Solfed/Afed?

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Ghost Whistler
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Apr 19 2016 21:19
Solfed/Afed?

What is the difference between SolFed and A-Fed? What does the former offer that the latter doesn't, if anything?

militant-proletarian's picture
militant-proletarian
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Apr 19 2016 21:56

SolFed is an anarchosyndicalist union, whereas A-Fed is just an anarchist federation.

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Serge Forward
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Apr 19 2016 22:13

Actually the AF is an anarcho-communist federation.

Ghost Whistler
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Apr 20 2016 08:38

so they are mutually exclusive?

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Serge Forward
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Apr 20 2016 09:38

No. Relations between both organisations are generally fraternal and there have been a number of comrades who have held joint membership. While the AF is critical of classical anarcho-syndicalism, I don't think Solfed easily fits that description and I suppose the difference between the two organisations is probably one of tactics or emphasis rather than ideological.

Ghost Whistler
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Apr 20 2016 09:50

Aren't these differences too minor to warrant different organisations?

Solfed wants money to join? What do i get for that?

no1
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Apr 20 2016 10:07

Solfed and Afed are organisations with a different purpose. Asking about the difference between Solfed and Afed and if they are mutually exclusive is like asking what's the difference between UNITE and the Labour party, or the CBI and the Tory party. Potentially there's a lot of overlap but they are fundamentally different kinds of organisations.
Solfed is an anarcho-syndicalist union, while Afed is a political organisation. Of course both Afed and Solfed are tiny organisations that are only occasionally and in a few places able to work towards their aims.

for a fuller answer of what the two organisations aim to achieve you should read Afed's RoRo, and chapter 5 of Solfed's Fighting for Ourselves:
https://www.afed.org.uk/ace/afed_role_of_the_revolutionary_organisation....
www.selfed.org.uk/read/ffo

Ghost Whistler wrote:
Solfed wants money to join? What do i get for that?

Any organisation needs funds to function, and being funded though membership subs means we have autonomy and members can collectively decide to fund the things we want to do. The alternative is to get money from fundraising events etc, which is limited and precarious ; or to rely on external sources, which makes you dependent on them - anarcho-syndicalist unions are pretty hostile to that, e.g. the CNT-CGT split and the SAC disaffiliation from the IWA was re. reliance on funding from the state.

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the button
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Apr 20 2016 10:28

Yeah, SolFed and AFed are set up to do different things. A short statement of what AFed does (shorter than the pamphlet linked to above) is from the member's handbook:

Quote:
What We Do

While being a member of the AF should not take over our entire
lives, and personal circumstances make different levels of activity
possible for different people, we are not a passive fan club for
anarchy. It is hoped that all members will contribute in some way
both to the development of our ideas and to our activities, both
locally and throughout the federation, as and when they are able.

The AF has a number of vital roles to perform in order to reach our
goal. We must:
*Support resistance against capitalism, state, and other
oppression where it exists, and attempt to spark it where it
does not.
*Produce information and analysis against capitalist society
and argue the case for anarchist communism.
*Be the memory of the working class by making the lessons
of past gains and defeats widely known.
*Be a forum for debate and discussion between all elements
of the revolutionary working class.
*Work to understand the developments in our society and
deliver a coherent communist response to them.
*Seek to win the leadership of ideas within the working class.
Intervene and co-ordinate our actions in the workplace and
the community.
*We work to build a global anarchist movement as part
of the International of Anarchist Federations.

"Why and how AFed does what it does" is covered in more depth in the pamphlet no1 links to above.

Ghost Whistler
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Apr 20 2016 11:18
no1 wrote:
Solfed and Afed are organisations with a different purpose. Asking about the difference between Solfed and Afed and if they are mutually exclusive is like asking what's the difference between UNITE and the Labour party, or the CBI and the Tory party. Potentially there's a lot of overlap but they are fundamentally different kinds of organisations.
Solfed is an anarcho-syndicalist union, while Afed is a political organisation. Of course both Afed and Solfed are tiny organisations that are only occasionally and in a few places able to work towards their aims.

for a fuller answer of what the two organisations aim to achieve you should read Afed's RoRo, and chapter 5 of Solfed's Fighting for Ourselves:
https://www.afed.org.uk/ace/afed_role_of_the_revolutionary_organisation....
www.selfed.org.uk/read/ffo

Ghost Whistler wrote:
Solfed wants money to join? What do i get for that?

Any organisation needs funds to function, and being funded though membership subs means we have autonomy and members can collectively decide to fund the things we want to do. The alternative is to get money from fundraising events etc, which is limited and precarious ; or to rely on external sources, which makes you dependent on them - anarcho-syndicalist unions are pretty hostile to that, e.g. the CNT-CGT split and the SAC disaffiliation from the IWA was re. reliance on funding from the state.

Thanks

I'm not objecting to them needing money, though I have little to spare. I'm simply curious as to what joining can do for me, if that's not too selfish.

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the button
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Apr 20 2016 12:47
Ghost Whistler wrote:
I'm simply curious as to what joining can do for me, if that's not too selfish.

I think this is 100% a legitimate question -- it's reasonable to expect to get something out of being in an organisation, as well as putting something in. Otherwise its a bit grim and hairshirt.

SolFed has a little bit of blurb at the beginning of its constitution exactly along those lines...

Quote:
Before heading off to rights and responsibilities,
here are some of the positive things about joining.

* A sense of solidarity from and to your comrades
* Somewhere to discuss and elaborate your ideas,
and a platform for them in our publications including
Direct Action, Catalyst and via the organisation’s
website, www.solfed.org.uk.
* Access to the expertise of experienced working
class militants.
* Regular discussion of workplace issues,
problems and struggles.
* Regular discussion of current political issues
Support for struggles and activities
* Methods for combating political domination of
new or ongoing campaigns.
* Practical ideas about organisation, collective
decision-making, accountability of mandate holders
and direct action.
* Revolutionary unionist ideas on how we can link
immediate struggles to the goal of social revolution
and use organisation to undermine hierarchy and
build different kinds of social relationships on a
libertarian communist basis.
* Membership of a national organisation with
international affiliation

Obviously, SolFed is only as strong as its members,
but you should certainly be getting positive things
out of membership

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rat
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Apr 20 2016 12:59
Ghost Whistler wrote:
I'm simply curious as to what joining can do for me, if that's not too selfish.

This is the most significant question to ask.

Because I think that question opens up a whole can of worms.
What use are any of the revolutionary groups today?
Do any of them have any real influence or function?
Or could they just increasingly be, self-referential, ideological clubs?

Ghost Whistler
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Apr 20 2016 13:58

I don't know if it's the right thing for me. It sounds like they are a good group, but I'm not sure how I feel about syndicalism as opposed to whatever else.

The more groups pop up around a particular ideology or group the more confused i get!

Spikymike
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May 6 2016 11:11

Might be more accurate to describe the 'SolFed' as an anarcho-syndicalist initiative rather than a fully-fledged union in any common understanding of that term.
As to the money question - that's legitimate but then you tend to get out of such organisations what you put in by way of your own efforts.
I think both the AF and SolFed do useful work but they are just small fry in the bigger world of class struggle politics.

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Chilli Sauce
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May 6 2016 11:58
Quote:
Solfed wants money to join? What do i get for that?

Just to say, in my opinion, that's the totally wrong reason to join a revolutionary organization.

I'm pretty sure AF has dues too, no?

Sleeper
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May 6 2016 17:50

No doubt I'll get flamed, and defamed for this, but both 'federations' or groups are really there for people who need to be part of an organised group. You could argue this is because of this or that. It's not my argument, I'm not a member of either.

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fingers malone
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May 7 2016 01:20

Ok as a real life example, I just now got home from a benefit gig to raise strike pay for strikers who are on zero hours contracts and so receive worse pay. Solfed publicised it in advance, eight members turned up and helped out, cooked food, joined in, spent money and helped clean up, this is part of a pattern of solid support for our workplace activities which goes back several years.

Sleeper
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May 7 2016 18:41

Ok you know I believe in union organisation to ensure that all workers are never 'employed' on zero hours/ tory contracts. Why aren't you and any other workers in your workplace in a recognised trade union? You would be welcomed with open arms as lovely comrades needing some love and recognition...

fingers malone wrote:
Ok as a real life example, I just now got home from a benefit gig to raise strike pay for strikers who are on zero hours contracts and so receive worse pay. Solfed publicised it in advance, eight members turned up and helped out, cooked food, joined in, spent money and helped clean up, this is part of a pattern of solid support for our workplace activities which goes back several years.

the button's picture
the button
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May 7 2016 20:00

How do you know they're not in a recognised trade union? (I'll make it easier for you: they are).

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jef costello
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May 7 2016 20:50

What do you mean what do you get? A nice charity wristband or a kickstarter reward?

If you join an organisation then you join it because you believe that what it does is worthwhile and you wish to contribute to that. There are lots of advantages to joining, but ultimately you join because you want to help the organisation do what it does.

The subs are pretty low, espeically if you're not earning.

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fingers malone
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May 7 2016 23:11
Sleeper wrote:
Ok you know I believe in union organisation to ensure that all workers are never 'employed' on zero hours/ tory contracts. Why aren't you and any other workers in your workplace in a recognised trade union? You would be welcomed with open arms as lovely comrades needing some love and recognition...

Well it wasn't quite as simple as being welcomed with open arms, but my union branch has now got a much better attitude to workers on zero hours contracts and created a post on the union committee for a rep for the zero hours workers (who is currently me). And the union branch backed the idea of the hardship payments and the benefit gig.

Not all union branches take this kind of attitude, however, some are very hostile to workers on zero hours and precarious contracts.

Sleeper
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May 8 2016 17:25

Don't patronise me you little shit.

the button wrote:
How do you know they're not in a recognised trade union? (I'll make it easier for you: they are).

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Chilli Sauce
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May 8 2016 17:27

Sleeper, not to be patronizing, but that sort of behavior wouldn't be tolerated in either of the feds, I dare say,

Sleeper
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May 8 2016 17:30

I've always found comrades in a union branch, any union branch, who will help to ensure that all are welcome. Perhaps it's how you or the previous poster approach them.

fingers malone wrote:
Sleeper wrote:
Ok you know I believe in union organisation to ensure that all workers are never 'employed' on zero hours/ tory contracts. Why aren't you and any other workers in your workplace in a recognised trade union? You would be welcomed with open arms as lovely comrades needing some love and recognition...

Well it wasn't quite as simple as being welcomed with open arms, but my union branch has now got a much better attitude to workers on zero hours contracts and created a post on the union committee for a rep for the zero hours workers (who is currently me). And the union branch backed the idea of the hardship payments and the benefit gig.

Not all union branches take this kind of attitude, however, some are very hostile to workers on zero hours and precarious contracts.

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Noah Fence
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May 8 2016 18:06
Sleeper wrote:
Don't patronise me you little shit.

the button wrote:
How do you know they're not in a recognised trade union? (I'll make it easier for you: they are).

You weren't being patronised, just called out for your assumptions. Talking of assumptions, how do you know The Button is little? They may be a big shit, or more likely not a shit at all. Maybe they're tall and skinny which would make them a streak of piss.
You need to do a bit more research mate. By the way, if you want to retaliate by insulting me, the most accurate thing you could call me is a knob although I'm sure some would argue that I'm actually a cunt.

Sleeper
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May 8 2016 18:33

I react to how I'm addressed as do most people. I've never found you to be abusive or patronising to me, and I hope you've never found me to be towards you either...

Noah Fence wrote:
Sleeper wrote:
Don't patronise me you little shit.

the button wrote:
How do you know they're not in a recognised trade union? (I'll make it easier for you: they are).

You weren't being patronised, just called out for your assumptions. Talking of assumptions, how do you know The Button is little? They may be a big shit, or more likely not a shit at all. Maybe they're tall and skinny which would make them a streak of piss.
You need to do a bit more research mate. By the way, if you want to retaliate by insulting me, the most accurate thing you could call me is a knob although I'm sure some would argue that I'm actually a cunt.

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fingers malone
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May 8 2016 20:28
Sleeper wrote:
I've always found comrades in a union branch, any union branch, who will help to ensure that all are welcome. Perhaps it's how you or the previous poster approach them.

Ok, I don't know if I was unclear or what, but I was describing how the union branch was HELPING me. This benefit for zero hours people was organised by the branch, with solfed support.

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fingers malone
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May 8 2016 20:40

In the interests of a. fairness and b. sticking to the point of the original post, Afed also give us assistance with our workplace struggles sometimes.