• Our solidarity will be based on respect for a political diversity within the struggle for social, economic and environmental justice. As individuals and groups, we may choose to engage in a diversity of tactics and plans of
action but are committed to treating each other with respect and working towards a common goal of peace and justice.
• As we plan our actions and tactics, we will take care to maintain appropriate separations of time and space between divergent tactics.
• We oppose any state repression of dissent, including surveillance, infiltration, disruption, limiting our action to “free speech zones,” and violence, or attempts to divide our movement through the conscious creation of divisions regarding tactics, organization, strategies, and alliances.
• Any debates or criticisms will stay internal to the movement, avoiding any public or media denunciations of fellow activists and events."
-----Solidarity Practices by Lisa Fithian----
We are very different groups. We are not necessarily immediate allies nor are we each other’s greatest enemy. There are many things on which we do not agree. But, we will be in the streets together during the____ protests in ________. We know that the police and media are trying to divide us in order to crush our movements. Solidarity is the way in which our diversity becomes our strength, we build our movements and we protect each others’ bodies, lives and rights.
We believe we have some things in common. We believe in basic human rights and the need to live with respect and dignity. We believe we must protect this planet – our air, water, earth and food or we will all die. We believe these global corporate and political institutions are serving only the interests of the rich. We all agree it’s time for fundamental and radical change.
As we take to the streets together, let us work to be in solidarity with one another. The following suggestions offer ways in which we can make our solidarity real.
• Challenge and critique other groups and individuals in constructive ways and in a spirit of respect
• Listen without getting defensive. Be open in thinking, not rigid in positions
• Don’t make assumptions no matter what a person looks like or what groups they belong to
• Don’t assume tactics are the only way to measure militancy or radicalness
• Refrain from personal attacks, even with people whom strongly disagree. (Focus on how you feel, not what they did.)
• Understand that even though we may disagree we have come to our politics, strategies and choice of tactics through thoughtful and intelligent consideration of issues, circumstances and experiences.
• Do not intentionally put people at risk who have not chosen it
• Do not turn people over to the police
• Do not let people within our own groups interfere with other groups
• Respect the work of all medics, legal observers, independent media people
• Share food, water, medical and other supplies
• Support everyone who is hurt, gassed, shot or beaten.
• Respect other groups’ rights to do a certain type of protest at certain times and places. If you choose to participate, do so within the tone and tactics they set. If you do not agree, do not participate in that protest or bring another protest into that time and space.
• Understand that our actions and tactics have repercussions that go beyond ourselves and our immediate groups. And that some tactics overrun the space of others.
• If you choose to negotiate with the police, never do so for other groups to which you are not a part.
• Do not denounce other demonstrators.
• Talk about your strategy, not others.
• Acknowledge other groups’ existence and role they play in creating change
• Acknowledge that we sometimes disagree about strategy and tactics.
• Avoid using the word violence
• Condemn police repression and brutality
• Share media contacts and do not monopolize the media’s attention
Jail Solidarity: No one is free until everybody is free.
- We oppose all forms of oppression whether it be based on race, gender, sexual preference, age, ability or more. We commit to work toward the liberation of ourselves and all people.
- Occupy Chicago is committed to nonviolence and nonviolent direct actions. We hope that groups may respect our position on this just as we will respect the views of all groups working towards social, economic and environmental justice.
- Posts: 56
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Occupy National Strategy Discussion
FOR WHO: Occupiers who have an opinion on the role of violence in the movement. Those who are concerned about the cohesion of the movement. Anyone who wants to get a better understanding of occupy strategy.
PURPOSE: Recent events in Oakland have shown to us that we are all effected by what happens at any one occupy. The issues raised there are issues that every large city is dealing with in some capacity. There is a need for us to discuss as a community how we see the movement moving forward together.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THIS CALL
http://myaccount.maestroconference.com/ ... SP53LRGECJ
Relevant links for the discussion:
http://www.beyondchron.org/news/index.p ... =9858#more
http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issu ... ha-Neumann
http://motherjones.com/mojo/2012/01/occ ... ther-roots
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/3 ... aily+Brief
http://blackorchidcollective.wordpress. ... /#more-670
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/fe ... ?fb=optOut
1) The livestream archive of the debate in Oakland between nonviolence and DOT in which Starhawk was a panelist and which she referred to during Sunday's call.
2) I believe Occupy Oakland's DOT position was decided before there was an encampment (October 10). What is pasted below is an old link; the OO website has been undergoing redesign and I can't find the DOT now. I don't know if there is any other documentation available.
3) There were several attempts in November to adopt an amended "St. Paul principles" for Occupy Oakland but the proposal was tabled.
4) The Proposal on 'Action Agreements' which I believe was the last of six "nonviolence" proposals and presented at the OO GA on November 20, 2011. It was written by a group of about 15 people who met spontaneously after a GA where another nonviolence proposal had been withdrawn, only a couple of weeks. I was one of the authors of this proposal. It failed by a vote of 33% YES, 60% NO, 8% STAND ASIDE. This proposal by design did not mention the "v" word. One of the primary reasons the proposers thought it failed was because the people who were showing up at the GAs were more likely to be DOT advocates as they were organized to mobilize their allies to attend/"pack" the GAs when nonviolent proposals were going to be presented and peak and vote against them, and many of those who supported a nonviolent approach had been scared away by the Black Bloc-type behavior on November 2 and didn't continue their involvement in OO and discouraged others from getting involved. The proposers did not know which GA the proposal was going to be on the GA agenda nor did they have the organization or time to mobilize enough people that would have been enough to pass the proposal (would have needed 1,000 or so) at the time.
(Old link http://occupyoakland.org/2011/11/genera ... solutions/)
3) On October 31, 2011 and November 13, 2011 the proposal below on "diversity of tactics" was tabled;
We propose that the GA adopt the modified St. Paul principles to guide future actions
1. Our solidarity will be based on respect for a diversity of tactics and the plans of other groups. Over the years, "diversity of tactics" has come to be euphemism for window smashing. This is not what we mean by diversity of tactics. We support a true diversity of tactics. For example, lockdowns in front of corporations, mass marches, wheatpasting flyers on walls, militantly occupying the lobbies and offices of corporations we are protesting, and refusing to move when police try to evict our encampment.
2. The actions and tactics used will be organized to maintain a separation of time or space. We feel that this is fairly obvious. For example, if the Children's Brigade was planning to march on Bank of America, it would be counterproductive to stage a lock down there at the same time. Tactics should be highly specific to the immediate goals and the political and cultural context as well as accountable to long term strategies. We encourage conversations that promote an understanding of strategy and long term goals and being critical and thoughtful about the use of tactics while holding ourselves accountable for our choices.
3. We will not contribute to the corporate media's portrayal of a "divided" movement by denouncing fellow activists and events. It is important for us to continue to discuss tactics and strategies so that we can continue to grow and learn from our mistakes and strengths. We can have those discussions without directly feeding the corporate media that attempts to exploit perceived divisions within our movement. we can choose to focus the direction of the conversation in media interviews to highlight solidarity and what we are fighting for.
[Note: Original St Paul Principle #3 is "Any debates or criticisms will stay internal to the movement, avoiding any public or media denunciations of fellow activists and events."]
4. We oppose any state repression of dissent, including surveillance, infiltration, disruption and violence. We agree not to assist law enforcement actions against activists and others. This general assembly has resolved in the past to keep police out of the encampment, and this principle echoes this resolution.
See http://occupyoakland.org/2011/11/ga-minutes-11-13-11/ for the results.
4) Proposal on 'Action Agreements'
We Occupy Oakland believe in agreements that allow for a diversity of participants from the 99% needed to build a strategic mass movement that is radically inclusive and capable of standing up to and overthrowing the rule of the 1% and to advance an agenda of national and global political, economic and social systems and processes that meet human and ecological needs and not corporate greed;
We make agreements about how we take action together at our General Assemblies, beyond which individuals and groups are autonomous. We are not addressing here any philosophical or political requirements or judgements about the validity of some tactics over others, just minimal agreements to create a basis of trust to work together and participate in as diverse communities, to know what to expect from each other and consent to our involvement in and support of our actions.
Therefore, be it resolved that:
Occupy Oakland action participants agree not to engage in physical assaults against other people, except as one chooses in the case of self-defense or the defense of Occupy Oakland action participants or innocent bystanders from physical threats and assaults; and
Occupy Oakland participants agree not to engage in destruction or damage of physical property; and
Occupy Oakland shall not deem the following to be considered as property destruction or damage: measures taken to access, enter, maintain and/or physically secure vacant buildings, empty lots or other spaces such as public parks, so as to engage in or make habitable an occupation of such buildings, lots or public spaces; and
While Occupy Oakland recognizes that some individuals or groups may nevertheless engage in activities that are not in accordance with the above definition, those who do so will be acting autonomously and not in the name of Occupy Oakland.
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LF: Want to hear from you. What are your goals for the call?
Eric: Some people seem to wanting to treat this as some sort of
debate. I'm for a training and empathy program. Some people walk
around triggered. But the combination of helping people get clear,
rather than a debate/discussion. For me, a call would be a planning
discussion. There's already a NVC/Empathy call. I see this call as
one to roll out a strategy rather than a debate.
Greg: Was on the Oakland march Saturday, felt embarrassed. Most were
restrained, a small but vocal group wanted to antagonize. We need to
have a NV moment. The problem with having a training tend to attract
those people who tend towards NV. We need to do some sort of outreach
towards those who might tend towards being counterproductive. There
has to be some sort of mediators for protest marches.
DR from Eric: If there's education, we could attract people who are
not already committed.
DR from Ambrose: IMO, the discussion about DOT, having seen that be
very effective for those who want to advocate property destruction.
Taking about it isn't nearly as disciplined action. Trying to
convince the DOT people isn't as effective strategy.
SH: There's a belief that if people knew more about NV, that would
automatically get them to agree with a NV approach. People have
different belief systems. I often hear that, when people [don't?] know
what other people's motivations are, they want to be destructive. But
we don't often know what their motivation is. The debate isn't about
getting people who disagree with you, it's about hearing both sides.
One idea for a call is to have discussion and debate and get people to
really hear each other. Another goal would be education, another to
get an overarching agreement.
DR from Jo Robin: I'm not a person who's associated with NV as a
strategy, though I've studied it. I see a tendency among those who
practice violence just don't know enough about NV. I'm curious why
people take the perspective that we all have to be aligned with NV.
[Stopped taking DRs because of time constraints]
Cliff: Don't know to organize the call for next week. Explore how NV
can be more effective. One organizing tool could be to encourage
people to share their declarations about NV, probably more effective
at smaller GAs.
Janet (Oakland): Live in Oakland, went to the very first org meeting
for OO, and was very concerned from the beginning about the
adversarial approach to organizing OO. Spent time at OWS and it was
very different once it got started. Figure out who the audience for
this call would be. One idea would be how does DOT serve the Occupy
movement, or does it serve the Occupy movement.
Suzanne Jones: We can't really be sure what people want. I'm a
facilitator on the regular daily call that Greg is talking about.
It's one thing to talk about it and it's another to be in an
environment of NV. With all due respect, that decision won't work for
a lot of people.
Evan: I agree with SH. I don't understand and I want to understand
that, if it's an open forum where people can make their arguments how
history has shown how violence has been affected. So if DOT becomes
an agenda item and the varying tactics become an education, because I
want to see an argument for violence.
Mariette: My comment is about addressing NV as an action. Whether
it's being through meditation or other things, maybe people can get
behind peaceful power as a platform for DA. I like how some of the
conversation ????, and how do we regard the words, and how do we get
the action that's most important?
Kelvin (Chicago): Here in Chicago, we pledged to be a NV movement.
Conversation often seems to be that since we have a common agreement,
we have to honor all strategies. Tactics in isolation. Would like to
see in discussion on the relationship with the police. As people face
more and more repression from police, people seem to be more
comfortable with NV tactics.
Pamela: There's a documentary called Resist or Die. At the 52 minute
mark…. Also, Richard Stengle spoke in his book about Nelson Mandela.
To resist the leader in the NCA, says that you have one principle; you
embrace that principle and everything else is tactics. ON the NV
site, there's role play between a protestor who wants to employ
Devin: Saw the video, someone I knew there said that people did acts
of violence directed towards someone active in the movement. It
showed that me that those there's a need to develop a tactic. It's
incumbent upon us to develop some way of having justice within the
movement without having to turn to the police. There are tons of more
effective ways. Building a movement through solutions rather than
just identifying problems.
Liza: Have we defined what non-violence is? Having followed the
revolutions in Egypt, Africa, Greece, NV in terms of a tactic and DA
doesn't necessarily mean no action. It seems we're not on the same
page that if a policeman is going to hit you, you can't do anything to
defend yourself. One of the things that worries me about OWS is that
we don't have a security group. In Egypt, Jan 25. even though with
all those rocks and shields, they were considering themselves non-
Cal (Oakland): I'm on the Oakland GA facilitation team, and working
to change the GA processes, both for decision making and conversation,
to balance our masculine and feminine processes. And then begin work
on vision, principles, purpose, missions, etc..
Oakland is complex. People in OO can't agree what's considered
violence. Some feel that throwing a bottle at a police officer or
inflicting property damage isn't violent. The attitude that the
police are always wrong. With several attempts, they haven't been
able to pass a resolution on non-violence (last attempt only 33% were
Oakland is, to some degree, isolated. For example, no committee of
correspondence. Give this, I'm Interested in how we can get supported
by other Occupies.
Melanie: Surprised that we're talking about this after the violence.
Going up against the 99%, violence was inevitable. Address how
divisive. The powers-that-be are lying in wait so that they can use
propaganda and evidence against is. Important community-wise to
understand what NV is. [Talked about self-defense.]
Logan: Want to use Wall Street as the target as opposed to the
police. Those of us who have been through training haven't been
stepping up. One thing was effective was the action to shut down the
stock exchange. Use the PR and media, get on the same page at once,
make it more transparent. If we're going to be approaching stuff. We
can't approach it from the philosophical angle, we need to also do it
from the justice angle and the media. We have to hold accountable the
broader movement. It feels they've been left behind by the movement.
What does actual justice look like, not just hold our own people
accountable, hold the police as well.
Suzanne (other suzanne): Part of my intention for this call was to
hear SH and LF was that they have a lot of experience with diversity
and how can we deal with the divide in the movement. For this week,
how are we going to respond to the press in a way that supports what
happened in Oakland, and bring a broader scope of people into the
movement. Would love hear SH talk about that.
Jovanni: I think it's important to take a step back and realize the
role that the police have, and that the police will never be a social
force. Self-determination is based on movement. Remember that
infiltrators... Bringing us back to the essence of the feminine,
divinity, all colors, all genders.
Carol Hilson: One of the things that might be helpful to have on the
agenda is the distinction the term protective use of force, the least
amount of force possible to protect life. An example is a seaman who
rams his boat into other boats to protect life, yes, it's a form of
violence used to protect.
SH: Want to get into the next call. i think we as a movement need to
have a discussion, not just one national call, but perhaps one for
every Occupy. In OO in December, we had a forum with 3 of us, How
are we going to have a movement that we have solidarity, and then we
have to be able to say that was some stupid shit we did. Also
acknowledge that we're angry, so what are the ways that we can express
and honor that anger, but not necessarily make the strategic decisions
out of that anger. I don't think in one call, we're going to come up
with an agreement for the entire Occupy movement, nor should we. How
can we carry on this discussion that's respectful, and then make some
decisions that's gonna move us forward.
LF: One of the things that's important is that we all keep breathing
and keep things in perspective. What do we do with our reaction to a
bottle thrown. Knowing our history is fundamental. How does even our
culture. To mention that the trauma in the streets, and also the
generational trauma. The ability to have that compassion and open
To have an open forum to respectfully listen, with the intention to
move the community forward with deeper understanding.
- There needs to be a piece of the history of the culture.
- A piece of definition
- A piece of debate, share strategies
- Spectogram of different strategic ????
- Discussions in larger groups
- Police/media accountability, differing perspectives on the
- Consequence of our tactics - traumatize, media
- Discipline and accountability, media perpetuate myth
I circulated principles of solidarity. Don't need to reach agreement,
but explore our behaviors, have some of that conversation.
How we move forward from an organizing perspective around strategies.
Actions that model and move us forward
Vote for having the all this weekend or next weekend: 10 for this
weekend, 7 for next weekend.
We'll figure out the time and post before thet weekend.
End of call.
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