Conference Report Back

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JoeMaguire's picture
JoeMaguire
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Jul 27 2010 00:42
Conference Report Back

Be nice to hear how your conference went.

Fraternally

Django's picture
Django
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Jul 27 2010 20:25

I could only make the first day, and will post more when I have time, but the proposal to approach Solfed about doing a trial run of a joint paper was one vote short of the two-thirds it needed sad .

We did pass a proposal for a joint discussion about future co-operation for members of both organisations around bookfair time - more information should follow formally.

There was a fair bit of discussion about clarifying the relationship between the organisations too, and the need to avoid getting into a competing position with SF, especially as we're moving towards setting up industrial networks.

nastyned
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Jul 27 2010 20:38

I think a lot of people have gone straight on to our Summer camp so reports will be a little while yet.

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Jul 28 2010 13:44
Django wrote:
the proposal to approach Solfed about doing a trial run of a joint paper was one vote short of the two-thirds it needed

Ah, fuck. I was in favour of that motion but couldn't go sad

Boris Badenov
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Jul 28 2010 15:31
Django wrote:
I could only make the first day, and will post more when I have time, but the proposal to approach Solfed about doing a trial run of a joint paper was one vote short of the two-thirds it needed.

Out of curiosity, why would anyone actually vote against that?

ticking_fool
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Jul 28 2010 16:03
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Out of curiosity, why would anyone actually vote against that?

Felt that it was premature and that it made more sense to do more joint work first (with possible joint newssheets coming out of industrial networks) before leaping into something requiring such a high level of cooperation and agreement.

T La Palli
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Jul 31 2010 10:14

I voted against as I thought it was a little premature. I've been reading discussions on the joint forum, and recently read through the thread on the the role of an anarcho-syndicalist organisation and the role of an anarchist federation. It seems there is a fair amount of clarity over terminology and what the roles of these federations should be. As Django said, a proposal was passed for a joint discussion about future co-operation for members of both organisations around bookfair time. I didn't see any harm in doing the trial-run of a joint paper, and I think the benefits are considerable. Maybe I'm conflating these two things, but I think that a wider understanding across the fed about issues relating to the roles of the two federations and both industrial strategies would be a good foundation to have before doing a joint paper. Im Edinburgh, AF and SF, have not had a conversation about this for a year when we first discussed industrial organising - and then the pivotal points raised in the above thread were not brought-up. I think a discussion now would be more focused and beneficial. Edinburgh AF also have 4 Wobs in the local, and so I'd want to talk with them further about this. I hope that a productive discussion around the time of the bookfair can happen.

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rat
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Aug 8 2010 20:39

I voted against the proposal at conference for a trial joint street/free sheet publication. I really want to see the AF and SF work together but I can see some difficulties with the logistics of producing a joint publication. (Communication between editors, proof reading, political content, costs, distribution).

I would prefer to see the resources and time put to towards future practical and political initiatives along the lines of:

*Tightening-up the links between the two federations.
*Further discussions about, politics, history, theory and practice.
*Future production of joint statements and leaflets for demonstrations and pickets.
*AF/SF socials.

The AF has members who are close to aspects of anarcho-syndicalism and no doubt the SF has people in the organisation who are close anarcho-communism.

Solidarity.

Dan.

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Aug 8 2010 22:56
yearzero wrote:
The AF has members who are close to aspects of anarcho-syndicalism and no doubt the SF has people in the organisation who are close anarcho-communism.

Anarcho-syndicalism is merely a strategy for anarcho-communism. All anarcho-syndicalist should be anarcho-communists, but not all anarcho-communists necessarily would be anarcho-syndicalists.

Are the minutes ever going to be in the public domain?

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Aug 8 2010 23:26
october_lost wrote:
Are the minutes ever going to be in the public domain?

I can't see that happening any time soon. We've never published the minutes from any national meeting before and I think a lot of AF members would be pretty uncomfortable with us doing so.

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Aug 8 2010 23:44

tbh no need, there was an official SF observer there who's reported back and I'm sure will discuss it on the internal list/forum if people have any questions.

fwiw, I don't think it's a bad thing the trial joint publication motion failed, I'm in two minds about it myself and i'm not sure it would get the required 2/3rds SF vote either. I think developing practical co-operation like the recent student-worker conference at Sussex and the workplace organiser training programme Is more important, and if any joint publications do arise they'll probably come out of that work on the ground (and likely see more joint one-off leaflets or industrial bulletins before a fully fledged paper with all the resources and organisational significance that implies). I'm not opposed in principle, but i think it would be premature and has to come from the bottom up out of genuine practical co-operation and common direction.

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klas batalo
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Aug 8 2010 23:53

afed and solfed were working together at sussex? cool!

also for people that are in both feds and possibly also in the iww, what is the differences between your workplace organizer trainings and that of the wobs, if any? i'm thinking mostly regarding focus and content.

Quote:
if any joint publications do arise they'll probably come out of that work on the ground (and likely see more joint one-off leaflets or industrial bulletins before a fully fledged paper with all the resources and organisational significance that implies). I'm not opposed in principle, but i think it would be premature and has to come from the bottom up out of genuine practical co-operation and common direction.

this seems to be the general consensus, at least as i can see from individuals, around the prospect of regroupment in North America between the CSAC groups...

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Aug 9 2010 00:18

The SF organiser training is adapted from the North American IWW one. Very similar but more explicitly anarcho-syndicalist. As far as I'm aware, the UK IWW had no interest in it, as they're more focussed on casework and trying to build a recognised union than the 'direct action grievance' approach favoured by the training.

At Sussex, SF's Education Workers Network co-organised a conference with the Autonomous Student Network, which practically was organised largely by close co-operation between AF and SF people (as well as non-aligned staff and students). There's the announcement and some discussion of it here, which has reminded me we need to finish compiling the resource pack we planned to do.

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Aug 9 2010 04:19
Joseph Kay wrote:
The SF organiser training is adapted from the North American IWW one. Very similar but more explicitly anarcho-syndicalist. As far

Hmm, how so? I realize this could be a seperate thread, but I'd be interested to see how it differs.

Jared
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Aug 9 2010 04:24
Quote:
The SF organiser training is adapted from the North American IWW one. Very similar but more explicitly anarcho-syndicalist

Is this in the public domain? ie could groups download or get copies of it? It sounds like a great resource and I certainly would like to read it and put it into practice here in New Zealand....

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Aug 9 2010 05:18

It's not really something that can be 'public domain' as it's a 6-8 hr workshop based on role plays etc, and relies heavily on the person delivering it rather than the fairly sparse written materials. It's still fairly new in the UK, a bit better established in the US. As we get a bit more experience with it I'm sure we can think of ways to internationalize it, doing 'train the trainers' over skype or something maybe. As we've only really just worked out the format we're not really in a position to do that yet though IMHO.

In terms of it being more explicitly anarcho-syndicalist, we've added a bit explaining where the training is coming from politically, which puts the approach in context and explains how and why it differs from other approaches (i.e. why we reject class collaboration, legalism etc in favour of direct action, and how this is tied up with a revilolutionary perspective). In line with SF's strategy, the emphasis of the training itself is also less on 'being the union' and more on getting together workplace meetings to organise action. As I haven't attended the North American version I don't know how much that's semantic and how much substantive. I suspect the IWW version puts more priority in the 'organising committee' actually being an IWW branch but I don't know.

JoeMaguire's picture
JoeMaguire
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Aug 9 2010 08:14
madashell wrote:
october_lost wrote:
Are the minutes ever going to be in the public domain?

I can't see that happening any time soon. We've never published the minutes from any national meeting before and I think a lot of AF members would be pretty uncomfortable with us doing so.

Sorry I should have been more clear and said report, not minutes.