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(en) Ireland, WSM membership & Engagement - Anarchist WSM position paper

Date Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:39:05 +0300

This position paper outlines WSM membership and how we engage with spheres of people interested in the WSM ---- 1. We recognize that different people with different life circumstances will have different amounts of time and other resources they can dedicate to the WSM. ---- 2. We recognize that the successful building of a revolutionary organization with a mass outreach requires a significant number of members with a very high level of dedication to that collective project - this is people willing to dedicate significant amounts of their time and other resources. ---- 3. WSM membership should require some minimum level of commitment, membership is not the equivalent of signing up to a Facebook group. But that level cannot be so high as to de facto exclude a large section of the working class. Therefore we offer a range of ways for people to engage with the WSM and to become members of the WSM that seek to balance our need for a core of very dedicated members with the requirement that involvement with the organisations at some level be possible for just about everyone.

Contacts & supporters

4) The WSM implements an ongoing Engagement Process aimed to ensuring we have an agreed collective approach towards discussions with people who are interested in us. The exact details of this process are found in our internal Engagement Sphere document which is updated and maintained by Engagement committee, the outline is below. The aim of this process is both to encourage people towards becoming WSM members and to ensure a good working relationship with those who are not (yet) interested in membership.

4. Followers are people who have made an effort to maintain regular contact with the WSM. We aim to identify these people and encourage them into a closer and long lasting relationship up to and including becoming members.

5. Contacts are people who have been asked to give us their direct contact details in the form of a phone number or email on the understanding that we will be informing them of events, sending them regular news updates and talking to them about our activity. Contacts are not required to agree with our Points of Unity.

6. Supporters are people who have agreed to make regular donations to the WSM, agreed to be contacted about helping with our work in areas that they are interested in, receive free copies of WSM publications, have access to some internal WSM discussion and can ask to be given observer rights at internal WSM meetings. We seek to utilize supporters knowledge, experience and skills on an ongoing basis and involve them in discussion with WSM members and contacts. This will include a regular internal WSM meeting open to all supporters. Supporters are required to confirm that they are broadly in agreement with our Points of Unity and will respect the confidentiality of internal WSM processes and other information they are given access to

Collectively Agreed Activity

7. There is a wide range of activity and tasks that a revolutionary organisation needs to undertake, these require a wide variation of skills & experiences. The list that follows is not exhaustive but gives a sense of what what sort of activity and tasks the WSM often requires. In general we will always try and match the interests, experiences & training wishes of individual members to the work required in order for the WSM to function: attend organising meetings, union meetings, activist meetings, working groups and editorial committees: write articles, layout papers, design posters and fliers, conduct interviews for our publications or for pod-casts, write public speeches, prepare internal educational, put up posters, distribute leaflets and papers, organise fundraisers, meetings & conferences, maintain our web-pages, provide support for meetings through childminding, food preparation or facilitation, attend marches, pickets, demos, produce radio shows, run bookstalls, and much much more.


8. WSM members are the organisers essential to keeping WSM internal and external work on track. Depending on their resources WSM members commit to being an organiser for one or more internal and/or external tasks - that is to be the person responsible for organising that work and reporting on it to the rest of the organisation. New members are expected to take on at least one organiser role once they have completed WSM basic training.

9. Members agree with the basic politics of the WSM as outlined in the join document, attend WSM meetings, and donate 2-4% of their income to the WSM. They help train members & contacts and help produce articles and other material for the WSM publications.

10. We anticipate that as their life circumstances change members will become supporters and supporters become members on a regular basis. Ideally individuals will notify the internal secretary and branch secretary in advance of any change of status but failing that the branch secretaries and the internal secretary will conduct an audit every 3 months and adjust individuals statuses on the basis of that audit. These audits should be timed to include an audit between 8 & 4 weeks before each national conference in order to determine who can submit motions & amendments as well as who has voting rights at conference. Decisions can be appealed to Delegate Council and/or at the standing orders sessions that begins each conference.

Developing our Engagement model

The Engagement committee is an island wide body tasked with monitoring and maintaining our Engagement and taking initiatives to build each sphere and promote movement between spheres. It consists of the National Secretary, Internal Secretary, all branch secretaries, all isolated members in the process of building a branch and any additional members involved in the administration of the system. The members will be involved in ongoing contact online and will meet either online or physically at least every two months nationally. Prior to each meeting the National Secretary will post a draft report on activity around Followers & Contacts and the Internal Secretary will post a draft report on activity around Supporters & Members. A final report will be posted after the meeting by the Internal Secretary

This position paper was modified October 2014
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