Last weekend, 4.6 million participants across the world flocked to around 550 different cities for the same protest: the Women’s March. The event is being recorded as the largest protest in U.S. history. So we must ask the question, how are events of this global scale feasibly organized? Well, Action Network is one way.
Action Network is an organizing interface retrofitted with everything small groups need to start implementing a campaign or mission statement. For these small groups or individuals memberships to fundraising materials, mass email, surveys, forms, desktop/mobile platforms, and more are free of cost.
This D.C.-based non-profit played a large role in the Women’s March on Washington this past Saturday, January 21st, 2017. Through the use of Action Network, over 4.6 million people marched on all seven continents.
Jeffrey Dugas, a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University and Special Projects Manager at Action Network, talked to MediaFile about how the Women’s March took advantage of the non-profit’s specifically-designed content.
When it comes to the Women’s March, Dugas says the organizers used Action Network’s distributive events tool, an interactive map of the world, to their particular advantage.
“Action Net gives grassroots activists the ability to collaborate seamlessly with other organizations, locations and activists. We put all the events under the same umbrella together, harnessing the power of the enthusiasm of the moment,” Dugas said. “Events lose impact if they are not all together; so we brought all Women’s March events under the same banner of purpose, making the impact undoubtedly stronger.”
This D.C. non-profit has engaged people globally since 2012: it’s not the first time they’ve helped organize progressive action. Just last year, the #NoDAPL movement used Action Network to help their supporters find events near them using the interface’s zip-code search, allowing them to directly RSVP to events nearest them. While #NoDAPL, a protest at the Standing Rock Camp against fossil fuel pipelines on indigenous lands and communities, organized 200 protests globally yet doesn’t compare in size to the Women’s March, the methodology and strategy used to bring people together was the same.
“There hasn’t been a mobilization of (the size of the Women’s March) in the last decade. Action Network is the tool that fills that gap and builds progressive power by designing tools around these issues,” Dugas said.
Action Network’s mission statement makes a point to highlight their support of giving “progressive organizations” power, like the Women’s March.
According to a press release from Action Network, they described the Women’s March as a “progressive resistance… to counter Donald Trump’s dangerous agenda.”
How does Action Network define progressivism? “We know it when we see it,” Dugas said. Action Network, according to Dugas, has no official political affiliation; but the non-profit does value public educational, environmental, and social welfare initiatives. Because of these values, Action Network told MediaFile that getting involved with the Women’s March helped them organize opposition to the uncertainty and divisiveness of Trump’s presidency.
Women’s March organizers first got in touch with Action Network on January 5th, 2017. Since partnering with Action Network, both the Women’s March movement and Action Network have defined the opposition movement against President Trump’s ideology.
Since Trump has only been in office for about a week, we will have to wait and see if this protest was a single occurrence, or if the movement can keep up its momentum in the upcoming months and years.