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(en) Interview of the the German FdA for the magazine Existence (de) [machine translation]

Date Wed, 08 Jan 2014 14:09:37 +0200


The Journal Existence our sister federation in the Czech Republic (CSAF) has asked us to interview you, of course we want to share. Here is the German translation. -- Question 1: ---- The main theme of the current issue of our anarchist journal Existence is "The Future of the Internet" - its positive and negative aspects, its application in political work and also against political activists. Are there special autonomous or Internet activist projects in Germany and could you describe it briefly? ---- The best-known and most-used projects are the Indymedia Center, linksunten.indymedia.org local to the southwest, de.indymedia.org for Germany and ch.indymedia.org / de / for German-speaking Switzerland. There are also some projects with local and regional significance, for example, some for a long time existing Internet portals such as anarchismus.de or anarchismus.at. It is worth mentioning in any case, even without-chef.org, a kind of interactive business directory collective farms. Anarchist blogs, there are of course some and lately some projects on the topic have arisen food sharing. On the website you can find foodsharing.de or enter food in his area that would otherwise end up in the trash or on mundraub.org you can find fruits and vegetables found on land.

The use of so-called social networks like Twitter and Facebook is controversial here. The tech collective nadir.org has published a call (nadir.org / txt / We_need_to_talk_about_Facebook.html) to boycott commercial social networks. Very many, especially young anarchists, but there are present and active. The FdA uses these media, but has decided, preceded by a safety instruction for the conscious use of his data the link to their Facebook profile.

Also as Internet activism can be the work of the Anarchist Radio Berlin described (aradio.blogsport.de), a radio group, the libertarian shows and podcasts for the Internet (in German, English and Spanish) and for the independent radio stations in German-speaking countries created.

Question 2:

What opportunities does the Internet of the anarchist movement?

The Internet poses a potential that we still do not even begin to properly use: Our magazine Gaidão (fda-ifa.org/gaidao) is an excellent example of this potential, since it is now created three years exclusively online. All work is from an internal forum, all the planning is virtual. The internet offers the concrete possibility, groups and projects to provide skills that are not available there (as long as they can communicate virtually, of course) - or, as in the case of Gaidão to lift projects that are not locally or only with great impediments would be implemented. This is now not degenerate into a blue-eyed plea for the Internet and virtualization: Of course, no Internet can replace local work at the grassroots and interpersonal relationships. It is a tool, no more, no less - namely a Mighty.

It could be probably dagen that the Internet mitlerweile THE central medium for information extraction, the management of everyday life and also for their own social contacts. Of course I have a lot of criticism, but this reality applies it to recognize firstonce. If there are now almost as many Facebook accounts as residents * inside in Germany, it is of little help to pull out besserwisserisch and to wag with just your index finger because Facebook yes - of course - a shitty company and a data octopus is, but to consider rather how this medium can be used without breaking their own claims in over charge. Information can be disseminated x times faster, for example, with such a medium as a very classic on your website with a few dozen visitors * inside a day. Mobilizations operate by such a principle far simpler and easier to reach people without specific reference to the subject matter or the direction from which it comes, I think. But of course, always a critical reflection has to be there, how good is that now "the thing", or how far human already uncritically jumping on any hype or running behind them.

Question 3:

After structural changes within the FdA in 2011, you have created an internal online forum and then also given you a netiquette for virtual communication. Can you describe what it was for problems with communication in the forum and as netiquette handle it?

New version of the question: According to structural changes within the FdA in 2011, you have created an internal online forum and then also given you a netiquette for virtual communication. Can you describe what it was for problems of virtual communication and how netiquette handle it?

Before the forum, we only had a mailing list for internal communication between meetings. This type of communication, however, brought numerous problems: in particular, these include a lack of respect in discussions and the lack of transparency on discussions and decisions.

For the problem of transparency, we introduced the internal forum, by all decisions are set out in transparent and also the previous discussions are accessible at all times by all. All FdA-Members may ask the relevant topic at any time the appropriate information to find and do not have to search their old e-mails or are - completely cut off from this possibility - as in the case of new members.

Before we had and Forum Netiquette, the mailing list was marked by a sometimes very harsh sound. These clashes were some time ago with responsible for the emergence of many comrades * inside that could no longer accept the way of handling. For the problem of the lack of respect we therefore introduced a so-called "netiquette" one. "Netiquette" actually means "network etiquette" and is an existing in virtual space for several decades method for delivering gross guidelines to counteract the effect that communication is carried out much sharper in virtual space than in real life, including because feelings are very bad employable or can be more easily misinterpreted than a direct comparison. Our Netuquette is roughly on five issues: What is the purpose of the particular medium? For example serves our mailing list is no longer up for discussion, but only for disclosure of information. Proposals for a more enjoyable experience for example, by asking for constructive criticism instead of bashing. Thematization of dominance hierarchies and we remind each other that even though we ourselves as "anarchists" call, we are not free from hierarchical behavior anyway. In addition, we examine possible unconscious structures of dominance. Dealing with conflict, we provide tips on how to respond in a heated discussion, not to let this escalate. Brief Notes on safety Some Tips for Ujmgang with confidential information, which is then supplemented by some tips for admins mailing list.

Overall, it is such that, have already led to a much more pleasant climate of discussion alone, the presence of netiquette as well as the ability to refer to it. Also, we are not free of conflicts (some comrades * inside are even of the opinion that sharp disputes also are very positive ...). However, we are working on it to make the atmosphere so that as many people in the Federation develop an interest and willingness to participate in the internal discussions. Freedom from anxiety as well as a conscious, critical approach to dominance hierarchies and subliminal are an important basis for it.

Question 4:

Communication via the Internet is significantly different from a conversation face to face. How extend the decision-making processes within the FdA? Do you have rules that you determine which topics or discussions can run over the forum and what should rather be decided at real meetings?

Meetings are on the subject of membership required - both in the recording as well as the exclusion. All other decisions are made virtually. Specifically, it works like that either a group member or single person, a presentation or a meeting where everyone contributes decision proposals. These will be given to all members of the federation known - on the forum, but also by e-mail. Then there is a deadline by which the proposal is accepted, if not a veto, or the desire for more time is expressed to the discussion. In the actual design process, there is a dynamic forum discussions between individual members of different groups of the Federation but also of groups as such, perhaps at their various meetings, a decision on the current topic. Since we meet at least once every 4 months, it very frequently happens that large issues are discussed in working groups at the meeting and a draft decision prepared, have contributed to the already people from different groups. This probably increases the likelihood of developing a proposal that will meet in the overall Federation approval.

Question 5:

In the current issue of Existence there is an article about the Internet safety of activists * inside and it is represented by an anti-fascists in Germany triggered case. Some activist * inside wanted to draw attention to the inadequate use of the Internet in the anti-fascist scene in Germany. So they hacked a lot of e-mail accounts at riseup, which was possible because the user * inside these accounts had very weak passwords. This resulted in the improvement of the mandatory security in the accounts on the server. Do you think people from the anarchist movement and antiautoriären are now more cautious or the situation has not changed?

The situation seems to generally improve. The one of you described case shows, in fact only a very small section of the uncertainties in electronic communication. But cases like this and, not least, increase the revelations of Edward Snowden inside circling the sensitivity of the issue in activist * and overcome the reluctance of many to have to deal with yet Technix besides politics. However, it is also important to curb the general paranoia just in Antifa contexts stop, because this paranoia paralyzes us. Rather, depth technical knowledge must be communicated and understood this also happens. Fortunately, there are many contexts in German-speaking technically interested people, the liberal, emancipatory ideas are very open-minded and to a wide public represented at least liberal views. These are, for example, parts of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) but also explicitly left technology projects.

In the activist scene the email communication remains safety on lists beyond bad passwords of greatest weakness. This form of communication is obsolete basically long, but operated for almost all and does not require learning new software. Unfortunately, PGP can, as capable of end-to-end encryption is not penetrated beyond lists in email traffic. The implementation in common mail clients can be user-unfriendly and just get groups to manage their key poorly regulated. For the decentralized Chat Standard XMPP / Jabber can increasingly prevail, thanks to the OTR encryption secure with automatic key exchange to communicate makes easy to implement. The development is also particularly pleasing because the local prosecutors dubious methods attempt to build on calls to some extent. Does not matter if criminal-related things are discussed for the desired circumstantial evidence guide. But a detailed discussion of the various communication channels would fill pages.

In federations, these topics are often controversial and it reveals a tension between habit and ease of use on the one hand and security on the other side. Overall, communication security with us not the highest priority, because we understand more than a relatively open structure that tries to take libertarian ideas into society, because as a conspiratorial circle.

Question 6:

In the current issue of Existence we deal with racism in the Czech Republic. The FdA and some groups from southern Germany are interested in the situation of the Roma in the Czech Republic and have started to cooperate with anarchist * inside from the Czech Republic to improve the situation. What was the reason or the impetus for this interest?

As anarchists, we want to overcome boundaries and national limited thinking. If in less than a hundred kilometers pogrom moods arise and people are threatened in their existence because of their ethnicity, it is fundamental to action to pace for most of us. We can indeed not in our immediate environment, often a scene bladder, for a society without domination occur and ignore what is happening in the environment. However, we quickly came because of the language barrier to our limits and were a bit disoriented in political life across the border. Therefore, the events proved to notify us with our federated comrades from the CSAF in contact direct occasion. Finally, the IFA is not an end in itself, but just in such events a very practical level of organization. These contacts were intensified ultimately the extent that a cross-border network of different groups also nichtanarchistischer was called to this subject to life. We give aid, participate in protests, information about current events and mobilize for demonstrations or blockades.

Question 7:

Recently we have published on our website a short article about the demonstrations against Refugees in Greiz and Schneeberg. What is the situation there? Was / is there solidarity with the refugees? Involved you remember the actions? Do you think it is possible the situation of the Roma in the Czech Republic with the compare of refugees in Germany?

The situation of refugees in Germany is legally speaking a different one. The Roma are an ethnic minority in the Czech Republic, the Czech citizenship at the same time and thus at least formally has civil rights. When the refugees in Germany is with the exception of Roma nationalities of the European Union to asylum seekers. Against it depends in addition to forms of civil society discrimination, the systematic discrimination of the German asylum legislation, which has experienced by restricting the fundamental right to asylum early nineties and the Dublin II agreement to tighten.

As the number of asylum seekers due to the numerous political and economic crises has greatly increased after a long declining trend from 2012 onwards, the creation of new asylum seekers is * inside homes become necessary. In the course of this development have in many places more or less hidden racist arguing citizens * inside initiatives established to protest against new homes in their neighborhood. These protests pervade all walks of life and contribute in lower layers mainly by racist resentment and in addition higher over the fear of property price decline or worse education of their children in integrated schools. Organized Nazi structures try either their fixed right the world to find a place in this environment or organize in regions widespread acceptance right organizations, these initiatives themselves So go for example in Schneeberg the protests, directly from the NPD, which otherwise ostracized politically largely in the middle here receives massive support of the population. This was followed about 2000 residents * inside their call. All relevant social organizations distancing themselves from these protests, because the open proximity to racist or Nazi ideology in Germany means political death. At the same time calls for example, the conservative interior minister of Saxony Ulbig an acceleration of the asylum procedure, what a quick deportation without "fair" procedure is the same. Fortunately, quickly organized counter-protest against the racist demonstrations. However, the counter-demonstrators come in right strongholds like snow mountain mostly of activists who traveled * inside. The overall mood in many cities of the province of Saxony in the Czech border region is similar. However, the potential for anti-racist interventions appears to be greater. While racial resentment are quite in the middle of society established, but do not reach nearly the status of a social consensus as the antiziganism in the Czech Republic.

The FDA is currently represented in any anti-racist alliance, but many individual members participate in the relationships and actions . An official participation of anarchist groups such mergers is reflected due to reservations and fears over the established caricatures of anarchism as difficult.
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