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(en) Indonesia, Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, 3-6 June 2010 anti-authoritarian gathering

Date Sat, 27 Mar 2010 14:14:52 +0300


Dear friends, We'd like to let you know about an anti-authoritarian gathering that will be happening this June in the mountains outside Medan. There are two main objectives of this gathering: the first is an opportunity for the anarchist and anti-authoritarian movement in Indonesia to meet up. There has not been an archipelago-wide meeting for 3 years and never outside Java island, and although the distance to travel will be an obstacle for some people, we think it will be interesting to exchange experiences 'outside the core'. The second aim is that people who encounter anti-authoritarian ideas in different ways can meet each other, and see what connections might arise from these encounters. For example, we will be inviting people in the student movement, the punk community, and farming and fishing communities that are forced to struggle against the state and capital.

The event is being organised with thoughts of Indonesian movements in mind. But we decided to forward an invitation to people who are still receiving messages on the Asian Anarchist Network and the Autonomous Rhizome Asia lists, as you may be interested in attending, or in offering some solidarity towards meeting the costs of the gathering (see below for more information about that.).

There will be workshops, discussions, music and entertainment, film showings, skill-sharing, photo exhibitions, alternative media fair, a communal kitchen and so on. We invite everyone who comes to think of ways which you can contribute to these activities, for example, maybe you would like to run a workshop or maybe your band would like to play.

When people arrive we will discuss and agree together on how to run the gathering, so that all participants are involved in decisions. We try to create a space where people can feel comfortable participating despite the wide range of different backgrounds.

The gathering collective can be contacted at antiotoritarian2010@gmail.com. We hope that some friends from other places in Asia are interested in this event. Attatched is a flier for the event.

Request for economic solidarity.

There's a lot of energy to make this event happen, but in a poor country finance is always an obstacle. As with all events like this, there are some costs that have to be met to organise the event, and to ensure people are not excluded from participating because of not having money.

The decision to host a gathering in Medan makes things a little more expensive because it is at one end of the Indonesian archipelago. In a country where so many resources are focussed on the island of Java, there is a tendency for things to become centralised there. However, Medan has a long but tradition of anti-authoritarian rebellion that is quite different from the Javanese movement, and if it is possible to mobilise the movement to come here, it will be an interesting possibility for exchange of experience and encountering different perspectives. But needless to say, the expense of travel complicates things; it is difficult to get funds to get here, and if people can raise those funds, it will be unlikely that they will be able to contribute much to the expenses of running the gathering.

So we include in this letter a request for (economic) solidarity with this gathering, but first it is important to reflect a little bit on economic needs and autonomy in the 'third world' context.

The politics of how to finance activism is something that is spoken about a lot in Medan. People are often critical of the NGOs that rush to support popular struggles and then compromise those struggles through their institutional dependence on funding and legitimacy. Because of this, people are quite clear that accepting funding from overseaas institutions (even 'radical' funders) will tend to weaken their struggles.

But when there is an event such as this anti-authoritarian gathering, what is the best way to meet the financial needs? Firstly, it is important to make an effort from within the network here and its friends, to be as autonomous as possible. But our expectations are that this will not be enough to cover all the costs of this gathering. So we're also appealing to friends and other collectives in other places for solidarity through benefit concerts and so on, or small donations from collective funds.

If anyone feels they can collect some contribution in any way, please get in touch with the gathering collective (antiotoritarian2010@gmail.com) to work out the best method to transfer money.

Feel free to pass this information to friends who might be interested, but we would ask not to pass it on to any large mailing lists or websites outside Indonesia - while we are happy for others to come, we would like it to be an event predominantly for Indonesian movements.
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