VIGIL FOR DEMOCRACY is a decentralized, grassroots effort.

Please contact the organizers in your area for additional details about events near you.

Submit a Vigil | Send us a photo or news article link

 

KEEP THE TORCH BURNING

CALLING ALL FIRST AMENDMENT PEOPLE!

GIVE YOUR RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH SOME EXERCISE EVERY WEEK ON YOUR VILLAGE GREEN, IN FRONT OF YOUR COURTHOUSE, AT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE'S OFFICE, OR ANY PERMITTED PUBLIC GATHERING SPACE.

WHY WE DO IT
"One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato*
Too many of us have spent our lives in a bubble, too busy, too tired, too distracted or disinterested to "pay attention to politics." Well, Politics, you've certainly got our attention now. Dang!
 
It's important for our friends and neighbors to see  - up close and personal, with their own eyes - that the majority of Americans do not consent to, nor will we meekly accept, attacks on our democracy or our cherished shared values of liberty, justice and equality for all.
 
When you show up every week at a vigil in your town with a message for your fellow citizens, you are no longer easy to dismiss as just part of a crowd on a flickering TV screen, somewhere far away in a big city full of  "paid protesters" ** or "dangerous radicals." ***  You are a "real American" just like them, living and working where they do, setting a courageous example of resisting what we all know is wrong. They must look you in the eye, see your signs and messages, and ask themselves where they really stand. We force our country, city by city, town by town, and village by village, to take a hard look at where we are headed if we don't turn this thing around.
 
You set the example. You make it real. You bring it home. You create the discomfort that creates introspection and change.
* That's slightly paraphrased. Here's what he actually said.
** Sorry, GOP. Bless your little hearts, we know you want so badly to believe we're being paid, but it just ain't so.
** Take a look at some of the video of the dangerous radicals who've been showing up at GOP Town Halls across the country -- man, they will put a hurtin' on you with those walkers and canes if you mouth off about trickle-down economics! And you do not want a close encounter with an oxygen tank!
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HOW TO DO IT
  1. Pick a Location.
    Does your town have a public gathering space? A park? A congressman's office? A monument, memorial, town hall or courthouse? Ask your local officials where you can peacefully assemble on a regular basis and pick a safe, high-visibility place for your group.
     
  2. Pick a Date.
    What day and time work best for your group or area? Is there another regular meeting or event that you can piggy-back off of? (If you want to avoid the predictable and unimaginative calls of "Get a job!" may we recommend lunch hours, evenings or weekends?)
     
  3. Get a Permit.
    I know, right? Bor-ing! But, don't forget to do this. You don't want to end up in the pokey or shelling out for citations. Also? The person with the permit needs to be there regularly, with the permit. Get a sense of how many people you can realistically expect to come, then, because Americans are optimists, get a permit that accommodates a few extra. Get it for as long as you can, because it looks like we could be stuck in this goat rodeo for a few months.
     
  4. Invite People.
    Invite your friends, your family, the local media, celebrities, visiting dignitaries...you get the idea. Publicize your event every week in resistance groups and on social media. Use #vigilfordemocracy to share photos, stories, and our URL vigilfordemocracy.org  (.org!!) so that others can find a vigil or start their own.
     
  5. Make a Sign.
    It's BYOS(ign), unless you're feeling generous and want to make extras for others. "RESIST!" is to the point. "Show Us the Taxes!" - always relevant. You'll find it helpful to have one that says, "WE HAVE JOBS, but thanks for your concern." Be creative. Be funny. Be smart. Be bold. It's your First Amendment, how do you want to use it?  (Flags are great too. Just be careful with the poles. As George Washington once famously said, "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye." *)
     
  6. Show Up. 
    This one's important. You should totally do this last one for sure. Don't leave the rest of us out here marching around by ourselves. Awk-ward!  Take pictures and send us your best one each week and we'll show America what democracy looks like!

 
*He didn't actually say that, but he did make this important Public Service Announcement.
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THE RULES
 
  1. Be legal.
    Check with your town or county to make sure you know the rules for peaceful assembly, then follow them.

     
  2. Be polite.
    There are enough jerks in Washington without us adding to the problem. Also, don't block traffic or sidewalks. Rude.  And potentially illegal. (See Rule #1)

     
  3. Be safe.
    If you're uncomfortable, or if someone attempts to be confrontational with you or your group, leave. (See Rule #2)

     
  4. Be peaceful.
    Violence is uncool and so not helpful. Be Martin Luther King, Jr. Be Ghandi. Make Mother Teresa seem militant by comparison.
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THE VIGILS

VIRGINIA

Front Royal

Vigil for Democracy

May-Aug: Wednesdays, 5:00p - 6:00p

Sep-Apr: Wednesdays, 12:00p-1:00p

At the Gazebo on Main Street

Contact organizer or just show up with a sign.

Staunton

Moral Mondays with SAW Action Movement

Mondays, 6:00p - 7:00p

Men's Green Thumb Park
Corner of Rt. 11 and Rt. 250, downtown

Contact organizer or check website to see this week's theme.

Winchester

Tuesdays with Babs

Tuesdays, 4pm

Barbara Comstock's Office

117 E. Piccadilly Street, Winchester VA

Contact organizer or just show up with a sign.

Woodstock

In planning phase - check back soon!

Contact organizer or just show up with a sign.

 
PHOTO GALLERY
THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!
Send us the best photo from your weekly vigil, along with your location, and we'll add you here!
(Submitting a photo constitutes consent for publication on this website. Please don't send ginormous pics - keep 'em under 1MB if possible.
Just include the location and date: ie "Front Royal VA, April 5,2017")
 
VIGILS IN THE NEWS
03/12/18 The Northern Virginia Daily's Josh Gully writes Vigil for gun violence victims draws opposing views.
03/10/18 The Royal Examiner's Roger Bianchini publishes first coverage of Gun violence vigil, counter-demonstration go off civilly.
12/15/17 02/19/18 The Royal Examiner's Roger Bianchini visits the Vigil: Flat-Trump returns to his flock as Russian influence questions mount.
12/15/17 The Royal Examiner's Roger Bianchini provides an update on the state of affairs across the Chester Street political divide.
12/06/17 The Northern Virginia Daily's  Lewis Millholland reports on the "persistent resistance" of the Vigil for Democracy
2017/08/20 Royal Examiner, Front Royal VA From Korea to Charlottesville – differing politics, differing focuses
2017/08/16 Local DVM.com: Front Royal residents come together at vigil for Charlottesville victims 
2017/05/15 Royal Examiner, Front Royal VA FBI chief firing ramps up outrage at 10th Vigil for Democracy
2017/05/11 Northern Virginia Daily Constituents criticize congressman
2017/05/07 Royal Examiner, Front Royal VA Vigil for Democracy update into third month – ‘Let’s talk’
2017/04/26 Faces of the Valley with Gary Auerbach A Facebook Live Interview with Vigil founder Len Sherp
2017/04/21 Royal Examiner, Front Royal VA An odd connection between pro and anti-Trump contingents
2017/04/20 Washington Post, Washington DC Waiting for Goodlatte: Some residents frustrated by congressman’s absence
2017/04/16 Royal Examiner, Front Royal VA Vigil for Democracy draws more support as ‘Tax Day’ approaches
2017/03/24 Royal Examiner, Front Royal VA  Better weather, better attendance at 3rd ‘Vigil for Democracy’
2017/03/17 Royal Examiner, Front Royal VA Agree or disagree with vigil’s message – Sherp is a winter warrior 
2017/03/13 Royal Examiner, Front Royal VA ‘Vigil for Democracy’ heads into second week in Front Royal
 
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Front Royal, VA

6/14/17