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(en) Report on Anarcho-Syndicalism Into the 21st Century, NYC, 10/02

From "Victor Chernov" <wsany@hotmail.com>
Date Tue, 3 Dec 2002 18:34:55 -0500 (EST)


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> Dear comrades,
Greetings. Please find a short report on the successfully concluded BUILDING
AN ANARCHO-SYNDICALIST MOVEMENT FOR THE 21st CENTURY IN THE U.S. --FIRST
STEPS

The participants agreed that it was informative and substantive and there
were some very interesting discussions. The turn out was less then expected
but the quality of the discussions were substantive. The tone of the
conference was also comradely.

Who Participated and Greetings Received:

Participants came from Georgia, California, Maryland,,Massachusetts, New
York,New Jersey & Pennsylvania. Some were members of the Workers Solidarity
Alliance (WSA) , others the North East Federation of Anarchist Communists
(NEFAC), some from the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and still 
others
were independent folks. Greetings and regrets were received from all over 
the
US and from comrades in Australia, Brazil, Bangladesh, France , Germany,
Greece,  Italy, Spain, Sweden and Serbia.

Poster Display:

A wide array of beautiful and colorful posters were also on display.We thank
the Brazilian COB-AIT, French CNT-AIT, French CNT, French Alternative
Libertaire, the Italian Federation of Communist Anarchists (FdCA)and Italian
UNICOBAS (base unions) and the Swedish Syndicalist Youth (SUF). Cool Durruti
pins were made available by Chris from Apoyo Mutual (Mutual Aid) in Spain.

Saturday Workshops

Open Discussion on Aims & Goals of Conference:

The opening workshop on Saturday was a roundtable discussion on aims and
goals of the conference. Another words, what did comrades hope the 
conference
would achieve.

This open discussion, covered such topics as a) What's a long term strategy
for changing the labor movement? b) Having a sober evaluation of the state 
of
revolutionary syndicalism in the United States. c) Improved
communication/cooperation among groups and individuals across the US. d)
Identify possible areas of communication/cooperation such as solidarity
campaigns. e) Discuss relationships with comrades outside of the US.

Workplace and Community Struggles:

The second session of the first day was followed by a very interesting
panel/discussion on "The relationship of organizing workplace and community
(e.g. housing, education)".

Excellent and informative talks were given by Tom Wetzel (of San Francisco),
Steve R. (WSA New York) and Jim (Modern Times collective, Long Island,NY. An
interesting discussion followed. These talks, as well as all other panels,
will be available in pdf along wt. the conference minutes.

Sunday Workshops

Building Solidarity:

The first open discussion on Sunday was on "Organizing & building
solidarity-techniques, resources, dos and don'ts". The presenter for this
session was Mitch (NY WSA).

Comrades not only spoke about their own solidarity campaigns, but also when
to get involved in other peoples campaigns. An interesting sidebar 
discussion
took place on the on-going struggle of West Coast Longshore workers. 
Comrades
expressed their disappointment by the super patriotism of the ILWU 
leadership
in regards to its unconditional offer to load war supplies while locked-out
of work.

Working Class Organizing:

The second and final panel/discussion was on "Perspectives on working class
organizing--theory and practice". This interesting panel/discussion featured
all of the main thoughts and practices in the contemporary 
anti-authoritarian
class struggle movement. This panel's presenters were Tom Wetzel(independent
viewpoint) who spoke about the need for self-managed unionism; Alex Buss
(spoke as an individual but serves as the principal IWW officer) who spoke
about the IWW and the need for a generalized alternative labor movement,
Wayne P.(Open City Collective,NY NEFAC) who spoke on the need to participate
in building mass, heterogeneous, working class organizations. And last but
not least, Steve (WSA) who spoke about the need for a flexible and
pluralistic approach to building a new workers movement.

Closing Plenary:

The closing plenary reviewed whether or not the conference achieved its 
aims.
In spite of the limited attendance, all thought that the conference achieved
its stated goal of being a first step towards bringing together
anti-authoritarian class struggle activists. All agreed that the tone of the
discussions were serious and comradely. All desired comradely relations
between and  some form of cooperation between existing organizations.

Everyone also agreed that another conference of this sort should happen
again, though nothing specific was planned.

The hosts of the conference agreed to prepare the minutes, collate the talks
and get them out to a wider as soon as possible.

Taco Bell Demo:

Another aspect of the conference was putting ideas into action. Late Sunday
afternoon there was a small demo in front of a Taco Bell. The participants
agreed that this was a success and wished they had more leaflets to hand 
out.

Monday Workers Solidarity Alliance Members Meeting:

On Monday WSA members held a meeting to discuss WSA matters. Everyone agreed
that the meeting was both constructive and productive. Some of the things
discussed were revamping the organizational structure and rewriting some 
very
dated literature, including updating the WSA's "Where We Stand". The
International Workers Association (IWA) was also discussed. Positive and
detailed discussions were held on print publications, electronic publishing
and the WSA web site. There was general agreement to that the website should
be revamped and updated. We all agreed that a longer term project will be 
the
relaunching of well known and respected journal "ideas & action".

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Workers Solidarity Alliance - http://flag.blackened.net/agony/wsa
339 Lafayette Street, Room 202, New York, New York, 10012
Tel: 212-979-8353 - Fax: 973-773-9337 - wsany@hotmail.com


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