SAFE is a community organization whose mission is to fight for racial, social and economic justice and gender equality by fostering working class power through direct action, coalition building, education, and advocacy. In organizing poor and working class people of diverse cultures and nationalities, we shall encourage individual empowerment and community leadership to generate a movement effecting systemic change and societal transformation.
Of paramount importance are the concerns, interests and well-being of the people directly taking a stand against foreclosure and bank eviction. People are always encouraged to come to SAFE’s open meetings to seek support, but SAFE cannot fight for people, only with people in a spirit of mutual aid and solidarity. All of SAFE’s fights are made public in the interests of transparency and building the movement.
Education and Values
Homeowners and tenants facing foreclosure or eviction may tend to blame themselves for their circumstances. On the contrary, the cause of their economic plight lies entirely with a system that puts profits first and people last, a system defined by unprecedented material inequality and injustice. We believe having a home – along with food, clothing, healthcare, and education – is a human right and that any society which values money and greed over human well-being needs to be replaced by a society whose objectives are human happiness, equality, and freedom.
Non-sectarian (religious, political, philosophical, etc.)
We will join forces with other community groups, and potentially support their actions or events, when (a) they are in concert with our mission, and (b) when the group or event exists to serve a particular social justice mission, versus promoting sectarian agendas. By sectarian agendas, we mean narrow, dogmatic causes or programs that emphasize exclusion of certain segments of the people over unity. While we may support or fight against specific legislation, and thereby pressure our legislative representatives on specific issues, we will not support political parties or particular candidates running for office.
When possible, our work will be undertaken in conjunction with established organizations working in the relevant area of social justice. This ensures that our work is viewed as productive and a positive contribution by groups that are already active in the field, and that we can benefit from the guidance of experienced activists.
In our work we will have specified objectives, along with, when feasible, a specific and realistic work plan, including tasks and timelines if appropriate. We will seek to ensure that we possess the skills and resources to carry out our work.
Our work will have concrete social benefits, placing primary emphasis on keeping people in their homes.
If our members engage in collective, nonviolent civil disobedience tactics, we will plan and discuss the action beforehand and work to ensure the safety of all participants. We will partner with other groups if we agree collectively that their plans and actions are in line with our principles and goals.
Additional Principles of Unity
As a member of the Right To The City National Alliance our principles also include:
Land for People vs. Land for Speculation
The right to land and housing that is free from market speculation and that serves the interests of community building, sustainable economies, and cultural and political space.
The right to permanent ownership of urban territories for public use.
The right of working class communities of color, women, queer and transgender people to an economy that serves their interests.
The right of First Nation indigenous people to their ancestral lands that have historical or spiritual significance, regardless of state borders and urban or rural settings.
The right to sustainable and healthy neighborhoods & workplaces, healing, quality health care, and reparations for the legacy of toxic abuses such as brown fields, cancer clusters, and superfund sites.
Freedom from Police & State Harassment
The right to safe neighborhoods and protection from police, INS/ICE, and vigilante repression, which has historically targeted communities of color, women, queer and transgender people.
The right of equal access to housing, employment, and public services regardless of race, ethnicity, and immigration status and without the threat of deportation by landlords, ICE, or employers.
Services and Community Institutions
The right of working class communities of color to transportation, infrastructure and services that reflect and support their cultural and social integrity.
Democracy and Participation
The right of community control and decision making over the planning and governance of the cities where we live and work, with full transparency and accountability, including the right to public information without interrogation.
The right of working class communities of color to economic reciprocity and restoration from all local, nation and transnational institutions that have exploited and/or displaced the local economy.
The right to support and build solidarity between cities across national boundaries, without state intervention.
The right of rural people to economically healthy and stable communities that are protected from environmental degradation and economic pressures that force migration to urban areas.