2017 January 21st Collective Action

Hey everyone!

We at the HONK! committee have been thinking a lot recently about what our president-elect means for our community of HONK! musicians and activists (as have many others, of course). In that spirit, those of us on the committee thought it would be awesome if we could find a way to come together to show support and solidarity with the many amazing activist organizations and social movements with which we are connected – especially as many of these organizations are currently trying to welcome new people into their ranks. To that end, the committee would like to propose that we, as HONK! musicians, come together to coordinate a set of independently organized actions, that would happen on the same day in our own communities.


  • A decentralized, simultaneous show of solidarity and support by activist brass bands around the country (and internationally, if you feel so inclined!)
  • Brass bands would coordinate and plan actions with local activist organizations with which they are connected (perhaps to help welcome new people, and build momentum as a consequence of the election)


  • As previously mentioned, we think it would be nice to demonstrate some solidarity with the various social movements/activist groups we are all connected to in this moment, as we start to think about the work ahead in the coming years
  • We especially would love to elevate the voices of oppressed communities, those who have been marginalized already and will continue to be in the next four years. This includes a desire to work organizations led by People of Color, Queer leaders, Genderqueer leaders, Indigenous leaders, Female-identifying leaders and socioeconomically disadvantaged folks, among others – especially if they have been organizing for a while pre-election.


  • January 21st
  • Many people may be in Washington D.C., and we’d encourage people to do something there (perhaps even together!)
  • Many communities outside of Washington D.C. appear to be planning to take action that day too, so it seems like a good opportunity to connect with local organizations, no matter where you might be.


  • Bands would work with any local group/organization they want to, and plan to do some sort of action
    • We would all do it on the same day, around the same time, if possible.
    • The format – busking, a fundraiser, a march – is really up to each band to figure out themselves with the organizations they choose to work with. Do as you would like to!
  • One hope for the event, to connect us across geographical divides
    • During the event, at some point, every band would play one particular song/hymn, unifying us across time and space.
    • Our suggestion for a tune would be this, but if you have other suggestions, let us know!
  • Preferably there would be someone to document (with film/photo) the event. Then, we could stitch together a video to post on Youtube (from the HONK! festival account maybe?) showing the solidarity of our community across the country.

This idea is very heavily based on an action idea that came up at the HONK! festival this year, from a breakout group during our working session on activism within brass bands. For the most part, this is just applying that group’s idea in this specific domain. So we would like to thank you for bringing this idea to our community.

With deep love and gratitude,
The HONK! Committee