Thursday, December 1, 2011

Statement of solidarity and support with all regional #Occupy movements

Portland, Oregon. Mt. Hood sunrise.
Image by SoulRider.222 via Flickr
Recognizing that the #Occupy movement is a decentralized and free one, and that there is no singular, central organization that controls all actions occurring in Portland, Oregon and its vicinities, and that there have been several attempted actions, squats and encampments independent of the #OccupyPortland General Assembly or its Action Committee, we hereby express solidarity with, and support of, all expressions of #Occupy movement everywhere; specifically, we strive to expand our chaplaincy, outreach and other ministries to any known Occupation in Clackamas, Clark, Multnomah and Washington counties, and/or support the formation and organization of similar chaplains group in such Occupations, or if there is any chaplains group already in existence, we shall stand in solidarity with such a group and work closely with it to further common missions while respecting its local autonomy and independence.

Officially adopted by consensus of the Interfaith Guild of Chaplains in its weekly meeting, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011.

Explanatory Statement by Sarah Morrigan
This is not part of the official statement.

Background: During the past week, an independent Occupation called #OccupyGateway arose briefly in the Rocky Butte State Park near the Gateway District of Northeast Portland.  The decentralized and spontaneous nature of the Occupy movement makes it possible for any group of people to start their own Occupation, without necessarily having to go through the General Assembly (GA) of an existing Occupation framework.  This is not without precedence; the Occupation at the Terry Schrunk Plaza was technically speaking independent from #OccupyPortland, as the said action has never been officially approved by the General Assembly of #OccupyPortland (however, OP did formally state its solidarity with the Terry Schrunk group).  Additionally, there is an active #OccupyVanWA on the other side of the Columbia River.  The Interfaith Guild of Chaplains (IGC) was founded in the Camp Beta of the first Portland Occupation in October, 2011 -- and its initial emphasis was on serving the community of Occupiers at the downtown encampments.  However, its members come from all parts of the Greater Portland-Vancouver Metropolitan Area and it makes a perfect sense to expand its outreach to any other current and future Occupations and Occupy-related actions.

Summary of the Statement of Solidarity -- What it means and what it does:

  1. We support and we will stand in solidarity with #OccupyPortland, #OccupyVanWA, and any other known manifestations of worldwide #Occupy movement in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties of Oregon and Clark County, Washington, and we do not limit our work to actions or encampments officially authorized by the Portland GA. (IGC is an independent organization, not a committee, caucus or work group of #OccupyPortland.)
  2. We are open to the idea of expanding our ministries and activities to other such Occupations in the said region, and/or offer assistance in organizing their own, independent, chaplains group there, with a recognition that such groups arising in other Occupations are free to decide on their own affairs autonomously and independently.  If there is already an active chaplains group in #OccupyVanWA or any other future Occupations we will still work closely with them in the spirit of solidarity and mutual support. 

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