Proposal approved by the Spokescouncil of Occupy Portland on Nov. 5, 2011
Occupy is a movement by and for the 99%, and one of our core values is to be as inclusive as possible. Creating a safe, respectful and welcoming community is a necessary condition for inclusivity, particularly for women, families, and other groups disproportionately affected by safety issues. As the Occupy Portland community, we agree to abide by a set of norms that will make our collective spaces both as inclusive and as safe as possible.
We agree to the following community guidelines:
We are committed to nonviolence and will not tolerate verbal abuse (name calling, threats, etc.), physical intimidation, or violent behavior, including unwanted touching.
Degrading ethnic, racist, sexist, homophobic, economically discriminatory, or otherwise oppressive remarks are not acceptable.
We are a weapons-free zone. A weapon is defined as an instrument designed specifically to inflict harm on people.
We choose not to address the usage of drugs and alcohol in private spaces such as tents, but we agree not to use those substances in common spaces.
We agree that when using spaces provided by other groups, we will adhere to their codes of conduct.
By being present at Occupy Portland space (including any encampments, actions, meetings or events) you agree to abide by these guidelines.
We affirm that every member of the Occupy Portland community has a responsibility to hold ourselves and each other accountable to our norms and guidelines. In the interests of promoting accountability, we agree to the following policies:
At the beginning of every GA and Spokescouncil, our community guidelines will be (briefly!) announced by the facilitators.
We will have a poster at Occupy Portland spaces with the guidelines listed, to help us remember them.
If, at any Occupy Portland meeting, an issue comes up around the violation of any of the previously stated community guidelines, and the person or people who notice this violation wish, this issue will “jump stack” and we will immediately work to find a solution as a community before moving onto agenda items. We encourage creativity from the group in finding solutions to such problems. We agree that in some situations one solution may be insisting that someone leave the space if they are not willing to stop engaging in unacceptable behavior.
As a community, we agree to explicitly give our support to those individuals who demonstrate courage by standing up to call out safety issues or violations of our community norms. We agree to remind each other to do this when we forget to.
We affirm that the discussion of safety and values within our community must be ongoing, and that new guidelines and systems may need to be implemented as our community grows and changes. To that end, we will reserve a portion of one Spokescouncil each week to discuss issues of safety and community norms, and how these issues are affecting the functioning of individuals, committees, caucuses, and tribes within our community.
ROLE OF PEACE AND SAFETY TEAM
The Peace & Safety Team’s mission is to help establish and maintain and environment of peace, coexistence, and mutual respect within all Occupy encampments, marches, meetings, events and activities at all times. To do this, they will do the following:
Maintain a very visible existence at all encampments, marches, and other events.
Assist in facilitating all meetings to insure mutual respect is maintained and all issues are discussed in a democratic and mutually respectful fashion
Encourage everyone to see any conflict and disruption as everyone’s responsibility to help resolve.
Intervene in conflicts at all Occupy events to de-escalate the conflicts before police are able to become involved.
Facilitate conflicts while helping teach skills in interacting, listening, and productively solving conflicts.
Hold Peace & Safety/Conflict Resolution trainings open to every member of the Occupy Portland community at least twice a month.
Members of Peace & Safety are subject to all of the same guidelines that apply to all community members. If a member of Peace & Safety violates these standards that member should be immediately removed from the Peace & Safety Committee.
ROLE OF POLICE
Although Occupy Portland strives to be a self-policing community, we recognize that we cannot take away the right of any individual within our community to call the police if they feel it is necessary for their personal safety or the safety of others. No one should ever feel that they are being forced to choose between the movement and their own safety.
The Peace & Safety Committee will do everything they can to ensure that Occupy Portland can function as a police-free zone to the greatest extent possible.