An RNC-Welcoming Committee report back from the Washington D.C. Unconventional Action East Coast Convergence

After a few days hitchhiking across the Midwest and the Mideast, it was a treat to be greeted in DC with such enthusiasm. Because of my travel schedule the week before, I ended up making it into DC well before the convergence. Spending time with the organizers towards the end of their preparations helped to build some solid affinity which is a much needed part of this process. Thank you DC for the couch, the burritos, *the coffee* and for letting me freshen up on building lockboxes. Maybe we can try some of those other experiments before the conventions.

The DC organizers will be coming out with a more extensive report back, but here are some observations and experiences related to the convergence.

The schedule for the UA-ECC was tight with a lot of really amazing workshops running simultaneously. For those who came with affinity groups, this was the perfect opportunity to learn more about your role and gain skills to bring back to your community. Those who came alone may have had a harder time picking and choosing where to go. That, however, is so often the nature of having so many things to talk about and such a limited amount of time to be face to face. One of the most frequent overall criticisms made of the convergence was that there wasn’t enough time set aside for caucuses. This meant that caucuses ended up taking place during social time and so individuals had to choose between attending a caucus and networking.

The Direct Action 202 workshop was a highlight and crammed as much information as possible into two and a half hours. Obviously it still just scratched the surface, but made space for actual practice (which doesn’t seem to be happening enough), and got people excited to learn more.

At the UA-ECC, there was a lot of talk about messaging for the conventions. There were concerns that there was a lot of work going into a strategic framework and not enough work going into a messaging framework. Beyond that, the messaging that currently exists focuses on what we are against and not what we are for and doesn’t acknowledge that (whether we think it is misguided or not) for many people this election will be a historic event. An example of this is taking about “false hope” and calling progressive rhetoric “bull shit”. While we as anarchist understand this critique, for many who are feeling hope for the first time in a long time, these words say “there is no hope”. It was suggested that perhaps there is a way for us to alter this and say, “I’m glad that you feel hopeful but true hope comes from people not
presidents”. This is, of course, more applicable to the DNC where the attendees actually preach “change”. There was a suggestion of creating a national messaging discussion. An idea is to have locals from the Twin Cities and Denver work with/endorse a national working group that will help create a national messaging framework for both conventions. This
group could call for literature, posters, slogans etc that fit within the developed messaging framework and host a website that could make these medias available for perusal, reading, printing, and distribution. Keep your eyes open for ways to plug in.

Thanks again to the DC organizers for their hospitality and a special thanks to all the presenters, the friendly criticism, and all the support coming out of the Mid-Atlantic.

With insurrectionary dreams,
A Representative of The RNC Welcoming Committee


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