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(en) North America, Report from NEFAC's Ninth General Congress

From Boston NEFAC <nefacboston@nefac.net>
Date Sat, 17 Apr 2004 11:26:32 +0200 (CEST)

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Marking four years since the federation first officially formed, NEFAC
held its ninth general congress in Baltimore, MD, over the weekend of
April 10-11th, 2004. Over 40 members and supporters were in attendance,
representing groups from Montreal, Vermont, Boston, New York City,
Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Baltimore. A number of observers were also
on hand, including a comrade from FRAC (Federation of Anarchist Collectives-
Great Lakes) and individuals from New Jersey, Pittsburgh, and Richmond, VA.
The congress began with introductions, followed by reports from NEFAC
collectives and federal working groups (general secretaries, publication
groups, treasury, warchest, tech group, etc.). It was exciting to hear of
all the activity taken on by various NEFAC groups in the region --
struggles around housing and tenants rights; against poverty and
neo-liberal attacks on the poor; labor organizing and solidarity;
anti-fascism; defense of immigrants and prisoner support; anti-war
activism; abortion clinic defense; etc. -- and througout the weekend there
was discussion of how we can better coordinate this work into a more
comprehensive regional class struggle strategy for the federation.

As with past congresses, we also expanded our membership with the formal
adhesion of two collectives who were previously supporter groups
(Sargassum of Somerville, MA; Mobarezah of Boston, MA), and also
individuals from Philadelphia and New Jersey.

Perhaps the most important thing to come out of this conference was the
adoption, pending ratification by our French-speaking members, of a
collectively written Workplace Position Paper, which took up the bulk of
the weekend with a point by point discussion. This paper outlines both a
theoretical vision for the role we see workplace struggles playing in a
larger revolutionary context (and in any would-be libertarian communist
future), and also a strategic framework for anarchist-communists in the
workplace struggles of the present.

Another important item was the adoption of a series of proposals from
NEFAC's 'Women's Caucus'. We agreed to include an 'anti-patriarchy watch'
in our federal structure to keep the federation informed of class-based
feminist struggles and how we can better participate in anti-patriarchy
work in the region. There were also proposals adopted that will better
help us confront internal sexism in the federation, and apply more
feminist analysis in our written propaganda and agitation.

Other itmes of business included the rotation of various federal tasks
(treasury, warchest); a new collective to help with the production of
'Strike!', our forth-coming English agitational newspaper; and a
committment to participating in the upcoming protests against the
Republican National Convention this summer in NYC. (Comrades are also
encouraged to attend the protests against the Democratic National
Convention in Boston!)

We informally discussed the possibility of combining efforts with other
like-mided regional groups (FRAC, FNAC, BAAC) in order to form, some time
in the future, a continental anarchist-communist federation. We also
discussed a joint publishing project with AK Press to release a NEFAC
'best of' book in Spring 2005.

Overall, it was a very productive conference, and comrades seemed to leave
with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and committment. It's been a tough four
years as NEFAC has seen its way through ideological battles, internal
challenges, financial hardship, some hard-fought struggles, and occasional
legal repression. But we continue to grow as a federation. Despite the
odds, we look forward to the future and will continue to fight for a
pro-organizational, class struggle anarchist-communism, both among the
general anarchist milieu and within the broader working class in our

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