We have discussed our values and goals and listened to feedback from an excited and engaged community. We updated them to be more concise, more direct, and more explicit about our aims to radically reimagine the way our community operates:
Our community in McMinnville is made of the people who live here. We may all be different from one another, but we all deserve to make choices about the way we live and what we do. We deserve freedom and autonomy.
We experience limitations on these choices. There are hierarchies that we see daily:
The voices of women are considered less important, yet they bear the majority of the responsibility in keeping our community together.
BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) persons, those who don’t have legal residency, and those who speak a different language face countless cultural prejudices as well as systematic oppression.
Children have beautiful insights about the world but have little input in their community and are often ignored.
People with disabilities are treated as less than human, with large parts of the community inaccessible to them.
People who don’t conform to traditional gender and sexuality norms are made to feel like outsiders.
The houseless are forced into exile.
Wage-workers dedicate their lives to businesses, while their bosses get the profits. These exploitative economic systems drive the climate crisis, and our communities are left with the devastating consequences.
Entrepreneurs and creative people face structural barriers that render their efforts to make a living nearly impossible when forced to compete with bigger businesses.
All of these things limit our choices, limit our ability to thrive, do with our time what we want to do, to live and grow in safety and freedom from fear or hunger.
There are a small number of people who make decisions about our community. Governments and social structures keep hierarchies in place. Maximizing power and profit, destroying the environment and severing the strength of community bonds, they leave us to deal with the brokenness. They pit us against each other, blaming people they have pushed to the margins or groups they will never “serve” for the problems that they create or maintain. They offer an illusion of choice, tell us to vote with a ballot or our money, but real change is somehow always around the corner. At the end of the day, they want to ensure that individuals don’t have equal bargaining power, and that hierarchy persists.
We say no to this. We will build a new community in the rotten shell of this old one. We will do this by learning from the marginalized and voiceless, from our revolutionary ancestors and global neighbors.
We will learn antiauthoritarian strategies.
We will build alternative economies and mutual aid networks
We will decentralize and create space for autonomy.
We will fight for workplaces that workers own and run in a cooperative fashion.
We will run oppositional candidates for local government positions - in protest - and when we win, we will rebuild these systems as direct democracies.
We will abolish the police and prisons. Violence controlled by a few upholds hierarchy.
We will instead seek transformative justice, focused on community public health and safety.
We will engage in direct action in the form of strikes, protests and demonstrations to create a movement.
We will join together with anyone who opposes authority and hierarchy, community should be based on voluntary association and reciprocity.
We will care for the land and the infrastructure we build on it. While we may have individual or collective use for a time, exploitative ownership feeds profit and destroys the planet.
We will be kind to each other and be willing to forgive each other for mistakes. Mistakes can be a tool for accountability, restorative justice, better communication and deeper understanding of one another.
Again, we will learn. We will be fluid, patient, and joyful. we will value organization but always be ready to adapt.
We will liberate us all by liberating those who are least free.