Who We Are
As anarchists we are members of the working class who are conscious of the class struggle and who strive for full freedom and equality. This form of society will only work through the voluntary practice of self-organisation and mutual aid which we try to undertake in the here and now. Being an anarchist means not only throwing off the chains of hierarchy and coercion and striving for personal freedom but also taking responsibility for our actions where they affect others, making ourselves accountable to those we chose to work with, and practising solidarity with other people in struggle.
We believe that in order to get from our current society to a world free of exploitation and oppression there is a need for revolutionary organisations. This is the basis of the Anarchist Federation. We are committed to building an effective organisation which has a collective identity and works towards the common goal of anarchist communism. We believe that such a collective identity must be based on free association and respect for the autonomy of the individual. We value the diversity of our members as we continue to develop our ideas in the light of new developments in the world and from our experiences of struggle.
What We Want
The AF works for the creation of an international libertarian communist movement. We believe this movement cannot be created without building a specific anarchist communist organisation. We believe that for social revolution to be successful it will require the activity of this revolutionary organisation as a part of the working class, while rejecting any idea that it acts as a self-appointed leader.
What We Do
While being a member of the AF should not take over our entire lives, and personal circumstances make different levels of activity possible for different people, we are not a passive fan club for anarchy. It is hoped that all members will contribute in some way both to the development of our ideas and to our activities, both locally and throughout the federation, as and when they are able.
The AF has a number of vital roles to perform in order to reach our goal. We must:
- Support resistance against capitalism, state, and other oppression where it exists, and attempt to spark it where it does not.
- Produce information and analysis against capitalist society and argue the case for anarchist communism.
- Be the memory of the working class by making the lessons of past gains and defeats widely known.
- Be a forum for debate and discussion between all elements of the revolutionary working class.
- Work to understand the developments in our society and deliver a coherent communist response to them.
- Seek to win the leadership of ideas within the working class.
- Intervene and co-ordinate our actions in the workplace and the community.
- Work to build a global anarchist movement as part of the International of Anarchist Federations.
How We Organise
For an anarchist organisation to remain non-hierarchical and non-authoritarian it is essential that roles and responsibilities are distributed evenly. For federation-wide officer roles, we operate a formal structure of delegation and direct democracy with recallable delegates, meaning that if someone is not fulfilling responsibilities they can have those tasks passed on to someone else in a non-judgemental and supportive way for the good of the organisation. Many roles are informal and temporary, however, and it is hoped that members will also fulfil these as best they can and in an accountable way. One of the key ways to support the organisation is to anticipate something that needs doing and take some responsibility for seeing that it is addressed.
The organisation is based on the following fundamental criteria:
The AF is a decentralised organisation made up of individual members who form into groups based on location. We have no leaders or central decision-making body and the direction of the organisation is decided upon by its members. Members come together regularly to develop theory, strategy and tactics through debate and discussion, aiming for participation of all members in decision-making such that effective consensus can be reached. Most decisions are made at Federal Delegate Meetings. Those who cannot attend these meetings can mandate any other member to act as their delegate to bring their positions to these meetings to ensure that their opinion is included.
- Political Unity
The AF is based on a common set of aims and principles, with its structure detailed in the membership handbook. Before joining, a potential member must agree with the outlined aims and principles of the organisation. In addition, we may adopt policies and analyses that are the result of discussion and elaboration by all the members. As these will be developed collectively, it is expected that they will reflect the views of the whole organisation.
Members may propose changes to these structures, but it must be the result of a genuine change of view emerging from new ideas and experiences since their joining the organisation. When an individual joins, it is expected that they join as a result of genuine agreement with the political and organisational principles of the AF. As membership is sponsored by a group or regional secretary it is their responsibility to ensure that new members fully understand these documents.
- Tactical Unity
The AF seeks to act in a co-ordinated way, developing strategies and tactics through discussion and debate which members are expected to implement where appropriate.
- Collective Responsibility and Solidarity
Members must not act so as to undermine the federation but instead must seek to support the federation in practice and show solidarity for other members.
- Free Association and Autonomy
The individual does not subsume their identity into the collective. A member is one who has chosen to associate with others and retains their autonomy. If a member or group does not agree with policies, strategies or tactics adopted by the federation once they have become members, then they do not have to implement these decisions and may express their disagreement.