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Nasce a FACP - Federação Anarquista Comunista de Portugal

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bmp
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Oct 8 2007 22:59
Nasce a FACP - Federação Anarquista Comunista de Portugal

Manifesto da Federação Anarquista Comunista de Portugal
(Documento aprovado pela assembleia fundadora a 7 de Outubro de 2007)

mail: facp-geral(a)riseup.net

Reunida nos dias 5-6-7 de Outubro deste ano de 2007, a Assembleia Fundacional da FACP, aprovou as linhas gerais de orientação (ver Manifesto abaixo), assim como a sua orgânica interna, decidiu também em relação a acções nos tempos mais próximos e várias propostas que apresentará brevemente.

Introdução

O anarquismo comporta em si dois mundos: o das ideias e o das acções, estando ambos intrinsecamente ligados entre si. Assim, o anarquismo não é mais que uma análise material de uma prática de luta social levada a cabo por trabalhadores (*) ou comunidades auto organizadas em defesa dos seus interesses e não em defesa de interesses alheios, ou que lhes foram inculcados por partidos ou vanguardas iluminadas. Trabalhadores e comunidades em luta preocupam-se, naturalmente, mais com o lado concreto e prático do anarquismo. O seu princípio essencial e fundamental é o princípio da iniciativa revolucionária dos trabalhadores e a sua libertação pelas suas próprias forças.

Todos os movimentos sociais revolucionários que se deram até aqui desenrolam-se nos limites do regime capitalista e apenas têm tido uma influência escassa da teoria e prática anarquista, excepção feita a Espanha (1936-1939), Ucrânia (1917-1921) e México (1910-1920) – embora, com maior ou menor sucesso, com maior ou menor influência dos anarquistas e suas organizações, todas as lutas da classe trabalhadora, do passado e presente, são valiosas e delas se devem retirar importantes ilações. Isto é bastante compreensível, pois as lutas sociais e seus intervenientes agem não num mundo desejado, mas naquele que existe à sua volta, estando diariamente em luta com a acção física e psicológica de forças repressoras. O movimento anarquista actual, que tem uma fraca expressão, pouco ajuda nas lutas sociais e os trabalhadores sofrem, assim, constantemente a influência de todo o meio real do sistema capitalista e dos grupos intermediários que lhes estão associados: sejam os partidos políticos que advogam a luta reformista e parlamentarista; sejam os sindicatos manipulados ao sabor dos interesses das classes dominantes e não dos trabalhadores, que de resto poucas decisões têm na própria orgânica sindical, estando à mercê de cúpulas dirigentes; sejam dos meios de comunicação social que constroem realidades e verdades fictícias. (1)

O ideal do anarquismo é rico na sua multiplicidade, mas o papel dos anarquistas nas lutas sociais é muito pobre em Portugal, senão nulo. O seu fim deveria ser ajudar as lutas sociais a entrar na via da luta emancipatória e da edificação da sociedade vindoura, e enquanto o movimento das massas não trilhar o caminho da colisão decisiva, o papel dos anarquistas devia centrar-se na cooperação com os movimentos sociais, ajudando-os a interpretar a significação da luta que as espera, a definir as obras a realizar e os seus objectivos, a tomar as necessárias disposições de combate e a organizar as suas forças, bem como a combater as tendências centralizadoras dos políticos profissionais oportunistas que sempre espreitam para tomar as rédeas dos movimentos sociais. Se as lutas sociais passaram para uma etapa decisiva, então, os anarquistas devem estar prontos e precipitar-se nela sem perderem um instante; deverão fazer tudo o que depender deles para sustentar os primeiros ensaios construtivos, procurando firmemente que o caminho conduza às aspirações essenciais dos trabalhadores e/ou comunidades. Devemos promover, em todas as ocasiões, no seio dos trabalhadores e do povo os ideais de auto organização e de autogestão.

O que vemos hoje, na realidade portuguesa, é um cenário onde os anarquistas estão completamente desligados das lutas sociais, totalmente ao contrário do que deveria ser a prática anarquista, isto apesar dos exemplos históricos de homens e lutadores como Emídio Santana, Manuel Joaquim de Sousa, Mário Castelhano ou Neno Vasco, ou de organizações como os anarco-sindicalistas da CGT, ou anarco-comunistas da UAP (União Anarquista Portuguesa) – que integrou a Federação Anarquista Ibérica. Grupos, homens e mulheres que lutaram pela emancipação integral dos trabalhadores, bem como foram bravos lutadores contra o fascismo. O ideal do anarquismo mobiliza o entusiasmo de muitos revolucionários sinceros, porém as formas mais frequentes de discurso explicitamente anarquista acusam ainda muitíssimas lacunas pois entram muito pelos lugares comuns abstractos e vagos e divagações por domínios que não têm nada a ver com o movimento social dos trabalhadores. Mas há um traço que sobressai bastante desses discursos – a alergia ou completa aversão à organização (2).

Há muito tempo que os anarquistas portugueses são atacados por essa doença terrível: a desorganização. Este mal destruiu neles a necessidade e o vigor de um pensamento concreto e condenou-os à inactividade em momentos importantes da luta social. Com a desorganização, advém a irresponsabilidade, e juntas, conduzem ao empobrecimento da ideia e à nulidade em matéria prática. A organização deverá vir e virá, ligando entre si todos os que tomam seriamente o anarquismo, que são realmente dedicados à revolução e ás lutas sociais.

Outra enfermidade grave que assola o anarquismo é a abstracção em que o mergulharam pela irrupção de tendências que pouco têm a ver com o anarquismo e mais com um sentimento liberal burguês: desde os niilistas, aos existencialistas, aos anarco-capitalistas, aos primitivistas, etc.

“Anarquismo não significa misticismo, nem palavras vagas sobre a beleza, nem tão pouco desespero. A sua grandeza é feita, antes de tudo, pela sua dedicação à causa da humanidade oprimida. Traz em si a aspiração das massas para a verdade, o seu heroísmo e a sua vontade concentrada; representa neste momento a única doutrina social sobre que as massas podem apoiar-se com confiança para conduzir a sua luta. Não basta que o anarquismo seja uma grande ideia e as anarquistas os seus representantes platónicos. É necessário que os anarquistas tomem constantemente parte do movimento revolucionário das massas e como cooperadores. Só então esse movimento respirará plenamente a atmosfera verdadeira do ideal do anarquismo. Nada se obtém gratuitamente. Todas as causas exigem esforços e sacrifícios. O anarquismo deve encontrar uma unidade de vontade e uma unidade de acção e alcançar uma noção exacta do seu papel histórico. O anarquismo deve penetrar no coração das massas e fundir-se com elas” (3).

Porque dispersos vemos a nossa influência reduzida no decurso das lutas, ainda para mais quando somos poucos; porque dispersos vemos a nossa capacidade individual reduzida a nada, pois trabalhando sozinhos, sem projectos, vamos observando tudo sem capacidade de agir voltando para casa desmotivados e sem ânimo, – por vezes, alguns companheiros decidem juntar-se a projectos de outras tendências, com as quais mantêm desacordos irreconciliáveis –, propomos nos auto organizar. Queremos que o Movimento Anarquista volte às ruas, às fábricas, às comunidades, às escolas. Queremos que ele seja uma força revolucionária que combata o capitalismo e todo o autoritarismo injustificável, aplicando-lhe as armas da acção directa das massas, horizontalidade, solidariedade, autogestão, liberdade, igualdade e federalismo.

Achamos que um trabalho preparatório é condição absoluta para a vitória das lutas sociais. Será, pois, preciso realizar uma estratégia revolucionária de classe e é disso que dependerá, num grau considerável, o futuro do movimento. É pois preciso que nos organizemos. Não queremos ser nenhuma vanguarda iluminada, senão promotores da auto organização dos trabalhadores e suas comunidades, por isso defendemos uma organização que seja um meio e nunca um fim. Convém, no entanto, ressalvar que não pretendemos ser um grupo sintetista, que agrupe várias tendências anarquistas, pretendemos ser um grupo de luta de classes, que se pode designar anarquista comunista, embora a palavra “comunista” possa causar calafrios a muita gente.

É pois nesse sentido que se delineiam os seguintes princípios:

1º Somos anti-capitalistas, o que significa que consideramos que a actual organização da sociedade, baseada na exploração do trabalho assalariado, tem de desaparecer. Significa também que, embora combatendo as manifestações mais extremas do capitalismo, as grandes corporações, os grandes centros regionais e mundiais que ditam as políticas em todo o globo, somos contrários às formas mais arcaicas de exploração, capitalistas ou não capitalistas. Não aceitamos defender os pequenos capitalistas contra os grandes, ou os capitalistas nacionais contra os estrangeiros à custa da traição aos trabalhadores, como tem sido princípio do reformismo e da esquerda autoritária. Igualmente, fica bem claro para nós que nenhuma sociedade instaurou até hoje qualquer forma de socialismo ou de comunismo real. O que se tem como sociedades onde reina o «comunismo», actualmente, como a República Popular da China, a Coreia do Norte, Cuba e outros casos, são apenas exemplos de uma forma de capitalismo, o capitalismo de estado, em que uma oligarquia decide em nome do proletariado, o qual é espezinhado e humilhado constantemente.

2º Somos anti-autoritários, o que significa que temos como objectivo a destruição do estado, um dos sustentáculos maiores do capitalismo, e a sua substituição por uma sociedade de comunas livres e de autogestão generalizada, em todos os domínios, produtivos e outros. Significa também que somos contra a existência de vanguardas ou de elites que se auto designam como «consciência» dos explorados e que supostamente os guiariam até ao triunfo da revolução. Sabemos que as formas de organização que tomarmos no presente vão ser importantes nos mais diversos momentos da luta para a instauração do comunismo libertário. Não aceitaremos, portanto, que haja entre nós quem mande ou quem seja mandado. Somos anti-autoritários, porque discutimos colectivamente, decidimos pela democracia directa todos os aspectos da nossa vida interna enquanto organização, nomeadamente, todos os que estejam relacionados com as nossas acções.

3º Somos pela unidade teórica, ou seja, temos um corpo comum de doutrina, de teoria, que vamos desenvolvendo e aprofundando com os ensinamentos da prática, na discussão fraterna entre nós e com outros colectivos e entidades afins.

4º Sendo a nossa estratégia e táctica decorrentes da nossa teoria, elas deverão apresentar unidade em termos gerais, embora com adaptações às condições geográficas e/ou outras que se apresentem.

5º Somos pela responsabilidade colectiva. Isto significa que o funcionamento do colectivo e as decisões tomadas por este são partilhadas por todos/as. Todos/as devem fazer o seu melhor para que o Colectivo funcione correctamente e as suas iniciativas sejam coroadas de êxito. O facto de certas tarefas serem atribuídas a determinados elementos não exime os outros de responsabilidades: primeiro, porque participaram na tomada de decisão sobre essa distribuição de responsabilidades; segundo, porque têm o dever de suprir falhas ou deficiências que venham a ocorrer, por qualquer motivo, durante a execução de uma dada tarefa. Sendo o processo de tomada de decisão inteiramente democrático e partilhado, não podem alguns membros colocar-se de lado, não contribuindo para um dado trabalho, sob pretexto de que não estavam de acordo com tal ou tal decisão. Condenamos, também, a prática de agir sob a responsabilidade de um indivíduo.

6º Somos pela democracia directa. Nesta, a assembleia é soberana para tomar as decisões que dizem respeito aos seus membros. Todas as pessoas têm liberdade de intervir e são convidadas a fazê-lo. As decisões devem ser tomadas tendo em conta as opiniões de todas as pessoas. Se possível, deve-se chegar a consenso. Caso seja impossível um consenso, deve-se então determinar qual a posição maioritária pelo voto. É um mito dizer-se que os anarquistas não votam. Votam nas suas assembleias, mas apenas quando esse meio se torna indispensável. A existência de uma discussão tão ampla e generalizada quanto a assembleia queira, faz com que as decisões que daí emanam sejam consensuais, ou por ampla maioria. Os nossos mecanismos de tomada decisão salvaguardam, também, as posições minoritárias. Logicamente, os membros dessa assembleia sentem-se vinculados (responsabilizados) às decisões tomadas colectivamente. Isto significa que todos têm obrigação de implementar as decisões tomadas (responsabilidade colectiva), visto que participaram activamente na tomada de decisão.

7º Somos internacionalistas, porque temos consciência de que a espécie humana é una; de que não existem raças; de que são indefensáveis ideários de superioridade nacional ou cultural; o mal que advém do capitalismo ataca todos os povos.

8ª Somos anti-militaristas porque pensamos que o exército é um dos suportes do Estado e do capitalismo, mantendo uma hierarquia rígida completamente separada do povo e ao serviço dos interesses privados. Somos pelo povo em armas para defender a revolução triunfante dos inimigos, pelo que terá de se auto-organizar em milícias revolucionárias.

9º Nos nossos meios e na sociedade em geral, combateremos energicamente todas as discriminações. O capitalismo e o estado também se mantêm através do patriarcado, do racismo, da xenofobia, do sexismo e da homofobia, que se somam e agravam à opressão de classe. Combateremos sem descanso pelo respeito dos direitos dos imigrantes, segundo o lema: «nenhum ser humano é ilegal».

9º Somos ecologistas/ambientalistas, pois a crise ecológica global é causada pela acção do capitalismo, seja ele liberal ou de estado. É incompatível com a apropriação individual dos bens produtivos, o objectivo de vivermos em harmonia com a Natureza. No capitalismo, só pode haver agravamento de todos os problemas ambientais. A revolução anti-autoritária – também por este motivo – torna-se cada vez mais necessária e urgente.

Em termos de objectivos gerais, a Federação propõe-se:

1º Difundir o anarquismo, o mais amplamente possível devolvendo-o aos trabalhadores como seu património;

2º Combater todos os preconceitos alimentados contra o anarquismo, denunciando igualmente às pseudo-expressões do anarquismo, tais como: primitivismo, caos, individualismo, um estilo de vida, terrorismo, anarco-capitalismo, etc;

3º Participar em todas as lutas do movimento social, num sentido de emancipação geral, mas também de avanço das condições materiais e outras dos trabalhadores e camadas oprimidas. Neste combate, estaremos prontos a cooperar com outros, não deixando de denunciar as derivas autoritárias e, ou vanguardistas. Neste âmbito, entendemos realizar trabalho em estruturas sindicais existentes ou promovendo novas estruturas, sempre no respeito pela vontade dos trabalhadores associados em tais estruturas. Consideramos como prioridade, em pé de igualdade, o apoio e trabalho conjunto com colectivos anti-autoritários de âmbito ecológico, de apoio a presos, feminismo anárquico, pelo direito à habitação, anti-racista, anti-fascista, entre outros;

4º No nosso Colectivo têm lugar todo(a)s que queiram assumir o seu compromisso com plena responsabilidade, o que inclui a ajuda mútua para melhorar o desempenho prático e teórico como anarquistas de luta de classes.

5º Trabalhar conjuntamente com outras organizações específicas, ao nível internacional, que partilhem o essencial das nossas posições (Federações, Grupos Anarquistas Comunistas e Anarquistas de Luta de Classes), assim como organizações de massas (Sindicatos, etc.), desde que mantenham uma postura de defesa dos interesses da classe trabalhadora e uma independência em relação aos poderes.

Notas:

(*) Por trabalhador entendemos todo aquele, homem ou mulher, que para sobreviver necessita de vender a sua força de trabalho, podendo ou não, num determinado momento, estar a ser remunerado. Nesta categoria englobamos estudantes, desempregados, imigrantes, bolseiros, artistas intermitentes, etc.

(1) Noam Chomsky faz uma análise clarividente acerca dos media no livro – A Manipulação dos Media (Inquérito, 2003) : “Naquilo a que hoje em dia se chama um estado totalitário, ou militar, é fácil. Mantém-se um bom cacete em cima da cabeça das pessoas e se elas saírem da linha dá-se-lhes com ele. Todavia como a sociedade se tornou mais livre e mais democrática, perdeu-se essa capacidade. É necessário, portanto recorrer às técnicas de propaganda. A lógica é evidente. A propaganda está para uma democracia como um cacete para um estado totalitário”.

(2) Piotr Arshinov define muito bem este problema: “Muitos anarquistas gastam as suas forças a tratar de resolver se o problema do anarquismo é o da libertação das classes, da humanidade ou do indivíduo. A questão é vazia. Contudo, ela tem a sua base em algumas posições vagas do anarquismo e abre um caminho para abusos no domínio da ideia anarquista, por meio da prática anarquista em seguida. Lentamente, os homens de acção, possuindo uma vontade firme e um instinto revolucionário muito desenvolvido, verão na ideia anarquista da liberdade individual, a ideia da luta infatigável pela liberdade anarquista das massas. Mas aos que não têm a paixão revolucionária, que pensam em primeiro lugar nas manifestações do seu próprio ego, compreendem esta ideia à sua própria maneira. De cada vez que se trata de organização prática, de responsabilidade, refugiam-se na ideia anarquista da liberdade individual e fundando-se nela procuram subtrair-se a toda a responsabilidade e impedir toda a organização. Cada um deles retira-se para o seu canto, imagina a sua obra própria e prega o seu próprio anarquismo”. – História do Movimento Makhnovista 1917-1921, Assírio e Alvim, 1976

(3) Nestor Makhno - The Struggle Against the State & Other Essays, AK Press, 1996

Mark.
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Oct 8 2007 23:21

Manifesto of the Anarchist Communist Federation of Portugal approved at its founding assembly yesterday. It looks to be following an especifista/platformist line. I could translate some of this if anyone is interested.

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OliverTwister
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Oct 9 2007 19:44

yes.

Mark.
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Oct 9 2007 21:19

OK, I'll do this when I have some time.

Mark.
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Oct 14 2007 17:01

Translation of the start of the FACP manifesto...

Quote:
Mail: facp-geral(a)riseup.net

Introduction

Anarchism contains two worlds: that of ideas and that of action, both intrinsically linked to each other. In this way anarchism is nothing more than a practice of struggle undertaken by workers or communities self-organised in defence of their interests, and not in defence of interests that are external or instilled by parties or enlightened vanguards. Workers and communities in struggle naturally concern themselves more with the concrete and practical side of anarchism. Its essential and fundamental principle is the revolutionary initiative of the workers and their liberation by their own efforts.

All the revolutionary social movements that have arisen so far have developed within the limits of the capitalist system. With the exceptions of Spain (1936-1939), the Ukraine (1917-1921) and Mexico (1910-1920) anarchist theory and practice have had only a limited influence. However, with greater or lesser success and greater or lesser influence from the anarchists and their organisations, all the struggles of the working class, past and present, are valuable, and important lessons should be drawn from them. All this is very understandable, as the participants in social struggles do not act in the world they would like, but rather in the one that exists around them, in daily struggle against the physical and psychological action of repressive forces. The current anarchist movement, which has a weak presence, does little to help in social struggles and so the workers constantly suffer from all the real means of the capitalist system and all the intermediary groups associated; whether they are the political parties that advocate reformist and parliamentary struggle; or unions manipulated according to the interests of the dominant classes and not the workers, where in any case few decisions are taken at the base, being instead at the mercy of the leadership; or the means of communications that construct fictitious realities and truths.

The ideal of anarchism is rich in its multiplicity, but in Portugal the part played by anarchists in social struggle is very poor or else non-existent. Its aim should be to help social struggles take the route of emancipatory struggle and the construction of the society to come, and as long as the movement of the masses does not take the path of decisive conflict the role of the anarchists should centre itself on cooperation with the social movements, helping them to explain the meaning of the struggle which awaits them, to define the tasks to carry out and their purpose, to make the necessary preparations to fight and to organise their forces, as well as combating the centralising tendencies of the opportunist professional politicians who are always looking to take the reins of the social movements. If the social struggles go through a decisive stage then the anarchists should be ready to throw themselves in without wasting a moment. They should do everything in their power to support the first constructive attempts, resolutely aiming to ensure that the path leads to the essential aspirations of the workers and/or communities. We should promote at all times the ideals of self-organisation and self-management in the hearts of the workers and the people.

What we see today in the Portuguese reality is a scenario where the anarchists are completely cut off from social struggles, going completely against what ought to be anarchist practice, this despite the historic examples of men and fighters like Emídio Santana, Manuel Joaquim de Sousa, Mário Castelhano or Neno Vasco, or organisations like the anarcho-syndicalists of the CGT, or the anarcho-communists of the UAP (União Anarquista Portuguesa) which formed part of the Federação Anarquista Ibérica - groups, men and women who fought for the complete emancipation of the workers, just as they were brave fighters against fascism. The ideal of anarchism mobilises the enthusiasm of many sincere revolutionaries, but the most frequent forms of explicitly anarchist discourse still show many gaps as they often tend towards the abstract and vague commonplace and digressions into areas that have nothing to do with the social movement of the workers. However there is a trait that stands out in these discourses – the allergy or complete aversion to organisation.

For a long time the Portuguese anarchists have been attacked by that terrible infection - disorganisation. This sickness took away the necessity and strength of concrete thought and condemned them to inactivity in important times of social conflict. With disorganisation comes irresponsibility, and together they lead to the impoverishment of the idea and ineffectiveness in practical matters. Organisation is needed and is going to arrive, bringing together all those who take anarchism seriously and are genuinely dedicated to revolution and social struggles.

Another serious condition that devastates anarchism is the abstraction into which it is plunged by the invasion of tendencies that have little to do with anarchism and more to do with a liberal bourgeois sentiment; from the nihilists to the existentialists, anarcho-capitalists, primitivists etc.

“Anarchism does not mean mysticism, vague words about beauty, or despair. Its greatness is made, above all, by its dedication to the cause of oppressed humanity. In itself it brings the aspiration of the masses for the truth, their heroism and their concentrated will. At this time it represents the only social doctrine which the masses can depend on with confidence to conduct their struggle. It is not enough for anarchism to be a grand idea and anarchists its platonic representatives. It is necessary that anarchists constantly take part in the revolutionary movement of the masses, and as collaborators. Only then will that movement fully breathe the true atmosphere of the ideal of anarchism. Nothing is obtained for free. All causes demand effort and sacrifices. Anarchism must find a unity of will and a unity of action and reach a precise idea of its historic role. Anarchism must reach into the heart of the masses and merge itself with them.” (Nestor Makhno)

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OliverTwister
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Oct 14 2007 21:49

Thanks for that JH.

I noticed awhile ago that the FdCA seemed to have members or supporters in Portugal - I wonder if that is the origin of this group? Or are they more tied in with the FAG etc? What is their relationship with other Portuguese groups?

Curious to hear more about them, although this part is kind of wierd

Quote:
The current anarchist movement, which has a weak presence, does little to help in social struggles and so the workers constantly suffer from all the real means of the capitalist system

Mark.
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Oct 14 2007 22:57
OliverTwister wrote:
Thanks for that JH.

I noticed awhile ago that the FdCA seemed to have members or supporters in Portugal - I wonder if that is the origin of this group? Or are they more tied in with the FAG etc? What is their relationship with other Portuguese groups?

Curious to hear more about them, although this part is kind of wierd

Quote:
The current anarchist movement, which has a weak presence, does little to help in social struggles and so the workers constantly suffer from all the real means of the capitalist system

I took that quote as a reference to anarchists in Portugal rather than internationally - I don't think there are so many of them. In any case my translation may be a bit off. There's some really tortuous Portuguese prose here with sentences that wander on for half a paragraph - I think this kind of thing is considered good style in Portugal. I can follow it if I pay attention but it's hard to get it into reasonable English. The manifesto has also been put up on anarkismo and I'd guess they're involved with it. I don't really know any more than that. Who are the FdCA by the way?

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georgestapleton
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Oct 14 2007 23:29

Federation of Anarchist Communists - platformist group based in Italy.

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Bubbles
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Oct 15 2007 02:52

george, whats the story with the portugal group and anarkismo?

skip
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Oct 17 2007 01:17

Here is the full english translation.
----------------------------------------------------------

In the Founding Assembly on 5th-6th-7th Ocober 2007, the members of the
FACP approved the general orientation lines (see Manifesto), as well as
the internal rganisation of the federation and decided on some short-term
actions and several proposals that will soon be made public. *** MANIFESTO
OF THE FEDERAÇÃO ANARQUISTA COMUNISTA DE PORTUGAL (Anarchist Communist
Federation of Portugal) approved by the Founding Assembly, the 7th October
2007 *** Introduction:
Anarchism embraces two worlds: the world of ideas and the world of action,
which are profoundly connected with each other. It can be said that
anarchism is a material analysis of a practice for social struggle carried
out by the workers (*) or self-organised communities in order to defend
their own interests and not external interest, which may be imparted by
political parties or illuminated vanguards. The workers and fighting
communities are naturally more concerned with the objective and practical
side of anarchism. Their essential principle is the workers' revolutionary
initiative and their liberation by their own forces.

All the revolutionary social movements that existed up to now took place
within the framework of a capitalist regime and received little influence
either from anarchist theory or practice, with the exceptions of Spain
(1936-1939), Ukraine (1917-1921) and Mexico (1910-1920); nevertheless,
with more or less success, with greater or lesser influence from
anarchists and their organisations, all the worker-class struggles from
the past and present are precious and should be learnt from. This is easy
to understand as the social struggles and their actors evolve, not in the
ideal world, but in the world that surrounds them, and must daily confront
the physical and psychological action of the oppressive forces. Today's
numerically small anarchist movement is unable to provide enough help to
the social struggles and the workers suffer from the permanent influence
of the environment of a capitalist system and from other intermediary
groups associated with it, namely: the political parties, who defend the
reformist approach and parliamentary politics; the unions, who are
manipulated for the benefit of the dominant classes and not of the workers
(who have little voice within the union organizations, run by a few
leaders); the mass media, which builds a fictional reality and fictional
truths, which perverts the perception of reality, and which is
unfortunately the sole source of information for too many people. (1)

Although the anarchist ideal is rich in its multiplicity, the anarchists'
rolein the social struggle has been, and continues to be, scarce or
non-existant in Portugal. Our goal should be to help the social struggles
take the path to emancipation and to the building of the future society.
While the mass movement is still working towards the decisive
confrontation, the role of anarchists should focus on cooperation within
the social movements, both helping these movements interpret the
forthcoming fights, and helping define the work needed to be done and its
goals, together with counteracting the influence of opportunist
politicians who never miss an opportunity to restrain the social movement.
Once the class struggle has entered a decisive phase, then anarchists
should participate in it without delay; they should do whatever they can
to help the first constructive efforts, ensuring that the chosen path
meets with the basic expectations of both workers and communities. We
should on all occasions promote within the worker class and the people the
ideals of self-government and self-management.

We see in Portugal today a scenario where anarchists are totally dissociated
from the social struggles, the exact opposite of what should be the
practice of anarchists, and this in spite of men like Emídio Santana,
Manuel Joaquim de Sousa, Mário Castelhano or Neno Vasco, or organisations
such as the revolutionary syndicalistist Portuguese CGT or the
anarchist-communist UAP (União Anarquista Portuguesa) that was part of the
FAI (Federação Anaquista Ibérica). These organisations, these men and
women, fought for the complete emancipation of the workers and were also
brave fighters against fascism. The anarchist ideal motivates the
enthusiasm of many sincere anarchists, but the most frequently-encountered
explicitly anarchist literature is too often full of abstract banalities
and vague digressions that have nothing to do with the workers' social
movement. There is, however, one common trait to all these - their total
allergy or aversion to organisation (2).

The Portuguese anarchists have long suffered from one terrible ailment:
disorganisation. This sickness has destroyed in them the need and enthusiasm
for practical thought and has condemned them to inactivity at times of
important social struggles. Disorganisation comes together with a lack of
responsibility, and both serve to impoverish ideas and nullify any practical
intervention. There must be organisation, and organization there will be
if we can draw together all those who take anarchism seriously, those who
are really devoted to the revolution and to social struggle.

Another serious infirmity that afflicts anarchism is the navel-gazing into
which it was plunged by those who have less a relation to anarchism than to
petit-bourgeois, liberal feelings: the nihilists, existentialists,
anarcho-capitalists, primitivists, etc.

"Anarchism does not mean mysticism, nor vague words on beauty, nor despair.
Its greatness is mainly due to its devotion to the cause of oppressed
humanity. It carries within itself the masses' aspiration for the truth,
their heroism and their condensed will; it represents at present the only
social doctrine upon which the masses can rely and trust to undertake
their struggle. It is not enough for anarchism to be a great idea and
anarchists its platonic representatives. The anarchists must take part
permanently in the mass revolutionary movement and cooperate with it. Only
then will this movement truly breathe the authentic atmosphere of the
anarchist ideal. Nothing is obtained for free. All causes demand efforts
and sacrifices. Anarchism must find a unity of aims and action and attain
an exact realization of its historical role. Anarchism must penetrate the
hearts of the masses and fuse with them."

If we are dispersed, our influence will be reduced during the course of the
struggles, especially if we are few in number; in such a situation our
capacity is greatly reduced, we lack projects, we see what is going on
around us, but lack the capacity to act and we fall into depression.
Sometimes comrades associate themselves with projects from other trends
with whom they have irreconcilable disagreements. Therefore, our proposal
is that we organize ourselves. We want to see the Anarchist Movement back
on the streets, in the factories, communities, schools and universities.
We want it to be a revolutionary force, fighting capitalism and
authoritarianism through the methods of mass direct action, horizontality,
solidarity, self-management, liberty, equality and federalism.

It is our belief that preparation work is unavoidable if social struggles
are to be victorious. It will be our task to establish a revolutionary
class-struggle strategy on which the movement's future will depend to a
great extent. It is therefore necessary to organize ouselves. We do not
want to set ourselves up as an illuminated vanguard, but to promote the
self-organisation of workers and their communities; that is why we defend
organisation as a means and not an end in its own right. We wish to stress
that we do not want to be a synthesis of various anarchist currents, but a
class-struggle collective, thatidentifies itself as anarchist communist,
even though the word "communist" still scares many people.

We have therefore adopted the following principles:

1. We are anti-capitalists, which means we consider that the present
organisation of society, based upon the exploitation of waged work, has to
disappear. This also means that although we combat the most extreme
expressions of capitalism such as the great corporations, the large
regional and worldwide centres that dictate policies throughout the globe,
we are also against more archaic forms of exploitation, be they capitalist
or not. We will not defend small capitalists against big capitalists or
national capital against foreign capital, with treason against the
interests of the workers - as has been the rule among the reformist and
authoritarian left. It is also quite clear to us that until now, no
society has ever installed any form of socialism or communism. The
societies at present ruled by "communist" parties, such as the People's
Republic of China, North Korea or Cuba among others, are forms of State
capitalism, where oligarchies decide in name of a proletariat that is
constantly trampled underfoot and humiliated.

2. We are anti-authoritarian, which means that one of our goals is the
destruction of the State (one of the greatest supports to capitalism) and
its replacement with a society of free communes and generalised
self-management in all domains, both in production and elsewhere. This
also means that we are against the existence of vanguards or elitist
groups who style themselves the "consciousness" of the exploited people
and who expect to be allowed to guide them to the victorious revolution.
We know that the organisational forms we adopt today will be important in
the various stages of the fight for a libertarian communist society. We
do not accept that some of us command and others are commanded. Because we
are anti-authoritarians, we collectively discuss and decide by direct
democratic means all the various aspects of our life as an organisation,
the organization being composed of all those who share our actions.

3. We are for theoretical unity, which means that we share a common
doctrine or body of theory that develops and becomes more detailed with
the experience of practice, through fraternal discussion amongst ourselves
and with other collectives and entities with whom we have an affinity.

4. Because our strategies and tactics derive from our theory, these should
generally speaking exhibit unity, though may be adapted according to
geographical and other factors.

5. We are for collective responsibility. This means that the collective
way of working and decision-making is shared by all militants. All must
give their best so that the Collective functions correctly and that
initiatives are successful. The fact that some tasks are assigned to some
members does not exempt the others from responsibility: firstly, because
they have participated in the decision to assign the task; secondly,
because everybody has the duty to help when the execution of such tasks is
lacking, for whatever reason. Because decision making is carried out by
means of an entirely democratic and shared process, it is not possible for
some members to stand aside under the pretext that they were not in
agreement with this or that decision. We also condemn the practice of one
individual acting under his or her own responsibility.

6. We are for direct democracy. In this, the assembly is sovereign in making
decisions concerning its members. All individual members have freedom to
speak and are encouraged to do so. Decisions must take account of the
opinion of all. If possible, consensus should be reached. If not, a vote
is taken. It is a myth to pretend that anarchists never vote. They vote in
their assemblies, each time this procedure is necessary. The existence of
a discussion that is as ample as the assembly desires, means that most
decisions are taken by consensus or by a large majority. Our
decision-making mechanisms preserve the positions of any minority.
Logically, assembly members feel responsible for all decisions
collectively taken. This means that all have the obligation to ensure
implementation of any decisions that are taken (collective
responsibility), as they have actively participated in making the
decision.

7. We are internationalists, because we are conscious that there is only one
human species; that there are no races; that the ideologies of national or
cultural supremacy are untenable; that evil comes from capitalism and
affects all peoples.

8. We are anti-militarist, because armies are made to support the State and
capitalism, maintaining a rigid hierarchy, totally separated from the people
and at the service of particular interests. We are for the people in arms
to defend the triumphant revolution from its enemies, having to
self-organise in revolutionary militias.

9. In our milieu and in society in general, we shall energetically combat
all discrimination. Capitalism and the State maintain their ruling
position thanks also to patricharchy, racism, xenophobia, sexism and
homophobia, which make up and aggravate class oppression. We will
ceaselessly fight for the respect of the rights of immigrants, following
the principle that "no human being is illegal".

10. We are ecologists/environmentalists, because the world's environmental
crisis is caused by the action of capitalism. Living in harmony with
Nature as a goal is incompatible with the individual appropriation of
production goods. As long as capitalism exists, environmental problems
can only increase. For this reason, too, the anti-authoritarian revolution
is becoming more and more necessary and urgent.

In general terms, these will be the aims of the Federation:

1. To make anarchism known as widely as possible, and return it to the
workers as part of their own heritage.

2. To fight all preconceptions against anarchism, denouncing also
pseudo-expressions of anarchism such as primitivism, chaos, individualism,
life-stylism, terrorism, anarcho-capitalism, etc.

3. To take part in all the struggles of the social movement, with the aim
of leading to general emancipation, but also to obtain better material and
non-material conditions for the workers and oppressed classes. In this
fight we are ready to cooperate with others, without neglecting our
criticism of authoritarian and/or vanguardist drifts. In this sense, we
will be working inside existing union structures or in the promotion of
new ones, always respecting the workers' will in such structures. We
consider support for and work with other anti-authoritarian collectives in
the fields of ecology, prisoner support, anarchist feminism, housing,
anti-racism, and anti-fascism, amongst others, to be an equal priority.

4. In our Collective we have room for anyone who wants to take full
responsibility for their commitment, which includes mutual help in order to
enhance our practice and theory as class-struggle anarchists.

5. To work together at an international level with other specific
organisations, whose positions are essentially the same as ours (Anarchist
Communist Federations and Groups, class-struggle Anarchists), and also with
mass organisations (Unions, etc.) since they maintain a line of defence
for the workers' interests and independence in relation to power.

Notes :

(*) By "worker", we mean any person, male or female, who needs to sell his
or her labour in order to survive, whether remunerated or not for this
labour. In this category we include students, jobless people, immigrants,
scholarship
holders, precarious artists, etc.

(1) Noam Chomsky makes a lucid analysis of the media in his book, "Media
Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda" (Seven Stories Press,
2002): "In what is today called a totalitarian or military state, it is
easy: one keeps a big stick suspended above peoples' heads and when there
is too much unrest, they are beaten. However, when society becomes more
democratic, this possibility is lost. Propaganda therefore becomes
necessary. It's a clear logic. Propaganda is for democracy what the stick
is for the totalitarian state".

(2) Piotr Arshinov defines the question very well: "Many anarchists spend
their energies trying to solve the problem whether anarchism is the
liberation of the class, of humanity or of the individual. The question is
senseless. Nevertheless it is based in some vague anarchist positions and
opens the way to abuse, in the idea of anarchism first and in the
anarchist practice in second. Slowly, men of action who possess a firm
will and a quite developed revolutionary instinct will see in the idea of
individual liberty the idea of the restless fight for the anarchist
masses' freedom. But those who have no revolutionary passion, who think
primarily about their ego, understand this idea in their own way. Each
time practical organisation, responsibility, is demanded, they hide
themselves in the anarchist idea of individual liberty and appropriating
it they try to escape any responsibility and to preclude organisation.
Each of them retires himself in his corner and preaches his own particular
anarchism".
(translated from História do Movimento Makhnovista 1917-1921, Assírio &
Alvim, 1976)

(3) Nestor Makhno - The Struggle Against the State & Others Essays, AK Press.

--------------------------------
From: FACP <facp-geral@riseup.net>

skip
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Oct 17 2007 01:19
x357997 wrote:
whats the story with the portugal group and anarkismo?

FACP is the newest member organization of anarkismo.net

Bubbles's picture
Bubbles
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Oct 17 2007 01:43
skip wrote:
x357997 wrote:
whats the story with the portugal group and anarkismo?

FACP is the newest member organization of anarkismo.net

ace, how many members do they have?

NenoVasco
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Oct 18 2007 16:08

It's nice to see so many interest on portuguese anarchism but, as far as I know, you seem to know more about this "Federation" than we in Portugal. It must be a secret organization! I'm quiet in touch with the active anarchist groups and structures in Portugal and the foundation of this Federation came as a surprise to all of us, so it must be the act of a mini secret group. Also there was no invitation to other anarchists to attend to this foundation meeting. That seems to me more like the creation of a leninist party than of an anarchist federation, and a great lack of respect to other anarchists in Portugal.

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OliverTwister
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Oct 18 2007 16:41

I was wondering what their relationship was to the AIT-SP and the other groups in Portugal

Bubbles's picture
Bubbles
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Oct 19 2007 03:06
NenoVasco wrote:
It's nice to see so many interest on portuguese anarchism but, as far as I know, you seem to know more about this "Federation" than we in Portugal. It must be a secret organization! I'm quiet in touch with the active anarchist groups and structures in Portugal and the foundation of this Federation came as a surprise to all of us, so it must be the act of a mini secret group. Also there was no invitation to other anarchists to attend to this foundation meeting. That seems to me more like the creation of a leninist party than of an anarchist federation, and a great lack of respect to other anarchists in Portugal.

perhaps they do not wish to be a synthesis organization...

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Bubbles
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Oct 19 2007 03:06
OliverTwister wrote:
AIT-SP

???

Mark.
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Oct 19 2007 09:34

For anyone who reads Portuguese the Luta Social blog seems to involve the same people as the FACP, as does ACInterpro.

NenoVasco
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Oct 19 2007 10:55

I'll rewrite it:

Also there was no invitation to other anarchist communists to attend to this foundation meeting. That seems to me more like the creation of a leninist party than of an anarchist communist federation, and a great lack of respect to other anarchist communists in Portugal.

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Bubbles
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Oct 19 2007 21:05

any organization has the right not to invite whom ever they want to their founding conference just as they have the right to invite whom ever they want. There is nothing leninist about it.

nestor.mcnab
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Nov 28 2007 12:13

To clear up a few points:
1. The FACP has no direct links with the FdCA.
2. The FACP is an attempt to set up a nationwide political organization for anarchist communists, in the "platformist" or especifist tradition.
3. The FACP was set up with some of the people who were involved in the Luta Social collective in Lisbon.
4. ACInterpro did not receiv official status as a trade union and is in a state of limbo at the moment.
5. The FACP joined Anarkismo, but left almost immediately as it too is in difficulty.
6. They have promised a statement on the situation in the near future.

nestor.mcnab
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Nov 28 2007 12:14
nestor.mcnab wrote:
5. The FACP joined Anarkismo, but left almost immediately as it too is in difficulty.

"it" refers to the FACP, not Anarkismo!

syndicalist
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Dec 4 2007 15:20

Perhaps someone can enlighten us on the rapid rise and fall of the FACdeP.

Thanks.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(en) Dissolution of the Federação Anarquista Comunista de Portugal
Date Mon, 03 Dec 2007 17:24:22 +0200
http://www.ainfos.ca/ainfos336/ainfos32131.html

The General Assembly of the Anarchist Communist Federation of Portugal (FACP)
has decided to dissolve the organization. ---- Dissolution of the Federação
Anarquista Comunista de Portugal At its General Assembly held on 1st December
2007 in Lisbon, the Federação Anarquista Comunista de Portugal decided to
dissolve the organziation, having established that the necessary conditions do
not exist for the Federation to carry on its activities. --- Its ex-members are
free to organize themselves as they see fit, provided they do not seek to
continue as the FACP, which is now formally considered dissolved. --- We take
this opportunity to inform you that all e-mail addresses of the Federation will
now be de-activated, following transmission of this notice.

General Assembly
Anarchist Communist Federation of Portugal

(pt) DISSOLUÇÃO DA FACP (Federaç= E3o Anarquista Comunista de Portugal)
Date Mon, 3 Dec 2007 15:46:36 +0100 (CET)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Federação Anarquista Comunista de Portugal, reunida em Assembleia-Geral
no dia 1 de Dezembro, em Lisboa, decidiu a sua auto-dissolução, por
constatar não estarem reunidas as condições necessárias para uma
actividade enquanto Federação.
Os seus ex-membros têm toda a liberdade de se organizarem do modo que
entenderem, sem no entanto reivindicarem a continuidade desta organização
FACP, que se considera assim formalmente dissolvida.
Mais informam que os endereços de e-mail desta federação serão
desactivados assim que este comunicado tiver sido enviado.

A mesa da AG.

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Bubbles
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Dec 5 2007 00:59

confused

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Nate
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Dec 5 2007 07:04

Yeah, what happened there? Founded the first week of October, dissolved the first week of December? That's faster than a lot of adolescent punk bands.

syndicalist
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Dec 7 2007 03:59

It'd be very interested in learning the particulars on how this organization dissolved in less than 2 months time.

The quick crash and burn of the orgaization has all the hallmarks that there was not a good mix of personalities and organizational culutres (brought in by the different collectives or militants). If so, I think there's an important lesson to be learned.

I think that even with advanced programs and detailed sections on this and that (all important), if an attenmpt to build an organization is composed of competing personalities (or ideas) an organization is bound to fail---sooner or later. Now I have no idea that this is the case in Portugal, but why else would an organization fail in 2 months time?

I would observe after all these years of going at it, that an important basis for any organization need not only be the theoretical and organizational correctness, but the cohesion of the founders and those who join the organization. Ideas are great, but if the personalities are such that everything is a struggle, that every discussion ends in flames, or borders on such, then the organization will not move forward. If there is always a "turf" to protect, a project will not succed. This is surely a lesson learned with the rise and fall of the Anarchist Communist Federation of N. America (ACF/NA). I suspect this may be the same for the Portugese.

(Sorry for the duplication, but i figured i might get a reply somewhere on the demise of the FACP and some lessons to possibly be extracted....i also posted this on anarkismo.net)

potlatch
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Joined: 8-12-07
Dec 8 2007 04:19

Hi,

First of all, let me say that I usually read what happens at libcom but this is my first contribution. I want to become more participative in the interesting discussions held here and, as ex-member of this supersonic federation, I think that this could be a good thread to start. The following words are just my personal vision about what happened, even if great part of the people that were in FACP agree with me. I only want to share this short experience and some of the reasons that led to the end that you already know.

So, as I said, I was part of this Federation since the beginning and until its end, a thing that is not so great since it only officially lasted for two months. Of course that the contacts and discussions started some months earlier - in a lighter way in the first times and more intensively as the date of the founding assembly approached. But, as this recent developments show, the time dedicated to the discussions and debates were not enough to solve all the theoretical and practical divergences that contributed to the dissolution.

In fact, the problems behind this dissolution are a lot more complex than that reason. Let me first talk a little about anarchism in Portugal nowadays. As you might know, almost since the rise of Salazar’s dictatorship in the 30’s, that lasted until 1974, anarchism in Portugal disappeared in a great way, and even after the 74 revolution we was never able to recover the splendour that he had in the beginning of the 20th century. Of course that this isn’t the answer to the failure of the recently constituted and dismantled federation. But it can be a good starting point to comprehend the problems that characterize contemporary anarchism in Portugal. Nowadays, anarchism is absolutely insignificant on the national scene and we can point 4 or 5 interesting groups with relative success in their tiny local scenes. Anarchism in Portugal is totally fragmented, polluted by the external misconceptions about anarchism existent all over the world. The individuals that consider themselves anarchists are, usually, individualist anarchists, life-style anarchists or insurrectionists that broke some shop windows once in a year, in a brutally inconsequent way, and then go home happy with their revolutionary acts. For a great part of them, organization is a synonym to authority.
Despite his insignificance, in this summer we received some attention by the media (like 4 or 5 articles) motivated by an anti-authoritarian demonstration that suffered a brutal repression by the police. Articles full of errors and misconceptions, but that can show, in someway, how “harmless” is anarchism in our reality: most of this articles referred to the anarchists as a kind of exotic and contradictory people that still live in the 19th century. Some painted a more violent image of us, others tried to understand what was happening and who where these funny guys that considered themselves anarchists, and others mixed anarchists with Maoists, Leninists and tendencies like that. But the misconceptions were more a consequence of the ignorance of the journalists than of the threat that anarchism could represent in the way it actually exists in here.

As was already said in this topic, the idea of creating this federation started in the mind of some of the ex-members of ACInterpro, a union also dismantled but by other reasons: the Portuguese state initiated a legal action against it, considering that as a union they couldn’t be anti-capitalist or have students among his members. Without proper legal counselling available and without money to pay to a lawyer they chosed not to fight the action. This has another long and curious story, but as I wasn’t part of Acinterpro I let the explanations about that for one of it’s ex-members.

So, when the idea of creating a specifically anarchist group emerged, they asked me and other people about our interest in becoming part of this process. The discussions started, the local groups made some meetings to discuss what could be made, etc. the usual stuff. At the time of the founding assembly we were around twenty people in regular contact, split into the north and south of the country. The internal problems arose when the actions started to be planned, when we were contacted by the media (a surprise, since it happened earlier than we could ever imagine and without an apparent reason) and in some theory and practice issues. Some people arrived at the federation without the existence of trust between the members, something of extreme importance, in my point of view, at that point. As another member of FACP already said at anarkismo.net, the statuses weren’t approved at the beginning and that was one of our big failures.
Syndicalist was not far from the truth when he said that “the quick crash and burn of the organization has all the hallmarks that there was not a good mix of personalities and organizational cultures (brought in by the different collectives or militants)”. In someway, there were significant divergences about some issues of organization. As I said earlier, building an anarchist federation in Portugal is a really ambitious task since there isn’t something that could be called a movement or, in other words, a group of people acting in the pursuit of a common objective. People were splitted in a great way, without contact with each other, and this was a consequence of a certain aversion to an “anarchist organization” in Portugal, since almost people that consider themselves anarchists are individualists or life-style anarchists. Of course that the people involved in the creation of FACP were not individualistic or life-style anarchists and saw the necessity of developing an anarchist federation, which shows that, at least, there wasn’t that aversion to organization, quite the opposite. But the divergences, even misconceptions, about what should be the anarchist practice prevailed. Mostly because the discussion about anarchism between this groups and individuals only started when the federation started to be constructed, so there wasn’t a common and consistent idea about was an anarchist organization with that dimension and the personal views prevailed above the necessity of finding a minimum consensus.
At some point, we realized that it would be better to boost, in first place, our local groups and that FACP should communicate its end since some irresolvable issues emerged. As you can see, our inexperience, a start from the absolute zero, theoretical and practical divergences and other possible reasons led FACP to extinction.

Despite this situation, I think that this experience was very important, at least for me, and it could be a first important step to the reborn of anarchism in Portugal. All of the people involved still active creating new groups; others continued and intensified the actions in their works, universities or residential areas; and were made important contacts, not only in Portugal but also international. Above all, I met a lot of great persons, with great ideas and the will to act necessary to create a real social alternative. I hope that in a near future all of you could have some (better!) news from Portugal.

Well, I could keep talking about this all night long but I will wait for questions or other doubts that this personal perspective could raise. I stress that this is my personal vision and I don’t want to speak for anyone of the dissolved group. This report was just an attempt to tell you about what happened at FACP and about what generated this strange situation.
I apologize for my bad English, but I’m not accustomed to write in English. If I was not clear about something, feel free to comment or make any question.

Mark.
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Dec 8 2007 13:32

potlatch - thanks for the information and welcome to libcom. Your English is fine by the way.
Are there any anarchist discussion forums in Portuguese along the lines of libcom or alasbarricadas?

ronan
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Dec 8 2007 14:29

thanks a lot for that comrade, and greetings from a WSM member. would be very interested to hear any more news and discussion on organising efforts in portugal.

syndicalist
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Dec 8 2007 15:22

Welcome comrade. Greetings from the US. Interesting stuff.

I've always wondered why anarchist and syndicalist efforts never seemed to take off after the fall of Salazar. Back then, we were in contact with the old-time surviving comrades of the anarcho-syndicalist CGT-Portugal/"A Batalha". [We even tried to set up the ill-fated "Portugese Libertarian Aid Fund"]Theold-timers seemed to have attracted some younger comrades, but enever enough. From what I can gather, the older comrades tried to make available many classic anarchist texts. in addition to "A B"

I somehow remember a publication "A Ideo" ("The Idea"). Was this publisheb by the Portuegse section of the FAI? I remember we got lots of little booklets on Ricardo Mella that were being circulated in Portugal during te post-Salazar period.

From afar, it appeared that the revolutionary events unfolding during that period had libertarian currents ----but dominated by authoritarian left tendencies (maoists, trotskyists, radical military men).

I always found b]Portugal-The Impossible Revolution?[/b] by Phil Mailer to be a wealth of information and perspectives from a libertarian point of view.
http://www.geocities.com/cordobakaf/port.html Have you ever seen this book? If so, are his points accurate?

It appears to me (from 3000 miles away) that events sourth of Portugal, but still on the Iberian Penn. also affected the small movement in Portugal. The schism inside the CNT-AIT created divisions amongst class struggle Portugese comrades. The CGT-Portugal/"A Batalha" comrades supporting the "renovados" and so forth.

From time to time we (a/s NY comrades, LWG, WSA) would get information about groupings of a/s, mainly in Lisboa. Most of these efforts seem small scale (not that ours was very large either). Most seemed to be interested in the IWA/AIT.

It seems to me that the interest in anarchist-communist ideas in Portugal to be relatively new. Of course, I'm sure anarchist-communists have always existed, I just never heard about their organizational efforts. Until a couple of years ago I was mainly familiar with the AIT - SP (Portugese IWA/AIT Section). And, from time to time, read stuff in the spanish FAI's "Tierra y Libertad" issued by the Portugese FAI.

I certainly would be most interested in learning about the various elements of the Portugese movment from the late 1990s forward.

BTW, your english is very clear and understandable.

potlatch
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Dec 10 2007 02:17

Thanks for the feedback!

JH:
unfortunately there aren't any discussion forums. When we started organizing FACP we created a forum to discuss more regularly, because some of the members were separated by a great distance, but it was essentially for internal discussion and is now off. Some years ago a group also created a discussion forum but no one participated and it died so fast as FACP, eheh. Instead, there are some blogs and one or two mailing lists. I think you can understand portuguese, am i right?

Syndicalist:

I think that the failure of anarchist efforts after the fall of Salazar could be explained, in a great way, by the importance that the Communist Party (PCP) had in the revolutionary period and in the period of the dictatorial regime. They were, and still are, like a symbol of resistance and of the revolution, and almost all the revolutionary efforts that were made then had their influence or became controlled by them.
Now there are two unions in Portugal, but they are directly controlled by two partyes: CGTP, the bigger one, by PCP; and UGT, by the Socialist Party, now in power. CGTP recently organized a big demonstration, against the neo-liberal politics of the actual government, which had 200,000 people, which is a rare number for a demonstration here in Portugal. ACInterPro was the most recent attempt to create a union more close to the workers, but it had the end that you already know.

The journal “A Batalha” still exist, and some anarchists tried to recuperate “A Ideia”, which was stopped since 1991, but I think it only lasted 3 or 4 numbers. As much as I know it has nothing to do with FAI.
There were other interesting publications, but the most important, nowadays, is a publication called Utopia, which was created in 1995.

Like you said, the revolutionary period has had some events with libertarian currents, but most of them were rapidly controlled by PCP and they become something like what Orwell described in Animal Farm. But in fact, I think that in most occupations there wasn’t even a revolutionary conscience, because the workers rarely made them to abolish hierarchy, wage labour and stuff like that. They made them conscious that it was a temporary situation and just a demand for better living conditions; never with the intention to provoke a big change in the economic or political system like is told sometimes.
I never read “The Impossible Revolution”, I only read the introduction and checked the rest of the book, and it appears to show this exact vision, so I think the points it presents are accurate in a great way.

I also think that the schism inside the CNT-AIT also had some relevance in Portugal, as much as the anarchist movement in Spain always had a great influence. Until the defeat of the anarchists in the Spanish civil war there were great connections between the two movements, with Spanish anarchists exiled in Portugal and acting from here before the 30’s and then, with the implantation of the Republic regime in Spain and the development of the fascism in Portugal, with a lot of Portuguese anarchists exiled in Spain and acting from there. With the defeat of the anarchists in the Spanish civil war, the Portuguese anarchist resistance to fascist regime was severally damaged and I think that it was in that period that anarchism in Portugal almost disappeared, because most of the active groups dissolved and most of their militants emigrated to Brazil, France, etc to escape repression.

From the late 90’s forward there weren’t any significant anarchist activities that I could sign. As I told, there were some publications, some smalls groups, but nothing more than that. But if you want, I could tell you more stuff. You seem to know a lot more than me about the past of anarchism in Portugal!

syndicalist
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Joined: 15-04-06
Dec 10 2007 14:58

Excellent stuff!

Yes, please tell more. I'm very interested in the stuff from the 1990s forward. It seems like I know little from this tme period (except the newer stuff that I se on-line).