Adapted from the Chicago and St. Paul principles.
- We are opposed to all forms of oppression.
- We condemn and oppose racist, sexist, and homophobic demonstrations planned for the DNC.
- Our solidarity will be based on respect for the widest possible diversity within the struggle for social, economic and environmental justice. As individuals and groups, we may choose to engage in a diversity of tactics and plans of action but are committed to treating each other with respect and working towards a common goal of peace and justice.
- As we plan our actions and tactics, we will take care to maintain appropriate separations of time and space between divergent tactics.
- We oppose any state repression of dissent, including surveillance, infiltration, disruption, limiting our action to “free speech zones,” and violence, or attempts to divide our movement through the conscious creation of divisions regarding tactics, organization, strategies, and alliances.
- Any debates or criticisms will stay internal to the movement, avoiding any public or media denunciations of fellow activists and events.
In response to some questions we have received about the Charlotte Principles, and in particular our commitment to respect a diversity of tactics, we have prepared the following statement that seeks to clarify the intention behind this and other points of unity.
The Charlotte Principles were adapted from similar principles of unity that have been successfully used at most major national demonstrations and protests at conventions of the two parties throughout the past decade. The intention of these principles is to build the broadest possible unity between the many groups and individuals that mobilize to participate at these national demonstrations.
The people that will be in the streets of Charlotte in September will come from diverse backgrounds, various ideological traditions, with varying levels of experience with political demonstrations. We know that the corporate media, the arms of the state, and the 1% will make every effort to divide our movement and turn us against one another. Our principled unity is the best tool to ensure that they are not successful.
One important tenet of this unity is to not take the bait from the media or the police to engage in public criticisms of other groups on any basis and to keep all debates or disagreements internal to our movement. We have seen this debilitate movements before that were pulled into the “good protester v. bad protester” narrative that the media and cops love to create to play us off one another. This does not mean that we will agree with everyone all the time, but it does mean that we must maintain a united front.
Some have gone so far as to suggest that our respect for a “diversity of tactics” is code for “we intend to be violent.” We are somewhat puzzled by this response. The debate in our movements about “nonviolence v. violence” — even on the very basic level of what these terms mean — is a long and complex one that just about everyone has a different perspective on. We have chosen not to wade into this subjective debate, as our goal is to unite as many organizations under one tent. Additionally, our experience and history shows us that the only group that ever comes to political demonstrations to instigate violence is the police, infiltrators, right-wing groups, and other agents of the 1%, not the masses of people.
The Coalition to March on Wall Street South plans to organize a major mass march on Sunday, September 2 that is safe, legally permitted, family friendly, and brings people from all of our diverse communities — from different nationalities, ages, genders, abilities, sexualities, documentation statuses — into the streets to express our many grievances with the two party system, the banks and corporations. The City of Charlotte and the DNC are standing in our way of getting permits for any activities during the convention, and we will continue to demand our right to protest at every step of the way.
In the buildup to the convention, we will serve as a hub to help connect organizations from across the country who want to organize actions during the conventions and provide an up to date list on our website of the actions being planned.
See you in the streets of Charlotte from September 1-6! Power to the people!
For unity, solidarity, and justice,
Coalition to March on Wall Street South