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Queer Left At US Social Forum Pledge A Movement For ‘Safe Self-Determination

In June 2010, SRLP attended the United States Social Forum in Detroit, Michigan. As part of the ROOTS Coalition, we built a new level of shared national strategy for queer and trans justice movements in the US. Two of SRLP’s community members active in the Transforming Justice Coalition joined us in facilitating a workshop to build strategy around Trans Communities and Detention. SRLP attorney Pooja Gehi co-facilitated the national queer and transgender People’s Movement Assembly (PMA). This gathering was the culmination of a collective process to identify and discuss the major issues our communities face and work toward a shared agenda for a new queer rights movement that incorporates crucial issues around immigration and racial and economic justice. Check out the resulting document:
Read Press Release here


ROOTS Coalition;  United States Social Forum, Detroit, MI June 25, 2010

We must love each other and protect each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.
-Assata Shakur

“WE, THE QUEER, TRANS, LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TWO SPIRIT, GENDER NON-CONFORMING PEOPLE gathered together at the United States Social Forum, to continue to build a national movement of our people to fight the state sponsored destruction of our communities. We do hereby establish our interdependence to one another to ensure our peoples’ Safe Self-Determination; to abolish the state privileging of marriage or certain kinds of heteronormative families, kinships and communities; to respect and celebrate our varied gender and sexual identities, languages and indigenous knowledges about our world and our roles in healing ourselves; to ensure the human rights of our migrant, displaced and refugee people; to promote economic justice and to support new, small, local economic systems created and maintained by our people; and, to secure our political and cultural liberation that has been denied for over 500 years of colonization and oppression, resulting in the silencing and erasure of our peoples. Our identities are not our possessions; we do not own them, and we are more than any one label. However, our embodied existences are under attack and we do know that it is our duty to fight for specific and concrete human rights and overall system transformation, and we utilize this framework as we move towards Safe Self Determination. We recognize that many of our peoples, particularly rural and Native people, were not present with us at the forum, and this is, therefore, a significant and yet early step in our work together. We hereby do affirm and adopt these Principles of Safe Self-Determination:

1)    Safe Self-Determination affirms our need to hold ourselves accountable for resolving all forms of violence enacted within our community.

2)    Safe Self-Determination demands we hold the government accountable for all forms of state sponsored and inter-personal violence enacted upon our community.

3)    Safe Self-Determination must ensure access to what we need through creating our own systems of economic interdependence and simultaneously holding domination-based economic systems accountable for their acts of physical, emotional, and spiritual starvation against us

4)    Safe Self-Determination calls for our ingenuity and discipline to use all tactics within our values that are effective—this includes direct action, cultural shifts, alternative infrastructure building (including mechanisms for community accountability and self reliance), and holding the US government accountable through policy work

5)    Safe Self-Determination insists that we must listen deeply to our communities, and work for concrete changes that directly impact areas of our lives that are under crisis-level attack: shown in our lack of access to any (let alone whole and transformative) work, wellness, and safety.

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