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(en) Czech, afed: Everything you wanted to know about the affinity group ... [machine translation]

Date Sat, 16 Dec 2017 09:40:14 +0200

An affinity group can consist of two people, but it may well be fifteen - depending mainly on the nature of the action. However, the affinity group should not be so large that there is no informal discussion of important issues. If you have more, you can always split into two or more groups. ---- The affinity group is not a permanent grouping. It is the kind of structure that suits you. Variable, composed of a handful of interested and trusted people working for the duration of a particular project. Once it is "established," it can calmly decide to end if it is needed, for example, for security reasons. This means that everything that is happening within the group is not spoken outside of it, even when it has already fulfilled its "mission". A certain group of people can work together again and again, but members and members can be calm in other affinity groups, they can be divided into smaller groups or work outside the affinity group structures.
It is possible that you already have an affinity group, even if you have never taken any direct action and this is the first "radical" text you read. The affinity group is the most well-established structure for guerrilla actions of all kinds. The Affinity Group is simply a circle of friends who know each other's strengths and weaknesses, life history, who have found common ground and healthy internal dynamics and have chosen to achieve a goal.
The affinity group can be virtually invincible. She can not be infiltrated because all her members know and associate them with intimate friendship. No one outside the group needs to be informed of their plans or activities. The affinity group is more efficient than any of the most professional military units: members and members of the group can freely adapt to any situation, not necessarily having to go through a complicated approval process; each individual can act and react without waiting for orders, but with an overview of what others can expect. For mutual admiration and inspiration on which the affinity group is based, it is almost impossible to demoralize it. In contrast to any capitalist, fascist or communist structures, an affinity group functions without any hierarchy or coercion: participation in the affinity group can be fun and effective. Most importantly, members and members of such a group are motivated by common desire and loyalty, not profit, duty or other compensation or imagination. Nor is it surprising that small affinity groups managed to keep all police cordons under control, and only the cans of tear gas shot by the cops.
Affinity groups work through consensus: decisions are made collectively, based on the needs and desires of each individual involved. Democratic choices in which the majority and the minority are successful must hold their tongue, are affectionate in affinity groups: if the group is to work well and hold together, each participant must be satisfied. Before each event, members and members of the group set out collective goals, explore how they are prepared to risk (both individuals and groups) and what they expect from each other. This is the plan.
Because the situation at the event is always unpredictable and the plans rarely follow as expected, the affinity group usually has a dual approach to their preparation. On the one hand, its plans are created for different scenarios: if case A occurs, we will inform each other about X and move on plan B; if X means of communication are not possible, we will meet at point Z at time Q. On the other hand, it will prepare structures and plans that will succeed even if what happens does not resemble any of the contrived scenarios. They share tasks among themselves. Identify means of communication (for example, radio, secure Internet chat, encrypted passwords for secret information or instructions). He will prepare his main strategies (how to keep a quiet head, how to hold each other in a confusing environment, to be fined by the police, etc.). They map escape routes. It will prepare legal support if someone is taken from the group. After the event, the affinity group will reunite (if needed, in a safe place) to discuss what works well, what could be improved and what to do next.
The affinity group is only responsible for itself, which is its strongest side. The affinity group is not burdened by the procedures and practices of other organizations, it is not expected to be difficult to understand by strangers or the limitations of responding to someone who did not participate directly. Just as members and members of the group are trying to reach consensus among themselves, each affinity group should also strive for a considerate relationship with other individuals and groups, or at least respect for others' access, if possible, even if others do not realize it value of action taken. People should respect and sympathize with affinity groups, not refuse or fear them. They should be aware of the value of the affinity group model and try it out by organizing it. They should come to the conclusion that,
An affinity group can interact with other affinity groups in what is sometimes called a cluster. The cluster allows a larger number of individuals to deal with the same benefits as a single affinity group. If the situation calls for speed and confidentiality, representatives or representatives of each group can meet well in advance, which is more practical than if members and members of all interested groups met. Where coordination is crucial, groups or representatives of these groups will agree on communication methods directly to the action. After years of collaboration, the different affinity groups know each other as well as they know each other and feel better and more capable within this structure.
If several clusters of affinity groups need to coordinate a particularly large action (for example, a large demonstration or blockade), it is possible to convene an assembly (sometimes referred to as a plenum or "fast-paced" if time is available). Experience says that the most effective gathering is one that confines itself to providing space where various affinity groups and clusters can inform each other (to the extent that is strictly necessary) about their intentions, rather than trying to drive the activity of others or dictate them principles. This organizational format is not suitable for lengthy discussions. Independence and spontaneity provided by decentralization are our greatest advantages in combating the enemy, which has all the other benefits - so why surrender them?
The affinity group is not just a means of changing the world. Like any good anarchist behavior, it is also a model for alternative, better worlds and the seed from which these worlds can germinate. In the anarchist economy, decision makers and management do not make the decisions to be carried out by the masses of workers without thought. Even affinity groups, circles of friends who share common needs and interests, decide and act together. The model of affinity groups / clusters / gatherings / etc. is simply another incarnation of communities and workers' gatherings that shaped the past successful (albeit only short-term) anarchist revolutions.
The model of affinity groups is the best thing to do, but it is almost inevitable. Without a structure that allows you to turn ideas into action, without friends, with whom you can invent ideas and create history, we would be paralyzed, depriving much of our potential. Never doubt that a small group of convinced, considerate people can change the world - on the contrary, that's the only thing that ever did! If every individual in every action against the state and the status quo were part of a tightly afflicted, fierce affinity group, the revolution would end in a few years.
You do not have to look for a revolutionary organization to join in to be active. You and your friends are part of one! You can change the world together. Stop thinking about what will happen or why nothing happens and start to decide what will happen.
Do not go to another demonstration, protest, concert, work in a passive viewing style, do not wait for directions what you have to do, or when somebody thinks of fun. Begin with others to exchange crazy ideas that should happen on these occasions - and start transforming ideas into reality!
The affinity group may be a sewing ring, a bicycle maintenance team, or a group of clowns traveling; can get together to set up a local group of Food Not Bombs to figure out how to turn a bicycle onto a gramophone or force a multinational corporation to leave the market with a carefully prepared sabotage program. Affinity groups set up and defended communal gardens, firing, building and squatting, organizing a program for children in the neighborhood and wild bets; affinity groups began to revolutionize visual art and popular music. Even your favorite music band has been or is an affinity group. It was an affinity group who invented the plane. Another, composed of disgusted enthusiasts in the work of philosopher Nietzsche, was almost successful during the Second World War, executed by Adolf Hitler.
Let the five girls and boys meet, and if they are committed to action rather than a quiet agony of survival, despair ends and tactics begin.







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