Principles of Solidarity

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[This is a living document]

The following Principles of Solidarity have been adopted by the NYC General Assembly as “a living document” that will be revised through the democratic process of the NYCGA.

On September 17, 2011, people from all across the United States of America and the world came to protest the blatant injustices of our times perpetuated by the economic and political elites. On the 17th we as individuals rose up against political disenfranchisement and social and economic injustice. We spoke out, resisted, and successfully occupied Wall Street. Today, we proudly remain in Liberty Square constituting ourselves as autonomous political beings engaged in non-violent civil disobedience and building solidarity based on mutual respect, acceptance, and love. It is from these reclaimed grounds that we say to all Americans and to the world: Enough! How many crises does it take? We are the 99% and we have moved to reclaim our mortgaged future.

Through a direct democratic process, we have come together as individuals and crafted these principles of solidarity, which are points of unity that include, but are not limited to:

Engaging in direct and transparent participatory democracy;
Exercising personal and collective responsibility;
Recognizing individuals’ inherent privilege and the influence it has on all interactions;
Empowering one another against all forms of oppression;
Redefining how labor is valued;
The sanctity of individual privacy;
The belief that education is human right; and
Endeavoring to practice and support wide application of open source.
We are daring to imagine a new socio-political and economic alternative that offers greater possibility of equality. We are consolidating the other proposed principles of solidarity, after which demands will follow.

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  • Lauren SC

    I have one serious criticism of the “Principles”:
    The bit about…
    “Recognizing individuals’ inherent privilege and the influence it has on all interactions”
    is unnecessarily divisive, actually promotes bigotry, and does nothing to improve the dialogue.

    The practical effect of “recognizing” “inherent privilege” will be to license the devaluation of speech based on gender and race (e.g. the suggestions of a white male may be marginalized simply by “recognizing” that the race and gender of the speaker is based in privilege).

    If you want to create demographic friction, embracing this point is precisely the way to do it. If, on the other hand, you want each PERSON to feel equally welcome and empowered by this movement, and you want all people to feel united in their struggle, then this one point should be abandoned.

    A simple truth: if you want a conversation to remain respectful, and the participants to feel unified in purpose, then do not introduce race, religion or gender except where absolutely necessary. Here it was clearly not necessary. Even when the issue itself is racial justice, even there, I want to hear the opinions of all, white black or mixed, with equal respect and granted equal time. And all must feel their voices ARE equal, especially when dealing with such issues, if we want any kind of solidarity in our response.

    Women are not the 99%. Whites are not the 99% Native-Americans are not the 99%. Rather, We The PEOPLE are the 99%.

    It would help to focus on that, and not get caught up in the game of assigning different levels of moral authority based on demographics.

    And to those who would try to automatically dismiss this criticism itself as being the product of privilege or self-interest : I personally belong to a number of the most oppressed, least privileged, minority groups, and would have the most to gain by marginalizing those “of privilege”. But I simply believe my voice is worth no more, and no less, than a white male voice. And I want to stand side by side with all other occupy supporters as one people, not argue with them over demographic victimization. That is not asking for too much. And it will bring out the best in all of us.