Southern Movement Assembly Mandate: PRACTICE LIBERATION

Build communities of practice, grow our movement, and exercise collective power that is coordinated and united around a set of principles

We recognize the danger and strength of claiming our political power in a moment when institutions are telling us that murder, disenfranchisement, disaster, and displacement are allowable, legitimate, and justifiable. We also recognize the courage of our ancestors, our families, and our community members to remember, build, and create what we need to survive and flourish.

WHAT WE DO: 

  • Bring our resources together > Create Mutual Aid Liberation Centers
  • Gather more people to take action > Organize Community & Frontline Assemblies
  • Learn and share skills > Facilitate Trainings, Workshops, & Projects
  • Implement local and regional strategies > Organize Community & Frontline Initiatives based on strategic directions

Strategies to Practice Liberation

Community efforts that build infrastructure & increase autonomy, health, safety, and sustainability

As our civic infrastructure is systemically dismantled by those in power and the system of control known as the U.S. government increasingly shows that it is was not built to function as an expression of the will of the people, we seek to replace and erect new infrastructure governed by the people and structured to ensure their well being.

Practice Local Governance & Community Control

Build & expand community bases that exercise power

Protect & expand political participation from within communities most affected

  • Expand voting rights to youth, incarcerated & formerly incarcerated people, and others who are disenfranchised & directly impacted by injustice
  • Create pathways for leadership in local decision-making bodies, including city councils, school boards, and on juries
  • Repeal barriers to civic engagement & participation (VRA, redistricting fights, etc.)

Develop local and regional communications infrastructure to amplify and share critical news, violations, and victories

Develop harm-free zones and rapid response networks to contend with violence, displacement, & disaster.

Build New Economies

Learn & educate about people-based, community driven economies and forecast trends that include the elimination of jobs, finance and debt & shifting global trade patterns

Learn & share hard skills towards practice (re: agriculture, water filtration, cooperative development, communications skills, etc.)

Support and establish local and people-of-color owned small businesses & enterprises

Practice new economy solutions (develop and cultivate land, create income generation projects within communities, etc.)

Strategies to Interrupt & Dismantle Oppression

Initiatives to stop policies that harm our communities & defend against attacks

We advance the following strategies to interrupt and dismantle the policies that maintain social control through policing our bodies, our public spaces, our religious beliefs, and our dissent. We believe that the controllers of capital seek a deeper authoritarian nationalism to replace the deteriorating two party system. We organize with legal strategies, grassroots organizing, and movement-centered communications to protect our basic civic freedoms. We remember that state violence in all its forms, including poverty, climate disaster, and medical needs to be challenged, disrupted, and eliminated.

Mobilization & Convergence

Develop and share Southern Regional Convergence Calendar to organize simultaneous actions in different sites, and to converge as a movement force when necessary.
Solidarity with Standing Rock convergence and water protectors in North Dakota
Support Prison Strike with wider outside strikes & boycotts; provide support for organizers inside facing retaliation
Organize plan for May 1st coordinated actions connecting oil pipelines, workers, migration, land, indigenous sovereignty
Border actions (public/private, state, international)

Disrupt & Defend

Identify sites where racist violence is happening (schools, mosques, etc.) and use sit-ins, walk-outs, and other direct actions to challenge racist violence.
Organize defense strategies to support directly impacted populations at sites including prisons, schools, faith spaces, borders, and public spaces.
Dismantle social control and legal frameworks that criminalize, brutalize, and isolate our communities.
Demand police accountability for harm and murder and transformative justice within our communities.

Boycott / Divestment

Identify sites where racist violence is happening (schools, mosques, etc.) and use sit-ins, walk-outs, and other direct actions to challenge racist violence.
Organize defense strategies to support directly impacted populations at sites including prisons, schools, faith spaces, borders, and public spaces.
Dismantle social control and legal frameworks that criminalize, brutalize, and isolate our communities.
Demand police accountability for harm and murder and transformative justice within our communities.

Action Steps people can take in each initiative

We acknowledge that this plan of action in a time of crisis calls for many forms of work. While the plan has many elements that will need to be put in place over the course of the next few years, participants of SMA VI called for the following immediate actions steps to begin the work of interrupting and dismantling violent state institutions as well as beginning to build the communally governed movement infrastructure that can help lead us to a liberated future.

We invite our communities to collect, create, and disseminate education tools research targets, historical research on place, economic analysis, critical race analysis, etc. We recognize the strategic and historic use of culture and arts to organize with Southern communities, and we are committed to practicing our tools.

Proposed & Ongoing Inititatives

MAY 1st INITIATIVE FOR A NEW SOCIAL ECONOMY

  1. Pass local ordinances, referendums, and platforms that support new social economy, including: right to organize, living wage, protecting small business, reducing predatory lending
  2. Repeal ordinances that prevent workers’ rights & limit local government, including Repeal Right to Work laws like 14B
  3. Pass Ban the Box ordinances
  4. Create preventative & educational health programs for refugee women related youth, queers
  5. Create community programs and education to address the future of jobs/work in a time of technological revolution.
  6. Learn and initiate projects for participatory budgeting.
  7. Initiate people’s transportation systems and community-based sharing economy models
  8. Initiate community banking and budgeting models

PEOPLES DEMOCRACY INITIATIVE FOR POWER

  1. Organize small assemblies to assess conditions, support people, and determine needs on the ground
  2. Produce Peoples Budgets for school boards, municipalities, neighborhoods, etc.
  3. Increase inclusive & diverse community participation on citizen review boards, advisory committees, & other local accountability bodies
  4. Repeal voter suppression policies
  5. Increase voter access – student voting, automatic registration
  6. Re-enfranchise formerly & currently incarcerated people
  7. Indict police & DAs for brutality, murder, and intimidation

PROTECT & DEFEND INITIATIVE TO END STATE VIOLENCE

  1. Create alternative accountability systems
  2. Initiate restorative justice programs in schools
  3. Develop culturally appropriate pre-arrest diversion programs
  4. Create Copwatch and Participatory defense teams
  5. Shift public education resources from police to student needs
  6. End private probation, excessive police/prison fees & fines
  7. Repeal HB2 & other statewide ordinances that police bodies
  8. Stop school pushout & school to prison pipeline policies
  9. End the practice of medical violence against refugee/immigrant women who have experienced FGC/M
  10. Close detention centers

Invitations to Action

MAY 1st INITIATIVE FOR A NEW SOCIAL ECONOMY

Investigate resources (people, trainings, & skills) in your community that can be shared.

Create community gardens.

Coordinate food/grocery cooperatives.

Create fundraising & education parties to resource movement

PEOPLES DEMOCRACY INITIATIVE FOR POWER

Organize small assemblies to establish platforms for local elections.

Produce report cards & voter forums on candidates and elected officials.

Document voter suppression and prevention.

PROTECT & DEFEND INITIATIVE TO END STATE VIOLENCE

Research sites of violence, hate, and profiling & prepare public responses

Learn first responder skills: first aid, self-defense, CPR

Support & learn harm reduction and conflict mediation