Working list of solidarity networks

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georgestapleton's picture
georgestapleton
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Oct 16 2011 21:19

Sorry I don't have my own profile on libcom or read the forums so am gatecrashing George's profile (as he drew my attention to this thread as we talked about the fact that LCAP doesn't advertise its successes on the Left in the same way as the IWW does for example). I'm part of the Hackney Housing Group which is part of LCAP (and an anarchist).

I don't really think there are any differences between the way LCAP organises or SeaSol.

Really the Hackney Housing Group for example is very grassroots. We organise through group meetings. We don't do direct-action-casework in any of the local groups now. If you come with a problem then the expectation is that you become a full participant in the group. We found that with the direct-action- casework model it wasn't that people didn't want to engage politically or support other people but that this individual way of working discouraged this. We stopped the direct-action-casework model nearly two years ago.

We would tend to deal with housing problems by taking direct action which normally involves going down to the housing office in a big group. The fact that we also use the law is probably more to do with the fact that when you are engaged with a housing/ workplace issue if it helps you to win to also use legal tools then you do it... I don't think having an abstract ideological objection to using the expertise of lawyers etc. is very useful provided doing this doesn't contradict your aims. And I know OCAP will use a legal framework as well as disruptive action if it is useful.

I don't see a difference politically between pressurising an employer through a self-organised group and taking direct action and pressurising the housing office or the job centre. The call for more social housing relates directly to people's immediate needs. It isn't a final aim - it is similar to workers within the Post Office for example calling for the Post Office to stay public - why? Because they know that they will have more control over their lives at work if it remains a public sector body. Equally people in the housing group know they fare better under a council rather than a private landlord - so we consider it a useful political demand to make. Frankly however we don't do very much "calling for more social housing" - perhaps it might be worth us doing more!! Certainly being in a group where most people's first language isn't English means that any media work is quite hard for us to do.

I know in the Hackney Housing Group which I am part of we don't advertise very much on the Left. This is something I would hope to change but has more to do with the fact that most people do not define themselves as being on the Left (despite the fact that the way in which we organise and take action could be called anarchist).

If this is something people are interested in I could post up a talk I have at a Cophenhagen anarchist conference about it on here. Would that be useful? It is a bit out of date but I think reading this thread that people's perceptions of LCAP are even more out of date! So might be worth me putting it up.

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
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Oct 16 2011 21:28

I'd like to read/see that talk so please post it up.

888's picture
888
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Nov 29 2011 21:17

Just found this (but sabotage did first) - Tyneside Solidarity - http://www.tynesidesolidarity.org.uk/

They are more openly anarchist (discussion about this happening on WSA email lists right now, thanks to syndicalist for finding this group)

syndicalist
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Nov 30 2011 00:31
888 wrote:
Just found this (but sabotage did first) - Tyneside Solidarity - http://www.tynesidesolidarity.org.uk/

They are more openly anarchist (discussion about this happening on WSA email lists right now, thanks to syndicalist for finding this group)

Actually, thanks to Sabotage for finding the group! I just stumbled across them reading
http://libcom.org/forums/solidarity-networks/solidarity-networks-anarcho-syndicalist-unions-02102011?page=1

I bet he found it here: http://libcom.org/forums/announcements/new-anarchist-initiative-launches-tyneside-20112011

Atta boy Sabotage for paying attention!

klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
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Nov 30 2011 21:47

There is a new one in Ontario too called Forest City Solidarity or something like that.

syndicalist
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Nov 30 2011 22:25
sabotage wrote:
There is a new one in Ontario too called Forest City Solidarity or something like that.

In Hamilton, it's called Steel City Solidarity: http://www.steelcitysolidarity.com/
members of the anarchist-communist group Common Cause are active with this Solnet.

John E Jacobsen's picture
John E Jacobsen
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Dec 4 2011 11:33
georgestapleton wrote:
We don't do direct-action-casework in any of the local groups now.

Well, thats a pretty big difference between, at the very least, the Seattle Solidarity Network and LCAP. Although SeaSol doesn't call it's fights "casework," its what 100% of the activity is focused on. Out of curiosity, what are the actions you mostly focus on now, if not direct action casework?

Quote:
The fact that we also use the law is probably more to do with the fact that when you are engaged with a housing/ workplace issue if it helps you to win to also use legal tools then you do it...

Thats another pretty big difference - SeaSol only uses lawyers to defend itself when it is being sued. Other than that, its been fully powered by us regular, non-lawyers. Nothing against lawyers, of course - I've known a few who are really great. I'm just not particularly convinced that letting a lawyer take on your opponent for you is particularly empowering.

Quote:
I don't see a difference politically between pressurising an employer through a self-organised group and taking direct action and pressurising the housing office or the job centre.

I don't think anyone has any problems with LCAP taking on fights against government agencies. Not to speak for Blarg, but just to reiterate what he wrote earlier - he was just mentioning some differences between the two groups, not attacking the politics of it.

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888
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Jan 21 2012 00:49

Lincoln, Nebraska:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/222341777846469/

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Juan Conatz
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Feb 8 2012 07:26

The Iowa City Solidarity Network dissolved

From their Facebook:

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After 13 months (Nov 2010-Dec 2011) of working to build and grow a Solidarity Network in Iowa City, our members have decided to disband the network for the time being and focus our organizing efforts elsewhere. Though the reasons why some groups modeled after the Seattle Solidarity Network succeed and others fail is a subject deserving of further analysis, we had little luck in Iowa City. The calls we received never grew into winnable fights that would strengthen our cause and grow our network, and eventually the decision was made to channel our efforts elsewhere rather than into maintaining the Solidarity Network model which wasn't working in our area. Some of the factors that led to our lack of success include prospective contacts choosing to seek legal counsel instead of our help or expecting us to fight for them not alongside them. Some contacts failed to follow up with us after initial conversations, and we dropped the ball on following up on other potential contacts. Our members are still active in other capacities locally including Occupy Iowa City, and should you wish to contact us please email at icsolnet@gmail.com.
klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
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Sep 25 2016 16:13

Looks like most on this list at least in North America are in active. If you are part of an active Solidarity Network, give a shout here?