What We Believe
WE Believe that there is a strategic need to unite the struggles of oppressed, exploited, and dispossessed communities and peoples, classes, and genders within the United States (particularly Black, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander and Indigenous communities) to the struggles of marginalized, oppressed, and dispossessed peoples and classes around the world.
- Believe the USSF should place the highest priority on groups that are actually doing grassroots organizing with working class people and people of color, who are training organizers, building long term structures of resistance, and who can work well with other groups, seeing their participation in USSF as building the whole, not just their part of it.
- Believe the USSF must be a place where the voices of those who are most marginalized and oppressed from Indigenous communities can be heard a place that will recognize Indigenous peoples, their issues and struggles.
- Believe the USSF must create space for the full and equal participation of undocumented migrants and their communities.
- Believe the USSF should link US-based youth organizers, activists, and cultural workers to the struggles of their brothers and sisters abroad, drawing common connections and exploring the deeper meanings of solidarity.
- Believe the USSF is important because we must have a clear and unified approach at dealing with social justice issues, and meaningful positions on global issues.
- Believe that a USSF sends a message to other people’s movements around the world that there is an active movement in the United States opposing U.S. policies at home and abroad.
- Believe that the USSF will help build national networks that will be better able to collaborate with international networks and movements.
- We believe the USSF is more than an event. It is an ongoing process to contribute to strengthening the entire movement, bringing together the various sectors and issues that work for global justice.
Guidelines for working together
- Be aware of time
- Respect strengths and weaknesses of all
- Open minds only
- Step up/Step back –to encourage women and minorities who are less likely to speak up to ‘step up,’ and those whose social privilege gives them voice to step back;
- Woah! —Use this when a statement seems to contradict key principles of the group or when something is unclear;
- Default to trust—Remember that we’re all on the same team. When disagreements arise, raise them in a way that respects each other’s commitment to working together. Ask for clarifications before assuming another’s intentions.
- Use ‘parking lot’ (or bike rack) to acknowledge but set aside issues that are important but off-topic to allow them to be addressed at some future time;
- Oppression exists – we will confront it in this space