Will of the Collective: An Article on Free-form Structure

Posted in 1 on December 2, 2008 by sunriseanarchistcollective

Free-form Structure

We have decided to stray from the teachings of structure. We feel as though the siren call of structure is the societal training we are raised to trust. Instead, we believe in free form structure and consensus. This does not mean lawlessness and chaos. To us, this is leaderless and organized. We believe in mutual action, self-regulation and complete accountability. Even the smallest assertion of leadership gives rise to complacency. Without anyone to lead, incentive must be grasped, and held on dearly. We as anarchists recognize that hierarchical leadership is as destructive as the systems which they shove down our throats, and as such recognize autonomy in collectivity.

Authority

All forms of authority within the Collective are rejected by the Collective because once authority is snapped up by those who seek power, a hierarchy of power and privilege is established. Once a hierarchy is created, no matter its subtlety, personal motivation and drive is immediately extinguished. We learn to follow authority from the cradle, and we refuse to follow it to the grave. The spirit of the Collective depends on the immediate confrontation of power, privilege and authority. We must fight oppressive behavior amongst ourselves with as much veracity and strength as we fight the oppression that comes from living under the tyranny of the bourgeoisie. The refusal to confront these dynamics among other anarchist circles has lead to their quick demise. We must remain vigilant and remember that we have privilege and power, that we learned this from the oppressive world that surrounds us, and that the simple act of calling ourselves anarchists does not make us immune. Confronting the societal training that we learned early is a constant process. We must not become complacent because of our knowledge.

Social Oppression

Disempowerment comes in many forms. It can range from the most seemingly insignificant behaviors to the most severe. It can be interrupting someone and can go as far as violence that is not in self-defense. These behaviors will not be accepted. Acts based on discrimination of all forms are disempowering and rob individuals of their sense of self-worth and safety. The Collective refuses to legitimize these behaviors with tacit approval through failure to confront. We encourage all members to stand against it as allies, to show support in empowering ways, so that no member stands alone. Tolerance is given to those who recognize their oppressive actions and hold themselves accountable to it. Forgiveness is given to those who overcome. There is no mercy given to those who continue to oppress.

Anarchism

The Sunrise Anarchist collective affirms that all forms of anti-authoritarian anti-capitalist politics are positive, and should be recognized for their merits. Within the collective there are myriad different views of a post revolutionary world, and though these beliefs are our means for organizing we do not let our differences inhibit the movement we are building. As a collective we will never alienate tendencies within the Anarchist movement. Our points of unity call for liberty, justice, and equality, a political program we believe should be shared by anti-authoritarians everywhere. Finding common ground with our allies and building upon that is the key to unifying our movement. We can no longer allow our movement to be torn by petty squabbles, let now be the time we build upon our diversity and recognize we are stronger united then divided.

Membership

In building the Anarchist movement in Portland, Sunrise intends to build the collective by instituting a point of membership. The point of a membership is to create cohesiveness in our collective and in our movement. The way that our membership works is that a prospective member has to attend three meetings and accept our political program (Liberty, Justice, and Equality).

Consensus

In order to retain from becoming a hierarchical organization, decision making will be reached through consensus. We recognize that reaching consensus can be a long process but overall can be an equally empowering process. We must keep in mind that because freedom of expression is encouraged and members are free to take on any project that suits their passions and interests, the only decision collectively in the matter is whether or not the purpose of the project and the means to achieve it hold true to the tenants of anarchism. We view consensus as the only logical option to make everyone’s voices heard, and to make the decisions made by the collective the most rational decisions.

Accountability

As a collective, we wish to see a process of accountability in all actions we take. All organizational actions should be accountable to the greater organization, as to create a cohesive and empowering collective. If any posts are to be taken up, these posts are directly recallable by the collective, if the collective feels as though that person is not representing the collective well. All collective members are accountable to each other, and we should welcome an environment of discussion around power and privilege.

This structure is a living document, and is subject to change with collective vote.

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Sunrise Anarchist Collective Meeting Announcement

Posted in 1 with tags on December 1, 2008 by sunriseanarchistcollective

To all those recognize the failures of the state,

There is a Sunrise Anarchist Collective meeting at Red & Black this Tuesday, December 2nd at four p.m. Come with your ideas, projects, passions and frustrations. We will hash out these concerns together, and plot for a brighter future as comrades in the struggle.

Always a Problem.
Always a Solution.

The Sunrise Anarchist Collective

Point of Purpose

Posted in Point of Purpose on November 25, 2008 by sunriseanarchistcollective

We bear the weight of capitalist oppression on our backs. We are seen as simple vehicles for profit, wage-slaves that are fodder for the machine. We are deprived of our own self-determination and lacking in autonomy. The capitalist machine steals from us our rights and turns them into markets to be pillaged and ravaged, survival becoming a profitable enterprise. Under these systems of exploitation we are all oppressed; it is our common bond, our master story. We all sell our labor for wage, our bodies for the profit of some far detached figurehead. We are alienated from the world that surrounds us, alienated from our production and our communities. We can trace our oppression to a single root: capitalism. Capitalism is what oppresses us all; capitalism is the cause of all our strife. This is not a natural occurrence; this is not the way that things must be. A different world is possible. A world held in common, with dreams and desires, a world of freedom and equality.

We organize to take back what the capitalist machine has stolen from us. We all strive for autonomy, self-determination, equality and justice. Justice is a word thrown around by the bourgeois. To the bourgeois, justice means protection of privilege and the continued oppression of the lower class. We see justice as holding the oppressors accountable for their disempowering actions. We believe in empowered communities that are self sustaining and collectively governed. We strive to place the power back into the hands of the people, instead of its current concentration in the hands of the few.

We see a world free from all forms of oppression. We see a world filled with beauty, creativity and passion. We see a world where each individual has the ability to reach their full intellectual, artistic and physical potential, free from the suffocating oppression that stems from capitalism. We see a world where every individual is clothed, fed and housed. We see a world where each person has access to good health, education and the tools needed to flourish. This is our struggle, a struggle for freedom, for equality, and for solidarity.

We are tired of hearing endless promises from mayors, managers, presidents, and union bosses. We see a new world built around real democracy: democracy in our communities and democracy in or work-places.