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(en) US, Bay Area, [anarchist-platform] report from meeting for Anarchist Communist group forming

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 30 Jul 2003 19:04:37 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

> From: Andrew Flood <andrewflood-A-eircom.net> To: anarchist-platform-A-struggle.ws
Hi folks, anyone in the Bay Area of the USA who missed this will probably
wnat to make contact. This is part of the moves towards form a
North West anarchist communist federation, join the list at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NWan-comm/ for more details of this
> From: agitate <agitate-A-ziplip.com>
Report from the Bay Area Anarchist Communist meeting.
Previously arriving to the bay area I had contacted Adam, a comrade on the
FNAC list from San Jose to see if there might be interested in meeting up
to discuss anarchist communist organizing and such. As we began discussing
our ideas, we decided to open our meeting up to other interested anarchist
communists in the bay area who might be interested and possibly initiating
something in the region.

A call was put out on SF Indymedia for all anarchist communists interested
in meeting up to discuss current organizing efforts around the country and
the possibility of setting up some sort of nucleus in the bay. We did not
post meeting time or place but rather decided to screen people by having
them send an e-mail with introductions and why they were interested
attending. About twenty people responded, some completely ignored our basic
requests. I attempted to contact many of them and see what was going on. I
met hostility with at least two persons, Kevin Keating and another man
named Will (who was part of SF Free State, a secessionist group.) There was
also solidarity messages received from NEFAC members, and some people in
Modesto California who are involved in the Red and Anarchist Action Network
and Raise The Fist (they were unable to attend but were interested in the
organizing effort.). As well one person who attended the meeting is in
contact with others in Fresno and Modesto, these are rural areas in the
California Central Valley (for all the non-CA folks) with very little
organizing happening there. A comrade from Workers Solidarity Movement in
the bay area at the time, also contacted the baac account, but was unable
to make it to the meeting.

ItÝs of no surprise to note that the Indymedia post was met with dozens and
dozens of responses. Some of whom immediately crying racism (the only one
in which I responded back to, being as I am a person of color and the
person organizing it!)

I met up with Adam and some of his friends and comrades from San Jose prior
to the meeting to discuss how we think the meeting should go, coordinate
ground rules for discussion, and how to handle agitators, as this was a big
concern. As well was the concern of interested anarchists who did not
identify as anarchist communists. I had literature sent out to me from
Portland OR. which was to help with this. We had on hand info on FNAC,
NEFAC and GRAF as well as general anarchist communist articles and
organizing tips. Adam brought copies of the Northeastern Anarchist and
Onward for people to flip through as well.

At the meeting

The agenda was simple:
-Intros who you work with/or are involved with and what do you hope to get
out of this meeting
-Is this region ready for an anarchist communist organizing effort, what
strengths and weaknesses exist in the bay area?
-How do we get organized?

There were about 16 persons in attendance, half of color but only three
women. Everyone was very interested in the meeting, and everyone
contributed a lot to the discussion.

Some notes on what people wanted out of the meeting and out of building an
organization: for it to be productive, for it to be more inclusive (this
was an issue with a lot of the people at the meeting-more on that in a
minute), wanting the organization to have a lot of energy, that there is a
serious void in the bay area anarchist community and a lack of movement,
also people wanted to see more community building and concrete alternatives
set up.

There was a lot of discussion around the factionalism and lack of
inclusiveness in the bay area. ItÝs interesting to note that most the
people at the meeting were not from SF, Oakland, or Berkeley. Those that
were, were new to the bay area and felt very discouraged by the anarchist
movement thereÝs lack of being inclusive. There was a lot of discussion
around the others in the anarchist ýsceneţ there that would seek to destroy
this organizing effort. How gossip and rumors there play into this
destructive role and the need to strengthen ourselves as anarchist
communists in the area. The concern over factionalism and disruptive
elements within the anarchist ýsceneţ there led to discussion around
organizing tools to avoid these things such as closed meetings, screening
e-mails, etcÍ

Another note was that there was one person in attendence that didnÝt really
sit right. He refused to really be part of the circle, or to participate
the entire meeting except for intros where he just pointed out his 20 years
of being an anarchist and his curiosity to see who would show up. He sat on
the fringe and took notes the entire time. I should point out he writes for
Anarchy Magazine.

It was clear that the initiative towards a Bay Area Anarchist Communist
Federation had started. Decisions were made to set up a list serve, to
spread the word amongst committed comrades that were not at this meeting
and to have one more open meeting, to solidify affinity groups that existed
in the room into collectives, to have regular meetings, to discuss theory
(notably security culture first), and tactics (primarily around upcoming
anti war demonstrations in the bay.) The current contact is: baac@ziplip.com

Everyone leaving the meeting seemed genuinely excited about this organizing
effort and all seem to have high expectations for it. I was told by several
people that this meeting could not have happened if not for an outsider
calling it, because it threw off all those who would have sought to destroy
it. Also the screening e-mails turned people off as well. Their focus on
strengthening themselves and setting up an apparatus to protect themselves
from agitators within seems well worthwhile. A lot of the discussions I
will definitely be taking back to the Portland General Organizing Group
(FNAC), and I was very happy to have met so many amazing organizers with
such positive energy and input towards this effort. I only regret that I
couldnÝt stay in the bay area to be part of what will no doubt become a
strong revolutionary anarchist communist movement.

Love and Revolution
Angel (speaking in personal capacity) agitate@ziplip.com
Burning Rose Collective / Portland General Organizing Group for the
Federation of Northwest Anarchist Communists

International anarchism

Issues-> http://struggle.ws
Me -> http://struggle.ws/andrew.html

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