Solidarity within activist circles not only fosters collaboration between movements but also helps deconstruct oppression, by recognizing that everyone experiences it differently. Solidarity is the only way to resist oppression in all its forms.
This guide will cover:
What is solidarity?
How does it work?
Why is it important?
Solidarity is a deep and consistent committement to the collective based on an active respect for difference. Rather than “tolerance” which involves passively allowing for difference, solidarity means actively seeking and incorporating difference in meaningful ways. Whether this is making your campaign accessible or recognizing when your organizing on stolen indigenious land, solidarity can take many forms.
How it works
Solidarity is something that needs to be talked about, understood and lived. You don’t have to be organizing to show solidarity. Witnessing is also a part of solidarity. This is when violence is happening and you act as a witness, to support the victim and possibly give testemony if needed. Violence can be verbal, emotional, or physical. For example, if a woman is being harassed on a bus, being a witness means telling the harasser to stop, asking if the woman would like you to stand with her and availing yourself as a legal witness if she files a complaint.
Showing solidarity makes people uncomfortable, as you’re breaking through the status quo that allows for oppression. You may be patronized, called “politically correct” or harassed yourself. But solidarity is also strength in numbers. Speaking up when someone is experiencing violence is only right.