Agreements

Occupy Gainesville Agreements

(Approved by consensus of the General Assembly on 23 October 2011.)

As participants in Occupy Gainesville, we dedicate ourselves to the well-being and dignity of all people. We agree that it is everyone’s responsibility to create a safe, healthy, and respectful atmosphere--a space where our ideas for creating a better world may take root and flourish. Accordingly, we agree that we will:

1. Respect the space we and those before us have created, so not tolerate the presence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or weapons;

2. Be respectful with our words, so not tolerate verbal abuse, or prejudicial language;

3. Be respectful and consensual in our actions, so not tolerate violence, physical intimidation, assault, sexual harassment or the theft or destruction of personal or public property;

4. Work diligently and enthusiastically on all of our relationships, and on our understanding of privilege and power, since this enthusiasm is the basis of a healthy and safe community.

Guidelines for Resolution of Violations of the OG Agreements

(Approved as a provisional guideline--a starting point--by consensus of the General Assembly on 23 October 2011. Continued work on these guidelines was entrusted to the Conflict & Support Working Group.)

Accountability is a basis for respect. Following the accusation of a violation, we share three goals:

1. That there be no further violation.

2. That the person who feels violated feel that the community is safe.

3. That other participants feel that the community is safe.

To reach these goals, the GA and OG may employ different strategies.

First there is a sensitive exploration of the accusation. The Conflict & Support Working Group will talk with the accuser/survivor and, if possible, the accused.

In some cases conflict mediation may help to reach resolution and safety.

Occasionally, the violation may be so severe that the accused may be asked no longer to participate. Wherever possible, the Conflict & Support Working Group will offer an ‘invitation’ which is a guide or accountability process for what the accused may do to rejoin the community. The invitation process may be negotiated by the accuser and the Conflict & Support Working Group.

If they choose not to accept the invitation, or the accuser or others feel that no accountability process will redeem the violations, then the accused is asked to not participate.

As this is a public space, we will not physically try to prevent them from being nearby, but there are other ways the community can shun the person. These may include:
-they are no longer welcome in our online forums.
-they are no longer welcome to share food with us
-they are no longer welcome to speak at the GA, i.e. the stack-taker will not recognize them
-participants may refuse to talk to them, or turn their backs.

We recognize that individuals often act in disruptive, disrespectful, or hurtful ways because of hurt or isolation that has been inflicted on them, and we strive to break the cycle, to help everyone to heal. We recognize that a process such as this one can be very divisive, and we choose this process with caring, forgiveness, and consciousness as a means to help the community remain safe and healthy, to learn effective and healthy ways of building relationships, and to create a world in which mutual respect, support, and love are a fundamental currency of human interactions.