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(en) Aotearoa/New Zealand: Personal Impressions of the Anarchist Tea Party

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 11 Dec 2003 11:12:08 +0100 (CET)

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FROM the 4th to the 7th of December 2003 about 70
people from across Aotearoa and abroad attended the
Anarchist Tea Party. Overall I feel the conference
went really well, with it giving birth to some very
promising projects, and I left feeling very

The conference was hosted at Marama-iti, an incredible
intentional community currently in the beginning
stages, adjacent to the Whanganui River. The place is
being created mainly thanks to the effort put in by
Lucia, Geoff and Liam who currently live there. Most
of the conference took place in the woolshed which is
in the process of being transformed into a
?marae-style? area while people slept in tents
scattered around the property. Cooking was done
collectively (thanks to all those that helped prepare
such great food and thanks to Steven for the
home-brew!) and a commitment was made to have the
conference itself run by those in attendance.

A very diverse range of topics were covered over the
weekend including facilitation and consensus meeting
processes, feminism, deschooling, non-monogamous
relationships, a ?where to next?? look at the
anarchist movement in Aotearoa, finding common ground
amongst anarchists and those on the left, discussing
the media resources available to us, the philosophy
behind Linux, de-colonisation, natural contraceptives,
living outside capitalism, networking? the list goes

A lot was accomplished over the course of the few days
we had available to us and despite some early
criticism that it was going to be very ?lifestyle?
orientated (due to the workshop ?living outside
capitalism? I believe?) I think it achieved a good
combination of both the personal and the political.

The last day was spent primarily brainstorming for
projects and networking. Of particular interest to me
was the commitment to develop a communication network
across Aotearoa to make it easier for people to get in
the loop and get involved, to know what others are up
to (and help out if they?re interested) and to just
generally facilitate organisation and action around
Aotearoa. Other projects include setting up a mutual
aid network (fungus network), pirate radio in
Wellington and elsewhere, creating an annual Aotearoa
anarchist guidebook (containing information about
contacts, various organisations, planned actions, and
skills like consensus decision making), building a
support network and the setting up of discussion
groups among other things.

Being situated all in one place meant spending time
together outside of the more structured conference
timetable itself and this also led to a lot of
networking and discussion as well. This more informal
type of interaction of just getting to know others,
developing contacts (and friends!) and in some cases
committing to projects is a really valuable thing to
have happen and I hope future conferences are aware of
this too.

I think the Anarchist Tea Party came at a really
opportune time where some were feeling quite
disillusioned with the anarchist movement. I left
feeling a resurgence in the anarchist movement was
taking place, and seeing all the projects happening at
the moment and those in the works was a really
positive experience. It was generally agreed that we
need to make conferences like this a more regular
event and as I write this, preliminary plans are
already underway in Christchurch to host another
conference in 2004.

It?s now up to us to ensure that we keep the momentum
generated at this conference going.


Comments about the conference can be found here:

Anarchy Aotearoa
From: YudA <kjnis-A-yahoo.co.nz>

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