Our Organizing Principles

Every member of our movement agrees to adhere to the following principles:

1. Conduct

a. RESPECT

We must maintain respect for others in our movement, even in disagreement.

This respect comes in two forms. Firstly, we must respect others for their efforts, and recognize that we are all committed to the success of our movement. We must argue in good faith, and avoid irrelevant personal attacks.

Secondly, we must respect others on an emotional level. Although we should strive at all times to avoid unnerving and aggravating others, we must also recognize that not only is it okay in general to be stressed, angry, depressed, or overwhelmed, but it is the appropriate response to the scale and weight of the work we’re doing and the problems we’re up against. We must respect emotional honesty and openness, and avoid tone policing.

b. INCLUSIVITY

We must not permit alignment with, or sympathy for, reactionary politics.

These include bigotry or prejudicial behavior or speech against the LGBTQ+ community, white supremacy, ethno-nationalism, imperialism, and genocide denial / apologia.

We must persistently disassociate with any person or group that displays these tendencies; we must not risk alienating and endangering our minority members.

2. Operations

a. DILIGENCE

We must all work as hard as we can to produce quality output in an efficient way.

If we successfully organize a global general strike in less than a year, it will be the most widespread, globally coordinated act of labour organizing in history. It will be a huge uphill battle, and we must keep this in mind in everything we do. We can’t slack off; we can’t waste any of our time or resources.

On the flip side, we must also recognize that periodic breaks and downtime are important, to avoid burnout and contribute to a healthy work environment. Our productivity will fall if we give too many tasks to too few people.

b. COLLABORATION

We must make use of all available talent and experience as much as possible.

Our time and energy is limited, and we can’t waste it reinventing the wheel. We must ensure that our tasks are assigned to qualified people, their work is done openly and collaboratively, and their resources are published in a place where anyone can access them and adapt them for their purposes.

In particular, if one of our local teams is working smarter and quicker than our global campaign in a certain area, we must take steps to change this and make better use of this local talent in our global operations.

c. HORIZONTALISM

No person or group should have decision-making power over the collective.

In our movement, different people take on different roles and tasks based on their skills and experience, and certain people act as coordinators between teams, groups, and chapters. However, none of these people should have any more power than anyone else over decisions made on controversial issues.

Consensus shall be gathered through open democracy. Members will respect the principles of democracy. Any member is free to dissent or speak out against any decision, but unilateral attempts to override the democratic consensus of the group or to exert dominance or coercive force over any other member will not be tolerated.

d. RESPECT FOR TACTICS

We must respect diversity of tactics among local groups, and organize our actions to avoid conflicts between these groups.

Our awareness-raising events are happening all around the world, and local chapters will have different plans for their actions. It is important that no group allows their actions to interfere with those of another group.

To this end, we oppose any state repression of dissent, including surveillance, infiltration, disruption, and violence, and we agree not to assist law enforcement actions against activists and others.

e. CONSENSUS

Where possible, all important decisions must be made with complete consensus.

We’re a diverse global movement, and certain groups are underrepresented in our online discussion. Bias towards certain perspective is inevitable in our organisation, and it is important we actively manage this through special attention to the concerns of statistical minorities on issues affecting them. This means that the majority opinion on certain issues will be biased in a number of ways. We must account for these biases by paying special attention to the concerns of these statistical minorities on issues that affect them.

Before any important decision is made, we must give everyone enough time to voice their concerns, and we must address and settle all of these concerns before taking any actions. If, after thoroughly discussing an issue, there are still outstanding concerns, only then should we consider a public vote on this issue.

While voting may be used as a backup measure for simple disagreements, it should not be used to override legitimate concerns about whether a proposal aligns with our principles. We must make decisions in a constructive and meaningful way.

f. TRANSPARENCY

All matters related to our operations must be public, unless there is a security risk.

We’re a people’s movement, and we should have nothing to hide from the people. If we keep things secret, not only are we less accountable, but we miss out on valuable input from the public.

The exceptions, of course, are sensitive personal information and passwords. We must keep this information secure, and when necessary, it should be managed by a trusted group of team members.

g. PLATFORMISM

We are a platformist organization, meaning that every member agrees to a adhere to the objectives and strategies outlined in a Platform which we have collectively developed and adopted through a process of consensus-building and open democracy. This Platform can be changed at will, but only through collective determination and democratic principles. No individual who refuses to adhere to any/all precepts of our platform will not be admitted membership, and any member who decides they no longer wish to adhere to our platform will be free to leave our group and is also free to join or build a group with a different platform without malice or impedance from our organization.

3. Messaging

a. CLARITY

We must not dilute our purpose and our selling point.

Our movement exists for a reason. Our movement, based on the principles of worker solidarity and striking as a powerful form of direct action to enact change and force the demands of the working class on the ruling class, occupies a unique and valuable place in the activism scene. This is our selling point, and we can’t lose it.

We have come together under the initial onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. We did not start this movement — we saw workers around the world rent striking, labor striking, and considering debt striking, and we decided to support those workers. We also see organizations becoming overburdened, and mutual aid networks springing up everywhere, and we want to support them as well. We are here to support, strengthen, and coordinate with individual workers and worker movements around the world to strengthen and defend the working class.

b. WORKER SOLIDARITY

We must recognize that our general strike is a manifestation of class struggle.

We are, first and foremost, a movement dedicated to the liberation of the working class. We see unions, labour councils, and other workers’ groups, tenant and debtor unions, prison unions, as well as mutual aid groups and networks, as the primary catalysts of worker relief and empowerment.

From the IWW, a general strike “tends to gain its momentum from the ideological or class sympathies of the participants.” We believe that this pandemic puts us in a unique position to build class consciousness and enact change, however our ambitions go beyond relief for this pandemic to eventual liberation of every human being who suffers from oppression or exploitation.

c. INTERSECTIONALITY

We must recognize that all oppressive structures reinforce each other.

To build a truly effective message, we must address how labor and tenant exploitation ties into other forms of oppression: imperialism, wealth inequality, the profit motive, people movement, etc. We believe that nobody is liberated until all are liberated, and we believe in the principles of intersectionalist analysis and struggle to free every human being from oppression and exploitation.

d. ANTAGONISM

We must recognize that our movement is, at its core, a fight against power.

With great power comes great responsibility, and the powerful have completely neglected their responsibility when it comes to fighting oppression and exploitation. This includes politicians, executives, lobbyists, but also, importantly, the corporate media. All of these groups have criminally underutilized their power to transform the circumstances of laborers, tenants, and debtors, and are thus directly responsible for mass death.

We must not be friendly towards them, praise them for half-measures, or signify that we are on their side, as they have not been on ours.

e. BOLDNESS

We must recognize that compromise on exploitation will never be enough.

It’s hard to overstate the urgency of our situation, and the political will we’ll need to fix it. A general strike is powerful, but short-term actions will not be enough.

We’re trying to overcome some of the greatest threat humanity has ever faced, including global pandemic and global climate change. Eventually, this will require a massive societal shift, not only towards more eco-friendly and socially-oriented production and technology, but towards destabilizing and dismantling the structures that leave the plutocrats unaccountable for their reckless actions. We must not ignore this.

f. UNITY

We must not publicly denounce fellow activists and events.

Although our movement thrives on public input, and transparency is important, we must not air out our dirty laundry in front of the media.

g. NON-VIOLENCE

Ours is a non-violent organization.

We recognize that using non-violence is a privilege that is not available to everybody. We know that violence in self-defense and defense of the community is often warranted. That said, we are conceived as a non-violent organization. Our mission is focused solely on support and relief. As such, our members must never knowingly or intentionally propose or commit aggressive acts of violence, or seek out violence, or encourage the use of aggressive violence, when acting on behalf of our organization.

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