THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL OWS DOC. It is being posted for discussion purposes only, and may or may not be brought to the GA following an extensive consensus-building process.
Statement of horizontalism
We, the NYCGA encourage autonomous actions. We recognize that ours is a leaderless movement. We encourage everyone to use their energy as completely as possible insofar as others are not marginalized by this use of energy. We encourage the formation of processes that will dismantle systems of power both in NYCGA and beyond. We will exercise caution when dismantling these systems so as not to allow the replacement of old systems of power with similarly oppressive new systems of power.
[please help me craft a better way to express “authority.” Everyone has “authority.” I’m looking for a way to express special, exclusive, hierarchical, patriarchal, or oppressive authority.]
-We do not recognize the authority of violence or the threat of violence.
-We do not recognize the authority of traditionally dominant voices.
-We do not recognize the authority of those involved in the movement longer than others.
-We do not recognize the authority of individuals who are financially empowered, educated, or famous inside or outside of the NYCGA.
-We do not recognize the authority of those more familiar with NYCGA process.
-We do not recognize the authority of those who have made sacrifices for the movement, are more involved, or are members of working groups.
-We do not recognize the authority of facilitators or proposers.
-We do not recognize the authority of those in editorial or curatorial positions.
-We do not recognize the authority of elected officials.
-We do not recognize the authority of police, federal agents, or courts, because in any case we are operating in the spirit of the Constitution of the United States.
We will constantly dismantle systems of power that develop within our movement. When a system of power appears to intentionally or unintentionally take a position of power the process should be addressed appropriately.
The authority that the NYCGA may choose to recognize includes:
-the power of the consent of the General Assembly, and the power of our continually improved process for reaching consent.
-the authority expressly granted by the GA to advocates in single instances where the GA process will be an obstacle to our intentions (i.e. emergency legal wrangling, traveling delegations, etc.)
-the individual authority for all to act and speak autonomously so long as the actions or words are not meant to represent the NYCGA or pose a threat to safety or security of any individuals or the movement at large
-the authority of ad hoc groups acting in the spirit of the movement to address single emergency concerns of safety or security when other methods prove inadequate (i.e. addressing theft and assault)