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Occupy Oregon Assembly and Principles

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:30 am
by Ross
I offer these principles, derived from the SPP, as a base to develop a set of principles that are Occupy Oregon, Occupy Eugene specific.
Occupy Oregon Assembly and Principles
1. the solidarity of the occupy movement will be based on appreciation for a diversity of tactics and the plans of other groups and individuals that believe in the basic and natural rights of all humans and our earth, and are committed to non violent assembly and protest in regards to life and limb.
2. the actions and tactics used by Occupy Oregon will be organized to best assure that above mentioned solidarity, by avoiding conflicts of action, while incorporating a maximum amount of support through direct and indirect participation in those actions whenever possible and appropriate, and when simultaneous actions are initiated, always working in solidarity and doing everything possible to avoid conflicts in timing and space.
3. Occupy Oregon recommends and asks that all condescending debates or criticisms will stay internal to the movement, avoiding any public or media denunciations of fellow activists, groups and events. This specifically includes Face Book and other social media sites. It is recommended that such concerns be kept on Occupy Websites, Affinity Group meet ups, Committee and General Assembly meetings and in person.
4. Natural rights inherent in people. We declare that all people, when they form a social compact are equal in right: that all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; and they have at all times a right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper.– Assemblages of people; instruction of representatives; application to legislature. No law shall be passed restraining any of the inhabitants of the State from assembling together in a peaceable manner to consult for their common good; nor from instructing their Representatives; nor from applying to the Legislature for redress of grievances - Occupy Oregon, opposes any state repression of these rights to assemble in dissent and in protest; including surveillance,infiltration, disruption and violence. We agree not to assist law enforcement actions against activist groups or individuals for their participation in these rights to assemble in dissent and protest.

We. the people of Oregon, representing the 99% are apposed to concentrated wealth and concentrated power, and we assemble/occupy together in peaceful protest. And over the past four months there has been much discussion about what it means to be peaceful. Marching on a city councilors home on Christmas. Oh this was the end of OE, if you ask Gordon and a handful of others. Then again, we could ask this young Tibetan Monk that same question. Well maybe not, because Phuntsong, a young Tibetan Buddhist monk, dies after setting himself ablaze. He gave his life for freedom.
Maybe Councilor Poling would be a bit more moved by such an action on his front lawn. Instead of Tent Monsters and Plastic Wrapped women, we should stage the ultimate sacrifice on his lawn. But would this be a Non Peaceful protest? Are we going to say that this young monk acted with aggression and hostility? That he did not act in solidarity with the Movement for Freedom and the Rights of all Humans? Or did he demonstrate the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom, liberty, and natural basic human rights for all? Should we condemn his actions or are we going to chant his name and ask for half the commitment that he demonstrated?
from the NY Times, Mr. Gene Sharp, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and said designer of the Peaceful Protest Play Book used in Egypt last year, has this to say "....Based on studies of revolutionaries like Gandhi, nonviolent uprisings, civil rights struggles, economic boycotts and the like, he has concluded that advancing freedom takes careful strategy and meticulous planning, advice that Ms. Ziada said resonated among youth leaders in Egypt. Peaceful protest is best, he says — not for any moral reason, but because violence provokes autocrats to crack down. “If you fight with violence,” Mr. Sharp said, “you are fighting with your enemy’s best weapon, and you may be a brave but dead hero.”

While I personally cannot condone the act of suicide, I must appreciate the actions of those Monks, giving their lives up for freedom, and so I join with them in solidarity of purpose. They hurt nobody, other than their own selves. Not all Buddhist support this action. Possibly not even the Dali Lama. Yet you do not hear them publicly condemning the actions, and claiming the actions will be the end of Buddhism.
Yet, put those monks in Nazi uniforms, and I no longer appreciate their actions. And while I can directly appreciate and connect our solidarity to the acts of the monks, I cannot base our solidarity on respecting Nazi's for the same actions.
Should a great tree be chosen for lumber and the equipment to be used is destroyed by protestors, would that be an act of violence?
If the windows of banks and those of the Bank executives get painted in protest, would that be an act of violence?
If ten thousand people filled the streets of Eugene in protest of the infringement upon our rights to assemble and in doing so prevented folks from getting to work, getting home, or anywhere else, would that be an act of violence?
From my point of view, as long as life and limb of the sentient are not attacked, then the protest has remained as peaceful as it needs to be.
These points of concern are directly brought to mind when I consider the ST. Paul Principles. The SPP state that our solidarity will be based on our respect of actions conducted by "other groups" without defining a guideline of action or group. If a group of Nazi's peacefully marched on the banks, must I respect them? If a group of pedophiles peacefully marched on the courts, must I respect them? Would the solidarity of the Occupy movement be based on such superficial ideals as "respect"? Why would we not seek a deeper connection and understanding of those that represent our solidarity through appreciation? If a group does not support the same humanitarian values, if a group supports oppression and discrimination what is there to appreciate? And if one cannot appreciate them, then how can they be expected to respect them?