Good Bye 2008 !
north america / mexico |
anarchist movement |
Monday December 29, 2008 21:23 by Collectif anarchiste La Nuit - UCL
Collectif anarchist La Nuit Year in Review
This is the annual retrospective of the Collectif anarchiste La Nuit (Quebec-City UCL local collective). It's a way to answer the question "but what does an anarchist collective eat in winter" and measure the progress made...
(Republished from the Voix de faits blog: http://voixdefaits.blogspot.com/2008/12/bye-bye-2008-bi....html
Translation thanks to a collaborative effort between Google and some the UCL-FdCA Anarkismo team...)
2008 Activity Report
For the Collectif anarchiste La Nuit, the year 2008 actually began... on December 9th 2007. It was indeed in a "regional union" held in Montreal that a proposal that was to strongly influence our plan of action was adopted, namely the "refoundation" of NEFAC in Quebec in an "open" process. It was also at that meeting that the principle of our proposal for an anti-war demonstration to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the conscription riots was adopted.
In late January, Issue No. 18 of "Cause commune", the newspaper of NEFAC in Quebec hit the streets. For the second consecutive year, the newspaper was produced in Quebec City. La Nuit distributed a thousand copies of each issue, half in the struggles, half in various places downtown. The front page of this issue started mobilizing for the anti-war demonstration planned for March.
The official appeal for this event was also launched on February 17th. NEFAC succeeded in bringing together a wide coalition of the far left for this opportunity. Soon, hundreds of posters flowered on the city walls (the various participants posted over 600).
On February 21st, some of the Collective's activists swelled the ranks of a mini red-and-black bloc formed by NEFAC students in the national demonstration of ASSÉ in Quebec City.
In March, our comrade Mathieu launched his book on the history of anarchism in Quebec at l'AgitéE. This was the result of years of hard work to trace the course of history of the libertarian current in the province. The book was well received and has been the subject of public activities around the province.
Also in March, issue No. 19 of "Cause commune" came out. In that issue: the call for the anti-militarist demonstration of March 28th, of course, but also an article on the lock-out in the Journal de Quebec, a text on the support the popular movement had given to the Free Education demand and a first call for the FRAPRU Camp des 4 Sans.
On 28 March, about 300 anti-militarists marched in Quebec City at the call of a far left coalition initiated by NEFAC.
May Day this year was a mess in Quebec City. Indeed, the local chapter of the PCR (maoists) wanted to repeat the success of the March 28th demonstration by setting up a new coalition around a show of support for the locked-out workers of the Journal of Quebec. Unfortunately, the coalition never worked, and after several miss-steps, we decided to withdraw our support for the Maoist initiative. Finally, some of us went anyway out of curiosity and solidarity, nothing more. Hopefully May Day will be better organized in 2009! May Day was also an opportunity to issue "Cause commune" No. 20. This issue of the paper was almost exclusively devoted to the right to strike and casualised work.
Mid-May, the Collective went to Montreal for the anarchist bookfair. The bookfair was an opportunity for our organization to release a variety of pamphlets at low prices. For our part, we took the opportunity to issue a critique of the PCR's program. The critique was first published as an article on our blog. While it was not very widely disseminated in paper form (a hundred copies), it had a surprising electronic distribution (more than 3,450 hits on the NEFAC website). In addition to this pamphlet, the fair was also an opportunity to distribute books written by our friends (the book on the history of anarchism in Quebec, but also "The Abolition of the State", by a NEFAC-NYC comrade).
On May 26th, the Collective received a visit from France. Guillaume and Juliette, two comrades from Alternative Libertaire, decided to take advantage of the anarchist bookfair in Montreal to visit Quebec. It was an opportunity to organize a small public meeting in the Page Noire, the local infoshop, on the libertarian communist project (a theme that AL developed in a small book available, precisely, at the Page Noire...).
On 15 June, members of NEFAC took the opportunity of a "regional union" of the Federation to change the name of a street in Old Quebec. The action was noticed and featured in a blurb in Media Matin Quebec (the newspaper published by the locked-out workers of the Journal de Quebec).
In June, issue No. 21 of "Cause commune" appeared. This was an opportunity for the collective to push two events taking place in Quebec City: the FRAPRU Camps des 4 sans and the July 3th anti-war demonstration. It was also the first time that NEFAC publicly stated its desire to "reform" in Quebec.
Despite a lot of good will, the participation of NEFAC in the major events of the summer was not exactly a success (low visibility, no R&B bloc due to lack of coordination). So you cannot always succeed...
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3099/267 ... 1216349439
On July 17th, responding to a call for solidarity by the CNT, a French anarcho-syndicalist union, members of the Collective re-designed a former Omer de Serres store downtown.
In mid-August, NEFAC announced the creation of a Quebec anarchist discussion forum on the international Anarchist Black Cat forum. The idea was to promote discussion among libertarian communists in the province.
Also in August the annual general meeting of the Collective took place. In addition to the usual business (action plan, report on activities), it was the opportunity to adopt a new "Charter of the Collective." This basic document put on paper the way we operate internally, necessary for the integration of new members. Major innovations: the Collective created a local status of supporter and a bulletin to facilitate participation.
On September 3th, the Collective took part, with several hundred people, in another Reclaim the Streets. This was an opportunity for our group to get out our new literature table... and get a suntan in Limoilou!
In late September, an evening of private exchanges was held with close friends of the Collective to present the draft "refoundation" of NEFAC. Several new collaborations emerged from this meeting.
In September, NEFAC collaborated with CRAC-Saguenay for an abstentionist poster campaign during the federal election. In Quebec city, members of La Nuit posted over 500 copies.
For the second consecutive year, more than 80 people responded to the joint call of Ainsi squattent-elles and La Nuit for a pro-choice demonstration. The action drew the attention of some journalists (here the Journal de Quebec).
In early October, issue No. 22 of "Cause commune" came out. The front page was devoted entirely to the abstentionist campaign conducted jointly by NEFAC and CRAC-Saguenay. Also featured was a passionate call to "refound organized anarchism" in Quebec. Though greeted with skepticism in the cities where the organization is relatively well established, such as Montreal and Quebec City, it raised the enthusiasm of several anarchists in smaller towns. Indeed, for the first time in activist memory, a call was launched for anarchism to "leave the big cities and establish itself throughout the land". In addition, the initiators of the appeal pledged to "support, materially and morally, anyone who wants to join an existing group in the new organization or to develop one in their town." Several regional meetings were held following this call (members of La Nuit went in Saguenay and Trois-Rivières).
In November, the Liberals took everyone by surprise by triggering elections just after the federal election. In early November, the Collective decided to take a poster produced by the CRAC-Saguenay to re-launch its abstentionist campaign. We posted close to 500 of these in the streets of Quebec City.
It was also in late November that the Union communiste libertaire (UCL) was founded at the end of a process that lasted nearly a year. "Open" re-definition seems to have yielded good results since the new organization has twice as many activists as NEFAC...
In mid-December, members of the Collective visited the picket lines of Maxi supermarkets on strike. The comrades brought back an interview that was aired on 88.3FM and an article that was published on the front page of the community newspaper "Droit de parole".
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Our various social and political involvements (and there are many!) could be added but, concerning the collective, that is about it. We could undoubtedly do more, but for that, it would be necessary to be more numerous...
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Back to the future...
What will 2009 bring us?
It's difficult to say now what 2009 will look like for our Collective. Bets are that we will continue our momentum with our blog and the radio show. We will also launch a campaign on the economic crisis. Nothing is yet set in stone but we envisage a mix of information and action. We would also like to take part in organizing a large demonstration for May Day.
Another issue is the necessary consolidation of the UCL and to make it known in Quebec and Quebec City. To do this, we intend to hold a public meeting in Quebec City in early 2009. Otherwise, throughout the year we'll try to refine our theoretical and tactical unity, through the drafting of a libertarian communist manifesto and study groups. In short, a lot of work to do.