At its inaugural event on Sept. 17, the People's Congress of Resistance endorsed the call to action from the United National Antiwar Coalition to organize nationwide demonstrations to demand an end to the U.S. war on Afghanistan on its 16th anniversary, and encourages people to attend any events in their area.
October 6, 2017, marks the 16th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan – the longest foreign war in U.S. history.
The Afghan war, which has been a thoroughly bipartisan effort, was originally railed against by Donald Trump when he was running for president. He claimed to be against U.S. troop involvement in Afghanistan. Now he is moving forward with a “secret” plan of escalation that will also include Pakistan. He says the secrecy is to keep the “enemy” from knowing his plans, but it also keeps the U.S. people from knowing what he is doing in our name and from judging the human costs for the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States
What we do know is that military escalation has repeatedly failed to bring peace in Afghanistan. It has caused more destruction and more deaths of civilians and soldiers alike and has cost trillions of dollars that could be spent on meeting basic needs here at home while repairing the destruction we have carried out abroad.
Trump also emboldens the war machine here in the US against Black and Brown people and immigrants by fanning white supremacy and xenophobia and continuing the militarization of the police and ICE to incite racially-motivated violence and justify repression, including mass incarceration and mass deportations. US wars of aggression and militarism abroad go hand-in-hand with increased state repression and militarization of the police state here at home.
Trump’s new escalation comes at a time when there is no end in sight to the continuous wars, including drone and mercenary warfare, throughout the region and when he is threatening military action against Venezuela, North Korea, Russia, Iran and other countries.
Therefore, we the undersigned antiwar leaders in the U.S. are calling for non-violent protests in cities across the country during the week of the 16th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. We appeal to all antiwar organizations in the United States and around the world to join us.
- John Amidon, Kateri Peace Conference, VFP
- Jessica Antonio, BAYAN USA
- Bahman Azad & Alfred Marder, US Peace Council
- Ajamu Baraka, Black Alliance for Peace
- Medea Benjamin, Code Pink
- Toby Blome, Code Pink, Bay Area
- Brian Becker, ANSWER Coalition
- Reece Chanault, US Labor Against the War
- Bernadette Ellorin – International League for People’s Struggle
- Sara Flounders, International Action Center
- Bruce Gagnon, Global Network Against Nuclear Power & Weapons in Space
- Larry Hamm, People’s Organization for Progress
- Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
- Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report
- Ed Kinane, Upstate Drone Action
- Matthew Hoh – Veterans for Peace
- Joe Lombardo & Marilyn Levin, United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
- Judith Bello, Upstate Drone Action
- Jeff Mackler, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
- Maggie Martin, About Face: Veterans Against the War (formerly IVAW)
- Ray McGovern, Former CIA Analyst and Presidential Advisor
- Michael McPhearson, Veterans For Peace
- Nick Mottern, Knowdrones.com
- Malik Mujahid, Muslim Peace Coalition
- Elsa Rassbach, Code Pink & UNAC, Germany
- Bob Smith, Brandywine Peace Community
- David Swanson, World Beyond War
- Debra Sweet, World Can’t Wait
- Ann Wright, Code Pink & Veterans For Peace
- Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance
- Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance
(organizations are listed for identification purposes only)
If you haven't yet read the initial report from the electrifying People's Congress of Resistance, please take a minute to check it out and share it. More photos, articles, and videos are starting to come out and we'll share them as they're produced. Many areas have already hit the ground running with initial report meetings taking place in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, D.C., Albuquerque, New Haven, New York City, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Dallas.
If you're interested in organizing an event in your local area, just fill out the form at the bottom of this page. You can help build this movement even if you couldn't make it the inaugural event in D.C.
We have created resources and materials to make that as easy as possible and will promote your event to others in your area. You can organize
- A 1-2 hour report meeting to re-engage those who attended from your area, and to reach out to those who were interested but perhaps not able to make it. (Here's a guide for organizing such a report meeting, including chair's notes, facilitation tips, and links to videos and photos to show.)
- A 15-minute presentations to give at student groups, faith-based organizations and union chapter meetings. (Here's a slideshow and a basic report you can use.)
- A study and discussion group to go over in greater depth the People's Congress of Resistance manifesto. (Here's a facilitator's guide for leading such a session on the Manifesto.)
Fill out the form below if you're interested!
On Sept. 17, the People's Congress of Resistance resolved to support the movement for the de-colonization of Puerto Rico. Shortly afterwards, the massive Hurricane Maria struck the island with devastating effect. The resulting crisis has unmasked the colonial dynamic between the United States and Puerto Rico, as the government has dragged its feet to deliver the necessary aid, and Puerto Rico has been unable to accept direct aid from friendly countries. Led by Puerto Ricans in the diaspora, the people of this country have been donating generously and conducting grassroots relief — including People's Congress of Resistance organizers in New York and Florida — but major logistical hurdles continue to obstruct delivery.
Trump has added insult to injury with blatant disrespect of the Puerto Rican people, and by bringing up the illegal Wall Street-controlled debt that has been foisted on the island. On October 3, when Trump arrived to the island, Puerto Ricans there and in the diaspora protested to demand:
• Massive Hurricane Relief NOW
• End the Jones Act vis-a-vis Puerto Rico
• Cancel Puerto Rico’s Debt to the Banks
The People's Congress of Resistance proudly joined in this protests on Oct. 3 in New York City, Los Angeles, Long Beach and San Francisco.
New York City. Watch the livestream with interviews here
There is another action on Friday, Oct. 6 at 4:30pm in Palmdale, Calif. at North East Corner of 10th Street West and Rancho Vista Blvd.
The following resolutions were adopted by acclamation at the People's Congress of Resistance on Sept. 16 and 17, 2017, at Howard University.
Popular education campaign to spread the People’s Congress of Resistance Manifesto
The Manifesto, as the core document of the People’s Congress of Resistance, sets out a bold, clear and radical program for people's power, emancipation, equality and a society to meet human needs.
As the introduction asserts:
"Without a revolutionary vision, change will not take a revolutionary direction. A vision for social, economic and political revolution is necessary. We need to know where we want to go. Our vision ties our actions to our goal by showing us what we are mobilizing for. It guides us in coordinating our strategies and tactics. It helps us build collective strength. Our vision tells us how we can win and that we will win.
"A society organized for the equality and emancipation of the many is one where production is democratically directed for the benefit of the many and not for the private profit of the few. Rather than banks and corporations determining people’s lives and futures, the people determine their destiny themselves."
A central task for all delegates coming out of the inaugural meeting of the People’s Congress of Resistance is to take the Manifesto back to our communities, workplaces and campuses, and to utilize it as a key organizing and educational tool to spread the vision of the People’s Congress of Resistance.
Responsibilities and Objectives of the Conveners’ Committee
The Conveners group will continue to guide the work of the People’s Congress of Resistance.
This Conveners will:
- Draw in other partners to the People’s Congress of Resistance movement so that grassroots organizations can affiliate with this movement on the basis of agreement with the Manifesto.
- Create and facilitate a process whereby other cities and regions can organize People’s Congress of Resistance meetings and convenings.
- Provide resources to local organizers for the campaign to spread the People’s Congress of Resistance Manifesto.
- Publish and circulate the report and resolutions from the inaugural event.
- Publicize and provide resources to those organizing report-back meetings from the inaugural event.
- Manage the People’s Congress of Resistance website, social media and other media platforms.
For recommendations of new members of the PCOR Conveners' Committee, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org providing a name, contact information and brief motivation.
Resolution from People’s Media Workshops
From there we intend to:
- Develop a commonly shared web portal platform that will become a multimedia hub.
- Encourage collective (PCOR) funding to cover costs of development, staffing and the hiring of journalists, editors, etc.
- Have this hub become a “24-hour news channel” for PCOR-related media, creating a more common public sphere that will magnify the impact and reach of our collective work and offer space for expansion of necessary debate.
Fight racist displacement at Brookland Manor and across Washington, D.C.
We at the People’s Congress of Resistance resolve that we provide 100 percent support and solidarity to the tenants of Brookland Manor in Washington, D.C., who are fighting to remain in their homes, and to stop the racist gentrification schemes of real estate developers and the politicians they own. Furthermore, in accordance with the Manifesto, we resolutely struggle to end the scourge of homelessness in this, the so-called richest country in the world.
— Introduced by the Brookland Manor Residents Association
Free Leonard Peltier!
We, the convened people at PCOR, do hereby resolve to support, mobilize and organize actions, rallies and forums for the freedom of our brother Leonard Peltier who has been wrongfully and cruelly imprisoned for 41 years, but whose spirit has never been broken. He must be freed now!
— Introduced by Norm Clement
End U.S. military provocations on the Korean peninsula
The People’s Congress of Resistance calls for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and bases from Korea, an end to the provocative annual U.S./South Korea war maneuvers, the removal of the THAAD missile system, and the signing of a peace treaty between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
— Introduced by the chair, following the statement of Jang Jingsook of the New People's Party in South Korea
In support of the families who have lost loved ones to police terror
Be it resolved the People’s Congress of Resistance stands 100 percent behind the families who have lost loved ones to police violence — that we commit ourselves to have their backs, to rally in their defense, to spread their stories, and to say their names. While the U.S. Congress makes excuses for white supremacy and arms police forces to the teeth, not a single member of Congress has had to deal with the reality of state repression. By contrast, we embrace the families and all those in the streets demonstrating against police violence and commit ourselves — as a Congress — to support the Movement for Black Lives as an integral part of our mission.
— Introduced by the chair, following the statements of relatives of police brutality victims
End the War on Black People!
We demand the end to the war against Black people. We demand an end to the criminalization, incarceration and killing of Black people.
- An immediate and to the criminalization and dehumanization of Black youth across all areas of society, including our nation’s justice and educational systems, social agencies, and media and pop culture.
- An end to capital punishment.
- An end to money bail, mandatory fines, fees and court surcharges.
- An end to use of past criminal history to determine eligibility for housing, education, licenses, etc.
- An end to the war on Black immigrants.
- An end to the mass surveillance of Black communities.
- The demilitarization of law enforcement.
— Introduced by Ruth Beltran
In defense of immigrants and refugees
Be it resolved that the People’s Congress of Resistance stands in full and unconditional solidarity with ALL immigrants and refugees.
Be it resolved that the People’s Congress of Resistance not only defends the rights of DACA youth, but also demands amnesty, full rights for all and the end to deportations and the borders and walls that seek to divide the working people of the world.
Be it further resolved that the People’s Congress of Resistance will connect with and strengthen alliances and energetically support marches and actions in defense of immigrant rights; it will demand an end to the inhumane detention centers; it will also promote the creation of sanctuary regions and more importantly, build the networks necessary to defend them.
Finally, be it resolved that the People’s Congress of Resistance will fight for a future where we have free migration and no more forced migration due to war, poverty and climate change, for which U.S. imperialism has disproportionate responsibility.
For an independent police accountability board in Rochester, NY
Rochester demands an independent Police Accountability Board with:
- subpoena powers,
- powers to investigate independent of the Rochester Police Department,
- powers to discipline officers,
- made up of community members.
— Introduced by Enough is Enough - Rochester, NY
Support the campaigns to break free from labor trafficking and end modern day slavery
Poverty and unemployment in sending countries are the root causes of labor migration that lead im/migrant workers to labor trafficking. In the Philippines, the government Labor Export Policy (LEP) systematically sends it workers abroad. Today at least one in 10 overseas Filipino workers is a mother working as a domestic worker in a foreign country. In the United States, exclusions from federal and state labor laws, racial and immigration-related discrimination, extreme isolation of domestic workers, diplomatic immunity and devaluation of domestic work perpetuate labor trafficking.
— Introduced by Damayan Migrant Workers Association
Justice for Keenan and Anthony!
I am asking for support from the People’s Congress of Resistance for the families of Keenan King and Anthony Holmes-Garriques to have the Bouchard brothers convicted to the fullest extent of the law, and for exposure of the injustice against communities of color by the Suffolk County, N.Y., judicial system and segregation of people. We will rally on Oct. 6. Please call DA Raymond Valuola at 631-853-6488.
— Introduced by Yvette Benitez
Against racist rezoning of low-income communities of color in New York City
PCOR denounces the government’s planned displacement of low-income and working families from their community through the systematic implementation of racist rezoning of communities of color throughout the United states in partnership with real estate developers. PCOR calls for free and decent housing for all and calls on everyone to join East Harlem residents at City Hall to demand an end to these rezoning efforts.
— Introduced by Marina Ortiz
Divest from the war machine
PCOR agrees to support the Divest from the War Machine campaign, which will be launched Oct. 21-22 at University of the District of Columbia (UDC). The goal is to stop our cities, churches, pension funds and congresspeople from investing in or taking money from companies that profit from making weapons because these weapons are used to kill people overseas and on our city streets here at home. #DIVESTFROMWAR
— Introduced by Medea Benjamin
‘War and the Environment’ conference
That PCOR support the Sept. 22-24 conference “War and the Environment” at American University organized by World Beyond War to show the deep connections between war and the destruction of the environment, and to make connections between the anti-war and environmental movements.
— Introduced by Leah Brown on behalf of Veterans for Peace
Hands off Venezuela!
The current U.S. aggression against Venezuela is a continuation of Washington’s campaign aimed at overthrowing the Bolivarian Revolution. The People’s Congress supports the right to self-determination for the people of Venezuela and all of Latin America, and demands an end to two centuries of U.S. colonialism and imperialism.
— Introduced by the chair, following the statement of Carlos Ron, Charge d'Affaires, Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Washington, D.C.
End the Blockade of Cuba!
The Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Committee urges PCOR to support actions this fall demanding an end to the Blockade of Cuba, and also to support the effort to supply material aid to Cuba to help them recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma.
— Introduced by Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Committee
In support of the Week in of Action Solidarity with the Philippines initiated by BAYAN USA (Sept. 16-22)
On the 26th Anniversary of the historic termination of the U.S.-Philippine military bases treaty and the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by dictator Ferdinand Marcos, BAYAN USA calls on people who believe in a just and lasting peace to support the Filipino people’s demand for national sovereignty and an end to killings, impunity, U.S. intervention and militarization in the Philippines.
Under the guise of fighting ISIS and “terrorism,” Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao continues with U.S. support, waging an all-out war on the people with existing U.S. drones and the threat of U.S. airstrikes. End U.S. military intervention in the Philippines! Uphold Philippine sovereignty!
— Introduced by Anakbayan-NJ and ILPS US NE
In Support of King County, WA, Safe Consumption Spaces campaign
In response to the opioid addiction epidemic and related epidemic of overdose deaths, there is now a political struggle in King County in Washington over the implementation of Safe Consumption Spaces, as part of a multi-pronged public health approach to the crisis, including other harm-reduction measures and treatment on demand. Safe Consumption Spaces are evidence-based, save lives and build relationships with participants, improving health and reducing suffering of addicts and their loved ones.
Resolved that PCOR supports Safe Consumption Spaces in King County, Washington, which would be the first implemented in the United States.
— Introduced by Jane Cutter on behalf of ANSWER - Seattle
Free Ana Belen Montes, political prisoner!
Ana Belen Montes was a defense intelligence agency senior analyst who was compelled by her consciousness to do something about U.S. aggression on Cuba. For 16 years, Ana gave Cuba intelligence information so they could prevent and anticipate attacks. She was sentenced to 25 years in jail in 2002. She has completed 16 years in jail. She must be released.
— Introduced by Partido Nacionalista de Puerto Rico
In support of the picket at the United Nations for the Decolonization of Puerto Rico
All out to the United Nations Sept. 19 for a picket from 10am to 5pm and rally from 5pm to 7pm at 47th St. on 1st Ave. in New York City. We are calling on the UN General Assembly to take up the issue of the colonization of Puerto Rico.
We are calling on the UN to list Puerto Rico as a dependent territory. We are calling on the UN to start a process of decolonization of Puerto Rico.
— Introduced by Partido Nacionalista de Puerto Rico
Justice for Nina Chaubal — No to police/ICE terror against trans people
The trans community, especially immigrants and people of color, are under constant attack by the police and ICE across the country. Last year, Nina Chaubal, an activist and co-founder of Trans Lifeline, was profiled and detained by ICE. She now faces deportation because ICE is trying to call her legal marriage to a U.S. citizen invalid. Nina needs support across the country to stop her deportation. We ask PCOR to stand with Nina and pledge to do work in each of our communities to protect trans people from police and ICE.
— Introduced by Trans LifeLine
Stand with Native people against the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage project
From the 1950s onward, Nevada has been treated as a nuclear dumping ground, notably with the Nevada nuclear test site, where 928 nuclear weapons were detonated. Native Americans have been the most affected. Some today still bear scars from nuclear blast burns. Many still suffer from chronic radiation exposure. All this is on land stolen from the Duckwater, Paiute and other Native peoples. Today, the nuclear industry wants to dump nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain - land stolen from the Western Shoshone and Southern Paiute peoples.
PCOR supports: The immediate end to all nuclear testing and waste storage efforts in Nevada; the full and unconditional self-determination for all Native nations; and the payment of reparations to Native Americans. Yucca Mountain’s fate should not be consigned to storing nuclear waste but rather should be determined by its Native inhabitants.
— Introduced by PSL - Las Vegas
Against the coup government in Brazil!
PCOR would like to show our solidarity with the Brazilian people who are in struggle against the coup that took place in Brazil a year ago. With the support of U.S. imperialism, the Brazilian elite staged a legislative coup d’etat, replacing the democratically elected Workers Party government of Dilma Rousseff with the coup monger Michel Temer.
We support the land occupation by the homeless workers in San Bernado and the indigenous communities' struggle to defend the Amazon, and we call for the release of Rafael Braga, an African Brazilian who has been in jail since the 2013 protests against the increase in public transportation fares.
PCOR says: FORA TEMER!
— Introduced by PCOR attendees
“Deeper than Water”: Support the struggle for clean water at Norfolk Prison
The water in MCI-Norfolk Prison, the largest prison in Massachusetts, is poison! In 2011, there was a resolution passed by the Department of Environmental Protection to fix the problem at its source and it still has not been fixed. The water is contaminated with manganese and shards of metal, and is often black or tea-like in color. Prison dogs get bottled water but prisoners are forced to pay $12 a case at the canteen. Get clean water to Norfolk Prison!
— Introduced by Nino Brown
Divest this time at George Washington University
Support the campaign to pressure the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., to divest from U.S. companies that profit off of Israeli occupation.
— Introduced by John Kim
Inaugural People’s Congress of Resistance draws together grassroots leaders unified by a revolutionary vision
On Sept. 16-17, the People’s Congress of Resistance movement was inaugurated with a mass convening of grassroots organizers and frontline resistors at Howard University. All told, 727 delegates from 38 states and 160 towns and cities came to Washington, D.C., to discuss the People’s Congress of Resistance manifesto “Society for the Many: A Vision for Revolution,” to share organizing experiences to take back home, to express solidarity with each other and to resolve on common projects and actions for the future.
The People’s Congress was opened by housing organizer Yasmina Mrabet of ONE DC and Los Angeles teacher Peta Lindsay, a former Howard University student leader, who welcomed the attendees. Lindsay explained that the school itself derived from the Black community’s struggle for education in the Reconstruction period, and generation after generation, 150 years later, has continued to produce freedom fighters. Two high school student organizers from California, one a DACA recipient, announced that they were unbowed by the Trump administration, and had come to Washington to deepen their commitment to the movement and make links with activists nationwide.
Watch the opening salute to the guests here:
The People’s Congress of Resistance opened with brief remarks from some of the conveners who identified strategic objectives for the weekend, including Jodi Dean, Jared Ball, Margaret Flowers, Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Mahdi Bray, Eugene Puryear, Neal Sweeney, Gloria La Riva and Juan Jose Gutierrez, as did immigrant rights leaders Linda Oalican from New York City and Lucy Felix from the Rio Grande Valley region.
|Photo: Vincent Tsai|
In the following keynote plenary Dominic Moulden of ONE DC showed the stark contrast between the People’s Congress of Resistance and the D.C. Council and U.S. Congress, which include no poor and working people. Karina Garcia of the Justice Center en El Barrio explained the special role of the Manifesto as a unifying document across the social movements. Brian Becker, National Director of the ANSWER Coalition, outlined how the Democratic Party is able to co-opt and redirect every progressive movement from below unless it articulates a clear revolutionary vision, an unambiguous definition of political, social and economic revolution.
The People’s Congress then split into workshops on “resistance tactics” — the development of a new media hub, collective defense of immigrant communities, the building of radical community centers as movement infrastructure, various techniques of mutual aid, as well as a workshop on how to integrate revolutionary politics into grassroots community organizing. Specialized discussions on mass incarceration and the political prisoners still behind bars took place, as did a session on rural and small-town organizing.
The afternoon and evening sessions “Solidarity at Home and Abroad” brought the crowd to their feet repeatedly, as leaders from the women’s rights, LGBTQ, immigrant, and Black and Brown freedom movements spoke forcefully on the need for steadfast resistance that can persevere and grow over the long term. After the family members of police brutality victims took the stage to share their stories, having come together from cities nationwide, the hall passed its first resolution to give them — and other families nationwide — complete support in their campaigns for justice.
The Congress also heard from special guest Jang Jinsook, the Director of Policy and Planning for the New People's Party in South Korea, a new progressive party currently in formation that aims to complete the “candlelight revolution” of last year that deposed the former president. Jinsook appealed for solidarity for the Korean people’s efforts to peacefully reunify the country and called on people in the United States to help stop Trump’s militaristic threats against the North.
|Photo: Vincent Tsai|
Carlos Ron, the top Venezuelan diplomat to the United States, thanked the Congress for its solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution and expressed that “this is the first time I felt hope in Washington.”
Sunday’s workshops delved deeper into the tactics and strategic perspectives of the single-payer health care, debt resistance and anti-gentrification movements, while another focused on how individuals and groups could effectively teach and discuss the People’s Congress Manifesto when they returned home. Another workshop led with the history of U.S.-Korea relations as a primer for those interested in organizing “No New Korean War” actions in the weeks ahead. (Just two days later, Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea while speaking at the United Nations.)
In the final session of the two-day event, the Congress heard action-oriented resolutions from the floor. These included resolutions to end the war on Black America; for the independence of Puerto Rico and in support of a Sept. 19 rally at the UN; against the coup government in Brazil; and to free the political prisoners, including Leonard Peltier, Ana Belen Montes, Mutulu Shakur and others.
Other resolutions expressed solidarity with ongoing campaigns to help Filipino domestic workers break free from labor trafficking; for justice for Keenan King and Anthony Holmes-Garriques, killed by a racist vigilante in Long Island; for George Washington University's divestment from companies that profit off of Israeli occupation; for the divestment of cities, churches and pension funds and from the war machine; against the displacement of Brookland Manor residents in Washington, D.C.; against racist rezoning proposals in New York City; endorsing the upcoming "War and the Environment" conference; supporting the anti-war actions to protest 16 years of war on Afghanistan; against the blockade of Cuba and in support of grassroots hurricane relief to Cuba; and in unity with the ongoing Week of Action in solidarity with the Philippines against martial law.
Grassroots activists also received support for resolutions in support of those campaigning in Washington State for Safe Consumption Spaces to deal with the opioid epidemic; for the Native people fighting the nuclear waste storage project in Yucca Mountain in Nevada; for the Rochester community groups fighting for a police review board with genuine subpoena, hiring and firing powers; and for the Massachusetts organizers struggling to secure clean water at Norfolk Prison.
|Photo: Matthew Phipps|
All actions endorsed by the People’s Congress of Resistance will be amplified, supported and aired by its national social media platforms, and activists in different cities are encouraged to hold simultaneous solidarity events to strengthen the bonds of this growing network.
The People’s Congress of Resistance convening organizations committed to 1) a mass popular education campaign to spread the Manifesto; 2) developing a People’s Congress of Resistance media hub drawing on the exciting and dynamic media-making already underway; 3) holding report meetings from the inaugural event that could be the launching pad for continued local and regional events; 4) a process for other groups to be added to the Conveners Committee; and 5) the publication of the resolutions, photos and videos of the inaugural event.
Afterwards, attendees marched in powerful and militant display of unity to the White House under the slogan “Stand against imperialism — Down with the warfare state!” Focusing on the connection of the wars abroad with the “war at home,” speakers especially declared opposition to a new destructive war against Korea, and any new regime change efforts against Venezuela.
Working-class organizers fundraised all summer to come from states in every region of the country. Many of the attendees had traveled great distances in caravans that originated in southern Florida, Texas, and Chicago. Despite the physical fatigue of travel, long days, little sleep and then a march of several miles to the White House, many expressed feelings of exhilaration to be surrounded by so many people who feel the same passion for justice as they do, who are dealing with common challenges in their organizing work, and who are dedicated to the fight for a new world.
The inaugural People’s Congress of Resistance was a huge success — and we’re ready to go back home and organize!
You can register online for the People's Congress until Friday at Noon. Also, come out Friday night at St. Stephen Church for a Party and Social before the People's Congress of Resistance. More information about the program will be coming out soon.
Day 1: Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017
8:00am: Doors open for Registration, Coffee and Muffins
Opening and Statement of Principles
- Conveners’ statements
- Values to ground our movement
From Resistance to Revolution
- The People’s Congress vs. the Millionaires’ Congress
- Forming a revolutionary pole
- The role of the Manifesto
Each one, teach one: Resistance Tactics
Workshop Session 1, 10:45am-12:15pm
1. Community organizations and revolutionary politics
2. Developing independent media
3. Defending each other: No to deportations!
4. Building community centers of struggle
5. Rural/small-town organizing
Each one, teach one: Resistance Tactics
Workshop Session 2, 1:15-2:45pm
1. Community organizations and revolutionary politics
2. Developing independent media
3. Defending each other: No to deportations!
4. Freeing political prisoners, ending mass incarceration
5. Serving the people and mutual aid
Solidarity at home and abroad
People’s Congress domestic policy: A society for the many
Plenary and discussion, 3:00-5:00pm
- Standing together against police violence
- The political prisoners: Free ‘em all
- Environmental justice: a struggle for survival
- Reproductive justice in the Deep South
- Organizing for queer and trans liberation
People’s Congress foreign policy: Internationalism, not imperialism
Plenary and discussion, 5:00-7:00pm
- Neo-colonialism and the war drive
- Opposing the new Cold War
- War threats on Korea
- The bombing of Yemen
- End the blockade against Cuba
- Hands off Venezuela
- Puerto Rico's independence
- In defense of BDS
Day 2: Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017
9:00am: Doors open for Registration, Coffee and Muffins
Introduction of resolutions and process
Areas of work (workshops)
1. Popular education: how to spread the Manifesto
2. No war on Korea: the need for a new antiwar movement
3. Building an independent health care movement
4. The fight for housing as a right, and against racist displacement
March to the White House
Schedule is subject to change.
You can register online for the People's Congress until Friday at Noon. Also, come out Friday night at St. Stephen Church for a Party and Social before the People's Congress of Resistance. More information about the program will be coming out soon.
The People’s Congress of Resistance is just a few days away. Activists and front-line resisters will be gathering together at Howard University in Washington, D.C. for the expressed purpose of building a People’s Congress of Resistance movement anchored in our common struggles and the manifesto “Society for the Many — A Vision for Revolution.”
This is a meeting of people with a shared vision and shared values. It will be a unique space where our common movement can prepare for the next steps in opposition to the Trump Administration’s regressive agenda, as well as the political orientation of both the Republican and Democratic Party elites who dominate the current U.S. Congress. This is a gathering of people who have been working together for over 6 months to make it a huge success, and it will be precisely that. This is an exciting opportunity for people with shared principles to discuss and analyze the current political situation and chart a path forward together.
This meeting is not open to those who seek to disrupt the meeting or otherwise work to undermine the shared political and social aims and goals of those who are coming together. Any such entry by persons whose political goals and work are at odds with these principles is against the will of the organizers and such persons are not invited to this event and should not plan on attending or attempt to enter. This meeting is for attendees who are gathering from across the country to forward the political principles outlined in the manifesto. We will ensure that the environment is supportive of the participation of all those who support these goals.
All members of the media who wish to cover the event must, in addition to registering, submit credentials to the People’s Congress of Resistance Media Liaison by Friday, Sept. 15 at 12 Noon at email@example.com. Only those media that are credentialed by the People’s Congress of Resistance Media Liaison will be permitted entrance. Credentials will be available at a media check-in table during morning registration.
Thanks to all of our organizers, activists and volunteers whose tireless efforts have made the People’s Congress of Resistance come together. This is an exciting beginning!
Education for All! #DefendDACA!
|Bryan Peña and Peta Lindsay protesting Trump's cancellation of DACA. They will be at the People's Congress of Resistance this weekend at the Blackburn Center at Howard University, in Washington DC.|
By Peta Lindsay,
High school teacher in Los Angeles
Anyone who’s set foot in a public school recently has already seen our social/economic/political system failing our young people in a million different ways. In the past I’ve joked that we who work in public schools, work where “the promise of the free market” dies. I teach U.S. history and I am meant to teach that this is a land of opportunity and equality - but how do you say that with a straight face to a young person who has not eaten a meal in the last 12 hours and now has to take a high-stakes test?
To the students who survived traumatic border crossings, who’ve seen people killed in civil war and whose families can’t afford or access mental health services, so they just show up and get disciplined if (god forbid!) they act out.
How great is this “meritocracy” for the young people who work weekends and evenings to help their mom pay rent, when they’re competing for college spots with students who have private tutors, college-educated parents and have never known eviction, homelessness and fear? What does “the land of liberty” mean to a student who gets put in cuffs by the cops and laid out face-down on the sidewalk, for having the wrong skin color in the wrong neighborhood?
My students are trying their damnedest to succeed in a system that does not want working-class children, particularly the Black and Brown ones, to survive. And the powers that be, who never give a second thought to the well-being of these children, only to maximum profit and exploitation, have the nerve to wonder why more and more young people are turning against capitalism these days.
In my school community in Lincoln Heights, Trump’s election landed like a bomb in an already precarious place. Young people who were already fighting through a thousand different obstacles, suddenly saw their nightmares realized and one fear come to dominate all others: the fear of deportation.
Here are some questions and comments that students in my U.S. history classes wrote the day after Trump’s election:
- “Are my parents getting deported?” (Written in many different ways).
- “What if he takes our education away? What then? I want to graduate and have a good life.”
- “Would he really want to separate families? Why do you want to hurt us?”
- “Could he take away my citizenship if my parents are immigrants?”
- “I don’t know what is going to happen to my parents, if he is actually going to deport immigrants, but I am sure that our community is going to fight for what we have and love.”
The fear is real - but so is their strength. As you can see in that last comment -and I read many others like it, while many described despair in their families (“my mother cried” and “my mother said we have to move” were also frequent comments), many also described their determination to fight back. Trump did not only inspire fear in these young people, he also inspired fierce and determined resistance.
|East Los Angeles high school students converge with students from around the city who walked out to protest Donald Trump.|
Student leader coming to the People's Congress of Resistance
Less than a week after Trump's election, these same students helped organize a city-wide walkout. On Nov. 14, these students, along with hundreds of high school students from East Los Angeles, poured out of their classrooms and took to the streets in organized, powerful resistance. They chanted slogans like “Where do we stand? Our native land!” as they marched to City Hall with incredible dignity, unity and pride.
At City Hall they were joined by thousands of students from all over the city, students of many colors and backgrounds who had all worked together to make this powerful resistance possible.
I was lucky enough to witness this action. I’ve been a grassroots organizer/activist for over a decade and I’ve never seen anything like what those young people accomplished that day, it was historic.
Bryan Peña is one of those student leaders who has been organizing since Day One. He was a senior in high school when Trump was elected and he helped found the student organization La Resistencia - to fight back. In the course of organizing against racism, raids and deportations, Bryan made the decision to “come out” in our community and let everyone know that he is an undocumented youth and he has DACA status.
Now Bryan is 18, working and attending college full-time. With his DACA status in jeopardy, Bryan’s future is uncertain but his commitment to building the resistance is clear. Bryan and other student organizers from La Resistencia will be at the People’s Congress of Resistance in Washington, D.C.
Here is his message:
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Register today for the Sept. 16-17 People's Congress of Resistance.
Donate to support a student or person with a fixed income, who otherwise would not be able to come to D.C.
An exciting group of presenters will be at the People’s Congress of Resistance. They will join with the hundreds of other activists and organizers from around the country at the inaugural event taking place Sept. 16-17 at the Blackburn Center at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
If you have not registered, follow this link today!
Here are some of the presenters:
- Robert King, former Black Panther and political prisoner of the Angola 3
- Eddie Conway, former Black Panther and political prisoner
- Jang Jinsook, Director of Policy and Planning, New People's Party of South Korea
- Jennicet Gutierrez, Community Organizer, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement
- Carlos Ron, Charge d'Affaires, Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
- Antonio Tizapa, father of Jorge Antonio Tizapa Legideño, one of the 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa, Mexico
- Cindy Sheehan, author/activist
- Dominic Moulden, Resource Organizer, ONE DC
- Prof. Jodi Dean, author and educator
- Malik Rahim, Common Ground Relief, former Black Panther
- Dr. Anthony Monteiro, Saturday Free School, W.E.B. DuBois scholar
- Gloria La Riva, Party for Socialism and Liberation
- Prof. Jared Ball, Morgan State Univ., iMixWhatiLike
- Dennis Banks, co-founder and National Field Director of American Indian Movement (AIM)
- Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Constitutional Rights Attorney, Exec. Dir, Partnership for Civil Justice Fund
- George Ciccariello-Maher, Professor, Drexel University
- Abby Martin, journalist, The Empire Files
- Rosa Clemente, organizer, Green Party Vice-Presidential Candidate in 2008
- Dr. Carol Paris, President, Physicians for a National Health Program
- Pam Africa, Minister of Confrontation, MOVE; Chairwoman, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
- Lucy Ceballos Félix, reproductive justice leader in Texas
- Nasim Chatha, Alliance for Global Justice
- Delonte Wilkins, Organizer, Black Workers Center
- Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK
- Betty Davis, New Abolitionist Movement
- Juan Jose Gutierrez, Coordinator, Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition
- Mahdi Bray, Executive Director, American Muslim Alliance
- Anoa J. Changa, Deputy Director, MPACT
- Eugene Puryear, Stop Police Terror Project DC
- Kevin Zeese, Co-Director, Popular Resistance
- Ana Edwards, Chair, Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project, Richmond, VA
- Laura Hanna, Debt Collective
- Ann Larson, Debt Collective
- Ben Norton, journalist and writer
- Ralph Poynter, New Abolitionist Movement
- Peta Lindsay, site representative for Los Angeles Leadership Academy United, CTA/NEA*
- Dr. Margaret Flowers, Co-Director, Popular Resistance
- Dr. Simona Perry, oil and pipeline activist, Georgia
- Ray McGovern, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Veterans for Peace
- Hyun Lee, Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea, Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea and Militarism in Asia and the Pacific
- Mike Prysner, Iraq anti-war veteran organizer
- Gabriel Bryant, Sankofa Community Empowerment; Campaign to Bring Mumia Home
- Berthony Dupont, Haiti Liberte
- Karina Garcia, Justice Center en El Barrio
- Jonathan Hutto, Coordinator, Prince George’s People’s Coalition
- Yasmina Mrabet, Housing Organizer, ONE DC
- Marion Gray Hopkins, mother of Gary Hopkins Jr., murdered by MPD
- Ang Hicks, aunt of of Shantel Davis, murdered by NYPD
- Natasha Duncan, sister of Shantel Davis, murdered by NYPD
- Hertencia Petersen, aunt of Akai Gurley, murdered by NYPD
- Nicholas Heyward Sr., father of Nicholas Heyward Jr., murdered by NYPD
- Zaquanna Albert, girlfriend of Delrawn Smalls, murdered by NYPD officer
- Neal Sweeney, Vice President, UAW Local 5810
- Jim Lafferty, Executive Director Emeritus, National Lawyers Guild, Los Angeles
- Joe Lombardo, United National Antiwar Coalition
- Vaughn Bennett, Dahlgreen Courts Tenants Association
- Minnie Elliott, Brookland Manor Residents Association
- Phil Wilayto, Editor, The Virginia Defender; admin comm., UNAC
- Brian Becker, National Coordinator, ANSWER Coalition
*- organization listed for identification purposes only
Follow this link to register today!
Friday, September 15: Pre-Congress of Resistance Party and Social at St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church
- 7 - 10 p.m. - RSVP and details here
- 7 - 10 p.m. - RSVP and details here
Saturday, September 16: Conference at Blackburn Center at Howard University
- Doors open at 8:00 a.m.
- Program begins at 9:00 a.m. and continues until the evening
Sunday, September 17: Conference at Blackburn Center at Howard University
- Doors open at 9:00 a.m.
- Program begins at 9:30 a.m. and continues until the late afternoon
Friday night event: St. Stephen and the Incarnation Church, 1525 Newton St NW, Washington, DC 20010; 0.4 miles from Columbia Heights Metro Station
Saturday & Sunday: Blackburn Center, Howard University, 2397 6th St NW, Washington, DC 20059 (this is the street address but you have to walk into the campus to reach Building 57); 0.8 miles from the Shaw-Howard U Metro Station (use the exit that says "Howard University")
The main room for the PCOR is the Blackburn Ballroom. When you enter the building, take the stairs to the right or the elevator to the left and go to the second floor.
See the map below showing an overview of the Howard campus; the Blackburn Center is in the upper right hand corner and 6th St. is on the left side.
PCOR is taking place in the Armour J. Blackburn University Center - Number 57
Recommended: The closest parking lot to the Blackburn Center is accessible from the east side of 8th St. between Barry Pl. and V St., near a McDonald's. It is a Howard University lot open 24 hours and costs $10 per day *cash only* when staffed; it is sometimes staffed on Saturdays but not on Sundays. The yellow arrow on the map below shows the entrance to the parking lot; the red arrow shows the direction to walk from the parking lot to the venue. (Other Howard University lots are reserved for permit parking only.)
Alternate parking lot: There is another parking lot just past the Howard University lot called North End Shaw that charges $3 per hour, $7.50 max if out by 8pm, $20 max if out by 8am. This lot is accessible on the west side of 8th St. closer to V St. Payment is by phone. Details are here.
Street parking (not recommended): Street parking is metered around campus, on Georgia Ave., 6th St. and side streets around the campus. There is limited availability for meters. Meters have to be paid on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Since you cannot pay for the entire day at one time, this parking is not recommended for a full-day event. If you do park at a meter, please download and set up the Parkmobile app in advance so that you can pay the meter remotely.
Passenger drop off
Since there is some distance to walk from the parking lot and Metro, if you have a large group or people who need to be dropped off, follow these directions: Turn onto Howard Place NW from Georgia Ave., then turn left onto 6th St. NW, and drop off near the Cramton Auditorium and Ira Aldridge Theatre (they will be on your right). This is the closest drop off point to the Blackburn Center. People being dropped off should walk to the right onto campus, and the vehicle should proceed to find parking. The red arrows show the route described above.
General info about parking
Meters operate usually 7:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. Rates depend on location in DC. More information regarding parking available here. You can also use apps such as Pango, Spothero, Parkwhiz or Best Parking to find parking.
For detailed driving directions to the Howard University Blackburn Center, click here.
How to get to the venue
Howard University is walking distance from the Shaw-Howard U station on the Green and Yellow lines. There are two exits – use the one that directs you towards "Howard University." Here is a station vicinity map for the Howard U exit.
Walking directions from the Shaw-Howard U Metro Station: From that exit, walk north towards Florida Ave. Continue going straight (you are on Georgia Ave) to Howard Place. Turn right onto Howard Place. In one block, you will enter the Howard University Yard. Walk diagonally across the Yard. The Blackburn Center is in the far corner, Building 57. The full name is the Armour J. Blackburn University Center.
Please note: You may see a Howard University shuttle from the Metro station but it is only for students; a student ID is required.
Here are some useful links from the DC Metro (subway) website:
Here is general info about Metrorail. It is open on Friday from 5 am - 1 am, Saturday from 7 am - 1 am, and Sunday from 8 am - 11 pm. The Metro has "Peak" and "Off-Peak" fares; on the weekends, you will pay "Off-Peak" fares except after midnight. The minimum for a one-way ride Off-Peak is $2.00; if you are traveling from farther away, such as from Maryland or Virginia, it will be more, as much as $3.85. (Peak Fares are $2.25 minimum and $6.00 maximum.)
To calculate the fare between your housing and the Shaw-Howard U station: Go to this page, scroll down, press "Metrorail Fares," select your station of origin in the drop down and press "Get Fares."
These fares are with a SmarTrip card. See below for important details.
Metro bus fares for regular routes is $2.00 using SmarTrip or cash. The fare for express routes is $4.25 using a SmarTrip card or cash. Fare for seniors and people with disabilities is $1.00 for regular routes, $2.10 on express routes.
DC/MD/VA bus maps and timetables are available online:
Please make sure to check the timetables for any bus you may take, since some do not run on the weekends.
Bus stations sometimes have seats and timeboards, others do not but all are marked with a red sign listing the bus routes with an information number to call.
Important: Paper fare cards have been eliminated for Metrorail. Everyone has to purchase a SmarTrip card.
You can buy a SmarTrip card inside the Metro station. There are machines next to the regular fare card machines that look like little ATMs. Those are the machines you use to buy SmarTrip cards (see photo below). SmarTrip cards cost $10, and come with $8 of fare to be used. You can add money using the machines or online once you register your card. You can also click here to watch a video.
On the left of the image is a SmarTrip machine; to the right are regular machines to add money to your card.
This is a paid bikeshare service in DC.
A one-time trip costs $2, for up to 30 minutes. You will pay additional fees if the trip goes over 30 minutes. A 24-hour pass is $8 and a 3-Day pass is $17/day. Day Key Memberships are $10 a day in which you will receive a key that you can activate online. You can receive a 25% discount on usage fees.
Trips can be bought at a Capital Bike kiosks that look like this:
Station maps can be found here. This page shows you the number of available bikes. The closest station to Howard University is 7th & T St NW, near the Metro Station.
There are three airports in the Washington DC area. Please see the websites of these airports for information about public transportation and directions.
This is the closest airport to D.C. It is located directly on the Metro. Details can be found here.
There is now a Silver Line Express Bus that runs from the airport to the Silver Line's Wiehle-Reston East station, about 15 minutes away. Details can be found here.
The best way to get from BWI to the rally site is to take the WMATA Express bus that leaves from airport and takes you to the Greenbelt Metro Stop. From there, you will want to go to the Gallery Place - Chinatown station where you can transfer to the red line and then exit at Farragut North. Here’s the link with more information about bus departure times from the airport.
For plane tickets, try any of these sites:
DC airport codes are DCA, IAD and BWI. Some sites also allow you to enter WAS to cover all three.
Megabus, BoltBus, Greyhound and some other companies operate out of the Union Station parking garage, located at 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE. The red line stop "Union Station" is located inside the building (click here for the Union Station website).
Here are their website links to check schedules and buy tickets:
There are several other low-cost bus companies that travel to Washington, D.C., from New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore and other area cities. They drop off at various locations in the D.C. downtown area, all of which are metro accessible (including but not limited to Union Station).
Here are some websites to check schedules and buy tickets:
Amtrak, MTA/MARC and Virginia Rail Express run to Union Station, located at 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE. The red line stop "Union Station" is located inside the building (click here for the Union Station website).
We have created a list of hotels, motels, hostels and campsites in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. See a full listing here. All group rates have now expired, but we still encourage you to check this listing and contact the hotels/motels/hostels to reserve space at their regular rates.
Registration covers attendance at the conference. It does not include food or housing.
If you cannot pay the fee but want to attend, fill out this form.
If you want to help subsidize the registration fee of a student or low-income person you can donate here.
On Saturday and Sunday, catered lunches will be available for a small additional fee. Attendees are encouraged to remain in the Blackburn Center for lunch so they do not miss any of the programming.
The Blackburn Center has three vending machines (two with drinks and one with snacks) on the basement level. Other stores and food places in the building are closed on the weekend.
There are several food places on (and just off) Georgia Ave. near campus that you can go to for breakfast and/or dinner:
- Negril the Jamaican Eatery: 2301 Georgia Ave NW, Saturday 11AM-8PM, Sunday Closed
- Food Corner Kabob & Rotisserie: 2301 Georgia Ave NW, Saturday 11AM-10PM, Sunday 12-10PM
- Howard China: 2827 Georgia Ave NW, Saturday 11AM-2AM, Sunday 12PM-12AM
- Chipotle: 2301 Georgia Ave NW, Saturday 11AM-2AM, Sunday 12PM-12AM
- Salt and Pepper Grill Indian: 2632 Georgia Ave NW, Saturday 12:30PM-10PM, Sunday 12:30PM-10PM
- Torrie's Restaurant: 700 V St NW, Saturday 7AM-4PM, Sunday 7AM-4PM
- Potbelly Sandwich Shop: 2301 Georgia Ave NW, Saturday 11AM–6PM, Sunday 11AM–6PM
- Subway: 2301-B Georgia Ave NW, Open 24 Hours
- McDonald's: 2328 Georgia Ave NW, Open 24 hours
Near the Shaw-Howard Metro:
- Uprising Muffin: 1817 7th St NW, Saturday 7AM-6PM, Sunday 8AM-3PM
- Calabash Tea House: 1847 7th St NW, Saturday 9AM-8PM, Sunday 9AM-8PM
The Blackburn Center at Howard University is wheelchair accessible. The building has an elevator (to the left when you enter the building) to reach the upper and basement levels, and there are no stairs on the outside area of the campus.
If you are interested in volunteering, fill out this form.
If you are interested in signing up on the email list, follow this link here.
If you are interested in spreading the word, follow this link here
You can also start your own personal fundraiser on CrowdRise.
If you are interested becoming an endorser, follow this link here.