Increasingly the world looks and feels like a less secure place. With an economic recession that seems to be fueling the far-right more than the far-left and anarchists, a climatic disaster which will face all of us and the prospect of more barbarianism in the form of military and terrorist operations across the world. For those of us who fight and dream of a better world composed of a classless global human community, we are anything but near to this reality.
Anarchists and libertarian ideas have had a lot to offer struggles in the past, and though the UK was a different world from 20, 30, 40 years ago we need to again look at how those of us who promote an anarchist tendency in society can organise ourselves better and inspire others to participate in struggles. Also we need to understand and recognise that there have been certain "bad practices" with the anarchist identity which are counter posed to achieving our aims. Sectarianism, group nationalism, lifestylism, theoretical obsessions, online forum flame wars, drug and alcohol addiction, disrespectfulness and cliques are some of these. These are up for discussion, and these will form part of the content at the conference. It may seem a negative thing to discuss but the positives are that we can overcome these and act differently - surely the whole ethos anarchists promote is that we should be in charge of our own destiny and should transcend the things that limits we are presented with.
That is not to say the conference will be a navel-gazing, insular event. On the contrary, it will be dynamic, it will be passionate, educational and inspiring. Our movement is still attracting hundreds of people across the UK by our activity from local groups, free-sheets, social centres, federations, direct actions, demonstrations and campaigns - judging from both the G20 demonstration in London and the Smash EDO demo in Brighton it is also a young and cross generational movement.
Climate change and environmental direct action campaigns have been heavily influenced by anarchist history as well as by the participants own relationship to the state and have brought anti-state ideas to the fore, as well as the rejection of market based solutions to climate change. It is positive that people from the Climate Camp movement will also attend the conference and offer their experience and reasonings to what they see as the potential for support what is still ALL of our struggle.
The conference will present all those who attend an opportunity to get a deeper understanding of our movement, make connections with people from all over the UK, here what people are involved in, what drives them, what they have learned works and what doesn't work. The aim is to make us a more connected movement, to see all our activity as a common activity. This is about collectivity, about solidarity, trust and all the human values that often get lost when we write political analysis and theory. This is the start of something, all of us are actors within this process.
The Anarchist Movement Conference will take place at Queen Mary University in Mile end, east London. It will be a two-day event starting at 9am on Saturday June 6th and finishing with a final movement plenary on Sunday 7th June. Everyone that registers will be formed into groups of no more than 20 people from different parts of the UK and different organisations.
You do not need to be part of an anarchist group to come to the conference and there will be many people who are not involved in a specific group or campaign.
A professional creche will also be provided for the two days so please email email@example.com if you are bringing children. We have also 50 sleeping spaces from accommodation from houses to local social centes.
On the evening of saturday 6th June, we are having a social with food and drink at Freedom Anarchist Centre in Whitechapel. We encourage everyone who comes to the conference to head down to it to continue the debates as well as help bail us out financially!!
For more information on the conference please visit: www.conference09.org.uk
We have had over 100 people register with more request coming in daily. To find out why we are asking people to register please see the website.
To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following info to be included in the body of your email:
You can pay either via paypal, cheque/postal order (see www.conference09.org.uk for details). If paying by paypal then please also email us a reference number so we can associate your payment with the registration.
You can register and pay cash on the day. But you will need to send us your registration before the conference.
Supporting Groups: (to be added to the list please email email@example.com)
Liberty & Solidarity (Birmingham Branch)
Liberty & Solidarity (Glasgow Branch)
Anarchist Federation Glasgow
Anarchist Federation (Leeds)
Haringey Solidarity Group
Anarchist Federation (London)
Solidarity Federation (South London Branch)
Freedom Anarchist Bookshop
Liberty & Solidarity (London Branch)
London Anarchist Bookfair
Whitechapel Anarchist Group
No Borders (Manchester)
Anarchist Federation (Nottingham)
RGA (Reading L&S branch)
Anarchist Federation (Sheffield)
South Wales Anarchists