Action in Dahlonega is actively working to construct safe, healthy, and functional spaces where we can all work together to build a better community, one that operates for the benefit of regular people who live, work, and go to school in Lumpkin County and North Georgia. We realize we can’t rely on the government — local, state, or federal — to solve our problems for us. In fact, they’re the cause of many of the problems we’re fighting against. We stand in solidarity with workers, students, and members of the community in their daily struggles.
Here’s what we believe in:
Solidarity is more than simply offering words of encouragement or saying we stand in unity with our neighbors while doing nothing to help them. It means that when they struggle so do we. And when they fall, we fight to help them get back up. It means stepping out of our comfort zone and putting ourselves in situations that aren’t always pleasant. It means working with people who don’t look like us, who we might not even like, because it’s in our mutual best interest and because we want a better community. Solidarity means we don’t look down on people less fortunate than ourselves, but that we see each other as equals, that we walk in our struggles on equal footing, side by side. We’ve seen that charity is only a lifeline and government-funded assistance creates more problems than it solves. Solidarity transcends charity and improves conditions for all of us. We believe, and live, the idea that “an injury to one is an injury to all.”
Mutual aid is not charity. It’s the idea that we can do better working together, as equals, than working against each other or depending on handouts to help our neighbors when they’re in trouble. As neighbors trying to build a better community, we don’t stand to gain anything from fighting against one another for a better seat at the table. We believe there’s enough for everyone to share. And we believe that we’ll get farther cooperating and helping each other — face-to-face — even if we ourselves get nothing in return. That doesn’t mean there’s not a place for friendly competition, but we’re already fighting against a repressive government that’s consistently proven it doesn’t work for us and mega-corporations that take our money and wear down our bodies. We say enough — we can do this ourselves.
Direct action mean doing things for ourselves to improve our lives and our community without relying on the broken machinery of government to do it for us. We work together using our collective power to enact change in our community when our neighbors face problems at work, when they’ve been treated unfairly by the police or the legal system, or when corporations and outside developers set their sights on our natural resources. Direct action has a long history of success, from the labor movement winning us a 40-hour work week and ending child labor, to the US civil rights movement, up to modern movements to combat police violence, corporate greed, and inhumane prison conditions.
We’re committed to accepting people as they are. That means we don’t judge people’s value based on their appearance, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious preference, physical or mental abilities, or ethnic origin. It also means that we will fight to provide spaces where minority groups who face social, economic, and political marginalization will feel comfortable. There’s a long history or racism and exclusion in our region. We refuse to tolerate oppression and ignorance in our community and will work adamantly to challenge and confront not only the visible signs of oppression, like racism and homophobia, but the institutional oppression we all internalize in our own minds and within our own culture that consistently places the value of some lives over others.