Merger of the national anarchist federations?

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gangster
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Oct 1 2004 21:40
Merger of the national anarchist federations?

Due to popular demand from the AF stickers thread (from Anarchist Fed forum; http://www.enrager.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1222&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0 ) here is a proposal;

I think Paul Marsh had the right idea on that old thread about the class struggle anarchist movement in Britain, and I'm reliving that brief Federation meeting in Bradford last year...

Call our movement Solidarity Forever, organise on a federal basis, have a magazine called Organise and a newspaper, 'Class War', do a national newsletter like Resistance, and local bulletins such as London Calling... Have accountable editorial boards with articles getting included on merit... etc.

I would like to see a better proposal, otherwise I think we should go with this, I also think we should set up 2 conferences, 3 months apart, to launch the process. The first being the debate/problems etc, and the second to complete the process, dot the i's etc, and start the movement in its new form... but hey, I run away with myself;)

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Steven.
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Oct 2 2004 00:31

I mean I like the idea of something like this (although TBH I don't think people will let it happen). Also I think if you're gonna have a paper it might as well be Freedom wink

I think you're being a bit over-optimistic about those conferences... Also I think there's more to the movement than the national feds - what about local groups like gwent, bradford, walthamstow, hsg etc.?

I think a large anarchist organisation would be a good example of our politics in practice, but hey...

Mike Harman
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Oct 2 2004 08:24

I there was one national fed with room for opposing viewpoints, would any local groups be more or less interested in joining/affiliating with it?

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Oct 2 2004 13:35

If it's a specifically class struggle federation then most independent local groups won't join. A looser set up that invited anarchist groupsto affiliate might get more people in it, but wouldn't be what the AF or CW want.

Why not have the founding conference after the G8 summit to draw in all the energy and networking that will have been pulled together? If the federation started on the right foot -- bycoordinating a very efficient prisoner support campaign for any UK/foreign arrestees -- then it will have the support ofmostanti-authoritarians. If it startswith longconferences trying to establish the right constitution then most people will walk away.

I'm in such a joining mood these days; I'd probably join a new fed even if it had narrow politics, but I wouldn't participate unless it seemed to be going somewhere.

I'd say take a look at how Radical Routes, the co-op fed, organises itself; best example of direct democracy on a mass scale I've seen (about 50 member worker/housing co-ops with average 6 people in each).

Even if this fed takes off theanarchist'movement' in the UK will still be bigger andlooser than this. Freedom should stay independent and a voice available for the whole movement.

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PaulMarsh
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Oct 2 2004 13:42
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:

Why not have the founding conference after the G8 summit to draw in all the energy and networking that will have been pulled together?

Perhaps - but have'nt people worked out by now that a few set piece rucks outside the big summits do not a movement, or working class resistance, make?

If opposing the G8 is THE issue for the people on these boards for the next 12 months, the Anarchist movement merely repeats the mistakes of the last 4-5 years, and we watch the IWCA, BNP and whoever else disappear over the horizon.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Oct 2 2004 13:53

LIke it or not, the upcoming summit will be themost visible expression of anarchism in these islands for years. It's up to you whether you want to make use of that visibility ornot.

Ifyou want to emulate the successes of the IWCA then we should be looking at starting small with a few anarchist community projects and building from that work. If the aim isto unify existing anarchist activity, then you have to go for points of great visibility and unity, and theanti-summit protests will be that. They don't make a movement, but they are amoment when lots of people get together -- that it their main (only?) virtue. I'd say use it to give some omph to this fed otherwise all you'll get to your fouinding conferences will be the same old facesand most anarchist groups will avoid it like the plague.

Kidda
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Oct 2 2004 17:23

what are we looking to achieve though?

i like the idea of a movement pulling together, but i cant see it happening

what always worrys me is that whilst energy is put into setting up even more groups and collectives ect as a movement were not actually achieving anything

what kind of grassworks work could come out of the movement?

captainmission
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Oct 2 2004 18:54

agreed with kinda, the important question's what kind of grassworks work could come out of the movement?

From the AF sticker thread it seemed that the merger was seen as good cos it would mean better recruitment and production of propaganda. Wouldn't networks and skill/resourceshares focused on practilce tasks be of more use?

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Steven.
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Oct 2 2004 19:39
Kidda wrote:
what are we looking to achieve though?

i like the idea of a movement pulling together, but i cant see it happening

what always worrys me is that whilst energy is put into setting up even more groups and collectives ect as a movement were not actually achieving anything

I think the point would be so that we don't replicate all the pointless crap - not by making more groups but by reducing the number, so we can spend more time on grassroots stuff no?

Cos a movement needs infrastructure, but at the moment we do duplicate each others' efforts to a ridiculous degree

Kidda
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Oct 2 2004 23:25

what do people want to focus on thats what im interested in

i think it would be a fantastic idea to be able to find out whats effecting other people in other areas of the country and have a way that we could co-operate and co-ordinate actions/share information.

i just feel its important to be able to relate it to how i and a lot of other people in my community are living and what issues people are facing

debt, council selling off land to developers, evictions, the bnp gaining more support ect ect

and im interested in how i/we up here could support anarchists in other areas

through merging the federations how would we include as many people as we can, as its quite obvious we dont all share the same ideas?

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rat
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Oct 3 2004 00:22

Paul Marsh hits the nail on the head when he says...

"the Anarchist movement [will] merely repeat the mistakes of the last 4-5 years"

And his point also emphasises the need for basic points of political agreement in any move to link the feds, without which many lessons from working class struggles over the years will get jettisoned for the sake of 'unity' amongst various so called anarchists.

Also when it comes to the G8, summit why focus on ritualised spectacular confrontations with the police and the inevitable solidarity campaigns for jailed activists?

Mike Harman
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Oct 3 2004 00:29

If a merged federation spent its time pissing about with the G8, that'd put me off it, not encourage me to join. The main reason I'm spending a bit of time looking at the Feds (and probably joining the AF), is because they don't waste their time pissing about with the G8.

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Ed
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Oct 3 2004 00:33

Right, just back from the pub. A bit wet (from rain) and a bit drunk but here's my two pennies:

smile

A merger would be fucking excellent!!!! It would mean we stopped repeating each others fucking work all the time. I mean come on, Organise! (which is shite anyway but that's a different thread...), Direct Action, Black Flag etc. How many sodding theoretical journals do we need!?

eek

A new fed (Solidarity Forever is a heavy name btw) would also bring in lots of people who didn't feel right joining any of the the existing threads. For instance, I agree with 90% of the politics of all three feds but I also disagree with bits of all of them. A new, less sectarian fed wiould draw in people who felt left out by the other feds. I disagree with Laz on the local groups thing coz I reckon local groups would be more likely to join a non-sectarian class struggle anarchist fed (and if it ain't class struggle then fuck it imo. I tried this "we're all anarchists, man!" shite with the AYN and it turned out bollocks red n black star ) coz they wouldn't have to compromise their own politics for some bollocks shite.

8)

And in pulling in new people, like me, more work becomes possible, coz you've got more numbers. I mean, as well as putting out the same prop, more people would be pulling in the same direction. Think how many class struggle anarchists are in London. Now think how many are in London AF or London CW or the two Solfed groups. It's fucking pathetic and we all fucking know it. None of the feds mean shit at the moment and there's a lot of good revolutionaries in them that aren't doingg enough stuff coz they ain't got the resources. a new fed could be federated (funnily enough) into local and regional groups i.e. London would be a region not a local thus none of the locals i.e. WAG, HSG would lose autonomy. Local groups would also be encouraged to produce their own media and the fed could maybe raise a bit of cash natinonally (obvioulsy not loads coz in all honesty it'd still only have about 200 people in it but still, fuck off, it's my revolutionary wank fantasy).

grin

We could even have like specialist sections. There could be a Youth section, a Womens sections, a section specific to people wanting to organise with people in their industry and set up networks and hsit, there could be a section for people who want to do prisoner shit, and one for folk who wanna do antifascism. Man, a merged fed would be fucking slick. Even better than hunter/gather societies.

roll eyes

It'd also be cool for local groups being able to say they were part of something wider than their locality. Would also be cool if we didn't look like a bunch of cunts like the rest of the left coz we were being all People's Front of Judea about everything. Fuck, sometimes the reality of left groups makes that sketch look like it didn't go far enough. When describing the differences between AF, CW and SF to mate, I felt like such a nob to be associated with this movement. And that's the sad fucking truth.

embarrassed

I reckon we should all meet somewhere. Invite all the feds and local groups, the social centres and outreach collectives (Enrager, Freedom Group, Black Flag etc), see who turns out and start fucking doing shite. Or maybe we can fuck off back to picking shite out of our belly buttons and hope that when shite kicks off that everything will be alright on the night and we'll wake up to libertarian communism. Fuck I'm tired.

twisted

A merger would be fucking excellent. Let's put some thought to it. The Irish done it. And if we can't do it here then I'm moving to Cork and I'd be the greatest loss to the anarchist movement since fucking Makhno (and I'm taller than that short-arse so I could probably have him as well - yup, I said it, I could have Makhno).

sad

Anyway, fuck this. Im knackered. I hope something comes out of this thread coz it'd be the best thing this anarhcist movement in britain has seen if it all came together. Take care everyone, I'm off to bed red n black star red n black star circle A circle A

Fuck the police

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JDMF
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Oct 3 2004 09:37

My uneducated take, as i've not been a member of any national feds in this country par IWW:

I think any talks would gob down the wrong track immediately if arguments like "we should focus on G8" or "we should not focus on G8 but for local organising in our communities", because any effective, flexible and creative fed should have space for both.

Too many groups never grow, and never will grow because they are too busy telling other people what NOT to do, like working class doesn't have enough intelligence and foresight to choose their own battles. As long as it doesn't conflict with the aims of the fed, i'm happy to leave others doing stuff which i might not be too keen on myself.

The trouble as well as strength of anarchists is that they usually are very strong minded and often are very strict in maintaining ideological purity, and thats why organising anarchists is like herding cats. It is this mindset that has to be overcome if any new fed is ever formed which aims to be a mass organisation.

I'd be interested to hear experiences from other countries, i know there are not many good examples of big anarchist groups pretty much anywhere, but some of the syndicalist groups seem to be doing well...

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Oct 3 2004 12:15

Note I never said we should 'focus on the G8' but pointed out that any new fed will have to be useful to existing anarchist activity. If many of us are doing stuff around the G8 then the new fed should reflect this and be useful to us. Organising prisoner solidarity is just one way that it could be a massive use.

Already on this thread people seemready to dismiss big aspects of anarchist activity. If it's not big enough to deal with the wide range of activity in these islands then it'll be no bigger than any of the existing feds. Many anarchists in the UK (most?) don't like joining organisations because of their bad experiences with the SWP, etc. That's why the big activities of the last 15 years have been organised on the basis of networks. Ifs sizable number of these networkers are to join a fed it will have to be very obviously non-sectarian and rooted in useful activity, not discussion about the 'right' thing to do.

gangster
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Oct 3 2004 12:52

A year and a half ago there was an idea on the table for a class struggle anarchist congress, held every 2 years, where the class struggle movement could get together... as usual, because it wasn't a 'fashionable' idea it didn't get mileage...

gangster
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Oct 3 2004 13:21
Ed wrote:
Right, just back from the pub. A bit wet (from rain) and a bit drunk but here's my two pennies:

smile

A merger would be fucking excellent!!!! It would mean we stopped repeating each others fucking work all the time. I mean come on, Organise! (which is shite anyway but that's a different thread...), Direct Action, Black Flag etc. How many sodding theoretical journals do we need!?

eek

A new fed (Solidarity Forever is a heavy name btw) would also bring in lots of people who didn't feel right joining any of the the existing threads. For instance, I agree with 90% of the politics of all three feds but I also disagree with bits of all of them. A new, less sectarian fed wiould draw in people who felt left out by the other feds. I disagree with Laz on the local groups thing coz I reckon local groups would be more likely to join a non-sectarian class struggle anarchist fed (and if it ain't class struggle then fuck it imo. I tried this "we're all anarchists, man!" shite with the AYN and it turned out bollocks red n black star ) coz they wouldn't have to compromise their own politics for some bollocks shite.

8)

And in pulling in new people, like me, more work becomes possible, coz you've got more numbers. I mean, as well as putting out the same prop, more people would be pulling in the same direction. Think how many class struggle anarchists are in London. Now think how many are in London AF or London CW or the two Solfed groups. It's fucking pathetic and we all fucking know it. None of the feds mean shit at the moment and there's a lot of good revolutionaries in them that aren't doingg enough stuff coz they ain't got the resources. a new fed could be federated (funnily enough) into local and regional groups i.e. London would be a region not a local thus none of the locals i.e. WAG, HSG would lose autonomy. Local groups would also be encouraged to produce their own media and the fed could maybe raise a bit of cash natinonally (obvioulsy not loads coz in all honesty it'd still only have about 200 people in it but still, fuck off, it's my revolutionary wank fantasy).

grin

We could even have like specialist sections. There could be a Youth section, a Womens sections, a section specific to people wanting to organise with people in their industry and set up networks and hsit, there could be a section for people who want to do prisoner shit, and one for folk who wanna do antifascism. Man, a merged fed would be fucking slick. Even better than hunter/gather societies.

roll eyes

It'd also be cool for local groups being able to say they were part of something wider than their locality. Would also be cool if we didn't look like a bunch of cunts like the rest of the left coz we were being all People's Front of Judea about everything. Fuck, sometimes the reality of left groups makes that sketch look like it didn't go far enough. When describing the differences between AF, CW and SF to mate, I felt like such a nob to be associated with this movement. And that's the sad fucking truth.

embarrassed

I reckon we should all meet somewhere. Invite all the feds and local groups, the social centres and outreach collectives (Enrager, Freedom Group, Black Flag etc), see who turns out and start fucking doing shite. Or maybe we can fuck off back to picking shite out of our belly buttons and hope that when shite kicks off that everything will be alright on the night and we'll wake up to libertarian communism. Fuck I'm tired.

twisted

A merger would be fucking excellent. Let's put some thought to it. The Irish done it. And if we can't do it here then I'm moving to Cork and I'd be the greatest loss to the anarchist movement since fucking Makhno (and I'm taller than that short-arse so I could probably have him as well - yup, I said it, I could have Makhno).

sad

Anyway, fuck this. Im knackered. I hope something comes out of this thread coz it'd be the best thing this anarhcist movement in britain has seen if it all came together. Take care everyone, I'm off to bed red n black star red n black star circle A circle A

Fuck the police

I like this post... More generally we have large numbers of people and next to no or little real political debate about our praxis, national initiatives are the domain of 'The Tyranny of structurelessness', there's no accountability, and at the minute our movement in chaotic. FOr people who supposedly believe in organisation to change the world, we do precious little real organisation ourselves, and the test of organisational capability is working with different viewpoints.... Are we relly to believe that society can be organised along collective anarchist terms if we can't even do it ourselves. This argument for me is totally crucial, if you don't accept this point you might as well fu8ck off now for the use you will be...

Catch, what have Class War done about the G8 - why single out the AF for not doing owt/little about them?

nastyned
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Oct 3 2004 15:01
gangster wrote:
Catch, what have Class War done about the G8 - why single out the AF for not doing owt/little about them?

Blimey, someone boasing about things they haven't done!

To get back on topic, over in Ireland the AF and ASF started the merger process by doing joint bulletins so which publications do people think should merge? I guess Organise, Direct Action and Black Flag are all pretty similar (and none particlularly good sad ). If by some miracle they merged they would no doubt improve and become more regular from having more people involved.

Resistance is of course wonderful as it is but it would be good if more people took it to distribute and contributed articles (and money!)

I'm not sure if there is much point to the anarchist newspapers, Freedom and Class War, so they should be dropped and energies focussed elsewhere.

Anyway, this is my unbiased wink view. Try and reply politely!

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Steven.
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Oct 3 2004 15:55

Hmmmm... again chatting on the net about this stuff it all sounds great. However we all know that there are "personalities" in the feds who will block a merger.

I just can't really see any way around it, unless we just did something stupid like join all three, and there are probably enough of us to just get a merger passed at national congresses wink But then of course doing it underhand like that would cause it to implode...

Nastyned - I think something like Freedom could be really useful to the movement. Don't see why it should be divorced from an organisation - to ensure it's held accountable to the movement - but having an anarchist voice on current affairs, which looks good, is well-written, regular and organised available in newsagents, book shops, Borders etc. all over the UK could be really valuable. It is also good (like these forums) at helping people who don't know any other anarchists to feel like they're part of a movement, and keep them in touch.

gangster
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Oct 3 2004 17:58

There's so much discussion on the web, and so little of any use... I can't remember a thread anywhere for a long time that got me as interested as this....

The point is that we would be more politically coherent as a whole, and that includes currently local groups, more debate... Instead of anarchist magazines reading like internal bulletins for anarchists, we could then have more relevant political magazines and participation in struggles... A political congress every 2 years could be something the 'NEW' organisation does, a way of movement wide focus, to encourage better politics etc... By the tendencies working alongside each other, rather than against, we can get one the 'one road' that is wide enough to get us to the kind of society we want and need... Otherwise we are doomed from the outset, the type of federated workplace and community structures that could be built in a revolutionary situation cannot be built by an isolated and fragmented movement like we have at the minute.

gangster
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Oct 3 2004 20:28
JDMF wrote:
My uneducated take, as i've not been a member of any national feds in this country par IWW:

I think any talks would gob down the wrong track immediately if arguments like "we should focus on G8" or "we should not focus on G8 but for local organising in our communities", because any effective, flexible and creative fed should have space for both.

Too many groups never grow, and never will grow because they are too busy telling other people what NOT to do, like working class doesn't have enough intelligence and foresight to choose their own battles. As long as it doesn't conflict with the aims of the fed, i'm happy to leave others doing stuff which i might not be too keen on myself.

The trouble as well as strength of anarchists is that they usually are very strong minded and often are very strict in maintaining ideological purity, and thats why organising anarchists is like herding cats. It is this mindset that has to be overcome if any new fed is ever formed which aims to be a mass organisation.

quote]

This is a good post, we do definately need room to practice autonomy, we should NOT take enthusiasm for people protesting in the way they see fit, as we need more protest, not less... I realise that for the IWW or SOl fed, as part of international movements, could not merge. Or am I wrong? Does wanting to be a small fish in a large sea preclude effective politics at home? (That's a question from the outside in, 'in the best possible taste'...)

Also I'm open to suggestions as to what to call it - I did think we should go with Solidarity Federation, but then I thought that was too 'traditional politico' so I came up with Solidarity Forever, stressing we are into solidarity and the long haul, getting beyond a traditional critique of 'anarchism, it's just a pose'....

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pingtiao
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Oct 3 2004 22:49

I would be fully behind any attempts at constructive engagement between the federations. I feel that there is precious little real difference between actual politics (disregarding any personality clashes)- and this is something that is currently being debated within the AF at the minute (what is the real differene between workplace resistance groups as advocated by us, and the practical applications of what SolFed advocate? As there are union members in the AF, what difference is there with the lines taken by others on this? etc)

I want class struggle

I dont caree what name it gives itself!

Mike Harman
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Oct 3 2004 23:04

gangster:

This is what I wrote.

Quote:
If a merged federation spent its time pissing about with the G8, that'd put me off it, not encourage me to join. The main reason I'm spending a bit of time looking at the Feds (and probably joining the AF), is because they don't waste their time pissing about with the G8.

The feds meant Class War, Anarchist Federation and Solidarity Federation - I realise it might have just looked like the AF, but that wasn't the intention. To my (limited) knowledge none of them are preoccupied with the G8, if people are doing stuff about it that's fine with me, but I won't be spending the next year on it and wouldn't join a fed (of any kind) if that's what they were going to spend most of their time on.

I singled out the AF because what I've read of the literature I've agreed with more than Class War or SolFed, although I've not met any of the people involved in person - just beginning to make contact via this forum/U75. There's stuff in both SolFed's and Class War's literature (the main front page stuff anyway), that I have disagreements with, less so the AF, but as people have said, there's probably people in all three federations who disagree with what their own fed says on a particular issue, which isn't a bad thing necessarily as long as there's sufficient common ground. I think including more general anti-capitalist stuff in a federation would make much sense, indymedia, social centres, are distinct things by themselves, and aren't necessarily specifically anarchist (like anti-G8 stuff). If there was something (olympics, G8 etc.) that many different groups were working on, it'd make sense for a merged and enlarged federation to itself federate/co-ordinate with other groups for that particular, temporary event if it wanted to do so. This would allow for a greater presence without artificial links being created that could turn into a mess.

You all seem to do pretty well with one and a bit bulletin boards, or are the people who wouldn't want to see a merger not on here?

From my point of view, as someone who's been reading anarchist literature on and off for about ten years, but only had any contact whatsoever (knowledge even) with the UK movement for about a year and a half, maybe two, and now only just thinking about getting actively involved in stuff that isn't sitting on my arse posting on enrager, a central point of contact would be great, or would have been great a year or so ago where the only live discussion was the old AYN forum, and certainly seven years ago when I looked on the 'net for about the first time and couldn't find anything at all.

Again, I don't know anyone in person, and have very limited knowledge of all the publications, but...

I don't see any reason why there couldn't be a weekly/bi-weekly newspaper (or have a broadsheet and a tabloid), monthly magazine, quarterly journal, annual theoretical review, monthly/fortnightly industrial freesheet(s), co-ordinated between the people who currently put out a lot of different, but supposedly similar stuff on varying schedules to (I assume) either the same or 1/3 potential readership. Plus local groups continuing to put out their own stuff on whatever schedule suits them. If all of that's being done by one identifiable organisation, instead of three or four, then people like me wouldn't be going between six or seven different websites and browsing through four or five different publications (on-line usually, pick up Freedom when I see it) to work out what was happening and being said. And of course it'd be cheaper and less effort to produce something better.

You'd then have a wider variety of views expressed within each of those formats, but instead of those views being split across publications, they'd be seen as variations across a single organisation, not mutually exclusive organisations operating independently, and be easier for people to identify and make contact with. Part of the reason I don't subscribe to any of the publications is that I'd probably need to take out about ten subscriptions to get enough bits of what I'm interested in/keep up.

gurrier
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Oct 3 2004 23:16

For an organisation to be worthwhile at all, it really needs to have a decent amouint of coherence to its politics, otherwise you spend more time fighting than doing. The whole point of an organisation is that it allows you to pool resources and have a greater effect than the sum of your parts. If the organisation has contradictory views on important areas, it would really be better off as two organisations. For example, if a large part of the organisation was against having anything to do with unions and another part was in favour of supporting strikes, you could find yourself handing out leaflets on the picket lines which dissed the workers for being in a stupid union! Also, if a large part of the organisation wanted to pursue a strategy of 'dropping out' and living in squats, dumpster diving, not talking to the media and so on, while others were involved in neighbourhood campaigns, unions and community groups, then I can't see the point of them being in the same organisation.

I don't know enough about the details of the 3 UK feds to know for sure if there are problems on this scale, but working out the core political differences and agreements is to my mind a prerequisite of uniting. In their favour, they are all 'class struggle' anarchists. On the other hand they do seem to have different views on unions, the wee north and the composition of class society. Without some sort of common ground on these areas any merged organisation would probably quickly fall apart.

However, I think that anarchists should practice the 'onion theory of organisation'. That is to say that we should be involved in organisations in many layers. We should seek to organise coherent groups with people who agree closely with us on most important points. Beyond this we should form networks or alliances or whatever with those who agree with us on basic libertarian principles, beyond this we should take part in unions and campaigns which are working class in character. In each case we should seek to act closely together with those who are closest to us with the aim of influencing the politics of the whole. We should also try to concentrate on the points where we are in agreement rather than what are often small differences. Trots generally are most virulently opposed to the sect that is closest to them politically and trots are the last thing that we want to resemble.

For example, in Ireland where I am, there are currently 2 anarchist organisations, WSM and Organise. There were formerly 3 until the AF and ASF merged into Organise. The 2 existing orgs may merge at some time in the future, but only when both of them think that their politics are close enough together. There has been some movement in this direction in the last few years and there are increasing steps towards practical co-operation (an initiative to form an educational workers network and various speaking tours and invites to meetings).

At the same time, all the anarchists and direct actionists on the island co-operate through the Grassroots Network, which is based on a very basic set of principles and can draw in a much larger number of people. Anarchists also participate together in various unions and in community campaigns like the Bin Tax campaign in the south and the CAWT campaign in the North, alongside all sorts of trots and other nasties.

From the experience in Ireland, I'd say that the best step for UK anarchists now, rather than trying to merge prematurely, would be to establish a looser libertarian network with basic principles and a basic strcture that could pull in many of the direct actionists and anarchos from across the island. I don't know enough about it, but the dissent network could become something like that - but only if the more organisational and class struggle focused anarchos got stuck in and argued their point.

Beyond this, rather than holding conferences and arguing out position papers, the anarcho feds should be looking for practical ways in which they can co-operate on a national level. Combined anti-election campaigns, or other campaigns which have a wide relevance would be a good place to start. This type of on the ground co-operation can be very good at breaking down sectarianism and getting people talking to each other.

Anyway, I hope y'all don't think I'm preaching and I know that I'm not that informed about matters across the water, but this type of approach has been working well in Ireland and has seen us grow in numbers and ability to do things tremendously in the last few years over here, and we were starting from almost nothing.

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JDMF
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Oct 4 2004 08:06

Look at any mass movements, was there no space for differences in opinions and slight ideological differences? The world is different from spain in 30's already because of the access to information and different ideologies/politics/thoughts, and as a result we try to approach building a mass movement with the mental framework of yesterdays: trying to cherry pick a political ideology and then demand unity from the whole movement.

This is not going to work and as much as i respect and like AF, SolFed and CW, i doubt they will grow to anything sad Personally i am closest to the politics of SolFed, but i would not have problem being a member in AF or CW at all - the minor differences would not bother me at the present time which is hardly very revolutionary.

nastyned
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Oct 4 2004 11:10
George'sBush wrote:

having an anarchist voice on current affairs, which looks good, is well-written, regular and organised available in newsagents, book shops, Borders etc. all over the UK could be really valuable.

well yeah, but is this the case with freedom? where is it sold? is it really in many bookshops and newsagents? as many lefty bookshops have closed down and lefty demos don't happen much nowadays are there really many opportunities to sell freedom?

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JoeMaguire
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Oct 4 2004 17:06

So there as to be a desire for unity, and not simply for its own sake - so I dont see why the example of Ireland isnt taken up and suggest doing a bulletin together, even if its a one off. At least this way theres the possibility of developing a credibly working relationship, where political differences can be addressed.

And if after the early stages people want to continue this process, then its a matter you should raise in your own respective federation.

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Steven.
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Joined: 27-06-06
Oct 4 2004 18:01
nastyned wrote:
George'sBush wrote:

having an anarchist voice on current affairs, which looks good, is well-written, regular and organised available in newsagents, book shops, Borders etc. all over the UK could be really valuable.

well yeah, but is this the case with freedom? where is it sold? is it really in many bookshops and newsagents? as many lefty bookshops have closed down and lefty demos don't happen much nowadays are there really many opportunities to sell freedom?

It's in a fair few (about 20-30 i think), as well as a few libraries around britain.

It could be loads more but basically we need people to go to places and ask if they'll stock it, and let them know the terms. Most say yes - especially places in universities.

gangster
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Oct 4 2004 18:49
JDMF wrote:
Look at any mass movements, was there no space for differences in opinions and slight ideological differences? The world is different from spain in 30's already because of the access to information and different ideologies/politics/thoughts, and as a result we try to approach building a mass movement with the mental framework of yesterdays: trying to cherry pick a political ideology and then demand unity from the whole movement.

This is not going to work and as much as i respect and like AF, SolFed and CW, i doubt they will grow to anything sad Personally i am closest to the politics of SolFed, but i would not have problem being a member in AF or CW at all - the minor differences would not bother me at the present time which is hardly very revolutionary.

I agree with the first para, and our emphasis should be on encouraging networking... as for political propaganda I think the local group should put stuff out, and then the national group take the best/most effective stuff forward, of course there is room for a reverse of this, whereby policy is set at the annual conference and a local group finds it is applying national policy to local terrain... It must be tested at all points... I think class struggle anarchists agree on 95% of stuff, on what we're against and analysis it could be virtually 100%... The differences lie in the traditions each group has got (their personalities) and their emphasis on political timing and presentation... (or so it seems to me)... I don't think us class struggle types are that different really... and in any case we must have room to disagree, but still have working practices in common on other issues....

gangster
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Oct 4 2004 18:56
october_lost wrote:
So there as to be a desire for unity, and not simply for its own sake - so I dont see why the example of Ireland isnt taken up and suggest doing a bulletin together, even if its a one off. At least this way theres the possibility of developing a credibly working relationship, where political differences can be addressed.

And if after the early stages people want to continue this process, then its a matter you should raise in your own respective federation.

Given that we have a lack of money, I think a joint website might be a better place to start, of course, linked to all participants organisations...

It should be called what we're about, which to my mind unfortunately means using loaded terms like Unity or Solidarity, it would be nice to call it 'The Crack' (but that's a northern thing NOT the drug, and open to misinterpretation)... Direct action is also a possibility, or the Direct Action Tendency (DAT! for short - DAT.org would be good i think, or DAT-thing.org ad infinitum) I am for this proposal to work together, and propose we start 'PM' ing about the practicalities of it.

Good stuff people - whoever said the game was over never heard the 'fat lady sing'...

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Steven.
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Oct 4 2004 21:58
gangster wrote:
Given that we have a lack of money, I think a joint website might be a better place to start, of course, linked to all participants organisations...

It should be called what we're about, which to my mind unfortunately means using loaded terms like Unity or Solidarity, it would be nice to call it 'The Crack' (but that's a northern thing NOT the drug, and open to misinterpretation)... Direct action is also a possibility, or the Direct Action Tendency (DAT! for short - DAT.org would be good i think, or DAT-thing.org ad infinitum) I am for this proposal to work together, and propose we start 'PM' ing about the practicalities of it.

Er, what about this website? confused