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(en) The Anarchist summer camp in Vienna, 14.7.-23.7.2006

Date Mon, 08 May 2006 10:02:13 +0300


What is an anarchist camp? “Holiday” as a concept originates from the separation
of work and leisure time. In this sense, an anarchist camp is not a holiday: the
camp is an opportunity to meet, get to know each other and be active
together, in a context which is free from pressure. It gives us room to
try and combine anarchist theory and praxis and to live free from authority.
We are aware of the fact that this can only ever be a “relative”
freedom, firstly because we carry the mechanisms of authority around
with us in our heads and bodies, and then because the anarchist camp
is an island which is limited in time and place, within a society which
is shaped by authority. But who knows - we may still manage to create
a free space, outside of social normality and its daily pains, where we
can experience what it is that we are fighting for and where it is that
we want to go.

In order to make this possible, it is crucial that no forms of
discrimination or repression be tolerated at the camp. Furthermore,
everyone must feel it their responsibility to ensure that this is the case.
This means: be aware, get involved, and if any such behaviour is
observed (in others or in oneself) then make sure you bring it up.
Solidarity and freedom from authority, when fully experienced, give us
energy and encouragement for our daily struggle.

What the organising group does? As organising group we arrange the location,
spread information about the camp internationally and take care of the initial
resource and infrastructure requirements. Once the camp starts, the group will
cease to exist. From this point, it is everyone’s responsibility to decide together
what will be done where, when and how; to organise, procure food, cook and tidy up.
Nevertheless, discussions which have taken place within the organising
group, partly resulting from experiences which were gathered on previous
camps, have led to a few decisions being taken in advance:
A tent will be reserved for women and transgender persons. This tent
may function as a meeting point, a free space, or whatever else people
may choose to make of it. · We encourage parents to come with their
children. The site is vast and offers plenty of opportunity to play
around; furthermore a children’s tent will be set up. What use will
be made of this tent will once again depend on those who wish to use
it. Bring toys, bring rope so we can hang a swing from a tree, or bring
whatever else comes in mind! It is not just parents who should need to
think about their own children: we should all try to take care of
children and their needs. · Leave your dogs at home! A large number
of dogs at a camp can seriously hinder the camp’s enjoyment for
other participants, as well as hindering participation of those people
who have children. Furthermore the site is not fenced and faces
directly onto the woods, in which there are hunters and wild
animals…

What you will find and what you could find
The site comprises various fields, with trees, wilderness, a small
stream and a bonfire area. As well as enough place for tents, the camp
offers a varied infrastructure. There are dry rooms and a kitchen, beds
for those who may need them and sufficient sanitary facilities. Not far
away there is also the possibility to go swimming. We will cook so that
all camp participants may eat (including vegans, persons with
allergies, breastfeeding mothers…). We also aim to provide computer
facilities (to be used for example for producing a camp newspaper,
workshops, internet access).

What will actually happen at the camp will depend on what the
participants will want to do and what will emerge spontaneously there
and then. Don’t expect to find a “ready schedule” of
lectures and workshops: rather expect to get involved, stimulate and
organise the workshops and discussions yourself and with others. The
experience of previous anarchist camps has shown that many varied
and interesting topics and activities can result from this process.

We wish the scope of subjects and possibilities not to be limited to
“traditional anarchism”. We would like to discuss wide
ranging topics from an antiauthoritarian perspective: from (anarchist)
utopias and theories, gender relationships and the critique of romantic
monogamy to action forms, practical examples of political action or
alterative forms of communal life. The camp’s size and nature
should allow it to be multifaceted: filled with theory and praxis,
workshops, games, music, presentations and discussions, cooking,
movies, dancing etc.

What it can become
The 2006 anarchist camp in Austria should contribute to knocking
down the “borders within our heads”. Whilst capitalism and
state institutions have long been integrating internationally, and
repression has crossed over national borders (think of the Schengen
treaty, or European common policies against immigration),
german-speaking anarchists have tended to remain amongst
themselves. With this camp, we will try to encourage networking with
our (east)European friends. This is the reason why this invitation has
been translated in many European languages. Our aim is a colourful
camp, that overcomes barriers (of language or otherwise) and
contributes to the exchange between different people and groups.

Shaping a camp together does not mean uncritically embracing some
kind of “togetherness feelings”. It is important to bring
disagreements to the surface and voice our mutual criticisms when
appropriate, so that we can learn from each other and get used to
questioning our own behaviours. In this sense, arguing can also be
sometimes good.
Nevertheless, our behaviour in an anarchist camp must be shaped by
the principles of solidarity and mutual respect, which include the
acceptance of different approaches and points of view.

With love and strength
The organisation group for the 2006 A-Camp in Austria
Detailed at website: http://www.a-camp.info
There will be also anarchist camp in Germany 2006:
http://www.acamp.tk/
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