Friday, March 9, 2012

What TV won't tell you about the civil rights movement

This spring, we're working with groups nationwide to do something huge: give 100,000 people the kind of nonviolent direct action training that helped Rosa Parks and so many others transform the civil rights movement. Can you donate $5 to help make it happen?   

Chip in $5!
Dear MoveOn member,

When Rosa Parks refused to leave her seat and launched the Montgomery bus boycott, it wasn't just a spontaneous decision. She'd been trained in nonviolent direct action at a place caller the Highlander Center. And the brave folks who organized the freedom rides and the lunch-counter sit-ins had similar training.

Now, from the Wisconsin workers who took over their state capitol to Occupy Wall Street, there's a movement stirring in America focused on the massive inequality that's destroying our country. And it's once again using direct action to change the conversation. To help the 99% movement succeed, we want to kick off the spring by training 100,000 people in nonviolent direct action, in the spirit of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks—and pave the way for a wave of progressive, nonviolent direct action like the country hasn't seen in 50 years.

Our goal this spring is to provide the same kind of nonviolence training that transformed the civil rights movement—but at a scale no one's ever dreamed of.  

If we can train enough people, the 99% Spring could be filled with the kind of bold, highly visible, compelling acts of peaceful direct action and civil disobedience that made the civil rights movement impossible to ignore.

We launched the 99% Spring a couple weeks ago, and there are already hundreds of folks working frantically to make it happen. We've already committed to chip in $100,000 to help groups nationwide get all this off the ground and we're asking every MoveOn member to dig deep and help cover the cost. Can you donate $5?

Yes, I can donate $5 to help launch a national wave of nonviolent direct action.

In the last few weeks, we've seen an amazing response to this idea. A huge army of volunteers from unions, community organizations, and environmental groups, alongside local MoveOn volunteers, are preparing to host trainings in hundreds of cities and planning massive protests nationwide. Students are organizing for spring mobilizations on campuses everywhere.

We've got a plan to help make sure all of this happens on a scale that's impossible to ignore. We're working with movement leaders and cultural figures to spread the word online and in the media. We're recruiting everyday people, who have never done anything like this before, to join trainings in union halls, churches, living rooms, and community centers all over the country. We're mobilizing nationwide to bring big new crowds to campaigns everywhere using nonviolence to confront corporate greed, fight back against the foreclosure crisis, and more. And then, on Tax Day, we're ramping up fast for a huge day of direct action all across the country to send an unmistakable message to Washington.

From Occupy Wall Street to the most important moments of the civil rights movement—the freedom rides, the Montgomery bus boycott, the lunch-counter sit-ins—peaceful direct action has turned the tables on the powerful and changed the course of history. This spring, millions of us could do it again. But we need your help to lay the crucial groundwork over the next few months.

Can you chip in $5 to help create a 99% Spring?

Thanks for all you do.

–Lenore, Robin, Marika, Joan, and the rest of the team

Want to support our work? MoveOn Civic Action is entirely funded by our 5 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

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