Are you and your loved ones prepared for the rise of Trump’s regime, hateful extremists, and natural disasters compounded by militarization and escalating climate change?
To be honest, we’re not ready — not yet. But we can start. The time is here to meet these challenges and grow our collective power.
Ongoing and escalating threats are facing oppressed communities, including those who are Black, Brown, Native, immigrant, undocumented, queer and trans, Muslim, women/femme, disabled, incarcerated, fat, young, elderly, working-class, and more.
Out of love for ourselves and each other, we want to get ready for what’s to come.
Only YOU can decide what preparedness looks like for you.
When you find a skill that sparks you, share it here.
How can we practice skills that are helpful and relevant to us, in communities we’re naturally connected to, while simultaneously building strength, trust, and unity across groups with others who are also preparing in ways that work for them?
And how can we extend this learning & training beyond inauguration week?
How to Join
To participate in Lightning Bolt, all you have to do is:
- Find a group of 4 or more people
- Get together and practice a readiness skill of your choice
- Document your readiness training, meeting, or action
- Share a photo or short video of your training
What Kinds of Readiness Skills?
Choose a type of training that is manageable and useful for your particular group. We recommend starting with some low-hanging fruit, the kind of thing you’d ordinarily be practicing anyway. Or, it could be something new and special for this particular moment.
- self defense
- bystander intervention & de-escalation
- emergency medical options that avoid calling the cops (ex. PCM, OPP in oakland)
- earthquake preparedness — do you have a kit or a plan?
- mental health, wellness, emotional resilience (ex. the Icarus Project)
- know-your-rights against ICE & deportations
- protection against surveillance
- and more…
If you continue with the Lightning Bolt group after inauguration, you’ll be able to see beautiful and inspiring examples of readiness training from all over the country, every month focusing on a different theme.
What Kinds of Groups?
Could be your household; your band; your Neighborhood Action Council; your religious group; your block; friendly co-workers; you and your 3 closest friends. Maybe it’s out in the streets; maybe it’s at your place so you don’t even have to leave your bed to participate.
4 or more people is the only requirement.
Does Readiness Training Include Weapons?
This is a Lead-With-Love-type situation (shoutout to the Lead With Love team), inspired by courageous (r)evolutionaries who call for the healing and evolution of humanity, beyond exploitation, domination, and organized cruelty.
Some people interpret this along the lines of pacifism and moral nonviolence. We fully support that approach, and in some ways, supporting it is easier. At the same time, we support other approaches, too. The Black Panther Party for Self Defense; the Gulabi Gang in India; Deacons for Defense protecting nonviolent Civil Rights activists; white punks and anti-fascists shutting down white pride parades; enslaved Africans inventing and practicing Capoeira both as a dance form as a means of overthrowing slave masters — Many profound and admirable movements have incorporated armed self-defense into their efforts for liberation.
If leading with love and preparing for disaster, for you, means learning how to handle weapons, we won’t stop or discourage you.
We will, however, exercise control over what to share on the public site where everyone submits images of their readiness trainings. For the best chance of having your training highlighted and shared, make sure it expresses something moving, creative, and powerful about your resistance to oppression and organized cruelty — from Trump, the Alt-Right / white supremacists, or anyone else.
What Happens after Inauguration?
Many of us will be out in the streets on inauguration day, Jan. 20th, and that’s great. (Hopefully some groups will be doing street-medic training on Jan. 17th as their readiness prep!)
Still, as groups like Ungovernable2017 are pointing out, we need a longer-term vision.
For our offering, Lightning Bolt will commit to sharing resources, forums, and skills in each month of 2017, highlighting a different area of readiness. Participants in the full-year trainings will be asked, if possible, to wear a lightning bolt button or put a sticker in their window, signifying our shared commitment to developing concrete power and unity across unlikely divides.
(Sample Schedule, not fixed)
That’s just a sample. Real calendar to come.
Who’s Putting This On?
Since political content and personal identity interweave in complex ways, we want to acknowledge a bit of who we are in this coordinating group.
Some of us are Black; some Vietnamese; some Taiwanese; some white. Range of genders, range of ages from 20’s to 50’s, range of health conditions including folks living with illness and disabilities. Range of wealth and class backgrounds; most of us have gone to college, some haven’t. Most, not all, born and raised in the U.S.; all currently living here, in the belly of the beast.
We are all uplifted by people’s bravery, kindness, and sacrifice in showing up for each other.
We all want to make best use of our tiny lives in this horrifying, heartbreaking, beautiful, miraculous world.
Questions? Celebrations? Offers of Assistance?
Write to us here: