Proposed constitution for an anarchist federation in Australia

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Proposed constitution for an anarchist federation in Australia

Here is the proposed constitution for an anarchist federation as mandated by the MAC.The Constitution of the MAC and the Aims Principles and Statutes of the ASF have been drawn from as a template. This proposal is open to modifications, additions and deletions. This document will be the subject of the Plenary session of the Towards Federation Anarchist Conference to be held in Melbourne in June.

Proposed Constitution for a Provisional Anarchist Federation in Australia

AIMS

Abolition of the State

Anarchists regard the state as an oppressive institution, the abolition of which is necessary to human liberation.

The state is a condition, a certain relationship between human beings, a mode of human behaviour; we destroy it by contracting other relationships, by behaving differently.
~ Gustav Landauer.

The destruction of the state is a collective responsibility which will be achieved through social revolution.

Social Revolution

The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger, want and boredom are found among billions of working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life. Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the means of production, abolish capitalism and the state, and live in harmony with the Earth.

Anarchist Economics

The ideal economic system, one that is consistent with the principles of liberty, equality and solidarity, is anarchist or libertarian communism. Libertarian communism means the common ownership of the means of production and the free association of producers. The implementation of anarchism can only be through the free federation of productive and communal organizations.

Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice; socialism without freedom is slavery.
~ Mikhail Bakunin.

PRINCIPLES

Anarchism

Anarchism is both a political philosophy and a social movement. As a social movement, anarchism aims to create a classless, non‐hierarchical society; that is, a society ‘without rulers’ (anarchy). As a political philosophy, anarchism maintains that the creation of such a society is both possible and desirable. Anarchists are those who actively work towards realising this possibility.
Liberty

The concept of individual human freedom lies at the heart of anarchist philosophy. As such, anarchists seek to maximise the ability of individuals to live freely, in the absence of the arbitrary constraints imposed by illegitimate forms of authority. Anarchists therefore oppose all forms of domination and exploitation, and work, through both individual and collective struggle, to subvert all social structures based on these practices.

Equality

The anarchist concept of freedom is intrinsically linked to the notion of equality. That is, anarchists maintain that individuals are most free in a society in which there is economic, political and social equality. ‘From each according to their ability; to each according to their need’.

Solidarity

‘An injury to one is an injury to all’. Anarchists oppose the false principle of the survival of the fittest, and believe that human survival and social development can best be secured through co‐operation among individuals and groups to their mutual benefit.

Direct Action

‘The emancipation of the working class must be the work of the workers themselves.' An anarchist society can only be achieved through direct action; that is, through forms of social struggle unmediated by political authority (government).
Direct Democracy

Anarchists advocate the creation of directly democratic forms of social organization, in which individual members have an equal right to take part in decision‐making processes. As such, anarchists oppose forms of representative democracy, and agitate for their replacement by directly democratic ones.

Federation

Anarchists advocate the establishment of voluntary, non‐hierarchical associations between directly democratic organizations. By the same token, anarchists also maintain the right of members of federated bodies to leave such associations, if and when they deem them to be contrary to their interests.

STATUTES

1. NAME

This organisation shall be known as Anarchist Federation Australia.

2. GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF ORGANISATION

(1) The AFA is a federation of affiliates organised as autonomous groups.

(2) All affiliates shall be know by a name of their own.

(3) All affiliates have full freedom to initiate actions in their own.

(4) All decisions are made after full debate by all members meeting in the duly constituted assembly of their affiliate.

(5) No delegated limited mandate offices to have any executive powers. All delegated limited mandate offices to be elected and recallable at any time. The maximum term of tenure for all delegated limited mandate offices shall be one year.

3. STRUCTURE

A. GENERAL MEMBERSHIP

(1) Membership of AFA affiliates shall be open to all who are in agreement with the constitution.

(2) All new members in agreement with the Constitution of the AFA and who agree to abide by the Constitution of the AFA, join by paying dues to the Treasurer of their nearest local affiliate.

(3) All members shall have an equal voice and an equal part in decision-making within the affiliate they are a member of.

B. AFFILIATES

(1) Members shall organise themselves into affiliates based on locality or affinity. These affiliates are the main ongoing forum for debates and the major focus for agitation. No person shall be a member of more than one affiliate.

(2) To apply for affiliation the following conditions are to be met:
a) Meet in assembly regularly, at once a month minimum.
b) Have an elected Secretary and Treasurer.
c) Make available a permanent and public postal and email address.
d) Agree to pay AFA affiliate dues on an annual basis.
e) Be sponsored by another affiliate on a provisional basis.

(3) To be accepted as an affiliate, the provisional affiliate must be accepted by all other AFA affiliates at an AFA Congress.

(4) No affiliate may have less than three members. Whenever an affiliate falls below that number, the remaining members shall return all funds and supplies to the AFA Secretariat.

(5) All affiliates shall receive the help and support of the organisation in times of hardship and trouble.

(6) Affiliates who choose the leave the AFA are asked to notify the AFA Secretariat.

C. REGIONAL FEDERATIONS

(1) Affiliates may form regional or industrial Federations with other affiliates of the AFA in their region.

(2) Regional Federations will determine their own structure, meeting times, activities and tasks, delegation processes and finances.

4. DELEGATED LIMITED MANDATE OFFICES OF AFFILIATES

A. AFA SECRETARIAT

(1) At each Congress an affiliate will be chosen to be responsible for the function of AFA Secretariat, whose term shall run until the next Congress.

(2) The AFA Secretariat may at any time be recalled at a Extraordinary Congress. Such a recall to be initiated upon a proven intentional breach of duties as mandated by the AFA Statutes and Congress.

(3) In the event of an affiliate being unable, for whatever reason, to carry out the functions and duties of the AFA Secretariat, a replacement will be chosen on a provisional basis.

(4) The duties of the AFA Secretariat shall include:

a) Responsible for the general AFA finances and to issue a yearly financial report.
b) Co-ordinate communication between all AFA affiliates.
c) The responsibility for maintaining close contacts with all the overseas organisations with which the AFA has friendly relations.
d) Maintain the AFA website.
e) The dispatch of special AFA communiques to overseas addresses as directed.
f) The payment of international dues.

B. AFFILIATE SECRETARY & TREASURER

(1) Each affiliate shall elect a Secretary and a Treasurer, who can serve only one term at a time.

(2)All candidates for affiliate Secretary and Treasurer must have been financial members for 6 months prior to nomination, except in the case of new affiliates.

(3) Both the affiliate Secretary and the Treasurer may at any time be recalled by a duly constituted assembly of the affiliate. Such a recall to be initiated upon proven breach of duties as described in the Constitution of the AFA.

(4) The duties of the affiliate Secretary shall include:
a) The collection, and tabling in a duly constituted assembly, answering and filing of all mail electronic or otherwise, addressed to the affiliate.
b) Responsibility for the taking and filing of minutes of meetings of affiliate assemblies.

(5) The duties of the Treasurer shall include:
a) The collection of dues.
b) Sending to the AFA Secretariat affiliate dues.
c) The issuing of a financial report each month to the assembly.
d) The notification to members of dues owing.

5. FINANCES

(1) All AFA affiliates shall pay annual dues. The dues rate to be set by each Congress. Each affiliate shall determine for themselves whatever rate of dues are required from their members

(2) Affiliates may exempt persons in special need from paying their dues wholly or in part.

(3) All members of affiliates shall be considered in good standingif their payment of dues has not lapsed for a period of six months. Non-financial members will not be eligible for any offices or mandated functions.

(4) At each Congress the proportional allocation of all funds collected shall be decided for the forthcoming period. Financial reports on all money collected and its allocation to be the responsibility of the AFA Secretariat.

6. PUBLICATIONS & SEALS

(1) The AFA shall maintain a website. The ASF Secretariat shall be responsible for its maintenance.

(2) Affiliates may issue in their own name papers, pamphlets, websites and any other publications.

(3) The AFA shall produce letterheads and seals for use by the AFA Secretariat. The design of any letterheads issued by any affiliates must be such that it is clear they don’t represent the AFA as a whole.

(4) All publications shall clearly state who they are published by.

7. DECISION MAKING

A. LOCAL

(1) Affiliates make decisions in their own name by methods of their own choosing in accordance with Article 2 of the Organisational Agreements.

B. CONGRESS

(1) A Congress of the AFA shall be held in order to accept affiliates; choose the affiliate responsible for the AFA Secretariat, set dues rates, initiate publications of the AFA, and make amendments to the Basis for Federation and Organisational Agreements of the AFA.

(2) Agenda items shall be proposed by affiliates at least 3 months in advance of Congress. Late agenda items to be dealt with in the order received, time allowing.

(3) Agendas, Congress materials, Reports and other relevant information shall be circulated to all affiliates by the AFA Secretariat at least 6 weeks prior to the Congress.

(4) That delegates to the AFA Congress have written authorisation of their delegate status from their affiliate Secretary and Treasurer. The AFA Secretariat has the responsibility to confirm the identity and status of delegates to Congress. In situations where people attending Congress have no written delegate authorisation, the AFA Secretariat may take reasonable steps to ascertain their status and may decide to give them delegate or observer status.

(5) Congress is open to all members. Only Congress delegates from affiliates may speak on behalf of those affiliates.

(6) Congress proceeds according to the order in which items appear on the agenda with the first item being applications of provisional affiliates. This procedure will be altered only if there is an urgent matter which requires consideration or action by Congress and a motion to alter the agenda is agreed to by a majority of mandated affiliate delegates.

(7) Congress shall attempt to make decisions by consensus. When decisions cannot be made by consensus a Resolution Group shall be chosen by Congress. The Resolution Group shall consist of at least 3 delegates. The Resolution Group shall draw up a synthesis of the various positions for further discussion at Congress.

(8) If consensus on the synthesis is not achieved, resolution shall be reached by simple majority on the basis of one vote per affiliate.

(9) Each Congress shall set the date for the next Congress.

(10) All decisions and the full wording of resolutions to appear in the ASF Congress report to be distributed by the AFA Secretariat to all affiliates.

(11) All decisions to be ratified by affiliates in duly constituted meetings of their assemblies. Ratification is a recognition that correct procedure has been followed.

C. EXTRAORDINARY CONGRESS

(1) If a decision, due to extenuating circumstances, must be made as quickly as possible, an Extraordinary Congress can be held.

(2) An Extraordinary Congress shall be called by the AFA Secretariat if requested by no less than two affiliates.

(3) An Extraordinary Congress is to be convened at the earliest possible opportunity after all affiliates have been informed of the issue, enabling them to call emergency meetings and choose delegates.

(4) Extraordinary Congress decision-making will be the same as Congress.

D. DECISIONS BETWEEN CONGRESSES

(1) If a decision needs to be made between Congresses and does not require an Extraordinary Congress the following procedure applies:
a) An affiliate sends a numbered and dated proposal and reasons to the AFA Secretariat.
b) The AFA Secretariat sends the proposal and reasons to all other affiliates and issues a report.
c) The affiliates must answer within two months of receiving the proposal.
d) The proposal is accepted if all responding affiliates agree. No response implies abstention.

8. CONFERENCES

(1) A Conference of the AFA is a non-decision-making event and can be called by any AFA affiliate.

(2) Conferences are open to all members of ASF affiliates and accredited observers.

(3) Conferences can pass resolutions that are recommendations to Congress.

(4) Conferences shall be self-regulating regarding resolutions, structure, length of sessions and scope.

9. DISAFFILIATION & AFFILIATE RESPONSIBILITY

(1) Affiliates shall be responsible for the behaviour and conduct of their members.

(2) Affiliates maintain the right to expel members found contravening the Constitution of the AFA.

(3) Reasons for expulsion must appear in the minutes of a duly constituted meeting (Notification of Expulsion).

(4) Members have 30 days from the Notification of Expulsion, to appeal the decision and submit their case to a duly constituted meeting. The process of appeal shall be determined by the affiliate.

(5) Affiliates who are found to owe 12 months dues shall cease to be affiliated.

(6) Affiliates can only be disaffiliated by a Congress decision that they have contravened the Constitution of the AFA.

(7) All members of a affiliates that have been disaffiliated may transfer their membership to another affiliate.

10. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

The AFA will seek to affiliate to the International Federation Anarchiste as soon as is practicable.

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Apr 18 2013 04:46

I think it looks really good!

Is anyone from MAC coming to the edufactory conference?

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Apr 19 2013 06:10
Rats wrote:
Is anyone from MAC coming to the edufactory conference?

What's that?

There's quite a few references to "ASF" in that draft. Is that some copying and pasting gone awry?

There's some other things that may be controversial and it could be simplified. For example, I think locals should organise themselves however they see fit. If you take MAC for example, at various times treasurer duties have been delegated among several people, and I see no reason why this should not be a permanent state of affairs with any given group. I can also imagine some groups may not even need a treasurer of permanent standing. I also can't see how a treasurer would effect relations amongst groups, so any references to a treasurer should probably be excised from a proposal as it isn't relevant to the business of federation.

The main thing would be a secretary, or someone officially delegated by the group to be responsible for distributing correspondance to and from their group.

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ites
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Apr 19 2013 13:28

Needs discussion of strategy and the relationship of the anarchist federation to the class I reckon.

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ites
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Apr 19 2013 13:31

As in, "what is the opposite of a marxist-leninist vanguard party?" I don't think sitting around and purging the scene of fake anarchists until the revolution rolls around is quite going to cut it somehow.

Hungry56
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Apr 19 2013 15:35

"Needs discussion of strategy and the relationship of the anarchist federation to the class I reckon."

A federation of this nature can't have a national strategy, it is a federation of anarchist groups, not a national organisation. I would probably prefer a national org, though my opinion wavers, but this is not one.

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Apr 19 2013 21:33

Good luck comrades from across the ditch!

HC

bastarx
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Apr 20 2013 02:27
Hungry56 wrote:
"Needs discussion of strategy and the relationship of the anarchist federation to the class I reckon."

A federation of this nature can't have a national strategy, it is a federation of anarchist groups, not a national organisation. I would probably prefer a national org, though my opinion wavers, but this is not one.

So as I asked on one of the other threads what then is the point of this federation? If all the local groups do whatever the hell they feel like why waste time on the complicated procedures the constitution outlines. The whole thing seems hollow, there is absolutely nothing in the constitution about what the group as a whole will do except have congresses.

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Apr 20 2013 05:51
bastarx wrote:
Hungry56 wrote:
"Needs discussion of strategy and the relationship of the anarchist federation to the class I reckon."

A federation of this nature can't have a national strategy, it is a federation of anarchist groups, not a national organisation. I would probably prefer a national org, though my opinion wavers, but this is not one.

So as I asked on one of the other threads what then is the point of this federation? If all the local groups do whatever the hell they feel like why waste time on the complicated procedures the constitution outlines. The whole thing seems hollow, there is absolutely nothing in the constitution about what the group as a whole will do except have congresses.

yeah why not just have a confederation or a network...?

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Apr 20 2013 07:15

I think I agree. I have been arguing in the past for a real national org of groups united by an actual strategy, but hardly anybody seems to want to do this. We already have national communication, summer schools, the bookfair, and Mutiny which is like an unofficial national publication.

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Apr 21 2013 06:40
Hungry56 wrote:
I think I agree. I have been arguing in the past for a real national org of groups united by an actual strategy, but hardly anybody seems to want to do this. We already have national communication, summer schools, the bookfair, and Mutiny which is like an unofficial national publication.

You were arguing against the idea a day ago yourself. It's no surprise my comment above to that effect got 4 downlikes; one could be forgiven for thinking that no one wants to think about strategy or the issue of how an organisation of class conscious anarchists relates to the working class because the idea that we should try to relate to workers on a level they understand rather than acting like as an enlightened anarchist vanguard that thinks it has all the answers without really knowing what the question is makes about as much sense to us as it does to the average trot.

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Apr 21 2013 13:45
Hungry56 wrote:
We already have national communication, summer schools, the bookfair, and Mutiny which is like an unofficial national publication.

We don't actually have national communication, unless you count haphazard contact through loose friendships and so on.

All of the other things are fine, but not actually pertinent to the question of organisation. There are no proposals (or plans) to duplicate or compete with those things. The argument to keep things informal and unaccountable doesn't contain much in the way of a compelling argument. Clearly the current strategy of loose, unrefined and undefined events has not done much in the way of making gains.

The aim of the proposal, afaik, is to determine what ground there is to work toward common goals amongst anarchist groups.

In order to effectively strategise with groups of affinity, I think most people would agree you need an organised forum for discussion and decision-making. That's what a federation is. Framing a proposal around a proposed constitution is a way of addressing this.

The alternative could be to frame it around specific projects. The latter has already been done on a small scale, but arguably the next step needs to be taken, which is to address questions of larger scale coordination and accountability.

Ites wrote:
Needs discussion of strategy and the relationship of the anarchist federation to the class I reckon.

I would imagine that, after determination if there are enough groups wanting to federate and on what basis, questions of strategy would be the subject of the first congress. Given the likely scale (probs less than 6 small groups), the projects would be fairly limited in scale and scope. You would hope that all member groups would have class as central to their shared analysis if they called themselves anarchists!

Basically it comes down to asking a) Who are the anarchist groups? b) What do we have in common? and c) What can we do more effectively together than separately?

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Apr 21 2013 12:27

Ites: "You were arguing against the idea a day ago yourself."

Nonsense, I was just pointing out the fact that the loose federation being proposed on planet Earth in Australia wouldn't be able to have a real national strategy (hopefully I'm wrong). I even said in that post that [b]"I would probably prefer a national org".

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Apr 21 2013 14:19

TBF, I don't think the proposal is loose. I agree that a unified strategy is unlikely, as such a federation of autonomous anarchist groups lacks the disciplinary mechanisms required (um, meaning having the same basis of individual membership and desire to enforce the membership).

What is currently achievable, in my opinion, is material cooperation, joint campaigns and an annual congress.

I haven't had much (read: any) involvement in the proposal other than supporting it, but I do think it's achievable based on activity in the last 5 or so years. The previous federation conference had a much bolder proposal that got up at the conference but went nowhere. The current proposal (so far) and method seem more likely to succeed as it attempts to cohere what actually happens in practice and what groups actually want. What would be new is formal mechanisms for achieving things together that can be accounted for.

I guess we'll see what the response is.

klas batalo wrote:
yeah why not just have a confederation or a network

This might be a definitional question.

My understanding is that a confederation is one org with branches and a central executive. A network is usually understood to be a lot looser than a federation and simply requires an agreement to meet under certain conditions. Others may disagree and I've seen all terms used interchangeably.

"Federation" is the common term used when anarchists agree to work together in autonomous groups on a permanent basis, but there's lots of variations on that theme too.

I know the discussion in MAC has been on the need to organise with groups that can agree on a common definition of anarchism so we can fight together to bring it about and work together to promote it. "Federation" seems to fit that bill better than confederation or network.

NannerNannerNan...
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Apr 21 2013 17:11

Hey, what's up with organized anarchism in Australia anyway? I've heard some bad things, though from non-credible sources.

Also, solidarity! I hope something good comes out of this!

bastarx
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Apr 21 2013 22:00
NannerNannerNannerNannerNanner wrote:
Hey, what's up with organized anarchism in Australia anyway? I've heard some bad things, though from non-credible sources.

Also, solidarity! I hope something good comes out of this!

The bad things are probably true.

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Apr 22 2013 06:31

Most likely. Character assassination is one way to defeat a critic when you're afraid of change. Just ask Trotsky.

The proposed constitution neglects to address the question of formal dispute resolution completely. Just thought that was worth pointing out.

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Apr 22 2013 10:46

Lumpen wrote:

Quote:
There's quite a few references to "ASF" in that draft. Is that some copying and

As stated in the introduction the proposed statutes are based on the ASF statutes. The ASF being the only organisation (that I know of) to practice anarchist federation in the last 30 odd years.

The proposed constitution is not meant to be final or complete, only a template from which to work. The final constitution will be a result of the work of the groups affiliating to the federation. To date, three groups have responded, together with the MAC, that would make four. The proposed constitution is scheduled to be put to the plenary on the 9th of June on a provisional basis.

bastarx wrote:

Quote:
So as I asked on one of the other threads what then is the point of this

Klas Batalo wrote:

Quote:
yeah why not just have a confederation or a network...?

In current usage there is little difference in meaning between 'federation' and 'confederation'. The federated affiliates retain control over their internal affairs. It decentralises, disperses and dissipates power.

Networks* are generally favoured by those who fear accountability to a collective or a community. They dislike the scrutiny that a federative model implies. It threatens to match their rhetoric against their actual practise. So far, loose networks have enabled the mysoginists (violent or otherwise) that have plagued the anarchist scene in Australia in recent times (for one example among others). This apparent freedom is why the network model is favoured by the business community. Deals can be done in the corporate box at the cricket, the racetrack on Cup day or in the the golf club restaurant unregulated and unrestricted by 'committees' and what have you.

Things like Camp Anarchy and Anarchist Bookfairs are always going to be popular because nothing is asked of you other than to roll up and consume whatever is on offer. The relationship between the organisers and the participants is one-way.

The central point of federation from an organisational point of view is that power does not reside in one, two or a few self-appointed individuals. Everyone would have an equal opportunity to participate in the decision-making process. Even if they wear corduroys.

bastarx wrote:

Quote:
federation? If all the local groups do whatever the hell they feel like why waste time on the complicated procedures the constitution outlines. The whole thing

The key phrase here is complicated procedures. The procedures couldn't more simple and straightforward. The procedures are a guarantee against an excercise of power by one or more individuals (i.e. networks) over others.

* probably better understood as cliques based on friendships.

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Apr 22 2013 14:17
Bastarx wrote:
So as I asked on one of the other threads what then is the point of this federation? If all the local groups do whatever the hell they feel like why waste time on the complicated procedures the constitution outlines. The whole thing seems hollow, there is absolutely nothing in the constitution about what the group as a whole will do except have congresses.

It would be inaccurate to say that what is being sought is for groups to do whatever they feel like – this more accurately describes the current scenario, doesn't it? 'Feel' also implies there is no conscious action, which I don't think is the case.

An attempt is being made to establish who the anarchist groups are, in accordance with a shared definition before proceeding. For MAC, the definition is:

MAC Aims & Principles wrote:
Anarchism is both a political philosophy and a social movement. As a social movement, anarchism aims to create a classless, non‐hierarchical society; that is, a society ‘without rulers’ (anarchy). As a political philosophy, anarchism maintains that the creation of such a society is both possible and desirable. Anarchists are those who actively work towards realising this possibility.

If a group agrees with this definition and wants to cooperate, then it follows that the group is likely in the best position to decide how they carry out this task to the best of their ability.

What is missing from this proposal, but was in the original (now locked) thread, was a list of the kinds of projects that had been done jointly. This, along with the historic record of what anarchist federations do (even small ones) gives a better account of what is possible.

There is little sense in preempting the decision of a currently-non-existant congress. Congress itself would be better placed to decide, knowing their limits and capacities.

On the other hand, such proposals for concrete actions can serve to inspire and mobilise.

I think it's better to see what other groups want and what scope groups are willing to work in before you can say a) it is formless and b) what would be decided by these groups.

The procedure doesn't seem especially complex; proposals are made by a member group and received by member groups who either agree or not after compromise and discussion. Any executive positions are subject to instant recall. Congress can ratify new member groups and set goals for the following year, as well as delivering reports, social events, etc. Could be fun, do interesting stuff and work better as a more cohered whole than separately. There seems to be a lot of point to doing that.

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Apr 22 2013 14:20
Lugius wrote:
* probably better understood as cliques based on friendships.

Formal structures and informal hierarchies aren't mutually exclusive by any stretch of the imagination. The ASF is a perfect example.

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Apr 23 2013 09:21

^Everything he said. [I was referring to a comment by Lugius which has since been deleted}

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Apr 23 2013 03:14

^hear hear

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Apr 23 2013 08:32

admin: derailing comments removed. Ites this is a warning to desist with your derailing.

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Apr 23 2013 16:16

I don't see why we can't have autonomous groups which make an effort to work together nationally on the same projects(a joint strategy).

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Apr 23 2013 19:30

Boring technical point:

At the moment membership is restricted to " all who are in agreement with the constitution." It may make more sense to restrict membership to those who are in agreement with the aims and principles, rather than the whole constitution. To give an obvious example, someone might think a women's officer (which the constitution does not provide for) might be a good thing to have in the constitution, whilst agreeing with the aims and principles. I very much doubt anyone would oppose membership of someone who thought this. Just a small technical point.

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Apr 23 2013 23:24

Good point, also there probably should be a women's officer role.

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Apr 24 2013 04:26
RedEd wrote:
Boring technical point:
At the moment membership is restricted to " all who are in agreement with the constitution." It may make more sense to restrict membership to those who are in agreement with the aims and principles, rather than the whole constitution.

If you're in a group that's intending to go, you should put forward an amendment to the proposal. If not, hopefully one of the groups that is going will agree with your post and put it themselves.

The constitution theoretically lays out the ground rules for association – how you answer questions, meet and resolve disputes. It can't account for every contingency. For example, we might agree on A&Ps, but one group might be okay with screaming matches and other groups are not, so it's important we are on the same page with some stuff outside of A&Ps.

Dunno about the women's officer (or similar executive positions), so it'd be good to hear what other people think. I don't think women would need permission to organise and nominate a spokesperson if they saw fit to do it. It's difficult to imagine such a delegation being rejected if it was made up of members from groups. You might need to account for such organisation amongst groups being accepted on principle, as it's the kind of thing that should be encouraged.

Again, someone would need to make a proposal, what the role is, etc to make sure this happens and is discussed. I'm pretty sure MAC envisioned executive jobs would be delegated to groups to carry out. A friend in Anarchist Affinity mentioned he thought there should be a separate executive, and this is what most federations seem to have.

If these are the kinds of things groups are thinking about bringing to the meeting, that's a bit exciting!

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Apr 24 2013 05:53

Would a separate exec mean elected individuals?

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Apr 24 2013 08:49
caterpillar wrote:
Would a separate exec mean elected individuals?

Yep.

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Lugius
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Apr 30 2013 03:41

Lumpen wrote:

Quote:
Again, someone would need to make a proposal, what the role is, etc to make sure this happens and is discussed. I'm pretty sure MAC envisioned executive jobs would be delegated to groups to carry out. A friend in Anarchist Affinity mentioned he thought there should be a separate executive, and this is what most federations seem to have.

The current proposal doesn't allow for a separate executive of elected individuals but rather, the function of the Secretariat to be the responsibility of affiliate selected for the job. In my view, this is far more practicable as the affiliate can decide whoever of their members shall be responsible for the tasks (Secretary, Treasurer). People sometimes take on positions and then are unable, for whatever reason, to carry them out. The affiliate responsible can simply find someone else from among their members to replace them.

This also saves you the trouble of a fresh election to replace an individual on a separate executive.

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Lugius
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Jul 17 2013 02:42

The 'Towards Anarchist Federation Conference' Plenary Report is now complete. Copies of the report were sent to the invited groups and is available to any anarchist group in Australia interested in the process.

The Plenary discussed the Aims and Principle part of the proposed constitution taking into account the submissions from the Libertarian workers for a Self-managed Society and the Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group.

Only the first article of the Statutes 'NAME' was addressed with variations of 'Anarchist Federation Australia' and 'Federation of Australian Anarchist Groups' discussed.

There were views expressed about using the word 'Australia' and 'Australian' and the difference between anarchist groups and groups of anarchists.

More delegates meetings are to be scheduled.