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IWW four hour day

It has been a while since I’ve done any kind of ‘political’ writing—but a change in city and circumstances has meant a re-think of what anarchist class struggle means to me right now. My last attempts focused on political organisation, and the shift from activist, moral/ideological-based struggles to struggles based around shared material needs. While this still holds true in terms of my thinking, I would like to explore what the actual content of such a struggle involves, and draw on ideas from the current of thinking known as ‘communisation’—ideas that are really quite simple once stripped of their ultra-left prose.

All form and no play

There is a real tendency within the anarchist circles I’ve been apart of to fetishize the form of our struggle, as opposed to its content. In other words, we get so preoccupied with how we organise, and neglect thinking about what we are doing (or want to do) in any depth. Of course this is a big generalisation, but I know it to be typical because my own actions have been no different. My past thoughts and energy have often been around how struggle might be organised—from semi-closed, direct-democracy based collectives, to community assemblies, solidarity networks and anarcho-syndicalist initiatives. It’s a mindset that seems to hold to the idea: “if we just try a different form, or a variation on how we are currently doing things, then we will have more success.” Instead of a solnet, let’s try a community assembly. Instead of a community assembly, let’s try working within existing organisations.

This is understandable, especially in the context of low periods of mass struggle. When there’s not many anarchists around—let alone class ruptures on the scale needed to actually challenge capital relations—it’s probably inevitable that we focus on how we organise ourselves and our activities.

But I think this approach is problematic for a number of reasons. Firstly (and for practical reasons), we don’t have the numbers to be worried about the form these small groups or networks will take. Secondly, it harbors an inward-and-outside position, in that it focuses on the activities of a small number of people while neglecting the shared material interests of our class as a whole—a sort of inverted Leninism. Finally, it relegates the content our struggles—what we do and why—to the background (or if not the background, it’s definitely not at the forefront of our thinking).

Beyond Resistance has been one space in which a change of focus has been possible. I don’t say this to focus on the form of our collective (here we go again); rather, an exploration of class struggle, material interests and capitalist patriarchy has meant what we are actually doing with our (limited) time has been important. As yet, this has not amounted to much outward action. But that’s not the point. I’m certainly not interested in building the movement—at least not in the framework I would have used in the past.

“Communism concerns as much the activity of human beings as their inter-relations”

This quote comes from Troploin’s carefully posed text, Communisation. In it, they explain what communism means to them, and in particular, how the content of struggle (or communisation, the revolution as being a communising process) should be at the forefront of any move towards revolutionary change. Here’s the quote in full:

We will focus on one point: because the vast majority of revolutionaries (Marxists and anarchists) regard communism above all as a new way of organising society, they are first of all concerned by how to find the best possible organisational forms, institutions in other words, be they fixed or adaptable, complex or extremely simple… We start from another standpoint: communism concerns as much the activity of human beings as their inter-relations. The way they relate to each other depends on what they do together. Communism organises production and has no fear of institutions, yet it is first of all neither institution nor production : it is activity

The passage relates to one of the main issues ultra-left and libertarian communists have noted with past revolutionary movements: “that a revolution is only communist if it changes all social relationships into communist relationships.” In other words, simply replacing the bosses with workers, and managing life and production as usual (albeit in more free and egalitarian ways) does not change the fundamental social relations between people. If we liberate our labour, as opposed to abolishing it, then “money, wage-labour, the enterprise as a separate unit and a value-accumulating pole, work-time as cut off from the rest of our life, production for value, private property, State agencies as mediators of social life and conflicts, the separation between learning and doing, the quest for maximum and fastest circulation of everything” remains intact. Instead, to be completely rid of capital, writes Troploin, “all of these have to be done away with and not just be run by collectives or turned over to public ownership: they have to be replaced by communal, moneyless, profitless, Stateless, forms of life.”

Endnotes elaborates on this concept further:

Those who developed the theory of communisation rejected this posing of revolution in terms of forms of organisation, and instead aimed to grasp the revolution in terms of its content. Communisation implied a rejection of the view of revolution as an event where workers take power followed by a period of transition: instead it was to be seen as a movement characterised by immediate communist measures (such as the free distribution of goods) both for their own merit, and as a way of destroying the material basis of the counter-revolution. If, after a revolution, the bourgeoisie is expropriated but workers remain workers, producing in separate enterprises, dependent on their relation to that workplace for their subsistence, and exchanging with other enterprises, then whether that exchange is self-organised by the workers or given central direction by a “workers’ state” means very little: the capitalist content remains, and sooner or later the distinct role or function of the capitalist will reassert itself. By contrast, the revolution as a communising movement would destroy – by ceasing to constitute and reproduce them – all capitalist categories: exchange, money, commodities, the existence of separate enterprises, the State and – most fundamentally – wage labour and the working class itself.” (Endnotes, # 2, 2010)

While these quotes might seem off topic, they actually help to frame the questions to come: if the content, or the nature of class struggle, is to take priority over its form, what should our activity in the here-and-now look like? Taking communisation and the importance of material interests into account, the question might be better re-framed as: what material interests can we struggle around that will create the space to rupture capital relations?

I want to make the point here that I do not believe the actions of myself, or my comrades, will result in social revolution. Call it cynical, but this activist mentality was jettisoned a long time ago. However this is not the same as defeatism, or to advocate idly waiting for the spontaneous ruptures of the working class to erupt. Instead, it is the realisation that the content and scale of struggle needed to challenge the capital-labour wage relation will involve activity much larger than our actions alone.

To work or not to work

So, what material interests can we struggle around that will create the space to rupture capital relations? If wage-labour (waged or unwaged), work as a separate activity of life, and the existence of a working class are central to capital’s reproduction, then it makes sense to place these at the heart of our struggles. Or more specifically, the refusal of work and anti-work struggles.

Kathi Weeks in The Problem With Work: Feminism, Marxism, anti-work politics and postwork imaginaries notes how work can unite a range of material interests: “the category of work seems to me at once more capacious and more finely tuned than the category of class. After all, work, including its absence, is both important to and differently experienced within and across lines of class, gender, race, and nation.” She argues that as a result, “the politics of and against work has the potential to expand the terrain of class struggle to include actors well beyond that classic figure of traditional class politics, the industrial proletariat.”

As a way of struggling around these shared material interests, and to bridge the gap between a refusal of work and current work ethics, Weeks suggests two ways forward—the struggle for a guaranteed basic income, and the demand for shorter working hours without the loss of pay. Although it raises questions around how such a demand would affect those who are in reproductive or unwaged work, the second option is one I really like.

While organisng around wage increases or a minimum wage re-enforces the wage system and does nothing to question the nature of work, struggles for a shorter working day (without the loss of pay) opens up a potentially radical discussion about the nature of work itself. Not only would “a thirty-hour full-time work week without a decrease in pay would help to address some of the problems of both the underemployed and the overworked,” it also questions life as endless toil. The benefit of “focusing on these demands which I think distinguishes them from many other demands for economic reform, including the demand for a living wage is their capacity not only to improve the conditions of work but to challenge the terms of its dominance. These demands do not affirm our right to work so much as help us to secure some measure of freedom from it.” Struggling around a shorter day with no decrease in pay is “at once a demand for change and a perspective and provocation [and]  a useful reform and a conceptual frame that could generate critical thinking and public debate about the structures and ethics of work.”

The demand for a shorter working day is not a new one. We are all familiar with the struggle for the 8 hour day and the radicalisation this struggle caused. More recently, the IWW has demanded a 4 hour day for 8 hours pay.

Some will argue that slogans such as these will not feed a family on the minimum wage. When there is a vacuum in struggles around such basic (and much needed) reforms, it is indeed tempting to fill the void left by the unions and other ‘socialist’ organisations, and make reform the content of our activity. But we are not social reformers. If we are radicals in the true meaning of the word, then our activity should strike at the root of capital relations. Not only does the struggle for the minimum wage keep the wage system intact, it closes the door to the questioning of wage-labour itself—the very reason poverty wages exist in the first place. Yes, its no comfort to a hungry family, but neither is the continuation of capital relations—in the short-, medium-, or long-term.

It is also possible that the questioning of work, or more specifically, the demand for a shorter day without the loss of pay, places our organisng back on moral or ideological terrain—the very terrain BR has questioned in the past. The key would be to match the demand, which many will consider utopian, with the concrete, lived experiences of work—our shared material interests.

Anti-work struggles via the demand for a shorter working day. Utopian babble or the way forward? At the very least, it is a discussion worth having. And one not based on form.

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A new (communist?) group has been formed in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Have a peek at their website for more information and articles: http://www.poa.org.nz/index.html

Just a wee work-in-progress update.

Last weekend saw BR get together for our fourth national AGM. Among the things talked about was the blog. One thing we want to change on this here blog is to enable each member of BR to comment under their own user account. Hopefully this approach will allow for more diversity of opinions, articles and news, and make for interesting reading/discussion.

We’ve also taken down the old Aims & Principles, and How We Work paper as these are undergoing revision, but we did not want to dismiss or forget the hard work that had gone into those documents by past and current members. So you can still access them as individual posts below.

Coming soon will be a ‘brainstorm of intent’, a working draft on what BR is and how it operates.

More soon!

In order to keep a record of all the past work and ideas that have gone into Beyond Resistance, we’ve decided to post our original How We Work/Constitution from the 2009-2012 period here (rather than delete it completely). This is currently under revision and does not necessarily represent the present collective.


BEYOND RESISTANCE

Beyond Resistance will be made up of both Individual members and Locals across Aotearoa / New Zealand.

We operate on the free agreement between those who think it useful to unite and co-operate. Individual members and Locals have a moral duty to support the enterprises undertaken as a collective as a whole, and to do nothing that would go against its accepted aims, principles and constitution. Full autonomy, full independence and thus full responsibility of the individual and Local to the collective is needed to be effective.

3 or more Individual members in one location will constitute a Local.

A Local will have autonomy over its internal functioning and activities, within the scope of the guidelines and strategies of Beyond Resistance. Locals will delegate their own Secretary and Treasurer, and any other roles that may be needed.

Beyond Resistance as a national collective will have a National Secretary and National Treasurer. At this stage these roles will be fulfilled by the Christchurch Local, but this is only temporary and may change/rotate as more Locals grow.

A national hui of the entire membership will take place once a year. Ideally all members should be present, but if hardship occurs, decisions can be passed on and advocated by a delegated member of their Local.

Any important decisions such as changing the Aims & Principles, How We Work etc can only be made at the national hui, and needs a quorum of the entire membership to make any decisions. Decision making at hui will follow the decision making guidelines set forth below.

Dues will be paid by an Individual member or Locals into their own fund, to be used at the Individual / Local’s discretion. Once a month a percentage of the total monthly dues will be transfered into a national fund, to be used for expenses pertaining to national matters only (such as the national hui, costs of membership packs, a national paper etc). As of November 2010 that percentage is set at 40%.

MEMBERSHIP

There are three ways to be involved in Beyond Resistance:

1. Friend of Beyond Resistance

2. Individual Member

3. Member of a Local


1. A Friend of Beyond Resistance is an interested person who wants to help the collective in some way, but are not ready / interested / able to commit to being a member. Support can be flexible and varied according to the individual’s ability and willingness.

Friends of Beyond Resistance can come to meetings and hui, have input at them, but do not have decision making rights.

Very regular attendance to meetings and other Beyond Resistance activities may suggest membership as being the more suitable type of involvement.

People interested in becoming a Friend of Beyond Resistance can obtain the Membership Pack which contains all the relevant information — including current positions, How We Work and membership form.

2. Individual membersmust read and agree to the Aims & Principles of Beyond Resistance.

Individual members are accountable to the national collective as a whole when acting in the capacity as a member of Beyond Resistance.

Individual members are valued and have equal status with Members of a Local when it comes to national hui.

Individual membership requires a commitment to be active in their own locality, and be involved in the life and activity of the national collective. This includes input in the internal organising Forum, attending national hui and events, and keeping in regular contact with other members of the collective. They can also be added to the nearest Local’s internal email list if requested.

Because it’s advantageous to be working collectively, it is in the best interest of Individual members to encourage the formation of a Local in their area.

Individual members will pay 1% of their income as dues, which should be kept locally to aid that member in their own organising efforts. If payment of dues creates financial hardship, members can liaise with the National Treasurer to organize a lesser payment. Once a month a percentage of the total monthly dues will be transfered into a national fund (as above).

People interested in becoming an Individual member can contact the nearest Secretary, or the National Secretary. They will be asked to share a bit of information on themselves, why they want to join the collective, and be encouraged to meet up with other members (if possible). Unless there are any objections from the collective, he/she will then receive a Membership Pack and will be able to access the national internal forum etc. After an introductory period of 6 weeks, in which she/he can get a taste for the collective, the individual will be asked if they want to become a dues paying member, if they haven’t already.

3. A Member of a Localmust read and agree to the Aims & Principles of Beyond Resistance.

Local members are accountable to other members of their Local and the national collective as a whole when acting in the capacity as a member of Beyond Resistance.

Each member is valued as a unique individual and has equal status.

Membership requires a commitment to being involved in the life and activity of their Local, and the national collective. This includes input in the internal organising Forum, attending national hui and events, and keeping in regular contact with other members of the collective.

A Local requires input and decision making by all members of that Local. Normally this would entail members attending as many meetings as possible, with exceptions given for health reasons, the needs of children, and other circumstances that affect us as human beings.

The reason for the requirement to attend as many meetings as possible is because face to face communication is valued over all other forms of communication (such as email). This also takes into account the fact that many people still do not have access to computers or find them a problematic way of communicating.

Local members will take turns at the jobs and roles required by the Local such as facilitation, minute taking, accounting, blog management etc. Everyone is required at some stage to have a go at these positions so as to learn skills and dissipate power.

Local members will be able to access internal organizing email lists where everything can be discussed openly, have access to minutes and accounts, have full decision making abilities, and therefore, have full responsibilities.

A Member of a Local will pay 1% of their income as dues to their Local. If payment of dues creates financial hardship, members can liaise with the Local’s Treasurer to organize a lesser payment. Once a month a percentage of the total monthly dues will be transfered into a national fund (as above).

Becoming a Member

An individual can apply or may be invited to become a member of the collective. Depending on their location, they will either become an Individual Member with an introductory period of 6 weeks; or if a Local exists, after she/he has attended three consecutive meetings.

Applying members will be sent/given the Membership Pack which will contain all the relevant information including current positions, How We Work, and membership form, to be perused at leisure.

Someone wishing to become a member of a Local should have the opportunity to present her/his self to the group at a subsequent meeting and some members may want to learn more about her/him by asking some questions. It is important that the potential member feels welcomed and comfortable rather than interrogated in this process.

There may be a need for members of a Local to get together to discuss the new membership without the prospective member present so that that an open discussion can be held without embarrassment to anyone. If there are no objections, the member will be notified of their new status as quickly as possible.

Objections

If there is an objection to the new person’s membership, it will be discussed thoroughly by the collective.

It would need to be deemed that her/his membership would be detrimental to (a) the collective and its aims and principles, (b) to a current individual within the collective, or, (c) the gender or cultural balance of the collective.

If there is a serious or valid objection and the majority agrees, the person applying for membership of a Local will also be asked to refrain from coming to meetings for the time being, if appropriate. Where a Local does not exist, Individual members will be notified of their membership status by the National Secretary.

Ideally, this decision will be conveyed to the applicant as quickly as possible, to maintain (a) their respect as a person, and, (b) the integrity of group as an entity.

The applicant could be invited to reapply as a member of the group at a future date if that seems feasible.

Leaving Beyond Resistance

Any member who breaks in a serious way the ethics of Beyond Resistance and its Aims and Principles can be asked to leave.

The process is:the facts are brought to the attention of the collective. They are discussed in a non-violent and productive way and may include following the conflict resolution process.

If they are an individual member, they will be informed of the collective’s decision and be asked to cease their involvement. That member can come and defend his or her point at the next national hui, and the decision will be readdressed.

If they are a member of a Local, it may be collectively decided that the member not take part in meetings and activities until the situation is rectified. This would entail that the member ceases day to day activities within their Local and she/he will be removed from its internal email list.

If the member is not present she/he will be notified of any decisions immediately.

If there is no resolution or the breach is serious enough, an expulsion motion will be brought up at the next meeting or national hui. The motion must explain the reason/s why the member must leave. The member can come and defend his or her point at the meeting or hui, and a decision will be made.

Any member of the forces of repression, any collaborator with the forces of repression, any person who joins Beyond Resistance with hostile motives, will automatically be expelled without any other formality. In such a case, the person will still be free to come and explain him or herself to a meeting or national hui and ask again to join the group if they judge that their expulsion was wrong.

Resignation

Any member who chooses not to fulfill their membership responsibilities for more than three consecutive months would indicate resignation. This member will be contacted to be informed that if she or he does not rectify the situation within a set period of time, she or he will lose their membership status.

The collective expects a high level of commitment to the group, but members may leave or change to a Friend of Beyond Resistance at any time. Individual members considering this need to contact the National Secretary. Members of a Local need to voice their decision to their Local at a meeting, or, if they are not comfortable with this, then to another member or in writing. They are expected to help with the transition of jobs and any difficulties their leaving may cause.

Dues will not be reimbursed upon leaving the collective.

HOW MEETINGS ARE RUN

Meetings are generally split into two halves, with an internal and external focus, and are facilitated by a different member of the Local each meeting. A desired end time is set, the minutes from last meeting are read out, followed by a round where everyone is able to share ideas, concerns or items for the agenda. The facilitator’s role is to also record the minutes, and to write them up for the internal mailing list before the next meeting. This may change as membership grows.

We operate in meetings and national hui according to our safer spaces policy. Members should be aware at all times the ways in which their behaviour and words could effect others in the collective, aim not to dominate meetings, and to respect each other and their point of view (see our Safer Spaces Policy).

DECISION MAKING

Members make the decisions in Beyond Resistance.

It is the spirit in which these decisions are made that is the most important criterion in the decision making process.

If there is a lack of goodwill, even the best process in the world can be thwarted. (For example, a person with lack of goodwill and cooperation could use the consensus process to block a good idea supported by the rest of the group.)

Consensus Decision Making

This is the process whereby an idea is floated by a member or members and it is discussed and debated thoroughly by all present. If the idea is not, or is only partially supported by others, it is discussed further. The idea is changed if necessary, and ultimately everyone ends up agreeing, or the idea is discarded.

This process only works well when everyone present is valued and no power dynamics are occurring. An ideal group would have equity amongst all and no power struggles. We acknowledge we are reflections of a far-from ideal society, therefore any processes we use could be flawed.

There must be room for individual members to dissent and there must be no pressure from others to agree on all ideas put forth – especially ideas coming from those who may hold positions of power – perceived or real.

With this in mind, decisions are ideally made using the ‘consensus process’ which is embraced with goodwill and with power dynamics held foremost. Some people will simply agree to ‘stand aside’ so that the group can move forward in its endeavours.

Any important decisions must be made with a quorum of the core membership present.

Direct Democracy

If needed, decisions can ultimately be made by voting, via direct democracy.

A quorum of the membership must be present.

A quorum is at least two thirds of the membership.

Three quarters of these members agreeing will signify a decision.

ROLES

Local and national roles are shared and regularly rotated amongst members. In a Local, the facilitator/minutes taking role is the responsibility of a different member each meeting, while more long-term roles (see below) are rotated every year. No one member can fulfill a role for more than one year at a time — they are to be shared equally — and all members in these roles can be subject to recall by a two-thirds majority of the membership if that role is abused.

Local Secretary: checks and shares emails, sends meeting reminders, corresponds with other Locals, and is the general point-of-contact for the Local. The may be delegated to represent the wishes of the Local at yearly hui.

Local Treasurer: keeps tabs on dues, funds and monetary aspects of the Local, books and pays for meeting spaces, and can be consulted on any other financial matters.

Other specific roles such as website management, media etc, may be added as they arise.

National Secretary: performs similar roles as the Local Secretary, at a national level. This involves keeping tabs on membership, sending membership packs to prospective members, liasing between Locals etc.

National Treasurer: performs similar roles as the Local Secretary, at a national level. This involves managing the national fund and associated expenses.

SAFER SPACES POLICY

Safer Spaces

Meetings and events organised by Beyond Resistance aim to be safer spaces. Violence, harassment and abuse will not be tolerated in any form.

This can be based on gender, sexual preference, race, socio-economic status, political beliefs, physical abilities, class, age, physical appearance, religion, and a myriad of other factors. If we wish to enact social change, we must implement that change in our daily behaviour.

There can be no definitive list of behaviour / comments / situations which make people feel uncomfortable. The main thing is to concentrate on how your actions are affecting others, and modify your behaviour as appropriate. Try to remain open to discussion of ways to improve communication within any space, and continually question the privilege you have (e.g. from being older, from being more experienced, from your ethnicity, from your gender, etc). It’s YOUR responsibility to ensure you aren’t taking up too much ‘space’, and devaluing or disregarding the opinions and experiences of others.

This includes, but is not limited to: speaking loudly and over the top of others, interrupting others speech, dominating conversation and not allowing others to speak, explaining concepts condescendingly, making assumptions about the experiences and lifestyles of others, starring at others in a manner which makes them uncomfortable (i.e. ‘checking them out’) and invading the personal space of others during conversation.

Responsibilities

  • Everyone’s physical and emotional boundaries are different. Always ask consent before touching someone in a manner that could be considered intimate, and check if people are comfortable discussing certain topics that may be triggering (e.g. sexual abuse, sexual experiences, physical violence, or encounters with the police).
  • Pay attention to body language, as people often use non-verbal clues to communicate a lack of consent (e.g. not making eye contact, making excuses to move away from you, not responding to your physical advances).
  • Take responsibility for your own actions, and consider how your behaviour and speech affect others remember that not everyone reacts the same way.
  • Respect other’s thoughts and opinions. This doesn’t mean we all have to agree, but that we do not resort to prejudice or personal insults in discussing ideas.
  • At times, you might feel comfortable using language which some may find offensive or derogatory. Beyond Resistance activities, meetings and events are not the appropriate space for this. You do not know who will overhear you, and how they will react to this.
  • Talk about the influence of alcohol and other drugs on yourself and others, and think about limiting your use if you know that you become violent or disrespectful under their influence.
  • Be aware of yourself and how you are feeling. If you need assistance, do not be afraid to ask someone or call a friend. Removing yourself physically from a situation can be a great help.

Remember, you are responsible for articulating 100% of your needs 100% of the time. For example if you feel intimidated during a conversation you can try to end the conversation by saying something like ’I feel uncomfortable, can we stop talking about this?’ The other person might not know that you are feeling intimidated. Speaking up can be scary, but there are ways we can support you in doing this.

Check out our our Conflict Resolution process for dealing with greviences.

Enacting a Safer Spaces Policy

By attending Beyond Resistance events, and participating in our activities, we ask you to abide by these guidelines. Those engaging in violence (including sexual violence and harassment) will be asked to leave the space in which we are holding an event or to cease involvement with the group. This may be temporary or permanent depending on the severity of the situation and the wishes of the survivor of abuse.

We are a survivor-oriented group and organise activities with this in mind. If someone is feeling unsafe, their concerns will be treated seriously.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION

All groups and individuals experience conflict. It is very unhealthy for a group to ignore difficult issues that inevitably occur.

If conflict is seen as an opportunity to grow and learn then it is going to be less painful. There are processes that make conflict less confusing and more manageable.

Firstly, the problem must be somehow tangible.

The conflicting parties could write down or verbalise their issues.

This must be able to be done in a “Safer Space” (see our Safer Spaces Policy above) so that all parties are comfortable. Sometimes this requires support people being there for individuals in a meeting.

Some space and time between parties may be needed (a cooling off period) before a face to face meeting happens.

If the issues can be thought through and listed beforehand, in their own time, people are less likely, in anger, to say things they don’t mean. It also clarifies the issues in people’s own minds as this can be a barrier to some (trying to separate emotions from the matter at hand).

The listed issues are then shared between the conflicting parties, their support people and a mediator if necessary.

Sometimes, if the issues are personal, it requires a relative amount of confidentiality and cannot be shared within the whole membership or elsewhere.

The conflicting parties will then have some time to respond in writing or verbally to the issues raised. After issues have been listed it diffuses the situation and often people will concede to their errors or misunderstandings quite quickly.

This phase of the process could take a longer time though, as some to-ing and fro-ing could occur. However, it is imperative for the health of the group that actual progress is being made.

A degree of goodwill of both parties will be required to systematically work through issues and ultimately resolve them.

Problems must be addressed and then have closure.

Continued conflict about group tactics or decisions may signify a person is not suitable as a member of Beyond Resistance and may be asked to leave so as to allow the group to continue with its goals.

CHILD-FRIENDLY SPACES

Tamariki /children are our future and have a special place within our community. We attempt to make all Beyond Resistance events child and family friendly.

Beyond Resistance will attempt to provide a safe, welcoming and friendly space where tamariki can explore, play, learn, discover, have fun and be themselves. We encourage tamariki to express themselves and their needs, and join in activities if they want to.

At smaller events like discussion groups, film nights etc, Beyond Resistance will have a person delegated to liase with parents/carers of tamariki as to how best to meet their needs.

As we are a small group we don’t provide full chidcare as such. We do however work with and support parents/carers and tamariki to help ensure that everyones comfort and needs are met.

At larger events like regional meetings and larger gatherings, Beyond Resistance will organise and provide safe, positive childcare.

Toys, books, music and art supplies are available for tamariki at all events. There will also be cushions and blankets for rest or moe /sleep, if the event calls for it.

A first aid kit and someone with first aide knowledge will also be present if needed.

Waiata, Kaui, Peke, Oma /Sing, Dance, Jump, Run — play!

— last updated November 2010

In order to keep a record of all the past work and ideas that have gone into Beyond Resistance, we’ve decided to post our original Aims & Principles from the 2009-2012 period here (rather than delete them completely). These are currently under revision and do not necessarily represent the present collective.

  1. The vast majority of society have no control whatsoever over the decisions that most deeply and directly affect their lives, while the few, who own or control the means of production, accumulate wealth, make laws and use the whole machinery of the State to perpetuate and reinforce their privileged positions. Therefore, we believe that the working class and the capitalist class have nothing in common. There can be no peace as long as hunger, deprivation and boredom are found among millions of working people and the few, who make up the capitalist class, have a gross excess of all the good things of life.
  2. We advocate the abolition of capitalism, wage slavery and all economic systems of oppression and exploitation through tactics like direct action, solidarity and class struggle. We aim to create a free and classless society, based on workers’ self-management of the means and relations of production, distribution for need not profit, free association, mutual aid, and federation — Anarchist Communism.
  3. We believe the state, like capitalism, cannot be reformed, and refuse to support participation in parliamentary elections. We advocate the abolition of all forms of government and the state and the replacement of hierarchical political structures with those based on direct, participatory democracy.
  4. No ruling class in history has ever relinquished its power without struggle. Power will be taken from them by the conscious, autonomous action of the working class themselves and will be a time of violence as well as liberation. The idea that socialism can be achieved peacefully, or by a revolutionary elite acting ‘on behalf of’ the working class is both absurd and reactionary.
  5. The only revolutionary body able to end capitalism is the working class itself, in the form of mass, spontaneous and self-organised struggle from below. Meaningful action, as pro-revolutionaries, is whatever increases the potential and practice of these forms in preparation for mass/general strikes within the workplace and the community.
  6. We reject patriarchy and fight for the empowerment and liberation of women. We stand in solidarity with feminist struggles, and believe that actively challenging the personal and interpersonal manifestations of patriarchy is equally as important as working towards structural changes. Both need to happen together to create a new society free of male domination.
  7. We work for the creation of a society that encourages cultural diversity. We reject all forms of racial and ethnic prejudice, nation states, nationalism and patriotism: we are not patriots, we are internationalists.
  8. We recognize the ongoing history of indigenous self-organisation and resistance to both capitalism and colonization, and we support the need for Maori to struggle as Maori, with Maori, and on Maori terms.  As a group that is focused on class struggle, what we have to offer is a critique of corporate and representative approaches to social change.  We aim to work alongside grassroots Maori struggle in Aotearoa and develop our understanding of the links between colonization and class exploitation.
  9. We reject compulsory heterosexuality and fight for the empowerment and liberation of queer, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, asexual and intersex people.
  10. We reject the marginalisation of those of us in class struggle because of age, experience, mental or physical ability.
  11. We recognise that our natural environment is under continual assault from the forces of excessive and unsustainable production. Instead, we envision a world where common ownership of the earth and the direct democracy of communities act as the guardian of ecological sustainability.
  12. The forms and content thrown up by class struggle cannot be fully known in advance, therefore we aim to allow room for reflection, criticism and change within the group.
  13. We operate on the free agreement between those who think it useful to unite and co-operate to achieve the goals above. Members have a moral duty to support the enterprises undertaken as a collective and to do nothing that would go against these accepted aims and principles. Full autonomy, full independence and thus full responsibility of the individual to the collective is needed to be effective.
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