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(en) DAN structures in Northamerica

From icc99presse@gmx.de
Date Tue, 7 Mar 2000 13:14:25 -0500

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

I forward this about the process in North America about building a
structure derived from the Direct Action Network (DAN) process in Seattle (in the
DAN center met people from grassroot groups from everywhere to make the WTO
meeting impossible) to form a DAN-network within Northamerica. They adopt
their "Principles of Unity" inspired by those of the People's Global Action.

>From: Bob  Everton <everton@sfu.ca To: pga-org@lists.tao.ca
     Below is the proposal from a gathering in Seattle a few weeks ago of
people involving in building or maintaining a Direct Action Network in
their respective city.  Currently the dozen cities involved are presumably
discussing this proposal.  As yet there is no Continental DAN.  Just discussion. 

     A DAN is forming in Toronto as well I hear, in preparation for the
 OAS meeting in Windsor, immediately after the North American PGA
  I assume the Toronto DAN wasn't organized enough yet to participate,
 I believe their initial organizing meeting is late March.
     Locally we are preparing the necessary workshops in Vancouver for
 legal; non-violent direct action; puppet-making; costume-making; first
 marching bands; creative slogans/chants; street theatre; banner drops
 video activism.  We should have a location within the week.  We already
 have some donations of equipment and material.  We only have funding for
 two and half months rent at the moment (from the unions and NGOs,
 without strings attached), but people are already talking about making
                                           -    Bob
 DAN CONTINENTAL - Who We Are & How We Work
 On February 19th and 20th, spokespeople representing ongoing work in
 Boston, New York, Philly, DC, the South East, Chicago, Arizona, LA, San
 Francisco, Northern CA, Seattle and Vancouver came together in Seattle
 to create an ongoing network building off the spirit of Seattle's
 victories.  What follows is the fruit of an intensive and challenging,
 but extremely positive consensus process.
 We were faced with the decision of whether to out-line a proposal for an
 organization or simply a communications network.  Many of us were
 apprehensive about the idea of an organization because we were afraid of
 the possibility of it infringing upon local group autonomy.  However we
 decided that we should not shy away from decision making, but rather
 that we should put all our efforts into constructing a model for what a
 truly decentralized, confederated, directly democratic organization
 could be like. This is a huge endeavor, but if we believe there to be
 any hope for the transformation of greater society into an confederated
 union of local autonomous communities, then we feel that we should
 attempt to manifest such a reality under what we consider to be the very
 best of conditions-- a group of highly motivated, enlightened, and
 heartfelt activists united in common purpose.
 For this reason we propose that DAN Continental engage in directly
 democratic decision making, with the following stipulations: 1. that all
 decisions come directly from the local; 2. that local groups be free to
 choose to participate or not to participate in Continental DAN at all
 times: 3. but that when a group chooses to participate in Continental
 DAN that they respect the guide-lines articulated below. The guide lines
 that we came up with, therefore only pertain to those instances in which
 a local group chooses to participate in Continental DAN-- which of
 course we hope will be often.  We created the guide-lines so that those
 groups that are participating can have  base-line of expectations for
 other participants-- so that work can get done and done well.
 We ask that groups attempt to ratify this document as is, recognizing
 good faith in it's creation and our desire to move forward with the work
 of fighting corporate globalization at home and abroad.  However, if
 there is something in this document that is prohibiting its
 ratification, we ask that the group as a whole articulate a concrete
 suggestion and post it to the rest of the network as soon as possible.
 This is a living document which we hope will grow with us.
 We are creating a movement to overcome corporate globalization and all
 forms of oppression-a movement united in a common concern for justice,
 freedom, peace and sustainability of all life, and a commitment to take
 direct action to realize radical visionary change.
 DAN adopts the following Principles of Unity inspired by and derived
 from those of the People's Global Action.
 1. A rejection of neo-liberal politics and institutions which promote
 socially and environmentally destructive globalization
 2. A confrontational attitude toward undemocratic organizations in which
 capital is the only real policy maker
 3. A call to nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience and the
 construction of local alternatives by local people as answers to the
 actions of governments and corporations.
 4. An organizational philosophy based on decentralization, direct
 democracy, and local autonomy
 5. A rejection of all forms of oppression and exploitation such as
 patriarchy, white supremacy and imperialism
 6. A commitment to working in solidarity locally and internationally to
 build a popular movement for radical social change and global justice.
 Local DAN Groups:
 * Are autonomous and do work as defined by their own constituents
 * Must affirm the DAN Principles of Unity when identifying or
 affiliating with the DAN continental network
 * Are encouraged to participate in the Continental DAN Spokes Council
 either directly through their own spokesperson or through that of their
 local DAN Cluster.  And if they choose to participate they must move or
 respond to proposals for actions or events in a timely manner.
 * Are encouraged to commit to an anti-oppression process
 * Are encouraged to build alliances with locally represented
 Local DAN Clusters:
 * Will be encouraged where there is a large concentration of local
 groups in a small geographic area or where there is a small
 concentration of local groups in a large geographic area
 * May have a Spokesperson on the Continental Spokes Council
 * Are autonomous and do work as defined by their own constituents
 * May design their own structure for representation as well as processes
 for collecting and disseminating information.
 Work Groups:
 * Four ongoing work groups have been established:
 1. Communications/Clearinghouse: webpage, listserves, phone/mailing
 address, broad sheets, etc.,
 2. Finances/Fundraising: establish new budget, request procedures,
 accounting system, checks and balances, initiate subgroups for
 fundraising, This group is limited to spokespeople (except for
 fundraising subgroups) due to its need for committed familiarity with
 DAN issues.
 3. Anti-Oppression: collect resources, begin incorporation in current
 trainings and new trainings, help local groups initiate process, serve
 as voice to insure all things we do reflect understanding and commitment
 4. Annual Meeting: where, when, how long, agenda, representation, etc.
 * All work groups except Finances are open to non-spokes participation
 * Each ongoing work groups will have an non-voting advisory spoke on the
 Continental Spokescouncil.
 * Through its advisory spoke each work group will propose its scope,
 role, criteria and work plans to the continental spokes council with
 * Ad hoc work groups may be created as needed and will report through a
 Continental Spokes Council (CSC):
 * Issues Calls to Actions through consensus of the Spokes Council as a
 whole, and based on capacity and resources
 * Coordinates work related to calls to action and insures accountability
 of work groups
 * Serves as a space for learning and support among local groups
 * Approves budget and expenditures
 Representation on the Continental Spokes Council
 * Each Local Group or Cluster may democratically select an empowered
 * Each local group is also asked to identify an alternate to participate
 only when the primary spokesperson cannot participate or attend.
 * Each local group or cluster has the right to recall their spokesperson
 at any time, if they are not fulfilling their responsibilities or
 representing the interests of the group.
 * Spokespeople are suggested to serve for one year.  Any change of
 spokesperson will ideally include a period of overlap (“spoke in
 * CSC will communicate through a listserve, monthly conference calls,
 and at least one face to face meeting each year outside of the annual
 * Criteria:
 Spokespeople must:
 1. Spoke for a local group or cluster that has affirmed DAN principles
 2. Accurately relay the decisions and sentiments of their group, setting
 aside all personal biases and agendas to the greatest extent possible.
 3. Commit time and work including: making calls, attending meetings,
 moving proposals, collecting and disseminating information, and all in a
 timely fashion.
 4. Have e-mail access
 And it is recommended that Spokespeople:
 5. Have organizing experience and skills
 6. Have experience beyond local organizing
 7. Have done work on and made a commitment to confronting race, gender,
 class and other forms of oppression
 Decision Making
 * Local groups and clusters will decide their own processes for
 * The Continental Spokes Council will use consensus with the following
 parameters added to blocks:
 1. The block must be from the entire local group, not the individual
 2. The block must be directly related to the principles, the validity of
 which will be determined by the rest of the Spokes Council.
 * Proposals must be made by an affiliated DAN group or cluster.
 * Spokes must post proposals via e-mail at least two weeks prior to any
 conference call or meeting in order to allow time for thorough local
 deliberation and decision making.
 * Proposals should specify what is being requested and a time frame for
 * The CSC has the ability to override this process of posting in the
 event an urgent action is needed.
 Annual Gathering:
 * open to all
 * Sets overall strategy and priorities for upcoming year
 * Opportunity to educate on issues, skill-share, dialogue on challenges
 * Have fun with each other
 * Possibly take action on local target
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