Building Our Movement:  A Statement of Principles From DC Organizers and Activists

A guide for effective organzing in DC, especially for out-of-towners.

 

The District of Columbia is the nation’s Capital and therefore a lightning rod for national organizing, but it is also the home of 600,000 people who deal day-to-day with the consequences of many of the important issues that get protested downtown.  Often, there is a great divide in DC between locally and nationally focused groups even though these groups encounter the same difficulties, require many of the same resources and often have similar goals.  This leads to competing for attention, attendees, media and support while wasting that most valuable of resources, time, by duplicating efforts.  Often times there are class and race divides between local and national organizers, adding to the power dynamics and complicated relationships. 

This document is an attempt to address this problem by laying out best practices for organizers working in the DC area who see the inherent power in building connections across issues, relating national and international struggles to the local ones affecting people day to day, and strengthening a powerful and unified movement for progressive social change.  We hope that national organizing can strengthen local capacity to improve social conditions, organizing and movement building in DC, rather than sapping energy and causing divisions within the movement.  We think it’s possible to continue to support important and inspirational national protests while also empowering DC communities in order to strengthen and unify our movement as a whole.