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(en) France, Invitation for the international PGA* conference organisation meeting in november 2005

Date Sun, 06 Nov 2005 18:24:34 +0200


In the follow up of the august letter, we invite all the groups and
people involved in the PGA process to participate in the organisation
of the next european conference in August 2006.
The first european meeting will take place from the 18th to the
20th of November 2005 in the South of France.
In order to ensure that the preparation process will be as collective
as possible and despite the fact that this invitation comes a bit late,
we think it's important to involve groups and people who don't
belong STAMP*, as early as this first meeting.
As we wrote before, we think it important to involve groups and
persons from Central and Eastern Europe so do contact us as quickly
as possible in order to get the visas in good time. Our finances are so
far pretty low and hitchicking is always possible, but we will
nevertheless take time and energy (for financing, travel
coordination... ) to ensure that participants from these countries can
take part in the peparation process as well as in the conference itself.
We would appreciate if other groups are willing to help.

We are planning to organize another international meeting close
to Central Europe. Any group or persons who cannot take part in the
November meeting but is interested in that next meeting can contact
us in order to be informed. If groups or persons are already interested
in hosting this next meeting, we can start talking about it. As
convenors; we plan to organize this conference with the following
objectives:

1. to have a focus on the form of organization of dailylife tasks
and conference logistics. We consider the involvment of people in
these tasks and their political dimension as an important aspect of
the conference's contents, which deserves the same attention as
debates and workshops linked with various other struggles.
2. to give a space for self-construction/building: (eg: collective
building of some structures that will be used for the conference) and,
on a more general level, to give a focus to collective practical
activities and skill-shares during the conference.
3. to experiment with forms of debate, discussion and
decision-making;to carry on the processes initiated on these issues
during the past conferences and to question them.
4. to adress the linguistic domination of english, and to work on
various possible ways of translation in order to try to overcome
linguistic barriers (for their contribution to power relationships).
5. to think about the transmission of methods of organization in
order to help other people to organize next conferences.
6. To give ourselves ways to strengthen the links set with east
and middle europe groups, in particular during the belgrade
conference.
7. To help participants to apprehend the local context correctly,
and to make the preparation process and the conference itself a
support for local dynamics rather than an occasion for them to be
sold out.

The November meeting will take place in the Magnans, a
collective structure run by people from the European cooperative
Longo maï, close to the Grange neuve cooperative, about hundred
kilometers North of Marseille. The nearest train station is called
Oraison-la-Brillane. We will send an access map at a later stage. We
suggest that people arrive on the 17th in the evening in order to start
on Friday morning. It's possible to stay there until the 21st in the
morning..

During the meeting, we will visit the Longo maï cooperative and
will also have time for informal discussions and encounters.

We expect a lot of you to come and visit us in our magical and
nuclearised Provence but do tell us in advance in order to facilitate
the organisation.

Contact address: stampatpoivron.org, tel: +33 (0)4 66 30 52 81
STAMP/SANS-TITRE who's that?

Sans Titre is a network of groups and individuals committed to
autonomous and alternative spaces (whether in an urban, squatted
or rural environment) as well as to anti-capitalist or
anti-authoritarian struggles. Sans-Titre has gathered on a
two-monthly basis since the Intercontinental Caravan of 1999.

Many people have become involved in PGA through their
involvement in the Sans-Titre network. The basic principles upon
which these two networks are founded have been similar from day
one. Sans Titre has no members and no representatives, though it
does proclaim a set of hallmarks of a sort, known as a charter.

Over the years, Sans Titre, which prefers to see itself as an
iconoclastic non-network, has always led a nomadic existence,
moving through a variety of friendly spaces, including squats in
Grenoble, Lyons, Dijon, St Etienne and Lausanne, as well as farms
in the Jura region of eastern France, in the Aveyron region of central
France, in the Belgian Ardennes, in a village of the French Ardennes
and in Longo Mai's Provencal hills, each meeting designed to marry
the festive and the subversive.

Every SansTitre meeting provides an opportunity of spending four
or five days together, of meeting new people, but also of developing
joint actions and planning new living-spaces; each meeting provides
a time for theoretical discussion, a time for games and for collective
building work and for informal exchanges on the evolution of
people's everyday lives. Sans Titre also publishes a bimonthly
bulletin, each edition of which is edited and printed in a different
location. This bulletin contains a combination of d-i-y pages,
theoretical texts and information about past or future actions.

Sans Titre meetings are attended by a highly variable 7 to 77
people, depending on the agenda, the location, the timing and
individual mood.

Sans Titre has participated in many collective or shared actions,
including:

* The Intercontinental Caravan (450 representatives of
movements from Southern countries, travelling through Europe in
protest at neo-liberal centres of power and the activities of
agribusiness corporations).
* Counter-summits, such as Davos in 2001 and Prague 2000.
* Coordination of Global Days of Action within
French-speaking Europe including Seattle 1999 and Mayday 2000.
* The Anti-Capitalist Caravan in 2000, involving street theatre,
organised debates and actions aimed at mobilising opinion against
the World Bank and the IMF.
* A caravan highlighting the situation in Colombia with the
Afro-Colombian organisation, Proceso de Comunidades Negras, in
2001.
* Co-organisation of the No Border Camp in Strasbourg in
2002, including self-built infrastructure equipment, self-managed
logistics and experiments in direct-democracy decision-making for
1984 people over ten days.
* Various coordinated actions connected with a range of
solidarity campaigns and other themes.
* A Permanent Caravan, in which various teams relayed each
other in order to maintain a permanent, nomadic presence
throughout France and organise discussion meetings, workshops,
building projects and coordinated actions in town and country.

Sans Titre works on an affinity principle. It is about creating
exchanges and strengthening solidarity between diverse poles of
resistance, islands dotted around the French-speaking archipelago; it
is about coordinating local initiatives and making madcap projects
happen ("Let's make a caravan that works by combusting
brushwood, let's make an airship"). Sans Titre is about the exchange
of subversive cultures, about everyday living, about profound
thoughts on the goals of our lives and the aims of our struggles. Sans
Titre is about the bad guys of capitalism with their men in uniform,
about bosses, science, industry, patriarchy; it's about nature,
farming, washing-up water, compost-based toilets, diversity,
managing one's own everyday existence, one's own dreams, about
emancipation and happiness - all of the above contained with a
determinedly horizontal decision-making process, ornamented with
sudden acrobatic pyramids and the whiplash of erupting controversy.

STAMP, the current convenor of European PGA, is thus
composed of a group of people from a range of different places
within the French-speaking area, implicated in a variety of different
collectives, some of which relate to Sans Titre. We have formed on
an affinity basis, because we share certain practices and a certain
history of working together. We are a group specifically formed in
view of the forthcoming European PGA conference. We work
independently of, but also in interaction with, Sans Titre. This is to
say that some people involved in Sans Titre do not wish to become
involved in organising the conference, which will therefore be the
result of work performed by an autonomous group connected with
Sans Titre. STAMP is open to those not linked to Sans Titre. (See
notes on forthcoming meetings and list of contacts).

A brief account of the activities of those involved in STAMP
follows below. They are:

* The University Liberation Committee, the CUL is a group of
people, not only students, who wish to go towards autonomy and to
spread it through the development and sharing of theories and
practices attempting to conciliate both offensive desire and
building...
* Longo maï, a thirty-year-old rural-based movement
consisting of a group of farm cooperatives, involved in producing
food, clothes, radio programmes, printed works and actions. Some
two to three hundred people live in Longo Mai connected
cooperatives.
* La Friche, in Lyons, an artists' living-space housing, amongst
others, political groups such as Le Reso (militants and artists) and
Collectif des Resistances (an informal anticapitalist group that has
for the last three years organised Lyons' Festival des Resistances).
* ACOBI, a collective producing spectacular, non-commercial
video
* Espace Autogéré des Tanneries, an anarchist action and
living space in Dijon, established 1998.
* a feminist group which organised a women-only, feminist and
Lesbian route for the permanent caravan over a three-month period:
* CEMEA, a popular education movement and new education
movement
* the people of the Grenoble, Geneva, Lyons, St Etienne and
Lausanne squats, with their infokiosks, their free zones, their
cyber-spaces, their experimental discussion groups, their workshops
and their wide range of actions.
* CLAG, the Lyons post-Genoa Collective.
* A self-managed creche on the outskirts of Ales
* Itinerant individuals stopping wherever the requirements of
building work, other activities or just friendship take them.
* Print, a hacklab, developing free-ware and encouraging
popular, political access to computer systems.

Bonus track: "Sans-titre" network hallmarks

1. Sans Titre is a network composed of individuals and local
groups, which transfers information, shares projects and actions on a
local, regional and worldwide basis.
2. We are in favour of self-government and try to regain control
over our lives, means and places of existence. We do our best to put
our ideas into practice and feel rather fulfilled with both our ways of
life and our political struggles, which are resolutely united: planting
and collecting vegetables; reading newspapers, making one; learning
how to make jam; making love; laughing between friends;
supporting struggles and developing solidarity close to us as well as
far from us; type down the summary of a sans-titre meeting which
lasted for ages; opposing commercial trade?
3. We are facing a set of domination and discrimination systems.
States andcapitalism are nowadays indissociably linked and working
hand and glove. Both, for instance, are deeply rooted in patriarchy
and male domination. We reject them at large and try to understand
them by tearing their mechanisms apart and spotting their
participants.
4. Within western societies, both historically and at present,
sciences and research are profit-driven. Irrational faith in progress
and scientist ideology, which are driving industrial societies, lead us
all to jeopardize our lives, our organism and our means of existence
through hazardous experimentation. They make us more and more
dependent on industry and consumption goods. As needs induced by
our consumption society become more complex and diverse,
industrial societies prove to be less and less compatible with local
alternatives based on a respect for humanity and environment. This
derives from the basic fact that these societies imply total control
over our own tools and resources.
5. Lobbying, representation, as well as any form of association
with the State or its institutions turn out to lead to a dead-end. They
can only strengthen the latters and neutralize any real desires for
change. We are in favour of active desertion and autonomization,
disobedience and effective action. We intend by these means to
inform as well as to induce economical and political confrontational
situations. We are liable to choose direct means of pressure or
opposition towards ruling powers.
6. Sans-titre admits no hierachy. We make decisions collectively
through debates, trying to bring them to consensus. A decision can
only be individual and implies only individual responsibility. Local
groups and individuals keep their autonomy. Sans-titre does not
represent anybody and no one might represent Sans-Titre.
7. Sans Titre is fighting. Sans Titre is thinking and proposing.
Sans Titre does not take itself seriously. Sans Titre is autonomous.
Sans Titre creates its own media. Sans Titre does not exist, and
verything's fine till now.
Contact: stamp@poivron.org
=====================================
* [Ed. Note: PGA - People Global Action is an antiauthoritarian
anticapitalist social struggle direct action network.]
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