In light of broad social movements, such as Occupy Richmond and all of the Occupy movements, the St. Paul Principles garner revisiting. These principles were designed with allowing large coalitions of people with a variety of opinions and tactics to come together to organize against common enemies or towards common goals. The general idea being to allow people to work towards these common ideas, without infighting and policing within the movement.

Agreeing to these principles can also help prevent long ideological arguments as part of decision making processes. Following the St. Paul Principles means that tactics do not have to be agreed upon by everyone who is part of a movement for a group of people within the movement to take action. The St. Paul Principles help prevent unnecessary bureaucracy and allow for the most autonomy for participants.

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.
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The St. Paul Principles were a set of principles agreed upon by numerous protest groups at the 2008 RNC. The purpose of the sets of principles was to encourage the working together of multiple different organizations confronting the RNC.

Among those who agreed to these principles were the RNC Welcoming Committee, The Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War, The Anti-war Committee, SDS-U of MN, Communities United Against Police Brutality, The Welfare Rights Committee, and Unconventional Action – Chicago.

Historical Significance
After the large anti-globalization protest that occurred in Seattle in 1999, the labor union, which organized the march, and the Direct Action Network, which participated in the largely non-violent and civil disobedient protests, were at odds because both though that the other had broken their promise. Following the protest, many thought that it would be doubtful to have both types of groups working together in the future. For the 2008 Republican National Convention, multiple different protest groups, including both large anti-war groups as well as anarchist groups, signed on to these agreements and kept their promise. As a result, it has strengthened the ties and possibilities of working together on projects such as the protests against the RNC in 2008.

<from http://wikibin.org/articles/st.-paul-principles.html>

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