Cosecha Principles

The Cosecha principles are the tools we have to protect our movement from problems that might arise, and keep it healthy.

1. Monkey see, monkey do. People will see what we do and copy it, so we are responsible with how we act. We lead by inspiring and suggesting, never by commanding. Our leaders are but trusty servants; they do not govern. We all take initiative and respect those of others. It’s not about one idea; it’s about many good ideas. As we continue embodying/living out movement values, we remember that principles come before personality.

2. We are all a family. This movement welcomes everyone from different countries, ethnicities, races, genders, sexual orientations, religious and spiritual beliefs. We know the wisdom of our movement comes from the voices that are often the most silenced. Since the dominant language can take over a space and silence the people who don’t feel comfortable with the words, we have the “multilingual-rule” which is about making every space open to multiple languages. We operate in the languages that come easily to our community.

3. There is no cover for this party. You don't need permission to participate in this movement. This becomes a reality when we see how our “3-activist rule” works. The rule says that when 3 people decide to become activists in Cosecha, they can form a circle and get full support from the movement. We make our own decisions in our circles and we choose to participate in the activities of the movement that we feel most excited about. We can party together as long as we follow the Cosecha principles. There is no dress code for this party. Our movement needs musicians, artists, dancers, creatives, mothers, daughters, workers, street-intellectuals, poets, academics, students, etc. We encourage risk-taking because the diversity of our creativity will help us find the most effective strategies, tools, actions, and virialization of our movement.

4. We don’t dance with political parties. We are tired of broken promises by political parties. They want our phone numbers for their elections but never call us after they’re elected. Our work is on the streets and with the people -- we are not focused on politicians. Our target is the people -- we will only engage politicians and their supporters to get them to take a leave of absence from their parties. We don't have external representatives or advocates; we speak for ourselves. If the political leadership (president and congress) make a commitment to pass legislation that might give us permanent protection, we will use a 60-day rule. The rule says Cosecha will give the parties a 60-day deadline to enact permanent protection. If that is not done, we will continue with the current phase after 60 days regardless of more promises.

5. Our weapon is non-cooperation. We know our power is rooted in non-cooperation with the current political, social and economic systems. Without working hands, there is no labor: we won't cooperate until this country recognizes it depends on us.

6. Our shield is nonviolence. Nonviolence keeps our movement alive. It is our shield that reflects the true perpetrators of the state violence that our people suffer from daily. It is our strategy to bring light to the injustice that we suffer every day. We feel pain from the abuses of the police and others, and we will keep exposing their violence through our discipline.

7. The soil of our harvest is respect and reciprocity. The ground on which this movement stands is on the relationships of its participants. We will work every day to build trust, respect and reciprocity among all of us. We assume all Cosecheros have good intentions and also react immediately against disrespect. We use conflict resolution techniques to deal with conflict in a healthy way that will bring growth to our movement. We ground our work in dialogue, healing, and collective transformation. We won’t tolerate shaming of each other and bullying towards the many organizations and leaders of the immigrant rights movement.

8. Our seeds come from the tree of sacrifice. We honor the hard work of all the people who bring their gifts to the movement. We believe that people’s work in Cosecha is for the collective well-being of everyone and not for personal gain or to advance individual interests. While most of the work of the movement is not financially compensated, there are some positions that movement leaders can sponsor in order to create more support for the movement. Those positions will be compensated based on needs and not by a market employment rate. They are temporary and only meant to support the movement at key moments.

9. All we need is already within our community now. We know that when we get BIG money it’s because they want to control our movement, that is why we are always self-sustaining. We know that all the resources we need, including financial, are already in our community.

10.  You can wear our colors as long as you follow our principles. Any organization can use the Cosecha flag as long as they follow our principles. Anyone can join. Formal organizations (outside of Cosecha) must join support circles with other Cosecha activists as long as they accept our strategy and story of the movement. No formal organization can request resources in the name of Cosecha unless they are resources distributed among our villages.

11. One harvest, many fruits. There are thousands of ways to be part of the Cosecha strategy. We encourage daily autonomy and creativity in how to implement the movement based on people’s conditions. At the same time, our movement unity depends on all our teams working together and following our greatest agreement: our Cosecha principles. The principles are the music score of our Cosecha orchestra and all the instruments are the creativity of our activist.

12. We are one of many harvests. We know the injustices of our community cannot be undone with just one movement. We know that the systems of domination require multiple cycles of movements that are working for many decades to bring reciprocity and balance to our communities. Cosecha is just one piece of a larger justice puzzle.

13. This swarm needs all its bees. This movement will take all of us. While some of us are more focused on taking care of our community, others are more called to be prophetic voices to bring people into the movement. We all have different callings and roles that we want to take on. Our spirit of coordination comes together as we affirm, “If you’re stuck, buzz”. This means that if you need help, just ask for it. We can only be a movement if we support each other. We also know people are part of various organizations and that people can be in and out of Cosecha and we make a distinction between the participation of individuals and organizations. 

14. An injustice somewhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We know the undocumented community is not the only one facing oppression and that this system of inequality has been going on for a long time. We believe that our movement’s mission is to be active in other movements for racial, gender and economic justice.