Structure of Convergence

Here is the current structure for the convergence. We would very much appreciate & encourage any feedback, criticisms or amendments.

anarchist.federation.discussion@gmail.com. Or come to meetings or post on the blog.

Structure for the Convergence

Over the Easter Long Weekend, Friday 21st March-Monday 24th March. To be held at the Melbourne Anarchist Club’s space, the International Workers Club.

Northcote, Melbourne.

Key themes will be:

-Follow the Zapatista philosophy-do more listening than talking!
-Really good Facilitation!
-Shoot people who come & just want to argue! (shoot national anarchists for real if they come)

*Note on spokescouncils; the general vibe was that they should be fairly open, allowing individual participation. At the same time, we need people who can do quite tight facilitation.

*Proposals can be brought before the convergence & can be stuck up on a wall and will be prominently displayed. We expect that individuals & groups will be writing proposals as a consequence of discussion during the convergence.

Friday 12.00pm-6pm

-discussion on Indigenous struggles

-‘speed dating’ intros. 30 mins.

How: Get people to sit in pairs. Preferably people who don’t already know each other. Ask & answer questions such as: What attracts you to anarchist politics? What inspired you to come to this convergence? What do you hope will be the outcome of the convergence? Rotate after 5 minutes with an individual.

-extensive intros- people say why they’re here. Introduce themselves, their collectives & what they do: what campaigns and actions they are involved in.

How: Can be via Two Minutes of Infamy (footnoted at the end) .Bring a large amount of butchers paper and allow people to write down their ideas.

-safer spaces discussion-Creating the practical guides for people; and establishing ‘rules’ for how you conduct yourself when here. Small groups discussion on what ‘safer spaces’ means. Can be more discussion about how to integrate safer spaces into other Federation events later on.

decision on decision making (e.g will we use a modified consensus process)

*Hopefully 3cr community radio will be broadcasting from the convergence space at around 5. 30. See

https://afederation.wordpress.com/meetings/

Saturday 11am-5pm

Morning-Lunch: Space for strategising-what do we mean by revolution & what do we think revolutionaries should be doing in the here and now. Try and have a sharing of political & theoretical approaches.

How: Via Two minutes of Infamy, then a small groups discussion, not on a collective basis. Groups then reportback to the larger meeting.

Afternoon: What a federation will be good for. Proposals can be put up before lunch.

How: Done through proposals, which could flow from the morning. Then break for discussion into small groups. If people want these can be quite specific, e.g about an ‘infoshop network’ , a solidarity network or about a regional publication. Can use spokes.

Following the discussion, there will be a small group formed to start drafting a foundation document. This can be brought back the next morning for ratification & further debate.

Sunday 11am-5pm

Morning-Lunch

-attempting to define a common politics. Different groups throw out the prevalent themes in their discussions.

How: Through proposals & small groups discussion. Have a cut-off point of 1pm. Whatever is written can always say ‘no consensus’ on a contested point. Will stick up the proposed common politics on a board at the beginning of the convergence to facilitate debate.

Afternoon-Evening -decision about structure. Whether we form the federation & what would it look like. If time integrate into the discussion questions of what the practical tasks will be.

How: All-in. Use spokes.

Monday 11am-5pm

Freer stuff/more relaxed get together

A Chance for further decision-making if necessary, but we really hope that big overall decisions will be made on Sunday.

Expansion on common projects & tasks

Morning-Lunch

-Tasks. Who will create a website, e-list, ensure that working groups function, collect dues, etc

-space for more concrete planning for a new organisation.

Afternoon

-skillshares: how to form a group

-opportunity for people to talk further about common projects; e.g everyone who’s interested in infoshops gets together as a small group.

*Two minutes of Infamy footnote

*For those unfamiliar with 2MI, groups and individuals are given
uninterrupted time to spruik their project/group and are encouraged to
give contact details or nominate a time and place to meet up for further
discussion. Interruptions are seen as a serious no-no and it requires
tight and harsh facilitation. Setting up time and space for people to
meet each other is an integral part of the process. It is entirely up to
the participants as to how they present the information: multimedia
presentation, as a group or reading off a piece of paper. They can also
choose to allow people to ask them questions, as long as they don’t go
over their time limit.

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7 responses to “Structure of Convergence

  1. lucy

    in response to the question about the speed dating activity; i have done it in pairs a few times and it worked really well. it was informal enough so that people got to chat abit and also because it was just two people it had the chance to develop into an actual conversation. because you are always moving this conversation then fed into the next conversation you had with the next person, setting up a string of ideas. i didnt find it to put me on the spot at all, because it happened pretty organically out of having abit of a chat, and also there was consolation in the fact that it you didnt see eye to eye youd only have to talk to that person for a few minutes.
    re: making it ‘non-monogamous’ – because the time of it is so short, one on one means everyone gets to have their say, whereas even in a group of 3 or 4 there wouldnt be the same oppertunity. also im not sure how you would keep it moving, which is one of the key features of the activity. i personally would, from experience, recommend keeping it ‘monogamous’ because it actually lessens competition that hinders people talking in groups (even small groups), and also lets people get to know each other abit individually.

  2. lucy

    i also would strongly recommend that if we organise an ‘extensive intro’ it is formatted so it does not turn into an activist resume or competition of whos the best activist in front of the entire convergence. personally i dont feel comfortable speaking in large groups, even to introduce myself, and find it alienates heaps of people. maybe we can format an extensive intro of individuals to take place in small groups, and have a second intro of collectives presented via a delegated speaker (as in each collective picks someone to speak).

  3. lucy

    to clarify that: so basically have a 2MI with the intent to introduce collectives rather then individuals (also pertinent as we are hoping to enable on a federation of collectives). so maybe 2 or 3 speakers from each collective to introduce.

  4. anarchistfederationdiscussion

    Hey,

    that sounds good & I think that’s a pretty thorough outline of what we intended (for the extensive intros section).

    I think there should be space for individuals/very loose affinity groups to do more substantial presentations if they want to though (no one may actually end up doing this, outside of an established collective, but there should be the opportunity).

    This should be made explicit through invitations & at the beginning of the convergence.

    Small groups discussions would need to be extensively recorded & probably have someone reportback as well.

    Tim

    (not on behalf of the organising collective, just using the e-mail)

  5. lucy

    absolutely. i think offering a space for more substantial presentations is imperative, maybe another 2MI: so one for organised collectives and one potential one for looser groups/ individuals contingent on response.

    also for all group discussions we should definately make sure to supply paper and i would suggest even someone to act as a scribe, and get each group to make points and then reportback and compare with the rest of the groups.

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