UK and Ireland only

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booeyschewy
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Nov 29 2006 04:30
UK and Ireland only

Just curious, what's the logic on constraining membership to the UK and Ireland only?

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 29 2006 10:25

i'm not AF, but i think it's because the AF is affiliated to the International of Anarchist Federations (IAF), and would thus direct interested parties from outside the british isles to the relevant regional fed.

knightrose
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Nov 29 2006 12:53

No, it was true before we joined IFA. It's to do with us being membership based. Members have to be able to take an active part in the organisation. It raises interesting questions really, we have in the past had members in Holland - they were English speakers and had been in the AF in Britain. Is it harder to be actively part of AF if you live in Brussels or the Shetlands? But, as I said, that is the current AF policy.

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 29 2006 12:54

in that case ignore me, what knightrose said ^^^ tongue

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Devrim
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Nov 29 2006 15:41
knightrose wrote:
we have in the past had members in Holland - they were English speakers and had been in the AF in Britain. Is it harder to be actively part of AF if you live in Brussels or the Shetlands?

I think it is because the AF get confused about which countries they are in. smile
Dev

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the button
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Nov 29 2006 15:47
Devrim wrote:
knightrose wrote:
we have in the past had members in Holland - they were English speakers and had been in the AF in Britain. Is it harder to be actively part of AF if you live in Brussels or the Shetlands?

I think it is because the AF get confused about which countries they are in. smile
Dev

Does that make them internationalists? wink

knightrose
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Nov 29 2006 17:00

Yes we are. No I'm not confused. I sometimes fail to see the logic of the Britain and Ireland only rule. Obviously anyone in France should join the FA etc. But the case I put of the Shetlands and Brussels was meant to point out the difficulties posed by the distances involved. The Holland thing was cos they were ex-AF and wanted to stay members and the rules got bent for them. For me the only issue is the ability to work as part of the group and participate in our internal democracy. But that's not the AF policy and whilst I may not agree with all of the policy, it is the policy. And I guess Dev was only joking anyway.

booeyschewy
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Nov 29 2006 20:03

Being committed to internationalism, as I assume you all are, why does federalism stop at the borders of the UK and Ireland? I see your point about ability to participate in internal democracy, but that might equally be a problem (if your standard is the ability to physically be there) for someone who say lives in Northern Scotland. Also there have been many political groups that operate internationally. It may well be that you all just decided to have more narrow focus, but I was curious how it fits in with your internationalism and why you chose to draw the lines there (it seems fine that you have to draw it somewhere).

nastyned
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Nov 29 2006 20:11

As far as I'm aware it's a practical thing. We have to be able meet up with people who want to join.

If someone from overseas was keen enought to come over to meet us I'm sure we could be persuaded to let them in, but we ain't got the money to travel the world meeting people on the basis of an email or letter expressing an interest.

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madashell
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Nov 29 2006 22:19

The AF is already a member federation in an international organisation. If somebody in another country agrees with our politics but there's no IAF affiliated group, the best thing they could do, IMO, is find other people with similar views and set up a group. Having members in other countries just wouldn't be practical.

booeyschewy
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Nov 29 2006 23:16

Maybe I should move this to another thread, but what do people think of internationalist organizations then? I know there have been some geographically displaced groups throughout history.

A friend of mine who has been a member of a number of anarchist and situationist groups has told me that he was apart of a class struggle worldwide organization of anarchists were there translations published, regular international conferences, etc. My friends criticism of anarchist organization has been that it is hyper-localized to the point of missing the global organization, and not having anarchist organization reflect the internationalism it espouses. He's since turned to Marxism, and I have been trying to figure out replies. In many ways he's right and nationalized structure seems unjustified to me, but I thought I'd ask you all since I think my politics is generally closer to AF than many other groups.

He didn't disclose the group at the time. Ones I know of are like the International Communist Group, the Situationist International, the old IWW (when there were NZ, Australia, UK, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, etc., branches).

revolutionrugger
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Nov 30 2006 02:27

what about the Isle of Jersey? Since its not part of the UK or england, but rather Baliwick of the Queen? whats the AF's position on the channel islands? I demand answers!

booeyschewy
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Nov 30 2006 05:11
revolutionrugger wrote:
what about the Isle of Jersey? Since its not part of the UK or england, but rather Baliwick of the Queen? whats the AF's position on the channel islands? I demand answers!

lol

knightrose
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Nov 30 2006 09:53

I agree with you booey, and to be fair, nastyned is right. We'd try and find a way if someone was that keen. One problem is that we operate a fare's pool for conferences (if needed) and they occur 4 times a year. We couldn't very well operate that for you, for example, could we? And as he said, we try to meet up with people before they join.
I'm sure most of us would agree that the boundaries thing is illogical but mostly unavoidable. Interestingly though, our fellow IFA groups in Europe include a French speaking one and a German speaking one - both have members outside France and Germany. The Germans, for example, have a group in Switzerland and the French Speaking Fed have members in Belgium. MInd you, having been to the most recent IFA meeting, they could probably all join an English speaking federation and make the rest of us look like illiterate idiots.

nastyned
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Nov 30 2006 11:20

As you know it's a lot more complicated than that, but I don't fancy starting that one again!

knightrose
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Nov 30 2006 17:14

That'd be the discussion about our plans to set up AF franchises, just like Starbucks, wouldn't it?
Hey guy, all we want to do is be friendly.

martinh
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Nov 30 2006 19:00

This ought to be turned on its head a bit. What can you meaningfully achieve as a member of an organisation based in a different country? I can see why individuals might want ot do it, out of isolation or sentiment, but the point of organisation is so that you can do things together. To that end you need to be able to reach each other and discuss what you are going to do on a regular basis.
On other threads people have mentioned in North America that "national" or "international" meetings tend to be unrepresentative, as many members cannot afford the cost (or time - most American workers only get 2 weeks off a year) to travel 3000 miles. Part of the success of NEFAC must surely be that they've concentrated on a region and not over reached themselves.
I can see the sentiment behind groups being international, but the way that is achieved is federating from the bottom up. If you're the only anarchist in Iceland or Edmonton or wherever, contact the people nearest to you (geographically and politically) and see if they can help.
And a group is truly international if it can rotate its functions across different countries. Has the IWW GST ever been from outside the US?
(Genuine question BTW)

There's also the problem that if the AF was in Britain and Ireland, they'd need 2 lots of propaganda, as there are very different situations in the 2 countries.

Regards,

Martin

knightrose
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Nov 30 2006 19:21

It's not exactly a problem to publish propaganda to suit different regions. We do local leaflets and have done local bulletins at times. Once upon a time we produced Resistance in GB and Ireland separately. The issue with organising is whether it strengthens you or not. national boundaries should not be an issue.

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Tacks
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Nov 30 2006 19:37

i've not read the last few posts mind, but i'm not sure having national orgs is such a terrible crime.

Big issues which concern massive areas will be decided by international federations, but a present day anarchist organisation gains little in actually having members all over the world as opposed to similar organisations all over the world.

'The working class has no country' is a rhetorical device, it doesn't mean that in a communist society i'd be able to vote on the allocation of laptops in Rangoon from my plot in London.

What would be cool is if there were a common geographical term for the UK, like the have for spain, but that is a little pretentious. Anyone who finds nationalism in a simple statement of geogrphical location is goung a bit far imho...

knightrose
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Nov 30 2006 19:41

Tonyland ???

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Tacks
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Nov 30 2006 19:50

what? why??

Putting stuff in french always sounds classy;
Deux Isles Anarchist Federation?

or

Anarchist Federation of le pays a formé le goût le symbole 'L', mais vers l'arrière

('anarchist federation of the country shaped like the letter 'L', but backwards')

knightrose
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Dec 1 2006 18:03

I suppose I'd ask whether you guys would object to there being a WSM type group in Britain? We wouldn't mind.
Why do we want to be friendly? Because we are members of two anarchist communist groups operating geographically close to each other. We face similar problems to which there are similar solutions. I'd guess we both have things we could learn from each other. We certainly have more in common than divides us. We want nice places to crash when we visit Ireland smile Because it's stupid for us to be at loggerheads. Because no one group has the monopoly of the truth. Because it's more sensible. Because we might even be able to help each other from time to time. Because the struggle for anarchist communism isn't a competition.
Speaking personally because I've met a few of you and liked what I found out.

knightrose
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Dec 1 2006 18:08

One thing we can do is distribute your stuff in Manchester.

The Builder
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Dec 1 2006 18:13
Tacks wrote:
what? why??

Putting stuff in french always sounds classy;
Deux Isles Anarchist Federation?

or

Anarchist Federation of le pays a formé le goût le symbole 'L', mais vers l'arrière

('anarchist federation of the country shaped like the letter 'L', but backwards')

Ahahahahahaaaaaaa............what fucking language are you trying to speak?

knightrose
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Dec 1 2006 18:17

franglais

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madashell
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Dec 1 2006 20:23
guydebordisdead wrote:
Do the af intend to resume activity in Ireland? This seems to be a general impression I get from your posts, I could be wrong mind.

Do we really need this argument again? Does it even matter?

The Builder
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Dec 1 2006 21:21
knightrose wrote:
franglais

Carrément

knightrose
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Dec 1 2006 23:12

Relax madashell. I've already explained.