St. Paul Principles

St. Paul Principles

1. Our solidarity will be based on respect for a diversity of tactics and the plans of other groups.

2. The actions and tactics used will be organized to maintain a separation of time or space.

3. Any debates or criticisms will stay internal to the movement, avoiding any public or media denunciations of fellow activists and events.

4. We oppose any state repression of dissent, including surveillance, infiltration, disruption and violence. we agree not to assist law enforcement actions against activists and others.

The St. Paul principles come from Minnesota in 2008 when activists planned to shut down the Republican National Convention in the city of St. Paul. The principles are widely used today by activist groups coordinating diverse direct-action strategies.

Local activist groups in Eugene frequently use the St. Paul Principles and they serve as a basis of cooperation between different organizations. In local “Know Your Rights” trainings the principles were taught, and new generations of activist continue to use them.

When using the St. Paul Principles several groups can work together in solidarity towards the same goal without hindering each other’s efforts. Each group respects the time or space of each other’s actions and allows for a diversity of tactics which accepts differing levels of confrontation and creativity.  

In 2008 the city of St. Paul was divided into different zones each with their own independent direct-action plan. Protestors ignored media or politicians’ condemnations of other groups and instead focused on the issues they were protesting.

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