Solidarity Networks forum

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888's picture
888
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Sep 17 2011 17:26
Solidarity Networks forum

The purpose of this forum is to discuss solidarity networks such as the Seattle Solidarity Network (SeaSol). We aim to compile a list of functioning solidarity networks, facilitate communication and sharing of experience between different networks, discuss tactics and longer term strategy, and help people start solidarity networks in their area.

Here's a few links to start things off:
Building a solidarity network guide
http://libcom.org/library/you-say-you-want-build-solidarity-network

Why You Should Start a Solidarity Network
http://libcom.org/library/why-you-should-start-solidarity-network

Interview with the Seattle Solidarity Network (SeaSol), 2010
http://libcom.org/library/seasol-interview

Rundown of Solidarity Networks (old)
http://libcom.org/forums/general/rundown-solidarity-networks-08112010

"Direct action casework" discussion
http://libcom.org/forums/organise/direct-action-casework-groups-04032009

Seattle Solidarity Network and other Solidarity Networks
http://libcom.org/forums/organise/seattle-solidarity-network-other-solidarity-networks-18082011

SeaSol victory agains Chase Bank (Sept 2011)
http://libcom.org/news/solidarity-win-victory-against-chase-bank-07092011

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Chilli Sauce
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Sep 18 2011 08:44

http://solfed.org.uk/?q=audio-seasol-on-direct-action-against-landlords-and-bosses

888's picture
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Sep 21 2011 06:34

Google spreadsheet listing all the groups:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AnQsYLBisRrldFpvalNGd2VYNDd0UWQ5RnI2Y19NaXc

PM me if you want edit permissions

klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
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Sep 21 2011 06:36

is there a way to download this and not just stream it, i'd really like to like listen on an mp3 player

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Chilli Sauce
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Sep 21 2011 16:46

Maybe try to email the local who posted it up? (Brighton, I believe.)

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AJI
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Sep 28 2012 23:01

A handful of us in Flagstaff have been reading Build Your Own Solidarity Network, and I think there's some potential for a group here. Someone I've been coresponding about broader radical networking wrote me about the International Libertarian Socialist Alliance and that it's also got these leanings. I guess I'm curious what are some of people's experiences with this form of organizing outside of Seattle?

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klas batalo
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Sep 28 2012 23:58

if you are gonna try workplace organizing with it might as well connect it with the IWW (though like do whatever ya want, JMHO that it probs makes more sense and there is infrastructure for training). it takes a lot of hard work and useful to have past activist experience in workplace/housing campaigns, as well as legal advice connections, and the endurance to flier and flier and flier and flier forever, unless you just focus on stuff that pops up in your own crew's lives.

R. Spourgitis
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Sep 29 2012 03:36

I would echo what sabotage says here, there's a lot of work on flyering and when you get contacted by people in really shitty situations who are coming to you for help, you want to know what you're talking about and be upfront about what you're offering, i.e. solidarity over charity/social service -- the latter being what is expected. As much as you can (and should) study your local housing/rental/labor laws, you'll not be lawyers and we found that you almost inevitably have to refer people elsewhere who are unable or unwilling to go with a solnet approach.

Since this being bumped has reminded me of the solnet spreadsheet, it's probably a good place to say that the Iowa City Solidarity Network was disbanded last Nov. This happened at the height of our local Occupy and literally everyone involved in the one had taken on various roles in the other. As well, after going for about one year (Dec '10-Nov '11) we failed to even build a single fight. At its most, we helped point people to social service agencies, not exactly an empowering, class struggle fight-back. In one instance we attended a landlord-tenant lease renewal to help advocate for tenant. That was it.

It seems like there are other solidarity networks that sprung up in 2010-2011 which either faded into non-existence or have never posted about fights. I'd be curious in hearing others' experiences were/are and how they might relate to our own. Of course, we are in a much smaller area, and somewhat at a remove from other places being in Eastern Iowa, so perhaps in a bigger metro area there is more potential? This is only conjecture, but I would guess that people have experienced similar difficulties. I think as class struggle anarchists/lib-commies in the US it would be useful to have some thinking through and analysis of this and similar projects, their failings and successes. But especially their failings. roll eyes

Right now some of us are working within a sort of new local anti-racist coalition to build a direct action contingent around housing/tenant grievances, but this is only just getting off the ground. Our solidarity network experience has definitely been a help in this, but it is strange and disheartening on a certain level to have come from a project like a solnet, to a coalition w/strong liberal progressive (not to mention racist paternalism) and try to work within it. We'll see how things go.

kuro
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Sep 30 2012 11:56

I can echo the difficulties involved with our experience in brisbane solidarity network. Each fight we've been involved with so far has leaned more towards failure than victory (eg-only securing a fraction of what the person wanted, the unstable nature of organising with people in crisis mode etc, being a rent-a-crowd to occupy a building), although we've done a lot of great things outside of formal fights. I still wouldn't discount these losses as they give people solid organising experience, and for many its a first attempt at organising outside of just propaganda and the usual activist millieu. The process of fighting back and having people really support you in itself is empowering on some level. I think these things can take a while to take root and its important to share where things go wrong - seasol make it look super easy!.

Uncle Aunty
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Sep 30 2012 05:51

I think that would be a great discussion for people to have, and I am very curious to hear about people's experience in other towns and cities. My hope is that other people build, expand and add their own innovations to the basic model.

For what it's worth, SeaSol always loves to talk with people starting their own solidarity networks and offer advice or talk through issues. Please feel free to email us and people will get in touch with you!

info@seasol.net.

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Oct 5 2012 19:27
sabotage wrote:
if you are gonna try workplace organizing with it might as well connect it with the IWW (though like do whatever ya want, JMHO that it probs makes more sense and there is infrastructure for training).

I've thought about taking out another Red Card a few times over the years, but I live in Arizona and the struggles that I have been involved with here have had a lot more to do with racism and xenophobia, and are connected to educational, health and class struggles.

I like the way SeaSol connects issues, and could possibly connect our struggles here rather than acting like racism and class struggle, etc. are totally seperate, which has been my experience with Wobblies in Chicago and Portland.

klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
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Oct 5 2012 23:31
AJI wrote:
rather than acting like racism and class struggle, etc. are totally seperate, which has been my experience with Wobblies in Chicago and Portland.

that's unfortunate. but not unsurprising. definitely some workerist wobblies out there.

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AJI
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Oct 6 2012 18:39
sabotage wrote:
that's unfortunate. but not unsurprising. definitely some workerist wobblies out there.

Yeah, that's why I do periodically re-visit the organization 'cause I know all the different General Membership Branches have their own thing going on with the same radical basis.

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Khawaga
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Oct 6 2012 19:05

888, can you update the spreadsheet with some info on Forest City SolNet if I PM you some details?

888's picture
888
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Oct 6 2012 19:26

Yes go ahead

Spikymike
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Nov 28 2013 16:34

Comrades in Manchester UK following some limited successes with Solidarity networks in Scotland have indicated an interest in exploring the possibility of something similar in the Manchester area in the New Year but this forum area seems to have dried up recently. More reports on both successes and failures and lessons learned, along with any other political reflections on the value of such networks might be useful especially if this forum is to survive?

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Dec 11 2013 00:52

Yes, sorry I haven't been using libcom all that much recently. There was a conference of solidarity networks in July in Seattle, and we are working on editing the audio recordings into something useful. I would encourage everyone to post more updates in this forum! I hear Glasgow Solidarity Network is starting a new fight and a network in Edinburgh has been formed