What is Symbiosis PDX?
We are working to develop communities where everyone is empowered to shape and co-create the world around them. Where everyone’s basic needs of food, water and shelter are met without enduring exploitation. A world where everyone’s voice is heard and people are treated with dignity and respect.
A world where we recognize our interdependence and reliance upon nature’s ecological processes as essential to our survival. A culture where we begin thinking of the impact of our actions 7 generations into the future and where we work to end the harm caused by systems of capitalist modernity. We envision a world beyond borders, of interconnected culturally diverse communities. We are inspired by the revolutionary social experiment in democratic confederalism in Rojava, the autonomous federated Zapatista communities in Mexico and the alternative economic strategies of Cooperation Jackson in Mississippi.
Our mission is no less than to generate systemic change through advancing the self-organization of our communities to achieve economic and political autonomy. To achieve this goal we look to develop a dual power network of grassroots participatory political and economic institutions that brings thousands of people into a web of relations able to make the cultural change from isolated disempowered individuals into empowered interdependent community members. We aim to build a culture rooted in the principles of truth and reconciliation, consent, gender freedom, social ecology, solidarity economics and munciplism.
Truth and Reconciliation
The city of Portland sits on the traditional lands of many tribal groups who made homes on the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, including Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, and Molalla. We seek to work directly in solidarity with Indigenous peoples for sovereignty, autonomy and equitable land redistribution. Additionally, we must work to dismantle the oppressive punitive prison industrial complex, the carceral mentality, and white supremacy.
Consent Based Decision Making
Everyone deserves to have their voice heard and leverage over decisions that impact them. Together we can co-create a society where everyone has an opportunity to shape the world around them where we reclaim control over our collective destiny from the destructive course set by those in power.
Patriarchal violence is the root of all oppressive social structures. We oppose the patriarchy in all forms and collectively work to disengage from this form of binary acculturation towards a full and free expression of gender in all its diversity.
We recognize that our ecological problems are rooted in our social problems. As such we must become stewards of the land and see ourselves as interdependent with the natural world.
Solidarity Economy & Mutual Aid
Through building grassroots economic institutions we can grow our own food, build our own housing, and develop ways of communal physical, mental, and emotional care beyond the isolated individualistic drudgery of our current capitalist economic system.
The political and economic self-determination of our communities and the autonomy of our municipalities is essential. By developing new forms of popular civic engagement on a local level, such as neighborhood assemblies and councils, we can begin transforming municipal governing institutions who serve the interests of a powerful few into community controlled dual-power institutions.
“You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed
The Symbiosis Hub and Resource Exchange (SHaRE) operates out of the Social Justice Action Center, providing fresh food, masks, personal hygiene supplies, pet food and prepared meals to community members. SHaRE is networked with other mutual aid hubs and organizations throughout Portland to provide bulk goods and other resources.
This domain exists to continue our imporant work of indigenous solidarity efforts regionally and internationally.
This group builds critical partnerships with indigenous communities in the bioregion and beyond. It works to understand how to do solidarity work, to educate our communities on the importance of decolonization and to materially support colonized peoples pursuing their collective self-organization.
-PCEN: The Portland Collaborative Exchange Network (PCEN) is a mutual support network of people engaged in reciprocal exchange of services, skills, and goods through a timebank where the currency is an hour of time for everyone.
-The Solidarity Stitchers: formed to make 1000 masks for communities in need on May Day 2020.
-Food Sovereignty Circle
-Housing Circle: This domain exists to carry on the work of building housing justice. It is working towards recognizing housing as a human right and human rights for the houseless. They build campaigns, actions and community engagement to advocate for housing justice, community control of housing and urban development processes, decommodifying the land and building autonomous forms of housing.
-Neighborhood Action Collectives: This domain exists to support the creation of NAC's within the community. It aims to build towards the broader self organization of the community. Anyone actively engaged or who wishes to build a NAC in their area can join this domain. To bring in representatives of various NAC's that have been created to coordinate activities. To help develop these NAC's and encourage the spreading of NACs through educational events, openig up organizational resources to their disposal and collaboration with Symbiosis at large. It will also work to conduct coordinated actions and campaigns.
-Community Defense: This domain exists to ensure the safety and security needs of the organization and wider community are afforded. It shall perform educational tasks around self- and community-defense both within the organization and community. It shall work to develop organizational capacities to provide for security needs of the organization and community at large. It may also conduct anti-repression work to support victims of political repression, or to proactively prevent such occurrences. This domain will have it's own internal membership vetting process, to decide who may join from our general membership.