A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 40 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Català_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ The.Supplement
First few lines of all posts of last 24 hours || of past 30 days | of 2002 | of 2003 | of 2004

Syndication Of A-Infos - including RDF | How to Syndicate A-Infos
Subscribe to the a-infos newsgroups
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) US, Boston, the Bl(A)ck Tea Society - Affinity Groups and Direct Action 101

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 26 Jun 2004 08:51:50 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
http://ainfos.ca/ http://ainfos.ca/index24.html

Affinity Groups 101 and How To Plan An Action http://blackteasociety.org/day_of_action.php
"The Strength of the Wolf is the Pack. The Strength of the Pack is the Wolf"
In addition to the open-air bazaar to celebrate and the convergence center to
organize, the Bl(A)ck Tea Society is calling for a decentralized network of
affinity group actions to resist the DNC on the Day of Action, Thursday, July 29.
Local Bl(A)ck Tea organizers are here to facilitate and coordinate affinity
group actions, but not to plan them. This means that autonomous groups
across the nation must assemble and plan actions prior to their journey to
Boston. This is a call to initiate the formation of autonomous affinity
groups in your area, if you have not done so already.

An affinity group is not something to be formed on the spur of the
moment. An affinity group should be composed of a small
handful of individuals who are comfortable working and
organizing together. Individuals within an affinity group must be
on the same page politically, socially, as well as tactically. All
members of the affinity group must be well aware of the situation
at hand and must come to consensus regarding tactics in the
street prior to entering the streets -- this includes back-up plans,
as well as jail solidarity. In the heat of the moment, if a single
individual panics or otherwise feels too uncomfortable to
continue, the entire group fails.

An affinity group is based on a network of relationships. Each
individual is directly responsible for the safety and interests of the
group, while the group is directly responsible for the safety and
interests of each individual. It is these intertwining relationships
that give the affinity group its strength; by the same token, a
single poor relationship will bring down the entire group. An
affinity group is only as strong as its weakest link.

This decentralized approach to protest in the streets has been
organized for safety reasons as well as for practical reasons. With
all actions being planned and executed at the affinity level,
security risk is at its lowest point. Even if the State should
manage to seize an entire affinity group, the operation shall
remain intact. This network of actions will enable all affinity
groups involved to assess their own risk level, and protest or
celebrate as creatively as they can imagine. If you have any
questions regarding the formation of affinity groups, their
function, or their purpose, contact the Bl(A)ck Tea Society at

How To Plan An Action

When organizing a network of decentralized direct actions, most
of the planning and organizing must be done at the local level by
autonomous affinity groups. Each affinity group much reach
consensus regarding tactics and, more importantly, exactly what
they wish to do. Planning an action should not be a spur of the
moment thing. Affinity groups should decide on their primary
goal and should have at least one secondary goal.

This guide is intended to facilitate the planning process. It will
follow the various stages of a fictional action. While the action
itself is purely fictional, the specific details will be similar for any

Hypothetic Action Plan:

All too often, yard gnomes are viciously oppressed by
homeowners seeking to compete with each other in placing the
most unneeded and obnoxious objects in their yards. From
miniature windmills to flowerpots in the shape of chickens, to
pink flamingos and the elusive yard gnome, they all must be
liberated from the evil clutches of the tyrannical homeowners. For
these reasons, Affinity Group Alpha and Affinity Group Beta (No
Gnomes Cluster) will be executing Operation: No More Gnomes.

Operation: No More Gnomes is a two-pronged plan. The initial
phase of this operation involves the quick and efficient removal of
all lawn ornaments in a three-block area of ground zero. Affinity
Group Alpha will execute this phase. The second phase of the
mission will be executed by Affinity Group Beta and involves the
planting of a young sapling or shrubbery in the place of each lawn
ornament to illustrate the superior visual appeal of Mother
Nature's ornaments. The two affinity groups together will be
designated the No Gnomes Cluster.

In order to successfully execute Operation No More Gnomes,
much planning must be done prior to entering the streets. The
three-block radius was decided upon after much discussion of
how much ground the affinity groups could successfully cover.
After much debate, three blocks eventually won consensus
approval. The next stage in the planning must be to place ground
zero on the map. If only three blocks can be covered, then the
placement of the center of the liberation zone is crucial. It must
be placed in an area that has a high lawn ornament count, low
traffic, and high cover (objects to hide behind).

Once ground zero is placed upon the map, a detailed field
observation unit must be dispatched. The route must be scouted
and carefully mapped in detail. All relative information must be
recorded. Specifically, exactly how far into the respective
homeowners' lawns are the ornaments located? How much do
they weigh? Are they secured? Will they be awkward to carry? Do
the homeowners have lights on motion sensors? Do they have
dogs? Are there sprinkler assemblies, swing-sets, or other objects
that will be in the way? Are there other objects present that may
be used for cover?

Once all data is recorded, specific roles must be assigned. Two
Alpha comrades will enter each homeowner's lawn and quickly
liberate the ornaments. One Alpha comrade will wait on the
opposite side of the lawn to receive the ornaments and secure
them in camouflaged sacks; another Alpha comrade runs the
sacks to a secure location deep in the woods for collection later.
The final Alpha comrade will patrol the street and keep
surveillance of the entire operation. Should possible hostile
personnel be sighted, it is this comrade who will sound the abort
signal and howl like a coyote. This will enable all members of
Affinity Group Alpha to stealthily and quickly escape, while any
passerby (hostile personnel included) will not think anything of
the sound, as coyotes are common in the region.

As soon as Affinity Group Alpha disappears into the shadows and
moves on to the next target, Affinity Group Beta will spring into
action. The requires the No Gnomes Cluster to remain in close
proximity with each other, however still remain far enough apart
as to not give away each other's position.

As Affinity Group Beta descends upon each target, they will have
to move quickly and quietly. One comrade will carry the shovel
and quickly dig a hole where the ornament once stood. Two
comrades will run across the lawn with the young sapling or
shrubbery and quickly plant it in the hole. Once again, the final
member will stand guard and watch over the operation, always
ready to sound the abort at a moment's notice.

...This example was meant to illustrate the various steps involved
in planning and executing an action. Ideally, each affinity group
should have a back-up plan. In this case, in the presence of
danger, the group would simply fall back, regroup, and attempt
another target. This might not always be the best option however;
sometimes a complete turnaround may be needed. Please carry
out your plans carefully; be safe, be effective, and have fun! If you
have any questions, contact the Bl(A)ck Tea Society at

Link: http://blackteasociety.org
Related at Infoshop: http://infoshop.org/calendar.html
Source: http://blackteasociety.org/day_of_action.php
* [Ed. Note: antiauthoritarian anticapitalist initiative]

****** The A-Infos News Service ******
News about and of interest to anarchists
INFO: http://ainfos.ca/org http://ainfos.ca/org/faq.html
HELP: a-infos-org@ainfos.ca
SUBSCRIPTION: send mail to lists@ainfos.ca with command in
body of mail "subscribe (or unsubscribe) listname your@address".

Options for all lists at http://www.ainfos.ca/options.html

A-Infos Information Center