Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Belfast anarchist bookfair 2008

The second annual Belfast Anarchist Bookfair will take place on Saturday 6th September 11 noon until 6.00 pm in the Belfast Unemployed Resource Centre (45-47 Donegall Street).

Stalls confirmed so far:Organise!Anarchist FederationBelfast Anarchist Black CrossChoice IrelandJust Books CollectiveSolidarity Federation-IWAWe Won't Pay CampaignWorkers Solidarity Movement
12.00pm Immigrant Workers and Racism
1.00pm Currents in Working Class Self Organisation: Anarcho-Syndicalism
2.00pm Education Workers Discussion
3.00pm Prisons Memory Archive
4.00pm Fighting Unions - panel and discussion on workplace resistance and the Trades Unions
5.00pm Closing Plenary

Related Link::

Sunday, 27 July 2008


The Organisation

The name of the organisation is Organise!

Organise! is independent of and opposed to the party political system and the state.


Decisions affecting the policies and activities of the organisation as a whole are reached at the Congress, which shall take place annually.

Procedures for Congress:

"i) Election of facilitator/chairperson of the meeting from the members present.

ii) Election of minute-taker from the members present.

iii) Approval of the agenda and last minute amendments.

iv) Decision making process:

Procedure for approval or denial of motion -
Motion/agenda item is presented to the Congress in written or verbal form.

The facilitator/chairperson then asks for a second to the motion.

If there is no second the motion has failed and the facilitator/chairperson then moves on to the next item.

If there is a second the facilitator/ chairperson then opens the floor to discussion by the Congress.

The facilitator/chairperson will take names in order of hands raised to speak. If Congress requests it, the facilitator/chairperson can allow a "go around" for everyone who wishes to speak on the motion in the order of their seating. The facilitator/chairperson should allow two rounds of discussion for the group to try and reach consensus on the issue.

The facilitator can ask Congress if there has been enough discussion on the issue. If there are no objections to passing the motion, it can be considered passed by acclamation by the group.

If there are objections and more discussion is needed, the facilitator must allow for more discussion.

At any time after one or two rounds of discussion a member of the group can motion to "call the question" by majority vote of the Congress. The facilitator must stop all discussion and take a simple majority vote or "straw poll" on whether to vote on the issue immediately. A member moving to "call the question" is not allowed additional debate on the issue added to their "calling the question".

Decisions are to be reached following full debate by the entire membership. While consensus should be attempted in reaching decisions it will not always be possible. In such cases a majority decision is taken by show of hands. One member one vote - the facilitator/chairperson shall not have a casting vote. A majority shall be 50% plus 1.

The facilitator/chairperson will first call for a show of hands of those "in favour" of the motion to be counted as a YES vote. Then call for those "opposed" to the motion to be counted as NO votes. Finally, the facilitator/chairperson will call for "abstentions", votes from members who don't feel they can make a decision on the motion, but who will allow the group to vote on the issue without their YES or NO vote. An abstention will not be counted as a YES or NO vote. If the abstentions out weight the YES and NO votes combined the facilitator/chairperson must ask the Congress to revisit the question at the next meeting to allow more time for debate.

Members may ask the person presenting the original motion to accept friendly amendments to their motion. The presenter can accept or decline these amendments.

Alternative motions can be presented during the discussion of the original motion. The facilitator/chairperson must recognise that motion and have the minute-taker record the alternative motion if another member seconds it. The facilitator/chairperson must not allow discussion on alternative motions until a vote is taken on the original.

The original presenter of a motion can decide to "withdraw" their motion in favour of another alternative motion for any reason they see fit.

A member can ask the facilitator/chairperson to give a relevant point of information or question the process during a discussion.

If the facilitator/chairperson or a member feels that discussion of a motion is becoming redundant and motions to "call the question" have not been allowed, a motion to "table" the discussion until the next convenient meeting can be considered in order by the facilitator/chairperson.

Once a motion has been PASSED, FAILED, WITHDRAWN or TABLED, it must be recorded in the minutes by the minute-taker. Being of a democratic nature Congress will allow any previous decisions taken to be re-addressed at any future Congress in light of further information and discussion.

v) A motion to adjourn the Congress can be deemed "in order" by the facilitator/chairperson at any time. This is of course dependent on the constraints of travel and time placed upon members attending the Congress."

All members should endeavour to attend the Congress. In circumstances where this is not possible the Local, Industrial Branch, Regional or Industrial Federation can nominate (a) delegate(s) to represent their view(s) to the organisation. Individual members may also submit written proposals/amendments to Congress or provide a nominated member in attendance with a written mandate to represent their views to the organisation.

All such delegates to Congress, and other assemblies, who carry mandates to vote on an issue must clearly identify the amount of votes they represent on any issue. Locals/Industrial Branches can mandate more than one delegate to represent differing opinions.

Delegates must produce a card ratified by their Local/Industrial Branch showing the number of votes they are mandated to cast on a particular item.

The agenda for Congress is to be drawn up by the membership in the year prior to the date of Congress, through the Internal Bulletin, and finalised one month before that date.

Representatives of the organisation will be elected at Congress and hold their posts for a period of one year. All such posts are unpaid and accountable to the membership. Post holders will be subject to the mandate of the organisation and are recallable at any time by means of a duly convened Emergency Congress or by referendum through the Internal Bulletin.

Decisions of Congress are binding on all members, Local and Industrial Branches, and Regional and Industrial Federations. Individuals and minority groups opposed to any decisions of the membership expressed through the Congress will have full access to the Internal Bulletin to present their case and may, of course, attempt to overturn any decisions at the next Congress.

Neither party to any disagreement should manipulate or exacerbate differences of opinion so far as to provoke antagonism and ill feeling within the organisation. All such debates should be carried out in a comradely and self disciplined fashion.

A date for the next Congress shall be set at the end of the sitting Congress.

Emergency Congress

In the case of any internal or external matter which can damage the organisation as a whole, and upon which a decision has to be taken by the organisation as soon as possible, an Emergency Congress can be called between normally convened Congresses.

A minimum of two Locals and/or Industrial Branches, or at least 6 members, can call for such a meeting through the Internal Bulletin. A date will be set for an Emergency Congress as soon as possible, but in order that proper and informed discussion and debate can take place throughout the organisation not earlier than one month after the request is made.

The Emergency Congress will have the same procedures as Congress.

Communication and Decision Making Between Congresses

Communication between the membership, Locals, Industrial Branches and Regional/Industrial Federations shall be accommodated through the Internal Bulletin.

Locals, Industrial Branches and individual members can communicate without reporting such communication to the Secretariat.

On local and workplace levels Locals and Industrial Branches are free to take their own decisions insofar as those decisions do not breach the aims and principles or constitution of the organisation as a whole.

On specific issues, Locals, Industrial Branches or individual members can offer proposals and make a request for a decision through the Internal Bulletin or by mail or email to the membership.

In the case of a matter requiring a decision making process at federal level a request shall be made, through the Internal Bulletin, to put the matter to a referendum.
If recourse to an Emergency Congress is necessary this should be dealt with as set out above.


Membership is open to all workers, employed or unemployed, who are in agreement with the Aims and Principles and the Constitution of the organisation.

This excludes those with the power to hire and fire, professional landlords, serving members of the state security forces (i.e. judiciary, army, police). Any other individual whose employment or activity is felt to be incompatible with the Aims and Principles of the organisation may be denied membership of the organisation subject to ratification by the membership gathered in a Congress.

All members who are in good standing have an equal voice in the decision making of the organisation.


The organisation is financed by a system of membership dues.

All members shall pay dues which shall be forwarded to the organisations treasurer. The rate of dues is to be set at Congress.

Current levels of dues are:

£5.00/E7.50 per week employed over £8.00/E12.00 per hour.

£2.50/E4.00 per week employed on minimum wage to £8.00/E12.00 per hour.

£1.00/E1.50 per week below minimum wage/unemployed/student/claimant.

As the level of dues is set as a minimum requirement it is understood that members, whenever possible, will contribute to the finances of the organisation above and beyond the levels set down

As membership levels increase it is hoped that this requirement will be reduced as the financial burden for the upkeep of our organisation is spread.

Members who are not in good standing shall not be permitted to vote at Congress. To be in good standing dues should be paid regularly and on time, those who are not in good standing are members who are over three months in arrears with payment of their dues. If the arrears exceed 6 months membership will be deemed to have lapsed. To redeem membership in these circumstances individuals will have to rejoin the organisation and pay dues regularly.

It shall be decided at each Congress how the resources available to the organisation for the coming year are to be best allocated.

A financial report shall be included in each Internal Bulletin.

Locals and Industrial Branches

The Local and the Industrial Branch must, in order to apply for affiliation to the Federation:

i) Have at least two members

ii) Agree with the Aims and Principles of the Federation

iii) Meet at least once a month

iv) Have a permanent and public postal address.

Locals and Industrial Branches may form Regional or Industrial Federations with other Locals and Industrial Branches of the organisation.

Regional and Industrial Federations will decide their own structure, meeting times, activities and tasks, delegation processes and finances.

A Local or Industrial Branch, Regional or Industrial Federation, can be expelled from the organisation for breaking the Aims and Principles of the organisation or in the case of its taking action which is damaging to the Federation as a whole.

In such circumstances charges must be made by at least two Locals or Industrial Branches or a minimum of 6 individual members. After full and proper discussion with all of the parties being afforded equal opportunity to express their case and present evidence the matter of expulsion will be voted on by the entire membership.

A 75% or greater majority is required to expel a Local or Industrial Branch, Regional or Industrial Federation.

The Secretariat

The Secretariat has no power over the internal affairs of Locals or Industrial Branches nor those of any Regional or Industrial Federations.

Posts in the Secretariat are elected at Congress, for one year, and are recallable at any time by a referendum of the membership or at a duly convened Emergency Congress. No one person can hold any one post for more than 2 years consecutively.
Posts at present are:

i) Secretary: Responsible for communication within the organisation and is charged with recording the reports and minutes of meetings at federal level and with production of the Internal Bulletin. The secretary will include a report every three months in the Internal Bulletin

ii) Treasurer: Is charged with the keeping of up to date records of dues and bank account(s) as decided necessary by the membership. The treasurer will not, in any case, use or authorise the use of any of the organisation’s monies without the consent of the membership. The treasurer must produce a financial report every three months in the Internal Bulletin.

iii) International Secretary: Is responsible for maintaining communication with any organisations as decided by the membership at the General Assembly, or by referendum. The international secretary will have to produce a report every three months in the Internal Bulletin.

Editorial Collective

An editorial collective of three members of the organisation will be elected at each Congress.

The editorial collective are responsible for the regular production of our bulletin Working Class Resistance.

The editorial collective will encourage the involvement of all members of the organisation in the production of WCR and will make articles available for comment and alteration by the membership prior to printing.

Bank Accounts

The treasurer shall maintain a current account into which all membership dues shall be lodged. Payments for the day-to-day running of the organisation, production of propaganda, and other expenditure as decided upon by the membership, to be made from this account.

Local, Industrial Branches and Regional and Industrial Federations are free to set up bank accounts as they see fit. Such accounts should be administered by a treasurer delegated/elected on an annual basis, mandated and recallable to the membership of the relevant section of the Federation.

Internal Bulletin

The Internal Bulletin is the primary organ of internal communication, education and debate across the organisation.

The Internal Bulletin must contain:

i) The minutes of Congress, Emergency Congress or any other Federal meeting
ii) Reports from the secretary, treasurer and international secretary
iii) Reports from Locals, Industrial Branches and Federations
iv) The agenda of the next Congress
v) New contacts
vi) A list of events (calendar)
vii) Notices from individuals or Locals/Branches that choose to withdraw from the organisation

All members are free to contribute to the Internal Bulletin.

The Internal Bulletin should be issued every three months and sent to all members.

The secretary is responsible for the collection of the necessary reports and the production of the Internal Bulletin.

The Internal Bulletin can also be used to call a referendum in cases where the Federation must reach a decision before the next General Assembly.