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(en) Czech, AFED: Spring downhill AF - Report on the historically first online congress of the Anarchist Federation [machine translation]

Date Wed, 14 Apr 2021 10:52:25 +0300

Circumstances also forced us to go with the times. The Spring Congress of the Anarchist Federation (AF), in a situation where it is practically impossible to travel, took place in a virtual space in the form of an online conference, which was conducted through a secure service. ---- Since for many of us it was the first experience with this way of communication, the weekend meeting was divided into two parts. Friday evening was dedicated to the connection test and debugging of problems on the part of individual registered members. At the same time, the program for the following day was tuned, some of its points were discussed in advance, and there was no shortage of discussing personal matters. After all, we are a team of people close to each other, between whom there are often long-term friendly ties. The task of the evening was fulfilled - the connection was verified, the specific program and schedule were prepared, so that the meeting would go smoothly and without any misunderstandings.

By ten o'clock in the morning on Saturday, everyone was at their comps, and it could begin immediately. In the first place, the rules for communication during the videoconference were set, followed by those who are willing to moderate the convention or make minutes during the day. Within one hour, papers from local and working groups were on the agenda. Local groups are autonomous, so their delegates always present the group's activities since the previous meetingand plans for the future, and everyone can then ask what interests them. However, it is not just about activities purely under the banner of AF, because a large part of the members is involved in other anti-authoritarian collectives. However, it is true that the coronavirus crisis has made certain forms of activities impossible, especially those of public, various cultural charitable events or the possibility of distributing anarchist publications.

There was also talk of anarchist organizational tendencies in Slovakia, when the first issue of Buric magazine called for the establishment of the Slovak Anarchist Federation and another mention of the upcoming anarchist library and archive associated with the infoshop. It was agreed that AF would be very happy to help with its experience or support by providing anarchist publications to the archive and for further distribution.

In the case of working groups, the delegation of those involved was confirmed. The proposal to redirect membership fees, as anyone chooses, to support spaces or other projects that are existentially endangered by the current situation was discussed. By the end of May, we would like to report on how this proposal has been implemented and who has received financial support from us. Although it is clear in advance that, given our capabilities, there will be no extra amounts, we are aware of the need to support spaces that more or less form a certain background for various anti-authoritarian groups and their events.

As we commemorate the centenary of Petr Kropotkin 's death this year , it has been confirmed that texts dedicated to this anarchist thinker or written directly by him as part of the "Kropotkin 2021" series will be published on our website throughout the year. During the discussion of the publishing house of the AF Publishing House, the steps related to the publication of Kropotkin's Anarchist Ethics were presented and it was also announced that a new issue of the anarchist review Existence was slowly being completed (again dedicated to Kropotkin) . In addition, final work is underway to prepare a diary for 2022 dedicated to the Spanish Social Revolution. It is also planned to convert the book Anarchism for Beginners in the futureinto a web form. There was also a critique of one text that appeared on the AF website as a manifestation of lookism. Just because someone is a scumbag doesn't mean that people should make fun of them because of their big ears. So similar things should not happen again in the future.

The AF has officially confirmed that it is participating in an initiative aimed at joining the invitation of Zapatistas who are heading to Europe this summer, and preparing a program with them in the Czech Republic as well. Furthermore, the support of the AF initiative of the Stop Covid together and fairly was agreed and the statement of why the AF supports this initiative was approved . One of several other debates was devoted to the section "links" on our website - who to add and who not. In the end, there was a consensus that any change must be based on consensus within the federation.

In the end, we made a "round" and everyone commented on how the video conferencing format suited them. It is true that thanks to good preparation, adherence to the rules and the absence of unnecessary stretching of individual debates, we managed the planned schedule earlier than we expected. As a rule, satisfaction with the course of the congress was stated, and videoconferences were also recommended for the needs of regional and working groups, if they cannot meet in person at the moment. At the same time, however, it was confirmed that we lack personal contact, non-binding gossip about breaks, meals together and sitting with a beer.

Let's hope that the next federation congress will be alive, with everything that belongs to it.

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