Grassroots Community Self-Defense Statement of Principles - Jan 20, 2017-1

Grassroots Community Self-Defense Statement of Principles

It is Our Duty to Fight for Freedom, It is Our Duty to Win…! -Assata Shakur

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES – A Living Document  (PDF)

January 20, 2017

Grassroots Community Self-Defense is a group of individuals and organizations coming together to protect the human rights of our communities and ourselves to resist, organize, and defend against the national security police state and state-sanctioned violence, and to advance the following principles grounded in Human Rights.  These principles were drafted in solidarity with marginalized people including working poor, unhoused, queer and trans, undocumented, and people of African descent.

  • POWER IS WITHIN OUR COMMUNITIES: We affirm that power is within community and not with state and federal governments, or profit driven and war mongering corporations. We build power by being clear in our demands that instruments of state violence be abolished, not just reformed or refined. We commit to the abolition of all state interventions that prevent our full autonomy and liberation.
  • AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL: We shall not tolerate any abuse, oppression, repression, or violations of the human rights of any member of our community.  We must stand together with marginalized communities in our fight against violence and abuse.
  • FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN NEEDS AND RIGHTS ARE INALIENABLE:  Every human being has basic human needs and rights to which we are entitled just by the fact of being human.  Among these rights is the right to basic necessities of life: healthy food, clean water, housing, clothing, education, healthcare, dignity, safety, movement, expression, and many more.
  • OUR STRUGGLES ARE INTERCONNECTED: We collectively recognize that movements centered around race, class, gender, sexuality, nation, and disability are inseparable and intertwined.  (Ie. Struggles against racism in the US are inherently connected to liberation movements around the world such as the Palestinian struggle to defeat Zionist apartheid.)
  • COMMITMENT TO BLACK LIBERATION:  In order to be free we must confront our personal and our communities’ anti-Blackness and join the fight for Black liberation.
  • COMMITMENT TO TRANS, FEMME, GENDER NON-CONFORMING AND LGBTIQ LIBERATION: In order to be free we must confront our personal and our communities’ homophobia, transphobia, anti-LGBTIQ sentiments, and hateful and harmful policies.
  • COMMITMENT TO RECOGNITION THAT EVERYONE IN L.A. AREA LIVES IN TONGVA/GABRIELENO AND CHUMASH LANDS:  We are migrants, refugees, diasporic, displaced and enslaved peoples. We respect, acknowledge, and join the fight by native peoples to preserve their land and its resources in Los Angeles and beyond.
  • COMMITMENT TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY DEFENSE AND NON-COMPLIANCE WITH UNJUST LAWS:  We will engage in collective learning with our communities about the state apparatus for surveillance and counter-insurgency, SARs, Muslim database, fusion centers, and other police-state tactics.  We will resist and support non-compliance with laws, policies, procedures, and actions that violate our communities’ civil or human rights, such as: any registries based on race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, or religion, invasions of privacy, and/or searches or seizures, and any and all deportations, detentions, and incarceration.
  • HOLD NON-PROFIT GROUPS ACCOUNTABLE:  We shall call on our communities to hold non-profit groups, foundation, social justice and community-based organizations accountable for any collaboration with state actors, such as the police or politicians, which attempt to take away power from our communities and represent contradictions with non-profits’ missions or commitment to the community.
  • ORGANIZE TO RESIST AND DEFEAT FASCISM, COLONIALISM, AND GENOCIDE:  We are committed to organizing from a perspective that understands the pre, during, and post-Trump eras in the US as tyrannical, fascist, colonial, and genocidal.
  • COMMITMENT TO INTERNAL STRUGGLE AND TRANSPARENCY:  We shall strive, on an ongoing basis, to identify any contradictions within the various collaborating groups/peoples, which both protect people from harm and use transformative/restorative justice to resolve conflict. We shall strive toward resolving interpersonal and communal violence as it happens.  We remain committed to learning and sharing lessons learned.
  • COMMITMENT TO ASSESS OUR LANGUAGE: We shall build power within our movement and communities by assessing and evaluating our language and challenging messages that seek to harm.
  • OPERATIONAL UNITY AMONG COLLABORATING GROUPS:  We are committed to work together with other groups that share our principles and concerns to create a common front in defending our communities.

For further information, comments, questions, suggestions please email us at [email protected] or call us at 424-209-7450