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(en) Canada, Ottawa, Anarchist Assembly - What Happened?

Date Thu, 22 Nov 2007 11:42:29 +0200


On Nov 17 the third Anarchist Assembly was held in Ottawa. There were over 50 people in attendance. Local groups represented include the Industrial Workers Of The World, Anarchist Discussion Group, Indigenous Peoples’ Solidarity Movement of Ottawa, Panhandlers’ Union / Copwatch, PGA Bloc Ottawa, Exile Infoshop, no2010 Committee, Ottawa Cinema Politica, The Garden-Spot, Peoples’ Republic of Delicious, Critical Mass, Ticket Defense, Indymedia, Triangle Trash, Common Cause, Alternative Heritage Moments, Ottawa Action Medics, and the Deschooling Society / unSchooling Oppression conference. All of the groups gave brief presentations about their current projects to the assembly. --- A working group was formed to organize the next assembly to be held three months from now.

The assembly adopted a basis unity (click here) based on the draft that was created by a committee formed at the previous assembly.

This was followed by a brain-storming session about what our communities and groups need. Four main areas were identified.

1) Support and networking. A common organizing effort towards the International Day Against Police Brutality was suggested.

2) Dealing With Conflict. An ongoing problem within the anarchist milieu is a failure to deal well with conflict. The need for some kind of a conflict resolution mechanism/space was identified. Some way for a mediator to find points of consensus and get everything on the table was suggested.

3) Capacity Building. A problem that was identified is that many of us take on more than we can possibly do and then fail to follow through on our commitments. We need to each do less but do it well. To help us be more effective in our activism, a workshop on personal time management will be held.

4) Diversity and Acceptance. A number of barriers to diversity that were identified including the macho attitude of many radicals, being too closely identified with the punk subculture, intolerance of those new to anarchism, failure to deal with oppressive behavior, failure to reach out to others in the community, and inability to function in both French and English. A concrete step that will be taken is to hold regular anti-oppression trainings.
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