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When we have to deal with disagreements, conflicts and faults, these problems must be solved with a justice that is based on our libertarian ethical values. What does this concretely mean? That we have to hear all the parties involved and make sure to provide physical and psychological protection too all, especially if someone has – at least presumably – been hurt. In cases of sexual violence – for instance – we should not reproduce the bias of bourgeois patriarchal so-called “justice” that too frequently isolates (female) survivors and dismisses their feelings and words. It means that we have to establish means to examine the different positions and eliminate any doubts. That we have to have democratic and collective processes to deal with that and to take decisions and make recommendations. And, mainly, that we must first try to reeducate people instead of punishing or isolating them. Not that in some cases punishment or isolation couldn’t be the only solution, but, at least, we have to make (re)education a priority over punishment and isolation, which should be last resorts.
To deal with these problems within our movement instances of ethical justice that aim to resolve major disagreements, conflicts and faults are necessary. These instance, such as an “ethics commission” for example, could be convened and articulated whenever one or more militants within our movement or organizations identify a problem of this kind and ask formally for the establishment of a commission. The establishment of a commission (or the denial) would be the result of a collective decision made by the deliberative and decision-making bodies of the respective organizations. If a commission is established, then a certain number of militants not involved with the case could be mandated to constitute the commission and be given a deadline to listen to the different parties involved, to develop positions, eliminate doubts and then to produce a written document with a position and recommendations to the respective organization.
In our last statement on the Michael Schmidt case and accusations by journalists Alexander Reid Ross and Joshua Stephens that he is a fascist and white nationalist that attempted to infiltrate the anarchist movement, we said that the Anarkismo network had decided “to call for a commission of enquiry to investigate more closely both the accusations and the defence, and to make recommendations to the broader anarchist movement based on their findings”.
Regrettably it has been over a year since we announced our intention to convene a commission of inquiry and it has not yet materialised.
While we have recently started making progress once again on the call for a commission and will continue to work towards finalizing our proposal and framework, however, we have also had enough time now to debate aspects of the case both within and between some of the organisations in the network.
New developments and information concerning the case have also come to our attention that must be addressed immediately.
This time around, let’s fight for workers’ control from the start. Let’s create structures with checks and balances that ensure workers keep control. Let us not hand over power to a state that can institute tyranny all over again. We want anarchist communist organisation. Workers' delegation. Equable procedures. Bottom up organisation. It is 100 years since women workers began the 1917 revolution. Let’s do it again! The time for global revolution is here!
This year -2015- has finished with a number of challenges to those who stand for a world without privilege, a world of equality and liberty but we are sure 2016 will be a year to learn and help grow the new world in our hearts. Anarkismo.net hopes to be a useful tool to help think this alternative. We thank our readers in this process and we wait for your contributions.
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The international Anarkismo Network, which brings together class struggle anarchist organisations from more than a dozen countries in both the global South and North, and has relations with far more from across the globe, has noted with great surprise and concern the recent accusations by AK Press that Michael Schmidt is a fascist working undercover to infiltrate the anarchist movement.Before we can make any pronouncements on the matter, however, we need to carefully examine both the AK Press evidence, the article by Alexander Reid Ross, as well as Michael Schmidt’s response to the evidence and article. As a network Anarkismo has not taken sides, and will not accuse the accuser or the accused before there is more information and all the evidence has been presented.
Fri 22 Nov, 16:23
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