by Sabrina Williams
The District 13 House. You’ve seen the promo video. You’ve heard the whispers. But, what is it? No, it’s not a fourth book in the Hunger Games trilogy but it’s name is derived from District 13 in the movie. District 13 was the heart of the rebellion that challenged and resisted the oppressive forces of the Capital and their own authoritarian President Snow at every turn.
The idea for the District 13 House came from the creative activists at People for Bernie and Millennials for Revolution.They wanted a way to be proactive about fighting Trump’s anti-populist agenda. So, their idea was to secure a home in Washington, DC that would act as a base camp for progressive organizers from around the country. There are numerous individuals and organizations supporting the idea of 24x7 people-powered resistance to Trump and his billionaire class cabinet.
“There has been an upsurge in direct action organizing funded and organized by unions and well-funded entities. This is crowding out the bottom initiatives of young people doing what they think is best, not because someone is paying them or dictating an agenda, but because they want to fight Trump with their own tactics. In their own way. We hope to help those folks in particular,” says Charles Lenchner, one of the founders of People for Bernie. “We're hoping to spark organizing that benefits from the passion of young people connecting to pop culture as well as the important issues.”
District 13 will be managed by seasoned activists who will ensure that the house gets utilized by a wide variety of climate and social justice organizers eager to rally people against Trump’s agenda. The house will be used for a number of purposes including as an organizing space for protest events, a home away from home for out of town organizers, and a safe spot for activists. The organizers are hoping that sustained resistance to Trump will bring together various factions of the progressive Left, as well as to minimize, if not totally crush, any repressive autocratic laws that most unpopular American president has planned. Ensuring Trump is a one term president is also a priority.
The organizers’ initial goal was for $30,000 to establish a base of resistance for at least the first year of the Trump administration. Not surprisingly, the support for the District 13 House has been enthusiastic and generous. The organizers met their initial fundraising goal in just 6 days. The organizers have since raised the goal in the hopes that the District 13 House will be able to maintain a permanent presence throughout Trump’s entire 4 year presidency. Having activists and organizers who will hold Trump and his administration accountable right under their noses provides a modicum of optimism to the majority of Americans that didn’t vote for him and his brand of sexism, racism, and xenophobia.
The folks behind the District 13 house are experienced enough to know they face a lot of challenges. With Trump’s threats to punish activists, constrain the media, repeal decades of advancements for people of color, women, and the LGBTQ community, and so much more, District 13 goes into this with their eyes wide open. They understand the risks but they also understand the importance of their activism.
We at act.tv are proud of our role supporting this project. The video above, used by the crowdfunders, was made by us, in support of the resistance. If you’re interested in organizing resistance actions against Trump over the next year or can provide support for District 13 House, please check out their website to see what you can do to help.