Are you ready to take action and make your voice heard, but don't know how to go about it? This hands-on, hit-the-ground-running guide delivers lessons on practical tactics for navigating and protecting one's personal democracy in a gridlocked, heavily surveilled, and politically volatile country. If you want to start making a difference but don’t know what to do next, Road Map for Revolutionaries provides the resources needed to help you feel safer, more empowered, invested in, and intrinsic to the American experiment. The book addresses timely topics such as staying safe at protests, supporting marginalized communities, online privacy, and how to keep up the fight for the long term, breaking down key issues and outlining action steps for local, state, and federal levels of government.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
From the Introduction
"I’m scared. Can you help me?"
This is one of the jarring questions we’ve fielded again and again, day in and day out, from friends, family, and coworkers since Inauguration Day 2017. After the 2016 election of Donald Trump, we too were afraid of threats to our freedom (and that of our neighbors), but we wanted to move as quickly as possible from states of fear and outrage to those of action.
In rapid response to the anxiety surrounding those Election Day results, we decided to do something about it—by creating a tactical field guide to understanding, using, and defending the rights we have and to fighting for the justice that we still need to achieve. We are writers, creatives, and community builders, and we’ve reached out to activists, journalists, artists, public servants, and business leaders to help create and share this resource for all of you who want to make a difference in whatever way you can.
"I’m angry. How can I channel that into something positive?"
The majority of us are affected by discriminatory travel bans, attacks on reproductive freedom and sexual orientation, barriers to education and free expression, and economic anxiety about jobs, health care, and student loans. Still, this road map isn’t just about being against a particular political policy or position. Nope. Instead, we’re on a mission to demonstrate how to be for something, by getting more engaged in our communities, seeing and measuring progress, and protecting our rights and liberties every day (not just every four years). We believe in the power of the people, and that the adage about safety in numbers applies. A group of passionate citizens making their concerns known at a town hall meeting can move lawmakers from apathy to action quickly (if only out of self-preservation).
"I’m overwhelmed. Where do I start?"
Whatever time you have to engage is enough to make a difference. We’ll show you how to be an effective advocate and make it count! You may already be an activist (or a slacktivist—no judgment here; doing anything is better than doing nothing at all!). If you can be a changemaker while saving time, you’re an effective revolutionary—and you’re in good company.
So, let’s go!
You want to make positive change, protect your community, and take back your power (starting with your hometown), right? The sky isn’t falling (yet); but if it were, wouldn’t you rather be out there finding a solution instead of hiding under your bed?
We know that Rome wasn’t built in a day and that tactics must be coupled with strategy and community building to form culture-shifting movements. But being proactive rather than reactive to the daily revelations of this truth-is-stranger-than-fiction world is a good position from which to start. Collaboration, consensus, and shared ideals are critical to turning ideas into action. Creating micromovements, tracking results, correcting course, and consistently building on successes that lead to tangible results are game-changing tactics. We aim to help you figure out what you want to do—and how to do it.
Is it possible to make change and still get your kid to school on time (with ten minutes to spare before the board meeting)? It is if you know where to begin. And we have your road map right here.
The Road Map
In the pages ahead, this simple-to-follow, boots-on-the-ground, open-anywhere guidebook delivers practical tactics for navigating, affecting, and protecting your own personal democracy in a gridlocked, heavily surveilled, and politically volatile United States. With infographics, links to resources and communities, and words of wisdom from people already fighting the good fight, this guidebook is meant to be used and abused. It’s designed to move you from idea to action to part-time revolution in a quick, efficient, and effective manner.
What Will You Do?
Run for local office? Create a statewide ballot initiative? Legalize cannabis in your state? Change your company’s family leave policies or your college’s sexual assault policies? Institutions in this country may seem impenetrable, but in this field guide we share stories, resources, and tactics from the pros who know what to do at every level.
So let’s get to it: We’ve got a revolution to attend to and we can’t make change without you!
Table of Contents
1 Protests And Civil Disobedience 5
Field Notes: Terms and Concepts to Know 8
Learn Your Rights: The Constitution and Protests 10
How to Use Social Media to Raise Awareness, Consciousness, and Funding 11
Why Marches and Protests Matter 18
Revolutionary Organizer: Patrisse Cullors 20
Ally-Supported Movements 22
Revolutionary Healer: Dr. Tara Sood 27
Self-Care for Protestors 31
What to Do If Teargassed 32
Getting Arrested: How to Deal with Law Enforcement, Police, Immigration Agents, or FBI Encounters 33
Takeaways and Resources 38
2 Protecting Yourself Online And Off 41
Field Notes: Terms and Concepts to Know 44
Learn Your Rights: The Constitution and Search, Seizure, Surveillance 46
Digital Security at Home, On the Go, and Abroad 47
Protecting Yourself in the United States as a Noncitizen 52
Paranoia 101: What to Really Worry About 54
Terms of Service and Privacy Policies: Where Your Data Goes 57
How to Set Up Your Kids or Parents to Give You Access but Protect Them from Surveillance 61
Takeaways and Resources 64
3 Economic Pressure 67
Field Notes: Terms and Concepts to Know 69
Boycotts, Buycotts, Divestments: Spending Your Money Wisely 70
Case Study: Taking Down an Oppressor-The Bill O'Reilly Timeline 74
What Shareholders Can Do 76
Where You Work: Company Policies and How to Advocate for Change 79
Case Study: Improving a Women's Company's Health-Care Coverage 85
Takeaways and Resources 88
4 Getting Into (And Out Of) The Government 91
Field Notes: Terms and Concepts to Know 94
A Local, Stare, and Federal Government Org Chart 96
What Political Parties Do versus What Government Does 97
Revolutionary Candidate Catalyst: Erin Vilardi 101
From the Mouths of Local Officials: Election Know-How 103
How to Embed Yourself in Your Local Political Party 112
Making a Third Party Viable 114
Whaf Would It Take to Reform the Electoral College? 116
How to Protect Your, and Other People's, Vote 120
How to Meet, Lobby, and Influence Representatives 123
Takeaways and Resources 126
5 Reform School: Reforming Other Institutions In Our Lives 129
Field Notes: Terms and Concepts to Know 131
Reforming the Media 132
How to Vet a Media Source 132
Escape Your Media Bubble 135
From the Mouths of Media-Makers: Navigating the Media Landscape 136
Revolutionary Millennial Media Mogul: Tavi Gevinson 141
Reforming through Nonprofit or Advocacy Groups 143
Nonprofit and Advocacy Group Founder Wisdom 143
Art and Advocacy: Embracing Creative Activism as a Career 150
How to Make the Most of Online Petitions 154
From the Mouths of Organizers: Building Sustainable Grassroots Organizations 156
Reforming the Education System 163
Influencing and Improving Campus Sexual Assault Policies 163
Learn Your Rights: The Constitution and Free Speech on Campus, and Other Issues 168
Revolutionary Educator: Kelly Wickham Hurst 170
How to Push Back on Unfair Dress Codes 173
Reforming Your Health-Care Rights 176
How to Fight for Your Reproductive Rights 176
How to Get Contraception Affordably 179
Revolutionary Transgender Rights Activist: Bri Barnett 182
Getting Access to Disability Services and Support 185
Takeaways and Resources 189