All societies – including the most peaceful; especially the most peaceful – have understood the necessity of codes of conduct, which are nothing more than behavioral norms.
All serious organizations have codes of conduct by which people are meant to abide. The Spanish Anarchists did. So did the IRA. The Freedom Riders had a code of conduct, as did Nat Turner’s fighters. Codes of conduct are even more important in militant resistance movements which have a history of behaving badly.
To reject the concept of a social compact is to reject all responsibility (which comes from the root “to give in return”) and ultimately all human relationships. The modern, Western, individualist, capitalist, code of conduct is that there can be no such thing as a code of conduct other than what benefits an individual the most. Our movements can’t use this as a measure of liberation or as a model for our organizations or communities. If we are to be successful in such a monumental task, we must invest time and energy in our relationships.
Agreeing to abide by a code of conduct is not limiting, it is liberating. It will ensure that all involved are in agreement on the basic protocols that will guide us in this struggle.
Civilization, especially industrial civilization, is fundamentally destructive to life on earth. Organized political resistance is the only hope for our planet. Our task is to create that resistance movement.
With this goal in mind, we agree to adhere to the following Code of Conduct in our organizing groups:
Political Action: DGR groups will only engage in aboveground, nonviolent activities. These can include legal demonstrations as well as civil disobedience.
Solidarity: Non-indigenous members of DGR remember that we are living on stolen land in the midst of an ongoing genocide. The task of the non-indigenous is to build solidarity with indigenous people in defending the land, preserving traditional cultures, and protecting sacred ceremonies from exploitation.
Justice: We are enmeshed in overlapping systems of sadistic power built on stolen wealth, white privilege, misogyny, and human supremacism. As individuals, it is our responsibility to acknowledge those systems, overcome our entitlement, and make alliances with the dispossessed. Collectively, it is our task to bring those systems down.
Liberty: DGR groups have a zero-tolerance policy for abuse of anyone, human or nonhuman. Physical integrity and emotional safety are basic human rights that DGR is sworn to defend. DGR will banish any members who rape, batter, or abuse any living creature. Masculinity, with its militarized psychology and its violation imperative, has to be abandoned personally and dismantled globally.
Character: DGR is a serious undertaking that requires loyalty, commitment, integrity, and courage. Members are expected to treat everyone with respect.
Security: All DGR members are required to abide by principles of security culture and to address breaches directly. Both lax security and paranoia are dangerous to our organization. All non-political illegal activity puts everyone at risk and is inappropriate for members. DGR groups are required to educate new members on security culture.