New grassroots group looks to mobilize resistance to Project 2025

Jay W. Walker facilitates a question from Jennifer Flynn Walker.
Jay W. Walker facilitates a question from Jennifer Flynn Walker during the town hall.
Donna Aceto

A town hall at the LGBT Center in Manhattan on Dec. 17 signaled the launch of a new grassroots organization, Stop the Coup 2025, which is rapidly organizing to educate and mobilize the fight against a Project 2025 plan led by the Heritage Foundation to dismantle the administrative state if a Republican candidate wins the 2024 presidential election.

Conservative groups and individuals involved in Project 2025 have produced a 920-page manifesto detailing their plans to further eradicate freedoms that Americans take for granted. The document is laced with hateful language, lamenting about what it describes as “the toxic normalization of transgenderism” and “drag queens and pornography invading… school libraries.” The document describes Project 2025 as “the conservative movement’s unified effort to be ready for the next conservative administration” and states that its goal “is to assemble an army of aligned, vetted, trained, and prepared conservatives to go to work on Day One.”

Activists voiced their disdain for that plan at the Stop the Coup 2025 town hall, which offered two panels of four and three speakers, respectively. The event was co-hosted by author and longtime activist Anne-christine d’Adesky (ACT UP, Lesbian Avengers), whose vision launched Stop the Coup 2025, and Jay W. Walker, a well-known New York anti-fascist organizer active with Rise and Resist and Gays Against Guns.

Reginald Thomas Brown, Jesse Daniels, and Jay W. Walker.
Reginald Thomas Brown, Jesse Daniels, and Jay W. Walker.Donna Aceto

The audience of around 200 people — 75 in-person and more online — listened attentively to the speakers and asked pertinent questions. After the speakers’ presentations, in-person attendees separated into breakout groups, coming back together to share actions points for stopping the far right.

Eric Sawyer takes notes during a breakout group session.
Eric Sawyer takes notes during a breakout group session.Donna Aceto

Communities for activists to focus educational outreach on in preparation for the 2024 election include youth voters ages 18-21, women — especially women of color — and Arab-American communities in New York City and in Michigan.

Undergirding Project 2025 are the extreme religious beliefs of a rightwing minority whose organizing principles undercut the separation of church and state and threaten school boards for reasonable responses to the realities of queer youth and for the protection of transgender children through age-appropriate gender-affirming care. Project 2025’s manifesto says the next conservative president “must champion the core American value of religious freedom” and should train USAID staff “on the connection between religious freedom and development” while integrating it into the agency’s programs.

Using homosexuality and the threat of unbridled immigration as culture war weapons, the far right also promotes an unpopular national abortion ban and an end to marriage equality. The Project 2025 document goes as far as saying that “social science reports” favor outcomes for children raised in heterosexual homes and dismisses marriage equality by insisting that “the average length of same-sex marriages is half that of heterosexual marriages.”

This first meeting of Stop the Coup 2025 is designed as a model to educate voters who are unaware of the depth of the right’s authoritarian plans and by offering a forum for coalition building.

Vivian Farmery is a longtime NYC trauma social worker, professor and activist. Alexis Danzig is a queer activist and nonviolent direct action trainer.