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2nd Pró-FASP Encounter - Final Notes, Documents and Photos
brazil/guyana/suriname/fguiana | anarchist movement | news report Monday July 27, 2009 19:06 by Pró-FASP
2nd Encounter towards an Anarchist Federation of São Paulo
Final notes from the 2nd Encounter towards an Anarchist Federation of São Paulo and documents distributed or read at the Encounter: "Points of Departure", "Theory: Especifismo as a Form of Anarchist Organisation"" and the "Initial Greeting". There are also some photos.
Final note about the 2nd PRÓ-FASP Encounter
Pró-Federação Anarquista de São Paulo (FASP)
Our expectations were exceeded, both with regard to the number of participants - around 150 people - and to the quality of the debates.
We will now start to make contact with all those who took part in the Encounter so that we can facilitate joint activities. We also renew our invitation to anyone who is interested in joining the collective to get in touch.
Our website will now undergo a period of maintenance in order to improve it.
Once again, we would like to thank everyone for their participation and dedication. It is thanks to you that we can continue our path towards a just and free society with more energy than before.
Long live anarchy!
[Translation by FdCA-International Relations Office.]
Points of Departure
Pró-Federação Anarquista de São Paulo (FASP)
a. Understand anarchism as an ideology and thus as a system of ideas, motivations and aspirations that are necessarily linked to action aimed at transforming society, at political practice.
b. Support social anarchism, in permanent contact with the class struggle of the social movements of our times, functioning as an instrument of struggle and not as pure philosophy or in small isolated, sectarian groups.
c. Have a concept of class that, while still remaining to be established more precisely, includes all the exploited sectors of our society.
d. Support the need for anarchism to become once again a social vector, which it has not been since the 1930s and the crisis in syndicalism. We will thus need to establish the best places to work, where the contradictions in capitalism are most evident.
e. Hold the social revolution and libertarian socialism as long-term objectives.
f. Hold that it is essential for anarchists to organise themselves in specific organisations in order to act in the various manifestations of the class struggle. In other words, the separation between the political level (the specific anarchist organisation) and the social level (social movements, trade unions, etc.).
g. Hold that organisation is essential and maintain a contrary position to individualism or spontaneism.
h. Support the concept of the anarchist organisation as the organisation of the active minority, which differs from authoritarian vanguards in that it does not believe itself to be superior to the social organisations. The political level complements the social level, and vice versa.
i. Hold that the main activity of the anarchist organisation is in its work/social insertion within the people's struggles.
j. Believe that ethics are a fundamental pillar of the anarchist organisation, that guide it in its practice.
k. Understand the need for propaganda and commit to carrying it out where it can be most effective.
l. In order to facilitate its work or social insertion, the anarchist organisation can divide into fronts of struggle.
m. Agree with the use of a system of concentric circles as far as the functioning of the organisation is concerned, giving rise to an organisation where the greater the commitment of militants, the further inside the organisation they will be and the greater their decision-making powers. Equally, the organisation must interact effectively with the social movements.
n. Ours will be an organisation with clear criteria for joining and anyone wishing to help will find our positions clearly set out.
o. Always seek consensus; failing that, majority votes can be used when necessary.
p. Operate with theoretical, ideological and programmatic (strategic) unity. The organisation will develop collectively a theoretical and ideological line which will then be followed rigorously, all rowing the boat together in the same direction, towards our established goals.
q. Accept that the FASP will be an organisation based on the commitment of its militants. An organisation with responsible members, which does not allow for lack of commitment or irresponsibility.
r. Finally, agree with the especifist model of organisation, which is different to the synthesist model (which seeks to include all sorts of anarchists in one organisation).
* The FASP does not aim to (or pretend that it does) represent the anarchists of São Paulo.
[Translation by FdCA-International Relations Office.]
Theory: Especifismo as a Form of Anarchist Organisation
Pró-Federação Anarquista de São Paulo (FASP)
Its primary origin can be identified in the organic positions of Bakunin, both in relation to the popular organisation - which materialised in his defence of a particular model for the International Workers' Association (IWA), and in relation to the revolutionary political organisation - that materialised in theory and in practice around the Alliance of Socialist Democracy (ASD). Its second reference may be considered in the positions of Malatesta, both in relation to the popular organisations - and all the discussion he made in relation to the workers movement and to syndicalism, and in relation to the specific anarchist organisation, which he called the "anarchist party". Over time this theory was contrasted with reality and other elements have been incorporated. Today, for us, taking part in the "organisational broth" that comprises Especifismo and other positions like that of the Russian Dielo Trouda gathered around the project of the Platform, that of the Latinos of the FAU, of the organisationists like Neno Vasco, José Oiticica and Domingos Passos, who worked in Brazil at the beginning of the twentieth century as well as now deceased militants that defended similar positions, which could address the issue with our generation: Antônio Martinez, Jaime Cubero and Ideal Peres.
Historically, the discussion around the Platform put two organisational proposals of anarchism into distinct camps. The first, already cited, was that proposed by the Russians exiled in France, the Platform of 1926, and the other, that arose as a response to the Platform and was formalised in two different moments: firstly by Sebastièn Faure in 1928 and by Volin in 1934, both homonymous documents called "The Anarchist Synthesis". In Latin America, differently to other parts of the world in which there is an anarchist communist tradition clearly inspired by the Platform, the model of organisation that differentiated itself from the synthesis is Especifismo which, despite the influences that it possesses of the Platform, cannot be summed up by it.
Especifismo is characterised, in practice, by the defence of two fundamental axes: the separation between the anarchist organisation and the popular movements (which is usually called the separation between the levels of political and social action) and the practice of prioritising social insertion and work within the social struggles. However, it is not only that. Today, Especifismo includes a series of other conceptions that determine "our" form of anarchist organisation. We look at some of them.
We understand anarchism as an ideology that, in this sense, must necessarily have a political practice with the intention of social transformation. This ideology was born in the middle of the class struggle of the nineteenth century and represents the aspirations of a particular sector of the population; this ideology that, while it emerged from society, returns to it in the form of organised practice in order to search for social revolution and libertarian socialism. These final objectives, in our view, will only come by means of a broad and popular social mobilisation which can accumulate strength and promote change - that we do not believe to be due to the internal contradictions of capitalism, but fruit of the will of the people organised. For these reasons our conception of anarchism has nothing to do with the individualist.
Thus, organisation is a central question for us, indispensable to a consistent revolutionary process that paves the way to a new society. And we understand organisation for social transformation from two levels: the specific anarchist organisation and the organisation of the popular movements.
The specific anarchist organisation has the character of active minority, associating militants on the politico-ideological level and whose principal work is done within the popular movements. These movements, for us, do not have to lie within a determined ideology, but organise themselves around needs and possess different ideologies in their midst. Our whole perspective of organisation bases itself on these two levels, where we associate in the anarchist organisation for our ideological affinities, and in the popular organisations for our needs as workers.
The specific anarchist organisation has determined objectives which are reflected in the activities and in the profile of its militants. It functions with a logic that we call "concentric circles", that determine clear positions for each militant of the organisation. There are positions in which there is greater commitment, and consequently greater decision-making power - that which we could call a militant "core", and positions in which there is less commitment and less decision-making power, like the positions of supporters or collaborators. Generally, the militants develop internal activity (in the secretariats: organisation, training, communication, relations, finance and facilities) and external activity in one of the fronts, which are sectors organised for social work that have as an objective to stimulate, organise, form popular organisations and influence them to have a set of characteristics that we could call "libertarian" (in terms of methodology) and that will enable them to realise social transformation. For this it is necessary that the militants have responsibility and self-discipline in order to carry out the daily work. Characteristics of the anarchist organisation that also mark Especifismo are: unity in terms of theory, ideology, strategy and tactics; emphasis on social work and the realisation of other activities such as propaganda, theory, training, strategy, relations etc.
The popular organisations (social movements, unions, etc.) are in most cases expressions of a class society, divided into capitalists and workers, which is evident in a process of class struggle. By highlighting the contradictions of the system and signifying a certain articulation of the popular sectors in the struggles of the people, the popular organisations have the potential for change. It is through activities in these organisations and the creation of new ones that we understand the ability to give to anarchism its real function. That is to stimulate and serve as a tool of the popular organisations. However, today the large majority of these organisations are bureaucraticised and, therefore, have limited potential for change. Through contact with them the goal of the anarchists is to struggle for these social movements to break these bureaucratic binds and broaden them as much as possible, increasing their level of combativeness and autonomy. With the objective that principles such as self-management and direct action can contribute to the process of struggle that points to a social revolution. For us it is only popular struggle, this "social level" formerly known to represent the "mass movements", that is able to promote real change.
It is all the popular organisations, united one with the other, and the anarchist organisation that could constitute the means that will lead to the end we desire - libertarian socialism. This strategy is at the base of the Especifista conception of anarchist organisation.
[Translation by Jonathan-ZACF.]
Pró-Federação Anarquista de São Paulo (FASP)
One year ago, in July 2008, some comrades called the Meeting for a São Paulo Anarchist Federation, which took place in the Clube Escola Jardim São Paulo, in the north of the city.
The meeting sought aimed to involve people interested in the discussion to form an Especifista anarchist organisation. Since then we have accepted Especifismo, a form of anarchist organisation that has its roots in the ideas of Bakunin and Malatesta; improved later on by others, as was the case with the Delo Truda group of Russian anarchists in exile. In Latin America we have the Uruguayan Anarchist Federation (FAU), founder originator of the term "especifismo", as an influence ; and in Brazil the organisationists from the beginning of the twentieth century as well as militants who had contact with our generation, like Antônio Martinez, Jaime Cubero e Ideal Peres.
Almost one hundred people attended the meeting. There was an exposition a presentation by the Anarchist Federation of Rio de Janeiro (FARJ) with debate about theory and practice, the concept and importance of social insertion and the question of organisation, among other themes. In the end we had a set of premises from which to start discussion and integrate new militants.
In this document, which we called "Points of Departure", we posited anarchism as an ideology and not as an abstraction or lifestyle; the defence of social anarchism; a classism concept of class based on the most diverse social subjects, recognising and giving priority to the class struggle; the need to recapture the social vector; social revolution and libertarian socialism as final objectives; the need for a specific anarchist organisation, with the character of an active minority, divided into fronts and making use of the logic of concentric circles; priority for social insertion/ work; ethics as an indispensable foundation base; the use of voting when necessary; theoretical, ideological and programmatic (strategic) unity and an emphasis on militant commitment.
Since then many things have been accomplished. We created a core of militants and a support group, conducted a series of meetings of these bodies and held diverse various political training courses and discussions covering anarchist organisation, and anti-capitalism, popular organisation, alliances and gender.
We promoted work within our fronts (peasant / indigenous and community) and also in our gender group. This social work had very high points and was where we focused our efforts most. We can highlight participation in the protest with the MST in front of the Lírios dos Vales occupation in Franco da Rocha; pamphleting on the question of gender in the peripheral areas of the city and in front of businesses; the creation of the organisations Ela Luta and Filhos de Toda Terra; promotion of activities in the Antonio Martínez Cultural Social Centre (Centro de Cultura Social Antonio Martínez); participation in the occupations of the Secretary of Justice and of farms in Taubaté and Valinhos undertaken by the MST; the Intercultural event at the Irmã Alberta Commune; grassroots work and mobilisation in the Eastern zone (of Sao Paulo); participation in forums and meetings with the indigenous movement and participation in a series of lectures, conferences, seminars and demonstrations with the popular movements.
There were many things A lot has been done, from mistakes and successes to joys and sorrows.
Now we commence the second Meeting (I’ve been using Encounter) for a São Paulo Anarchist Federation. The intention of which is to use these two days to present, in a detailed way, our theoretical and practical accumulation experience, discussing the current conjuncture situation?, learning about the experiences of other anarchist organisations and continuing the debate on the constitution of our organisation.
We begin this morning with a discussion of our theory and practice. This afternoon we will have a discussion on the current conjuncture situation?, focusing on a few issues: social movements, anarchism in Brazil and the world, politics and economics in Brazil and the world and anarchism and feminism. At night Tonight we will fraternise have a chance to get to know each other socially and have a party. Tomorrow morning we will have expositions presentations from the Gaúcha Anarchist Federation (FAG) and the Rio de Janeiro Anarchist Federation (FARJ), who we would now like to welcome and thank for their presence. We will end the afternoon with practical notes for the construction of social anarchism in São Paulo and arrange the foundation of the FASP, to occur take place in the second half of the year.
The group of militants who have kept the flame of the FASP alive since the beginning of last year would like to say a few thanks: to the Ay Carmela space, which has given us a place for meetings and that now makes itself available for this encounter; to the social movements that have welcomed us so receptively; the Landless Rural Workers' Movement (MST), particularly the Irmã Alberta Commune, the Dom Helder Câmara Commune, the Lírios dos Vales Commune, and the Unidos da Lona Preta. To cite some names: Pedro, Erica, Rosangela, Jorge, Rosana, Silvana, Jesus, Loura, João and Brito, Pierre, Dona Teresinha, Deusa and family. From the Antonio Martínez Cultural Social Centre and the community of São Miguel Paulista and surroundings: Ivan, Andréa, Railton, Janete, Dona Cida, Dona Nina, Dona Eva, Dona Dora, Tony Medrado and Antonio. From the Indigenous Movement: Edson, Emerson, Rose, Benedito, Hélio, Diva and Egina. And the Ela Luta Women's Cultural Group and Filhos de Toda Terra.
Our goal with this meeting is to gather more people around our proposal. We seek women and men interested in this project and who have a willingness to fight for social change. We want people at this meeting who identify with what we are proposing to join us to help create the foundations of this new organisation. Therefore, we will arrange the founding of the FASP in only a few months from now, on the 18th of November. The day on which the 1918 Rio de Janeiro Anarchist Insurrection occurred.
Please note that interested persons may be part of our Support Group, a body with less responsibility and less decision-making power, or they can be militants, who have greater responsibility and greater decision-making power.
In closing this greeting and opening the second Meeting for a São Paulo Anarchist Federation, we would like to emphasise that, for us, anarchism is a tool of struggle and that our goal is to take it back to the midst of social struggles and popular movements, seeking to recapture its social vector. Anarchist organisations are fundamental to stimulate and influence these struggles and movements, and it is with great humility, but with great desire, that we want to build the São Paulo Anarchist Federation.
We close this introduction with a quote from Mikhail Bakunin. He said, in the nineteenth century:
"If you remained isolated, if each one of you were obliged to act on their own, you would be powerless without a doubt; but getting together and organising your forces - no matter how weak they are at first - only for joint action, guided by common ideas and attitudes, and by working together for a common goal, you will become invincible."
We hope that everyone has a great meeting!
For anarchism as a tool of struggle!
[Translation by Jonathan-ZACF.]
Sat 29 Apr, 17:29
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