Principles of Solidarity Draft 4 (expanded version of draft 3 which reached GA consensus on 9/23)

Posted by & filed under .

PRINCIPLES OF SOLIDARITY [Working draft 10/25/2011]

On September 17, 2011 we as individuals rose up against political corruption and social and economic injustice. We spoke out, resisted, and successfully occupied Wall Street. Today, we proudly remain in Liberty Plaza and are constituting ourselves as autonomous political beings, engaging in non-violent civil disobedience, and building solidarity based on mutual respect, acceptance, and love.

Using a direct democratic process we have come together as individuals to craft these Principles of Solidarity. These points of unity are the foundation for us to strengthen the values of human cooperation. We believe in:

• direct, participatory, and transparent democracy and the will of the people to govern;

• a consensus based decision making process;

• empowering one another against all forms of oppression and marginalization;

• making quality education, housing, and health care free and accessible for all;

• valuing people before profits and eliminating the exploitation of labor;

• full rights for all people, regardless of document and citizenship status, sexual preference, or gender identity;

• a sustainable human activity in harmony with nature;

• personal or collective responsibility, as applicable, regarding our actions;

• the freedom of expression, the right to assemble, and autonomous privacy in person and in electronic media;

• ending the commercialization of culture and science;

• practicing and supporting wide application of open source technologies;

• eliminating all debt and recognizing it as a form of bondage;

• the importance of revolutionary culture in effecting radical social change; and

• accepting a plurality of principles by knowing we are a variety of backgrounds, visions, actions, and voices.

Let us nurture and grow our Solidarity every instant of our lives. Our movement against greed and corruption can only be measured by the strength of our solidarity. Our solidarity is our promise to accompany each other in the process of our collective liberation. Our most crucial point of unity is our dedication to each other as we strive to embody the society we long to create.

*Solidarity is… to be in solidarity with another is to share the same risks to the best of your ability…

Let’s remember, our solidarity is precious. Our solidarity is our strength and it depends on each one of us. Our solidarity will be difficult and require us to be patient. Our solidarity must be built on understanding each other and recognizing that centuries of violent divisions continue to separate us. This is why our solidarity must also respond to the urgent injustices within our communities. Our solidarity requires humility and gratitude. If we believe that we are fortunate to be able to walk this path back to our humanity, let us show it in our bold acts of solidarity. Let us march, let us listen, let us occupy, let us love, let us create, let us be- Together, in Solidarity!

Code of Solidarity:

We will represent the peace and justice that we want to create in the world with the way we treat each other and consider it necessary for all radical change.

We will respect each other’s differences and embrace our diversity as wealth.

We will collectively acknowledge the profound violence of our history of genocide, slavery, and prejudice that continues to oppress us in the present.

We will recognize the brutal inequalities we face and come together to seek healing and actively demonstrate our dedication to equality.

We will strive to understand the complex web of privilege, responsibility and oppression that affect us all to be able to understand our challenges and be effective in creating change.

When those of us facing immediate pain and danger ask for our support, we will respond to the best of our ability.

We will seek to mirror the justice we desire by sharing as much as possible the same risks and pains in the struggle.

We will seek to understand each other and support each other in our process of liberation.

We will listen to each other with patience and respect.

We will support each other in respecting the environment.

We will support all other non-violent occupations, protests, and actions worldwide that empower people against governmental, political, and economic oppression

We will ~ (then we could get more specific about how we interact with the world, i.e.)

We will strive to support our people economically by putting our resources where they are most needed.

We will acknowledge the injustice of the prison industrial complex and establish contacts with movements going on inside and outside prisons to offer our support.

We will recognize the need to build relationships with the like-minded people and organizations in the places destroyed by American wars, policies and military occupations.

We are daring to imagine a new sociopolitical and economic alternative that offers greater possibility of equality. Our success will depend on our solidarity with one another in this occupation and with all other non-violent occupations, active participation in local communities, fairness in our approach to direct democracy, and the maintenance of a nonhierarchical structure, where each of us is empowered to lead, but where no one one person is the leader or voice of the occupation and greater movement.

We are, today, in the midst of an important time in history. We seek enhanced, genuine, and radical democratization. We will amplify each other’s voices! We will be heard! We are revolution!



****note: I set the editing to this doc for doc creator only because it would be impossible to consolidate everyone’s suggestions if edits are made in the doc itself, keep in mind I will NOT be editing this doc myself either! Please copy and paste the parts you are editing in the comments section. Also, if you want to edit the whole thing just copy and paste it in comments. Thanks!

18 Responses to “Principles of Solidarity Draft 4 (expanded version of draft 3 which reached GA consensus on 9/23)”

  1. kelley

    the poetics on this doc are a new edition-let us know what you think!

  2. Shaista Husain

    Hi Kelley, i think there should be progressive facilitation on this document to included underrepresented voices, people of color and undocumented workers as well as more women in general, voices who have NOT been heard. There is a tendency for certain people to continue arguing their own edits and continue making more and more edits, with no regard for participation of others.

    • John McG

      Shaista, if you think that people are underrepresented, than you must contact them and convince them to represent themselves. We are all listening. Voices cannot be heard if they are not speaking. Instead of telling us to shut up, get others to speak up. Sorry about being so blunt, but even though I am a middle-aged white guy with a job, I also am a human, and I overcame decades of painful shyness to become the opinionated asshole that I am. I do know what it is like to be taken advantage of by bullies, and I finally discovered the only way to overcome it is to assert yourself.
      Not as humbly as I used to be, John McG

      • Shaista Husain

        Thanks John, i do sympathize you, dear comrade. This document has undergone several changes, now we must try to not get into arguments with each other, for the sake of process and transparency. One edit and we will hold a meeting to include as many voices as possible. I don’t want to see this breakdown into one to one arguments. Just make your edit, post and come to a meeting.
        Lets respect one another and value each other’s input, even the ones not here yet.
        in solidarity,

        • John McG

          Thanks for understanding, I try to understand where you are coming from too, and I do value your input.
          In solidarity, John

          • chappell howard

            i do agree with shaista
            in regards to some sort of progressive facilitation… not only are there those of us who are underrepresented due to ethnicity, age etc., but there are economic constraints as well… people who can not easily acces the web to access these documents.

            for instance, i printed up this document on october 20th, of 2011. read it, and made comments on editorial issues, and today is the first day i’ve had the time to re-access this group page.

            my notes are completely irrelevant at this moment, as the document has changed so radically… but i wish to register them here, to feel as if i am participating, even if symbolically.

            “we speak on behalf of our abundant and good earth, so brutally exploited… ” i felt we should address our complicity in this exploitation and that we seek means amongst ourselves to redress this complicity.

            “we exclude only the excluders, those who demonize others [AND ENGAGE IN MORTAL COMBAT?], who refuse the _discipline_ of non-violence, tolerance, facts and reasons.”
            (while i feel i understand what is being said here, i think the language lacks clarity. discipline is underlined because the argument should be posed in the terms of discipline and not refusal of said disciplines)

            “as voices of a an interdependent world … or [self-defeating > XENOPHOBIC] fears.”

            i have not yet read the new document, which seems much longer -which isn’t always better- and i pray i can get online tomorrow with some of the voices that have expressed to me a feeling of being marginalized and silenced …

            with respect to all,
            we are growing together, and this is a wonderful time to be alive with hope for the world.

  3. Shaista Husain

    Kelley which document is the latest working draft–i am assuming it is this one, and directing folks here, but i may be wrong. There is a slight confusion -with dates and numbers. Please kindly clarify.

  4. John McG

    I don’t think it is smart to call things “free” “Universal healthcare and education” makes more sense to me if you don’t want to talk about the government, otherwise I would go with “government funded healthcare and education.” or “fully funded” or something like that.

  5. John McG

    I am not for ending the commercialization of art and science. Artists and scientists have to eat, and both fields use expensive equipment. If you have another way to fund art and science, please put it forward as a positive statement. Otherwise, why are art and science being singed out?

    • Rich Woytowich

      I’m new to this group – my response may not reflect the consensus view – but I’m an engineer who has been involved in some research. Commercial SUPPORT for DOING science is not the problem. Commercialization of the RESULTS of scientific research IS. A great discovery is useless if it cannot be freely shared. There is a patent system, but filing for a patent means disclosing the details of what you’ve found – so in many cases, no patent application is filed. Research findings are kept as trade secrets. Researchers are forced to keep quiet about their discoveries to anyone outside the company, or face a lawsuit that would ruin them. This makes it impossible for other researchers to build on those discoveries.
      Then there are always those nasty agreements that scientific and technical people have to sign, saying that anything we discover during our employment is the property of our employer.
      I think these are problems worth addressing.

      Maybe an artist can add something about what’s going on in that field.

  6. John McG

    The code of solidarity needs some kind of intro to link it to the principles.

  7. Amittai Aviram

    In the Principles of Solidarity, I do not quite understand “eliminating all debt and recognizing it as a form of bondage.” I think debts and repayments can be beneficial, healthy, and necessary, but I understand the need to say something here about debt and bondage. Perhaps the language could be more precise? For instance, inserting the term “unrealistic” or “excess” after “eliminating”? I think this principle is gone from the latest draft anyway.

    • Amittai Aviram

      … Or “excessive” or “unreasonable”? (Cf. “unreasonable search and seizure.”)

  8. John Hoffman

    //eliminating all debt and recognizing it as a form of bondage//
    In order to reduce debt and deficits you need to understand what the effects of inflation, disinflation, and deflation are on debt. For example Inflation helps to pay off debt, and therefore increases the value interest rate of any loan.

    Perhaps the best thing anyone should no is that without debt, and the process of borrowing&lending our economy would essentially collapse into a feudal social order. In brief anyone whom is familiar with economics, would probably look at this proposal and assume that the author lacks some fundamental knowledge. Therefore this proposal should be changed to ” Make it easier for individuals and financial institutions to pay off debt”.

  9. Charlie Grapski

    Is the objective here and now to revise the wording or change the substance of this document? Or both?

  10. Charlie Grapski

    I am having a hard time with this version. It seems to be trying to do too much. It is all over the place.

    I don’t think it has any central focus.

    What is its primary purpose (I could see one before – but now it is lost as it seems to go beyond that earlier point).

  11. Jon Good

    I agree with charlie that this version is far too long and less understandable. Longer documents make things worse because
    1) each item becomes less powerful when swimming in a sea of other items
    2) any time something is specifically mentioned, it implies the exclusion of things not mentioned.