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[OPIRG-EVENTS] Guiding Principles of the N17 Spokescouncil
Guiding Principles of the N17 Spokescouncil
(time/location - below)
Acknowledging that there are numerous groups and philosophies working
within the anti-globalization movement and that this diversity has
often created division that has not helped our cause in the struggle
for real and meaningful change within our society.
And also acknowledging that it is unlikely that any one view point
will convince another to change their beliefs, we offer the following
guidelines in an effort to move forward on a basis of unity.
We propose the creation of separate spaces for activists to
demonstrate so that the largest numbers of people can come together
in ways that satisfy the needs of individuals and groups that are not
presently being met by converging at a single large protest action.
There is a clear need for activists who believe in, what is known as,
non-violent civil disobedience or non-violent direct action, to have
a space where they feel secure and comfortable in participating in
actions based on their principles.
It is evident that this cannot be done without making arrangements
with other groups who hold differing views on strategies and tactics.
It is also clear to many activists within the movement that we need
to work together on some level to define the space for non-violent
actions and possibly create other spaces for different actions, if
there is a need.
We think that with the present scale of large demonstrations, this is
the only way that we can collaborate with real respect towards one
another, instead of trying to win over those who choose a different
We do not in any way wish to imply that actions that take place
outside of this suggested "pacifist" or "non-violent" zone cannot be
peaceful or that those who subscribe to a diversity of tactics are
necessarily violent protestors.
We are proposing these guiding principles, not to create division,
but to be realistic with regards to present circumstances and the
difficulties activists have encountered in sharing space at the front
lines. Solidarity and tolerance are key to building a strong
movement. We realize that this will not solve all differences and
that we will not be able to bring everyone together under one banner.
We will encourage, as much as possible, all groups who speak to the
media to talk about their own actions and refrain from negatively
commenting on other protester's actions. Public condemnation in one
way or another, as has happened in the past, creates more division
than anything else.
The Spokescouncil that you are invited to on Saturday Oct. 27, and in
subsequent sessions leading up to Nov. 17-18 are about:
* sharing information on each others plans
* making arrangements on space(s) required for protest, with a
priority for creating a safe (as much as any confrontational
demonstration can be considered safe) space for non-violent direct
action and peaceful protest.
* working together on logistics
The N17 Spokescouncil will be a decision making body for coordinating
participants. We will attempt to proceed in our meetings on the basis
of consensus, but because of the constraints of time, if we are at an
impasse, a vote of 75% of attending delegates will carry a motion.
If time allows we will explore the possible scenarios and options for
one common action, possibly a march that all groups can participate
in. Decisions on that common action will likely need to be forwarded
to a specific committee.
THERE WILL BE NO DISCUSSION OR DEBATE ON TACTICS AND STRATEGIES.
There are already groups that have begun to organize housing, food,
medical, legal and outreach. These committees and others are formed
on the basis of providing support for all participants, regardless of
their choice of tactics. Only working groups, such as the action
committees will form on the basis of shared strategy.
This Spokescouncil will continue to organize for the N17-18
IMF/WB/G-20 meetings in the spirit of the Spokescouncil and working
groups that organized to send Ottawa activists to Quebec City for the
Summit of the Americas.
(Global Democracy Ottawa comes to the Spokescouncil offering
facilitation, web site, list serve, and other logistical resources.
We come to the table with 2 delegates, as all other groups and
participate on an equal footing)
--french translation to follow in a subsequent e-mail--
for more information
Paul Smith <mailto:email@example.com>
Marie Huot <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
(613) 733-4086 (bilingual)
An Invitation from Global Democracy Ottawa
for the Upcoming
World Bank, IMF and G-20 Meetings
Saint Paul University
223 Main St., Ottawa
Room 103 (Wheel Chair Accessible)
Delegates from groups that plan on
protesting the World Bank/IMF/G-20 in Ottawa
(Please have your group select 2 representatives)
contact Marie Huot with information.
Billeting Available (contact us ASAP)
No Media Reporting
You can link up to the gdo/ftaa listserve from
the Global Democracy Ottawa site
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