Common Action General Assembly Report, April 2009
From Saturday, April 25 to Sunday, April 26, members of the anarchist organization Common Action met in Seattle, WA for our fourth general assembly. Members from Seattle, Bremerton, Tacoma and Olympia were in attendance, as well as a guest from Portland. We came together to continue developing our politics together, start work on new Common Action projects - and sing lots of karaoke.
If anything was clear at the general assembly, it is that Common Action has a lot of exciting work ahead of us this summer both locally and across the region. In May, we will sponsor a short speaking tour of the Northwest with anarchist historian Andrej Grubacic titled "Anarchism for the 21st Century: Building Movements for Lasting Change." Our newsletter Intersections will continue to appear quarterly with the next issue slated for June. We also plan to be present at several upcoming anarchist book fairs.
Locally, Common Action branches are taking initiative as well.
-In Olympia, members have put together a forum on free health care in order to build connections between people passionate on the issue, with the goal of one day establishing a free health clinic. They also plan to hold an open meeting in the new future to explain Common Action and our objectives.
-Our newest branch in Kitsap County, based mostly in Bremerton, has begun seeking out like-minded organizations in what is an otherwise very conservative Navy town.
-In Seattle, members continue participating in a range of struggles, including neighborhood groups, immigrant solidarity, workplace organizing and more. They will be sponsoring a number of events this summer, including an anarchist/anti-authoritarian social.
As with every general assembly, we took the opportunity to educate ourselves in creative ways while clarifying our goals as a group. Several activities focused on transformative justice, consent, accountability and collective liberation. For instance, in a "museum walk" activity, materials dealing with sexual assault were displayed around a room, from essays and poems to pictures and advertisements. Everyone circulated around the room for a time and returned together to reflect on what we had seen and experienced.
Throughout the weekend - even, in a way, during karaoke - we returned to many central questions. As anarchists, we are choosing to struggle against seemingly impossible odds. How do we explain to others (and to ourselves) the goals we have and why we are even involved in this work? With Common Action, we're building community, establishing trust and creating a structure that reflects our values - a strong foundation for common action.
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