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(en) Canada, More on the new Prairie Struggle Organization,
Wed, 06 Jun 2012 12:03:51 +0300
About us ---- We identify ourselves as anarchists within the platformist tradition as we
broadly believe in its theoretical base and organizational practice, but not needfully in
everything that has been done in its name. The primary ideas of this practice, namely
theoretical and tactical unity, collective action, and federalism, are what we strive to
develop. ---- We are revolutionaries that come from all walks of life, identifying deeply
with the struggles of the working class, of which all our members are a part. The
organization's activities are centred around not only theoretical development, but also
direct action and education surrounding the struggles of the working class. ---- The
Prairie Struggle Organization aim's to further anarchist communist ideas and put them into
practice through a federation of anarchist groups that spreads across Canada.
As anarchist communists, we strive for a classless society, free from the shackles of a
hierarchy put in place long before us. We are bold enough to see an international
federation of radically democratic, self-managed communities and workplaces. We work
against the divisions of labour that promote a life of limited activity dictated by the
commodity economy. The abolition of markets will facilitate the satisfaction of basic
human needs that elude so many – we believe, in keeping with the principle, “from each
according to ability, to each according to need.”
Our allies in Canada
Industrial Workers of the World - Edmonton branch (Alberta)
Common Cause (Ontario)
Union communiste libertaire (Quebec)
Our allies around the world
Workers Solidarity Alliance (USA)
Workers Solidarity Movement (Ireland)
Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (South Africa)
Alternative libertaire (France)
Aims and principles
The Prairie Struggle is an organization of revolutionaries coming from different movements
of resistance who identify with the communist tradition within anarchism. The
Organization's activities are organized around theoretical development, anarchist
propaganda, and intervention in the struggles of our class, be it autonomously or by
direct involvement in social movements.
As anarchist communists we struggle for a classless and non-hierarchical society. We
envision an international federation of radically democratic, self-managed communities and
workplaces. To achieve this society, our class will need to abolish the wage system, the
state, and the market economy. We reject the division of labour that condemns an
individual to a life of restricted activity for the sake of the commodity economy. The
socialization of all industries, means of production and distribution will allow for the
satisfaction of human needs, adhering to the communist principle, "From each according to
ability, to each according to need."
We seek to abolish all forms of capitalism, whether it be free-market capitalism or
so-called "socialist" state capitalism. Capitalism creates a society divided into
antagonistic social classes: a small, elite ruling class, the coordinator class and a
large, exploited working class. The ruling class owns and controls the means of production
and distribution, and are thereby able to monopolize the wealth. Their ownership of these
two primary functions in society further enables them to focus production toward their own
class interests (commodity production, increased profits, relentless expansion, etc.)
without regards for society as a whole. The coordinator class, while members of the
working class, is that group of people who do not own the means of production, but who run
the means of production on behalf of the owners. The coordinator class are people like
doctors, lawyers, managers, engineers, police and military officials that are
instrumentalised against their own class interests. Those of us who are not part of the
capitalist ruling class are forced to sell and rent our labor, whether physical or
intellectual, for a wage in order to survive. We are trapped in wage slavery.
There is no one single humanity, there is a humanity of classes. Through inequality, and
irreconcilable class interests, an ongoing struggle exists between different social
classes. All aspects of modern capitalist society are a direct result of this struggle
developing through centuries of conflict. Anarchist-Communism originated within, and was
developed through, the every day struggles of the working class against the oppression of
We are opposed to all forms of Statism and hierarchical government. The purpose of any
State, whether "representative democracies" or totalitarian dictatorships, is to
administrate society in a way that ensures that the privileges of the ruling class are
upheld. In order to accomplish this, the State must centralize and monopolize power
through a complex network of political, cultural, legislative, judiciary, military and
financial institutions. This system results in all power being removed from ordinary
people, and leads to a society based on hierarchy. By placing itself outside and yet in
control of society, the State negates the social and political potential of society and
transforms all logical social functions into bureaucratic State functions.
Of all oppression in the world, one of the most entrenched is that of patriarchy, the
domination of men over women. This domination expresses itself everywhere--in both private
and public realms. Although it is perpetuated by capitalism and the State, patriarchy
existed prior to them and without confrontation will exist beyond their abolition.
Anarchist feminism is a theory and practice by which we critique and attack the triple
reign of patriarchy, capitalism, and the State, through the realization that this sexual,
economic and political subjugation has at it's heart the common principle of authority.
Only by uniting both the revolutionary class perspective of anarchism and the feminist
critique of patriarchy can anarchism and feminism reach their common goal of human
liberation. "There will be no revolution without women's liberation. There will be no
women's liberation without revolution."
Exploitation and oppression are also expressed through social inequalities and hierarchies
based on race and ethnic origin. Like patriarchy, this form of social oppression is used
to divide and weaken the working class and must be opposed at every level. Throughout the
history of the world, class stratification has been defined in large part by race.
Although racism is perpetuated by capitalism and class society, it will not necessarily
end with the abolition of the capitalist social structure. We work to combat racism in all
its forms and support those from our class who organize within the revolutionary movement
for social liberation.
Capitalist patriarchy uses a specific set of gender roles in order to reproduce itself.
Constitution of Prairie Struggle Organization
We identify ourselves as anarchists within the platformist tradition, anarchist-communist
or especifista tradition of anarchism. We broadly identify with the theoretical base of
this tradition and the organizational practice it argues for, but not necessarily
everything else it has done or said, so it is a starting point for our politics and not an
The core ideas of this tradition that we identify with are the need for anarchist
political organizations that seek to develop:
Theory represents the force which directs the activity of persons and organizations along
a defined path towards a determined goal in order to form a coherent political project
that anarchists want to put in practice. Hence it needs to be formulated in a determined
platform. What's more, to be efficient and to popularize this platform, it needs to be
common to the whole of our group. This is theoretical coherence. All activity of the
group, both overall and in its details, should be in perfect concord with the theoretical
principles professed by our group.
This doesn’t mean that everyone has to agree all the time (they won’t) but there does need
to be a certain amount of ideological unity.
Everyone being ‘anarchists’ or ‘libertarian’ isn’t enough. If half the group believe in
class struggle while the other half don’t, then both
sides would benefit from having two smaller groups rather than one big group which spent
all its time arguing.
A common platform is not enough. Indeed, to implement it, we need to use appropriate
means. We believe that these means are not arbitrary; they are determined by the goal to
achieve, and the circumstances of the struggle. Tactical Unity means that the members of
an organization should struggle together as an organized force rather than as individuals.
Once a strategy has been agreed by the collective, all members should work towards
ensuring its success; saving resources and time concentrating in a common direction. A
common tactical line is important for the existence of the organization and the whole
movement. It avoids the disastrous effect of several tactics opposing each other; it
concentrates the forces of the movement; and gives them a common direction leading to a
fixed objective. The choice of the tactics is not neutral and without consequences. It
flows from the goal we decide for ourselves and that's why we advocate tactical unity.
Collective Action and Responsibility
Practice has taught us that the logical consequence of these organizational principles is
collective responsibility. The areas of revolutionary life, social and political, are
above all profoundly collective by nature. Social revolutionary activity in these areas
cannot be based on the personal responsibility of individual militants. Collective
Responsibility means each member should take part in the collective decision-making
process and respect the decisions of the collective. If we collectively accept some
political positions and a determined line of action, it is in order that each member
implement it in their political work. What's more, if we agree on specific work to be done
and a way to do it, then we become responsible to one and other for its execution. In the
end, collective responsibility is nothing more then the collective method of action.
Federalism is an organizational structure based on “the free agreement of individuals and
organizations to work collectively towards a common objective”. All decisions are made by
those effected by them as opposed to centralism, where decisions are made by a central
committee for those effected by them.
We recognize a need for anarchist organizations who agree with these principles to
federate on an regional, national and international basis. However, we believe the degree
of federation possible and the amount of effort put into it must be determined by success
at building organizations capable of making such work a reality, rather than a matter of
We strive to articulate our position on areas of importance to our organization through
detailed position papers. These form the collectively agreed positions of Prairie
Struggle. Disagreement and debate around these papers is continuous and they are open to
change so we do not expect members to agree with every detail. All members are ,however,
expected to broadly agree with Prairie Stuggle's constitution and political platform which
outline the core of our anarchism;
A major focus of our activity is work at those crucial points where working class people
are organizing together for control over their lives, the decisions affecting them, and
against oppression. These areas stretch from workplace activity, to neighbourhood
activism, an ecology movement that remembers class and in community resistance to forms of
oppressions targeting particular identities.
We also see it as vital to work in struggles that happen outside the unions and the
workplace. These include struggles against particular oppressions, colonialism,
imperialism and indeed the struggles of the working class for a decent place and
environment in which to live. Our general approach to these, like our approach to the
unions, is to involve ourselves with mass movements and work within these movements in
order to promote anarchist methods of organization involving direct democracy and direct
We actively oppose all manifestations of oppression such as racism, sexism, [religious]
sectarianism and homophobia and we struggle against them. We see the success of a
revolution and the successful elimination of these oppressions being determined by the
building of such struggles in the pre-revolutionary period. The methods of struggle that
we promote are a preparation for the running of society along anarchist and communist
lines after the revolution.
(a) The name of the group is Prairie Struggle Organization.
(a) To be a member or sympathizer a person can not be a member of the Police/RCMP and must
abide by the following.
A full member has to agree with the constitution and platform of the organization
A full member has to be present at one out of every four meetings at a minimum
A full member has to pay dues
A full member has to perform any tasks that he or she takes on within the group
Sympathizer: the basic requirements for sympathizers are:
To show up for at least one meeting every four months
Agrees with the basic direction of the group
If a sympathizer has attended a minimum of four meetings and he or she wishes to become a
full member then he or she is automatically eligible for membership
Dues for a sympathizer are on a voluntary basis
Any political organization or individuals with whom we work, whether they are aligned with
our political platform and constitution or not
Members in bad standing:
Members that do not pay their dues and do not provide an explanation and/or participate in
less than one of every four meetings and do not provide a valid explanation. A member in
bad standing will not have their vote count until he or she addresses their situation (pay
their dues or attends the necessary meetings).
(a) When people get in touch with us we refer them to our existing policy and ask them
what is it about Prairie Struggle that interests them. This allows us at least some degree
of knowledge of their politics, motivation, interests and willingness to engage.
(b) Should the potential new member respond to this, we will extend an open invitation to
attend an educational discussion or a meeting at a time of their convenience.
(c) At the end of the educational session, candidates will be offered an explanation of
the process through which the Organization works. After attending the educational
discussion, contacts will be invited to the next general meeting.
(d) Should they accept this invite and attend 4 general meetings, any member of the
organization can nominate them for membership. Membership shall not be denied unless there
is a motion of objection put forward by a current member. Such a motion is subject to
Article 4 of the constitution.
(e) People who live in an area where it is not feasible to attend meetings can be proposed
for membership. Membership will be granted after payment of dues. Members will be part of
the organization as individuals and will be able to fully participate in any working group
of their choice as well as any activities/events.
(f) We recognize members of any affiliate organization of Anarkismo.net as qualified to
apply for immediate full member status.
3. Organizational principles
a. Voting and quorum:
Voting will be held if consensus can not be reached and is subject to the following
conditions and exclusions:
Any vote to amend the constitution and/or platform needs a minimum 2/3 majority to pass
If a vote is being held to amend the constitution and/or platform a quorum of 75% must be
achieved for the vote to take place
50% quorum is necessary to hold an official meeting
Any vote taken at a official meeting must have 50% + 1 to pass
Voting to revoke a position held by a member (secretary, coordinator, treasurer) can be
held at any regular meeting that has 50% quorum and needs a 50% + 1 to pass.
A sympathizer's vote will be taken into consideration but not counted as official
Votes can only be put forward by a full member and needs at least one more full member
seconding the motion
b. No position within the organization may be held by the same member for more than a term
of 4 months, subject to a maximum of two terms in the same position. A person wishing to
quit the position must give one month notice and show the tasks to do to the next person
to hold that position.
c. Minutes are kept of all meetings and are circulated to all members
4. Working Groups & Caucuses
(a) These Working Groups & Caucuses may be established by a group of at least 3 interested
members (and may include sympathizers).
(b) Working Groups may develop draft policies to present to any official meeting but may
not alter or delete any existing policy without the agreement of the organization.
(c) In order for a campaign or an issue to be considered by Prairie Struggle as a
priority, a working group must be established to co-ordinate the organization's work on
(d) Any interested member or sympathizer may join a Working Group.
(e) A Caucus is a working body which is equity-seeking or based around identity. Caucuses
have the right to limit their membership based on identity or other qualification which
they set out. Caucuses are responsible for electing their own chair from the membership of
that caucus. Caucus chairs are still responsible for submitting a report to each general
meeting, but Prairie Struggle cannot mandate these bodies.
(a) The IB will be produced at least once every quarter.
(b) It is sent to all members via email or if requested by postal mail.
(c) The IB contains reports from Working Groups, minutes from the general meetings as well
as proposals and discussion articles submitted by members.
(a) To coordinate printing agendas and any other material for the general meeting, and act
as defacto chair of all meetings unless another chair is elected by the membership.
(b) To coordinate the production of the IB and place a report in the IB.
(a) To take minutes at each meetings.
(b) To forward the minutes to the General secretary.
(c) This position rotates at each meeting.
(a) To keep a record of all funds and financial transactions.
(b) To keep a record of all members' dues payments and inform the general membership if a
member falls into bad standing.
(c) To keep and maintain a membership list for the organization and issue membership
cards, copies of the constitution and political platforms to new members.
(d)To be responsible for the group account.
(e) To place in each IB a financial statement.
Internal and External Secretary(s)
(a) To establish and maintain contact with similar organizations abroad, and to send them
our publications and news of our activities.
(b) To organize the translation of articles from foreign papers, and to be responsible for
the writing of articles when requested by contacts abroad.
(c) To act as a delegate to anarkismo.net.
(d) To correspond and propose membership to contacts that live outside existing areas of
activity as outlined in the membership section.
(e) To verify and maintain the organization's email and to give reports at general
meetings of any incoming or outgoing mail.
(f) To place a report in each IB.
(a) Membership dues are a minimum of $10, maximum $40 per month taken out of members income.
(b) Dues can be waived if the person is not able to pay them.
(c) In the event that a person is not able to pay dues, there will be a form to be filled
out explaining the reason why the person is not able to pay dues.
(d) Only the treasurer will have access to the above mentioned form, for reasons of
privacy within the organization.
(e) Dues can be deferred when the person is not able to pay them on time, they can choose
to pay the dues owed on the next month
Dues default: in the event a person does not pay their dues for 60 days or more without
filling out a form, their membership privileges will be suspended, and the member will
default to supporter status.
(f) 40 per cent of this money is retained into the Contingency fund and 60 per cent is to
be used for the organization.
(g) Income excludes;
-Disability Support Program
-Canada Pension Plan
-Old Age Security Related Income
-Income earned by prisoners
-Student loans (or any other type of loans)
-Passport funding/direct funding (disability)
(h) Post-Secondary students who are supported financially are expected to pay the
appropriate dues on this income. To exempt these individuals but expect payment from those
students who work is to grant unfair privilege. Prairie Struggle opposes high tuition fees
and private education.
(i) Monthly dues are payable at any meeting in said month, dues are deposited by the
treasurer the last Saturday of every month.
6. Organization policy
(a) The policy of the organization is first and foremost the constitution, platform and
the position papers as drawn up and amended by Prairie Struggle.
(b) Position papers are divided into a general section and a short term section. The
general section contains the theoretical position of the organization on the question. The
short term perspectives section outlines the organizations policy on immediate questions
and the tactics we intend to implement.
(c) All members are required to implement policy where conditions allow. If members are
delegates from the organization at external events they are expected to argue for policy.
(d) In Unions and campaign groups, while members are expected to support PSO policies,
they can vote freely. And where they carry a mandate from a section of that group or union
to put forward an argument against policy they may do so.
(e) Where members disagree with existing policy they are free to argue within the
organization for a new policy. They are also free to express disagreement as part of
public debates and informal discussions where they indicate they are speaking in an
(f) Members are free to engage in any political activity which does not contradict
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