‘Civil Resistance’ Group Enlists GOP, Corporate Leaders To Defend Biden Victory Claim

‘Civil Resistance’ Group Enlists GOP, Corporate Leaders To Defend Biden Victory Claim

An organization preparing “civil resistance” to oppose President Trump’s legal election challenges told supporters to “amplify” GOP and corporate voices that have already acquiesced to a Joe Biden win, as part of a strategy to establish Biden’s claim of election victory as a fait accompli.

The group, which calls itself “Hold The Line,” is organized around a document for planned “Civil resistance” in the event President Trump should refuse to vacate office. Its lead author, Hardy Merriman, is the president of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), and specializes in training activists to oust governments abroad, having done so most notably in the Arab Spring protests that brought the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt.

The group claims to have trained between 4,000-5,000 activists in the United States in preparation for the current election. In a conference call with supporters held Sunday night, Hold the Line organizers discussed tactics and messaging for “30 days of vigilance” with “civil resistance experts” Erica Chenowith and Maria J. Stephan, co-authors of “Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict” and whose names appear in Hold the Line’s documents.

Chenowith is a professor studying “non-violence” at the Harvard Kennedy School. Stephan is a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council, and formerly served at the United States Institute for Peace, and worked with U.S. Department of Defense and North Atlantic Treaty Organization leadership in Brussels.

Chenowith dismissed ongoing legal challenges to election irregularities as “frivolous lawsuits” and urged supporters to follow talking points to “normalize the fact” that the “voters had decided” saying, “The American people are exhausted, we want to move on.”

Opposition to the Trump camp challenging voting irregularities and incidents of alleged fraud comes even though Hold the Line’s own commitment document declares, “All eligible votes must be counted, irregularities must be promptly investigated and adjudicated, legitimate results must be respected.”

Stephan urged Hold the Line supporters to extract “commitments” from “key influencers” including elected officials, media, and interfaith groups and business leaders to “endorse the legitimacy” and “recognize the results.”

In particular Stephan called on Hold the Line to “amplify” statements from the “business community” including Business Round Table, Chamber of Commerce, and National Association of Manufacturers, “key corporate entities in this country that have all come out with strong statements congratulating President Biden and Vice-President Harris.”

Chenowith called on supporters to thank and amplify Republican voices who had “publicly acknowledged the victory and encouraged people to move on,” referencing a list of such names being shared by organizers. In particular organizers noted a statement by Pennsylvania state GOP representatives saying they would not seek to have the state legislature appoint an alternative slate of electors. In the face of mounting evidence of fraud, it seems at least some Pennsylvania GOP officials are resisting this manufactured herd.

The Hold the Line conference call with Chenowith and Stephans represents additional evidence of the disturbing role of “color revolution”-style tactics being deployed in the U.S. election by professional organizers. Taking advantage of biased early calls by media outlets, these organizers now seek to paint efforts to get to the bottom of voting irregularities and apparent fraud as illegitimate and authoritarian.

While Hold the Line claims to support the will of the people and to be defending democracy, it’s clear they intend to use sophisticated pressure tactics on various pillars of society in order to ignore the legal and constitutional process in favor of selecting presidents by media acclamation alone.

Kyle Shideler is the director and senior analyst for homeland security and counterterrorism at the Center for Security Policy. Follow Shideler on Twitter at @ShidelerK.
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