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(en) North America, Great Lakes region, FEDERATION OF REVOLUTIONARY ANARCHIST COLLECTIVES (FRAC) CONSTITUTION Version 1.4, September 2003

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 24 Jun 2004 20:49:19 +0200 (CEST)


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I. FEDERATION COMPOSITION
A) Revolutionary Anarchist Collectives
The Federation of Revolutionary Anarchist Collectives (FRAC)
membership is composed of revolutionary anarchist collectives
geographically situated around the Great Lakes region.
Collectives are defined by the following requirements:
· Must be membership organizations composed of a minimum of three individuals
· Must unanimously agree with the federation points of unity and strategy
· Must contribute to and participate in social struggles
. New collectives may become members of the federation only
after they have been actively involved as a support collective for a
minimum of six months time (see Support Collectives for the
exact process).
The vast majority of the collectives should actively pursue and
be dedicated to the federation’s revolutionary anarchist
strategy and should be willing to engage in militant direct action
using tactics endorsed by the federation. There is also a place for
member collectives that pursue specialized projects such as
newspapers, free radio stations, etc. These specialized collectives
must still be committed to the federation’s strategy and
collective decision-making process and should not act contrary to
the will of the federation as a whole. The direction such
specialized collectives take will be accountable to the federation.

B) Collective Responsibility to the Federation

Each collective is responsible for the following:

· Direct intervention in social struggles, with priority given to
the collective’s local area, through active participation in
social movements and campaigns directly facilitated by the
federation. This can also be achieved through media work.
· Reaching out to other regional activists and collectives on
the existence and actions of the federation.
· Contributing to the federation’s theoretical development
through consistent debate over email, at conferences and in
writing.
· Attending and participating in bi-annual federation
conferences.
· Paying dues on a bi-annual basis (see Dues).
· Posting a monthly report to the email list summarizing
recent actions, current projects, etc.
· Developing a strong federation security culture to minimize
security risks without sacrificing internal democracy or the
federation’s ability to function. This includes understanding
that state repression is a constant, permanent feature that affects
all aspects of our work.
· No collective can act in the name of the Federation of
Revolutionary Anarchist Collectives (FRAC) unless previously
decided upon by the federation.
If a collective fails to comply with these responsibilities, the
federation can move to expel it (see Expulsion).

C) Federation’s Responsibility to the Collectives

The federation, as a whole, must seek to maximize the political
effectiveness of its collectives through the coordination of activity.
The federation must support member collectives through a
coordinated program of mutual aid, disseminating information via
internal bulletin and the email list, and physically participating in
actions endorsed by the federation.

D) Support Collectives

Before a new collective can join the federation, it must first
participate under “probationary” terms as a support
collective. Any member collective can nominate a new support
collective at any time; the relevant information must be made
immediately available to the federation Facilitator and the
federation itself through the email list and internal bulletin. Other
member collectives have ten (10) days to reject the new support
collective. If no rejections are made, the collective in question
immediately gains the status of support collective.
Support collectives are expected to fulfill the same
responsibilities as member collectives. Support collectives are also
required to attend the bi-annual federation conferences where
they will be encouraged to take part in debate and discussion but
will not be counted for consensus or voting until they become full
members.
After a minimum of three months as a support collective, a
collective can apply for membership into the federation. This
membership application should be treated as a Major proposal,
and must be decided at a biannual conference. A minimum of
three-fourths (3/4) of the member collective votes must approve
this proposal for the collective to be granted membership status.

E) Individual Supporters

Individuals who are unable to participate in a collective can
support the federation as individuals. Any member collective can
nominate a new individual supporter at any time; the relevant
information must be made immediately available to the federation
Facilitator and the federation itself through the email list and
internal bulletin. Other member collectives have ten (10) days to
reject the new supporter. If no rejections are made, the person in
question immediately gains the status of supporter.
Individual supporters are expected to fulfill the same
responsibilities as supporting collective members, except that
they are only required to pay $75 in dues per year (but they are
encouraged to contribute more). Supporters are not required (but
are encouraged) to attend the bi-annual federation conferences to
take part in debate and discussion, but they are not counted for
consensus or voting.
Individual supporters are encouraged to build their own
collectives, with the support of FRAC, to fully participate in the
federation.

F) Coordinating Committee

The federation empowers a coordinating committee to handle
simple but necessary functions between bi-annual conferences.
This committee has one representative from each collective, as
well as five (5) positions, each fulfilled by a member of a
federation collective, with the following responsibilities:



· Facilitator: The Facilitator is responsible for facilitating
discussion and decision making between conferences. This
includes making sure proposals brought to the group get
discussed by the collectives in a timely manner and get voted on
within the time limit set by this constitution. The Facilitator also
manages the expulsion and resignation processes.



The Facilitator is also responsible for tallying and recording votes
taken at bi-annual conferences, as well as making sure
conference notes are included in the next bulletin. In addition to
this, the Facilitator is responsible for organizing at least 2
coordinating committee meetings between conferences.



· Treasurer: The Treasurer is responsible for collecting,
holding, managing and keeping track of federation money raised
through dues, fundraisers or other means. The Treasurer should
know the exact amount the federation possesses at all times. The
Treasurer will also be responsible for reporting all donations and
reporting anything unusual (such as donations from a sketchy
source). In addition, the Treasurer is responsible for distributing
money to individuals and collectives as required for the
day-to-day operations of the federation and/or however the
federation as a whole sees fit. The treasurer will give a financial
report to the federation each month via mail or the bulletin.

Specifically the treasurer must work out the monthly dues
amount with each collective and individual supporter, and send a
monthly reminder bill to each collective. The treasurer must take
part in the coordinating committee meetings to make sure
outstanding debts are taken care of, or to discuss issues with
collectives behind on their dues.

· Bulletin Coordinator: This person is responsible for
producing and distributing an internal federation bulletin to each
federation member and support collective a minimum of 6 times a
year. The bulletin coordinator must post the deadline for each
bulletin at least 2 weeks in advance.

· Email List Administrator: This person is responsible for
maintaining the federation’s internal email listserv.

· Webmaster: The Webmaster is responsible for designing,
maintaining and updating the FRAC website and internet
domain.



The coordinating committee is to have at least 2 online
conferences or 2 conference calls between. All members are
invited to participate, but it is essential that each collective have a
representative present, as well as the treasurer and facilitator.
These meetings are a chance for unresolved issues to get resolved
and to follow up on outstanding tasks. It is the responsibility of
the facilitator to make sure these meetings happen.

Collective CC reps are to be continuous between conferences,
and chosen by each collective in a manner they see fit. This
choice should be presented to the Facilitator as soon as possible
after the conference. The External Communications Committee
would be represented at the CC conferences by their collective
representative.

The coordinating committee’s positions are held on a
volunteer basis and rotated at each bi-annual conference. The
rotating of these positions, however, will not be forced if the
federation unanimously endorses their continuation. These
positions are completely revocable if the federation feels that the
work in not being accomplished (see Revoking Positions).
Each committee position will also have one “on deck”
backup/replacement person, chosen the same as the position
holders. This on-deck person will have access to all of the
information necessary to assume responsibility for the position
should the position holder need to be replaced. Committee
members should train the on-deck people and make sure they
have access to everything necessary (listserv passwords for the
Email List Administrator on-deck, money in storage for the
Treasurer on-deck, etc).

G) External Communications Committee

The federation will also maintain an external communications
committee to handle communications with other
anarchists/revolutionaries, both inside and outside of the U.S. and
Canada. This committee is empowered in the name of the FRAC
to write official communiqués and to endorse actions outside of
the U.S. and Canada as long as they conform to the
federation’s points of unity and strategy.


The External Communications Committee is also responsible
for managing FRAC membership. This committee is
responsible for making sure applications for supporter status (of
individuals and collectives) get delegated to the proper collective,
and get processed in a timely manner. They are to maintain the
Federation PO Box, and email account, answering all mail within
one week. This committee is also responsible for keeping all
FRAC documents up to date, distributing new documents, and
designing material for outreach purposes.



This committee will be made up of one member collective.
Collectives will be nominated at the bi-annual conference and the
decision to endorse them handled as a standard proposal. This
committee will rotate between member collectives once per year
(every other bi-annual conference) unless the federation
unanimously consents to keep the collective currently serving in
this role for another year. This position is revocable if the
committee acts beyond the bounds of their allotted position.

H). Working Committees

The federation may establish working committees to undertake
specialized projects. For example, there may be a working
committee formed to work on a specific propaganda project, or
one responsible for conducting research for a particular project.
These committees shall be created with the adoption of a specific
proposal and will be dissolved when the task is accomplished.

II. DECISION MAKING PROCESS

A) Proposals

Member collectives may submit proposals to be decided on by
the federation. Proposals are broken down into three categories:
Minor, Major, and Emergency. The collective submitting the
proposal designates what type of proposal it is, based on the
following criteria:
· Minor proposals are those which do not involve collaborative
work among collectives. This may include the federation’s
endorsement of events or actions, which individual collectives
may voluntarily elect to work on. Also included are decisions that
involve less than $250 or 10% of federation funds. Minor
proposals may be decided upon at any time. Collective decisions
on Minor proposals are due two (2) weeks after the Facilitator
distributes the proposal.
· Major proposals are those which involve the commitment of
Federation people, labor, and resources, any change in Federation
strategy or politics, or any expense of more than $250 or 10% of
Federation funds. Any proposals to amend the Points of Unity
should be treated as Major proposals. Major proposals can only be
decided upon at a bi-annual federation conference. Collectives
must submit Major proposals a minimum of thirty (30) days
before the conference to allow collectives enough time to discuss
and decide on them. If a Major proposal is severely modified at
the conference, it may be passed at the conference, but then is
submitted to each collective after the conference for a final
ratification. The Facilitator collects the decisions on this
ratification, which are due two (2) weeks after the Facilitator
distributes the proposal. If the modified proposal is not passed, it
must be resubmitted as a Major proposal at the next conference.
· Emergency proposals are those that require immediate
action by the Federation, including decisions on revocations of
Federation positions, some expulsion decisions, and instances of
intense state repression (including arrests of or raids on members
of Federation collectives). Collective decisions on Emergency
proposals are due five (5) days after the Facilitator distributes the
proposal.
Proposals should be submitted in written form to the
Facilitator, who will then distribute them to federation collectives
via email and internal bulletin.

B) Consensus and Voting

For proposals discussed at bi-annual conferences, the
federation should first strive for consensus, using the following
consensus process:
· Proposals are presented. The facilitator entertains any
clarifying questions and makes sure the proposal’s
implications are understood. Discussion is held.
· The facilitator checks for disagreement, opposition or
concerns of any kind from the member collectives. If none,
consensus is reached and the proposal passes. If there are
concerns, the facilitator seeks to clearly identify them.
· A discussion is held on each specific concern in turn. These
concerns may be resolved through discussion, or collectives with
concerns can formally propose amendments to the proposal.
· Each amendment should be clearly explained and discussed
in turn.
· The collective that submitted the proposal decides whether
an amendment is “friendly” or “unfriendly.”
Friendly amendments are incorporated into the proposal.
Unfriendly amendments are rejected.
· Once all concerns and amendments have been discussed in
turn, the facilitator checks to see if there are any remaining
concerns for the (modified) proposal. If none, the proposal passes.
If concerns remain, the process is repeated.
· If the discussion runs dry, new ideas are raised or time runs
short, the facilitator can call for a vote instead (see below).
· The collective that submitted it can drop a proposal at any
time.
For Minor or Emergency proposals made between conferences,
or for Major proposals on which consensus cannot be achieved, a
vote is held. Each member collective receives two votes. Votes
can be cast “For” a proposal, “Against” a
proposal, or as an “Abstention.” A collective can submit
any combination of two votes. Only member collectives are
allowed to vote.
When a vote is made, the Facilitator tallies the votes. Proposals
are passed if they receive a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the votes,
not counting abstentions. For expulsions, revoking of positions
and changes to the Points of Unity, a three-fourths (3/4) majority
of the votes is required to pass (not counting abstentions).
If a collective fails to submit their votes, their votes are
registered as abstentions. Federation decisions require a quorum
of three-quarters (3/4) of the member collectives. In other words,
at least three-quarters of the federation’s collectives must
participate in a vote for the decision to be valid.
The Facilitator is responsible for recording the results of all
decisions and documenting them to the federation (over email
and in the internal bulletin).

C) Bi-Annual Conferences

The federation will meet two times a year with the following
goals:
· Discuss and vote on proposals
· Re-assess and critique the direction of the federation
· Continue theoretical debate
· Network with members of other anarchist federations
· Collect dues
· Rotate positions of coordinating committee
· Rotate position of external communications committee

D) Facilitation

Volunteer facilitators will run the meetings at bi-annual
conferences. These facilitators will share, rotate, and trade-off
facilitation duties as necessary. If any member collective formally
objects to a specific facilitator, that person will immediately step
down and a new volunteer will take up facilitation.
It is the facilitator’s job to ensure that all federation
discussions are fair and representative of the different positions
within the federation. The facilitator should allow for all persons,
who so desire, to speak. The goal of such discussions should be
to reach federation consensus whenever possible. Positions and
ideas held by minority blocs within the federation should be
granted the time and ability to present their views in a fair and
open manner. Facilitators must actively respect minority
opinions, especially when engaged in official federation decision
making, in order to prevent the marginalization of minority
factions within the federation.

E) Emergency Circumstances

If communication and federation decision making become
impossible due to extreme circumstances (war, etc.), member
collectives are empowered to act in the federation’s name as
long as they abide by the Points of Unity and federation strategy.
If and when communication is re-established, the federation
should hold an official conference as soon as possible. At that
conference, all decisions/actions taken by collectives in the name
of the federation should be reviewed and either approved
retroactively or criticized with the intent not to repeat such
mistakes in the future.

III. EXPULSION & RESIGNATION & REVOKING
POSITIONS

A) Expulsion of a Collective

The federation as a whole has the ability to expel collectives.
Obviously, the situation must be especially severe for a collective
to be expelled, such as violating the federation’s Points of
Unity.
To expel a collective, another member collective must submit a
Major Proposal (or an Emergency Proposal if the situation
requires urgency). This proposal must be submitted to the
federation (via the Facilitator) in writing and must explicitly detail
the reasons they propose to expel the collective. Collectives that
are targeted for expulsion must be given a chance to defend
themselves, if they choose, in writing.
The Facilitator facilitates the expulsion process and is
responsible for distributing this defense to the federation. The
collective targeted for expulsion is not counted (for voting or
quorum purposes) when the proposal is decided upon. A
three-fourths (3/4) majority of votes is required to expel a
collective.
Expelled collectives will immediately be removed from the
federation’s email lists and mailing lists. They will no longer
receive internal federation communications. The Facilitator and
External Communications Committee will issue written
statements to all relevant parties acknowledging that the
collective has been expelled. Expelled collectives may not be
nominated as support collectives.
Expelled collectives may appeal the decision in writing to the
Facilitator, who will distribute it to the federation. After an appeal
is made, the expelled collective will be granted temporary access
to the next bi-annual conference for the sole purpose of making a
verbal appeal to the federation (after which they must leave).
Following this verbal appeal, if any member collective proposes to
overturn the expulsion, a three-fourths (3/4) majority of votes is
required to overturn the expulsion.
Supporting collectives and individuals can be expelled in the
same process as defined above.

B) Revoking a Position

A member collective can make a Major or Emergency Proposal
to revoke a member of the Coordinating Committee or the
External Communications Committee itself. This process follows
the same procedure as expulsion of a collective, above.
If the Facilitator position is targeted for revocation, the on-deck
Facilitator immediately takes over the position and facilitates the
process. If the Facilitator position is not revoked, the original
holder gets it back.

C) Resignation

The resignation of a member collective, support collective,
individual supporter or position holder can be submitted in written
or verbal form to the Facilitator and should be made available to
the federation as a whole. If the resignation is due to perceived
problems of the federation, such issues will be discussed on the
email list and at a scheduled meeting, where an attempt to
critically analyze such perceived problems will take place.
A member collective is considered to have resigned if they are
inactive for a period of six (6) consecutive months. The Facilitator
will give such collectives a one (1) month advance warning and
then a final resignation notice. Inactive collectives will be
removed from internal federation communications.

IV. FUNDS

A) Dues

The Treasurer will collect dues on a monthly basis. The
treasurer will also work out the monthly dues amount with each
collective/supporter, and send a monthly dues reminder.
Each member collective will pay monthly dues equal to one
percent (1%) of the total estimated income of that collective’s
individual members. Minimum dues are $300 per year.
Supporter collectives will pay yearly dues equal to one-half
percent (0.5%) of the total estimated income of that
collective’s individual members. Minimum dues are $150 per
year.
Individual supporters will pay yearly dues of $75.
Members and supporters who are parents or who have
dependents are only asked to pay half the appropriate dues.

B) Donations

We accept them. All donations will be accepted on a charitable
basis, and no status will be gained through such charity. The
federation reserves the right to refuse donations from unwanted
sources.

V. INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS

A) Internal Bulletin

An internal discussion bulletin will be distributed to each
member collective, support collective and individual supporter
within the federation. Each collective/individual supporter will
receive one copy of the bulletin. It will be the responsibility of the
collectives to see that all of their members have an opportunity to
read it. The bulletin will be distributed by the Internal Bulletin
Coordinator a minimum of six (6) times a year and contain
content from the email list, proposals, press releases, position
papers, etc. The Bulletin Coordinator will set due dates for the
bulletin.
One internal bulletin will be distributed two (2) weeks prior to
each scheduled bi-annual conference to ensure that each
collective can attempt to form a position on proposals in advance.
Dues will provide funding for this project.
The internal bulletin should not be distributed to groups or
individuals that are not part of FRAC.

B) Email List

There will be a closed email discussion list for member
collectives, support collectives and individual supporters only. It is
the duty of the Email List Administrator to maintain the list and
handle all necessary tasks associated with it.


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