NEFAC continues its transformation into regional organizations

This January, in Boston, NEFAC's US section continued our progress toward our own reformation. We enacted a constitution and a new internal structure that were developed over the spring and summer of 2008. We dedicated time to analyze the situation we face, in which the capitalist class faces difficulty in propping up its rotting order, and proves itself willing to stretch and to take risks to do so. Most of the working class in the US remains on the defensive, but many in the social movements are also discovering openings to move things forward. NEFAC-US members compared our local experiences and discussed strategies to advance our socialist and libertarian vision in the context of this crisis. After a long period of introversion and local focus, we see these as important steps toward building a fresh, publicly active, class-struggle anarchist group rooted primarily in the northeastern United States.


Friends and comrades may have noticed November 2008's announcement of the formation of the Union Communiste Libertaire (UCL) in Quebec. The UCL described its founding as part of a "long reforming process" of NEFAC. In addition, another group, Solidarite, formed from what previously had been NEFAC-Quebec. Since then many have asked the remaining NEFAC membership about the status of the original federation.

The practical difficulties of having a cross-border, multi-lingual organization with a small membership and budget eventually consumed our honest effort to overcome such obstacles. Translation was not only tedious, largely falling on the shoulders of the Quebecois, but sometimes stopped position papers from being published altogether. The differences in social conditions between our countries created time-consuming debates that rarely led to collective actions or collective positions. Federation Congress' would have been easier for both countries to attend if border crossings did not exist, but also if they were funded by dues monies. Partial attendance at Congress' meant making quorum (we did not vote on a proposal unless we had 50%+1 of the membership present) for a general assembly of membership painfully challenging. More money would have also meant propaganda far exceeding the handful of stickers and posters we put out together. And let it not go without notice that the lack of discipline in paying dues was a key variable in our inability to function at a higher level.

This January, in Boston, NEFAC's US section continued our progress toward our own reformation. We enacted a constitution and a new internal structure that were developed over the spring and summer of 2008. We dedicated time to analyze the situation we face, in which the capitalist class faces difficulty in propping up its rotting order, and proves itself willing to stretch and to take risks to do so. Most of the working class in the US remains on the defensive, but many in the social movements are also discovering openings to move things forward. NEFAC-US members compared our local experiences and discussed strategies to advance our socialist and libertarian vision in the context of this crisis. After a long period of introversion and local focus, we see these as important steps toward building a fresh, publicly active, class-struggle anarchist group rooted primarily in the northeastern United States.

Whereas participation in black bloc summit hops at World Bank/International Monetary Fund and Free Trade meetings across North America was a large part of NEFAC's early activity, nine years later our politics have matured and changed. While we still have a small core of long-standing members in NEFAC- US, our membership demographics are slowly becoming more diverse and therefore have the potential to become sustainable. We have shifted from a majority student base to a minority student base, have attracted a broader age range of individuals, now including families, and 24% of the membership is female. We have currently been involved in the following class struggle local campaigns and international publishing projects:

* Resistance to foreclosure evictions, particularly of tenants (Boston)
* The successful occupation of The New School (NYC)
* Participation in the movement in defense of political prisoners (Boston & NYC)
* Involvement with resisting city budget cuts, particularly libraries (Philadelphia)
* Involvement with UNITE HERE Boycott campaigns of Columbia-Sussex (Baltimore & D.C.)
* Publication of The Northeastern Anarchist Magazine, Issue No. 14 (Membership at-large)

We see our new organization, which will soon be renamed but continues to exist as NEFAC, taking its place among many similar North American groups, including Common Cause in Ontario and the UCL and Solidarite in Quebec. While we agree that these regions reflect a more sensible scale on which to attempt coherent joint activity in the current political climate, we are committed to continued discussion and eventual shared projects among all of these organizations.

We plan to have a cross-border joint Congress that will occur before the year is over. Our main agenda item will be to further articulate the regionalism, theoretical unity and direction of our organization.

For a world without borders, bosses, or bureaucracy

NEFAC-US