Principles of Unity

You can find here the Principles of Unity for the HONK! Festival in Somerville. They were developed and agreed to by the Organizing Committee of the Festival. The first draft of these Principles of Unity was developed in early 2018; however they are not static – they can and likely will change over time.

We ask that anyone who joins the committee read them, provide feedback if they would like to, and ultimately agree to uplift them when joining the organizing committee or attending the festival as a member of a band, activist and/or arts group.

Principles of Unity
In the World and Among Our Community
HONK! Festival Somerville

  • We seek to build a community of activist street bands that engages progressive issues through music, and spectacle, and that comes together to share knowledge and experience, and to support each other.
  • We believe that music in the streets helps to reclaim and redefine the use of public space.
  • We believe that music brings elements of power, energy, and healing to struggles for collective liberation.
  • We stand in solidarity with struggles that challenge all forms of individual and institutional domination, inequality, and oppression, based on class, race, gender, sexual preference, age, ethnicity, and/or ability.
  • Because we believe that lasting change begins at the grassroots, we prioritize democratically organized events and struggles that promote broad-based coalition and movement building, and oppose those that encourage divisiveness and disunity.
    Because we believe that the capitalist drive for profit promotes wealth inequality, material waste, and human disregard, we emphasize events that are non-commercial, environmentally friendly, community-oriented, and physically accessible.
  • We acknowledge that the struggle for broad collective liberation begins with transforming ourselves and our own community.
  • We strive to build democratic leadership, particularly among populations that are and have been most directly affected by oppression and inequality. And we recognize that there is a lot of work to be done in this area.
  • Within our annual HONK! Festival and related events, we aspire to build a “Brave Space” – a supportive environment in which we take on controversial issues with each other, and engage in disagreement and discomfort with each other, knowing that doing so will help us build deeper and more trustful relationships.
  • We believe it is important to acknowledge and learn from differences which arise between our intentions and our impacts.
  • We wish for HONK! to be a community in which we uplift each other, and give each other energy to continue fighting for collective liberation.