Monday, June 25, 2007

More about affinity goups
in the book "Toghether" (achive more)

Affinity groups

Affinity Groups
Affinity groups are small groups of people, usually between three and fifteen, who come together to support one another during nonviolent actions. Sometimes the group disbands after a particular action, sometimes it carries on meeting.

We are encouraging everyone wishing to risk arrest on this action to be part of an affinity group.

Safety and support
If you’re by yourself, it is easy to get lost, especially in a police station when nobody outside knows who you are, or even that you’ve been arrested. Also, it is good to be around people you know and trust, especially when arrests begin to happen.

Strength and flexibility
Affinity groups help stop the action being a crowd which can be manipulated. Each group has an identity, as does each person within it.

Rather than grand debates being dominated by the few, a collection of affinity groups can use more democratic decision-making processes - in which everyone is involved. The action is unlikely to go exactly as planned, and the group may well need to make decisions on the hoof.

Support roles
An affinity group can contain one or two support people who are not risking arrest, who can witness events. Support people can give the Legal Support Unit accurate information, and wait for arrestees to be released (a vital job). You may also consider having a local press contact feeding information to your local media during the day.

Forming an affinity group
An affinity group can be a collection of friends, or it can be a group who meet for the first time at a nonviolence and legal preparation session.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


A Higher Image
The allternative hypothesis was enunciated twenty-five hundred years ago in the Bhagavad Gita, and can be found at the core of every one of the world's religious traditions: beneath the surface level of conditioned thinking in every one of us there is a single living spirit. The still small voice whispering to me in the depAths of my consciousness is saying exactly the same thing as the voice whispering to you in your consciousness. "I want an earth that is healthy, a world at peace, and a heart filled with love." It doesn't matter if your skin is brown or white or black, or whether you speak English, Japanese, or Malayalam- the voice, says the Gita, is the same in every creature, and it comes from your true self. - Environmental Activist Eknath Easwaren

An Instrument of Peace
Since war begins in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defense of peace must be constructed. -UNESCO Charter

I have learnt through bitter experience the one supreme lesson to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmutted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmutted into a power which can move the world. - Mahatma Gandhi

Trustees of Ourselves and the Earth
The tasks facing us today are enormous, but it is the glory of human nature that there will always be those rare individuals who say, "Let there be dangers, let there be difficulties - whatever it costs, I want to live to the full height of my being, my feet still on the ground but my head crowned with the stars." This can be done only by facing difficulties that appear almost impossible. - Mahatma Gandhi

"Let man overcome anger by love...hatred does not cease by hatred at any time; hatred ceases by love - this is an old rule." - Gautama the Buddha, Dhammapada v.5

"Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you....Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you." Jesus the Christ

"You must so adjust your heart that you long for the welfare of all beings, including the happiness of your enemies...Among men who hate us, let us dwell free from hatred...With pure thoughts and fullness of love, I will do towards other what I do for myself." - Gautama the Bhudda

An Intelligent Rich Person
I don't think there is such a thing as an intelligent mega-rich person.
For who with a fine mind can look out upon this world and hoard what can nourish a thousand souls. - Poet Kabir c1140-1518

Many regard Leo Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God Is Within You [1] (1894) to be a key text in Christian anarchism. Tolstoy called for a society based on Christian love, Christian nonviolence, and freedom. His work was one of the inspirations behind Mahatma Gandhi's use of nonviolent resistance during India's struggle for independence, and the American Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr.Biblical passages cited by anarchists

The Golden Rule
* Love your neighbour as yourself (Mark 12:31).
* Do to others what you would have them do to you (Matthew 7:12).
* Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword (Matthew 26:52).
* Do not judge, or you too will be judged (Matthew 7:1).
* Let he who has not sinned throw the first stone (John 8:7)

Pacifism, nonviolence and nonresistance
* You shall not murder (Exodus 20:13).
* But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also (Matthew 5:39).
* Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you (Luke 6:27).
* And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well (Matthew 5:40).
* Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).

Simple living
* If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me (Matthew 19:21).
* Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back (Luke 6:30).
* Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:19).
* Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:24).
* All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need (Acts 2:44-45).
* At the end of every seven years you shall grant a remission of debts (Deuteronomy 15:1).
* You shall not charge interest to your countrymen: interest on money, food, or anything that may be loaned at interest. You may charge interest to a foreigner, but to your countrymen you shall not charge interest, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land which you are about to enter to possess (Deuteronomy 23:18-19).

Freedom from earthly authority
* You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you (Matthew 20:24-28).
* We must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).
* For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).
* No king but the Lord shall rule over you (Judges 8:23).
* Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke? Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh? (Isaiah 58:6-7).
* This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.(Jeremiah 17:5).
* So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God... But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. Romans 7: 4 & 6

Anarchist Biblical interpretations
* The Kingdom of God - there are no monarchs, rulers, states, borders, governors or governments, except for one, God.
* To seek rule by man is to reject the rule of God (1 Samuel 8).
* Honest people are too busy making an honest living to accept political power, so only the corruptible will accept political power (The Parable of the Trees Judges 9:7-15).
* The devil controls man-made governments (Matthew 4:8-10).
* The gentiles have rulers over them, but it shall not be so among Christians (Mark 10:42-45). (Notice that the word for rulers here in the Greek version is archos. Therefore some say Christians are by simple deduction an-archos or in English anarchists).
* So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined, let man not separate.(Matthew 19:6)
* All of the Book of Exodus can be viewed as a revolution inspired, led, and achieved by God on behalf of the oppressed.

Anarchist quotes
Petr Chelčický
* The man who obeys God needs no other authority (over him).

Ammon Hennacy
* An anarchist is anyone who doesn't need a cop to tell him what to do.
* Oh, judge, your damn laws: the good people don't need them and the bad people don't follow them, so what good are they?

Leo Tolstoy
* All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do.
* In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.
* Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
* In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.

Jacques Ellu
* There are different forms of anarchy and different currents in it. I must, first say very simply what anarchy I have in view. By anarchy I mean first an absolute rejection of violence.
* So I can very well say without hesitation that all those who have political power, even if they use it well have acquired it by demonic mediation and even if they are not conscious of it, they are worshippers of diabolos. (Si tu es le Fils de Dieu, 76)

Nicolas Berdyaev
* There is absolute truth in anarchism and it is to be seen in its attitude to the sovereignty of the state and to every form of state absolutism. [ . . . ] The religious truth of anarchism consists in this, that power over man is bound up with sin and evil, that a state of perfection is a state where there is no power of man over man, that is to say, anarchy. The Kingdom of God is freedom and the absence of such power . . . the Kingdom of God is anarchy. (Slavery and Freedom, 147–48)