THE ‘ALARM’ HAS LIFT OFF!

Here’s a brief account of yesterday’s meeting to set up The ALARM. A fuller  account of the meeting will be posted later  by the new Secretary of the Alarm. I counted 78 people there rammed into the room at the Calthorpe Arms. The meeting was methodical and well chaired by Kev from WAG. First to report ALARM has been enthusiastically established by all present and we can now talk of it as a movement rather than an idea.The main purpose was to establish an organisational structure to give London Anarchism a chance to grow and meet the opportunities coming up. Andy Meinke was appointed secretary for the initial period of establishing the movement. Andy works at Freedom Bookshop so is ideally placed to fulfill this role. Ed ex – WAG  is now treasurer.A series of  local contacts was then set up to act as local hubs for anarchist activity in each area……….in addition college groups, workplace groups, campaigning groups are to be welcomed into the structure……so should groups like AF or SOFED wish to particpate they will be welcome. London wide metings are to be held weekly and local groups to organise as they wish. Contacts for these areas were set up and can be accesed through Andy at Freedom.

HACKNEY

TOWER HAMLETS

NEWHAM

CAMDEN

ISLINGTON

BARNET

BRENT

GREENWICH

LAMBETH

PECKHAM

LEWISHAM

CROYDON

BEXLEY

WEST LONDON

HARROW

RICHMOND

 This was the most exciting part of the day to see groups set up beyond the usual anarchist heartlands. Members of Harringay solidarity group will report back to HSG’s next meeting. At last there is a structure for new peole to get invoved locally.

And that was it. A very hard working two hours and discussions on strategy and  whether ALARM will have a manifesto or initiate it’s own actions were held over to the next meeting and punters fled to the bar to meet up with others from their own area. I wouldn’t say it was inspiring/ there was no rabble rousing but it was a very good humoured and necessary step to take some initial steps forward to creating a viable anarchist presence throughout London and not just in a couple of areas.WAG pulled it off and everyone was well positive . There’s still the critical second meeting to negotiate……..but this could be the start of something big. ( I’m the contact for Croydon if any of you lot live round here. We’ll be meeting up in a local boozer shortly)

12 Comments

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12 responses to “THE ‘ALARM’ HAS LIFT OFF!

  1. half biscuit

    Good luck to em and all that, but what exactly is the point of this new organisation and how will it operately differently from other anarcho groups? We already have AF and Solfed, the latter of which has been making waves lately and looking pretty dynamic. Do we really need another group claiming to be the true heir of the revolutionary spirit of the working-class?

    • Harry White

      No, not now we’ve got ALARM.

    • Eric Blair

      I think you will find out the point of this new organisation when it actually gets going. This was the founding meeting and was attended by nearly 80 anarchists from across london. People involved from ex-Whitechapel Anarchist Group, Freedom Press, London Action Resource Centre, Ratstar, Off Market, Class War, South London Anarchist Group, Haringey Solidarity Group, Dissident Island Radio, Fitwatch etc etc (I have forgotten lot’s I assure you) plus individuals involved in no groups who have been on the fringes for a while and lots of new faces! (It’s great being in a big meeting where over 75% of the people I didn’t know!) All of whom have been involved as groups or individuals heavily in the student demonstrations and march 26th. The political situation has changed in this country, I think every political activist has shown a lot of dynamism over the past few months dealing with the unfolding times, hence why we have arrived at where we are at. New times need new ideas, strategies and organisations.

      The question should really be why has AF and SolFed not inspired these people to get involved with them? Truth is the AF is pretty dead, supposedly 150 members nationwide, but I’ve never seen them really do anything of any significance. What is the membership of the London group? I have more time for SolFed who have had an increase in activity and membership amongst their South London Branch but although SLSF and NLSF promised to send delegates to the founding meeting they never attended. That didn’t look pretty dynamic to be honest.

      No one’s claimed to be the true heir of anything except you by suggesting that they should join AF or SolFed.

      • half biscuit

        “The question should really be why has AF and SolFed not inspired these people to get involved with them?”

        Yeah I agree these are perfectly valid questions for those orgs. SF offers a very specific brand of anarchism: anarcho-syndicalism, so not all anarchists might be in favour of building a labour movement based on anarchist principles. So it seems that Alarm will be attracting the same kind of anarchist demographic as AF.

  2. SpideySaves

    The seeds have now been sown. I hope that people now take the message back and get organised within their own boroughs. The emphasis has to be that ALARM is an alliance of different groups / organisations NOT simply a organisation within its own right.

    Full marks to Kev who facillitated the meeting and kept it on track.

  3. A

    Great! Couldn’t make it myself – but its exciting that a new group can start with 80 people!

    Now some questions:

    Are those groups in the boroughs ALARM groups now? Camden ALARM, Hackney ALARM…etc?

    Is ALARM a membership group?
    Who is allowed to attend and make decisions?
    How are decisions made? Through consensus or majority voting?

    Will be at the next meeting, cheers!

  4. King of the Anarchists

    “We already have AF and Solfed” ????? i am amazed at how conservative the ‘radical’ movement is, a new group is forming and all people can say is – why dont they join the old groups….

    • INCUBUS

      I believe the word you’re looking for is ‘parochialism’, but who knows, mebbe the naysayers will have a revelation and stop the usual carping? Unity comrades blah…

    • half biscuit

      Anarchists are always criticising the Marxist left for endlessly creating ‘new’ organisations. It’s not inherently ‘conservative’ to ask what’s the point.

  5. Eric Blair

    Great personal account of the meeting Ian. I agree with you that there was no rabble rousing oomph and at times it was slightly laborious but this had to be done to get the foundations laid for what will hopefully bear fruit. I definitely felt positive about the possibilities of what could be achieved with such a strong turn out of diverse anarchists from across london. The potential is mental. And everyone came together with a positive and constructive attitude. Hopefully this sense of optimism will maintain.

  6. Dean Talent

    in his way half biscuit is absolutely right. People were declaring in the meeting they were class struggle anarchists and this was a class struggle anarchist group. But there is already three healthy, functioning and workable class struggle anarchist groups in london (AF, SOLFED L&S), why not be involved, active or members of those groups? If the alarm constitution mirrors that of the AF (and frankly i can’t see it doing anything else) then what is the group in existence to do? This is something for the class struggle anarchists to explain perhaps more fully.

    If i was a class struggle anarchist then the AF would be the logical obvious group to join, if i were a class struggle anarchist into workplace organising then solfed would be the logical place, if i was into secret bakuninist fraternity organising… you get the picture.

    As a working class anarchist i have no problems with what af/solfed do, or how they do it, just don’t agree with the positions on certain things and don’t fully subscribe to their aims and principles. Hence not a member.

    There’s a MASSIVE discussion to be had about what ‘class struggle anarchism’ means. I’d love to be in an anarchist group full of working class radicals who don’t call themselves ‘class struggle anarchists’ (i can dream comrades!) but that’s a different discussion for a different day.

    This is no way a criticism of the meeting or what the WAG comrades are prosposing. Thought the initial meeting was excellent, incredibly positive, a definite necessity, and full marks for all those involved in organising it. A well deserved pat on the back and a brave decsion at that. Am fully in support of the initiative.

  7. Dan Carter

    @Eric Blair – Just wanna clear up that 2 SLSF members attended the first ALARM South-London meeting.

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