Rioter's Block


Anarchist Work Groups and 1-to-3 Organising

phoca_thumb_l_demovorbereitungThe essence of anarcho-syndicalism is shop-floor & neighbourhood level organising; the setting up of work groups that lay the basis for taking action to defend and extend our interests, and countering the drudgery and maddening pace of the global-work machine. These groups aim to be at once economic (based on shared material conditions) and political (based on shared political ideas). The setting up of work-groups is foundational in reigniting unionism as a pledge of solidarity among fellow-workers and in shaping broader resistance at the sites of power where we experience exploitation and hierarchy most directly. It’s important at this stage to note that regardless of whether people identify formally with anarcho-syndicalism or not, what matters is putting basic anarcho-syndicalist methods into practice, ie; our organisations, whether fluid, temporary or permanent, should ideally be controlled by the base, ultra democratic through the use of delegates and open assemblies regardless of official trade-union membership, direct-action orientated and be against intermediaries or organising methods which remove power from our hands.

The following will outline one example (my own) of the nuts and bolts of this kind of organising in practice, set in the workplace. This will be accompanied by anarcho-syndicalist lessons/writings/ideas put forward by the Waiters Union (WU), Brisbane Solidarity Network (BSN), Solidarity Federation (SolFed) and the Industrial Workers of the World Recomposition Group (IWW) which I found helpful.

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Lynch your Landlord: An Interview with Seattle Solidarity Network

housing I did this interview a while back with a Seattle Solidarity Network organiser. What are Solidarity Networks? The ‘Solidarity network’ is one way of organising which has the potential for dual power. In a nutshell, they are networks which span across different communities and different workplaces (regardless of unions or not), in order to support and connect struggles and build collective action. The principles behind solidarity networks rely on the balance of class forces, and recognise that sometimes we have to fight defensively because as a class we are weak, and this can’t be compensated for by small group actions ‘attacking’ back in whatever way (e.g. networks don’t firebomb dodgy real estates, they organise tenants to collectively assert their needs, even if that’s only defensively enforcing basic standards, because this builds the capacity, confidence and culture from which more ambitious demands can be made.)

Networks try to bring anyone affected by an issue together to collectively discuss the issue. The key is the self-activity of all of those concerned, to widen the fight, and encourage a state of permanent dialogue, planting the seeds for ongoing, relevant forms of organising which empower all of those affected; not just network members, but those who aren’t members of the network and who may never want to be. Read the rest of this entry »

G20 – Build solidarity unionism

“The tendency to obey comes from systematic socialization of society that obedience constitutes correct conduct.” Read the rest of this entry »