Report From The Fifth NEFAC Congress

Fifth Congress of the Northeastern Federation of Anarcho-Communists (NEFAC)

The fifth semi-annual conference of NEFAC was held in Baltimore from Friday, February 22nd to Sunday the 24th. Well over 50 people were in attendance at the conference which saw a significant expansion of NEFAC’s membership as well as a conscious move to develop a serious long-term strategy centered around strategic interventions in concrete areas of the class struggle.

The membership of NEFAC has now expanded to include 8 member collectives and 5 supporter collectives. The member collectives are Sabate (Boston), Roundhouse (Baltimore), Tute Nere (DC), Sophia Perovskaya (Boston), Barricada (Boston), Quebec City Local Union, the Montreal Local Union, and La Bete Noire (Montreal). Supporter collectives are Freyheyt (Toronto), RASH (Montreal), De Cleyre (Philadelphia), and Facing Reality (Montreal). To these can be added numerous new individual adhesions as both members and supporters.

The most significant development of the conference was the conscious decision to move out of the "activist crisis" mode (summit-hopping and reactive politics) and begin developing a campaign of concerted, long-term interventions in specific areas of the class struggle. After a lengthy discussion regarding what areas to prioritize, it was decided to create three separate caucuses around the issues of housing/gentrification, anti-poverty work, and workplace struggles. The caucuses are to brainstorm on these issues and develop proposals for concrete federation wide interventions in the future.

These issues were chosen as they are issues which affect the daily lives of working people, and thus provide anarchists with an opportunity to conduct struggles which relate to the day-to-day life of people, serving as gateways to radicalization and a broader rejection of the system as a whole and the building of a revolutionary dual power.

The next significant development was the creation of a permanent women’s caucus to deal with issues relating to gender and patriarchy both within the federation structure, as well as within our organizing and activity. This came following small group discussions around the issues of race and gender, an activity and form of discussion that we hope to see continued at future conferences.

Furthermore, the conference designated Barricada as the International Secretariat collective, as well as the official agitational monthly of NEFAC. There was also a speakers bureau created (to be managed by Roundhouse), a Warchest fund (by Sophia Perovskaya), a working group to re-write the Aims & Principles, and endorsement of the Festival del Pueblo in Boston, the regional mobilization against the G8 in Ottawa, and mobilizations against the IMF/WB in Washington DC in October.

People overwhelmingly felt that it was a productive and inspiring conference, which was also marked by a direct action in conjunction with ACORN, and marked an important step forward in the development of NEFAC as a stable and mature federation with a clear political program and revolutionary strategy.