Last weekend a small gathering of anarchists took place at the Melbourne Anarchist Club. The 20 or so who attended did so in order to discuss anarchist federation: that is, the establishment of a formal linkage between a number of anarchist groups based in Australia. In addition to MAC and various unaligned individuals, delegates, representatives and observers from a handful of other groups were present, including Anarchist Affinity (AA), Black Star, International Organisation for a Participatory Society (IOPS), Jura Books, Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed Society (LWSS), Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group (MACG) and Melbourne Street Medic Collective (MelbSMC).
The first day of the conference was an open forum at which the following questions were addressed: what is anarchism, what is an anarchist, what is an anarchist group and what is an anarchist federation? The second day of the conference was oriented towards formal discussion of the proposals that had been put to the conference by various anarchist groups, primarily MAC, LWSS and MACG, regarding the aims, purposes and structure of a federation.
While there was some interest expressed on the part of some groups (as well as some criticisms of both the possibility and desirability of doing so) there was no final agreement on establishing a federation. Instead, the possibility will continue to be the subject of discussion, potentially involving groups from further afield (Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth) in a series of future meetings and in online discussions. I’ve included statements on the subject by AA and LWSS in the comments below. You can read anarchist blogger Kieran’s thoughts here.
Before I go, a few anarchist and other blogs/projects I think are worth paying attention to:
• Anarchist Affinity is a new group of anarchist-communists based in Melbourne.
• Anarchist Melbourne Bookfair. The 3rd annual Melbourne Anarchist Bookfair (August 10 at Abbotsford Convent) is just two months away.
• Avenue is a new-ish publication from WA. You can read the three issues produced so far here.
• The Brisbane Solidarity Network is active and anarchic.
• Disaccords continues to document all sorts of interesting ruptures in the spectacle’s space-time continuum.
• The Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group now has a blog.
• memengineering is an anarchist-y blog by peter lach-newinsky.
• Plan to Thrive is “a collaborative blog project to encourage and support the health and wellbeing of people and groups engaged in working for social and ecological justice”.
• The Golden Barley School is what happens when an anarchist, a communist and a feminist walk into a bar…