Sunday, 6 October 2013

Developing Locally



Autonomous England is not a political party. As such there is no formal membership (no cards, no fees) and there are no leaders. The Autonomous Movement seeks to exert change on government and put pressure on exploitative capitalism through protest and civil resistance. To achieve any success in this we must become a mass movement but one that is based on decentralized power. Autonomous England is a banner and set of guiding aspirations under which to unite. The onus then is on all of us to act locally, find like-minded people and begin building a movement.

Firstly, we must organize local groups. These could also be referred to as Chapters or Divisions. These local groups work as part of the whole along the decentralized principles of Federalism. Power rests with the members of the group who make decisions democratically (decisions are made by those who do the work) – each group is autonomous and can consist of about 2 to 20 people (or more). Sometimes, group members are irregulars who participate in some group activities, but not others. They coordinate their activities through re-callable delegates who have no authority themselves.

When a group becomes sufficiently large, it may choose to break up into smaller groups or simply have smaller project groups within the larger collective. The emphasis of local groups is organizing and education work at the local level. Local Groups can then build informal working relationships with other groups in their region for the purposes of mutual aid and cooperation on major projects. As they become established, more permanent regional and national federations are developed which then can undertake the coordination of large-scale protests.

The advantage of local groups is that they are formed of people who have common goals, objectives and experiences – groups survive because individuals are committed to these objectives. Because they are small, people know and trust each other on a personal basis. Small working groups enable a group to communicate more efficiently and to operate by consensus. Local Groups should seek to be economically self-sufficient and fund all their own activities. If you want something done, Do-It-Yourself – You don’t need money when you can donate your labour. The advantage of a D.I.Y. approach is that people don’t have to have a lot of money to be politically and economically effective. It is an ongoing educational experience where we learn what works by doing the work, develop our own skills and abilities, and get to spend time with others in our community and learn from each other. Local groups should be active and productive in their communities demonstrating to people what is possible by doing it and inspiring others to get involved in changing the society.

It is our hope to encourage other Autonomous Groups to form in Scotland, Wales, and around the world, creating an international Autonomous Social Movement and uniting all who stand for local working class autonomy against economic globalization.

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