First, On the Casa de Indymedia. Everything is working, the landlord issue is dealt with, and I bought a blanket and consequently am getting some sleep. The atmosphere here is lively with some 50 indymedia activists (mostly from Brazil but also Thunder Bay, Maine, Tallahassee, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, etc) working, partying, and fostering solidarity via cooking and sleeping communaly on mats on concrete floors. It is really fun!
So I think that the movement of movements have two models here:
1. The familiar model of a centralized organization with membership, bureacracy, and most importantly a centralized body of organization and authority.
2. The model most popular here of a decentralized network of groups struggling without institutionalizing or forming a distinct central organization.
The network model appeals to cooperation between groups interested in pursuing common projects. These groups could work together or autonomously to achieve some end. They do so with submitting to any higher authority and operate within whatever framework fits their desires. The example given of this is the action against the stockmarket and central bank in Argentina last december. Over 40 social organizations, the neighborhood assemblies, and the piqueteros all participated and shut down the economy of the country for a short period. They first discussed amongst themselves the proposals, and when the time came worked together to cripple the institutions of Argentina. The mission was successful and the trust built between the various other groups which were hitherto unrelated. The power of this model I think is derivative of the fact that at its core lies a desire and active pursuit of the autonomy of its groups and individuals. Rather than levelin, controlling, or subsuming groups into a highly hierarchical and centralized authority, the network approach attempts to keep the decision making and power at the bottom. By giving people the ability to decide for themselves how they wish to realize their work, it fosters an atmosphere of self-management, autonomy, and personal growth. The members of the Asembleas movement in Argentina repeat daily that their lives have been transformed from passivity and consumption into active engagement of everyday life by the directly democratic and anti-hierarchical asembleas. This model is at work in Indymedia, the I.W.W., and is spreading to activists, communities, and revolutionaries across the globe. The message of the World Social Forum as I have seen it is one of hope. There is hope that through our social (and anti-political) connections and actions we can facilitate a way of living in which people are able to develop themselves and are able to take control of their lives so as to make their lives and those around them better, more worthy, and beautifal. It is already happening in Chiapas, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, etc. In North America I believe the birth of Indymedia and autonomous direct action peace radicals as well as the rebirth of the I.W.W. signal the potential for a mass movement in the future. There is much internal and external work to be done, but the models are taking hold and making gains all over daily.
in solidarity, t