10-POINT PLATFORM AND PROGRAM
The Direct Action Coordinating Committee (DACC) is a group invested in fighting for black and indigenous liberation within the framework of the prison abolitionist movement. DACC aims to foster a network of branches and affiliated organizations at colleges and universities across the United States whereby students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members near these institutions can leverage the power of higher education within a unified and organized movement structure. We understand that the financial, intellectual, and spatial resources of academic institutions have been unjustly accumulated through legacies of genocide and enslavement. We–founders and early members of DACC–seek to utilize and redistribute these resources to help achieve the goals of the abolitionist movement. Founded by Amherst College students of color upon horizontalist principles, DACC is committed to fostering and sustaining a legacy of broad-based, anti-racist, anti-imperialist resistance.
1. We are committed to the end of U.S. imperialism and the abolition of prisons, police, military, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and borders. We understand our particular role and responsibility to participate actively in the global movement to dismantle U.S. Empire. We are committed to freeing all prisoners, ending all deportations, and abolishing all borders.
2. We believe that addressing the root causes of oppression is the only path to genuine liberation. Addressing root causes requires radical politics and radical political education. We desire to unlearn the harm and oppression that our society teaches us, and to learn what a more just society could look like.
3. We believe in the use of a variety of tactics in order to achieve our goals. Our primary strategy is direct action: a philosophical and practical approach to liberation which includes tactics such as strikes, boycotts, marches, sit-ins, sabotage, and mutual aid. While we believe in employing other tactics–aimed at achieving liberation for all–we condemn sympathy for and collaboration with police, correctional officers, prosecutors, and others who maintain the prison industrial complex.
4. We understand that the primary role of the modern University is to legitimize and uphold the current power structure. We understand that reform of the University, accommodation into the global elite, or other forms of assimilation are not viable paths towards liberation.
5. We follow the lead of the most oppressed under global racial capitalism, and work to provide material support to aid their resistance and survival on a regular basis. We affirm that there is no liberation without women’s liberation. We affirm that queer and trans black and indigenous liberation worldwide is essential to the liberation of all people of color and all people. We affirm that people sitting at the nexus of multiple matrices of domination–class, race, disability, gender, nationality, sexuality, incarceration status, and more–must lead our liberation movements, in the spirit of Anarkata.
1. It is non-negotiable that DACC as an organization, and individual and affiliated organizers, commit themselves (ourselves) to being accountable. Accountability means taking responsibility for our actions. When we enact harm, being emotionally-present to the harm that we caused, seeking to redress that harm, and making individual and collective choices to prevent that kind of harm from taking place in our communities again–all of this constitutes accountability. In a violent world, we all have a relationship to violence in which we have been harmed and oppressed, and contributed to harm and oppression. Facing this reality with seriousness and committing ourselves to transformation is the way forward.
2. The DACC network will be accountable to incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, and systems-impacted individuals. We will center the experiences and wisdom of prisoners, former prisoners, and their loved ones. Through consistent communication, mutual aid, and collaborative solidarity, we work towards the abolition of the prison industrial complex by co-struggling with those from whom we take leadership: people actually affected by the system.
3. We understand abolition as not solely a theoretical project, but as a commitment to revolutionary praxis which requires diligence, discipline, and dignity. In the DACC Network, consistent labor is required to maintain organizations and work toward revolutionary goals. As individuals and as collectives, we must be accountable to all tasks–large and small. When we sign-up for a challenge, we follow-thru. We support each other as we hold ourselves accountable to completing tasks we agreed to complete.
4. While resisting the surveillance state, we will take steps to ensure security and trust in our DACC relationships. We understand that people who have made decisions similar to our own throughout history have faced death, incarceration, surveillance, and psychological warfare. We understand that addiction, poor mental health, fear and anxiety rooted in these material conditions have played a role in tearing apart our movements. Going forward, we commit ourselves to love as the practice of freedom, to caring for one another, and to acting on courage instead of anxiety. Taking care of one another requires digital security through trusted, end-to-end encrypted technologies.
5. We understand that in the development of struggle, new theories and forms of praxis arise, and we are open to our platform and program shifting according to new information and new visions from our membership. This is just a starting place. Our collective efforts henceforth will be predominantly focused on concrete organizing. Where revolutionary abolitionist organizations already exist, DACC hopes to solidify connections between different universities and different regions. At universities and colleges where such organizations do not yet exist, we encourage young people to launch DACC chapters with these 10 principles in mind.
A NOTE ON ACCOUNTABILITY
Accountability should not only be an issue that comes up when something goes wrong in an organization, or if an organizer has done harm; instead, accountability structures and practices should be established as the norm such that, if something does go wrong–if an organizer does do harm–there are mechanisms to address this in non-punitive, holistic, and effective ways. Different regions may desire to implement different methods for ensuring accountability within their organization: criticism and self-criticism (CSC) processes; Transformative Justice (TJ) circles; accountability processes and pods; one-on-one conversations; and/or all of the above. We do not prescribe how our chapters and affiliated organizations ought to maintain collective and individual accountability; we do emphasize that accountability is absolutely necessary to successful movement-building. We encourage all DACC chapters and affiliated organizations to set-up formal processes for diligent accountability check-ins.