This is a draft of an "Acceptable Affiliation Policy." Not sure where to place it on the wiki. Feel free to move and edit.
Occupy Wall Street was born in the big bang of a perfect storm. In August, 2011, activists, influenced by the successful Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East, realized that the United States was ready for its own spring. They started with a small encampment in Liberty Plaza near Wall Street, New York. As word spread like fire, other encampments arose and others jumped on the bandwagon regarding participating in a restructuring of our society. People who had lost their homes, healthcare, savings, affordable education, rights as workers, life savings, and basic rights as citizens saw in Occupy Wall Street the opportunity to redress their needs. This potential threatened to affect our economy, politics, media, and national values. Indeed, Occupy has effected all these areas in various ways, and this impact continues to grow.
Internal dialogue and debate began within the movement, based on the fundamental principles inherent in our movement: transparency, non-hierarchy, and non-violence. How could people with conflicting economic views dialogue? How could people with pre-existing agendas come to see Occupy Wall Street as the road towards their fulfillment and not as an obstacle? Such questions were addressed directly and openly, within an atmosphere of respect for all participants. This was a liberating departure from the polarized and reductive discourse in American mainstream politics.
The action continued. Livestream channels emerged to film encampments throughout the United States, the nycga.net website arose, other tactics occurred. Small spin-off groups emerged, and our government reacted, often brutally, to the viable threat of Occupy Wall Street. The idea of bringing down the 1% seemed to create a vacuum, or possibly fertile new soil, for nothing less than a new American Revolution.
To handle decision-making, Occupy Wall Street developed a simple method of voting, the GA and Spokescouncil. As these bodies emerged, there was the need to consider "Affiliations," which are the other groups that we support. In terms of working with existing bodies, because Occupy Wall Street does not exist in a vacuum, it has become apparent that we must develop the capability of "vetting" groups and ideologies. Unions, political parties, and leaders intersect with us; we must create an "Acceptable Affiliation Policy." This policy seeks to create guidelines for vetting external entities. Fundamentally, we believe that any entity we endorse must advance our core beliefs. In that regard, we will only consider endorsing external entities that:
1. Are not driven by greedy profit motives. The principle of right-livelihood suggests that there is enough abundance in the world for all to experience comfort, security, and safety. Greedily grabbing, or manipulating oneself and others to take more than what one needs, is antithetical to our principles. The concept of "right livelihood" means that people will enjoy their work, not have to struggle to make ends meet while others benefit on their behalf. We believe in the spirit of collectivism, and will endorse entities that demonstrate this principle.
2. Have used a variety of tactics for growth or tactics against the government that existed before Occupy Wall Street. Two examples are "moveon" and "unions." In the case of moveon, Occupy Wall Street can use their software to advance certain causes. However, we have not determined the causes to advance of how exactly to make use of this existing software, if at all. In terms of unions, they use "strikes" as a tactic to gain worker rights against the 1%. However, before supporting strikes, we must be sure the negative effects are not outweighed in the process.
An infinite number of entities to help our world existed before Occupy Wall Street. We would like to endorse and support many of them. However, the vetting process takes time and we cannot immediately endorse entities until we have our own house in order. So, although certain political parties, such as the Democrats, Republicans, Independent, Green, Libertarian, or Tea, politicians, unions, non-profits, political action groups, writers, musicians, art companies, non-profits, and the like, appear to have our values at heart, each must undergo the vetting process. This ensures that Occupy Wall Street is not "co-opted" by any one of these groups or individuals, and that we grow in the direction that is true to us, ultimately fulfilling our own values.
3. The vetting process needs a format to be addressed, much like the existing working groups on the nycga.net website. There now exist requirements for each group, for example, to have a quorum, meetings, post minutes, etc. This same kind of process must be established before we support any external group or request for funds either financially or in spirit.
See Occupy.net Volunteer and Occupy.net CRM