antipodean A-Fed affiliation?

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jason
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Feb 3 2007 00:41
antipodean A-Fed affiliation?

Hi there,

I've just started talking to another guy in Brisbane that I met over libcom. We're currently discussing the possibility, probabilities and practicality of being involved in an anarchist group here. As we are from different industries and the group in the short term will probably be small, we thought a political rather than a workplace organisation would be most appropriate. We like the principles and aims of AFed but just realised its only UK based. Are there any groups affiliated with you guys down this way? What sort of things are you guys involved in as a political group? What sort of responsibilities do members have? We're not too keen to try and start something from scratch but are more looking to join something and benefit from people's experience.

Jas

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Tacks
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Feb 3 2007 01:33

People will be along shortly to answer your questions in more depth, but first and foremost: the AF is part of the IFA-IAF, Interantional of Anarchists Federations, of which it is currently the secretary.
www.iaf-ifa.org
Unfortunately there is no IFA affiliate in Australia.

Yet?

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Tacks
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Feb 3 2007 02:28

Theres def IWW in australia if thats your thing.

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little_brother
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Feb 3 2007 13:33

Hi Jason,

We have good links with MACG (Melbourne
Anarchist Communist Group) in Melbourne and we interviewed them here:
http://afed.libcom.org.uk/org/issue65/index.html
You can find more stuff by and about them if you search on 'MACG Melbourne'.

You probably know about Rebel Worker, a paper of the Anarcho-syndicalist Network which is worth reading. Last year MACG had a bit of a row about anarcho-syndicalism (covered in the pages of RW) based on some of the things they said in their interview with us. A search on 'MACG rebel worker' should reveal the content of this e.g. http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=3281 (A note at the bottom of this comments on the nature of IWW in Australia).

AF members do all sorts of things! Tacks will be able to tell you what we've been up to recently. For a more long term overview check out the lastest organise:
http://afed.libcom.org.uk/org/issue67/index.html
in particular the following articles:
20 YEARS OF THE AF,
ORGANISE! - THE SECOND DECADE
THE POLITICS OF THE AF - A TRIBUTE
See also our monthly bulletin 'resistance' (also on our website).

Organisationally we are federal so we aim to operate as local anarchist groups which coordinate together as the AF, but there are of course individual members as well. We work with other anarchist groups and non-aligned anarchists on a variety of issues e.g. anti-ID cards.

Hope this helps. If you need any more info and help to get your group going, just let us know.

PS what's happening with the new ID card initiative? We know it got beaten last time it was introduced in the 1980's which gives us some hope of success over here, but I also heard opposition to ID cards 2 wasn't very strong yet.

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Tacks
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Feb 3 2007 15:31

oh fuck you LB grin

Alright: The AF is currently involved very heavily with Defy ID, an anti-ID cards network which we hope will work along lines of class struggle and libertarian analysis and activity.
Its not confidential, its got potential.

Several members are involved with local Social Centres, some very heavily - i.e. the main initators.

We are as of last sunday, actually involved with the G8 2007 mobilisation - don't tell Libcom wink Where possible we are involved with open political networks like the Social Forums, tho of course we don't waste time with trot fronts.

We are involved with anti-fascism.

Industrially we are setting up/consolidating an education workers group - Edcom. The IWW and solfed are doing similar things.

There are quite a few AFers involved with the IWW, tho it remains a bone of contention, its fair to say some IWW regions are very AF. I think a significant amount of the AF look at it with positive potential, and this is related to the Edcom initiative and reaffirmed industrial activity.

The AF is like i said, the secretary of the IFA this year which means we get to dash round the world meeting different feds and keeping the sections in touch and deal with admin stuff. Its very interesting cos in some countries and IFA affiliate is 60+ years old with 500 - 1000 members and in other countries its brand new with 20-50 people. It also spans the global poverty gap which is very significant: western europe working with eastern europe and latin america.

Its also quite important to point out that the AF is not a network, but does dedicate a fair amount of time to itself - i.e. education, working out responses, theory and practice. Its an anarchist communist group which aims for theoretical and practical unity, whilst poracticing internal democracy and communication. Its worth saying that cos we think its worth doing; a network can fall away or collapse a lot easier, especially under attack.

Our main presence is propaganda. Resistance is a 4-side freesheet which has been published monthly for (10?) years. Its has industrial updates, history and a number of feature articles - like benefit cuts, the surveilance state, international stuff. It is distributed in SC, at events, outside train stations, anywhere. Organise! is the more theoretical magasine which would talk about parecon vs. anarchist communism, or whether to engage the media - this is sold in bookshops and over the net. Its aimed at talking to other anarchists and socialists, but its not hard to read.

Other than that there are a number of booklets and pamphlets which get regurlarly updated and u can see em here on on the site afed,org,uk.

...and i'm out.

knightrose
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Feb 3 2007 18:55

MACG can be contacted at:
macg1984[at]yahoo.com.au

You will find, though, that there are some fairly major differences between us, particularly over the issue of trade unions, as they seem to see them as somehow redeemable. Nice people though, but also very small.

If, on the other hand, you are keen on our politics, get in touch as I'm supposed to be the International Secretary for Australia. You can email me at manchester[at]af-north.org. We could discuss ways the AF could help you guys out.

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Tacks
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Feb 3 2007 21:35
knightrose wrote:
i'm the International Secretary for Australia

The competeitoon for this coveted post was intense.

sorry, look i can't do long posts without taking the piss a bit...

i'll get my coat.

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little_brother
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Feb 4 2007 07:44

Hey Jason, are you getting all this?

knightrose
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Feb 4 2007 09:30
Quote:
The competeitoon for this coveted post was intense.

sorry, look i can't do long posts without taking the piss a bit...

i'll get my coat.

I mostly took it cos I like australian football .... sad

Disappointingly, we've only had two contacts from Australia in the past three years. One was a copy of a paper which had ripped off some of our articles, but without any acknowledgement - we didn't mind the ripping off, thought it was quite flattering really. The other was from the Melbourne people who came to stay with us in manchester and London and did a couple of meetings for us.

anna x
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Feb 4 2007 10:01
Quote:
Hey Jason, are you getting all this?

Hey little_brother, I am the other bloke jason was talking about. I've read with interest these posts and thank you all. I've made contact with the MACG and hope to hear from them soon. I will endeavor to catch up with jas again soon to see where we go from here. Feel free to keep up with the advice. As it appears that the number of anarchist-communists in oz is small and the place is so bloody big we were thinking about the idea of being a sub-branch of an already organised and respected group :biggrin: so as to benefit from the experience and resources so that if we managed to get anything going in brisbane that was specifically anarchist-communist we wouldn't die a painful death that has befallen others. For me anyway that's what prompted this contact. gregg. :rbstar:

knightrose
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Feb 4 2007 15:56

Thanks for explaining Gregg.
The problem is that you couldn't really "join" the AF. We expect memebrs to not only pay subs but also be active participants in the organisation. Clearly from Australia you could take part in the AF, but would not be able to be part of the decision making process.
If you PM me your email address, I can forward some documents that explain the way we operate.
What you could do easily enough is distribute our literature - we could easily send you pamphlets and Organise. I'm not sure how useful Resistance would be. I think we should discuss how we can help you at our next conference. That'll be in April - I'm sorry it's a long time off, but that's the way things work. There must be things we can do to help. We did once have a close contact in New Zealand and tried to be helpful there.

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jason
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Feb 5 2007 00:00
Quote:
Hey Jason, are you getting all this?

Yo, I'm back. I posted that OP just before the weekend. Don't have internet at home. Its now monday morning back at work - and back at libcom.

Quote:
I think we should discuss how we can help you at our next conference. That'll be in April - I'm sorry it's a long time off, but that's the way things work.

Cool. There's no hurry. Me and Gregg are still discussing tactics and ideology. In the mean time I'll familiarise myself with AFed literature a bit more. I'll be in contact over the secretatiat's e-mail too.

thanks all,
Jas

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Steven.
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Feb 5 2007 12:07

Can the IFA secretariat assist with setting up groups if that's what people decided they wanted to do?

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Tacks
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Feb 7 2007 10:27

good question.

As the only english language IFA grp it would fall to the AF whether they were the current secretary* or not.

*what the fuck is the dif between 'tary' and 'tariat' btw?

bastarx
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Feb 7 2007 12:55
knightrose wrote:
You will find, though, that there are some fairly major differences between us, particularly over the issue of trade unions, as they seem to see them as somehow redeemable. Nice people though, but also very small.

If MACG are the people I think they are, they don't just think unions are somehow redeemable but a couple of them were junior union officials themselves.

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Serge Forward
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Feb 7 2007 13:12
Tacks wrote:
*what the fuck is the dif between 'tary' and 'tariat' btw?

Secretariat is the collective term for more than one secretary, while secretary is just one person. So why not just say secretaries then? Because secretariat implies their working together (kind of committee-like if you will), whereas secretaries just means a bunch of secretaries with no necessary connection.

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Devrim
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Feb 7 2007 13:16
Tacks wrote:
*what the fuck is the dif between 'tary' and 'tariat' btw?

Secretary is a person whereas secretariat is the office, or organisation.

Peter wrote:
If MACG are the people I think they are, they don't just think unions are somehow redeemable but a couple of them were junior union officials themselves.

Peter, I think if you are damming people by their past activities most of the left communists on these boards including myself were at some point in the past low ranking union officials.

Devrim

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jason
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Feb 8 2007 00:35

Ok, I've been in and out of the office the last few days so now I just wanna take the oppoertunity to reply more fully to some points.

Quote:
Theres def IWW in australia if thats your thing.

Me and Gregg are in different industries so are not organising on the job, but rather as a political group. I don't see the IWW as relevant for our short term goals. I was involved with the Brisbane IWW about 6 years ago and the fact that we weren't in a job place made it a little pointless IMO. Maybe later though.

Quote:
PS what's happening with the new ID card initiative? We know it got beaten last time it was introduced in the 1980's which gives us some hope of success over here, but I also heard opposition to ID cards 2 wasn't very strong yet.

I was a kid in the 80s so have very poor recollection. There isn't much opposition to the new scheme as yet and I honestly don't know too much about it myself.

Quote:
Its also quite important to point out that the AF is not a network, but does dedicate a fair amount of time to itself - i.e. education, working out responses, theory and practice. Its an anarchist communist group which aims for theoretical and practical unity, whilst poracticing internal democracy and communication. Its worth saying that cos we think its worth doing; a network can fall away or collapse a lot easier, especially under attack.

Sorry I'm relatively new to this kind of organisation. What's the big diff between a network and a federation?

Quote:
If you PM me your email address, I can forward some documents that explain the way we operate.

Will do. I'll e-mail you at the secretariat's address.

Quote:
I mostly took it cos I like australian football ....

That is such a scrappy game. Next time you are at the beach just throw a chip into a flock of seagulls and you should get a spectacle similar to an AFL game.

bastarx
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Feb 8 2007 13:21
Devrim wrote:
Peter, I think if you are damming people by their past activities most of the left communists on these boards including myself were at some point in the past low ranking union officials.

Unlike you I don't think the MACG people have changed their position on union hacks.

knightrose
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Feb 8 2007 17:53

Jason, you should have received our documetns by now. They should show the difference between a network and a federation. Broadly, we work collectively towards common goals. We have a constitution and procedures (some of which work quite well, some we ignore smile). We pay subs. We admit people to membership and try and share out tasks.

And you clearly don't understand footy at all.