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Fresh from the massive success of the National Equality March, organizers of the newly formed Equality Across America have been inspired to take action locally. In some cities, CDATs have already mobilized since the Oct. 11, 2009 march to fight a gay bashing (Queens, NY), to challenge transgender exclusion from a local bar (Chicago, IL) and to protest outside a fundraiser for President Obama (Boston, MA) demanding that he act on his promises.
In the spirit of building on this momentum, Equality Across America has called for a Week of Initiative (WOI), Nov. 1-8, 2009. Given the varying strengths and weaknesses of each chapter, known as Congressional District Action Teams (CDATs, though each group has chosen its own name), the aim of the WOI is for each local chapter to take whatever kind of action that week that would amount to a step forward toward developing a cohesive team of grassroots activists and new leaders.
For the WOI, chapters are planning a wide range of activities from film screenings, protests, sit-ins, teach-ins and in places where no chapter currently exists folks are gathering that week to hold an initial organizing meeting. For example, since the current wave of struggle began in the wake of the passage of California's Prop 8 that reversed equal marriage rights in that state on Election Day, Nov. 4, 2008, many chapters are organizing an anniversary protest for Nov. 4, 2009 that will also be in response to the referenda on marriage in both Maine and Washington State. In keeping with the spirit of solidarity expressed at the National Equality March, some chapters are linking their actions to local labor and budget cuts struggles in their areas, such as in San Diego, CA and Gainesville, FL.
Given the colossal success of the march that would have been impossible without local initiative and newly developing leadership, CDATs are encouraged to shape their own strategies and actions based on their members' active participation. We only ask that local groups that want to collaborate with others nationally for these kinds of common initiatives join Equality Across America on our Web site, keep us posted about your local activities and widely publicize in your local media and social networks-online and off.
The march on Oct. 11, 2009 proved that grassroots activism can inspire and mobilize masses--let's keep up the fight Nov. 1-8, 2009!