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Author Topic: Draft - Statement of Unity
Hyshka
Administrator
Posts: 39
Post Draft - Statement of Unity
on: October 12, 2011, 12:14

Comments:

- remove ideological
- remove 'stolen land'
- replace stolen land with Indigenous
- Start with we are the 99%
- Reference statement by occupy wallstreet
- Remove support riots in Greece
- 3rd paragraph clarify 'system'
- Focus on commonalities not divisiveness
- Everyone has rght to fight for what they believe in.

*Statement of Unity:*

We are part of the 99% and we are Occupy Edmonton.

We are here because we identify with the call that is being heard around the
world.

We stand in solidarity with all genders, all races, and all peoples across
Canada and across the planet whom are exploited and oppressed by a system
that works against the 99% of us.

We stand in solidarity with the people and identify with the common
expressions of the students, workers and Indigenous strikes of Chile, the
Arab springs, the general strike of Madison, Wisconsin, with the Occupy
Wallstreet/Occupy Together movement in 100's of cities across the United
States, Canada and beyond and with all peoples and movements pushing and
fighting for a better, more just world.

We stand unified and are a part of a growing global movement because neither
unfettered Capitalism, a system whose primary motive is profit at the
expensive of all, nor a state infected by corporate interests has the
answers to our needs or the needs of this world.

Exploitation of the many by the few must end.

We seek a way to live in harmony with our planet's natural environment and
to abolish the suicidal system that is pushing us closer to the brink of
ecological and climate collapse.

We stand in solidarity and support the struggle of First Nations peoples. We
live on Indigenous traditional territory and recognize the colonial history
of injustice on which Canada is built.

We seek to build a world free of oppression, a world with equality for all
regardless of gender, age, race, sexual identity, ability or nationhood.

We seek an inclusive world where all peoples have the power to make
decisions for our own lives. A world where the global right to live and
thrive, not simply survive, exists.

We come together with our diverse experiences to transform the disparity
that exists and is increasing daily, to halt the advancing environmental
collapse and united together to a build a world that provides economic
security, genuine equality, and the protection of the environment for all.

Together we are the majority. Together we will fight for the world we need
to see.

We are the 99%.

http://occupyedmonton.org/doc/Draft-WeareOccupyEdmonton.docx

Hyshka
Administrator
Posts: 39
Post Re: Draft - Statement of Unity
on: October 12, 2011, 12:21

Hi there everyone... Just wanted to throw a thought out there that I hoped we could discuss...

After finally reading the declaration released last week by the NY GA today I had to to sit back and think...

http://nycga.cc/2011/09/30/declaration-of-the-occupation-of-new-york-city/

And read by Keith Olbermann:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U6EBl-cShk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

(I thought the video above was so great)

We are working on a couple of documents at this time... What I wanted to put out there is maybe we need to think about doing the Statement of Unity @ the General Assembly on Saturday instead.

Do we absolutely need to put it off til then? No. But I think before this is sent out to 'everyone' that 'everyone' united needs to have input. Face to face and in real time. I read the comms minutes from tonight. I agree with the idea that NOT having an initial statement worked well for the Wall St. Occupiers... Is finalizing this document crucial? I just thought if it took those tens of thousands 3+ weeks to write the NY declaration, we could slow it down just a little and wait for the General Assembly to meet. Once all have gathered, then creating a consensus around ALL issues/concerns to be shared in the Statement of Unity should be reached. I know it may not be an ideal process for some, but it may be the process that needs to happen for the full inclusion of all.

I'm also wondering if there were any first nations people's that joined the comms working group as well... I think attempting to get feedback from that group is really important. Has any contact been made with any of the Native Friendship Centers in Edmonton? I read the minutes of tonight's meeting and was unclear on the issue surrounding the subject. Which is why I would like to encourage us to draw in some First Nations people to this workgroup or wait for the GA Assembly on Saturday and hope they come. I have multiple reasons for putting this particular request to our working group. The primary cause is that giving them special mention (IMHO) is the right thing to do. I think mentioning First Nations people in this or any document without consultation from them would not be the best way to go.

K

Made a couple more tweaks...

- Hide quoted text -

> Statement of Unity:

> We are part of the 99% and we are Occupy Edmonton.

> We are here because we identify with the call that is being heard around the world.

> We stand in solidarity with all genders, all races, and all peoples across Canada and across the planet whom are exploited and oppressed by a system that works against the 99% of us.

> We stand in solidarity with the people and identify with the common expressions of the students, workers and Indigenous strikes of Chile, the Arab springs, the general strike of Madison, Wisconsin, with the Occupy Wallstreet/Occupy Together movement currently taking place
> in 100's of cities across the United States, Canada and beyond and with all peoples and movements pushing and fighting for a better, more just world.

> We stand unified and are a part of a growing global movement because unrestricted Capitalism, a system whose primary motive is profit at the expensive of all, nor a state infected by corporate interests has the answers to our needs or the needs of this world.

> Exploitation of the many by the few must end.

> We seek a way to live in harmony with our planet's natural environment and to abolish the suicidal system that is pushing us closer to the brink of ecological and climate collapse.

> We stand in solidarity and support the struggle of First Nations peoples. We live on Indigenous traditional territory and recognize the colonial history of injustice on which Canada is built.

> We seek to build a world free of oppression, a world with equality for all regardless of gender, age, race, sexual identity, ability or nationhood.

> We seek an inclusive world where all peoples have the power to make decisions for our own lives. A world where the global right to live and thrive, not simply survive, exists.

> We come together with our diverse experiences to transform the disparity that exists and is increasing daily, to halt the advancing environmental collapse. United together we will build a world that provides economic security, genuine equality, and the protection of the environment for all.

> Together we are the majority. Together we will fight for the world we need to see.

> We are the 99%.

-Kristie

Hyshka
Administrator
Posts: 39
Post Re: Draft - Statement of Unity
on: October 12, 2011, 12:21

just be careful inserting militant divisive comments into the primary
documentation and releases (such as too many specifics, including the native
issues as well as others.) there will be lots of room for statements,
speeches and involvement during the event. The movement is not about them
(or any one special interest), its about government and corporations... and
theyre a part of that corrupt scene just like everyone else but should not
have a primary message more highlighted than the main issues at hand.
Reaching out to their groups to participate is a great idea, and releasing
the unity statement on saturday isnt a bad plan (though there is no real
harm in this version either going out now.. once agreed upon...)

I don't know if edmonton has any active anti-poverty groups like in victoria
that could mobilize their people to join, but they were always good for
bodies and volume back home where they have pretty significant influence.

i would change "100's" to the word "hundreds" or if numbers are to be used,
use 1000's since we're around 1300 cities now i believe.

I do think finalizing a draft of the document is important, as if we are
legitimized we will need it prepared to release to print and television
media... as well as all our independent blogs for republication. It can be
considered "living document" and be adjusted as any occupation progresses
to reflect changes on the ground.

mike T

Hyshka
Administrator
Posts: 39
Post Re: Draft - Statement of Unity
on: October 12, 2011, 12:21

Good morning, Mike and All...

Oooooookay :) Jumping in again ;)

I didn't realize that the addition of the words 'solidarity', 'stolen' and 'transgressions' in reference to Aboriginal issues would be considered militant and divisive. That cultural group is a DIRECT casualty of the power, greed and abuses perpetrated by the Canadian government & corporations. Besides the Japanese and other citizens of Asian descent that were put in internment camps in Canada after the Pearl Harbor bombing, I cannot think of another cultural group that has been abused more or affected so deeply by the system that drives this country.

Should I assume that this is the general consensus of the rest of the working group when it comes to the subject in general?

I understand the reluctance to engage in this topic.

The question I put to the group surrounding the presence of a First Nations person assisting in the development of this Statement of
Unity has not been answered yet. I will try to alleviate this situation.

The Statement of Unity WILL be the first piece of in depth information from the Occupy Edmonton movement to the general public... I do believe whole heartedly that this Statement should not go out without our first General Assembly having discussed it, that everyone who would like to speak to it has, and a consensus by the GA has been reached. Having it ready to share with the GA from our working groups input and perspective, I agree upon yes. But releasing it without getting input and feedback from the GA is essentially speaking on the GA's behalf without consent. Those who are choosing to get involved want to have a voice, and they deserve to have one through the Statement of Unity. Speaking on behalf of, or excluding voices by 'default' is not ok. I believe that this is where the harm lies.

The inclusivity of New York's General Assembly Declaration was incredible. Yes, it was long. But it covered ALL the issues brought forward at their GA's. That is democracy, no?

I will back off with my passion for my Indian brothers and sisters and their plight.

This being said, I don't believe that sending the Statement of Unity out before the GA is right.

Sacrificing the integrity of the Statement of Unity in order to meet a deadline or to have something to give to the media or public is not okay is it? I know you didn't exactly say that, but I wanted to make sure my voice was heard too.

Thank you...

K

Hyshka
Administrator
Posts: 39
Post Re: Draft - Statement of Unity
on: October 12, 2011, 12:21

Im good with the idea of all inclusiveness and involving the GA, though its
a bit of a sacrifice on the information front... I agree with the assessment
of the new york release as well.
The concepts of solidarity and such are not divisive, but the militancy
attached by activists to the native issues does little more than close off
hearts and minds in the general public... we are not running a self-hate
campaign here... so I think there are respectful ways to include those
issues throughout the ENTIRE event... blended with every other important
issue being raised. As a broad subject (like the others, which are also
broad subjects) it should be included in the unity statement. What is
objectionable is the highly divisive (which we saw at the meeting)
references which consensus was to remove from the statement.

One wrong line can have the entire message tossed.. and as important as it
is to get it all out there... its even more important that we all remember
the larger goal of enlivening the public to this broader movement. This
logic would apply to any of the issues, regardless of subject but it so
happens that people are very inflamed over some of the native rights ones..
and the extremism taints surrounding causes.

We're raising issues, not championing one particular position on one
specific interest.

The GA may have other ideas, but if the meeting is any indication... if only
for the sake of keeping the emotional content of the entire message
consistently understandable and respectful,... care in choosing terms (and
in using hot button racial issue words that would imply TAKING rights from
many, to enhance the rights of few) should be exercised. It in no way
reduces peoples ability to champion their causes in person, thats what
groups and signs and open mics are for.

Include them, but on the same terms as the rest of the statement. Until
otherwise altered by the GA if thats where we're going with it.. a good,
consistent framework presented to the crowd will help.

Thanks!
I think im clear on that issue, and it wont need to be brought out again...
but we should remember that those deeply invested in the issue may not see
militant terms like "stolen land" to be a problem, but a vast, vast majority
of our power base, the 99%... do. We need to respect that, because those
people largely WILL support the rights issues, presented in a way easier to
accept without feeling attacked. We're catering to more than just
activists.. and the very broad middle ground needs to be spoken for.

Cheers
MikeT

Hyshka
Administrator
Posts: 39
Post Re: Draft - Statement of Unity
on: October 12, 2011, 12:22

Just a few quick points from me:

- These are not just 'native issues.' We are all signatories to treaties
and we all have benefited from the ongoing, unjust and systemic oppression
of First Nations people. The statement seeks to at least recognize that
fact. It also highlights that in pushing for a system that works for the 99%
of us we must also address the longest running form of oppression in this
country.
- I have changed the language to try to make it more accessible but to
still address this injustice.
- I will try to circulate this to a few First Nation allies for input but
other outreach is also great.
- I agree that the statement should be broadly accessible but should also
speak and identify our values.
- I'm fine with waiting for final sign-off on the statement till the
general assembly but do think we should try to have a near final draft and
try to get as much input before then.

Mike H

Hyshka
Administrator
Posts: 39
Post Re: Draft - Statement of Unity
on: October 12, 2011, 12:22

Really?
remove ideological
remove 'stolen land'
replace stolen land with Indigenous
Remove support riots in Greece
please explain how removing any of these is a good idea how is
divisive a good argument?

Gabriel

Hyshka
Administrator
Posts: 39
Post Re: Draft - Statement of Unity
on: October 12, 2011, 12:22

Hey Gabbo, these were all just comments from folks at the meeting yesterday.
I've tried to incorporate some of these but still keep the intention the
same. Look over the most recent draft I circulated and let me know if you
think it still works or not.

mike H

Hyshka
Administrator
Posts: 39
Post Re: Draft - Statement of Unity
on: October 12, 2011, 12:22

I read this out loud and I laughed...

You are absolutely right and I can agree with what you said below, Mike... My passion takes over sometimes, creating a loss of the bigger picture. My apologies... You made some incredibly important points. I will read and re-read what you have written here to remind me of them...

Thank you! :D

K

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