October 29, 2020
[SRRT is a body within the American Library Association but does not and should not be taken to speak for the Association as a whole. In this statement SRRT Action Council speaks only on its own behalf.]
During the current presidential campaign, repeated statements have been made indicating an unwillingness to abide by the outcome of the upcoming election. Statements such as these represent a direct challenge to democracy, the Constitution, and the political traditions of the United States—and to the core values of the American Library Association (ALA). The Action Council of the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) of ALA is issuing this statement to express our support for democracy and a free and fair election.
In response to candidate statements this year challenging democracy, one progressive group, Choose Democracy, has appealed for nonviolent street demonstrations if a coup is attempted. Other progressive organizations, including the Moratorium Now Coalition in Detroit, the Wisconsin Bail Out the People Movement, and the People’s Alliance—Bay Area have issued a call for a general strike if there is an attempt to overturn the results of the election or refusal to accept the will of the electorate. Similarly, in separate statements various labor organizations, including the 100,000 member MLK Labor Council in Seattle, the 70,000 member Rochester (NY) AFL-CIO Labor Council, union activists with the American Postal Workers Union in Detroit, and the Western Massachusetts Area Labor Federation have pledged to meet any attempt to obstruct, overturn, or reject a fair and complete count of presidential ballots with nonviolent protests and labor actions.
The Action Council of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of ALA supports such initiatives in defense of democracy. Following the lead of the MLK Labor Council we encourage information workers to sign the Coup Preparation pledge issued by Choose Democracy. We also urge information workers to participate actively in peaceful demonstrations and/or strike actions to oppose any coup attempt associated with this election.