We Need to Organise

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Steve
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Jun 30 2004 13:46

I'd suggest insted of relying on discussion boards if you want to organise such a meeting that you contact all the relevent organisations/groups directly. smile

woofnbark
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Jul 2 2004 18:40

Go for it Raw wink

Krop
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Jul 15 2004 20:09
pingtiao wrote:
This is not a call for everyone to join the IAF, since there is also the anarcho-syndicalist International the IWA (British section SolFed) and the syndicalist IWW, which we also stand in complete solidarity with. But this is a call for people to work together better, and not be instinctively afraid of the “O” word (“organisation”, if you haven’t guessed).

Well having toyed with the idea of joining the AF for some time, I sent a message asking them to contact me and have heard nothing for over three weeks. Do the federations actually want people to get involved with them?

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pingtiao
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Jul 15 2004 22:24

email on your way, krop.

Sorry we didn't get in touch earlier.

petrichenko
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Jul 20 2004 16:17

This discussion raises a few important points about the state of the @ movement in the UK at the moment: like what is the purpose of the nat feds if they don't actually function as genuine federations? From my own experience they tend to be very centred on London, both politically and organisationally - which is not a criticism as such, merely a point of fact since there are more active people in London. There seem to be a lot of small groups, individuals etc around the country, but very few seem to gravitate towards any of the main three feds, despite them probably sharing a lot in common. Why is this?

I doubt there is the will or desire on the part of any of the main feds to disolve themselves and pull together into one big network, but surely there is some credence in the idea of establishing a national anarchist platform which could act as a point of contact for all? This would allow many people to who may not, for whatever reason, want to join any of the feds to find a organisational network through which propaganda and activity could be carried out. A Movement for Revolutionary Anarchism, with united blocs at demos, propaganda and other activity, which may help put our message across without putting people off by any political sectarianism (not that I'm saying any exists, but it may be perceived).

I know this has been proposed before, but maybe its worth considering again.

For what its worth, thats my view. smile

red n black star

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pingtiao
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Jul 20 2004 16:34

I agree with you

Speaking as an AF member, I don't really understand the resistance from local groups joining or starting a national or regional federation. I never have. There seems to be a lack of understanding of the federalist nature of anarchist politics.

The federations themselves are guilty of misrepresenting themselves on the national stage- as I have had loads of discussions with people who thought that joining a federation would hamstring their action, or lead to a loss of autonomy. There is a rigid Leninist conception of large-scale organisation, and one that prevents us from becoming an effective movement.

I attended the AF national delegate meeting at the weekend, and present were about 15 members of the organisation- from about 6 different groups. Some groups may only have 1 AF member within them, and to those the organisation acts as a cheap way of getting propaganda together. They do tend to be London-dominated- but in our case that is a product of the group size. The London group is best placed to coordinate activity that requires regular face-to-face contact between militants.

I'd love to see some joint action taking place- towards a more unified movement that can act together. I fully understand difference that results form political divergence, but where none exists (or little difference) I'd love to know what stops groups federating.

red n black star

petrichenko
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Jul 20 2004 16:49

Speaking as an ex-AF member, I know very well that feeling of frustration when working with other local groups and individuals who share political views, and are even pro-organisation, yet still shy away from making the move towards even merely affiliating to a national federation. I feel there is distrust among other militants, who seem to attach the idea of concrete organisation in the form of a national federation, as being, as you say, leninist. I have even witness pro-organisational, class struggle anarchists, refer to the Platform text as 'sub bolshevik' and 'the politics of failure' - and I don't really want to get into another debate on that particular pamphlet...

I don't know what the solution is, but perhaps as I said, a larger umbrella network would encourage closer cooperation, and even provide an opportunity for ideas such as anarchist federalism to be explained, presenting a real chance of an organised, national anarchist presence.

red n black star

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pingtiao
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Jul 20 2004 17:02

The funny thing is that there is a real problem that without formalised organisational structure a group is in thrall to unoffical leadership. There are unofficial hierarchies throughout the anarchist movement, and organisation is the best bulwark against it for those serious about their politics.

Perhaps someone from another group will comment on why they don't at least create their own federal structures to coordinate action over larger geographical areas than those covered by their organisations.

When did you leave the AF, and if you don't mind me asking, why? PM if it is sensitive...

Cheers.

red n black star

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 20 2004 19:40

Most local anarcho groups are well networked. They may not be part of a formal federation butmost have access to the benefits that a federation would bring -- regular meetings with groups from around the country, access to literature, access to information and experience.

For example, legit social centres and housingco-ops are networked through the Radical Routes organisation (www.radicalroutes.org.uk); many eco related groups use the Earth First! gatherings and/oranimal liberation networks, there'salso the direct action peacenetworks, plus the sociaL local social forum network and the horizontalks of the ESF..

The most recent network is the Dissent! anti-G8 umbrella, which will probably fulfil networking functions, plus hopefully pull in isolatedgroups and individuals.

Informal organisation is still organisation, and it isoften thecase that this grows organically, with periodic attemptsto structure and rationalise it.

The reason that most consciousanarchistsdon'tjoinafederation is that they've usually got access to propaganda and a network by other means, whether it's friendship contacts with people around the country, or use of one of the gatherings.

I'm notsaying that moreorganisation wouldn'tbe a good thing, justthat many people are already involved with alotoforganisational work, and to takeon more, such as participating in a new orexistingfed, they would need to be persuaded that it would meet a need that would merit extra effort.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jul 20 2004 20:32

''One problem that might present itself is, unfortunately, the word anarchist... including 'autonomist' and 'libertarian socialist' would allow far more broad-based locals to join.''

''A big barrier for us is factionalism: SolFed is anarcho-syndicalist, AF is anarcho-communist, Class War is based around class struggle... all of these strategies have their uses, but I for one would block our organisation from assuming one of these ideologies. We have an anarchist theory group to develop new alternatives, we don't need to cling rigidly to one old theory over another. We can incorporate and improve on the old, and adapt to our new conditions. The social centre movement is a powedful example''

Totally agree with whoever wrote this!!

We dont need to compartmentalise each other into ideologies. We need to be fluid and amorphous, we need to be able to work with ideas not set beliefs.

A general set of statements for the group would be ample in terms of a manifesto, its not as if we would be forming a political party.

Obviously theres a number of people here who have put a hell of a lot more thought into this than i have, but i would say that regional interlinked groups would be the best way of organising in my opinion, that way we cut down on travel expenses for meetings and can organise within local areas, whether that be producing literature, posters, graf, organising demos, supporting strikes, selective sabotage, prisoner support, etc etc.

We have to careful, whatever we do not to fall into the SWP style impotent meetings in dark rooms where an individual speaks to you for 30mins and youre left with a feeling of absent indifference. The groups should obviously be based primarily around an amalgamation of theory and practice, eg combining rhetoric and literatur with action. We could do interviews with prominent locals, politicians, business men, under psuedonyms, no one asks questions nowadays.

We could produce comics, posters etc, make them snappy, provocative and subversive.

Detourn the local police magazines that the council distributes, billboards etc.

Anyway keep us posted, it sounds like it has potential.

petrichenko
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Jul 21 2004 16:59

''One problem that might present itself is, unfortunately, the word anarchist... including 'autonomist' and 'libertarian socialist' would allow far more broad-based locals to join.''

I would agree with this. I personally view these terms as meaning the same thing, broadly speaking, and have at some time or another described myself as all three.

''A big barrier for us is factionalism: SolFed is anarcho-syndicalist, AF is anarcho-communist, Class War is based around class struggle... all of these strategies have their uses, but I for one would block our organisation from assuming one of these ideologies. We have an anarchist theory group to develop new alternatives, we don't need to cling rigidly to one old theory over another. We can incorporate and improve on the old, and adapt to our new conditions. The social centre movement is a powedful example''

I guess the argument against this is that there are clear ideological and historical differences between anarcho-syndicalism and anarcho-communism, and the latter maybe having more of a hangup over the former than the other way around. I agree personally that these should be overcome, however. Where we agree, we should work together and try to form new ideas to take us forward, rather than cling to ideas of the past.

My only concern is that I would not like to see any 'watering down' of specific revolutionary, class struggle politics. Whatever I am, I believe in revolutionary class struggle politics, and I wouldn't be prepared to back down from that.

red n black star

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jul 21 2004 17:14

What, belief in revolutionary class struggle as a concept or as something that is happening now?

petrichenko
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Jul 21 2004 18:51

Not sure, depends what you mean by 'concept'. And yes, class struggle is something happening now, all the time.

red n black star

nastyned
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Jul 21 2004 22:13

Dunno about the anarchist commusm/anarcho-syndicalism split. Bit overblown if you ask me - anarcho-syndicalists are after all anarchist communists, and if there were anarcho-syndialist unions here I'm sure a lot of anarchist communists would be involved, even if they were in a specific organisation as well.

I'd like to see anarchists working together more but i don't really think theoretical discussions or a new all inclusive organisation will achieve much. We need to find practical thinks to work on, and perhaps organisational unity can grow from that.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jul 22 2004 14:25

yeah, sorry petrichenko, i was having a laugh, its easy to get cynical and blasse about it all.

Class struggle is definately something which is constantly happening, however we need to work to make it conscious and unrelenting.

bigdave
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Jul 25 2004 15:42

I don't think people are ready to organise properly yet. As a "capitalist" society we are at the very bottom of human development so a great many of the exploited people have little understanding of society or how it can be improved. At a basic level, most of "the masses" do not even understand they are exploited let alone HOW they are exploited (please visit http://www.whatswrongwithbritain.com). I just think the most important thing before setting up committees and bureaucracies is to advance our understanding of humanity, the mind, consciousness and delusion. I appreciate this is not stirring political stuff but I'm a bit bored of that after speaking to a great many marxists/socialists etc who were so proud of their knowledge of economic systems and political theory that they felt their work was done. The "Russian Revolution" was simply a coup d'etat, replacing dictators at the cyclical crashing point of capitalism. Just murdering those richer than yourself does not remove the problem.

Augusto_Sandino
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Jul 25 2004 20:07

Ah, i had to stop reading that website, it was making me angry. "Firefighters? how dare they want to get a decent wage for risking their lives!"

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jul 27 2004 20:01

"I just think the most important thing before setting up committees and bureaucracies is to advance our understanding of humanity, the mind, consciousness and delusion."

I dont think anyone here has any plans of setting up any committee or bureaucracy.

bigdave
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Aug 12 2004 13:53
Quote:
I dont think anyone here has any plans of setting up any committee or bureaucracy.

Right fair enough, I was thinking more of Marxists/Socialists with their Party and their meetings. What are your plans for changing society? Seriously, I'm not contending anything here, I really want to know.

bigdave
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Aug 16 2004 13:49

Helloooooo! I know you're out there, I can hear you breathing.

AnarchoAl
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Aug 21 2004 12:54

I can't answer for anyone else, but generally (and I agree) anarchists see the route to changing society as organising social struggles in a direct democratic manner, and building alternatives to capitalism in the here-and-now to eventually supplant capitalism.

There is a lot of dodgy pro-ruling class ideology about amongst the rest of us, and a lot of people just don't care as long as they can watch Big Brother, but the solution to this isn't seperate from social struggle. The best way to improve your mind, IMO, is by participating in direct democratic organisations that use direct action instead of relying on politicians etc, and by reading and participating in the alternative news sources that we (and others) have built.

Nobody's mind is independent of their experiences, it cannot be "developed" independent of reality. And even if it could, that wouldn't be a match for cops, the army, and a stranglehold on the food supply. Widespread grassroots campaigning and alternative infrastructure might.

Oi!
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Aug 21 2004 18:03

well, after having read the above thread I got to wondering......

"Anyone fancy a pint?" wink

Vaneigemappreci...
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Aug 22 2004 15:41

Sorry 'bigdave' didnt read the follow up.

What am I doing?

Too little

Apart from a little asthetic dissent (adbusting etc) i'm barely involved in any sort of resistance or organising, i'm unemployed so i cant do anything workbased such as participating in and advocating wildcat strikes and sabotage. However i would class myself as proletariat and class conscious, perhaps just a little apathetic about it though.

Resistance can be organised in workplaces and communities, personally i think that detourned (vandalised) council papers, adverts, corporate brouchers, road signs, billboards, is a great way to disseminate radical ideas and gestures, though if you have the bottle to get on your soap box and preach a little its obviously much more effective and human.

For me i think this kind of detournment, coupled with wildcat strikes and active resistance and organisation at work, forums, leaflets and creative protests (such as the one attempted by the Situationists and enrages at protest against the vietnam war when they planned to throw a number of chinese corpses stolen from state labratories into the seine with liters of red paint) are all affective forms of revolt if carried out coherently and consciously.

lucy82
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Aug 25 2004 00:32

so if i break into the local morgue and chuck some corpses in the mersey covered in red paint, is that effective revolt carried out coherently and consciously? don't think that'll go down to well with the communities or in the workplace.

and btw, how can soapbox preaching be obviously more effective and human?. In my experience its a good way of getting people to tell you to fuck off.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Aug 25 2004 17:42

The chinese corpses were not those of local people, nor workers! They were bought by the french government for research

and speaking to poeple in the street is far more human than speaking to them in print or graffiti.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Aug 25 2004 20:56

Oh No -- that corpse...could it be LOCAL?

Phew, it looks chinese.

lucy82
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Aug 25 2004 22:23
Quote:
they planned to throw a number of chinese corpses stolen from state labratories into the seine with liters of red paint) are all affective forms of revolt if carried out coherently and consciously.

admirable creative protest. Those dead chinese weren't local and not workers and therefore pretty useless. except as objects to be purchased by the french govenment.

Quote:
if you have the bottle to get on your soap box and preach a little its obviously much more effective and human

.

i'm sure the dead chinese would have appreciated the sermon and the knowledge that their humanity was valued if they had been either coherent or conscious.... roll eyes

captainmission
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Aug 26 2004 20:06
Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:
The chinese corpses were not those of local people, nor workers! They were bought by the french government for research

so the french governemnt ethiclally sourced there corpse from amognst the chinese ruling class then?

Quote:
'm unemployed so i cant do anything workbased such as participating in and advocating wildcat strikes and sabotage.

Maybe you should stop trying to live your life through the spectacle of other peoples struggles?

Augusto_Sandino
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Aug 27 2004 23:16

It all seems a bit arty to me. I dont know if people would understand the point being made, i think theyd be more confused by corpses in the river...