Occupy Denver Anti-Oppression Commitments

December 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

Passed by the General Assembly on November 20, 2012

Occupy Denver acknowledges oppression exists and is not here to argue for the status quo. We are creating a new culture within our own community and fighting to undermine the structures of oppression beyond it. Our goal is to be a community characterized by mutual respect and support where everyone feels safe participating in the work that emerges from our direct democratic practices.

Occupy Denver strives to empower all people to actively and collectively challenge the histories and structures of oppression that marginalize some, and divide us all. These include ableism, ageism, classism, heterosexism, racism, religious discrimination, sexism, transphobia, xenophobia, among others.

In the struggle for justice and equality for all, we are committed to listening and learning from all who are oppressed.

We will:

  • fight to dismantle all forms of oppression in our communities and our society at large.
  • do our best to provide physical and language access to Occupy Denver spaces, and make resources equally available to all.
  • not use physical violence or threats.
  • not use language that has traditionally been employed to target marginalized groups with systematic persecution for their race, sexual orientation, gender, abilities, poverty, religion etc.
  • ask permission before making physical contact with someone we don’t know, or if we don’t know their preferences and comfort levels.
  • respect each person’s expressed name and identity and their choice of whether to share that information; and do our best not to make assumptions about others’ identities based on abilities, age, class, housing status, race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexuality, or appearance.
  • be aware of how prejudice and structures of oppression affect our speech and actions, including the ways power and privilege are related to race, gender, gender identity, physical ability, immigration status, wealth, and/or sexuality, among other identities.
  • show compassion and respect to each other, especially in relation to trauma, abuse and oppression.
  • agree that it’s an act of solidarity to listen and not reply right away when a person, or group of people, expresses that they feel oppressed by our words or actions.
  • acknowledge that each person comes to our space with different experiences. So while we may not intend to hurt other people by our words or actions, this can still happen.
  • not dismiss oppression.
  • encourage people to respectfully speak out against situations of oppression if they feel safe doing so. Or if they do not feel comfortable speaking up in the moment, encourage them to let someone else know, or come to our General Assembly so we can discuss as a group.
  • hold ourselves accountable as a group and ask members of our community to take responsibility for actions or words they have used that, intentionally or unintentionally, have reinforced these oppressive structures we are fighting to break down.

Occupy Denver has an official Conflict Resolution process that we encourage people to use in response to experiences of oppression they would like to resolve through mediation.

Statement to be read before each Occupy Denver action

Occupy Denver strives to empower all people to collectively challenge the structures of oppression that marginalize some, and divide us all. These include ableism, ageism, classism, heterosexism, racism, religious discrimination, sexism, transphobia, xenophobia, among others.

If you are using language or actions that have traditionally been used to target, oppress or hurt specific marginalized groups, you will be called out. We do not tolerate further oppression as we fight to dismantle the current structures.

We encourage people to respectfully speak up in situations of oppression if they feel safe doing so. Or if you don’t feel comfortable confronting someone in the moment, please make sure others here are made aware. Also our weekly General Assembly is always open to discuss any circumstances that take away from our events being a safe space for all.