Principles for Our Movement to Unite & Resist Attacks

These Principles were adopted by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network in February 2015


As part of building the fight to STOP the outrage of police murder and brutality right now, many different people and political forces from different perspectives come together and make plans on how to unite in common struggle against a common enemy. And within that, there should be a spirit of lively wrangling over differences. If done in the right way, with largeness of mind and generosity of spirit, this kind of wrangling actually deepens the unity of any group or community of people working together.

At the same time, there should be and must be a few simple principles of what does NOT go in this movement. We recognize that the police and other authorities like the FBI have a long history of behind-the-scenes maneuvering and dirty tricks that are aimed at fanning differences and creating antagonisms among the people, and people need to be alert to this and not let them get away with pitting people against each other. (Learn about COINTELPRO.) By adhering to principles, it makes it much harder for the authorities to get away with such attacks.

We urge these principles be widely adopted:

Differences among people and groups should be struggled out in a principled way.

*There must not be physical threats, let alone physical attacks, against anyone in the movement to end these outrages.

* Do not make accusations that someone or some group is working with the police—being a provocateur or informant—without actual evidence.

* There are times when "working with the police" is necessary to negotiate permits, etc.; but in no instance is it ever permissible for people in struggle to finger, or turn over, others to the police or to speculate to the press—who often work closely with the authorities—about someone else in the movement. Such activity should actually be cause for barring people and individuals from the people's movements, until they renounce and change these practices.

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