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(en) New Zealand-Aotearoa, the Anarchist Round Table - Aims and Principals

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 27 Sep 2004 15:20:42 +0200 (CEST)

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1. Criticisms of present society
A . We oppose all forms of authority. No one group or individual
has the right to rule any other group or individual.
B. We oppose all forms of exploitation. We live in a capitalist society, in
which a minority (the ruling class) owns or controls most of society's
resources. These resources have been created over generations by the collective
effort of the majority of the population (the working class). Yet most people
are forced to work for bosses and receive less than the value of their labour
in return in the form of a wage or salary. The bosses retain the difference in
the form of profit. This process is called "class exploitation".

C. We oppose all states. The state (government, police, army,
judicial system, education system) is not neutral but serves the
interests of the ruling class.

D. We acknowledge the legacy of colonialism in Aotearoa and
support self-determination for Maori.

E. We oppose ecologically unsustainable economic growth.

2. Strategies for change

A. Means must reflect ends. If our organisations are authoritarian,
racist and sexist we will end up with an authoritarian, racist and
sexist society.

B. The only group in society capable of fundamentally overthrowing
capitalism is the working class. This is because the working class is
located at the strategic heart of capitalism: the workplace.

C. The role of an anarchist organisation should be to promote
among the working class anarchist ideas and ways of organising.
We support self-organisation among the working class and do not
seek to "lead" anyone.

D. We support grassroots, mass-based direct action. Direct action is
action taken by people themselves and directed at the source of a
problem. It does not rely on the work of intermediaries, such as
politicians or union bureaucrats.

E. Real change will come only through mass-based revolution that
involves the majority of the population. We have no faith in
parliamentary politics. Capitalism and the state cannot be reformed,
but need to be abolished.

F. We support internationalism. Because capitalism is global, we
should organise across national borders in our struggle against it. G.
We look forward to a peaceful society. However, we recognise that
militant struggle has won many of the freedoms we enjoy today.

3. The future anarchist society (the aim)

A. We want a classless, stateless society with no hierarchical or
authoritarian structures or systems.

B. Society should be based on communal ownership of the
resources of society. Decisions about production and distribution
should be made by the people themselves, in their own workplaces
and communities.

C. We want self-government of our own communities. The people
who ought to have the most say in how a community or workplace
is run are the people who are actually in the local community or

D. Activities affecting people over larger areas would be coordinated
by federations of autonomous, self-governing groups. These
federations would not be authoritarian, as they would have no
power to enforce their decisions. Membership would be on a strictly
voluntary basis.

E. We want a society where the principle "To each according to
need, from each according to ability" would be the norm. This can
only be achieved with the abolition of money and wage labour.

F. We want a society of communal individuality. We want the
greatest possible individuality with the greatest possible
communality. The free individual is only possible in a free society.
Developing individual creativity and fulfilling the potential of every
individual is only possible in a classless, stateless society where
everybody's basic material needs are met. However, we do not want
people to develop their own individuality at the expense of others.

G. We want an ecologically sensible and sustainable society.

ART meeting procedures

A. Decisions should be made by consensus. However, if after three
meetings a consensus cannot be reached on a particular issue, a
two- thirds majority will suffice.

B. Members should abide by consensus decisions. In the case of a
majority vote, members who voted with the minority will not be
forced to participate in actions they do not support. However, no
members should take action in the name of the group unless a
decision has been made in favour of such action.

C. Members should treat other members with respect and avoid
abusive language.
ART membership

There are no membership fees for joining ART. If you agree with
our aims and principles and would like to get involved, just drop us
a line.

(Last amended December 2003)
See also (en) Aotearoa/New Zealand, Thr@l, #20 - anarchist round
table (art) report

from their web page:
A brief history of The Anarchist Round Table (ART)

The Anarchist Round Table (ART) was formed in 1997 by a group of
Christchurch anarchists who met at an anarchist conference in
Wellington. Despite some serious ideological and personal differences,
this original group worked successfully together on a number of
valuable community and activist projects.

These included SMOG, a monthly neighbourhood newspaper (twenty-two
issues of which appeared between December 1997 and March 2000), and
the Beneficiary Action Collective, or BAC, which spearheaded local
opposition to the work-for-the-dole scheme when it was introduced
in October 1998. BAC imploded in early 2000 after a high profile
but ultimately unsuccessful campaign to gain access for beneficiaries
to toilets at the WINZ High Street office, and at this point ART
effectively stopped functioning as a group.

ART reformed in November 2000 with just two of its original members
but a number of enthusiastic newcomers. In October 2001, ART hosted
2001: An Anarchist Odyssey, the first anarchist conference in New
Zealand for over three years. ART was also the driving force behind
the establishment of InterActive, an activist centre in central
Christchurch that served as a home and general meeting and organising
space for ART and several other local activist groups.

In the last couple of years, ART has helped organise marches and
other activities in opposition to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
in association with the Peace Action Network. In more recent times,
with a wider acceptance and knowledge of anarchism and anarchist
principles along with such events as the Anarchist Tea Party and the
launching of the Aotearoa Anarchist web portal, there has been an
increase in the number of people interested in joining ART, so in 2004
we hope to turn ART into a more active and dynamic group.

If you wish to get involved with ART or wish to be informed of any
upcoming events or actions that ART is involved with let us know by
sending us an email to: anroundtable@hotmail.com.

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