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Anarchist Networking Assembly NYC April 15

Anarchist Networking Assembly

Sunday April 15

New School 65 Fifth Avenue, NYC - 4-8 PM


Announcing the Anarchist Assembly, to be held to coincide with the first NYC Anarchist Bookfair, to build on the work of the Praxis initiative, the experience of DIssent! in the UK
and now Europe as a whole, and to follow up on proposals
brought by anarchists in Oaxaca


Why a Network?

In North America, there have been, effectively, no such
large-scale actions since Miami, and the limited actions
in New York against the RNC. In part this is due to
repression and the flight of our earlier allies. Yet the
national mood has changed. In the rest of the world, the
post-911 slump has long since begun to reverse itself. The
Dissent! Network formed in the UK for the G8 meetings in
Scotland in 2005 and now functioning in Germany for the G8
2007 has proved that anarchistic networks can take the
lead in organizing effective direct actions in this day
and age. At the same time, in the US, interest in such a
network keeps sputtering along without anything actually
coming together.

This is a crisis we feel for two reasons. First of all,
because existing informal networks have proved clearly
inadequate for large-scale direct action mobilization.
There are hundreds of young people enthusiastic about
organizing new actions and initiatives but with little
experience in how to do so, and hundreds, if not
thousands, of direct action veterans scattered around the
country with years of skills and experience, and almost no
way to bring them together effectively. New generations of
activists literally don’t know who to call. It seems to us
high time we recognize our responsibility to one another,
as a community.

Second of all, a new round of struggle has begun in deadly
earnest in Mexico, most dramatically with the Zapatista’s
Otra Campaña and the uprising in Oaxaca. You don’t have to
be an anarchist to realize that the borders between the US
and Mexico are becoming increasingly artificial and
meaningless (except as a means of oppression).
Increasingly, Mexican anarchists need to able to easily
communicate with American counterparts who may not have
personally done work in Mexico. Like the younger activists
in the US, it is difficult outside the US to know who to
call in some events. There was much talk of this,
particularly from anarchists from Mexico, at the last
Zapatista encuentro in January. European and Asian
activists often voice similar complaints. It seems time,
then, we think about our responsibilities to the global
community of which we are a part as well.Organization is not a value in itself but neither is it an
evil in itself; common sense suggests that different
projects will require different sorts of organization and
it’s foolish to apply some kind of prefabricated,
cookie-cutter approach to every one of them. Yet it’s also
possible to learn from experience. Experience by now
pretty strongly indicates that if the aim is to be able to
organize effective large-scale actions and mobilizations,
particularly on a continental scale, a network of networks
seem to be what works. This is particularly true if one
aims to organize those actions democratically. It’s hard
to think of any large-scale mobilizations - or any one
that’s are simply limited to marching around with signs -
being organized by anything else.

Proposal for an Anarchist Network in the USA

Proposal 1. A network is based not on ideology but on a
broad consensus on goals, a desire to take direct action,
and agreement that we wish to take action in a way that
reflects a shared commitment to egalitarian
decision-making. It’s in this sense the network is
anarchist: it operates on anarchist principles.
Participation is not limited to those who consider
themselves “anarchists” in the ideological sense of the
term.

Proposal 2. To join the network is to agree to the PGA
Hallmarks:

1.A very clear rejection of capitalism, imperialism and
feudalism; all trade agreements, institutions and
governments that promote destructive globalisation.

2.We reject all forms and systems of domination and
discrimination including, but not limited to, patriarchy,
racism and religious fundamentalism of all creeds. We
embrace the full dignity of all human beings.

3.A confrontational attitude, since we do not think that
lobbying can have a major impact in such biased and
undemocratic organisations, in which transnational capital
is the only real policy-maker;

4.A call to direct action and civil disobedience, support
for social movements' struggles, advocating forms of
resistance which maximize respect for life and oppressed
peoples' rights, as well as the construction of local
alternatives to global capitalism.

5. An organizational philosophy based on decentralization
and autonomy.

Proposal 3. The network should be based in
already-existing local groups and initiatives, who should
retain own name and not become mere “locals” or “chapters”
of a wider network.” Particular initiatives and calls to
action will not be in the name of the network as a whole
but come from participating groups. The main purpose of
the network as a whole will be to provide the
infrastructure for resulting convergences and
mobilizations.

Proposal 4. Due to the size of the North American
Continent, face-to-face meetings should be localized to
bioregions, with wider meetings happening virtually over
the Internet, or face-to-face once a year.

Proposal 5. Our initial focus will be o “No Borders” and
the upcoming Convention actions in the USA (though not
limited to these). We will make sure the Network is
bilingual and created jointly with anarchists in Mexico.

Proposal 6. The network will be open and public. We will
hold interest meetings at Bookfairs, the Earth First!
Rendezvous, Social Forum, and beyond, but also hold an
actual network meeting somewhere on the East Coast, West
Coast, and Mid-West, and at least one place in Mexico, at
east once a year.

Proposal 7. Every group is encouraged to work with others
in the network around practical tasks such as comms,
propaganda, medics, legal, in order to help facilitate
infrastructure for continental mobilizations against
capitalism. They will thus be able to form continental
Working Groups that meet virtually and have their own
autonomy.

Proposal 8. More immediately, participants will
immediately start assembling a direct action solidarity
resource base (possibly to be eventually made available
on the Internet) of the location of trained facilitators,
facilitation trainers, medics, legal teams, media
collectives or those with media experience, people with
access to printing resources or plumbing/electric, and so
forth, willing to volunteer their time, energy, or
possible spaces to projects within their cities or
regions. This should be a crucial resource for anyone