Thursday, February 09, 2006

But will there be bug juice?

Anarchist summer camp

What is an anarchist camp?

“Holiday” as a concept originates from the separation of work and leisure time. In this sense, an anarchist camp is not a holiday: the camp is an opportunity to meet, get to know each other and be active together, in a context which is free from pressure. It gives us room to try and combine anarchist theory and praxis and to live free from authority.

We are aware of the fact that this can only ever be a “relative” freedom, firstly because we carry the mechanisms of authority around with us in our heads and bodies, and then because the anarchist camp is an island which is limited in time and place, within a society which is shaped by authority. But who knows - we may still manage to create a free space, outside of social normality and its daily pains, where we can experience what it is that we are fighting for and where it is that we want to go.

In order to make this possible, it is crucial that no forms of discrimination or repression be tolerated at the camp. Furthermore, everyone must feel it their responsibility to ensure that this is the case. This means: be aware, get involved, and if any such behaviour is observed (in others or in oneself) then make sure you bring it up. Solidarity and freedom from authority, when fully experienced, give us energy and encouragement for our daily struggle.

What the organising group does

As organising group we arrange the location, spread information about the camp internationally and take care of the initial resource and infrastructure requirements. Once the camp starts, the group will cease to exist. From this point, it is everyone’s responsibility to decide together what will be done where, when and how; to organise, procure food, cook and tidy up.

Nevertheless, discussions which have taken place within the organising group, partly resulting from experiences which were gathered on previous camps, have led to a few decisions being taken in advance:

-- A tent will be reserved for women and transgender persons. This tent may function as a meeting point, a free space, or whatever else people may choose to make of it.

-- We encourage parents to come with their children. The site is vast and offers plenty of opportunity to play around; furthermore a children’s tent will be set up. What use will be made of this tent will once again depend on those who wish to use it. Bring toys, bring rope so we can hang a swing from a tree, or bring whatever else comes in mind! It is not just parents who should need to think about their own children: we should all try to take care of children and their needs.

-- Leave your dogs at home! A large number of dogs at a camp can seriously hinder the camp’s enjoyment for other participants, as well as hindering participation of those people who have children. Furthermore the site is not fenced and faces directly onto the woods, in which there are hunters and wild animals…


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