Some Remarks on the Need for Open Assemblies in Berlin

Anonymous, 2013

“Some Remarks” was published anonymously on Indymedia in December of 2013. Although its authors clearly intended it as an intervention into the local anarchist / autonomous scene, it seems to us sufficiently portable to be of potential interest to others elsewhere. A German version is here.

“We need a scale of organization that is larger than affinity groups, yet looser and less defined than single issue campaigns or formal organizations. There needs to be a middle ground between these two, and this is lacking at the moment. […] Yet, at the same time, for us it is important to avoid setting up another once-a-month routine that becomes simply one more plenum. Another ritual that quickly starts to feel bureaucratic, lifeless, and dominated by the same voices that already dominate conversation within the ‘left scene’ in Berlin. […] [W]e would like to suggest that what we need to develop is not one ‘general assembly’ that starts to look more and more like an umbrella organization, but rather a culture of general assemblies in Berlin: the open assembly not as a once a month meeting, but as one of our basic forms of self-organization. By contrast, it seems like all too often in Berlin the instinct of the autonomist/anarchist milieu is to rely on relatively closed processes and closed meetings for planning actions, developing ideas, and engaging with existing struggles. ”