election will be the most watched election in history. But whether you vote or not, voting is the least effective strategy for having a say in society. You can vote once or twice a year, but it's what you do every day that counts. Only through direct action and direct democracy can we seize back power over our own lives ... and for the days of Republican National Convention, we are calling for a contingent in the streets to do exactly that.

Let's play no legal games with the lackeys of Bush. You cannot give a permit for free speech: freedom is ours at birth and no government can take it away. We refuse to march into any ridiculous "Free Speech Zone," a cage of barbed wire and steel reminiscent of Guantanamo Bay. People should never blindly submit to the orders of the police or any self-proclaimed elite of protest organizers that leads us straight into disaster against our common sense.

Instead, the Don't Just Vote Take Action contingent will demonstrate that against all odds we can organize ourselves and take action, even if New York City is under full paramilitary occupation. It is equally important we keep a radical message of direct action at the forefront of the RNC at every major event, even if we do not agree with the organizers of a particular event. We must defend ourselves against possible attack like family and keep our spirits high.

Even though it is a permitted march, in the spirit of solidarity we will participate in the United for Peace and Justice march on Sunday August 29th to give a radical voice to what otherwise might be a reformist event. Come prepared and meet beneath the "Don't Just Vote Take Action" banner and giant Dragon: dress appropriately and bring your own banners, flags, drums, and music, and together march as cluster of affinity groups with our allies. As for the events afterwards on Sunday, if possible many of us will participate. The next day on Monday we will march again with the one of the Poor People's marches to help defend the march from possible arrests of immigrants, people of color, and others who are normally targeted by the racist police force. We will support the call for action on Tuesday. We are open to merging our contingent with as many others to build strength and solidarity for the RNC and will keep lines of communication open at the spokescouncil meeting.

Direct action isn't just marching without a permit. Every day of the Republican National Convention will be a day of autonomous action by affinity groups employing a diversity of tactics: from crashing the lavish parties of the Republicans, to committing and supporting acts of civil disobedience and showing up where the Republicans least expect us. There's no lack of opportunities!

The torture in Abu Gharib is nothing new to those who have been tortured in the prisons of America, and the bombed rubble of neighborhoods in Iraq resembles all too well neighborhoods across America destroyed by "free trade" and trickle-down economics. From the poor sent to die in Iraq for corporate profits to the countless victims of the American military across the world, it is in the best interest of people everywhere to unite and strike at the heart of greed and war that is the Republican National Convention. Will future generations look back on us as the "Good Germans" who stood idly by when action was called for? Or will we take a stand?

It's time to take the power back - and no ballot box can do that for you. To all those who support this call, we encourage you to get in touch, endorse it, and take to the streets in New York City!

The exact point of mobilization for Don't Just Vote Take Action contingent will be announced both over the Internet and in the spokescouncil meetings in New York City before Sunday.

For more information, to endorse the call, or to otherwise get in touch e-mail:  info@dontjustvote.com