The controversy continues over the “movement of resistance and protest” at this year’s DNC in Colorado.
I’ve been reading an lot of commentary and articles in Green circles and blogs about this, and here is what I have gleaned so far.
It seems the entire controversy surrounds philosophies of non-violent vs. violent resistance, with R68 supporting more non-pacifist type resistance than the ARD (see more below on their respective philosophies). One of the key values of the Green Party is non-violence. So there are Colorado Greens who vehemently have denounced the R68 over their philosophy of civil resistance and have allied themselves with the ARD. (Not to mention that they are hastily attempting to take McKinney off the ballot line there because she is speaking at the R68 event in addition to the ARD event. Not a good move for Green politics).
Now I’ve also read claims that the ARD is very co-opted and includes member organizations such as Code Pink which is said by some to be pro-Democrat and gives the cold-shoulder treatment to the Green Party.
The schedule for the Alliance for Real Democracy has released their schedule of events which I found at Slapstick Politics.
I have posted some things below from both the R68 and ARD websites on their principles and issues. Note that R68 does not openly advocate violent resistance, however if you read between the lines, they support the actions of those who choose that method. The ARD openly does not condone any type of violent resistance.
About R68 (from its website):
R68 agrees with the proposition, POTESTAS IN POPULO, “all power comes from the people.” What stands between the people and power are the party machines. The parties were devised as a means to represent the people. Today they represent nobody, not even party members, but only party bureaucracy. The people have been left without appropriate institutions for their representation. We intend to create those institutions!
Statement of Non-Violence and Principles
We are committed to resisting and overturning the system of violence inflicted daily on the people of this country and the world, and against the natural environment, by political and corporate power in the pursuit of profit. We are resolved that our group will not instigate violence against human beings as a means to end this system of violence and injustice. However, we recognize the right of the people to self-defense and community defense.
Ten Mutual Assurances Between Groups And Organizations Planning DNC Related Activities:
1. To publicly support rights of free speech, the right to organize, and the right to dissent for all.
2. To maintain solidarity with, and respect the guidelines of, all permitted activities, recognizing that there are many individuals who seek a safe and peaceful protest.
3. To support and participate in efforts to assure civil liberties for everyone in Denver, including the right to organize civil disobedience and nonviolent direct action without that organizing being criminalized or disrupted.
4. To speak out against any preemptive arrests, raids on activists spaces, or attacks on independent journalists and other media.
5. To be conscious of and speak out against police targeting and differential treatment of people based on race, gender, sexual orientation, accent, or appearance.
6. Not to turn people over to the police, or share information with the police about other groups.
7. Not to publicly criticize the tactics used by other parts of our movement or cooperate with media efforts to be divisive or portray good protester/bad protester.
8. To publicly condemn police repression and brutality.
9. To be conscious that if violence or property destruction does occur, we will do what we can to help prevent it from being blown out of proportion and dominating the media coverage.
10. To remember that, when all is said and done, our greatest victory will be an activist community with a renewed sense of strength and unity.
ARD Mission Statement(from its website):
The Alliance for Real Democracy is a nonviolent, transparent coalition of progressiveand radical groups that will organize global justice and peace events and protests at the Democratic National Convention in August 2008. Our goals are to help coordinate the local and national advocacy groups planning to attend the DNC, to foster a spirit of cooperation with one another, and to create a schedule of events that respects the time and distances between events. We hope that working together in this way will create the roots necessary to begin the process of moving into the future as a cooperative and cohesive national Movement for a more peaceful and just world.
Our Purpose for Demonstrating at the DNC
We are passionate about peace and justice and believe it is imperative to bring critical, progressive issues to the forefront of the national conscience during the DNC convention.
Our intention is to convince and pressure Democrats to work for just and progressive policies at home and abroad. Elected Democrats in large part have refused to support these policies on a wide range of domestic and foreign issues.
The following are some of our key issues:
*We support an end to U.S. militarism and empire building and call on Congress and the President to end the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Funds used for militarism and occupation should instead be directed toward domestic programs, veterans, the rebuilding of Iraq, and compensation for losses suffered by the Iraqi people. We call for diplomatic solutions to all conflicts with other nations, including Iran, and for a Middle East policy that complies with international and U.S. laws and pressures Israel to end its occupation of internationally-recognized Palestinian territory.
*We support social, economic, and environmental justice. We call for progressive tax reform, fair trade policies that protect workers and the environment, health care for all, and protection for working people to organize labor unions. We call for the abolition of the death penalty, a decrease in our nation’s reliance on imprisonment, and an end to the war on drugs and to racism, sexism and classism in the criminal justice system.
*We support human rights, including an end to torture and illegal detention. We call fair and comprehensive immigration policies and respect for peoples’ native languages. We call for just and equitable practices in all institutions in regard to gender, race, class, and sexual orientation, for continuing and strengthening affirmative action programs, and for immediate, permanent housing solutions for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina.
*We support the restoration of democracy and civil liberties, the public financing of all campaigns for public office, transparency and voting integrity in elections, the abolition of the Electoral College, and the return of the public airwaves to the people. All laws, practices and institutions which undermine democracy and our constitution, including the corporate control of our government, the PATRIOT Act, the Military Commissions Act, the detention camps being built by Kellogg, Brown & Root, and illegal wiretapping, should be revoked or abolished. We call for independent investigations into 9/11, the invasion of Iraq, election fraud, and other potentially illegal activities of our government.
We believe that free speech and creative expression are integral to the democratic process. Our intention is to empower all people to nonviolently participate and have their voices heard during the DNC in order to create progress toward major change in our country. We welcome rank and file Democrats and elected officials to participate in our events during the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
1- The Alliance for Real Democracy will strive to assemble a diverse group of people in which the youth are encouraged to take leadership roles. We encourage younger generations to seek advice and guidance from older generations, and we strive to empower a new generation of organizers with the skills and tools necessary for effective and capable organizing in the twentyfirst century.
2- The Alliance for Real Democracy acknowledges that oppression exists, both outside and inside of our movement. In order to combat oppression, people possessing privilege due to race, class, gender, age, or other manifestation are asked to step back from their dominant roles and intentionally make space for all voices to be heard.
3- The Alliance for Real Democracy will organize only nonviolent events and approach all stages of planning and implementation from a non-violent perspective. Alliance for Real Democracy members agree to the following guidelines for all coalition events and activities: (a.) We will act respectfully toward all people and toward the environment around us, (b.) We will not use or return violence—verbal or physical—toward any person or other creature, (c.) We will not damage property, and we will take full responsibility for our actions, (d.) We will not bring firearms or other weapons to actions or protests, (e.) During the actions, we will not bring or use illegal drugs or alcohol, (f.) We will not incite others to violence.
4- The Alliance for Real Democracy will strive for a consensus of the individual members present at a given coalition meeting. If consensus cannot be reached within the time limit assigned to a particular item, we will revert to 70% super majority. This process applies to all decisions.
5- The Alliance for Real Democracy will have a group of media liaisons that will rotate in their role of spokesperson, and that will follow a set of guidelines for conduct and representation of the coalition. Should a specific liaison have difficulty staying within these guidelines, they will be asked to step back from their role and someone else will step forward.
6- The Alliance for Real Democracy will not assist law enforcement in their attempts to divide our movement. Participation in the Alliance for Real Democracy includes a commitment to not assist any State repression of dissent, including surveillance, infiltration, disruption, and violence. We will also not assist in any law enforcement actions against any activist organizing at the DNC.
7- The Alliance for Real Democracy is a non-partisan organization and will not endorse any political party or candidate for public office.