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Black faith leaders call for nonviolent resistance, strikes if Trump refuses election results

The faith leaders and activists are urging rural, white, Black and Latino Democrats, Republicans and independents to 'uphold democracy.'

Demonstrators stand across the street from the federal courthouse in Houston, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, before a hearing in federal court involving drive-thru ballots cast in Harris County. The lawsuit was brought by conservative Texas activists, who have railed against expanded voting access in Harris County, in an effort to invalidate nearly 127,000 votes in Houston because the ballots were cast at drive-thru polling centers established during the pandemic. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(RNS) — More than 100 Black faith leaders have signed an online pledge calling for nonviolent resistance and an economic and general strike if President Donald Trump refuses to accept the election results. 

“We are mobilizing massive voter turnout to defeat Trump. And if Trump attempts to cheat or steal his way out of losing, we will mobilize massive nonviolent resistance to ensure that every vote is counted, and that the power of the people to choose our elected representatives is protected,” the pledge reads.

Among the faith leaders who have signed are Lisa Sharon Harper, the president and founder of Freedom Road; the Rev. Stephen A. Green, with Faith for Black Lives; the Rev. Dominique Ayesha Robinson, dean of chapel at Wiley College; the Rev. Cornell William Brooks, former president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; and the Rev. Erica N. Williams, founder of Set It Off Ministries.

A number of activist allies also added their names to the pledge, sponsored by Faith for Black Lives, including author Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, co-founders of Until Freedom Tamika D. Mallory and Linda Sarsour, as well as RAICES Chief Advocacy Officer Erika Andiola.   

The faith leaders and activists are urging rural, white, Black and Latino Democrats, Republicans and independents to “uphold democracy.”

“Hopefully the candidate who loses the election will accept the result. But if he does not, we cannot acquiesce to a coup. We will not accept an illegitimate government,” the pledge reads.

“We will need many different tactics — protests, occupations of state capitals, strikes — but fundamentally it will all require unity, courage, preparation, and discipline.”

The pledge cites the 2019 democratic revolution in Sudan as a winning nonviolent “strategy against authoritarians like Trump.”

“Violence is the terrain that Trump and the armed extreme right wing want to fight on. We will not give them what they want. We will fight for democracy and the rights guaranteed under the Constitution using the power Trump fears most: widespread, inclusive, disciplined nonviolent resistance,” according to the pledge.