Founding of Class Action Alliance
Organizing in the Northwest
On June 7th, 2008 in Olympia Washington a new Northwest (Washington & Oregon) US based regional anarchist organization, Class Action Alliance, held our founding General Assembly. Preparation for this founding General Assembly had taken place over several months including meetings in locations throughout the Northwest and the sponsoring of a speaking tour.
The General Assembly agreed to the General Principles of Class Action Alliance (below), a constitution, to seek affiliation with Anarkismo.net and a basic publication plan both online in terms of a website and a print publication. Individual officers were delegated to fulfill various administrative tasks on a provisional basis leading to a next General Assembly in mid-September.
In advance of the founding General Assembly, through organizing and planning meetings and the sponsoring of a speaking tour we invited others from the Northwest to become involved in this new organization based largely on the Anarkismo Editorial Statement and a plan to work with Anarkismo groups here in North America and across the globe as well as developing productive working relationships with other groups in the Northwest.
In looking at the past successes and failures of anarchist organizations we look towards our respected comrades across the world for inspiration, solidarity and an ideal of building a new world together.
For correspondence or more information on how to become involved email: firstname.lastname@example.org
General Principles of the Class Action Alliance
The members of Class Action Alliance identify within specific international anarchist traditions recognizing four main tenets of anarchist organization. The core of these traditions is the need for anarchist political organizations that seek to develop:
* Theoretical Unity
* Tactical Unity
* Collective Action and Discipline
Anarchism will be brought about by the struggle between the vast working class majority of society and the tiny minority that currently rules. A successful social transformation will require that anarchist ideas become the leading ideas within the working class. This will not happen spontaneously, it is up to anarchists to initiate and participate in social movements as an organized force.
A major focus of our activity is work at those crucial points where working class people are organizing together for control over our lives, the decisions affecting us and against oppression. These areas include, but are not limited to, direct action in the workplace, neighborhood activism, an ecology movement that remembers class and resistance to all forms of oppression. Oppression takes many forms, including but not limited to, racism, sexism and homophobia. Each must be confronted individually, as well as in relationship to one another. The class struggle cannot succeed without confronting these oppressions and their intersections. We need to be within these mass based movements of our class.
Beyond the traditional anarchist involvement within the mass economic struggles of the working class, we see it as vital to work in struggles that happen outside the unions and the workplace. These include, but are not limited to, struggles against particular forms of oppression, colonialism, imperialism and the struggles of the working class for a decent place and environment in which to live. Our general approach to these, like our approach to the unions, is to involve ourselves with mass movements and work within these movements, in order to promote anarchist methods of organization involving direct democracy and direct action.
We see the success of a social revolution being determined by the building of such struggles in the here and now. The methods of struggle that we promote are a preparation for the running of society along anarchist and communist lines after the revolution.
In the spirit of working class internationalism, we oppose all forms of imperialism and colonialism, and defend all peoples' rights to self-determination. We will act in solidarity with all struggles of oppressed peoples for their collective liberation. While in solidarity with all working peoples' struggles, we are opposed to all attempts for national or international ruling classes to co-opt these struggles, and all reactionary nationalism.
To achieve balance between humanity and the natural world, we must create a society which is based on the satisfaction of true needs such as food, shelter, water, and community. Modern environmental destruction is a result of capitalism's need to commodify the natural world, for the wealth of a small minority. We recognize that social transformation is the first step towards ecological balance, not lifestyle changes or technological innovations.
We recognize a need for anarchist organizations who agree with these principles to federate on a regional, national and international basis. However, we believe the degree of federation possible and the amount of effort put into it must be determined by success at building organizations capable of making such work a reality, rather than a matter of slogans.
(as agreed June 7, 2008)