Affiliation of IABF with the Anarchist Federation

The following text by us was first published in the [改道] Gâi Dào N° 98, the journal of the Anarchist Federation. You can either read and download them online in different formats or if you prefer to hold something in your hand and want to support us, you can also subscribe in printed form. You will certainly also find them in the information store of your trust. The text is at the same time our declaration of affiliation and the first publication on our goals and ways of working. Have fun reading!

Dear companions,

we as Initiative Anarchistische Bewegung Frankfurt (IABF) are now also “officially” part of the federation – yeah! The consideration of whether we want this at all was out of the question for us at any time, since it is necessary, especially in the current times for anarchist contexts, to exchange and support each other – locally, but also supra-regionally. Since we ourselves are still involved in various build-up processes, our first consideration was to wait with this step until we feel that our work is somewhat stabilized and our basic discussions have been provisionally concluded and published. In our daily activities, however, reality quickly overtook us: In view of our previous participation in activities of the Federation and the lively exchange we have been maintaining for some time, we have decided to join now. During the last meeting of the Federation we have now been admitted.

Since our foundation in February 2018, we have mainly been organizing theoretical productions in the form of intensive discussions on basic principles. Among other things, we are working on a local organization concept with the focus on organizing more people in anarchist contexts in a healthy and sustainable way. We simply cannot afford to continue to attract new people like a kind of instantaneous water heater, but to burn them for the foreseeable future either due to overload and poor capacity distribution, or to see them leave our structures frustrated. As an initiative, we no longer see ourselves as the usual and often isolated small political group in our circles, but strive to build a form of organisation that we currently call a movement platform – we do not have any connection to platformism, even if the name can be misleading. Based on this, topic-specific groups will be formed on the occasion of the event, which will be federated together in the Movement Platform according to synthetic principles from the very beginning. These resulting groups do not fulfil a pure end in themselves, but are similar to an instrument of a toolbox tailored to real needs and will only be used as long as there is a need for them. The goal sounds moderately modest: Our working method strives for the renewed combination of theory and practice, including a renewal of anarchistic theory, which must be constantly further developed in simultaneous implementation and reflection. Since this sounds a bit megalomaniac for a small and marginal context like ours, it is clear: One more reason to become federated, to share our thoughts with as many people as possible, to live, to expand and to grow together in solidarity with criticism.

In terms of habitus and structure, we work out a difference between the current scene(s) and a necessary, more comprehensive movement. For us, the scene is still a welcome and necessary shelter, but no longer our political field of action. As soon as we believe we have a concept in a form that stimulates discussion, we will publish our ideas. A concept for a way out of self-inflicted exclusivity as a scene and from the loss of any reference to processes with actual possibilities of transformation, in short: a way out to a powerful anarchist movement. In connection with this, we also want to reveal our thoughts and backgrounds. Both for transparency, so that decisions can be better understood, but of course also to enrich and develop our thoughts through criticism and suggestions. We therefore want to formulate a concept that can be the basis of a form of community and society free of domination, as we would like to form it and at the same time – as a consequence – that of our organisation. The current focus is on drafts for a decision-making concept and possibilities for a rule-free judiciary, whereby for the latter we include common approaches from the areas of Community Accountability, Awareness, Safer Spaces, as well as Transformative and Restorative Justice.

In addition to our temporary focus on theory work as the future basis of our practice, we have also been enraptured to interfere in political events. So we got involved in the local district struggles on a case-by-case basis, while we tried to rebuild our own anarchist center. Such a centre was not exactly at the top of our list of priorities, but since an extraordinarily good opportunity had opened up with a concrete object, we could of course not let it pass us by. During this time we gained a lot of experience and were able to make many contacts. Ultimately, however, we failed in our attempt due to speculation, the real estate market and the responsible departments of the city of Frankfurt. The desire for our own centre lives on in a certain form, as continuity and responsiveness form the basis for our organisational concepts. For this reason, we have currently established a weekly anarchistic café in ExZess together with an environment of anarchistic people, which has been running since October. In addition to this event, which we currently call “Black Sunday”, we are also involved in other areas of the ExZess, have renovated a part of it to meet our needs and are helping to shape the space. At least temporarily we already have an anarchistic centre and are supported by other people in the ExZess.

An organization in the Anarchist Federation already makes sense for us, because in this way we can pre-discuss our ideas and new concepts with other contexts that are close to us in content. By looking beyond our horizon of experience and at the situations in other cities, we hope that our thoughts on organizing will become even more solid. In addition, we now know a structure of solidarity around us that will support us in case of doubt when our local struggles reach the edge of our possibilities. We are looking forward to working together with the other groups of the Federation and would like to encourage other groups to come closer to such a union right from the beginning of our cooperation. Because only together can we defy this world and make it a more beautiful one for all!

Freedom & Happiness, and to all the coming challenges that we will face together –

Initiative Anarchistische Bewegung Frankfurt

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