Bristol Solidarity Network Statement of Intent
What we believe…
Faced with relentless attacks on our quality of life from bosses, landlords, authorities and politicians, it is easy to give up the fight, keep our heads down, and accept that this is just the way things are.
Bristol Solidarity Network is determined to show another way, based on principles of solidarity and shared struggle. We are a group of local people committed to sticking together to overcome common problems we face. We can make real changes for the better through concerted, collective effort and direct action. Together we are stronger and we can win.
- Accompany tenants in struggles over repair and maintenance refusal or withheld rent deposits by greedy, unscrupulous landlords.
- Fight alongside workers who are owed wages, harassed or subject to bad workplace terms and conditions by bosses.
- Join people struggling to improve or defend services and facilities in our area.
- Analyse the situation thoroughly and collectively agree on a strategy that will get the desired results.
- Use a variety of tactics to exert the necessary pressure to win.
- Build confidence, momentum and involvement through our actions and by publicising our wins.
- Encourage maximum participation from members of the solidarity network to have the greatest effect.
- Co-operate with other groups or campaigns, who share our aims and politics-, to join forces where necessary on common ground.-
- Share valuable skills, experience and knowledge both in our everyday organising and in regular collective education.
… and while we’re at it, we will also…
- Pay close attention to our everyday group dynamics and interactions and relations with each other.
- Do all that we can to ensure we work together as equals, prevent the formation of hierarchies and promote a culture of horizontal organising.
- Be aware, and work hard to challenge in ourselves and minimise the effects of, numerous and complex privileges (e.g. White, male, middle class) and oppressions (e.g. Patriarchy, Heteronormativity, Racism, Ableism) that we have all grown up with and continue to endure and participate in. In practise, this includes: listening when someone calls out discriminatory behaviour, using processes that include everyone, and educating each other about how privilege and oppression works.
- Make our meetings accessible – for example by means choosing times that make it easier for people with children to attend, finding places that meet everyone’s accessibility needs, and having regular breaks (if you have any needs, please let us know).
- Make sure our meetings are inclusive and safer spaces where no-one dominates discussions or puts other people down and everyone gets equal say.
- Ensure that the solidarity network is open, accessible and welcoming to all who share these ideas, aims and a willingness to get involved.