MPP Community Agreements
At the Movement for a People’s Party, we look to create a culture of care, respect and healthy collaboration and teamwork. We embrace diversity and avoid perpetrating violence against one another, whether it be physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual. We aim to foster a compassionate environment that supports and uplifts people. With these principles and goals in mind, we commit ourselves to the following community guidelines:.
1. HOW WE TREAT EACH OTHER
We prioritize communication practices that facilitate understanding and avoid unproductive conflict, such as active listening, nonviolent communication, and using “I” statements. We avoid making assumptions and instead ask clarifying questions.
We respect the diversity of experience, knowledge and skill that all members bring to the table, and welcome the full participation of newcomers to our community. We try to be aware of the ways in which we are taking up space, and make space for voices that aren’t being heard. New members strive to respect the work that has been done while older members strive to respect the perspectives and ideas that new members bring.
We reject discriminatory behavior
We challenge and address all forms of behavior that demean, marginalize, reject, discriminate, threaten, or harm another individual or group on the basis of ability, activist experience, age, class or income level, cultural background, education, ethnicity, gender, immigration status, language, nationality, physical appearance, race, religion, self-expression, sexual orientation, status as a parent, or other such factors.
Such behavior may come in a wide variety of forms, from seemingly harmless jokes to threats of violence, from interrupting to verbal abuse, from touching to assault. Some forms are more extreme and irreparable than others, but all are unacceptable.
Consent is mandatory. An action is consensual when two or more people decide together to participate in any activity with each other — whether this is physical, verbal, or sexual. Someone consents when they respond to a clearly stated question with a clearly stated “yes,” not the absence of a “no.” Consent is necessary in a wide variety of situations: hugs, photos, video recordings, and difficult conversations are just a few examples.
Our various social media platforms have their own community guidelines and you may be blocked or suspended if your posts do not respect those rules. We generally advise not to engage in disputes online if they get personal, and always try to choose the higher ground and model the respectful and caring culture we stand for.
2. REGENERATIVE CULTURE
We remain open to challenges and growth
We embrace respectful disagreement as a path towards understanding, resolution and self-improvement. We listen and seek to learn from the constructive criticism that we may receive from others. If someone discusses something you have done as hurtful or insensitive, we listen to them, and consider that this is an expression of a desire to help and better our community.
If we challenge the behavior of another member, we try not to “call out” with blaming or shaming but instead “call in” with compassion, prioritizing our collective growth and understanding. We recognize that we are human and make mistakes, misjudgments, and missteps. We assume that our fellow organizers have good intentions and discuss issues one-on-one instead of calling each other out in public spaces.
We support one another
We respect our own boundaries and those of others. Feel free to take space for yourself. Respect when others may need space. If you feel that you have faced disrespectful behavior from another person, consider talking to them, but feel free to reach out to a member of the Regenerative Culture Circle of the Organizing Working Group if you need support and would prefer a mediator.
The Regenerative Culture Circle is available to offer support and engage with any violation of our community agreements or conflicts that may arise. Conflict-related interactions with the Regenerative Culture Circle are confidential. You can choose to have confidentiality within the entire Regenerative Culture Circle, or you can choose to request it of the person you connected with and another support person. The Regenerative Culture Circle is available for:
- Support: A person to talk to when you’re having a hard time with someone or feeling overwhelmed
- Prevention: “I am concerned about this person’s behavior.”
- Intervention: “Help me talk to this person.”
- Redress: “I have hard feelings towards this person.”
- Transformation: We address challenges from a restorative perspective in all cases.
Additionally, the following behaviors will trigger an immediate review process. Any such process will be centered around the person who experienced harm. The Coordinators’ Circle reserves the right to remove the perpetrator of any such act:
- Any form of sexual assault or sexual harassment.
- Any previous history of harm which was not disclosed during the intake process.
- Physical violence or threats of physical violence towards another participant.
- Psychological or emotional violence.
- Repeated oppressive, domineering, or otherwise problematic behaviors after having been asked to change them.
- Deliberately spreading false and harmful information about the organization.
- Any other behaviors which threaten the health and safety of other participants or the organization.
We follow through on our commitments
We only join a working group when we plan to be an active participant and take a role in it. When accepting a role, we respect the trust that others are placing in us and take our commitments seriously. To ensure that our projects are always moving forward, we only accept roles that we are willing and able to carry out. We share our limitations openly if we are unable to take on more roles and work. We inform our working group coordinators as soon as possible if our availability changes, so that they can find someone to take or share the role.
3. TACTICAL AGREEMENTS
We oppose any government repression of dissent and assembly, including surveillance, infiltration, disruption, and violence. When reasonable and possible, we agree not to encourage law enforcement actions against activists.
We will not use outside media or social media to denounce others within the movement, even when we have a personal disagreement with a particular strategy. We will discuss issues and strive for resolution internally.
As an organization, we are committed to nonviolence in our struggle for justice. We recognize the sometimes extreme repercussions faced by those who act for social change, and acknowledge that often the harshest consequences are faced by those already the most marginalized.
As we strive to grow the movement, we also look to minimize the risk of government repression. In a nonviolent and open setting like ours, it is unacceptable and unsafe to discuss or engage in actions that involve violence or property destruction. Governments have a long history of heightened repression to those actions.
4. SECURITY CULTURE AGREEMENT
Engaging in direct action and nonviolent civil disobedience can entail taking risk. This risk varies according to each person’s specific history, experience and identity. As participants, we must agree to act and communicate in a way that maximizes the safety of all other participants.
We affirm the need to balance transparency and security. Anyone bringing another individual to a demonstration or other action should provide the details necessary for risk assessment (tactic, tone, etc). However, it should be remembered that this is a public organizing space, that our ability to vet participants is limited, and that actions can be and have been compromised by excessive transparency.
We agree to:
- Never discuss sensitive information with people outside of the group without the consent of the group.
- Use encrypted communication, such as Signal and Slack, for sensitive information.
- Know what information is necessary to have and to give to others. Respect that certain sensitive information, including action logistics, should remain with the members of that group so as to not endanger the group or the plans.
- We all have to trust each other that we are doing our individual roles to the best of our ability. Do not spread sensitive information to others who do not need it.
If you have questions regarding security, ask an organizer in person or an Action working group coordinator and lean on the side of safety.
5. Communications Platforms
Keep our general MPP Community Agreements in mind at all times.
- In short, we treat each other with respect and seek to foster a caring and compassionate culture and community.
- Any disagreements should remain civil. If a conflict arises that cannot be resolved by those involved, seek support from the Regenerative Culture team.
Each platform has its own platform-specific rules derived from these community agreements. We familiarize ourselves with these rules as we join these platforms and use them to help keep these platforms productive and welcoming.