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(en) Russia, Kasimov, Radical Environmental Movement Rainbow Keepers conference 04 - 07 september 2003

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Fri, 24 Oct 2003 09:38:36 +0200 (CEST)

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Rainbow Keepers annual conference was organized at "Kasimov
alternative" (Kasimov city, Russia) on 04.-07. september 2003. The aim
of the conference was to discuss the internal structure and
strategy of the movement, as well as concrete campaigns and further
plans, for example protest camps. We also had a list of technical questions
to solve. Rainbow Keepers used to organize common conferences
once a year, but for last 4 years there where no conferences organized, so it was
really necessary.

On the first day of the conference we noticed that it's not so much use to
discuss about concrete campaigns, since the on-going campaigns
were (and are) already discussed in the e-mail lists and noone
proposed any new campaign to be started. For us it was more important
to concentrate on discussions about strategy and internal structure of Rainbow

Dealing with internal structure of the movement we had discussion about the problems of
informal hierarchy, sexism and homophobia inside the movement and the
marginality of our movement in society. The discussion about informal
hierarchy was suprisingly productive, what you can not say about the
discussions about sexism or homophobia. Anyway, for Rainbow Keepers (and all of the anarchist
milieu) it seemed like a good step forward that all these problems were at least pointed
and discussed as important issues.

In the discussion about mariginality of the movement we found 2 sides: on one hand Rainbow
Keepers is not only radical environmental, but also social movement and campaigns
are usually made in strong cooperation with local people. For example
protest camps wouldn't have good succes without this cooperation. On
the other hand, Rainbow Keepers are still marginal, subcultural
movement with lots of punks and subcultural youth participants and
that's why Rainbow Keepers often seem to be marginal, "strange" group for the
local initiatives and for mainstream auditoria. A few Rainbow Keepers
still didn't consider the mariginality as a problem at all.

We also discussed about the problems, which anti-authoritarianly organized
protest camp faces while cooperating with local initiatives with hierarchical structures
and leaders. For example, problems in desicionmaking at protest camp, in a common meetings,
participated by both Rainbow Keepers and local initiatives: Local
activists have often no
experience of anti-authoritarian organizing, moderated meetings and so on, but are
instead just trying to find out, who is the leader to speak with. Trying to solve this
problem we decided to make an leaflet about our internal
structure and principles for local activists and initiatives.

One big discussion was half principial-half technical, about the
common projects / resources / campaigns / symbols of Rainbow Keepers. Which
projects are common, and which are just local? It was decided that
some resources of Rainbow Keepers, such as conference, e-mail list,
website, symbols and background are common for the Rainbow Keepers and any participant
of the movement may have access to them if he or she needs it.

About 30 people from Kasimov, Nizhny Novgorod, Volzhsky, Moscow and Moscow region,
Petersburg, Samara, Ivanovo, Minsk, Grodno and Berlin took part in the conference. We decided
that it's very important to organise such conferences regularily
(once a year) and proposed the next one to take place in september 2004.

St. Peterburg

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